Monday, June 11, 2012


Most religious characters in Kurushat are worshippers of Yinigu, the god of the state religion of Kurushat. With the exception of possible divine spellcasting classes (depending on which rules in use) and the Juugashi, religious characters get no in-game benefit for being religious, of course, and Yinigu is not a comforting god who provides solace to his flock in any case.

Clerics of Yinigu tend to have domains that focus on hunting and running down of prey, war, and other acts of brutal aggression. They favor carrying flails to whip the faithful if they look like they need it. Many of these clerics are wandering pilgrims, but unlike in other lands, these pilgrims are not peaceful travelers. Many clerics of Yinigu are killed by villagers and townsfolk, because of their habit of brutally beating anyone who appears to not be showing proper deference to Yinigu. Of course, it is illegal to harm a cleric of Yinigu, but in secret, they are often in danger unless they travel in packs, or with Juugashi bodyguards.

Interestingly enough, the cult of Yinigu is not the original religion of the Kurushat people. Early in their expansion, the Kurushati conquered the city-state of Sinjagat, and it was a major cult in that city. Because it was the first major conquest of the growing empire, the Sinjagati are the most integrated "non-native" ethnicity within the empire, and few today make an ethnic distinction between them anymore. The cult has grown rapidly in numbers and prestige, and when the first khagan adopted it, Kajim Tokraas VII, it quickly vaulted itself to state religion.

The original religion in Jekara, however, was a form of ancestor worship. Really old noble houses from Jekara, and extremely traditionalist native Kurushati still practice this religion. In a D&D environment, I prefer to represent these worshippers with the Mortitheurge and Extoller classes (from Privateer Press' Monsternomicon vol. 2) but they could also be represented via clerics in a pinch.

The Juugashi are the special elite shock troops of the Khaganate of Kurushat.  The Juugashi are the Elect of Yinigu, special shock troops that have been selected via a painful and potentially fatal initiation ceremony to undergo a magical transformation to better resemble the god of their religion. Juugashi spend some of their time cloistered in special monasteries, but they also serve as elite troops on campaign, and as bodyguards for wandering clerics and nobles within the empire themselves.

It is illegal for all but a khan or other extremely highly placed noble to interfere with the Juugashi, so many of the common citizens of the Empire see them as little more than state-sponsored bandits, and want nothing to do with them if they can help it. Soldiers are more forgiving, as the Juugashi have a proven track record of "getting it done" when things get difficult.

In keeping with the nature of Yinigu, and the hyenas that they resemble, the Juugashi are brutal, aggressive and domineering.   As it looks, Juugashi are humans who have been magically cursed (or blessed, depending on your perspective) to be transformed into gnolls.

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