Rakuwa

Rakuwa are a sapient race of crabfolk that live along the warm coastal regions of Melior. They are very clean beings and take care in their appearance and pride in their homes.   They are incredibly knowledgeable about their coastal habitat but despite this, they feel very uncomfortable in large open waters and prefer the comfort and familiarity of the coastline. For this reason, Rakuwa fishing vessels rarely leave sight of the mainland and hire traders of other races to transport goods overseas.   Rakuwa are fine craftsfolk and are very proud of their wares. Despite their intimidating appearance, they can use their claws with surprising dexterity.   It is challenging for other races to understand Rakuwa because their speech can sound slurred due to their inability to produce any labial sounds (such as p, b, m, f and v). Rakuwa are often described as sounding croaky, creaky or even raspy when speaking.   They have a joyful chirpy laugh that sounds a bit like squeaking rubber. When they are excited, Rakuwa have a habit of tapping their legs in undulating patterns.

Basic Information

Dietary Needs and Habits

Rakuwa are descendants of seaside scavengers and their diet includes seaweed, algae, fungus or other plant material. They also eat fish and small crustaceans. Staple foods include fresh fish rolled in seaweed and dishes of seafood seasoned with spices.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Rakuwa are relatively short sighted, but their small beady eyes are capable of seeing ultraviolet light. They are very in-tune with the tide and instinctively feel whether a tide is coming or going and if it will be a high tide.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Rakuwa can catch a small parasitic barnacle called ‘Narks’ from open waters which start out at the size of a small blister and can go unnoticed if they are attached to the back or leg regions. The nark uses mucus to gradually dissolve the Rakuwa’s chitin, making an entry point to anchor into and feed from.   If left unchecked in hatchlings, narks can drain their strength and grow in size making it hard to remove. Furthermore, due to it’s anchorage it makes molting physically impossible, meaning that young Rakuwa are very vulnerable and will not be able to grow into a healthy adult. Not many hatchlings survive because adults cannot interfere with the delicate shells in case they risk maiming them.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Rakuwa families share middle names derived from the location of their home. This is usually the name of a specific area in which a family lives such as Blackcoast, Kilve or Sandbay. First names are unique to the individual and are assigned upon hatching. Last names are profession based and can change if a Rakuwa specialises in another field.

Beauty Ideals

Rakuwa admire larger claws and often dip-dye them in different colours. They also buff their chitin to a fine sheen so their markings are more attractive.

Common Etiquette Rules

Rakuwa fold their upper arms behind their back to conceal their claws out of courtesy when communicating with others to appear more open and approachable.

Common Dress Code

Depending on the culture of the country they live in, some Rakuwa do not wear clothes for comfort (due to their chitin being rough and un-sensory) but they will wear garments for cultural purposes and many adorn themselves with jewellery. They can make use of rougher fabrics and materials as it does not cause them irritation or pain, though many Rakuwa do not wish to scratch their chitin.

Common Taboos

It is very offensive to make pincer gestures with your hands at a Rakuwa.

Common Myths and Legends

It is an urban legend that Rakuwa can breathe underwater. They cannot. They can hold their breath for a long time, however.

Rakuwa with puffin pet (transparent)
Rakuwa with puffin pet by TJ Trewin
Scientific Name
Brachyura Sapiens
Origin/Ancestry
Melopian
Lifespan
90 - 100 years
Average Height
6'2"
Average Weight
120kg
Average Physique
The vice-like grip of a Rakuwan claw is legendary, and local villages hold competitions for the young to test their crushing strength on thick driftwood logs.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Rakuwa chitin is usually sandy to creamy in appearance and is adorned with large patches of red colour with darker outlines. Their abdomens are pale and un-marked. Rakuwa from different regions may have variations in colour and markings, depending on their climate.

Rakuwa

Rakuwa are a sapient race of crabfolk that live along the warm coastal regions of Melior. They are very clean beings and take care in their appearance and pride in their homes. They are incredibly knowledgeable about their coastal habitat and have great upper body strength.

UBS LBS VIT RFX PER MTP NRV
7 1 4 3 4 0 0
It is challenging for other races to understand Rakuwa because their speech can sound slurred due to their inability to produce any labial sounds (such as p, b, m, f and v). Rakuwa are often described as sounding croaky, creaky or even raspy when speaking.
(Source)

Cover image: by TJ Trewin

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