Curse of the Crimson Throne
An agent of evil, disguised.
A creation of an evil race known as rakshasa, a raktavarna is a sleeper agent designed to spy on unsuspecting treasure stealers. Rakshasas’ love of gold is timeless. Something about the way the blood of a fresh sacrifice clings to its lustrous surface drives rakshasas to distraction, and some sages claim the fiends invented coins as a means of controlling men’s souls. Whether this is true or not, rakshasas definitely invented some of the most sinister and creative uses for them. Raktavarnas are one such diabolic creation. All smoke, blood, and gold, these wretched things are the souls of once-regal giant serpents mingled with the heart’s blood of a conquered prince or great warrior. The ceremony for creating a raktavarna is complex, and the confluence of desecrated incense and heart-ripping sacrifice over a bed of coins spent on warfare produces a twisted monster whose only will is to serve its rakshasa master as eyes, ears, and fangs.
It’s possible, and not uncommon, for a raktavarna to change masters. They are every bit as greedy as their maker, and if a new treasure hunter or cutthroat manages to usurp ownership, there is a chance that the hidden creature will go along with the scheme.
To create a raktavarna, a rakshasa must cut the heart from the chest of a prince, princess, or warlord. He must then immediately feed the still-beating organ to a snake—the traditional snake being the deadly emperor cobra. The snake itself is then ritually slaughtered and its blood drained into a gold brazier, which is used to burn exotic incense gathered from secret ledges in the Outer Rifts, where demons caper and devil-ghosts howl.
This particular specimen died as soon as it was discovered. This means that it’s true owner willed it to be so in order to prevent it from taking on a new owner if subdued…. As it leaves no trace, it’s difficult to discern who its master really is.