The Ra'Shari

(Selected Excerpts from the Ra’Shari section of the Legend of the Burning Sands RPG)

Outside Medinaat al-Salaam, observers occasionally see a small parade of wagons, drawn by horse, camel, or both, seemingly poorly adapted for a nomad’s life in the desert, but still rolling in from the deep desert, narrow banners tugged by the desert wind. Sometimes, shoppers in Peddler’s Row encounter an unusually vibrant display of wares, breaking up the monotony of the gray-brown Maze. Every so often, the great thinkers of the Qabal and the theologians of the Jewel can be seen speaking to the impresario of a ring of wagons as they prepare to make a carnival for the evening. While rarely trusted, the nomads known as the Ra’Shari are always watched, because wherever they go, fortune, good or ill, follows.

For a people who do not permanently live within the Jewel, the Ra’Shari spend a curiously large amount of time there. If asked, most of the nomads will say, “It is our fate, to be tied to this place.” Some will say, “Everything worth remembering happens here. Why would we go elsewhere?” Yet they do. The Ra’Shari are a nomadic people, constantly traveling, only stopping in one place for short periods of time. Often, they stop in Medinaat al-Salaam.

Very few people can call a Ra’Shari a close friend, but many have positive relationships with them nonetheless. Once one understands their strange customs and their unusual take on truth, the Ra’Shari prove to be a steadfast and trustworthy people. Most of those in the Jewel are unwilling to take the chance, though. Everyone knows someone, or a story of someone, who trusted the nomads and wound up fleeced and frustrated.

Basic Character Class: Ra’Shari Diviner (Sahir)
Once, long ago, the Ra’Shari were the chosen people of Vishnu, and called upon the tripartite blessings of Provider, Preserver, and Pervader. Today, however, their connection to the Ivory Kingdoms deity is long gone. The task given to them by the Ashalan defeated all other concerns, and this task slowly colored all parts of their life, including their magic.

Ra’Shari magic still comes in three parts, but the new aspects reflect their long duty in the Burning Sands. The first kind is Dawn Magic, cast at the rising of the sun, when camp is broken and the Ra’shari begin their journey again. All blessings and curses are born at dawn, with the approval of the Bright-Eyed Mother Sun Shilah, and so all magic that concerns luck is Dawn Magic.

The second is the magic of words and illusions, the magic cast at dusk, as others begin to cluster around Ra’Shari wagons, either to pay or harm the nomads. Dusk Magic can fool and deceive anyone who cannot understand the Ra’Shari’s words.

Finally, there is Night Magic, cast in the quiet and safety of the Ra’Shari’s encampments. All life yet endures because the Pale-Eyed God Kaleel stemmed his wife’s wrath. All life moves to the rhythm of Night Magic, permitting wounds to knit and animals to understand humans.

Ra’Shari sahir learn these three kinds of magic, and may learn them in any order.  They do so through the Ra’Shari Diviner Character Class.

Benefit: +1 Perception
Integrity: 2.5
Skills: Deceit, Divination, Medicine (Herbalism), Performance, Spellcraft, Theology, any one Skill
Outfit: Knife, staff, clothes, cloak, shoes, 5 copper

Technique: Dawn, Dusk and Night
A Ra’Shari Diviner learns three kinds of magic, and may learn them in any order. The specific powers of the Diviners are referred to as Cokaloi, or ‘Bones’ in their language, because of the deep, fundamental need for each of the three types of magic. Without them, the Ra’Shari would be as a man without bones. As a Rank 1 character, a Diviner may choose any 6 Cokaloi to be known to him. Every time a Diviner gains an Insight Rank, he may learn 3 more Cokaloi.  Additional Cokaloi may be purchased with experience points for 6 x the lowest Insight Rank at which a Diviner may learn it. For example, a Cokalos that may only be learned at Insight Rank 4 and higher would cost 24 experience points. A Diviner may only use as many Cokaloi in a day as the sum of his Rings.

More on Cokaloi, including the various Blessings and Curses, can be found in the Legend of the Burning Sands Role-Playing Game.

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