Vol. 115: The ShaSha
At a Glance: The ShaSha are a tall race of beings who live in close relation to the Tiki. They are a multiverse traveling people who are responsible for the Moai sculptures that exist on multiple worlds throughout the multiverse. They ride giant sharks on land and sea.
Appearance and Lifestyle: The ShaSha (Sometimes called the Rapa Nui or Moai) are a simple people who wield great power. Their faces look very much like (almost exactly like) the Moai statues found throughout the multiverse. Here on this Earth, you may also know these as the Easter Island Statues. The ShaSha are generally considered tall among humanoids standing between 6 to 8 feet tall. Some may even reach 9 feet. Most fall in at about the 7-foot mark.
Their skin is dark running from grays to blacks to dark blues and purples. Some have a slight marbling to their skin. Their skin is soft to the touch like soft marble but is quite hard as well. If you have ever touched a marble sculpture that is exactly how it feels. They have shadowed deep set eyes and prominent brows. Their heads are completely flat on top. They are completely hairless from head to toe.
ShaSha prefer to live by oceans. Their children are bound to the ocean as we will learn about later. They are excellent fishermen and swimmers. A ShaSha can swim at about 3 times the speed of other humanoids. Despite their marble like skin, they float easily in the water like other humanoids do. They can hold their breath for 10 minutes even at a young age and adult ShaSha can hold their breath for 25-35 minutes easily. Up to 45 minutes if pressed.
They dress in simple clothing and can easily go nude. This is not always appropriate as some races they deal with are quite prudish and ShaSha genitals are quite large...
So, they dress like beach dwellers wearing simple swimsuits or loin cloths. They are almost always shirtless, men and women. They are mainly vegetarians except for fish and rarely chicken, pork, and eggs, but these only on special occasions. They do not eat red meat. They love fruit and fruit juices and coconut water. They are experts at making delicious mixed fruit juice drinks. Some of their fruit concoctions can heal or give other magical boons.
For their entire history they have lived alongside the Tiki. They are they only known race that can see a Tiki without their mask without killing the Tiki.
To visitors the ShaSha may seem dull and simple minded. They take life at a very slow pace and are never in a hurry. They are in fact quite intelligent but say very little especially to strangers. This also may make them seem unfriendly to outsiders, but they prefer to welcome strangers with actions not words. A wayward traveler stumbling onto their village will be met with fresh fruit juice and smoked fish before greetings are even made. They are long lived, reaching ages of up to 250 or more is not uncommon.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of their culture is their connection to sharks. All ShaSha are bonded with a shark companion. At about age 5 a ShaSha child will begin to feel a call to the sea. By age 6 or 7 they will be compelled to spend 4 or more hours a day playing in the ocean waters. It is a beautiful part of their culture to see families on the beach every day and children playing in the water. What is disturbing to visitors however is how many sharks are in the water. The coast will be full of them. But sharks never attack the ShaSha. Even their blood will not cause a frenzy if it enters the water. These sharks are here for a reason. To bond with the ShaSha children.
By age 8 or 9 the ShaSha children will begin playing with the sharks. Riding them thru the sea, nuzzling them, playing games. Eventually a child will single out one shark to bond with. This process takes about a year. The child will eventually begin trying to surf on the back of the shark. During this time the shark will change too. They drastically increase in size to make it easier for the child to stand on them. They will also drastically increase in intelligence becoming as smart as a very smart dog or even smarter. Finally, around age 10 the bond will be complete. The shark and child will be fully bonded. Even closer than a wizard and their familiar. They will share each other's thoughts, emotions, and senses. And perhaps the most dramatic change will be that the shark can now fly and live outside of the water.
ShaSha surf on their shark companions everywhere. Throughout town and in the water. These sharks only need to be wetted once a day with about 10 gallons of saltwater to be ok. The ShaSha take care of this easily because by age 11 ShaSha are able to produce 10 +1d4 gallons of saltwater a day from their hands. This cannot necessarily be used as an attack. The water does not blast out of their hands. It more coats them allowing the ShaSha to give their shark a comfortable saltwater massage. This is usually not needed however as most ShaSha will live by the sea their entire lives, so the sharks simply swim in the ocean whenever they please. (Note: ShaSha that choose to go out and explore the multiverse produce more saltwater as they level up. And additional 1d4 gallons can be produced every 2 levels. But this provides very little practical help. The water is not potable as it is saltwater, and the shark does not require additional water as it matures. However, being able to produce such a sheer volume of water may have applications for ShaSha and their companions who are clever and think outside the box)
ShaSha are also compelled to build Moai statues wherever they are. The compulsion is ongoing with multiple statues constantly in the works. Not even the ShaSha know why they continue to build them. When asked directly they will offer responses like, "The stone is always calling." or "The faces are always there." A ShaSha village that has existed in one spot for many generations will be filled with Moai statues. (Note: This compulsion does not go away with ShaSha who chooses an adventuring lifestyle. It is sort of on the backburner. But if a ShaSha and their party is left for any significant amount of time in one place they may attempt to begin a statue. All ShaSha have stone carving and sculpting as skills automatically and instinctively by age 12 at 80% +1% per level. Though they will almost never sculpt anything other than Moai. It should also be noted that they do not feel compelled to finish every statue they begin. The multiverse is littered with 1/2 finished Moai some still embedded in to quarry walls or mountain sides. When asked why they don’t mind leaving them unfinished most reply "there will always be more." As such, adventuring ShaSha may start several Moai in their lifetimes but not necessarily finish any.
To the ShaSha the multiverse is a given. In fact, it is very much a part of their lives. When a ShaSha village has the appropriate number of Moai statues (Only they seem to know how many this is for any given place.) They will begin speaking with the Tiki who always live nearby about moving to a new location. But very rarely is this a location on the same world. And only 50% of the time will it be a location in the same universe! When the time is right all the ShaSha will pack up everything they own and they and about 50% of the Tiki (About 1/2 of the Tiki will always remain behind. For this reason not every Tiki village will have ShaSha but all ShaSha villages will have Tiki) will begin a long intricate ritual to open a portal to a new home. The ritual takes about 3 days start to finish. A massive stone magic circle is constructed. During this time some ShaSha will begin looking to the heavens. Exactly what they are looking for is unknown. Near the end of the second day the chanting begins. By the 3rd morning a small rift will begin to open. And by the night of the 3rd day a gigantic rift will appear. It will persist for 24 hours during which time the ShaSha and Tiki who are leaving say their goodbyes and move through to their new home.
Powers & Abilities: Some of these have been mentioned above. The ShaSha's hard skin makes them take 1/2 damage from slashing attacks. Their punches and kicks also do +1d8 damage.
ShaSha are +1 to wisdom but are -25% to speed when on foot.
It may appear that ShaSha can open rifts to new worlds easily, but this is absolutely not the case. An individual ShaSha could never hope to open a rift. Even a village can only do it when "the time is right" The Moai statues they create are powerful mana batteries. It is the power in these statues that they use to open the rifts that take them to their new homes. It should be noted that if a ShaSha/Tiki village is attacked that they can pull from the statues power to attack and defend themselves too. For this reason, it is usually a very bad idea to attack one of their villages head on.
ShaSha can be wizards or psionic users, but this is VERY rare. 99% of the time if a ShaSha is a psionic user or a mage it will mean their shark companion died while they were still quite young, so they instinctively took up other pursuits. Almost all of these mages will be water elemental mages. All of them will be foreboding and morose. Living a life watching your friends and family with their shark companions and knowing that loss makes these ShaSha dark and depressed souls.
It is not easy to kill a ShaSha's shark companion. They have gigantic HP pools and heal rapidly. If a ShaSha senses their shark has been gravely injured they will always retreat. They will defend their sharks as they would defend their children. With their lives. If a shark reaches zero hit points it does not die but instead turns to stone. This stone shark can be revived eventually by the ShaSha through 1d6 days of constant saltwater massage and chanting. If, however the stone shark is shattered, or if more than a month passes, the shark will truly die. If this happens then ShaSha enters a deep depression. This can last for years. They also gain a mixture of phobias and insanities (1d4). They will have these the rest of their lives. If the ShaSha is 25 years old or younger they may begin to develop psionic abilities or water elemental magic abilities. If they are older than this, they will simply be dark depressed souls who exist at the edge of their village pitied by all. The suicide rate for these poor individuals is very high.
Convexly if the ShaSha dies and the shark lives 2 eventualities are common. (Note the sharks defend the ShaSha as fiercely as the ShaSha defend them. They will fight to the death to protect the ShaSha they are bonded too) Most commonly if the ShaSha dies the shark will become depressed and will return to the sea never to leave again. They will slowly lose their ability to fly and slowly lose much of their intelligence. These sharks never lose their love for the ShaSha and the Tiki and will sometimes remain along the coast but will shun any contact with other ShaSha or Tiki. Over about a decade they will drift further and further offshore until one day they disappear. No one knows where they go.
The second option is much more... terrifying. A small number of sharks become intensely angry at the loss of their ShaSha. They return to the sea angry and boiling with rage. These sharks double or even triple in size. They call these frightening sharks Crupt Kun. They become terrors of the sea attacking ships and raiding coasts, attacking and eating innocent people. Somewhat surprisingly these sharks will still never attack a ShaSha or a Tiki. In fact, in some cases a Tiki Or ShaSha may be able to quell the Crupt Kun temporarily, sending them back into the ocean. Crupt Kun leave the shore of their home upon their ShaSha's death heading for new shores or the open sea. They will continue living in hate and attacking anything they can until they die.
Luckily all these occurrences are quite rare. Most ShaSha will never leave their village so the danger to themselves and their sharks is minimal. And for those that strike out on their own for lives of adventure, they will develop new skills greatly increasing the survivability of themselves and their shark companions.
All Shark companions (Also called Ami Kun) can fly at all times. They are surfed on by the ShaSha thru the air with ease. Ami Kun can fly as high as any bird and just as fast. But they spend most of their time a few feet off the ground, gently floating steeds being air surfed on by their ShaSha as they meander through town. They are unrivaled swimmers reaching speeds of 100 mph regularly. ShaSha traveling by sea will hold their breaths and the dorsal fin of their shark as it dives underwater and carries them both with great speed to their destination.
Ami Kun share a telepathic connection with their ShaSha and can take commands this way. They can also share senses between each other. Ami Kun are VERY intelligent and can and do make decisions on their own. In times of war, it is not uncommon to see a school of Ami Kun working together on their own toward a common objective. The range of the telepathic bond between Ami Kun and ShaSha is 100 miles. If this bond is broken both will become nervous and on edge until it is reestablished.
Ami Kun usually specialize in 1 of 3 aspects. Generally an Ami Kun will take on the aspect of the family they are in. If the mother and father both have Ami Kun with the same aspect their child's Ami Kun will almost always have that aspect. If the parents have differently aspected Ami Kun the child’s Ami Kun will be one of the two.
These are the aspects of the Ami Kun:
Protector Aspect: These Ami Kun are mobile tanks. They gain impressive regenerative abilities and a staggering HP pool. They regenerate 1d6 per round while in combat and 2d6 per round out of combat. Ice and Water attacks against them do NO DAMAGE. These Ami Kun also double in size. They are sometimes called the Long Boards of the Ami Kun. They can perform a devastating dive bomb attack once every 3 rounds. For one round they soar high into the air (Note: this attack is performed with the ShaSha still onboard!) The second round they then divebomb directly at a target. Upon impact they deal 3d6 damage! While taking 2d6 damage themselves. The force of the impact is entirely absorbed by the Ami Kun so the ShaSha has no problem remaining on board. The Ami Kun must rest 1 round before this attack can be attempted again.
A ShaSha riding this type of Ami Kun can attempt to block almost any attack with the shark's body using it as a living shield. As they level up, they continue to gain more HP and become better and better at blocking and absorbing attacks.
Water Aspect: These Ami Kun specialize in long distance water attacks. They can fire huge torrents of water from their mouths with impressive range and accuracy. Most of these attacks have a range of 100 feet! And are +1 to hit. These sharks give up much of their HP in exchange for speed and dexterity. They are +1 to dodge at level 1 and help themselves and their ShaSha Riders to avoid attacks. As they level up, they become more nimble helping them to dodge attacks better. They also gain the ability to "buff" their water attacks with various effects. Slippery Shark Oil, Acidic Water, Healing Water, even water filled with sharp shark teeth can all be achieved at higher levels.
Watcher Aspect: This aspect is the rarest. These Ami Kun have the ability to carry their ShaSha super high into the air! They and their ShaSha gain telescopic vision. These pairs are used as scouts as they can see everything for great distances around their village. They also possess the ability "Mass Telepathy." They can use this ability to communicate with their entire village (Or adventuring party!) about what they see on the ground. (Note: The ShaSha can only use mass telepathy and telescopic vision while riding their Ami Kun.) At higher levels these Ami Kun and their ShaSha can even survive in outer space! The Ami Kun's magic protects them both from the vacuum and allows them both to survive without oxygen for hours at a time! As such these duos are often used as messengers to reach faraway places. As they level up these Ami Kun can reach incredible speeds the higher they go. At very high levels they can transverse the globe of an average planet in a few hours!
Finally these ShaSha gains the ability "Telepathic Shout" but at a greatly increased range and only while riding their Ami Kun. This allows the ShaSha to attack a single target with this shout from very far away. (Telepathic Shout: The caster can unleash a terrible psionic shout into their target's mind. This shout does 2d6 damage and cripples the target for 1d4 rounds (Wis Save for ½ damage and cripple time.) Additionally, the target is psionically deafened for 2d6 rounds. A target cannot be hit by this attack more than once every 15 minutes. Being hit by this attack makes them immune to additional attacks during this time)
History: The History of the ShaSha is directly tied to the Tiki. They seem to have emerged very early on in the history of the multiverse. The problem is most of the ancient races have no history of them. This may be due to their semi solitary nature. It's not that they are unfriendly. They are just very very content living their quiet lives by the sea. Regardless, their own histories place them as truly ancient. The ShaSha and the Tiki both tell of a "Cosmic Volcano" that nearly ripped apart the multiverse itself! The ancient legends say that it was the Tiki and The ShaSha who quelled this multiverse destroyer. The Elves, Trementians, and the Swaft do have some very ancient texts that hint to this event but it is curious that something so large did not show more prominently in their historical record or legends. The reason for this is not clearly understood.
As for the remainder of their history it is known that the ShaSha have spent the entirety of their existence moving from world to world, universe to universe. Mostly keeping to themselves but occasionally helping other races they come across. Humans especially seem to have benefited greatly from their tutelage having been taught math, science, and agriculture by this gentle people on many different worlds. But other races as well: The Merfolk, Blobkin, Dryads, Nymphs and more all have tales of these tall kind beings helping them in their ancient histories. What their future holds remains to be seen but it goes without saying that they will continue to remain a force for good where ever they go... or surf.