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Posted by on 1999 Jun 7 |

Interview with a Rakash

(Crossing, Zoluren: 25 Akroeg 358)

Baresh I sucscribe to the most interesting newspaper called Will-o-Wisp, about Aesry. In my issue today was this wonderful interview with a new Rakash refugee.

To subscribe to this great gem of a paper please have folks drop by and sign up.

Here is the interview!! [Reprinted with permission.]

The Will-o-Wisp

Issue II

From our "Foreign" Desk.


Though the events that transpired occurred on the Mainland, the far-reaching impact means they will effect Aesry eventually. To this end, the Will-o-Wisp presents an interview with one of the new comers to Elanthia: a Rakash by the name of Wyrth. My agent, who wishes anonymity, discovered the fellow as she was hunting Pontaiths to the north of the city…. When I first saw the fellow, I thought him to be just another human warrior mage hunting the thick-quilled Pontaiths. It was only when he smiled in return to my greeting, that I saw the extended canines and realized he was actually a Rakash. It’s rare to find one alone, so I asked if I could accompany him while he hunted. He almost looked relieved as he nodded affirmatively. Our conversation lasted about an hour and this is the gist of it:

Q:You do not like hunting alone?

A: No, we Rakash are not like the Prydeans. We prefer to hunt much like we live, in packs.

Q: I keep hearing Rakash speak of packs, do you mean family?

>Wyrth took a long time in answering this, as if trying to put his words into such a way that these elfish ears could comprehend<

W: The Pack is…all of Rakash. We are one Pack. There are smaller packs such as family or village, but they are still part of the Pack. Loyalty to one pack does not exclude loyalty to the Pack.

Q: Do the Prydean work in packs also? Or Prides? They seem much like lions.

W: >laughs< I am not familiar with a grouping of "prides," though the word describes the Prydean aptly. They are prideful. They hunt alone and do not have the same concept of oneness with their fellow Prydeans. Back in our homeland…(His shoulders slumped here and I felt my heart go out to him, he took a while to continue)…Back in our homeland, the Prydean did not have cities as you know them. They built places called Hubs. The young and the very old would live there while those who could hunt would wander the outskirts alone. They would band together when the threat is great, but more often than not you’d not more than one Prydean at a time.

I’ve seen this is changing. Perhaps some of the Rakash has rubbed off on them. I see them more together than ever before. >He pauses and gives a curious half-smile< But the Rakash have also changed. I would not normally hunt alone like this.

Q: The exile must have been very bad…

W: It was.

Q: I’m sorry. You must be tired of having to relive it.

W: Yes…but it is something that must be retold lest our people forget what we have left behind. And to warn them and our new allies what may be waiting for them.

Q: What did you leave behind?

W: Everything. Our lands, our homes, many loved ones. I used to be a farmer: Grew bees and cattle if you would believe that. When the undead came my village fought as well as we could. Yet each time one of us would fall, they would but rise again and join the foe who attacked us. My sire and mother fell early…and I had to face them again before the rest of the pack escaped.

We later discovered that we were not the only village so attacked. Prydean hubs and Rakash cities had fallen to the West and to the North. We joined a growing number of refugees fleeing eastward.

Q: Did you fight back?

W: For many years but always were we driven back. We rallied under Methesdred and Sharlir, they pulled the Rakash together. But we could not face the undead alone. Not until Vael brought both the Prydean and the Rakash together did we have a chance at victory.

Q: What happened? What went wrong?

W: Everything. Vael had us closest to victory, he is a great leader, natural at it even if he is Prydean. He and his wife Seralor came up with a plan. The bulk of the army prepared a diversion while he and a select few warriors traveled to the center of the undead horde. They were covered by what magics our wizards could produce: cloaks of invisibility and stealth.

I was with the main army, a farmer holding an axe and not for chopping firewood. We attacked at dawn and drew the attention of the army and Lyras…

Q: Lyras?

W: The human <he pronounced it hue-mawn> Mage who controlled the army. I never saw her up close, but felt the effects of her magic from afar. It is horrible that such power could be unleashed on us and we never saw the source. We could hear her laughing as the armies clashed.

We fought and fought onward…and then in a moment of hope the spells from the center of the undead horde stopped coming. The whole undead army seem to tremble as if were about to turn to dust.

Q: What had happened?

W: Vael had slain Lyras. Snucked up behind her and drew his claws across her throat. But we all learned later that though she slumped forward dead, she rose shortly after before the ambushing party’s very eyes. She was undead now herself but still in control of her magics. We were routed.

Our people were scattered. Half traveled westward looking for succor in that direction. The rest journeyed to the East under Vael…he was sorely grieving for he felt the loss of each of Prydean AND Rakash who had fallen.

We ran until we could run no more. And then we raised the barrier. We fought in silence for a few moments, the Pontaiths and the Badgers which had only came sporadically his tale decided to step up the pace. When we were again at a moment of lull the interview continued<

Q: I am sorry, perhaps we should talk of other things: this seems to hurt you…

W: There is no reason to apologize. These things must be said to make sure all remember what we have lost and what we will face. If Lyras breaks through the barrier then all must be prepared.

Q: I’ve heard of this barrier. Is it already failing? Is it why the undead attacked so shortly after you arrived?

W:The barrier still stands whole, at least we pray this is so. When it was made we called upon both priestly and elemental magics. Those who created it poured their very souls into its foundations. As long as one of them still survives the barrier will last.

Q: But it’s only a matter of time before…

W: [Wyrth looked at me with sad (Dare I say puppy-dog? I don’t know, he seemed nothing like a puppy at that moment) eyes and nodded.] It is only a matter of time. It is why you will find many of my people and the Prydean joining your guilds. We must be ready.

Q: May I change the subject to one hopefully less painful? I have heard that the Rakash change forms? Is this true? How?

W:>laughing< Yes, many have asked me of this. They seem to think we turn into wolves or beasts.

Q: You don’t?

W: Oh we do change, do not get me wrong. But it’s not a true change. We are still Rakash no matter what outward appearance we may have. We are not wolves or half-wolves, we are Rakash.

Q: How do you change?

W: When the full face of Katamba is upon Elanthia, we feel her pull. Much like a tide, our blood changes course and the changes come. It is not painful, but leaves us exhausted right afterward. That is why you’ll see many Rakash lazing about as the full moon approaches: it would be unwise to be lost in the passion of the turning while facing a hostile creature. But afterward…Oh to howl, to feel the world so much more vibrant. >The grin he gives me is quite feral, and I feel a tingle down to the small of my spine<

Q: How long do you remain in wol…

W: Moon-form. It is not Wolf-form. We may have claws, nuzzles, and greater strength and senses, but we are not less intelligent nor more bestial. We are simply Rakash in Moon-form.

Q: I’m sorry, how long do you remain in Moon-form?

W: Only as long as Katamba graces us with it. The change back can be just as traumatic, if not more so, for it is a shrinking of sorts.

Q: Which form do you prefer?

W: >Laughing< I am Rakash, I prefer being me.

The rest of the hunt passed in uneventful conversation, and as much as I hinted and pried he would not speak to me of religion or of the Prydean. Of the first he would only say "It is deeply entwined with being Rakash," and of the later he would just grin and say "They’re Prydeans" as if that were all the answer that was needed. I secured a promise for a questioning session at a later date and shortly after made my rest.

[Editor’s Note: The Will-o-Wisp will gladly pay for interviews of the other new inhabitants of the provinces: Prydeans, Kaldars, or Gnomes.]