Proposal: Vishkanya (Culture only)

jkason

Visitor
I'll make it clear up front before folks think I'm jumping the gun: the below is solely an attempt to find a place for Vishkanya culturally within the context of LPF. It is NOT a proposal to add them as a playable race (yet ;) ).

I fully recognize and support holding off voting on adding new PC races until after we've made whatever decisions we'll make on the existing ones, but since I was inspired and have been fiddling with this for a while, I thought it wouldn't hurt to propose the cultural elements now. I don't think there's anything preventing them from showing up as NPCs, and hopefully the below gives some vaguely interesting hooks for those and helps further flesh out some of the inter-nation fluff for some of our southernmost countries:

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The Vishkanya are a race whose birth in the compact of two nations seems to have forever bound them to a duality of existence.

In the early days of the Zeire rebellion, the serpentfolk of Heth sought aid from Rhat'matanis and its vaunted sorcerer-priests. Recognizing that having an ally on the Rornian side of the Seithr might aid them in their longstanding rivalry, Rhat’matanis struck a bargain: Using serpentfolk blood and their own unique divinely arcane magics, the sorcerer-priests created a new race for their new allies. Gifted with the blood and poison of the serpent, but shaped to better manipulate the human nomads, the Vishkanya were born. The serpents returned to their war with several broods. And, unbeknownst to them, the sorcerer-priests kept one of their own.

In Rhat'matanis:

In a court of magical wonders, the Rhat’matani had grown bored, and the sorcerer-priests sought to alleviate the boredom with their creation. As predicted, the new, exotic species, possessed of natural charm and elegance, was quickly in demand, with everyone clamoring for their own brood. Soon enough, anyone of high enough caste had at least a few in their staff serving their needs.

Their creators underestimated the Vishkanyas, however, as the guileful newcomers, borne of a cultural boredom, themselves soon tired of serving those who so clearly coveted their gifts.

The Vishkanya rebellion (known as "The Night of Poisoned Tongues") was quick and likely would have been effective, but just as they were borne of boredom, the Vishkanya were borne of treachery, as well, and members of their own kind, seeking to further their fortunes through less bloody means, betrayed the conspiracy's ringleaders.

While their betrayal avoided genocide at Rhat'matani hands, the Vishkanya--a hopelessly young race more guileful than wise--became the nation's outcasts. From adored servants, they became nothing more than glorified slaves, called upon to do those tasks which gave others qualms, either from the literal filth of the job, or the moral muck the commission provided.

In Heth:

The Vishkanya penchant for guile served them much better in the Zeire rebellion of Heth. As tides clearly turned against the Serpentfolk, so too did the Vishkanya. They brokered their survival with the Zeire faction, playing up their own unwilling participation as "magical slaves" of the serpents.

Such negotiation became something of a staple of the Hethian Vishkanya. They became middle men in any number of enterprises, both ethical and non-. If you wanted someone to broker your deal, to end your problem with grace and style, you called for a Vishkanya.

Their malleability aided them again when the priests of Xarr came to prominence. The Vishkanya managed to convince the populace that the poisons in their blood were a gift from Xarr, and many Vishkanya entered the priesthood, leaving the nomads to their fate as they had the serpentfolk before them.

While most have learned to be wary of Vishkanya due to their racial history, no one doubts that the Vishkanya of Heth are survivors.
 

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