Ruishishen

Ruishishen are noble, honor-bound hunters who live a nomadic lifestyle. None know the lay of the lands of the plains as well as they do. They were largely xenophobic and rarely interacted with outsiders. All that has changed. Where once a great, thriving culture existed, there are now only a few fragmented tribes, trying to survive. They are far from a broken people, though.

Once a mighty force for the heavens, they fought during the war with the corruption. Once the war was over, they thought to return to the heavens and spirit realms. Instead, the heavens commanded them to return as a race and join a special new covenant made for mortals. They desired a return to the spirit lands so greatly that they disobeyed the commands refused to participate in the covenant. For their insolence, they were banished. In frustration, they forsook the heavens and the worshiping of spirits or the divine.

Since those days, the ruishishen thrived and multiplied on the plains. Just as they overcame the burden of being cast out of the heavens, they would again be a mighty nomadic civilization, or so they thought.

Nearly a hundred years ago, a few of the noble families of the empire attempted to commit genocide against this noble race. A prophesy came to light stating that the ruishishen would be the downfall of those same families and the triumph of certain minor families. The prophesy combined with the families’ covetous looks toward the fertile land at the southern edge of the plains. The houses formed an alliance and invaded after framing the ruishishen for attacking other families’ lands in the north of the empire. An impotent ruler watched, bound by the bureaucracy corrupted by these families and hemmed in by the machinations of their powerful eunuch allies.

The house and others overran the ruishishen. Though they fought valiantly and ferociously, the ruishishen were greatly outnumbered. Secretly, the ruler used everything in his power to champion the ruishishen, get to the truth behind those raids, and help the ruishishen to fight back.

A military unit came to their support. The unit had ever been known for its loyalty to the dahren rulers. They provided escape routes and supplies to the ruishishen, while lobbying heavily for support for the dying people. They gained support from the empire’s peasantry who felt that the ruishishen were noble defenders and lucky spirits sent by the heavens.

Many houses not involved in the war provided hidden support. The invading houses dared not openly declare war on those providing support, else they would be openly flaunting the emperor, who could still call on the remaining houses to support him against openly traitorous noble houses.

Much of the help proved to be too late as armies from the invading houses wiped three quarters of the ruishishen out in well-coordinated and quick attacks. They left little evidence to prove whom was really the greater villain in this war of attempted genocide. They simply struck too quickly and decisively, massacring whole tribes before the ruler could openly rally support.

Inevitably, these very actions proved the undoing of the invading houses in the self-fulfilling prophesy. The surviving ruishishen take their revenge with covert support from a sympathetic peasantry and a certain military unit. Most of the houses that attacked the ruishishen destroyed themselves after a hundred years of fighting. They are now the smallest of the houses. The families and the bureaucrats that supported them grew on the remains of those decaying houses. Three tribes of ruishishen, feeling they owed a life-debt, swore allegiance to the unit on the condition that they could destroy their enemies.

Ruishishen can almost always find assistance from the peasantry of the land, meager though it may be. By the same token, the corrupt nobility and bureaucrats fear the ruishishen will try to take revenge on them even if their house was not at fault in the war. There is always the fear that they may be fomenting a rebellion with the peasants. Though there are few ruishishen now, many nobles fear that if you find one you will find many more. The ruishishen have a saying: “The only noble members of the land have the blood of dogs.”

Personality

Ruishishen are quiet and enjoy living a simple life outdoors with a deep appreciation for being true to oneself. They are also capable of unforgiving rage, especially when confronted with deception. A very honorable people, they have been scarred by their recent past. Just as they are renowned for the life-debts they swear, they unrelentingly pursue those responsible for the slaughter of their people. When they find these individuals, the ruishishen can be quite merciless; perhaps even cruel.

Physical Description

Ruishishen are tall, muscular humanoids with leonine features. Short fur, ranging in color from amber to sandy, covers their bodies. Manes, ranging in color from auburn to black, cover the heads of males, while similarly colored tufts of hair adorn the crown of the head and tips of the ears of females. Ruishishen of the same tribe often have similarly colored body fur and manes.

Relations

In the past, the ruishishen related to all the races indifferently. However, after the massacres of their people, they are extremely wary and quite paranoid of non-ruishishen. Indeed, some clans are completely xenophobic and violent without provocation if approached in any numbers.

Having said this though, there are a few exceptions. The human peasants, the goushen and the hushen are well received. They watch all others, particularly dahren nobles, for signs of deception. Members of the Celestial Lions, have the gratitude of all ruishishen and are welcome in the lands of any ruishishen tribe. Goushen are also usually welcome, thanks to the fact that the original Celestial Dogs were mostly composed of goushen. Hushen are sympathetic to the plight of their kin and assisted a great many. Relations between them are better than ever before as a result of the tragedy. The ruishishen get along well with shenxue as they have similar origins, but also feel a certain jealousy of their open relationship with the courts of the spirit world.

Outlook

Though they are rarely selfish or cruel by nature, recent times have found the ruishishen in a different light. Against those they believe responsible for the deaths of so many of their kind, they can be quite cruel. Even as they breathe the living hatred of their kind for these criminals, the ruishishen know true gratitude for those few that stood with them through the dark times. Above all, this race honors freedom and respect as superior virtues.

Ruishishen Lands

They dwell on the plains in a nomadic lifestyle reminiscent somewhat of their neighbors, the qahngol. Recent times and events find the ruishishen struggling for their fabled control of the region more than ever. The supernatural and tainted creatures they normally quelled have found nearly free range of the region as never before. A few who are culturally quite different dwell on the seas.

Religion

The ruishishen refuse to revere celestial beings as their ancestors of old once did because they feel they were abandoned. They may take an interest in a philosophy that espouses self enlightenment and empowerment.

Languages

The language of the ruishishen is ruishishen; however, they have adapted the local writing system for conveying simple concepts.

Names

A ruishishen’s tribal name is actually a portion of a ruishishen’s truename. Luckily for the ruishishen, this is a little known fact to non-ruishishen. The reason for this is that long ago, when the ruishishen discovered that they were cut off from the spirit realms by corruption they discovered their spiritual forms were less effective in fighting the corruption than a physical form, so they underwent a grand ceremony to transform themselves into mortals in order to more effectively battle the corruption; all the while believing to return to their spiritual forms when the war was over. Their truename had to be altered to do this. Portions of their original truenames were used to do this and a portion of their new truenames would be combined with this to form a new one. Because they were pressed for time, they organized themselves into tribes with tribal names as a portion of their truename rather than have every individual ruishishen determine and recite his truename. To do otherwise would have delayed them from participating in the fight against the corruption, which would have meant more mortal deaths.

As many as three times the current number of tribes once existed. Certain spiritual leaders of the remaining ruishishen tribes preserved their names in a special ceremony while removing their names from the minds of the non-ruishishen. They fear those names being used to revive the lost tribes as undead.

Each member of a tribe is given a name that carries a specific meaning in their own language. When dealing with members of other races, these names are transliterated for those who find the intricacies of the ruishishen language difficult.

Male Names

Ahern, Cormac, Kenyon, Ronan.

Female Names

Bastet, Hafsha, Sabah, Zarha.

Tribal Names

Hark, Hrinn, Hroll, Hwarr, Nian, Warrahl, Hrinntok, Kreetar, Vahlorr, Wraigorren, and Wrentarr.

Adventurers

Ruishishen adventurers are often mercenaries, guides, or hunters trying to find the remaining souls they hold responsible for the atrocities committed against their race. Many adventure these days merely to take the spoils of their adventures home to their tribes to help them through the rough times that have now befallen the ruishishen people. Sometimes, adventuring ruishishen can find a surrogate family or tribe.

Favored Drink: Water or rice wine; Favored Food: Meats; Favored Weapon: Clubs and Maces.


Ruishishen Racial Traits

Ruishishen possess the following racial traits.

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom: Ruishishen are agile and smart, but lost a proclivity for the divine when their connection to the heavens was severed by corruption.
  • Humanoid: Ruishishen have the humanoid (ruishishen) type and subtype.
  • Medium: Ruishishen are medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Ruishishen have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: Ruishishen can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Intimidating: Ruishishen receive a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate skill checks.
  • Keen Senses: Ruishishen receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
  • Survivor: Ruishishen receive a +2 racial Survival skill checks.
  • Powerful Build: The physical stature of ruishishen lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger. Whenever a ruishishen is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the ruishishen is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. A ruishishen is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A ruishishen can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of abilities and spells that change the subject’s size category.
  • Languages: Ruishishen begin play speaking Common and Ruishishen. Ruishishen with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
  • Racial Levels: A ruishishen can take levels in ruishishen paragon to further develop his racial qualities.

The Ruishishen Paragon

Ruishishen can take up to six levels in ruishishen paragon at any time. Not all ruishishen take racial levels; and of those who do, not all take all six of them.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: The ruishishen paragon’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate(Cha), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Table: Ruishishen Paragon Class
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Natural Armor Bonus
1 +0 +2 +2 +0 +1 Constitution, Fearsome Roar +0
2 +1 +3 +3 +0 +1 Strength, Fast Movement +0
3 +2 +3 +3 +1 Bite, Claws +1
4 +3 +4 +4 +1 +1 Strength, +1 Constitution +1
5 +3 +4 +4 +1 Scent, Spirit Claws +2
6 +4 +5 +5 +2 +2 Dexterity, Spirit Form +2

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Ruishishen with levels only in ruishishen paragon are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, and shields (but not tower shields).

Fearsome Roar (Ex)

At 1st level, a ruishishen paragon gains the ability to make a terrifying roar. When a ruishishen paragon roars, all hearing opponents with less HD dice than the ruishishen paragon’s character level within a 100-foot spread must succeed on a Will save (DC: 10 + 1/2 the ruishishen paragon’s character level + the ruishishen paragon’s Constitution modifier) or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, opponents in the area are immune to the roar of that ruishishen paragon for 24 hours. This is a sonic, mind-affecting fear effect.

Fast Movement (Ex)

At 2nd level, a ruishishen paragon’s land speed is faster than a normal ruishishen by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when the ruishishen paragon is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the ruishishen paragon’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the ruishishen paragon’s land speed.

Bite (Ex)

At 3rd level, a ruishishen paragon gains a bite attack. This attack is considered a primary attack (unless he is also attacking with claws or weapons, in which case it is a secondary attack) and is made at the ruishishen paragon’s full base attack bonus (-5 if it is a secondary attack). The bite attack deals 1d6 points of slashing or piercing damage plus the ruishishen paragon’s Strength modifier (1/2 if is a secondary attack).

Claws (Ex)

At 3rd level, a ruishishen paragon gains two claw attacks. These claw attacks are considered primary attacks (unless he is also attacking with weapons, in which case they are secondary attacks) and are made at the ruishishen paragon’s full base attack bonus (-5 if they are secondary attacks). The claw attacks deal 1d8 points of slashing damage plus the ruishishen paragon’s Strength modifier (1/2 if they are secondary attacks).

Scent (Ex)

At 5th level, a ruishishen paragon gains the scentB1 special ability.

Spirit Claws (Su)

At 5th level, a ruishishen paragon regains some of the power that it had as a spirit creature serving the heavenly realms. The ruishishen paragon can treat its natural attacks as if they had the ghost touch magical weapon property for a number of rounds per day equal to its ruishishen paragon level plus its Intelligence modifier. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be used in 1 round increments.

Spirit Form (Su)

At 6th level, a ruishishen paragon regains a bit more of the power that it had as a spirit creature serving the Celestial Court. The ruishishen paragon gain the incorporealB1 special quality for a number of rounds per day equal to its ruishishen paragon level plus its Intelligence modifier. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be used in 1 round increments.

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