Cushani is a character race from the Night Reign Campaign Setting
Nature DC 15: Males tend to be more savage than their female counterparts in combat.
Nature DC 20: Male cushani are extremely protective of females. Females of other races have even been known to come under the protection of a cushani when they share a close friendship.
Nature DC 25: The cushani were a race created by the tieflings of Bael Turath to serve as elite warriors for the Empire.
Many centuries ago, the tieflings of Bael Turath were locked in a seemingly never ending cycle of war with the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia. At the end of the War of Wings, the prominent tiefling archmage Kal’Taneth was ordered by the Emperor to develop an elite caste of warriors that could support the tiefling infantry. Kal’Taneth obeyed and secluded himself within his laboratory to find an answer to the Emperor’s request.
Tieflings, physically, were not as strong as their dragonborn rivals. This was something that was continually mentioned during after action reports by tiefling infantry commanders during the last war. The infantry were being mangled by the stronger dragonborn infantry. Kal’Taneth knew that when the next war broke out, the infantry would need stronger support.
The tiefling began his research into ways of bolstering the strength of the infantry but found the results lacking, unreliable, and short term. After the lastest batch of results came back with less than desirable information, the tiefling archmage sat back in his chair and watched a cat stalk a mouse across the room. The tiefling watch with mild interest at first but then grew more interested as he watched the cat hunt the mouse. The slow, steady pace of the cat, the contracted muscles before the sudden strike of power.
Kal’Taneth was struck with inspiration and went to work on experimenting with big cats; the jaguar, the leopard, the lion, and the tiger. With help from his infernal master, Kal’Taneth began to use magic to alter the big cats by fusing the essence of humans into them. The cats took on a humanoid appearance and gained human intelligence. Next, the tiefling archmage set up a breeding and training program to develop the soldiers he needed.
The jaguars were developed for stealth and assassination due to their moderate and leaner size. The leopards were developed as sorcerers and warlocks due to natural charisma. The lions were developed as leaders and commanders. Their already regal appearance and large size led the other cats to naturally defer to the lion. The tigers were developed as elite front-line soldiers due to their massive strength and grace.
Kal’Taneth, after a decade of research and development of the feline warriors, presented them to the emperor. He named them cushani after the small cat that was his inspiration. The emperor was pleased with his new troops and when the next war with Arkhosia broke out, the cushani were pressed into service were they performed beyond expectations. Over the next two centuries, the cushani were bred for war and the glory of the hunt. Each of the four breeds were allowed to grow within their own lands in order to preserve their natural instrincts. When war called upon them, the magical geas bred into them by Kal’Taneth forced them to obey their tiefling masters.
Eventually, the empire of Bael Turath fell along with Arkhosia and the cushani were suddenly free of their centuries long masters. The four breeds of cushani spread out from the tiefling lands to find new homes of their owns for their prides. As time passed, the cushani held onto their martial abilities but took on a natural lifestyle of living off the land. Each main pride would soon break off to form new prides and populate new areas until cushani populated the entire southern regions.
Note: This history deviates from what is presented in the Night Reign Campaign Setting in order to fit the POL campaign setting.