Note: This material is closed content. It is posted here with permission of the publisher, Primal Urge Games.
Appearances can be deceiving. Most people know this, but still fall into the trap of not questioning too deeply. In some cases, this failure can have a high cost, such as when dealing with the rin.
Rin are fully aware of what others believe. It is easy to see the massive frame and assume it belongs to a hulking brute of limited intelligence. Rin do nothing to dissuade this misconception. In fact, rin intentionally perpetuate the stereotype that they are ignorant, solitary, short-lived beasts.
In truth, rin are cunning trappers who may live for centuries hidden under swampy waters. The cultural xenophobia of the rin is the only thing keeping these intelligent, powerful creatures from pursuing conquest.
Rin present a facade of brutish ignorance to other races. Given their imposing physiques, this is a simple masquerade to maintain. Rin harbor a matchless guile behind this deceptive exterior. The rin are an intensely xenophobic race that lives in constant fear of being enslaved by other races. They have no interest in building empires or subjugating others. They merely wish to protect their race from what they view as an ever-present threat. In the eyes of the rin, the world is divided into two categories: threat or rin.
Rin in groups of non-rin are usually perceived as blunt, short-tempered barbarians. Rin do not back away from conflict. From an early age, they are taught to rely on their brain and brawn to solve problems. Rin are expert at creating and baiting traps for perceived threats. Many a foe has made the mistake of underestimating the rin, only to find themselves outmaneuvered.
Rin do not concern themselves with amassing fortunes. In the rin worldview, greater wealth spawns greater threats. Rin only keep what they can carry, or what may be useful in the future.
Rin bear an obvious resemblance to their turtle ancestors. The massive frames of these stocky, monstrous humanoids are an intimidating sight in civilized regions. The average rin male stands between 7 and 8 feet tall, and weigh close to 300 pounds. Females are about 6 inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than the males. Rin appear slow and lumbering, but those who have witnessed them in action know they are surprisingly agile.
Rin reach maturity at 20 years of age. Many rin who survive beyond middle age live for almost a century. Rin have been known to live for up to 200 years, but this is not common.
A rin’s flesh is a rough mottling of dark greens, browns and blacks, the same as the muck in which they spend most of their time. Their eyes are jet-black orbs consuming any light that touches them. Their faces end in a sharp, crushing beak. Rin emit a continual stench of rotting meat. The stench is so strong that it defies any attempts to be masked.
The most striking feature of the rin are their vestigial shells. A rin’s shell covers its back, from the base of its neck to the top of its legs. The shell is a darker brown than on the rest of its body. It is covered in small, sharp bony ridges. Rin commonly let algae and other aquatic plants grow on the surface of the shell. Though the shell does not afford the same level of protection that it gave their ancestors, rin still learn to use their shell defensively.
The amount of time spent in murky swamp depths quickly destroys any soft fabrics that a rin might choose to wear. Likewise, most metals would tarnish quickly given the rin lifestyle. Rin prefer to adorn themselves in trophies of their kills, such as bones, exoskeletons and scales of swamp creatures. Even then, their clothing is sparse.
Rin society is kept hidden from other races. Rin clans do not form alliances with other races. In fact, most who have met rin consider the race solitary. They do not suspect the underlying structure.
Rin venerate mental and physical might. Rin defer to the judgment of older rin. When young rin are born, the tribal elders determine which have the most potential. These are raised by the tribal elders. The parents of any rin not selected are given the choice of raising these young. Most often, these parents choose not to raise the young. In a practice that may seem brutal to other races, these young are abandoned in swamp regions infested with predators. This practice ensures the strength of the race, and helps maintain the population.
Of course, abandoned rin sometimes survive. These rin are afforded high status if they join another rin clan.
Rin do not worship gods or observe holidays. They also do not permanently record information. However, rin have a rich oral tradition that is passed from one generation to the next.
Rin must be able to contribute to the clan for their entire life. Any rin who grows too weak in mind or body to help the clan submits to a self-imposed exile, forever avoiding other rin.
The harshness of the rin lifestyle ensures that only the strongest, must cunning survive to old age. These tribal elders are a repository for the knowledge of the race. When an elder rin finally passes, the members of the clan bury him beneath the deepest swamp waters.
Relations with Other Races
Rin are a xenophobic people. Every race is perceived as a threat. Rin do not have a desire to conquer other lands, or to attack other races. Rin will defend areas perceived as their territory from any encroachment. They generally avoid forming alliances with members of other races because of the fear that such alliances could cause a future threat. Races who do not pry into cultural aspects of rin life are viewed with slightly less suspicion. Naturally curious races, on the other hand, are most often considered threats, and treated as such. Rin treat any creature with a close relation to a deity as the most potent threats.
In the distant past, the rin built cities and outposts in many different lands. They also intermingled with other races freely. After the destruction of their gods, the rin set about to systematically destroy any structures belonging to their race, whether in their own cities, or found among other races. Even structures that did not belong to the rin were destroyed if they possessed any reference to or architectural style from the rin. During this time, the rin retreated to the swamps.
Modern rin society is restricted to warm swamp regions, and other regions that contain dark, warm waters. Rin tribal edifices are not commonly known by other races. Most believe that rin do not possess any permanent settlements. This assumption is in error. A single rin clan will create an underground series of burrows only accessible by water. The entrances to these burrows are indistinguishable from the surrounding muck. The architecture is minimalistic. These burrows do not contain any writing or pictographs. Any creature discovering a rin burrow is automatically considered a threat by all rin.
Rin living among other races are almost never found in large metropolitan areas. These rin prefer to live in warm regions near swamps. Rin homes in these regions tend to be Spartan, giving no information on their owners.
The actions of rin are often viewed as malicious by other races. This is not the case, however. If the rin can avoid causing harm to others while still protecting their race, they normally will. Of course, a rin will not normally rush to the aid of a non-rin. Rin instead take a neutral view towards the well being of non-rin.
Likewise, rin do not have a particular preference for law or chaos. Their culture has many traditions, but rin chafe under the weight of too many rules.
Rin do not venerate gods, instead practicing a form of ancestor worship. Rin legends speak of a time in the distant past when their people were ruled by a pantheon of cruel gods who used the rin for their amusement. Millennia of pain and suffering worked to forge the rin into a powerful and cunning race, keeping the extent of their power a secret from their dark gods. Eventually, the Rin, as a people, laid an elaborate trap for this cruel pantheon, slaughtering their tormentors. These ancient rin then proceeded to destroy the works of the slain gods. So complete was the purging that even the names of the gods were erased. Modern rin venerate these liberators. Rin do not believe that they receive any power from this worship. Instead, it is viewed more as an issue of respect. This respect extends to any rin who reaches venerable age.
Rin, as a race, distrust any creature drawing on divine power. They refuse divine aid, even when such aid would save their life. Rin who seek divine power must turn to the worship of the gods of other races. These rin are at best ostracized. At worst, they are slain.
Rin speak a guttural language full of low-pitched vowels and abrupt consonants. The nuances in the language are more pronounced when voiced under water than in open air. The set of words used is limited in the presence of non-rin. It is common for non-rin to think that the language is only composed of concepts related to hunting and food. In truth, the language is very rich containing the ability to convey complex concepts. Rin does not have a modern recorded component, sacrificing the written aspect when their gods were slain.
Rin also know the importance of being able to communicate with non-rin, and learn common. They view orcs and swamp-bound giants as their greatest threat, and normally learn the languages of these potential foes.
Rin possess two names.
The first rin name is a clan name. The clan name is a combination of the name of the clan and a name selected by the eldest member of the clan. This name is never used in the presence of non-rin, and is protected with an almost religious zeal. Non-rin heard speaking a rin clan name often find themselves the victim of a tragic “accident”.
A rin’s second name is the name used to deal with non-rin races. This name is selected from the language of the most populous non-rin race in the region, and is selected to display brutishness, physicality, and a lack of creativity. Rin have no close tie to this name, and it often changes depending on changes in the non-rin population.
Rin Male Names: Duurg-Gat Stonemaul, Cael-Brin Drudgewalker
Rin Female Names: Duurg-Daahb Oathbender, Kaegod-Tyd Logsplitter
Given their private nature, rin adventurers are rare. Rin adventurers fall into one of two categories. The first are small groups of rin looking to expand their clan territory. These rin are usually composed of a group of one or two young rin, and one older rin. The second category contains rin who are on scouting missions to determine threats to their clan.
Rin naturally gravitate towards the role of a barbarian. It is also common to come across pure rin fighters. Many rin possess innate arcane power which manifests as socerous might. Rin possessed of mental might are drawn to the path of the wilder, despite their low charisma. Rin rogues, though rare, are not unheard of. Oddly enough, many older rin take on the role of a bard in order to preserve their racial history. No known rin has ever pursued the life of a monk.
Rin clerics are unheard of. Likewise, the divine path of the paladin is not followed by rin. Rin avoidance of external contact goes so far as to prevent them from drawing on the sources of natural power commonly employed by rangers and druids. The natural aversion to written knowledge also is a discouragement to potential rin wizards.