Rasha Rakeesh SahTarna (aka Rakeesh Sah Tarna) is a Liontaur Paladin, a warrior who gains mystical powers from his great honor. He first introduces the Hero to the concept of honor and becomes his guide in the ways of the Paladin in the city of Shapeir.
Rakeesh is portrayed one of the Hero's closest friends - quite arguably, a father figure as well (he sees the hero as much a son as Shakra).
Rakeesh comes from a long line of proud warriors. When he was younger, he did much adventuring and exploring. During one of these adventures he travelled to Thebes to learn the way of the Warrior. While there he met Logos, who mistook him for a Sphinx.
Rakeesh would later become the ruler of his homeland of Tarna. While he was king, a Demon Wizard sought through magical means to break the barriers between Gloriana and Hell and sent an army of Demons against Tarna. The massive bronze gates were closed in preparation for war, when they opened, they revealed the warriors of Tarna who went out to fight the Horde. The wizard sent a powerful Demon in an attempt to overthrow his kingdom. Rakeesh attempted to fight it himself since it was destroying his people. During the battle, he suffered an injury to his left hind leg from it's poisoned tail, but successfully defeated the creature. The bone was shattered, and the poison prevented it from healing correctly. The rest of the Demon horde was soon driven off by the Liontaur fury.
Rakeesh learned that the Wizard had been a Demon-Wizard. He knew had not truly won, he knew that the Demons would return again when they were stronger. He could not convince the Council of Judgement to persue the Demons beyond the kingdom. He decided to forfeit the throne of Tarna to stop the Demons himself, passing it to his arrogant brother Rajah Sah Tarna.
After the Demons left Tarna, he followed them north to Egypt. In the bazaar at Gaza, he met a Paladin. She came to his defense, for the people of the bizaar assumed he was a monster. He told her of his mission, and she taught him the way of the Paladin. After he had proven his worthiness in a mighty battle, the Paladin passed on her sword, Soulforge to Rakeesh.
Eventually he returned to Tarna many years later, when demons attacked the kingdom again. Rakeesh stood before the Liontaur in battle with his sword held high. The sword was bathed in blue flame. Most demons fled from him. Those who didn't were destroyed by Rakeesh Rakeesh persued and drove the Wizard back to its own world with the power of Soulforge. The Demon swore revenge upon him as it was forced back to its world. It had left its taint of its magic on his leg, retained a link through it.
The intervening years are unclear, but years later he was summoned to Shapeir to aid against the Dark Magic which hovered near the city. But his was not the Hero he once was, as he was hobbled by his injury. He noted that he started becoming more of a philosopher than a warrior, preferring to sit and talk about solving problems rather than doing something for them. He is still strong enough to Will bright red flames to his sword from his own strength, for other warriors to borrow to fight on his behalf. He is however still shown at times to wield blue flame as well (see QFG3 Paladin initiation ceremony). These may represent different paladin abilities.
Interactions with the Hero
The Way of the Paladin
In Quest for Glory II, the Hero and Rakeesh meet after they are both summoned to the desert city of Shapeir to deal with a crisis in Shapeir's sister city, Raseir where he carries his flaming sword, the Soulforge. In Shapeir, Rakeesh helps run the Shapeir Adventurers' Guild with his friend Uhura, the Simbani warrior woman; he also valiantly but unsuccessfully battles an Earth Elemental that attacks the city.
It is here that the Hero first learns of honor and the Way of the Paladin from Rakeesh. During his stay in Shapeir, Rakeesh remains a constant source of insight and guidance for the Hero along the way.
The Day 1 he appears outside the Guild, the next day inside playing with Simba, while the third day he is again outside playing with Simba, enjoying the hot weather (ebviously referring to the arrival of the Fire Elemental). He appears again on Day 7 inside the Guild, and offers the Hero the Sultan's reward of 50 dinars for defeating the Fire Elemental. On Day 11 Uhura says that Rakeesh is talking with the Sultan about the arrival of more elementals; indeed the next day while the Earth Elemental attacks the city, he appears in the Guild, and aids the Fighter to defeat the elemental and save the city by lending him Soulforge. The next day (13) he is again outside the Guild. On Day 16, before the Hero leaves for Raseir, Rakeesh is found inside, and gives a speech to the Hero (different according to each class) and practices fighting with him.
He has the choice to name the Hero as a Paladin, if he is honorful enough, and also hands him the Soulforge to succeed him.
Return to Tarna
After the Hero saves Shapeir and Raseir, Rakeesh and Uhura return to Tarna with the Hero in Quest for Glory III; their mission is to prevent a war that is brewing between their two peoples and the shape-shifting Leopardmen through the Pledge of Peace. Rakeesh is reunited with his wife, Kreesha, and learns their daughter, Reeshaka, is missing following a peace mission she lead that was seemingly ambushed by the Leopardmen. Rakeesh never believes she is dead, however. Rakeesh pledges on his honor to prevent war and his oath is honored by King Rajah and the Council of Elders ruling Tarna by being granted time to fulfill it. He sets out with the Hero to the Simbani village to start their efforts, but soon has to return to Tarna because of the great pain caused by his injured leg. Kreesha theorizes that the Demon Wizard is still linked to Rakeesh through the injury and is intensifying the pain to disrupt the peace process. The link also allows the Wizard to spy on Rakeesh whenever he is away from Kreesha's house. Eventually, the Hero, Rakeesh and their allies vanquish the Demon Wizard who is inciting the war, and in the process rescue Reeshaka from the Demon's clutches. Before they can celebrate, however, the Hero is transported away through dark magic.
The relationship between the two brothers is rather strained, though they profess to respect each other; in Quest for Glory III, Rajah is seen to scoff at Rakeesh's paladinhood and desire to help humanity.
He has another chance to name the Hero as a Paladin (this time only for the Fighter), if he is honorful enough, and also hands him the Soulforge to succeed him.
Journey to Silmaria
Following the Hero's disappearance from Tarna, Logos, the Speaker of Silmaria contacted Rakeesh through Erasmus, to seek his wise councel over the recent death of King Justinian of Silmaria. He was brought to Silmaria to investigate the murder, and he also helped to oversee the Rites of Rulership that will determine the land's next king. Rakeesh and his wife contacted the Sultan of Shapeir informed the Sultan of Shapeir, who agreed contribute 300 drachmas for the entrance of the Hero into the rites.
Rakeesh was discouraged that there is so little he can do (as his fighting days are mostly behind him). Rakeesh, along with Minos, helps coordinate and establish what the Rites of Rulership will involve. He returns some of the Hero's equipment lost when the Hero was brought to Mordavia. Rakeesh's son, Shakra, runs the local magic shop. During the Rites, Rakeesh is poisoned by an assassin, but he is revived thanks to the Hero's efforts and the talents of Salim the dendropheliac apothecary. If the Hero is a Paladin, Rakeesh also prompts him into creating a Ring of Truth.
Throughout his various appearances in the games, Rakeesh demonstrates mystical abilities connected to his status as a Paladin. In Quest for Glory II, he has the ability to make his magical sword, Soulforge, burst into flame. In Quest for Glory III, he uses magical powers to heal his daughter's injuries and, somewhat more mysteriously, has the ability to disintegrate an entire mound of rubble through apparent force of will. Though a formidable fighter, Rakeesh rarely engages in combat during the games, partly because his leg injury hampers his fighting abilities. Despite this, he will accept a sparring challenge in Shapeir in the Guild on day 16. He fights (offscreen) the Earth Elemental in the second game, but his leg prevented him from defeating the magical construct. Alongside Uhura, he battles the Demons in the Lost City in Tarna (also offscreen, go figure).
Titles and nicknames
- Liontaur Paladin
- King of Tarna (former)
- Lionman Rakeesh
- "There is no glory in war...there is only death."
- "The way of the Paladin is to seek to know that which truly is. The Paladin strives to learn his own inner nature and that of others. The Paladin does whatever needs to be done to bring light to the world. Not for glory, not for gain, the Paladin Becomes a Paladin because it is his Will."
Behind the scenes
- When Rakeesh is first introduced in the series, during Quest for Glory II, he is referred to as Rasha Rakeesh SahTarna. This usage is the primary spelling in the game and how he appears in the Authorized Guide's QFG2 novelization. However, one of Omar's poems in the game refers to him as Rasha Rakeesh Sah Tarna.
- In Quest for Glory 3, his name is shortened to Rakeesh Sah Tarna, and Sah Tarna becomes the common spelling for his name, this is reflected in the QFG3 novel in the Authorized Guide as well.
- Rakeesh ages greately between QFG3 and QFG5 (suggesting that much time has passed between the two games).
- When Rakeesh is poisoned by Bruno, he can be saved either by Poison Cure Pills, or by alerting the guards at the Hall of King's of Rakeesh's danger. Otherwise, he dies.
- In Arabic, Rasha means Gazelle.
In QfG2, Rakeesh can understand and be asked about these topics:
name, Tarna, fighting, Liontaur people, adventures, Simba, leg, demon, wizard, kingdom, magic, sultan, hero, Aziza, Shapeir, Raseir, emir, rumor, desert, monsters, scorpion, ghoul, terrorsaurus, brigands, jackalmen, Djinni, pill, griffin, power, will, philosopher, paladin, elementals, fire elemental, air elemental, earth elemental, water elemental, flame, nature, sword, Soulforge, weather, Uhura, guild hall, fountain, money, money changer, astrologer, palace, kattas, inn, poet, merchants, dervish, caravan
- Rakeesh (QFG2)
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "When I was younger, I did much adventuring and exploring. That was of course, before my leg was injured. I do not travel much now. I am here at the Sultan's request.
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "The Wizard turned out to be a Demon who sought through magical means to break the barriers between his world and ours."
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "My leg was damaged a long time ago when I tried to fight a Demon that was destroying my people. The Demon struck me with its poisoned tail.", "The Demon was sent by a Wizard who sought to overthrow my kingdom.
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "The bone was shattered, and because of the poison, the leg did not heal correctly, even with magic.
- Kreesha (QFG3): "It must have been truly something to see those massive bronze gates opening to reveal the warriors of Tarna. The Demon horde was soon driven off by the Liontaur fury. This was when Rakeesh was the king of Tarna."
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "I ruled the kingdom of Tarna, until I had to choose between ruling my people or preventing the Wizard from doing greater evil.", Rakeesh (QFG3): "I had to give up the throne of Tarna in order to drive the Demon Wizard from this world. Otherwise, the Liontaurs who died driving the Demons from Tarna would have died in vain. The Demons would only have become more powerful, and then attacked Tarna again..."
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "My brother became a most wise ruler of Tarna, and I learned what it is to be a Paladin.", Rakeesh (QFG3)
- Uhura (QFG2): "Rakeesh won his sword in mighty battle. He call it soulforge", Rakeesh (QFG2):"I was given the sword, "Soulforge", when I first became a Paladin.", Rakeesh (QFG3): "This is the sword, Soulforge". It was given to me many years back by a Paladin who thought I was worthy to carry it."
- Gate guard (QFG3): "Rakeesh stood before us in battle with his sword held high. The sword was bathed in blue flame. Most Demons fled from him. Those that didn't were destroyed by Rakeesh. "
- Rakeesh (QFG3): "I drove the Demon Wizard back to its own world with my Paladin sword. My hind leg will always be crippled by the Demon Wizard's magic, but it's a small price to pay to be rid of such evil."
- Rakeesh (QFG2): "I defeated the Demon and eventually the Wizard, but I had to give up the rule of my kingdom to my brother.", "It took many years but I at last managed to send the Demon-Wizard back to his own world.", Rakeesh (QFG3): "The Demon Wizard swore revenge upon me as I drove it back to its own world."
- Kreesha Dar Asha (QFG3):"Once many years ago, Demons invaded this land...Rakeesh persued and drove from this world the Demon Wizard which led the Demons. The Demon Wizard's magic was most powerful.", Kreesha (QFG3): "Rakeesh, I believe the Demon Wizard who injured your leg may still have some link to you through it, and is causing you this pain. If the Demon Wizard is linked to you still, he may be watching your actions.
- Narrator (QFG5): "The white hair in his mane shows that your dear friend Rakeesh has aged since last you saw him, but he still bears the unmistakable aura of strength and nobility."