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Ra-Khati

Ra-Khati is the most unusual of all lands surrounding the Endless Waste. Fearful of outsiders, Ra-Khati has isolated itself from all outside contact. Once traders went to Kushk to buy the gems and wool of that land, but even this trade has come to an end.

(Ra-Khati is described in greater detail in the encyclopedia and in the adventure FRA1: Stormriders)

Hidden in the Katakoro Shan, the kingdom of Ra-Khati is a mysterious and isolated land. It has a fanatic fear of strangers and has gone to great extremes to keep its existence secret. Because of this, little is known of Ra-Khati in the outside world, which is just the way the ruler of Ra-Khati wants things. The Gogrus river is the only known route into the interior of Ra-Khati.

It was not always this way. Ra-Khati once traded with the outside world, perhaps not openly and freely, but at least it had contact through the city of Kushk. Ail this changed, however, when Solon attacked Ra-Khati, hoping to conquer it. Bolstered by the might of the purple dragon, Gaumahavi (see Monstrous Compendium pages), Solon destroyed Kushk and nearly succeeded in its goal. Ra-Khati was only saved when the Dali Lama, the ruler of Ra-Khati, defeated the purple dragon in the skies over Saikhoi, the capital. The destruction wrought reinforced the people’s fear of outsiders. Kushk was left deserted, the Great Chain Bridge across the Jumpa Chasm was left broken, and the borders were closed to foreigners. To this day, Ra-Khati has effectively maintained its isolation.

Strangers who enter Ra-Khati are offered three choices. They can remain forever inside the borders, becoming citizens. They can die, attempting to flee. Perhaps worst of all, they can let their tongues be cut out, thus preventing them from telling the world about Ra- Khati. This last choice is sometimes chosen by the pilgrims following the sacred sources of the Gaya.

Ra-Khati is a theocracy, a land ruled by the lamas. They rule their people justly and well, although their laws are strict and sometimes arbitrary. The leader of the country is the Dali Lama, the high priest of the land. He resides in an impressive palace in Saikhoi. The capital itself sits on a rugged hill between the Two Sacred Lakes. The Dali Lama spends nearly all his time in contemplation and is seldom seen by the common people.

Every important town in Ra-Khati has a monastery of some size. The monks of the monastery both pray to their padhrasattvas— guardian gods—and rule the people. The latter is not difficult. The people are left to themselves for the most part. They are too busy trying to eke out a life from the poor and rugged land of the mountains to stir up much mischief. Contrary to legends and tales, Ra-Khati is not a rich land. It does not have the large areas of pastures like Khazari, the foreign trade of Semphar, or the high civilization of Shou Lung. It is a land of rocky and narrow mountain valleys, rushing rivers, landslides, and glaciers. The people raise barley, millet, sheep, and yaks. When not in the field, they are gathering firewood from the mountains in preparation for the long winter to come.

The monks of Ra-Khati follow a version of the Path of Enlightenment common to much of the Oriental Lands. They have added many protective gods—padhrasattvas—to the basic beliefs of the Path. Each monastery is dedicated to a particular padhrasattva, although all are worshipped by the monks. While there is no hostility between the different monasteries, every monk takes pride in his monastery over all others. The monks are assisted in their duties by sohei. The sohei handle most of the administrative duties of ruling the country — collecting taxes, keeping the peace, tracking down criminals, and defending the countryside from monsters.