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Ravanna

 
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edmundscott
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:28 am    Post subject: Ravanna Reply with quote

Is there any reference anywhere that connects Ravanna, the King of Rakshasas, to the World of Greyhawk?

Is there any other Greyhawk lore on what deities rakshasas might serve?
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vestcoat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a new temple of Ravanna on the Wild Coast in the Setting Sun in Dungeon #73 and clues to an artifact of the cult north in the Burning Cliffs.

Off topic, I bought Monsters of Myth this week and found a cool monster called Rajkami, evil flesh-bound spirits who are mortal enemies of Rakshasa.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
Rakshasas

Many thousands of years ago, before the Suel had formed an empire, ancient kingdoms of black-skinned humans dominated the lands of Zahind. But as the wheel of time turned, the rulers of the kingdoms grew wicked and corrupt and violence and war filled the land. When the fledgling Suloise nation invaded from across the northern mountains, the rulers of Zahind responded by making pacts with foul spirits, fiendish entities from other planes believed to be personifications of ignorance and rage. Responding to the mortals' calls, the spirits entered the wombs of a generation of women to be born anew encased in flesh.

Within a short generation, little more than a decade, the spirits - rakshasas, as they were known - had grown to maturity. They were bestial-looking humanoids with the heads of tigers, serpents, apes, and other creatures and backwards-facing hands, gifted with powers of ignorance and deception. The generation of rakshasas displaced the humans to become rulers of the land, with the greatest among them, the maharajah Ravanna, leading them all. Under Ravanna's leadership they squelched all opposition, driving the Suloise back over the mountains and killing all those Zahindi who resisted their rule.

For many generations - perhaps centuries - the rakshasas ruled unopposed, treating humanity as slaves and cattle. But then Ravanna stole the bride of an exiled human prince, and this prince gathered together armies from three nations of virtuous beasts to slay Ravanna and win back his bride. After many trials, Ravanna was struck through the heart by the prince's blessed spear and the maharajah's spirit was banished to the plane of Acheron where it remains to this day. Because of the three beast kings who were his constant companions, the prince became known as Tripashu, which means "three beasts" in the Zahindi tongue. The people of the land came to worship their liberator as an avatar of the god of freedom and retribution, who had in various incarnations battled against oppressors since the beginning of time. Tripashu is known in other lands as well; the Oeridians call him Trithereon and have their own tales of his crusades against tyranny.

As for the rakshasas, after the death of their leader they were scattered and demoralized, hunted by their former subjects and by the armies of virtuous beasts. They were forced to live among men in secret, in seemingly harmless guises, and only in the islands to the south did they continue to rule openly, hunting mortals from their swift ships. Some fled across the mountains to the north, to prey on the Suloise people who knew less of their ways and could not be vigilant against them. Some entered the jungles to the northeast, hunting the Olmans and birthing the jackalweres and other horrors. In the present day they can be found in places as distant as the Flanaess, where a group of them have been discovered corrupting a temple of Pelor on the Wild Coast. In the Flanaess they dwell in human cities and among the races of the Underdark, taking over criminal guilds or wealthy merchant clans, often allying themselves with diabolists and the Horned Society. Rumors have it that a merchant prince in the United Kingdom of Ahlissa and a lover of the Sultan of Zeif are both rakshasas in disguise. Some few live openly among the humanoids of the Pomarj and the Bone March. Fraz-Urb'luu has taken some into his service, and these rule as his vassals in the demon prince's realm in the Abyss, calling themselves the Hollow Rajahs. The children of the Hollow Rajahs, the chaotic darbas, have abandoned humanoid form. In Acheron rakshasas serve in the court of their banished master, and in the Ten Hells (as the Zahindi know them) rakshasas teach sorcery in the Three Courtly Schools. Wherever they go, rakshasas seek ever to deceive, hunt, and devour humanity, whom they despise, and to prepare for the reincarnation of Ravanna, their ancient king, who will once again unify their people and lead them to victory.

Notes
Statistics for darbas can be found in The Book of Fiends: Armies of the Abyss by Erik Mona. The Three Courtly Schools were mentioned in Beyond Countless Doorways by Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur, Colin McComb, and Ray Vallese. Those looking for more on rakshasas are advised to read the Bestiary 3 from Paizo Publishing, for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the Complete Guide to Rakshasas from Goodman Games.
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grodog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vestcoat wrote:
There's a new temple of Ravanna on the Wild Coast in the Setting Sun in Dungeon #73 and clues to an artifact of the cult north in the Burning Cliffs.


Here are the references to rakshasas in Jason Zavoda's index (most are clearly from Dungeon #73):

Encyclopedia Greyhawkania Index wrote:

Alladus (Rakshasa)[NPC]
DUN#73 - 60,61,64-66,68,69,73

El'Khedir (Rakshasa)[NPC]
I9 - 30

Harthuul (Rakshasa)[NPC]
DUN#73 - 60,61,68,69,71,72

Killian (Rakshasa)[NPC]
DUN#73 - 60-62,68,72

Ravanna [Deity]
DUN#73 - 65,66,69,72

Ravanna, Temple of (Newtemple)[TMP]
DUN#73 - 69

Zabulon (Rakshasa)[NPC]
DOD - 98,99


Scott Bennie's excellent "Never the Same Thing Twice" in Dragon #84 offers some useful options to expand rakshasas as a monster race (including the first description of Ravanna), and these are other articles you may find useful:

Dragondex wrote:

Rakshasas
- "Never the Same Thing Twice" by Scott Bennie in Dragon #84(30)
- "Ecology of the Rakshasa, The" by Eric Cagle in Dragon #326(66)
- "Minions of Darkness, The" by Eric Cagle in Dragon # 300(64) D&D3


Allan.
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grodog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
Statistics for darbas can be found in The Book of Fiends: Armies of the Abyss by Erik Mona. The Three Courtly Schools were mentioned in Beyond Countless Doorways by Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur, Colin McComb, and Ray Vallese. Those looking for more on rakshasas are advised to read the Bestiary 3 from Paizo Publishing, for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the Complete Guide to Rakshasas from Goodman Games.


Good stuff, Rip, thanks as always for sharing with us! :D

Allan.
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edmundscott
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all three so much! Rasgon's contribution is thought-provoking and exciting as always, and I'd completely forgotten about the mention in Dungeon 73, having never got around to running that. I'll check out the ecology article too, Allan, thank you.

A new character in my campaign, a sorcerer, is going to have a rakshasa bloodline, so I'm working behind the scenes to tie it into my fey-themed Plane of Shadow campaign.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, check out "Twilight's Last Gleaming" in Dungeon #35, which involves a rakshasa rajah in the Plane of Shadow.
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooo, a fey themed campaign in the Plane of Shadow (Shadowfell). Well if you haven't seen these, check them out...

D&D Beyond: The Raven Queen (YouTube Vid Link)

D&D Beyond: The Shadar-kai and The Raven Queen in D&D's 'Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes' (YouTube Vid Link)

Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford have been doing an amazing lore series on the D&D Beyond YouTube Channel... I highly recommend watching all the Elven themed vids. Even if you are not playing 5e, there are some great ideas to mine for any campaign. I highly recommend the one on Drow and and the one titled The Origin of Elves in Dungeons & Dragons.

There are also Lore You Should Know (LYSK) vids in the Official D&D Twitch.tv Channel with Chris Perkins and Matt Sernett. They hit the lore from a slightly different angle. Look for the LYSK in the tite of various Dragon Talk broadcasts...
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edmundscott
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More great stuff! Thanks again. I have some reading and watching to do.

You'll all probably hear more from me on this campaign soon, the next time I run out of ideas. I'm creating new plot lines and story arcs every single day, trying to get everything to fit together and work itself out, and there are several large story points I haven't even started to wonder about yet.

(The basic premise is that, in the beginning of the world, Tarsellis Meunniduin and Ehlonna were lovers and the progenitors of what are now the snow elves. But Tarsellis was wooed away from Ehlonna by Megwandir, who later became Lolth, and--thank you, Rasgon, for this idea--when Tarsellis learned how he'd been betrayed and what he'd given up, he tore out his own heart and buried it in the Crystalmists and retreated to where the Plane of Shadow meets the Feywild to become the Winter King, the Horned Lord, the Master of the Wild Hunt. That portion of Shadow/Feywild he made impenetrable to any beings of power, fearing that Ehlonna would pursue him and try to reconcile--which to him would involve an infinite humiliation. This means that only low-level (less than Name level) adventurers are even able to access this area, and it's strictly off-limits to divine beings. Now Tarsellis cares for nothing but the hunt and only rouses himself, his hounds, and horses to ride down the greatest adventurers of Oerth when such make themselves vulnerable to him on winter nights when either moon is full. The PCs, nudged on by Ehlonna/Ehlenestra, first quest for the heart and then must enter the Shadow Realm with it, become important enough in the faery courts to interact with the nobility there, and somehow restore the heart into the body of the God himself while he sleeps after a great hunt. . . .)
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