Friday, January 7, 2011

[LPJ Design] Races of NeoExodus: Enuka Preview

The most primal and barbaric of the savage humanoids have nothing on the enuka.  Enuka are ferocious creatures of the wild lands, animalistic predators blessed with humanoid form and intelligence.  This combination has not softened their instincts for battle and the hunt, but it has given them a fatalistic warrior culture well suited to their savage natures.

Personality:  Most enuka are fierce, dour creatures, observing the world through the lens of predator and prey and seeing themselves at the top of the food chain.  They are capable of surprising kindness and mirth toward to their own, and shocking brutality to rivals.  An enuka does not understand concepts such as mercy or pity, but nor is he actively cruel; he kills for food, honor, or to send a message, not with the relish of the sadist but with the terrifying practicality of nature.

Physical Description: Enuka are massively built humanoids, covered in thick, tough fur and with animalistic features.  Only their apish faces are bare. Curling, ram-like horns sprout from males’ heads.  In addition, individual enuka have greatly varying features, as though the entire race were a sort of testing ground for savage gods.  Powerful claws, armored exoskeletons - even gills are not unknown among the enuka.

Relations: Other races are wary of the enuka, and with good reason.  Enuka in their own land are fiercely territorial.  Most tribes are willing to allow strangers passage, hunting, or other resources, or even to trade - provided the outsider comes openly to the enuka and asks them for these boons.  In enuka territory, it is difficult to ask permission, but impossible to ask forgiveness; anyone who, through ignorance or malice, fails to appeal to the creatures before entering what they consider their lands faces only death.  Enuka abroad are rare, but when they travel they are at turns mystified and disgusted by the civilized world.

Alignment: Most enuka are True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil, but they run the gamut of chaotic and neutral alignments.  Few are lawful.

Enuka Lands: Enuka dwell in the remote wilderness of Exodus.  Most inhabit the undeveloped lands of Koryth, as far from cities and farms as they can get - or perhaps the citizens and farmers settled far from them.

Religion: Enuka are fatalistic regarding life and death.  They acknowledge no higher power than the greatest predator, no life beyond the short, passionate existence on the mortal plane.  While this nihilism would crush most other races, the enuka hardly seem to care.

Language: Enuka speak their own tongue.  Those who leave their tribes or deal with outsiders also speak common.  Occasionally, enuka learn the tongues of minotaurs or the savage humanoids.

Names: Enuka names are descriptive, and they prefer to have outsiders address them by the meaning rather than the sound.  When in foreign lands, an enuka translates its name into the local language.  Enuka may go through several names as they achieve new heights of prowess: Lizard-Leaper as a child, Elk-Gnasher as a hunter, Troll-Killer after a victory in battle, and so on.

Adventures: Enukas are well suited to a life of adventure.  If choice or circumstance pushes an enuka from his tribe, he will often gravitate toward adventuring circles, finding in the life-and-death play of sword and claw the closest analogue to his life in the wilderness.