In the world of the Mahabharata, rakshasas are a frequently encountered and populous race of supernatural humanoids who tend generally toward evil. Powerful warriors, they resort easily to the use of magic and illusion when unsuccessful with conventional weapons. As shapechangers, they can assume various physical forms, and it is not always clear whether they have a true or natural form. As illusionists, they are capable of creating appearances which are real to those who believe in them or who fail to dispel them. Rakshasas are cannibals, and frequently make their gleeful appearance when the slaughter on the battlefield is at its worst. Occasionally they serve as rank-and-file soldiers in the service of one or the other warlord. Aside from its treatment of unnamed rank-and-file rakshasas, the epic tells the stories of certain members of the race who rose to prominence, some of them as heroes, most of them as villains.
The hunting of a Rakshasa
Most wepons don't work against these creatures. But all Rakshasas have a common weakness; that any crossbow blessed by a priest will kill them instantly. In addition there is said that a dagger of pure brass has the ability to slay it.
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