Each of the cornerstones of the Great Road’s got its own bloods. Baator’s home to the baatezu, the Abyss’s the den of the tanar’ri, Mechanus is run by the modrons, and so on. Any berk knows that. But the rarest and most silent of all these planar races are the rilmani, the high-ups of the Outlands. They’re the creatures of true neutrality, preserving its cause across the multiverse.
Some bashers might have a hard time understanding how it is that creatures like the rilmani can find anything to do with themselves. After all, neutrality is the absence of any other viewpoint, right? So, how can a cutter support the cause that ain’t a cause? The rilmani don’t care about law or chaos, they stand in the middle of good and evil, so what do they care about? What makes them tick?
The rilmani’ll answer that question straight-up, without their customary double-talk and deceitfulness. It’s all about the Balance, they’ll say. The universe exists because certain forces counteract each other. If there wasn’t any darkness, how could a cutter know light? What if the light grew so bright that all darkness everywhere ceased to be? Then light’d cease as well, the rilmani say. It’s the same with the Great Wheel. If one of the rim-planes were removed, there wouldn’t be a Great Wheel anymore. It’d be broken, and it couldn’t work.
As creatures of neutrality, the rilmani keep the Balance. Whenever one side or the other gets too strong, they start aiding the disadvantaged sods until things even out. Sometimes their aid is direct, but more often than not rilmani even things out by pointing cutters in the right direction and letting them solve their own problems. ’Course, the rilmani themselves aren’t entirely decided on the best way to address these issues, but that’s another story.
Like the other principal races of the planes, the rilmani, comprise several subspecies with similar powers, appearance, and beliefs. (Six subspecies are described in the upcoming pages: abiorachs, argenachs, aurumachs, cuprilachs, ferrumachs, and plumachs.) Rilmani appear human at first glance - far more so than archons or baatezu - but their skins’ve got a metallic sheen to them, and their eyes glow with pearly, opalescent light. More importantly, the rilmani’s presence tends to overwhelm lesser creatures. Like a deva’s aura of beauty and peace, or a tanar’ri’s malignance and horror, the rilmani’s tangible manifestation of reserve, watchfulness, and puissance is something even the most insensitive berk can’t miss.
Combat: All rilmani share several spell-like powers that may be employed at will. These include: continual light or darkness, dismissal, hold monster, know alignment (always active), polymorph self, and teleport without error. In addition, rilmani are capable of gating their fellows to their aid. (See the individual rilmani descriptions.)
All rilmani possess an innate telepathy ability that allows them to communicate with any intelligent creature. With nonintelligent monsters or normal monsters, the rilmani telapathy is empathic. Rilmani cannot be attacked by telepathic psionics, but they can be physically injured by psychokinetic or psychimetabolic powers. All rilmani can be damaged only by enchanted weapons and have no special vulnerability to silver or cold-wrought iron weapons.
Rilmani are affected by the following attack forms:
Planar Travel: Rilmani can travel to any of the Outer Planes or the Astral Plane freely, but they can’t enter the Prime Material Plane unless a creature of similar status is summoned at the same time. In other words, if a powerful prime-material mage summons a glabrezu tanar’ri, a window is opened by which a rilmani can enter that same world. There isn’t always a rilmani ready to drop what he’s doing and go investigate, but there’s always a chance that a rilmani’ll take an interest and “piggyback” on the other creature’s summoning just to keep an eye on what’s going on.
Rilmani can’t be summoned directly by any spell.
Rilmani and the Outlands: Most rilmani inhabit the regions of the Outlands that’re closest to the Spire. They’re found in the regions where most or all magic is negated. The rilmani home regions can’t be accesses from the Astral Plane, which probably explains why no cutter’s invented a spell for summoning the rilmani. Rilmani can be found farther away from the Spire, in the more heavily populated areaas of the Outlands, but they’re generally visitors there and don’t stay long.
The Concordanach: Once every hundred years, the wisest and most powerful individuals of each type of rilmani travel to the spire in the center of the Outlands to discuss the state of the Balance. Each of the rilmani views is represented, so the argenach delegate argues for more covert support to threatened causes, while the cuprilach and ferrumach representatives designate powerful creatures of extreme alignment who require elimination. However, since neutrality is the most apathetic and reactive of all the planar alignments, the Concordanach initiates change only in response to the direst threats.
Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:03:22 GMT
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