Lakshu and their Shaktis

In Spelljammer, the elite troops of the Reigar are the Lakshu, described as a race of beautiful green-haired amazons. Each one has a unique tool called a “shakti,” an item that forms both armor and weapon, and also serves as their personal identifier. All of these elements were inspired and adapted from a manga and anime that ran between 1988 and 1990, called Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato.

However, while there were three sample shaktis listed under the entry for the Reigar, it leaves a lot of work for a DM; in one of the adventures I ran for my Spelljammer livestreamed campaign, I ended up created quite a few so I thought I would share them for other DMs to use, or use as inspiration for their own unique forms.

For the adventure, I created a total of 19 shaktis, although many ended up as only descriptions of dead Lakshu. Eighteen were created for the Lakshu, and one for the Reigar they served. Some of them represent normal creatures, while others are exotic, mythical, or downright odd, which adds to the diversity and strangeness of both the Lakshu and the Reigar. When creating shakti for the Lakshu, I chose to not create “vehicle” forms, reserving those for the Reigar, but each one has a weapon and a special attack, some of which correspond to their weapons, while others are a function of their armor. In general, when the special attack is more powerful, I made the weapon less powerful, although this didn’t hold true with the Reigar’s shakti. Without further ado:

Arboreal Aardvark: This shakti creates pinkish-brown armor with the stylized head of an aardvark on the chestplate and a helmet with a pair of oval projections from the back. The shakti allows the wearer to unleash a blast of earth and soil in a cone 20 feet long and 10 feet wide at the base, which deals 4d4 points of damage to those in the effect, with a save vs. breath allowed for half damage. The weapon this shakti provides is a falchion +2.

Black Swan: This shakti creates black armor with subtle feather patterns and the stylized head of a swan on the chestplate and feathery metallic wings on the back. The armor grants the wearer the ability to perform a powerful strike against a melee target by thrusting their arms straight out at the target. If it hits, it deals 2d6 points of damage and the target must make a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or be knocked prone for 2 rounds. The weapon this shakti provides is a bardiche +2.

Bounding Gazelle: This shakti creates elegant and lithe armor of a reddish-brown hue with white stripes, and a stylized gazelle head on the chest. Rather than granting a special attack, this armor doubles the wearer’s movement and operates as boots of striding and springing. The shakti includes a composite longbow +1 and an everfull quiver of sheaf arrows +1; these arrows are actually made of pure energy and vanish after they hit.

Cave Bat: This shakti creates brownish-black armor with grey highlights, and sports fixed wings of brown on the back and the stylized head of a bat on the torso. The special attack the shakti provides is a sonic attack invoked when the wearer holds their hands to their mouth in a conical shape. The sound waves form a cone 30 feet long and 25 feet wide at the base; hearing creatures within this blast suffer 1d6+4 points of damage and must make a saving throw versus paralyzation or be deafened for 2d8 rounds. The weapon this shakti forms is a battle axe +3.

Crystal Dragon: This shakti creates armor that appears like translucent shimmering crystal, and the helmet is created with a transparent frill down the back. The armor allows the wearer to project a cone of frosty crystal shards, 50 feet long with a 20-foot-wide base, dealing 2d10+1 points of cold damage; save vs. breath for half. The weapon included are unlimited javelins +1.

Displacer Beast: This shakti is purplish-black, and features a stylized cat-like head on the torso and two whip-like projections over the shoulder. The armor operates as a cloak of displacement, and the wearer is able to cause the two shoulder lashes to strike at a melee target (with normal attack rolls) for 1d6 points of damage each. The weapon this shakti provides is a footman’s flail +2.

Ghost Slug: This shakti creates translucent whitish armor that has a filmy, slimy appearance, although it typically feels dry. The armor can instantly grease itself if the wearer is grappled, and the wearer can unleash a stream of acid at a target up to 15 feet away, dealing 3d4 points of damage unless a saving throw versus breath weapon is successful. The weapon this shakti provides is a footman’s mace +2.

Golden Jackal: This shakti creates golden armor with the stylized head of a jackal on the chest. The shakti allows the wearer to unleash a desert whirlwind 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, dealing 3d6 points of damage to all within the whirlwind, with a save versus breath allowed for half damage. The weapon this shakti provides is a khopesh +4.

Griffon: This shakti provides brownish-golden armor with fixed metallic wings and an eagle’s head on the torso; the gauntlets and boots have a distinct paw-like appearance. The armor allows the wearer to slash at targets in melee ranger by making a raking motion with the gauntlets; should the attack hit (just one attack roll), it deals 2d8+4 damage. The shakti provides a short bow +2 with an everfull quiver of arrows +1, which vanish upon striking a target.

Iridescent Gecko: This shakti creates green armor with a shimmery sheen, featuring the stylized head of a gecko on the torso. The armor allows the wearer to climb as if affected by the spider climb spell, and they can even hang from a ceiling. The shakti also grants the wearer the ability to unleash a very loud reverberating call, dealing 2d6 points of damage and stunning targets within a 20-foot radius. A saving throw versus paralyzation nullifies the effect. The weapon provided by this shakti is a scimitar +1.

Lamprey: This shakti creates armor of a pale whitish grey, but does not sport the animal’s head on the torso. The open-faced helmet is surrounded by small tooth-like projections. The armor creates a pair of daggers +2 that the wearer can dual-wield without penalty; any successful hit with these weapons heals the wearer by 2 hit points per strike. It cannot drain hit points from undead or non-living creatures. It has no other powers.

Oliphant: This shakti creates brown armor with pauldrons shaped like elephant ears and a stylized elephant head on the torso. The shakti allows the wearer to unleash a powerful kick at a melee opponent, which deals 2d6+4 points of damage to a creature struck. The weapon this shakti provides is a morningstar +2.

Pyrohydra: This shakti creates reddish-brown armor with a pair of stylized reptilian heads on the torso and bracers, and the helmet appears as a as a stylized reptilian head as well. The shakti allows the wearer to project 10-foot long lashes of flame from each of the heads (the two on the torso, each hand, and the wearer’s mouth) which deal 1d8 points of damage unless a saving throw vs. breath is successful. The flames can be targets on a single creature, or individual creatures, as desired. The weapon the shakti provides is a trident +1.

Red Squirrel: This shakti creates brownish-red armor with the stylized head of a squirrel on the breastplate. The wearer of this shakti can hurl a small sphere up to 60 feet away; when it hits, it explodes in concussive force in a 10-foot radius dealing 3d6 points of damage (save vs. breath for half). The weapon provided by this shakti is a sling +2 with an unlimited supply of bullets +2 that vanish when they hit.

Savannah Skunk: This shakti creates black armor with white highlights and the stylized head of a skunk on the torso. This shakti allows the wearer to expel a gas cloud up to 30 yards away, exactly matching the stinking cloud spell. The weapon this armor provides is a light crossbow +1 with an everfull quiver of bolts +2 that disappear upon hitting a target.

Snow Lark: This armor creates gleaming white armor with grey fringes; the armor forms high boots and a metal skirt, bracers, and torso armor that projects over her shoulders, and sprouting from her back are large, fixed metal wings designed to look like they have feathers. The armor also forms an elaborate open-faced helmet that does not cover her hair. The torso of the armor sports a decoration in the form of a white lark’s head. The wings do not allow the wearer to fly, but they they can slice a creature in melee for 2d6 points of damage. It also forms a footman’s pick +3.

Stag Beetle: This shakti creates armor that is gleaming reddish-black, and the helmet sports a pair of tall “antlers” about six inches in length. The special attack is invoked with a clapping motion with both arms stiffened on a creature in front of the wearer. Should a save vs. Rod/Staff/Wand fail, the creature is held (as hold person or hold monster). The shakti includes a military fork +2.

Tree Frog: This shakti forms slick-appearing armor of a bright green hue with a helmet that has two large bulbous protrusions on the top-sides. The armor allows the wearer to climb walls as a thief with a 90% rating, and a special attack that is a blast of force up to 20 feet long that the wearer initiates by rapidly extending an arm at a target; a normal attack roll is made and the attack deals 2d4+4 points of damage. The shakti also creates a kau sin ke +1.

—The Reigar’s Shakti was a Couatl, which formed a suit of pale blue armor with a feathered appearance and rigid rainbow-hued wings. The shakti allows the wearer to create a cloudkill effect in a 10-foot cube up to 90 feet away. It also provides a poisoned rapier +3; any creature struck must make a saving throw vs. spell or die instantly. The vehicle form has a Maneuverability Class of A and a Movement Rate of 30.

Feel free to use these as-is for your games, or use them as inspiration for your own shakti creations!

 

2 Responses to Lakshu and their Shaktis

  1. Alzrius says:

    A nice expansion on an oft-forgotten bit of Spelljammer lore!

    It’s funny how many points of inspiration in Spelljammer come from anime/manga. Bionoids were an adaptation of the eponymous Bio Booster Armor Guyver, the spirit warriors and the zwarth seem like they come from some mecha series (I’m not sure which one), and of course we all know where gammaroids come from. It’s enough to make me wonder what other aspects of Spelljammer come from similar points of inspiration that have flown under the proverbial radar.

    • AuldDragon says:

      Spirit Warriors and Zwarths are stated as being from Gundam, although they’re much more like Aura Battlers from Dunbine (and in fact, there is an Aura Battler called the Zwarth, although the SJ Zwarth is more like the super robot teams of the 70s). There’s plenty of creatures adapted from science fiction franchises, too.

      Oh, and “Neogi” is the name of a planet in Dirty Pair.

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