When Wizards of the Coast created their Magic of Incarnum splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, they created an enigmatic and mysterious race of reptilian humanoids called the mishtai. Long ago, this race sought to harness the power of the soul - incarnum - to evolve themselves, seeking to achieve perfection in form and mind. And then, somehow, they vanished. In their wake, they left two splintered races, their spiritual and maybe literal descendants: the Rilkan and the Skarn. Unfortunately, these shared origins do not breed familial love between the two races - in fact, they absolutely hate each other.
The rilkans are a race of libertines who reject the philosophy of the mishtai as a "false idol". As they see it, perfection is not a destination to be found, but something one achieves on the journey, and thusly one should cherish every moment of life one has. The most important things a typical rilkan can pursue are fun, music, beauty and gold, and that last one should serve the role of acquiring more of the first three. They excel as merchants and traders, and those who do not pursue incarnum magic naturally gravitate towards the bardic class.
It should be noted that they're not strictly hedonists: rilkans believe that experiencing the best of life is the purpose of life, which they define as heroic struggle, grand passion, and epic strife. This makes deities of wealth, beauty and love, and the stock villain of the corrupt merchant is almost unheard of amongst rilkan stories and songs.
Aside from their enmity for the skarn, rilkans want to be buds with everybody; they're not Chaotic Stupid enough to endanger their lives, but so long as you'll live in peace with them, they'll have you. One famous rilkan city has a Guildmaster for the Sewer Worker's Guild who is a sapient Gelatinous Cube.
This willingness to embrace other races may stem from their unique power, the legacy of the mishtai's ancient experiments: rilkans are able to draw upon the collective knowledge of their people through the access to the souls of all past rilkans. The more soulmelds they wield, the stronger this tie to their racial memory-pool becomes. This is the source of their enmity for the skarns: whilst they shake their heads at the skarn's desperate quest for perfection, their rage is stoked by stories which claims that the two skarn once produced their own version of the Knowledge Pool, one focusing on warfare and combat skills, but this source of knowledge was destroyed forever when the skarns spiritually sundered themselves away from the rilkans. That loss incenses the rilkans, who believe it makes their own souls incomplete, and breeds an icy disdain for their distant kin.
In contrast to their lore, which is actually kind of interesting if you dig into it, rilkans suffer from being amongst the sillier looking D&D races. A rilkan resembles a human, save for the fact that they have bands of brightly colored scales around their throats and forearms (forming a sort of natural bracer from wrist to elbow).
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
- Base speed 30 feet
- Humanoid with the Reptilian subtype
- Racial Knowledge: All Knowledge skill checks are treated as Trained Skill Checks for a rilkan, even if it has no ranks in the skill. Additionally, a rilkan receives a +1 competence bonus on all Knowledge checks and Bardic Knowledge checks, which increases by a further +1 per 2 Soulmelds sported.
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks.
- Racial Aid: A rilkan that succeeds on an Aid Another check adds +3 instead of the normal +2.
- Favored Class: Incarnate