Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rakasta, Catfolk of Prace

Language Analog:  Turkish
Inspiration:  Rakasta of Mystara ("Isle of Dread," "Rage of the Rakasta"), Genghis Khan
NOTE:  Rakasta refers to a very particular race in a very particular world (Mystara).  While the race I am presenting here is similar to those of that world, I am not trying to explicitly emulate that race.  I use the name here because it conveys the idea of "proud warrior race" better than catfolk could.  The "official" catfolk, as noted below, are called Tabaxi.

Tainted Counterpart:  Gnolls
Temperamental Association:  Dynamist

Names:  See Turkish Names; swap out sounds as detailed here.

Rakasta territory is commonly called the Pridelands.  It once extended through parts of the Honderreich and Galtain, and included all of Veldistan.  Though the rakasta claim to be native to Prace, alongside elves and dwarves, the neshu of Raviq have another tradition:  They claim that a race of catfolk was native to Raviq--but that race was exiled after they slaughtered a human nation.  If the rakasta had originated in Raviq, and migrated through the passage between the Panjou Mountains and the Crown, they would have naturally settled in he same region they inhabit today.

The basic unit of Rakasta (Rraqasca) society is the nomadic pride, which is similar to the dwarf clan; and each is a branch of one of the larger great prides (see below).  Each pride is governed by a hereditary njan (if male) or njanum (if female); the njan of the eldest pride in a great pride is the nja'an (male) or njacun (female), having authority over all rakasta of the great pride. A younger pride that remains partially dependent on its parent pride is rules by an irnjan or irnjanum.

A pride consists of an extended family, its cattle, and its saber-toothed tigers (qiricjarr, "sabers")--which they use as war mounts, kind of like a tribe of humans riding gorillas.

Each great pride is an independent, nomadic nation. On rare occasion, the nyaqan or nyacun of every great pride will meet in a summit, but not often. The last such summit was at the end of the Orc Wars, when the rakasta were forced to concede the loss of the Kedista territories, granting that eastern territory to humankind (which would later become the Honderreich).

The Orc Wars scattered the Zyrndasta throughout the Honderreich and Cuorria. Their prides are now urban nomads, and much smaller than those in the remaining pridelands. The highest authority for the Zyrndasta is the irnjan of the band. Occationally, the Zyrndasta of a single human nation may declare one of their number their njan, but this is a rare occurrence, and the njan has no real authority (often, a matriarch or patriarch needing special attention).

The region now known as Veldistan was once home to the Lyncasta great pride.  As humans moved into that territory, the Lyncasta would have been driven out--but instead fought back.  The Lyncasta War led to the eradication of that great pride--with any surviving members merging with other prides in nearby areas.

Rakasta Great Prides

This post details how the tabaxi from Volo's Guide to Monsters can be used for the rakasta of Monvesia.
  • Vasjaqasca (Lyncasta), people of the lynx [extinct] = Lynxfolk traits
  • Parrsasca (Pardasta), people of the leopard/jaguar = Tabaxi traits
  • Zyrrndasca (Zyrndasta), people of the wildcat [endangered] = Moggie traits
  • Qapranasca (Kaplanasta), people of the tiger = Rakasta traits
  • Asranasca (Aslanasta), people of the lion = Rakasta traits
  • Cjicasca (Tjitasta), people of the Cheetah = Fast Runner traits

Rakasta Gear


Qrisjarr (KREE-sharr) are artisan blades crafted in the rakasta tradition.  Each blade has an asymmetrical wave shape, and a distinctive blade-patterning common to the tjakeer steel used to make them.  Each weapon is unique, built on a common pattern with several opportunities for personal choice and artistic expression.  These weapons are treasures, but are more valuable than their mere monetary cost.

War Claws

War claws (savasj cirrnaqarr) are a simple melee weapon worn over the hand.  They can be leather gloves or a metal framework that extend the fingertips to sharp points.  As a simple weapon without either the two-handed or heavy properties, war claws qualify as a monk weapon.

  • Cost: 5 gp (this is the cost of one "gauntlet")
  • Damage:  1d6 slashing
  • Weight:  2 lb
  • Properties:  Finesse, light


Nipweed (esrrarr) is a narcotic herb that affects rakasta, halflings, and gnolls.  Some strains of the herb have been cultivated so as to affect other races as well.
  • Type: Inhaled
  • Price per Dose: 150gp
  • Effect: Treat as Essence of Ether. Rakasta and gnolls have disadvantage on the saving throw; halfings have neither disadvantage or advantage; all other races have advantage.

Edited Jul 14, 2015; Jul 30, 2015; Jun 25, 2016; Jun 28, 2017; Jul 29/30, 2017; Mar 13, 2018; Mar 18, 2018; Jun 15, 2018; Aug 3, 2018; Jun 29, 2019; Nov 5, 2019 (title, possible Raviqi origins).

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