The Rhennee firmly believe they are from another world known as “Rhop.” Some more skeptical scholars believe Rhop was a large island continent, far removed from the Flanaess. The distance is so great that it could easily lead anyone to believe that Rhop was another world.
Natural talents possessed by the Rhennee strongly suggest to scholars that the Rhennee have lived on, or near, large bodies of water for the race’s entire existence. Some sages believe that Rhop was – in reality – some type of “Elder Being” possessed of supernatural powers and quite possibly resembled some type of turtle-like creature. Such a Being would, of necessity, have been quite large, possibly measuring some five miles in radius. Sages believed that either some external “force” removed the Rhennee from their living island paradise, or else this “Island Being,” itself, sent them away.
While there is some debate upon the subject, the Rhennee are not native to Oerth; rather, they are accidental travelers from another plane or world, citizens of a lost homeland they call Rhop. Their legends say that they appeared first in the Great Kingdom, in or near the Adri Forest. Pursued by monsters and hostile Aerdi, they fled west to the shores of the Lake of Unknown Depths, where they took to life on the water. Now Rhennee Bargefolk expertly ply the great rivers that cross the Flanaess and migrate between the three great lakes (though Whyestil Lake is lately unsafe for travel). Rhennee are fairly common on the waterways of the central Flanaess and near inland shores and banks. A few secret, inland encampments are said to exist, and here may also be encountered their rare, land-dwelling cousins, whom they derogatorily refer to as the_ Attloi_. The mutual distrust and antagonism between the Rhenn-folk and other peoples of the Flanaess have kept the Rhennee relatively unmixed with other races, though the Rhennee do bring children of other human races into their families. One of the few links the bargefolk have to their lost homeland is their language, Rhopan, a tongue which has been expanded over the decades to include bits of Common and the argot of several thieves’ organizations. Through the years, Rhopan has evolved into a musical if often monosyllabic language and the bargemen consider it one of their cultural secrets. They never teach Rhopan to landfolk and consider it an insult whenever they hear non-Rhennee attempting to converse in it. Now written form of Rhopan Exists. Most Rhennee are illiterate and those few bargewrights inclined to read and write Common have learned to do so as a necessity to trading in ports such as Greyhawk and Radigast City.
On the whole, the Rhennee are still a young race. Having finally found their own niche within the societies of the Flanaess seems to have caused their civilization to flourish; especially upon the Selitan river and the Nyr Dyv. What happens to the race next remains to be seen.
The Rhennee themselves have taken a generally neutral approach to their neighbors, refusing to involve themselves, or take sides, in any wars. Many of the nations surrounding the Nyr Dyv – especially the less respectable powers – have used them for a variety of transportation services, including the delivery legal and illegal goods.
Whether or not the legend of Rhop being some other world is true or not, one thing is certain, the Rhennee people are not leaving the Flanaess anytime soon.
Appearance: The Rhennee are often tan or olive skinned humans. Male Rhennee average between 5’ to 5’ 6” tall and weigh between 140-175 lbs., while female Rhennee average between 4’ 8” to 5’ tall and weigh between 100-140 lbs. Their eye colors are most often blue, gray, or hazel, although green eyes are not unknown. Their hair color is often black or dark brown. Curly hair is most common, but wavy hair is not unknown.
- Rhennee Personality and Culture
- Rhennee Religion
- Rhennee Magic
- Rhennee Fighting Styles
- Rhennee in Greyhawk
Little is known of the original culture of the Rhennee, as they were absent from the Flanaess before 450 years ago and entered their current lifestyle to escape persecution. The Rhenn-folk are masters of inland sailing and navigation, and they love their nomadic and adventurous life. Music and gambling are beloved amusements. Certain Rhennee say they are nobles and have great authority among their kind. Men nearly always become warriors; some women become sorcerers, “wise women” whose skills and knowledge make them the subtle masters of Rhennee society. Rhennee men can be quite chauvinistic, and their women manipulative.
Rhennee have a wide reputation as thieves, and most do learn roguish skills as children, practicing them primarily upon outsiders. Their secrecy and bad reputation cause most people to dislike the Rhennee, and the feeling is mutual. They survive by ferrying goods and passengers, fishing, hunting, selling their crafts, and illegal means (theft and smuggling), although they put forth the least amount of work needed to accomplish their goals. They follow a code of conduct that has different restrictions for dealing with others of their kind versus non-Rhennee outsiders, who may be lied to and cheated.
These people dress in muted colors, and each adult male has a set of homemade leather armor of good quality. The cut and style of their clothing is simple and functional, eschewing the fashion-minded concerns of other races. Their leatherwork is exceptional.
Of the Rhennee, only the female students of “wise women” or Vetha become spellcasters. (Clerics are unknown among them.) Wise women prefer charms and illusions, practicing divination as well. They like spells that deceive or confuse people, especially enchantments like love potions or (very) minor protective charms that can be sold to the foolish, unwary, or greedy.