Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Neshu, Vedalken of Raviq

In this post, I take an element uniquely designed for another fantasy setting, and adapt it to Monvesia.  In the process of importing elements of my old Nefret campaign, I find that the elves of that world could easily find their way into Monvesia.  Instead of dividing the elf subraces between two Monvesian races, I realized the vedalken from the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica could be used for these similarly blue-skinned people.

Language Analog: Ancient Egyptian, Coptic
Inspiration:  Hieroglyphic illustrations, Vedalken of Magic: the Gathering (secondary inspiration)

Tainted Counterpart: none, neshu are immune to Taint
The HMDJVNW created the Taint to affect humans and goliaths; other races of Raviq--the birdfolk, dogfolk, minotaurs,and neshu--were initially excluded.  These races remain immune--though other races encountered by humans and orcs have become affected.  Given an otherworldly connection, neshu will likely always be immune.
Temperamental Association: Dynamist

Names:  See Ancient Egyptian or Coptic Names.

The neshu are a race of hairless humanoids with green, blue, or black skin.  They are native to the floodplains of the southern Nefret River in Raviq.  The main course of this river flows from southwest from the Fuhonese Mountains, forming the boundary between Desolation and the homelands of the birdfolk and cattlefolk.  Past the cattlefolk homeland, as the river turns southeast, there are a series of cataracts; these form the northern boundary of neshu kingdom of Nefret.

While other rivers make the land northeast of Nefret fertile, the mouth of this river is flanked by desert.  Though only brief in northeast, in the southwest, the desert extends along the coast, where the dogfolk call it home.  Building their society in a fertile pocket among the wastes, the neshu are faced with a daily reminder of death.  The veneration of death has become central to neshu culture.  They are an antithesis to the elves of Prace, building monuments that serve to transport the faithful to the borders of the Abyss, where death reigns.  Neshu even worship the transcended Undying alongside their ascended ancestors, called the netjeru.

The most highly venerated of their netjeru is their god-emperor, or Pharaoh.  Descended from the netjeru of the past, the Pharaoh rules the neshu with supreme divine authority.  In addition to his political role, he (or she--though all pharaohs wear the ceremonial beard of office) also serves as high priest of the netjeru.  Though worshiped in life, only in death can the pharaoh take one's place among the ascended--an even then only after being judged by the Undying and found worthy of ascension.  Few pharaohs become saints, however.  Only the founders of the three kingdoms and the dynasties thereof are counted as immortal saints.

Neshu Kingdoms

Nefret is commonly known as the three kingdoms.  In its earliest history, the three neshu races governed themselves:  the blue neshu of the delta, the green neshu of the floodplains, and the black neshu of the desert.  It was not until the reign of Ashir I, king of the green neshu, that the kingdoms became united as Nefret.  The original three kingdoms continue to retain their individual cultural identities, and the Pharaoh must be crowned according to the individual traditions of each; the crown he wears is even composed of the crowns of all three kingdoms:  the white crown of the green neshu, the red crown of the black neshu, and the reed crown of the blue neshu.

These kingdoms represent the three subraces of the neshu:  the Black Kingdom, the Blue Kingdom, and the Green Kingdom.

Neshu Traits

Neshu traits are based on those of the vedalken in the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica.  Use the traits as presented in that book for blue neshu.  For a black or green neshu, disregard the traits identified below as belonging to the blue neshu; instead, apply the traits of your chosen subrace.

Black Neshu

Black neshu inhabit the desolate deserts to the east of the cataracts.  They are commonly encountered as ambassadors and explorers.

Ability Score Increase.  Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Desert Born.  You are naturally adapted to extreme heat, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and you ignore any drawbacks caused by desert environments such as difficult terrain or similar hazards.

Blue Neshu

Blue neshu inhabit the delta region of the river.  They are commonly encountered as traders sailing the river and near coast of the Sea of Fuhon.

Ability Score Increase.  Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Partially Amphibious.  See the vedalken entry in Guildmaser's Guide to Ravnica.

Green Neshu

Green neshu inhabit the fertile lands of the floodplain.  They are commonly encountered as artisans, architects, and scholars searching for inspiration among nearby cultures.

Ability Score Increase.  Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Mask of the Wild.  You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Edited Nov 2, 2019; Nov 6, 2019.

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