book of exalted deeds

Rhek (Simplified Race)

Also known as Rhox in their native tongue, the Rhek’s home plane was torn asunder, it’s crystal sphere shattered into pieces and then forcefully reassembled again by a mad dragon millennia later. During this time, a Harmonium expeditionary forces encountered the Rhek and using a combination of portals and magic, they were able to save hundreds of thousands of the humanoid rhinos from the center of the lethal maelstrom. The Rhek were settled on the second and third layer of Arcadia where they prospered and while still humanoids, they are so attuned to the plane that they are considered native to it. Many of them use the Rhek name, which was their designation by the Harmonium, out of respect for their saviors even though it is difficult for them to pronounce. 

Physical Description:

A rhek stands roughly six feet tall and can easily weigh between 300 and 400 pounds unarmored. They have wrinkled, thick skin who’s tones vary between white, brown, black and grey. Their faces are slightly shorter and jaws are more humanoid than wild rhinos, but otherwise their skulls are identical. As they are strict herbivores, rheks only possess molars and premolars for grinding and do not have the cutting and slicing foreteeth of other humanoids. This makes hard and clicking sounds difficult for them, giving them a slight slur when they speak, but with practice it can be overcome. 

Society:

Being extremely durable to the point of being magical, rhek society is considered very violent to other beings standards, but the rhek themselves find it puzzling, since everyone still gets their say and no one is permanently injured. Rhek place law and order above all things, although they also stress altruism and generosity heavily. Rhek lawkeepers are quick to quell any threat to the community with force and it is not uncommon for lawbreakers to be knocked out without warning. Trial by combat is the norm and a series of successive punches to one another’s face is considered to be a roughly equivalent way of solving debates as rock-paper-scissors is for humans. Despite their willingness to withstand physical punishment, most rhek are peaceful at heart, preferring meditation and contemplation to battle. Many have fallen upon their horns, however, for misunderstanding this. Even the most peaceful rhek is both willing and able to make war, if there is a just cause for it. The majority of rhek children are kept in seclusion from visitors. This is not for the youth’s protection, but the outsider’s. Adults fully understand that they are more durable than most races, but children don’t always, so they are kept separate until they can demonstrate proper restraint when dealing with others. The rhek also consider this alone time to be valuable in and of itself, as it allows the youth to turn their eyes inwards to their own soul.   

Relations:

Rheks work are accustomed to humans and work well with them. While humans are more diverse than the rhino-people, rheks admire both their adaptability and their determination. Likewise, they appreciate half-orcs for their ferocity and power, if not their wild natures. Those half-orcs who have the willpower and drive to become great are favored companions of rheks, although most of the time they simply admire their exploits from afar. Given their lawful and gruff natures, some may assume that rheks and dwarves get along with each other, but they would be mistaken. Both are too set in their own ways to accommodate the other, and rheks prefer open grasslands, thus find dwarven designs to be cramped and claustrophobic. Rheks try to avoid elves, lizardfolk and the undead whenever possible. These were races they fought in their homeland, and they still tell tails of the monstrosities they were able to bring to bear. For similar reasons, they find constructs disturbing and actively avoid Mechanus, the Modrons and the Inevitables whenever possible. 

Alignment and Religion:

Even before they came to Arcadia, the rhek were prone to both law and goodness. While understanding is not their strength, both charity and forgiveness are valued among greater rhek society because of the discipline that they represent. Religious rheks then to have a very philosophical bent and despite their lawful manner, they are often found to be a part of obscure mystery cults or heterodox factions within religious movements. Inevitably though, they worship powers and demigods who are lawful or good in some way. 

Adventurers:

Rhek are bold and forwards in their actions, often becoming planer explorers and troubleshooters. Any class can be found amongst the rest, though the arcane spellcasters are less common than the divine, as are archery-focused warriors. 

Racial Traits

* +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Dexterity: Rheks are naturally introspective and have many redundant organs throughout their body, but this adds greatly to their already great mass, preventing them from reacting as quickly.  

* Monstrous Humanoid: As a monstrous humanoid, Rheks have darkvision to 60 feet.

* Medium: As Medium creatures, Rheks have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

* Gore: Rhek have a gore attack as a natural weapon which deals 1d4 damage. It is a primary weapon, or a secondary weapon if used with weapons.

* Instant Stabilization: Rhek automatically stabilize when they drop below 0 hit points. They still die when they have negative hit points equal to their constitution. This is a supernatural ability. 

* Spell-like Abilities: 3/day - detect chaos  

* Stability: Rheks gain +4 to their CMD when resisting bull rushes or trip attempts while standing on ground.