Rakko

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The distinctive winged silhouettes of the rakkos are synonymous with the Alamo Empire that many of them serve. They hail from the cold northern reaches of Streeg, where their disciplined sense of order and law kept them safe against the harshest of winters. Much as a mountain is unyielding to the fiercest storms, the rakkos sought to be steadfast and united against any conflict that would tear them apart. Now everywhere throughout Ealdremen as soldiers, emissaries, and everything in between, the rakkos find order among the chaos of galactic war and politics alike.

Etmology and Other Names

The suffix -kko in the term rakko is used all throughout Alamin to denote a race in general, such as in the name suljakko or in the human race's Alamin name, mannjakko. The remaining part of the word rakko is thought to potentially come from the Alamin term for dragon, ra, or the same language's word for follower, rakk. With the latter meaning, rakko could be taken to have originally meant following people in the sense of a military formation.

Biology

Rakkos are the most populous of six-limbed races in Ealdremen, and their large leathery wings are rather iconic of the race as a whole. Each wing has five fingers like the rakko's hands, and their wings have a gnarled, clawed thumb at the top. The wings' digits are connected by a coarse membrane that facilitates flight. The flexibility of a rakko's wings allows them to fold them against their back when not in use. A rakko's fingers are long and clawed much like the fingers of their wing; their toes are similar to their fingers, though they have three toes on each foot instead of five. Some rakkos may have a dewclaw higher up on their feet, though this is a rare trait mostly seen in rakkos descended from mountain-dwellers. Their coloration also varies based on their geographic origin, with rakkos hailing from colder climates having lighter, generally more dull hues, and rakkos from warmer climates having more vibrant colors. They generally do not have many bodily markings, though they may have different colored undersides or wing membranes.

Atop most rakkos' heads are a pair of tall, flared ears. Rakko ears are very flexible for side-to-side movement and can swivel independently of one another to catch even the most minute of sounds. However, they have a more limited range of vertical movement; unlike other races with similarly sized ears, rakkos generally cannot emote very well with theirs. Generally speaking, a rakko's ears will be slightly longer than their broad snouts. Their lower jaws are usually a little more elongated than their upper, giving them a distinctive underbite. They have two rows of teeth in each jaw, though the second row is slightly shorter and is harder to see without looking head-on into a rakko's mouth.

Much like the iddun, rakkos have yellow sclarae in their eyes, though their irises can be a variety of colors and even display partial dominance genetically. A rakko whose parents had blue and red eyes could have purple eyes themselves, or they might have both red and blue flecked throughout their irises. Partial heterochromia is common among rakkos, where their irises display multiple colors in a single eye. Because of their brow ridges, a rakko might seem to naturally settle into a scowling expression due to the angle of their eyes. Some rakkos may have small spikes atop their brow ridges, but most rakkos, if they have spines at all, will have them down their back and across their tails. A rakko's tail usually is not long enough to lay flat on the ground; most can barely touch the ground with the tips of their tails. Because rakkos' tails are not that flexible, their tails naturally remain sticking out behind them and generally do not hang limply.

Sociology

Whether the rakkos first brought military discipline to the Alamo Empire or if the Empire influenced their culture to become more rigidly militaristic is a hotly debated question. Regardless of its origin, social order is of utmost importance to most rakkos. Every individual should have a specific role to play and abide by whatever rules a given group elects to operate on. Needless conflicts and confrontations are to be avoided, as they expend energy in the wrong places and can, in the worst of circumstances, create enemies where there originally were none. Far from being passive, however, rakkos instead tend to exude disciplined confidence to avoid conflict. They approach conflicts with an attitude of ending it quickly and with no room for debate, as though they can intimidate a problem out of a situation entirely. Lesser conflicts may be deemed not even worth a rakko's time and entirely ignored; easily taking offense is seen as a sign of weakness, and weaknesses in the grand social order of rakko society must bolster themselves so as to not drag others down with them.

Rakkos tend to greatly respect those in positions of leadership, like Hretlakk Flametail.

Leadership is viewed not as something to aspire to for its own sake, but as a responsibility that must be taken by the most able, lest the burden of leading drag down someone who cannot handle it. Rakkos generally do not pursue promotions unless they believe they might do a better job than whoever is currently leading or if there is a vacancy in the ranks. It is rare for a rakko raised in this sort of culture to assume someone may want power simply to have it. From a young age, rakkos are taught to know their limits and respect them; pushing oneself too far beyond will eventually lead to open weaknesses that others must cover or that enemies might exploit. As such, they generally believe that people in positions of power are there by merit or because they were best suited for the role. Because of their generally high opinion of leaders, unless given a reason to doubt them, rakkos will often expect their leaders to take on more and more responsibilities to offer a reprieve for their subordinates and to dutifully protect their citizens.

Because rakkos expect every individual to know their place in society, they may be blunt about someone who is poorly suited to a task and seek for them to be reassigned. They expect others to be honest about their own shortcomings and hold little patience for those that insist on pretending they are something they're not. The benefit of a strong social order and a society that can rely on its people is that each and every person's natural weaknesses are compensated by the order of things. Rakkos often seek to unite under a common banner in this way, even in small or temporary gatherings; if they can gather people into a single group and bring them to an orderly system where everyone knows their role and what they can do to assist themselves and the group, there is no strife.

Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)

Overview

Rakkos are a Medium race and have no benefits or penalties associated with their size. Rakko characters may choose either +2 Strength and -2 Intelligence or +2 Wisdom and -2 Charisma to be applied to their starting statistics. Rakkos are naturally strong, though their strongest individuals tend to have less formal education in favor of simply following the orders of more educated commanders, and their cold cultures that rely on unspoken intuition, unity, and order may come across as unfeeling and difficult for others to understand.

Stormwing's Rally (Ex)

Flavor

The notion of self-sacrifice runs deep in not only the Alamo Empire, but also the adjacent culture of the rakko race. In battle or times of crisis, rakkos know that sometimes, the best course of action is to let someone else lead and save the day, urging the most capable individual onwards, even if it comes at the cost of the rakko's own ability to escape alive.

Mechanics

As a move action once per encounter, a rakko may grant an ally within 30ft that can see or hear the rakko an additional move action. If the ally has already taken their turn, they may choose to take the extra action immediately or use it on their next turn. At character level 10th, using Stormwing's Rally in this manner is a swift action. At character level 10th, the rakko also gains the option of granting an ally within 30ft an additional standard action, which makes Stormwing's Rally cost a standard action to use.

Keywords: Move action, swift action, standard action, encounter, active, extraordinary ability

Flight (Natural Ability)

Flavor

A rakko's wings are much larger than the rest of their body, as they must be to supply flight. Though the frigid air of their native climates and dangerous sky conditions both mean that quite a few rakko cultures do not emphasize flight as much as other airborne races, rakkos can be surprisingly agile in the sky, particularly when combined with their disciplined military formations.

Mechanics

Rakkos have a flying speed of 20ft with poor maneuverability. At character level 5, and every 5 character levels thereafter, this fly speed increases by 10 to a maximum of 60ft at 20th level. At level 5, their maneuverability becomes average, and at level 10, their maneuverability becomes good. While flying, a rakko can ascend at half speed and descend at double speed. Their flight speed is cut in half if they are wearing medium or heavy armor. While flying, a rakko can act normally. They receive a +1 racial bonus to the Fly skill and it is treated as a class skill for them regardless of their class.

Keywords: Natural ability, passive

Military Tactics (Natural Ability)

Flavor

With military service as a given in many rakko cultures, there are just as many soldiers, either former or current, with a background knowledge of military formations and outpost construction. In some regions, such subjects are taught as part of a rakko child's upbringing with the expectation that they will someday put that knowledge to use.

Mechanics

Rakkos have a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (Fortifications).

Keywords: Natural ability, passive