Friday, June 24, 2016

Vanara of Monvesia

Language Analog: Tamil
Inspiration: Vanara of Hindu mythology, Oriental Adventures, and the Pathfinder RPG
While developing a world for another 5th edition campaign, a player asked to play a Vanara--for which there are not yet official rules.  We found an option at ENworld that suits our needs, and modified the race's culture as necessary.  Having settled on a version of the race that I liked for 5th Edition, I began to wonder how this race might fit in Monvesia.  Some of the text below is adapted from notes for that other campaign.
The existence of Vanara in Monvesia has yet to be confirmed or denied!

Tainted Counterpart:  None; their untainted counterpart are the various species of monkeys
Temperamental Association:  By culture -

  • High Vanara are Altruists and/or Idealists
  • Treetop Vanara are Dynamists and/or Vitalists
  • Whitecape Vanara are Materialists and/or Nihilists 

Male Names:  See "Pure Tamil Baby Names for Boys"

Female Names:  See "Pure Tamil Baby Names for Girls"

Like humans, goliaths, and lizardfolk, vanara are migrants to Monvesia.  Unlike the other migrants, vanara do not originate in Desolation--and they are not nearly as old.  Hanuman, the first vanara, awakened in the Forest of Vines after the human exodus passed through that region--and it was he (according to vanaran tradition) that taught the other monkeys the ways of civilization.

Hanuman's awakening may have been the result of contact with the Taint, since monkeys are biologically similar to the humanoid great apes (humans and goliaths).  They are different enough from these humanoids that the Taint had an alternate effect on their minds, bringing  consciousness instead of corruption.  Furthermore, the success of vanara society can be attributed to a sudden reduction in the lizardfolk population soon afterward--for the lizardfolk had been the primary predators of the monkeys in the Forest of Vines.

Recently, the Vanara have begun to explore the world around them.  Some have ventured into the land of Desolation to the west of the Forest of Vines, while others have come to Monvesia (east of the Sea of Sand).  Vanara "colonies" can be found scattered throughout the borders of Veldistan and the Pridelands.  The first colonies appeared less than 200 years ago, after the rise of the Kleimland.

Vanara Traits


Three, semi-independent cultures exist among the vanara (similar to the humanoid racial division of elves, dwarves, humans, and goliaths).
  • High Vanara, or Arivu, are native to the mountains north of the Forest of Vines
  • Treetop Vanara, or Kilaikal, are native to the Forest of Vines
    • In addition to their abilities presented in the link above, treetop vanara an jump their full extend from a standing position, and do not require a running start.
  • Whitecape Vanara, or Stiram, are native to the far western Sea of Sand
Vanara of all three cultures can be found living together in Monvesia colonies.

Vanara Religion

The Vanara honor Hanuman as their patriarch and prophet, but not as a god. Recognized as the First Vanara, myths regarding Hanuman's life and death differ among the three cultures. All seem to agree that Hanuman is not done teaching:
  • High Vanara say that Hanuman died after a long life, and has reincarnated many times since; Sometimes he lives a normal life, and sometimes he lives the life of a guru 
  • Treetop Vanara say that Hanuman never died, but lives on among the Vanara; he reveals himself every few centuries to pass on a new lesson 
  • Whitecape Vanara say that Hanuman was killed by the monkeys he sought to enlighten, but rose from the dead and ascended into heaven; they claim that he returns from heaven on occasion to continue his mission 
Hanuman's appearance is also a subject of great debate: Each subrace of vanara believes themselves to be the first, so naturally assume Hanuman looks like them.
Vanara clerics draw their power from their faith in Hanuman's teaching. Clerics of this tradition use the Life, Nature, or Trickery domains.

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