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Reshadri

(Re-shad-re)

The Reshadri are a meritocracy and are governed by their strict adherence to their very black version of Vodun, the religion that modern people refer to as Voodoo. Other than some common themes and names the two practices couldn't differ more. It is believed by some scholars that the Reshadri may have passed knowledge of Vodun to the tribes on earth, such as the Taino, though minimal and unreliable archaeological evidence supports the belief.

Outlook:

Weakness and failure are normally punished by a very public death. Reshadri scheme for power and position within their highly structured hierarchy that has over 70 observed ranks. Their proven expertise in the Voodoo Element grants them the title of Bokor. Along with the associated status increase is the lingering threat of family eradication if a Bokor fails his duty or appears weak in public.

One of the largest causes of conflict however comes from their views on legal penalties. Body mutilation and sexual assault are considered valid punishment in their hideous eyes; punishment they feel all too eager to dish out to other races. Prisoners have no rights and can only be "cleansed" of guilt and weakness by submitting to whatever punishment is deemed necessary. Blasting yourself out an airlock would be preferable to capture by the Reshadri.

Physical Appearance:

These hideous creatures stand nearly 2 metres tall, with a solid frame. Jet black scales cover their entire body. At the ends of their joints, bony protrusions are sharpened into a vicious serrated edge. Their angular head is covered in layers of bronze plates and house pupil-less orange eyes that always appear to have an angry mien. Their teeth all share the pointed definition of a carnivore, and drip with a dark green saliva that has been known to paralyse live prey. A Reshadri's foot has three front claws, and one at the rear similar to some birds and reptiles. Their hands share a similar design, but with enough motor control for intricate manipulation.

Racial Abilities:

Reshadri are extremely strong, some even able to crush steel with their bare hands. They have built themselves around physical perfection for combat, are very agile and able to withstand a lot of punishment. They have an eerie calm about them that, coupled with their grotesque appearance, makes them extremely difficult to deal with. Reshadri don't mind however as they would rather intimidate someone than make a fair deal. Reshadri are essentially the pioneers of the Voodoo element and over the generations have bred a natural affinity for it. The Shadow Element provides some powerful synergy and high ranking Bokors are known to utilise both to great devastation.

Outcasts and Champions:

Reshadri outcasts have a hard life. They are often used as target practice and if they want to survive they needed to develop quick reflexes. They have learnt some intricacies of psychology and use it to their advantage against other Reshadri. This doesn't help that much against other races however. A genetic defect hinders their muscular growth, as well as other more damaging side effects that prevents them from channelling the Voodoo Element. This reason alone makes them social pariahs. The genetic defect is unlikely to affect direct offspring, but they will carry the marker to pass onto later generations.

Champions are more intellectual than the normal Reshadri. As physically powerful specimens are everywhere, a cunning mind stands out. These Reshadri scheme to positions of power, even if their Voodoo skills are average. Those that combine a high proficiency with both are the most respected, impactful and cruel leaders in their history.

Interspecies Relations:

Reshadri despise most other races. They barely tolerate the other members of the Vaq and prefer to use them as fodder if at all. They will however intermingle when it serves their purpose. Their brutal and twisted actions make dealing directly with them impossible for most AFS races. Beware any Reshadri that isn't openly hostile, as their 'friendship' often comes at too high a price. Reshadri have a racial hatred for the Vigaj, their opposing element attunement is the main weapon the AFS has to counteract a Bokor.

Lands and resources:

Their planet is is quite dark with large barren sections due to experiments with the Voodoo Element. A well trained Bokor is enough to cause fear in any opposition, and their eagerness to break prisoners mentally and physically make them potent interrogators. Any Vaq contingent with a Bokor will be highly effective and usually requires a potent Mentant to defeat.

Religious Beliefs:

The Reshadri version of Vodun is very black in its nature and is considered heinous by most practitioners on Earth and elsewhere. It is a firmly believed theory that the Reshadri visited earth thousands of years ago and taught the religion to the ancient Taino people in order to corrupt the populace. Only their eradication by the Spanish prevented this evil influence. The religion on earth evolved unmolested by the Reshadri into something more pure, though there were those that tainted its name and beliefs. All forms of the Voodoo religion on earth are quite separate from the Reshadri practices.

Naming Conventions:

Generally a Reshadri will only receive a name after actions that make them deserve one. Titles mean everything to a Reshadri and they will do anything to keep their status.

Enlisting Reasons:

Reshadri will never go against their own race without great cause. Even then they have been outcasts and nearly all have been revealed as spies. A great level of trust needs to be established before any Reshadri will be allowed into AFS ranks, and even then they will be scrutinised for most of their career. It is safest to assume any Reshadri that approaches the AFS are working an angle. 

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© AJ Watson