Rysh, The Dragonsblood
The Rysh have a long history, arising shortly after Moonfall, as they are descendents of the dying race of the Nephelim. As one of the more powerful races, they controlled a large portion of Upper Meridar, where they once ruled, known now only as the Sorcerer-Kings. After several generations their power waned, and humans and elves became the dominant races on Meridar. The Rysh were forced to leave their ancestral home, and colonized southern Eridor. They remember their past glory, and long to return to it, but they have weakened significantly over the millennia, now a shadow of their former selves.
Rysh resemble humanoid dragons, tall and imposing, they lack the tails of their dragon kin, but retain many similar characteristics. Rysh have scaly hide, and stand between six and six and a half feet. They have blunt snouts with prominent brow ridges, small fangs, and short horns, with large ear frills. Rysh have a hornlike scales of varying length growing just behind their brow, appearing as thick, rope-like hair. Eyes are almost always shades of gold, with scale coloration and pattern varying between individuals, usually reds, browns, grays and greens.
Rysh are consummate hunters, and often the most successful hunter is the leader of the band. Food is communal property and shared among the band, with the successful hunter getting the choice bits. Their diet is primarily meat, however in leaner times they will supplement their food supply with greens. Rysh as a whole generally disregard fish as being foul tasting, and will generally decline fish even if it is the only food available.
Rysh culture is based upon personal skill and honor. Conflicts are usually settled by formal duels, with the band presiding over the fight. Proper conduct and honesty, in both battle and among themselves, inform a Rysh’s sense of honor. Deep respect is paid even to the losers of a battle, and they are usually offered a chance to kill themselves honorably, by committing a form of stylized suicide. However,it should be noted personal duels rarely end in this manner, unless the matter is of grave importance.
Rysh bands usually consist of only two or six families, usually around six to twelve adults, with one or two hatchlings to each pair. Hatchlings grow quickly reaching adulthood in eight years, but a Rysh may live to be over a hundred.
Some Rysh, especially after their hatchling rearing years, will strike off on their own, passing from clan to clan, telling the history of their people and providing magical and religious services. A few are called to the path of magic from an early age, and excel as sorcerers. A rare few become oracles or summoners, but these Rysh are among the most respected and famed.
The Rysh’s past does little to color their view of the other races, despite having enslaved many at one point. This past does cause most other races to view them with suspicion, and little trust can be found at all in human lands. The Rysh themselves will only associate with those they deem as honorable, though with little or no regard to the race or occupation.
Alignment and Religion
Rysh are usually lawful neutral. They respect the Aeons, but devotion is rarely shown to any single Aeon. They worship their Storm Lords as the divine ancestors, and many seek to emulate their strength and bravery. Rysh also greatly respect those who know and teach magic, and many of the most famous spellcasting Rysh are Oracles.
Rysh may adventure for many reasons, but most encountered outside of their clans are exiles. These Rysh often still adhere to the honor-bound traditions of their race, but are sometimes freer with information. If a Rysh is not an exile, they are most often sorcerers, whom they believe must live outside the clan.
Names: Rysh all possess two names, their clan name, used only within the clan, and their “outside-name”, used at all times with outsiders. Outside-names are typically simple descriptive monikers, like “Red-scale”, “One-eye”, “Chipped-fang”, “Broken Arrow”, etc. Clan names are usually deeply personal, and carefully guarded.
Male Clan Names: Kryzng, Svorn, Arngett.
Female Clan Names: Kuotti, Sherni, Iarka.
Rysh Racial Traits
+2 Strength, +2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence: The Rysh possess strength in both body and personality, however, they are not as quick thinking as other races.
Medium: Rysh are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Rysh have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Rysh can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Intimidating: Rysh receive a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate skill checks due to their fearsome nature.
Scaly Hide: Rysh recieve a +2 bonus to natural armor.
Breath Weapon(Su): Once per day a Rysh may expel a 15 foot cone of fire from his mouth, dealing 2d6 + Constitution Modifier fire damage, a successful Reflex save (DC: 10 + 1/2 of the Rysh’s character level + Constitution Modifier) halves the damage.
Draconic Ferocity(Ex): Once per day, when a Rysh is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, he can fight on for one more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, he immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.
Weapon Familiarity: The Rysh are proficient with scimitars, falchions, and shortbows, both normal and composite.
Languages: Rysh begin play knowing both Rhyltani and Tradespeak. Rysh with high intelligence scores may begin play knowing Eridoran, Khagan.