A rakshasa maharaja (sometimes maharaja rakshasa,1 rakshasa maharajah,2 or just maharaja1) is the highest rank a rakshasa can hope to attain; they are the pinnacle of the rakshasa's strict caste system. These multi headed, earthbound fiends are capable combatants, and easily a match for all but the most ancient dragon.3
Despite their incredible power, rakshasa maharajas look very human normally resembling a Vudrani human, though they are normally very physically attractive. Every rakshasa has one element in their physiology that is reversed: normally their hands, but sometimes their limbs, will bend the wrong way; or their ears will face backwards. Rakshasa maharajas are no exception to this reversing of features. However, the biggest divergence from their human appearance is their heads: each rakshasa maharaja has multiple heads. In addition to their human head, they have several animal heads; each of these animal heads is an animal native to Vudra, normally a big cat or snake.245 Due to these multiple heads, rakshasa maharajas have all-round vision.1
Habitat and ecology
Rakshasa maharajas are rare creatures, the pinnacle of rakshasa's caste: only a handful of maharajas will rise in any century, their numbers are never great, and all are destined for great, terrible deeds. A rakshasa can only ascend to the rank of maharaja after living several lives as samrata, the highest caste in rakshasa society. The process of actual transformation remains a mystery even to most rakshasas, but this process causes their power to increase and they gain additional heads.3
Rakshasa maharajas can be found wherever their are mortals to be manipulated and hedonistic experiences to be indulged. As a result, they can be found in a huge variety of locations, the only constant with a rakshasa maharaja lair is their level of wealthy excess. Rakshasa maharajas can change shape to assume any humanoid form to better infiltrate such societies.2 As immortal creatures with millennia of experience manipulating mortals, there are few riches that they cannot afford, no treasure too expensive, no artifact too rare; these lairs are typically built and furnished over centuries.3
Rakshasa maharajas are aware that they are the target of many foes, like rivals, adventurers or disloyal servants. To thwart any challenges to their rule, they employ various devious methods and often travel endlessly between their many palaces.6
As a maharaja continues to grow in might over many lifetimes, its powers outstrip those of its peers, potentially resulting in its ascent to the rank of rajadhiraja: a king of kings. No two rajadhirajas are the same and each possesses chosen abilities aligned to the philosophy they follow and master. All rajadhirajas have power over life and death; they are able to intervene in the cycle of reincarnation, even allowing a rajadhiraja to choose the form that the newly reincarnated takes. Brutal rajadhirajas are known to slay their own allies in battle in order to reincarnate them as a new form in which to better continue the fight.6
- “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 3, 226–227. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Bestiary” in Escape from Old Korvosa, 86. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Bestiary” in Escape from Old Korvosa, 87. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “The Red Mantis” in Escape from Old Korvosa, 61. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “The Red Mantis” in Escape from Old Korvosa, 62. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 3, 227. Paizo Inc., 2011 .