So, it’s probably about time we talk about rakshasas again. Big spoilers about what it can do below. If you’re a player, keep in mind that the following information can’t be unlearned!
The last time we did a study of what the rakshasa could do, Vax, Keyleth, Tibs, Kashaw, and Thorbir were hunting it among Vasselheim’s refuse. This time, let’s focus more on… well, what the heck it’s doing right now.
Life and Death
Let’s start with the tiger in the room: a couple of the players commented on it, and several critters have asked us: “That can’t be Hotis, right? He was dead, they took his eyes and stuff! Is that a mate, or what’s going on?”
Fun fact about fiends: fiends fought on the Material Plane don’t die. Instead, they are merely relocated to their lower plane of origin (Abyss for demons, Nine Hells for devils, etc). In the case of Rakshasas (which, as of 5e, are considered a type of devil), this transition period is incredibly painful, and can take as short as a couple months or as long as a couple years. During this time, they remain trapped in agony as their body slowly reforms, with nothing but the memory of their former life to reflect on.
Naturally, a rakshasa’s first thought would be that of revenge. Once the transition period is complete, a simple use of Plane Shift (which you’ll remember a rakshasa can cast once per day) can bring them back to the Material Plane, where they commence planning the downfall of the individual or individuals who killed them. In the event that their killer is already dead, the loved ones or descendants make an equally delicious target.
Another fun fact about fiends: fiends can only be permanently killed on their plane of origin. If a party could either convince a rakshasa to battle on the Nine Hells or track it down while it was reforming (all the while battling off residents and the effects of the plane), they could ensure that said rakshasa’s wrath would not come again.
Aw, he’s just being friendly! Art by Fl0werb0ys.
Several people have also asked if Hotis can be expected to be more powerful. We find this unlikely, as the lore states nothing of the subject. Rakshasas are very cunning, and will only engage in a battle they feel they have an adequate advantage for going in. Between his immunity to low level spells and invulnerability to nonmagical weapons, Hotis has little to worry about defensively, especially once the trap is sprung.
Offensively speaking, rakshasas are just as brutal in physical combat as they are effective spellcasters. Their claws carry a curse of their own, which are especially dangerous if the victim cannot escape and has no means to return damage. Even if the victim walks away, they may find that their dreams are filled with horrifying images that prevent them from getting any rest whatsoever for as long as the curse remains with them.
Hotis has clearly been watching Vax for a very long time, and has said as much. By inviting Vax late at night, gifting him a stylish robe, and locking them both up high, Hotis has effectively isolated, disarmed, and unarmored him. Vax can only hope that his Wisdom Saving Throw can beat a DC of 18 (with advantage, thanks to his elven heritage’s defense against charm effects). Besides invisibility, true sight, and plane shift, the most worrisome abilities Hotis has at its disposal is mind-control spells (Dominate Person x1, Charm Person x 3, Suggestion x 3).
BUT WHAT ABOUT GILMORE
We are going to refrain from publicly speculating about the current state of our favorite flamboyant arcane entrepreneur. We’re anxious to find out, just as much as everyone else!