Race Creator: Katniss
2012 Creative Race
An amphibious race of predators, capable of breathing through both lungs and gills. Long and slight of body, powerful swimmers, but thought ill of by other intelligent races.
The Rechins were once a proud people, rulers of their own corner of the world, known to most as the Salt Marshes, known to the Rechins as "Salann-Riasc." their war mages comprising a powerful military force, the witch queen was respected and feared, and their cities built in the swamp and marsh land sprawled for miles yet seemed to blend seamlessly with the landscape.
They may have been living in the bronze age, but it was a golden age for the Rechins.
But the steel invaders changed all of that. Elves mainly, with weapons and smelting far beyond what the rechins were capable of, and magical theory advanced years beyond their own.
The first encounter saw the elves simply passing through the marshes on campaign to another land. Finding little they cared for in the rechin, the elven soldiers often treated them roughly, killing for what they needed to survive the somewhat harsh environment instead of bartering, raping the rechni women, and all around treating the indignous population as poorly as could be.
There were skirmishes then, obviously, the rechin war mages striking out in their Witch Queen's name. This brought reprisal from the elves, who decimated* the rechin's population and cities and then leaving to continue their campaign.
This would have been the end of matters, except that while they were there the elves had discovered a substance produced by certain plants in the Salt Marshes, a substance that when taken induced euphoria. Much of this was taken with the elves to the rest of their populous, where it was met with great demand. Because of this, they returned to the Salt Marshes, this time to conquer them.
The rechins put up a valiant fight, but were ultimately no match for the elven assault, and Salann-Riasc fell. A few small communities of rechins were allowed to continue to survive on their land, but many of their number were scattered across Faerune and forced into slavery.
Now, rechins live by whatever means they can, struggling to get by in a hostile world, and hoping one day to reclaim their home.
Rechin homes are generally made as artificial tidal pools, built so that the water level changes very little throughout the day. Just long and just shallow enough that the rechin can lay down with their head above water, while keeping the rest of their skin moist. The pool is surrounded by high, natural stone walls, which do not look unusual from the outside. Carved into the sides of these are often small cubby holes for storage, and often designs depicting aquatic animals.
The pathway up from outside can be difficult to locate, being made to look like a natural part of the rock formation, treacherous if navigated poorly, and often enchanted with a glamour to keep them from being seen. Generally, however, once the path has been discovered, it becomes clear as day.
In the winter, where there is winter, these tide pools obviously become hazardous to live in, between hypothermia and the danger of waking up in a block of ice. Thus in these areas, Rechins often migrate their sleeping habits to communal homes with large pools of water that are heated through some means, either natural hot springs or bath houses with fires to keep the water from chilling. This arrangement is, obviously, far from ideal. Crammed together like some form of preserved fish in a tin, uncomfortable, without privacy, but alive.
In language modern rechins tend to speak the native tongue of the nation where they are currently living above water. Below water, much like with their song, they communicate with a series of clicks and squeals, resembling the noises of dolphins and whales.
The most prominent feature of a rechin is the appearance of the skin. Subdermal scales show prominently, yet to the touch they are smooth and moist, somewhat slippery. One has to press down, into the flesh to feel the faint ridges of the scales beneath.
These scales are most often a mottled bluish grey, and faintly reflective, though they have been known to show green, and, very rarely yellow. The latter, however, is a genetic disorder, and those that posses it tend to be in very poor health. **NOTE: Yellow scales are now restricted. Rare is Rare.**
Their bodies are sleek, and agile, rarely possessing much in the way of fat. Generally rechins are very toned, having worked their muscles hard with their time spent in the water. Despite this, the configuration of their swim muscles and the way they are conditioned tends to make rechins very poor at swinging weapons in combat.
The rechin's fingers and toes are both webbed, allowing for better propulsion through the water.
For clothing, rechins most often simply wear a pair of simple, cotton shorts to cover their genitals, (which resemble those of a human.) Even the females generally adopt this dress style, being without breasts to cover.
Rechin's heads are covered in scaly, hair-like follicles which are almost exclusively black, (again certain genetic anomalies can produce white.) Bright yellow, orange or green eyes possess a nictitating membrane, and tapetum lucidum. The iris often narrow to a thin slit when in bright light, and widen to a large circle in the dark.
Rechin's mouths are filled with rows of sharp, dagger-like teeth which are constantly being shed and replaced.
On average, Rechins stand just a bit taller, yet thinner, than your average humans, with females growing up to five feet and nine inches when fully grown, and males reaching an average of six feet and four inches, yet both being very slender. (Their weights are comparable to humans of the same height due to density of swim muscles.)
Rechins are not often thought well of by the other races, seen as bottom feeders, weak and easily pushed around. In nations where slaves are allowed, rechins can often be found in this role, usually fulfilling menial duties such as cooking, weaving, picking crops or even cleaning sewers. They are not often kept in roles that bring them into much direct contact with their owners, or others of such a station, and when they are it is considered a severe social faux pas by their owner.
In countries where slavery is not allowed, rechins do not fare much better, indeed many fare worse for the difficulty they have finding employment. Many get by as fishermen, sailors, or even just diving for pearls, though even in these careers they tend to receive far less pay than their counterparts of other species. Thus the rechin may often be driven to crime.
Amongst one-another, rechins are a friendly and jovial species, enjoying music, food and drink.
For music, rechins have two sorts of song: above water and below water. Those sung above water sound much like the songs of other species, generally accompanied by pan pipes and a form of stringed instrument resembling a lute or mandolin. Those sung below sound something more like the clicks and cries of a dolphin or whale, though with more melody.
Rechins are fond of eating fish, and do so raw, a favored way of doing so being sliced thin and rolled with a mint paste. Better off rechins tend to use almond in place of mint, and add in bits of ginger.
It is considered poor manners to eat fish live, or without preparation, unless of course one is spending a large deal of time in the water and simply needs to get a quick meal to keep strength up.
While on occasion rechins have been known to eat humans, this is a rare thing, though not exactly looked down upon in a social sense.
Rechins have a large focus on magic in their society, largely due to their lowered physicality in comparison with other races. Before the conquering of their homeland, the Salt Marshes, the rechin military was composed of magic users, and the few small remaining rechin communities are guarded by magic users. Most young rechins are taught a handful of spells to defend themselves with, though. (Note: A rechin does NOT gain any bonuses to magic.)
Religion (The Rainbow Serpent)
The patron of the rechin people is the Rainbow Serpent, said to have been given birth to alongside the first rechins from the great goddess Nimhe.
The Witch Queen is granted an uncanny ability to locate pearls for her relation to the Rainbow Serpent. This is often used as a way of identifying possible Witch Queens, though only the Serpent herself can make a positive identification.
Rechins that may afford it will often wear bronze pendants depicting the serpent dangling from tight hemp chokers. (so they are kept in check while swimming) Those without the means for such things often just carry a small pearl (often misshapen) which may be cast into the water as offering when they pray for their goddess's favor.
Courtship and Mating
Rechin courtship has become a rather long process in many areas, at least relative to the ancient methods. Before the invasion of the Salt Marshes, marriage was an arranged matter, and where possible remains so today. However in many areas rechins have no parents to arrange marriages for them, and so are often forced to find their own mates. Thus prospective mates must spend long amounts of time proving themselves to be fit as spouse and parent to one-another.
The main secondary sexual characteristic sought after in females tend to be long, toned and shapely legs, while the males can display bright, vibrant show of color on their normally transparent epidermis. This color alteration is short lived, able to be maintained for only a few minutes at a time. Control of this may vary, some males managing no more than vibrant splotches across their bodies, others capable of changing the appearance of their entire skin in detailed patterns and designs. Clever rechins have learned to use this adaptation as camouflage as well. About one in every several thousand females may have a stunted form of this trait, this tends to be accompanied by gender confusion in some form or another, and social difficulties. [Permission is required to play a female with this affliction, and will be granted very, very rarely.]
The mating ritual itself often serves as wedding, and is the most inhuman part of the process. Always performed for the first time in the water, the female (though receptive) instinctively fights away the male's advances, he often must chase and restrain her, often with bites, before they are capable of mating. (The female ceases fighting first, there is no force involved in the actual mating.) If the male is incapable of doing so, he will be spurned and the female will seek a new mate, if the female gives in too easily, the male may find her unfit to carry his children, and leave her to seek out a new mate.
This mating ritual is not necessary every time the couple wishes to engage in intercourse, but they are instinctively predisposed to perform this way upon their first sexual encounter.
Amongst homosexual rechins, the mating ritual is similar, but more complicated, generally requiring a conscious or unspoken agreement as to which partner will fulfill which gender role. Homosexuality in general may be accepted or shunned by society in general, depending on the area the rechins come from. In more densely populated areas, where resources are sparse, and rechins are packed too close together homosexuals may be well received, seeing that they will not be giving birth to new rechins to drain resources.
Strengths and Weaknesses
A rechin can be killed in all the same ways that a normal human can, including drowning seeing as how they have to be in motion for their gills to function.
A rechin's skeletal structure of mostly calcified cartilage makes them lighter for swimming, as well as more flexible to allow for sharp aquatic turns while hunting, however the less durable material is more easily broken, making them more susceptible to blunt force.
While a rechin's eyes increase vision at lower light levels, this is countered by the fact that they become less effective in brighter light.
Rechins need to enter the water (fresh or salt) to re-moisten themselves at least once a day to remain comfortable. Though they can generally survive up to two and a half days out of the water in a temperate climate. (Less in drier, arid environments, more in balmier, humid environments.)
As has been stated before, while their muscles propel them well through the water, a rechin has difficulty fighting on land. Combat amongst one another is usually done with wrestling and with their teeth in the water, or by use of knives.
Of course their standing with other races could be considered a large disadvantage for rechins, as it is not easy to get by when most of the beings around consider you to be repugnant and dirty.
Rechins age at roughly the same rate as humans, and are considered adults at age fifteen.
Average height for females is 5'9", average height for males is 6'4".
Rechin males range, on average, 168-183 lbs. (76-83 kg) and females 120-140 lbs. (54–64 kg). Their weights being lighter than one might expect because of the lower density of their cartilage skeletons.
Rechins subsist largely on raw seafood such as fish and shellfish, but are capable of eating other kinds of meat if need be.
Rechins give birth to live young, and often in litters. The children are referred to as "pups."
Rechins are incapable of mating with other species.