I know they seem to be refugees from west of the Bandit States. But what do we know of their appearance, language, and their reason to migrate?
We do? Remind me where them being from “west of the Bandit States” is from?
There’s not much west of the Bandit States before you hit the Cliffs…
Most of that came from this thread I believe:
Personally I took the idea of civilized Lask and the shugenja drake worshipers and moved it into the Drake’s Dominion down in the Drakes Tail Peninsula. I already had Selbia and Cielbia down there along with their faithful in the Sistermoon Mountains. Rather than the big bad being either of them however, the big bad the Lask were worried about is a being known as the Shadow Drake (a shadow shifter and one of only four shifters known to have completed the transformation).
The only bit of “canon” info we truely have on the lask is from the Crimson Legion, where they are described as a New Race.
To me that means that there’s not enough of them to build an empire, much less for them to establish one so far away to the west, depending of course on the time that had passed since their creation, as they may not have had a chance to stray very far from their origin point of the Pristine Tower.
That being said, there is nothing that outright refute the possibility of such empire. After all our source is Rikus, so his knowledge of the may be limited to what he was told and believed.
Right. We’re starting to work on a New Races book and one of the things that came up is the fact that people in Dark Sun basically assume all weird or otherwise unknown races are New Races (spawned by the PT), rather then simply ‘new’ (previously unseen) races.
If the info comes from Rikus, rather then from narration, the truth is anybody’s guess.
What do they like look like?
That’s how I run it as well. The Tyr region was pretty isolated, not just geographically but even the folks who could easily leave usually didn’t bother for various reasons. From the outside looking in, the Dragon was a heck of a deterrent too.
Some very basic notes I had about the Lask based on ProfessorZik-Chil’s work that I adapted.
Civilized Lask live in the western and southern area of the Drake’s Peninsula known as the Drake’s Dominion in a scattered collection of 4 small cities (under 5000) and a few dozen villages (~200) with dozens of small herding tribes following the old ways and raising animals for meat as the Lask are primarily carnivorous (require half calories from meat like the Dray)
Historically the tribes have wandered the lands south of Deadlands and west of the Ghost Rivers since the Cleansing Wars. They do not have any stories from before the Great Migration and did not even have a name for themselves, only calling themselves people.
Many generations ago, one began to conquer the other tribes using terrible powers. As she gained more and more power she raised a great black city that lies in the center of the shadow lands and demanded worship from her fellows claiming to be a Shadow Drake. From this place of power darkness has spread, turning her followers into foul creatures of shadow (Black-Touched, Siel Demons, and mutants). As one tribe after another fell to her the great Lask rallied the people and waged a war against the Shadow Drake. They failed. As soon as the scouts stepped foot into the Shadowlands they began to change into demons and turned of their friends, dragging them into the Shadowlands to be changed. Lask and his warriors retreated, most deserting shortly after and scattering to the winds to get as far from the Shadow Drake as possible.
With few remaining troops Lask turned to the greatest source of power in the Drake’s Dominion, the drakes themselves. Allying with those who worshiped them, he promised he and his followers would serve them in exchange for the power to defeat the Shadow Drake. The bargain was struck and with their newfound power and the Drake’s providing support they were able to prevent the Shadowlands from growing any further.
The people took the name Lask in his honor, built a city dedicated to each of the True Drakes and built The Wall to protect the new empire. As time went on the Lask organized into clans based on the elements of the drakes, Water, Fire, Air, and Earth. The para-elements were forbidden. A class of nobles took shape made up of decedents of the original warriors of Lask (becoming Samurai) and the drake worshipers (Shugenja and Drake Guardians). A powerful warrior nation now mans the walls against the Shadow Drake and her demons.
Over time those who did not fit into the rigid military and religious structure of the Lask Empire and those who were refused by the True Drakes began to worship the para-elemental drakes and have been a thorn in the side of the Empire who must focus most of it’s resources on the stalemate with the Shadowlands lest the Shadow Drake overwhelm them.
The Shadow Drake (Defiler5/Cerebremancer 2/Shaper 5/Constructor 10/Ectopic Adept 5/Shadow Wizard 10/Shadow Shifter 5) leads a realm of Siel Demons, Black Touched Lask, Psi-shadows and other shadow creatures along with captured Lask used as slave labor and food. The lands feel cold and in places the Black leaks into the land but it is not doused in shadow, only at the border exists as wall of shadow roughly 1 mile deep. The Shadow Drake is spending less and less time on Athas and instead is exploring deeper into the Black leaving the Shadowlands to be ruled by a coven of 6 Shadow Wizards, each trying to become the next Shadow Drake. While nominally working together in reality they constantly undermine each other.
General classes used by the Lask are Samurai, Shugenja, Psychic Warriors, and Psions for the nobles, Fighter, Rogue, Warrior, Expert and Commoners for the non-nobles with Barbarians, Rangers, and Psychic Adepts for the tribes. Clerics for the rebels. Few multi-class but can prestige class with the most common being Drake Guardian or warrior type classes. Wizards are greatly feared outside the Shadowlands and tightly controlled within them.
Lask prefer bone weapons, nobles are the only ones allowed to use swordlike weapons, general army uses pole arms and blunts, common people and tribes use spears and claw covers that act as natural weapons and require no proficiency. Ranged weapon of choice is similar to an Ahguda, all Lask are trained in it’s use and treat it as a martial weapon.
I’m actually working on the Drake Tail Peninsula for the Lost Lands of Athas series of Gazzeteers, and was fishing for ideas on what to put on the steppe east of the sistermoon mountains, so a lask land is an interesting option, and so is the shadow drake.
FYI, the gazzeteers are supposed to be in the style of the Wanderer’s Journal, meant to give readers an idea of what’s there while leaving enough room for DMs’ imagination to run wild.
Feel free to steal, use, or adapt as you see fit.
In my own world I’ve got the eastern side Sistermoon Mountains populated with small villages and a single small city dedicated to Selbia and Cielbia with the Ghost Rivers basically impassable. They are deep canyons in the land that in daylight are completely empty but at night fill with a blue light and fishlike creatures of all kinds. Characters took drowning damage but could not swim, and the ghost fish were incorporeal but could still attack them. Undead Sprites prowled day and night within a few miles of the Ghost Rivers, protecting the water sphere holding the twins.
The Wall was in the northern section between the Sistermoon Mountains and Drake Dominion mountain range with the Shadowlands being just to the north with the city in a valley.
This kept them all in pretty close proximity to the Twins, gave them a decent amount of space to roam and hopefully wouldn’t interfere with the two cities further southwest that others may have done something with and I could incorporate later. Since my PCs didn’t follow up on any of the threads going to the west or further south I didn’t plan much else.