Beastfolk

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Greyhawk creature
Beastfolk
Beastfolk01.jpg
Beastfolk, as depicted in the Living Greyhawk Journal #5 (2001). Art by Sam Wood.
Alignment Usually neutral
Type Humanoid
Subtype None
First appearance (as beastmen)Greyhawk Adventures (1988)


Beastfolk are primitive jungle-dwelling humanoids.

Ecology

Beastfolk reach maturity at the age of ten. In any tribe, roughly one in ten of them will be under this age.These young aren't involved in hunting or gathering. Beastmen live to be about 50 years old; elderly members also retire from hunting and gathering, allowing the younger members of the tribe to care for them. Elderly beastfolk typically make up about one in every twenty tribe members.

Beastfolk are at the top of the food chain in their environment, hunting smaller forest-dwelling animals and gathering edible vegitation. They have no agriculture or animal husbandry. They are hunted by large jungle carnivores, though their cleverness means their predators seldom enjoy much success. Losels have a fierce hatred of beastfolk for some reason, attacking them whenever possible. They create weapons and rudimentary tools, but produce little else in the way of arts or crafts.

Beastfolk keep to themselves, generally communicating only with other beastfolk tribes. They do not depend on trade with other races, although they may consider trades in special circumstances.

Environment

Beastfolk dwell in shelters woven from branches in the trees. Each dwelling houses a family of 3-4 adults plus whatever children they have under their care. Most beastfolk dwell in the Amedio Jungle, although there are some beastfolk tribes in Hepmonaland as well. Some 300 dwell near the city of Alocotla.

Typical physical characteristics

Beastfolk are slightly shorter and slimmer than average humans. Soft green fur covers their bodies; beneath this fur is a shorter black undercoat. By consciously contracting and alternating their muscles, they can cause their fur to ripple, mimicking the patterns of moving leaves and rendering them almost invisible in their native environment. Beastfolk have long toes to aid with climbing. Their faces are very human-looking, apart from their fur.

Beastfolk have an extraordinarily high resistance to magic, which affects (or is affected by) their cosmological world-view (see Religion, below).

Beastfolk eschew clothing or ornamentation of any kind.

Alignment

Beastfolk are usually neutral in alignment.

Society

Beastfolk00.jpg

Though technologically primitive by the standards of the Flanaess, beastfolk are as clever as humans, with an elegant and functional social system. Beastfolk dwell in tribes of up to 60 individuals. They lack permanent leadership positions, but delegate decision-making to the tribe member best qualified to make that particular decision. Every member of the tribe plays a part in deciding who this is, something they are able to do quickly and without any formal voting. They simply seem to know.

Beastfolk have no gender-based division of labor. Males and females alike participate in all aspects of tribal life, except for females who are both pregnant and very close to term.

Religion

Unlike most "primitive" peoples, beastfolk have no religion at all. They are firm atheists with no belief in gods, spirits, ghosts, magic, or anything supernatural. They have no tribal shamans or witchdoctors. Their extremely high resistance to magic allows them the luxury of this materialism, though those who manage to fall victim to magic anyway likely change their opinion on the existence of the lightning bolt that just hit them, in any case.

Language

Beastfolk speak their own language, but a few can speak haltingly in Common.

Bibliography

  • Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.