Keraunoscopic Oneirosophia

Mer lithlaug tur sagaralaugur khresh. Durgnar duri gutha esh.

Lightning dwarf, I love you.
Straddling an abyss of death foretold, the stumpy legs of ego fall short,
but hope perdures.
Criss­crossing, indolent, intent but malcontent in your absence,
sweet lighting dwarf.
How can this one, but a sad initiate of your mysteries, ever begin
to fathom the depth of your furious scribblings?

Return to us, lightning dwarf, that we may know the unspoken joys
beneath your beard,
the lonely trails beneath your feet.

Your pen (or is it mine?), the hammer of heaven,
lays bruised butterfly strokes on an anvil betwixt Venusian whiskers,
aquiver with the buzzing bees of your scent,
a honeyed patina on the dawn, the promise
ultimate after untold lonely nights.
A soul bereft, yet doppelganging duplicity lies in shadows, striving for the one.
Twin souls tumble forth to the light.

Homebrew Races for 5e DnD: The Rakshasa

Rakshdar (Dwarvish, lit. “people of the cat”), called Rakshasa in the common tongue (from the Elvish for “protector”), are the children of the wanderer Kupriel (Venus), an embodiment of love, pleasure, and affection. The Eye of the Cosmos states that the sphere of Kupriel is the divine source of “Desire, with voluptuous Joy and Laughter,” while The Precepts of Usil attribute to that sphere the “desire and longing that characterizes finite existence.”

Rakshasa have an acute sense of smell, and their mastery of aromatics and use of “telepathy” have led other races to accuse them of speaking the language of demons. Magically, they favor spells that influence the minds of their opponents and conjure otherworldy allies.

Their homeland of Rakshasthan is a semi-tropical land of alternating deep forest and sandy plains. The mighty Skhadwend, the Shadow River, culminates in the delta known as the Shadelands. Here, on the edge of the sea, is the great city Reval, Rakshasthan’s commercial port to the Human and Gnomish lands to the west. Outsiders are welcome in Reval, but have seldom ventured beyond. Some say that the giant stone sphinxes of Reval whisper the secrets of the interior, but no outsiders have ever visited Rakshasthan proper and returned to tell the tale.

The capital city of Leodashan is inaccessible to outsiders. Despite their isolation as a nation-state, many Rakshasa are seen wandering the lands of others. They are not so ubiquitous in Human lands as Gnomes, nor even so common as Dwarves, but they are a much more common sight in cities than Orcs and Elves. Human prejudice tends to regard Rakshasa as larcenous, if not outrightly demonic.

The native language of the Rakshasa is Elvish (arguably the first spoken language, but one that lacks a system of writing) and they are able to communicate “telepathically” (using a complex system of scents and body language) with other Rakshasa. The also speak and write Common. Merchants among the Rakshasa will often learn Dwarvish, the language of commerce used by the great Gnomish trading states. Few Rakshasa other than specialist scholars ever learn the language (or rather, the corrupted Elvish dialect) of the Orcs.

Rakshasa reach adulthood around the age of 30 and often live to be around 300 years old.

Rakshasa in the greater known world are almost universally mistrusted. It is assumed that they are all liars, just as all Nishaçara are thought to be killers. Some Rakshasa possess the ability to take on the forms of other races, a type of “illusion” that may be based on influencing the minds of others rather than on changing one’s outward appearance. This requires a great amount of concentration, however, so many Rakshasa don’t bother, choosing to tolerate the disdain others feel for them.

Rakshasa are great keepers of bees, and their mead is exported worldwide. They are also lovers of games of chance, and have innovated a number of card and dice games played throughout the world.

Rakshasa are seen primarily to be goddess worshippers. They possess, in fact, an entire pantheon of gods and goddesses, but only a few are well known outside of Rakshasthan. Expatriate theologians have written that such goddesses as Phreira, Kubali, and Taelixi are all aspects of the same terrible feminine power, while others point to the existence of separate priesthoods as evidence that they should not be conflated. The priests of Kubali, Goddess of the Lion and the Bee, are famous for the self-castration they undergo when they devote their lives to their one true love.

Prior to the current age of dominance by the Human Imperium, but after the famous age of great Gnomish mercantile city-states, some conspiracy-minded “historians” have posited an era of Rakshasa dominance. The so-called “Rakshasa Cryptocracy” exercised power over the hearts and minds of their Azyrian neighbors, corrupting the masses to indulge in sexual profligacy and spiritual excess. A much more likely explanation for the moral degeneracy of these times was that the Eldar races naturally devolved to become slaves to the flesh before the great liberator Usil came to save them from their errant ways a millennium ago.

Updated homebrew racial statistics for 5e D&D

Ermid t’Augrondir

Ermid t’Augrondir had fallen far from fortune’s favor. Once a professor of astronomical alchemy at the foremost Gnomish University in the fair city of Sargola, Ermid was now a fugitive of a brand of justice bought and sold like so many clams at the summer market. He had been forced to leave everything behind: his many fine books, his magical lyre, even his twin sister Enid whose love and music were like the radiance of Kupriel on warm summer evening.

Despite the many rumors to the contrary, Ermid wasn’t able to control other people. His noble detractors liked to claim that their daughters were lured to perdition by the vibrations of his seven strings and the silky grace of his voice, but they were all a bunch of stinking liars. The fact is, these nobly born daughters, newly admitted in the last year to a University that had previously only accepted boys, had thrown themselves at Ermid with the inexorable force of flowers in the full bloom of springtime. Who was he to resist the powers of nature? How did these nobles have any right to complain of their daughters’ misplaced virtue, when for centuries their sons had been kidnapped at the docks by unscrupulous professors in need of students? It had never been a secret that at Sargola, a higher education was rife with perils both pecuniary and moral. And yet despite all this, the many glorious nights spent under the stars with his ephemeral favorites had somehow accumulated a critical mass malignantly leveraged by his detractors to tip the scales of justice against him. The many noble fathers, realizing that their individual complaints held little force, had banded together in a conspiracy to grease the gears of the law, inventing crimes where none truly existed.

His twin sister Enid, a masterful musician in her own right, was the only one who understood him. Enid could play circles around Ermid on every organ of musicianship save the lyre, but all agreed she couldn’t match the warmth and seductiveness of his voice. For all the trouble that Ermid’s vocal and other organs would get them into, Enid was always able to talk their way out of it. There had also been the t’Augrondir estate to sustain them, but when their father had passed in the winter, trouble began to brew like the putrefaction at the bottom of a neglected experiment in Ermid’s lab. Enid, spotting difficulties on the horizon, had urged her brother to amend his concupiscent ways, but Ermid’s organ of sense remained incorrigibly wedged in vices he seemed unable to recognize as such.

Only at the proverbial last minute, with the dogs of miscarried justice nipping at his heels, had Ermid fled Sargola, leaving everything of value behind. When he arrived at Vendigar, he checked in with the courier post, where Enid had said she would send the funds necessary to sustain him. Instead he found a letter from his sister detailing how the criminal and civil cases against him had detained all the t’Augrondir estate’s funds in a legal quagmire. Alas, he was truly on his own now. Why hadn’t he foreseen any of this misfortune in the movements of mighty Phaethiel? He had become like some great Sargolan merchant vessel, adrift on the trackless sea without the stars to guide his course. Yet despite everything, Ermid felt hopeful. This unsuspected blackening of his fortune, what else could it be but the melanosis that signaled the onset of the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, true wisdom and perfect happiness?