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25 April 2014 @ 06:42 pm
Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom: Raptok and Chuzan  
Raptok


South of the Kingdom of Flowers in the Narrow Sea between Agarica and Pithek lie the tropical Raptok Isles, spreading in a chain nearly down to the Kong Jungles. For time out of mind, these islands have been home to the raptok tribes, living in a timeless existing of hunting, foraging, skirmishing, and celebrating.

To most inhabitants of the Kingdom of Flowers, the raptok look like monsters. While slightly shorter than most mandragora, they're nearly twice as long from the tip of their nose to the end of their long tails. Their mouths are filled with fangs and they have vicious claws on their hands and feet. They have sticky tongues that they use to snare their prey. What's more, they can...change. There are raptok with wings, or the ability to breathe fire, or spiked plates of bone covering their body, or who heal grevious wounds in minutes. It seems loosely related to tribal membership, but Floral sages haven't had much opportunity to study the matter and the raptok are surprisingly reticent when asked, often saying only, "Walk like them to force them to walk like you."

The raptok live in familial hunter-gatherer bands. Despite their fierce appearance, they're actually omnivores, and jungle fruits and tubers form a large part of their diets, though they haven't developed formalized agriculture and thus have a relatively low population density. They keep mostly to themselves, though increasing numbers have come to live in Lauralia, the lone Floral colony on the Raptok Isles and now the headquarters of the Kingdom of Flowers in exile. The nobles of the House of Daisy, satraps of Lauralia, spend much of their time trying to make some kind of large-scale deal with the raptok, to little success. Most raptok have little interest in outside affairs and don't want to get involved in others' conflicts.

That doesn't mean they're entirely isolationist, though. It has long been a tradition for females seeking to make a name for themselves, exiles, malcontents, would-be tribal heroes, and others who can't or don't want to fit in to raptok life to travel to mainland Agarica seeking adventure and glory. Often they will pair themselves with another adventurer, serving as mount, battle-companion, and friend, and the legends of these raptok warriors are often sung as loudly as those of their companions in the taverns and tea houses of Agarica.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 8 CP
Stat Modifiers: Strength +3, Constitution +2, Dexterity -8, Speed +2, Wisdom +3, Charisma -2
Size: Huge
Special Abilities:

  • Claws and Fangs: The raptok have a mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth and feet with scything talons that count as weapons with Damage 12. All raptok automatically have the Fangs and Talons skill as one of their Favored Skills. This does not provide an extra Favored Skill slot.

  • Morphic: Raptok can develop strange abilities as a result of their diets. Mechanically, this allows them to buy non-Trainable abilities like Flight or Regeneration or Innate Ranged Attack or Blazing Speed, though the dietary requirements mean that no more than one such Talent can be active at any one time. It takes a week of eating a new diet to switch the active Talent, if more than one is known.

  • Non-Humanoid: Because of their physiology, raptok are unable to use most common materials designed for the other inhabitants of Agarica. Their arms are useful for grasping but nearly incapable of fine manipulation, any weapons or armor must be custom-designed and costs at least quadruple the normal price, they can't sleep in beds or sit on chairs or at tables, and so on. They also cannot speak most other languages because of the shape of their mouths and throats, though they can learn to understand them.

  • Sticky Tongue: Their long tongue lets them making grappling attacks from 15' away, and they may immediately bite after a successful grapple.

  • Tail Slap: The raptok's long tail can be used as a bludgeon with Damage 6. Unlike their claws and fangs, using their tail is not automatically a Favored Skill.

  • Tough Hide: The tough scales of the raptok give them AR 3 in addition to the AR from their size, bringing their total AR to 7. The penalties for any armor they wear are doubled.


Chuzan


Beyond the Forest of Shadows, north of the Kingdom of Flowers, lies the Muskalan Confederacy, a series of sprawling city-states inhabited mostly by the chuzan. Each city has its own ruling prince, and while alliances are common, so are treachery, deceit, and espionage. Today's friend could be tomorrow's enemy and next week's desparate coalition partner against an external force, and while the cities stop short of being seething hives of betrayal and mistrust, there is an air of tension pervading Muskalan culture that comes out in all their dealings.

The chuzan are about the same height as the amanita on average, though they look nothing like them. They resemble nothing so much as giant rats, though they stand on their hind legs and their hands have opposable thumbs and are fully functional. And not just functional--while the Silent Ones are known for the breadth of their craft, chuzan artifex are favored throughout Agarcia for their facility with weaponry. One of the main exports of the Muskalan cities is companies of grenadiers, to fight in the various wars between Chai and Hyperborea or the kappa and the Mushroom Kingdom.

Muskalan society is heavily stratified, with social status almost entirely based on income. The princes of the cities take a tax of all that trade that flows through and thus have a huge incentive to keep the merchants wealthy and prosperous, but also need the money to defend themselves against their fellow princes, so taxes tend to be somewhat arbitrary and prone to rise or fall based on the prince's fortunes and who is currently prince of the city. Those who run out of money can be legally enslaved until they work to pay off their debt, but what with also having to pay for food and lodging while working, and with interest being applied to the debt, it's often slavery for life in all but name. Escaped debt slaves will often join mercenary companies under assumed names as a way to get away from their former life and to make some money.

The recent turmoil in the Kingdom of Flowers has brought more chuzan to the area, both as mercenaries fighting for the Dragon Emperor or the Floral Houses, and as merchants seeking to profit from the turmoil caused by the war. This has brought them into conflict with the Silent Ones, both because they are coming as merchants and because both groups trade in artificia. This so far hasn't caused anything more than price wars, but it may escalate into open conflict soon, as the Dragon Emperor doesn't seem to be doing much to prevent it.

Statistics Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: Strength -1, Dexterity +2, Willpower -1
Size: Medium
Special Abilities:

  • Acute Senses: The chuzan's large ears and sensitive nose greatly increase their sensory range, and they gain a +4 bonus to all hearing- or smell-based Perception rolls. Some all-chuzan mercenary companies even have a limited battle-language made up of squeeks too high for anyone else to hear.

  • Light Touch: Their long, delicate fingers and sense of touch give the chuzan a keen aptitude for fragile mechanisms, and they gain a +3 bonus to all rolls dealing with picking locks, disarming or setting mechanical traps, repairing artificia, dealing with explosives such as bob-ombs, or other delicate mechanical tasks.

  • Lightning Reflexes: Seemingly always in motion and with keen senses, the chuzan are quite difficult to take unawares.
 
 
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