ZEITGEIST Rakshasas

hirou

Explorer
SPOILERS GALORE

Among many story points of Zeitgeist campaign, there was a single one that never sat with me right - Stanfield's transformation to invulnerable rakshasa in the finale of the Adventure 9. It's coming out of nowhere, except for a single legend in Player's Guide (once again referred to in Adventure 8) and very vague vision from Nevard Sekhim in adventure 2.
Eladrin tell a tale of a god who turned against their pantheon and was transformed into a tiger that walked like a man: a rakshasa. As a god, no weapon in the world could harm him, and he ravaged the lands of Elfaivar, drowning villages and tearing entire cities free from the earth with a swipe of his clawed hands.
A warrior named Dhebisu, infamous for her incongruous brilliance as a poet and lewd sense of humor, was called upon to defeat the rakshasa. She befriended the cats of the jungle to learn of the monster’s weakness, and consulted with sages to learn when the next meteor shower would occur. That night she sang a mocking tune to lure out the rakshasa.
The beast attacked her, but she pulled a falling star from the sky and wove it into her hair. Thenceforth any weapon she touched became infused with the powers of the heavens. They battled through the night, until finally, the rakshasa tried to slay her with a poisoned arrow. But Dhebisu snatched the bolt and plunged it into the fiend’s loins, destroying it so that it could never reincarnate.

From Adventure 8:
Hewanharimau was a Seedism deity who embodied the importance of animals, but who was cast out of the pantheon for afflicting elves with a curse that turned them into
half-beasts. His punishment was being turned into a tiger that walked as a man: a rakshasa.
“A man carrying a bronze staff with three keyholes was assailed by swords and arrows and fire, but nothing killed him. He began to take off his robes, revealing tiger fur beneath them, while stars fell from the sky all around him. Then the sky was dark, and when the sun should have risen, instead a pale glowing cloud floated in the dark.
Devas-in-ZG are immortal beings infused with divine power of the fallen Srasama, so I guess that betrayal of Risur ("turning against the pantheon") can transform Stanfield into a walking beast, however, it's unclear why it happens only when world ends (and it's really debatable whether he was acting "for the greater good" or just from selfish interests). I believe that "a bronze staff with three keyholes" refers to an earlier draft of the campaign plot, which was abandoned in development.
I can guess that modern weretigers can serve as an example to how evil origins can lead to a path to harmony in desperate times (tigerdrins are not infertile), but they seem to have no connection whatsoever, thematic or narrative, to Stanfield. DId any of you modify this scene in any way or introduce earlier leads?
 
In D&D 4E canon, sufficiently evil devas can reincarnate into rakshasas.

I did not do enough to write this into the setting or the plot, though. My bad.
 

arkwright

Explorer
You put in some groundwork for the plot, Ranger, which is fairly laudable.

In my own game, I went to the extreme of creating a whole plot & backstory for Hewanharimau and Ingatan. That probably helped set up 'deceptive creatures reincarnate into rakshasas/tiger-forms'. I could detail the plot & backstory but it's quite confusing and far too much based on Steven Universe art.
 

hirou

Explorer
I certainly meant no offence to RangerWickett, there is an upper limit to what amount of material you can cram into single campaign.
I could detail the plot & backstory but it's quite confusing and far too much based on Steven Universe art.
I know nothing of Steven Universe but I'm definitely interested in your plot, that's why I created this thread. My own Stanfield happens to be a former lead of Risur SCP section, do tell me about cross-contamination of fictional universes...
 

arkwright

Explorer
Well, let's see. I'll assume you've thoroughly read through Book 8; my plot links up a lot of small details (Ingatan being a knowledge-god, why the weretigers are hanging around her temple, etc).

Rewind to ancient times. Ingatan is a god devoted to accumulating knowledge. They use divination to get a rough idea of the Great Malice- or, that in the future the Eladrin race will be decimated. They come up with a plan: create a race of weretiger eladrin, who will be fast-breeding. Their problem is that they lack the necessary powers- Hewanharimau is the god of beasts.

So, Ingatan tracks down Hewanharimau, knocks them out and does a swap. Ingatan takes the Beasts portfolio and Hewanharimau's identity. They also hypnotize Hewanharimau into thinking that they are Ingatan.

Initially, all goes well. Ingatan-Hewanharimau uses their new powers to create a weretiger race. They're a bit too bestial, but that's what beta-testing is for. Then it suddenly goes wrong: Ingatan-Hewanharimau dies.

(In my game, I added further specifics that Ingatan-Hewanharimau created the weretiger race by inventing a variant on Triegenes' Sacrament, which they also roughly divined. This created a 'Prince', who then reproduced creating the race. But, the Voice of Rot found out and thought it would be a laugh to poison the Prince and thus wipe out the weretigers. Ingatan-Hewanharimau takes the blast from the Prince dying and sacrifices themselves rather than the weretigers dying.)

Suddenly, Ingatan is reborn as a maddened rakshasa. This is because of their deceptive conduct: stealing a god's identity and pretending to be them. They set about going on a rampage, and generally confirming a lot of eladrin negative stereotypes about weretigers.

Dhebisu eventually tracks down Ingatan-Rakshasa and deafeats them; with a little help from Hewanharimau-Ingatan who has some confused suspicions. Dhebisu pokes around the temples and learns enough to know that something went on, but she's not sure what.

She keeps Ingatan-Rakshasa alive, and gifts them to the weretigers, sticking them inside a weretiger-vessel (very, very, very much like Naruto and the tailed beasts). Dhebisu also tells them that 'hey Ingatan might be involved, maybe keep an eye on their temples.'

So, that's about it for my backstory on Hewanharimau and Ingatan. There's some further complexity what with my declaring that all the Elfaivaran gods were actually rebellious gidim Godminds, but that doesn't have anything really to do with the backstory.

If you think some version of this would help sell Stanfield's rakshasa transformation, more power to you.
 
For the record, I wasn't offended. I had a lot of balls in the air at once and I didn't toss this one as smoothly as the rest, so I appreciate the constructive criticism so I can do better at tracking these sorts of things the next time I do a massive project like this.
 

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