WorldEmber2018
 

Raksha

The last sound the host hears is their own demise

 
Many things are called nightmare creatures in the world of Tikor. But the Raksha are the one, true nightmare creature.


 

Overview

 

Corruptions Children

To say the Raksha are the greatest nightmare facing Tikor would be an understatement. While Tikor has many strange and dangerous animals, monsters and spirits; none are anything like the dread that a Raksha set loose on the world can cause. Alongside Xavian, the mention of their existence strikes terror in the hearts of many. The few times the Raksha have appeared, the damage is often on a scale rivaling that of wars. So where do these abominations originate from? What could have created an evil so dark that its birth starts with the consumption of a human soul? The most obvious answer would be The Withering King himself, Xavian. Raksha are often called Xavian's Children. But are they? Or are they something more?

 

Unknown Origins

The earliest mentions of the Raksha reach all the way back to Tikor's biggest battle, the day Xavian arrived. While the Raksha aren't mentioned by name in any tales or texts, creatures from the void are often mentioned. Descriptions of terribly twisted monstrosities that Xavian summoned from a source of primordial wickedness are liberally spread throughout ancient texts. Some scholars say that these describe the Raksha, or at the very least, the first and early version of them. The leading theory is that Xavian is truly a corrupter and not a creator, so the Raksha couldn't be his own creation, but rather the corruption of someone else's creation. They believe Raksha were formed the way the vile god corrupted the Elementals into the horrific Wretched Ones. If this theory is true then not only do we not know what Raksha are, but we may never know, only that they are a horror that Tikor must learn how to combat.

 
HAHAHAHAHA AHHHH AHAHAHAHAH!
— Obalu the Ravenous as he murdered innocents during the Ghinor Massacre
 

From Within

These terror creatures are not born on Tikor. No, they come screaming and ripping from the host's body. The victim's soul is consumed by the newborn Raksha before tearing its way through the host. The final stage of the disease-like curse of Xavian's Touch is possession. Not by a spirit or god, but by a hungry Raksha straight from Beneath It All. The creatures sit in the depths of the mirror dimension where Xavian himself is sealed. Unable to directly affect the events of Tikor, instead he waits and nibbles at the holes in the souls of the weary and sad. When they've succumbed to the curse and open themselves to Xavian, he rewards them with the essence of a Raksha, a horrifying end to the slow mental decline from the Touch.

 

Unknown Desires

Once unleashed upon the world, Raksha begin to indulge in whatever defective vision of entertainment they have. Most of the nightmare creatures enjoy wholesale slaughter and the glorious feeling of the screams of innocents on their skin. Raksha are visible because they essentially do not care if they are seen. Whatever rules society and the world has, they want to do more than break them, the Raksha completely ignore societal norms. The most famous Raksha incident was the 50-year reign of Obalu the Ravenous. The fearsome creature was birthed into the world accompanied by the screams of the slain. The town of Ghinor and the surrounding woods would never be the same. After Obalu was finally killed by the combined efforts of a 2,000 member regiment of Divine Order soldiers, many questions were asked, including why a monstrous creature had the intelligence of sentient life, yet had been solely content with the murder of humans and consumption of their flesh.

 
Raksha midbanner
Ptaky by Jozef Boza

The seductive whisper of Xavian's Touch leads to fatal results


   

Individual Nightmares

No two Raksha are the same, they have a diversity that rivals humans or the gods. One of the leading theories is that Raksha in a way are the humans they possess, that they take on elements of the mortal coil during their birth by possession. Perhaps there are even Raksha born from animals, each morphed and corrupted in their own way. One of the most popular urban myths about creatures such as the Nandi Bear is that an animal so twisted and horrific must have been tainted by the touch of Xavian and the Raksha. It's a question that will continue to rage on, as studying a Raksha is a fool's craft. Thus far, what little is known about the monsters comes from the autopsies of the few confirmed kills. In most cases this rarely helps the understanding of the walking horrors, their physiology seems to make no sense. One mediciner who was able to examine the corpse of Obalu the Ravenous famously said, "The insides of that monstrosity looks like a god closed their eyes and waved their hands." Whatever powers the Raksha have is still outside the grasp of human understanding.

 

Raksha Amongst Us

Denizens of Tikor often celebrate that the Raksha are little more than mythical beasts, the torturous prize at the end of the slide that is Xavian's Touch. Given the public nature of abominations like Obalu the Ravenous, if any Raksha were alive right now, common belief is that the world would know. Unfortunately, this is not the case, though these implications are disturbing enough that the truth is rarely spoken aloud. Spirit Mediums have been warning for over a hundred years that dark forces reside on Tikor. These warnings tend to fall on deaf ears as no Spirit Medium these days is foolish enough to try and make spiritual contact with a Raksha. There have, however, been a number of persistent stories that lend credit to the soothsayers. Evil takes more than just the form of mindless slaughter,after all. The greatest threats often come from enemies that are cold, dispassionate and persistent, silently biding their time until the perfect moment to inflict maximum bloodshed. Some of Tikor's most vicious creatures across Garuda and The Republic of Vinyata have gone silent over the years, their bloody trails drying up. Locales attribute this to good tidings and divine protection, but perhaps the creatures of the night have simply found a leader.

 
Aa-mire is coming. He's coming for us all. The Uncaring he is! Aa-mire is coming. He's coming for us all. The Uncaring, he is! Aa-mire is coming. He's coming for us all...
— Spirit Medium
-the rants repeated until he died of thirst a few days later
 

Leader of the Damned

A man was found dying of dehydration on the edge of a small town in the Ilun Valley. The villagers helped the man, giving him water, bringing him back to life. The man started yelling. He kept repeating one thing over and over again. That Aa-mir the Uncaring was coming. Witnesses described the man as being inconsolable, writhing and twitching as he ranted. The name is foreign to anyone who hears it, except to the deities. The gods are always silent when it comes to matters of Xavian and the Raksha, except for one exception, Aa-mir. When a parishioner said the name to the Divinity of Battle, Cadmus, he froze. A gesture common for humans, but almost unheard of for a deity. The war god said nothing, but his reaction was clear. The name of this Raksha was known. The unwitting messenger had all the signs of a Spirit Medium who had tapped into something spiritually stronger than himself. The weight of the Raksha's mind crushed the medium's, imprinting it, and leaving him little more than a blabbering mess, repeating what was most likely the same words the Raksha had said to him. The message seared into his brain the last conscious thought he would ever have.

 

Hunt for the Source

Just as the study of Raksha rarely yields results, they are just as challenging to kill. Tales say Raksha have been defeated in a whole host of manners, however, records only account for Obalu's rampage, one in which it took two thousand soldiers to destroy him. Casualties were so heavy that only five hundred remained afterward. Direct approach rarely works on Raksha, their power once fully born is prodigious. The point of the Raksha's greatest weakness is before their birth. Blighthounds have taken it upon themselves to do the job they believe no one wants, hunting down those with Xavian's Touch and cutting them down before they can reach the final stage of the curse. The powerful spirit mediums take the treatment of Raksha with the most extreme seriousness. The spirits they channel make them fierce and aggressive. Once they have the scent of corruption they are unflinching in their duty. Even if their target doesn't actually have the Touch, just a hint of corruption, to a Blighthound, it's all the same, and many innocent people have fallen at the hands of these so-called protectors. Many of the regions in Tikor have forbidden the practice. This has not deterred the Blighthounds, and they continue their search for the corrupted, legal or not.

 
Raksha Midbanner2
Forest Fight by Chris Cold

Not all monsters are Raksha. These Forest Behomeths were long mistaken for voidbeasts.


Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

The morphology of each Raksha is weird, alien and grotesque. Obalu the Ravenous, for instance, was over 3 meters with weirdly long arms. The Raksha had arms long enough for his fingers to touch the knee. All the muscle on his upper body were enlarged beyond proportion. The blood from his victims had soaked into its skin like a sponge. The brilliant red coloring on his face a makeup made from victims. By every known study of animal, creature and humanoid physiology, none of that should work together. And yet the hulking creature was real, and it had lived. Very well at that.

Genetics and Reproduction

As far as history tells, the Raksha have never been known to reproduce in anymore. Or have much interest in it or the human body. The only known way for a Raksha to be "birthed" is when a human gives into Xavian's Touch and accepts him in. While some myths persist that the Dark Spiral is also a gateway to Beneath It All, those things can never ben confirmed. What we can be sure of is that the Raksha don't reproduce, they infect like a parasite. Devouring the host upon its arrival.

Additional Information

Average Intelligence

It's hard to gauge the intelligence of creatures like Raksha. While the maniacal Obalu had clearly known how to navigate the dim light alleys. As well as able to haunt and disappear for years undetected. The common thought is to assume that any Raksha can be as intelligent as the human they possessed. And most likely greater than that.

The Raksha, Aa-mir the Uncaring

A Nightmare in Every Home

The Ebon Cascade is already a desolate and poisonous region that few dare to enter. However, in the jagged obsidian hills of the quarantined area lie strange and horrible beasts. There also seems to be a rapidly growing number of undead. While the Raksha have always been tied to Garuda in the minds of many, there are no rules to say Raksha can't be birthed in other locations. A Raksha is long rumored to be behind the rallying of the dead into Ebon Cascade. No one dares to venture into the putrid lands to confirm.


Scientific Name
Corrupted Voidbeast
Origin/Ancestry
Beneath It All
Lifespan
Eternal
Average height
2 Meters or more
Average weight
200 Kilograms or more
Average physique

No matter the shape or overall size, they are always strong. Unnerving and supernaturally strong. The muscles found on Obalu after his death astounding all who observed it. It was the kind of raw strength you saw only from the top predators of a world. That world though was not Tikor.

Related Ethnicities

Related Reading


 
Beneath It All
Geographic Location | Dec 9, 2018

Underneath the physical world their lies something vile and corrupt. Something that waits for you to becon it. To corrupt you.


 
Xavian's Touch
Condition | Dec 9, 2018

Infection caused by Xavian that leads to Raksha possession


 
Four Stages
Myth | Dec 5, 2018

The Spirit Medium reading that confirmed the four stages of Xavian's Touch

Details of a Monster


Articles under Raksha



Cover image: Wings of Nox by Chris Cold

Comments

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7 Dec, 2018 09:04

For a second while reading it, I really did go "Oooh! Corrupted aliens!" :D   "just the murder of humans and consumption of there flesh." - their flesh   Also, 2000 strong regiment to take this guy out? That gives an idea of their power, but it isn't clarified anywhere else just how potent (or how numerous) these things are. My sense is "very" and "few", though is might be fun to elaborate on? :)   "The corruption hunters continue any." - Anyway?   There's a bit of a logical disconnect in that sentence: They're impossible to kill. There's stories of them being killed wholesale. The 2000 strong gang did kill one. What are some of those stories about how you kill a Raksha? :) Silver weapons, blessed divine steel? How did they kill Obalu?   Really cool and really intriguing part of Swordsfall :) Looking forward to seeing where this rabbithole leads :D

7 Dec, 2018 09:10

Thanks for point out the typo!   And yes, yes it is a logical disconnect. :)   The tales say they can be killed a bunch of ways. Facts say it took 50 years and a 2,000 man regiment to take one down. Which one is right? Hmmm.   Look forward to a series of short stories about some of those things. Stories of Raksha, some of them not so violent, but still as dangerous. The first....and last Cult of Xavian. The Massacre of Ghinor (Obalu's story). I will answer those.....later...in a story :D

7 Dec, 2018 09:12

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!!

7 Dec, 2018 10:58

Obalu is the only known Raksha?   Considering that they are apparently immortal and the stories talk about many, does history not confirm the sheer presence of more than Obalu? Because that's a super interesting thought process for the basis of legends. Kind of like Dracula and vampires being partially based off people like Vlad the impaler. Never the entire story, just bits and pieces thrown to the wind to grow in new spots and places.   I really like the article and concept! Thanks for sharing! :D

7 Dec, 2018 13:59

You mention the Raksha are known to be 2 meters and up, but also 200kg and up. That's pretty dense! What accounts for the extreme weight of these guys? I get that Obalu was over 3 meters tall, and his image is rather normally proportioned (save the long arms, awesome detail), so I could see him putting on 200kg.   Apart from that detail, this was an awesome creature. Obalu's quote forced a real-life laugh from me as I read through the article.

7 Dec, 2018 14:57

Again I'm getting more familiar with your world cause i recognized the name from previous article. Awesome world building here. I am not one to talk of grammar and typos but i did notice something that seemed a bit clunky to read. You write "host's body" and next sentence basically state the same thing even ending it with "host's body." This is in the fron within section 2nd and 3rd sentence i think. You state the same thing twice but added a little more detail. Its not a big thing but it reads weird when i was reading it and broke that immersion. Just a thought i had. On a content related note i certainly would not want to meet one these guys. You state their power and significance very well and maintain their mystery at the same time. Really well thought out article.

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