Vistani- gypsy nomads, strange dialect of common. It appears they share many traditions with humans of the Westlands. Song, dance, and divination using tarokka cards are key elements of culture. They live in communal tents. These tents are constructed of heavy hide of some as yet unknown creature, and not fabrics that you would see in human encampments in the Middlemarsh. Food is seasoned with complex blend of wild varieties of thyme, mint, something like cardomom, and ginger. I would not have expected all of these to have grown natively on the island, nor would I have expected to find human nomads here. They drink a dark green liquor that has a nose of dill, and packs a punch of pickle brine and hemp, which masks the astringency in a somewhat unpleasant way—but drinking it seems to be a right of passage of sorts among guests. Their presence confirms what I read in the library at the Great University. At some point, some 3,000 years ago, Sri Raji participated in trade with the outside world.
Mists of Sri Raji-at some point before the Great Disaster, the island became enshrouded by mists which made navigation to and from the island impossible. Any outsiders that somehow found themselves in Sri Raji were taken before the Maharaja and never seen again. My initial intuition was that the mists were magical in nature, but that does not appear to be the case. This actually makes sense. Early gnomes sought to use natural features of the land to camouflage their dwellings, and while they were proficient in illusion magics to obscure their location—it was only used as a last resort; as permanent illusions emitted a great deal of magical energy which served as a beacon for their enemies.
Maharaja Arijani- Early texts describe him as the son of a living Avatar of the god Ravanna, and a priestess of Kali. He was hidden by his mother amongst the peasant caste, and eventually led a rebellion that swept the island. According to legend, he trapped his father on this plane and was granted a wish to spare his life. In that moment he wished for command over the island allied himself with the Dark Sisterhood (a group of assassins serving the goddess Kali), went back on his word and killed his father, cursing the island and its ruler to millennia of isolation. According to our source in Pakat (a band of halfling lycanthropes that call themselves Ajiht), the Maharaja is now a living avatar of the goddess Kali. He is never seen in public, but rumors persist that he is quite handsome. Representations of his countenance are seen in artwork, reliefs, tapestry, and currency throughout the city, but in every instance his face is obscured by a shroud…much like the Mists that encircle the island.
Halflings- They are several feet tall, taller than the average gnome, and are generally of medium build. Perhaps they were distant cousins of a shared terrestrial common ancestor?
It is my belief that they are a race entirely unique to the island of Sri Raji. The architecture in the city of Tvashtri is most similar to drawings I have seen of Amaran cities. The technique and skill required to build and maintain these structures is beyond anything I have seen in the Westlands. Their cuisine is nuanced and refined, and represents influences from all over the Urth, which belies a civilization that once had mastery of the sea and took part in trade.
Naga- Intelligent race of serpent people. I have only heard of them in myths and did not believe they existed until today. They spoke the common tongue, and had their own clothes, jewelry, and adornments, as well as a variety of magical scrolls and potions. I can only imagine how they came to be here…perhaps a labyrinth far beneath the island?
Bahru- Abandoned city on the outskirts of the temple of Arijani. Too dangerous to approach at this time, artwork depicting man transforming into tiger on temple reliefs within Bahru.
Lycanthropy- A unique form of lycanthropy exists here, in which those afflicted take the form of the tiger. This transformation is depicted in artwork in several parts of the island.
The Ajiht we believe are the source of this infection. Upon our arrival, we were beset by one, which managed to infect a member of our party. It is said the only cure is death by silver weapon, or destroying the source of the strain.
Ravannah’s Bane- A tiger statuette given to us by the Ajiht, it is actually some form of metal alloy that was recast from an arrowhead. It is said that it has the power to kill the Maharaja, who is by all accounts, a living god.