Caliban

The ravening, brutal Caliban are a shadow of their former selves, broken by generations of endless war against the Zard that left their homeland nothing more than a dead ruin, and they little more than monsters from a child's nightmare. Monstrous in both proportion and stupidity, these creatures terrorize those who are unlucky enough to live in their range, taking what they want, killing on a whim and proving almost impossible to bring down. However there are many legends of the idiocy of the Caliban being their downfall. Caliban never developed culture, or perhaps lost it. The Mhulak tell a tale that the Caliban are those who live for generations outside the Korda, degenerate for lack of a Jira, or life-task. However rare extra-armed individuals are sometimes born to Caliban, and these do seem to be able to draw together a small band of their kin around them.

Names

Caliban, Onio (Mhulak & Kardes), Org (Inner Sea Basin and Southlands), Yoki (Maldaakore), Giants (Ahlonia).

Stereotypes

Monstrous, Ravenous, Dim-Witted.

Potency


Visage

Caliban are enormous creatures, twice the size of a man. Other than their size however they do bear a striking resemblance to landsmen as well as to their lost ogiere ancestors. Stocky creatures, they do not share the rounded shoulders or stunted legs of the Mhulak, but instead have the proportions of a powerfully muscles, barrel chested man. The hand send in powerful hands with horny, claw-like nails. The limbs speak of raw brute strength. Thanks to the low nutritional value of their diet, most of the Battlewaite Caliban are emaciated, with bones and muscle visibly protruding through the skin, making their hands, heads and feet seem extremely large. In the north their bodies are covered in thick dark hair, and in warmer climes they are bare, even atop their heads, pale grey and often plump.

Their heads are blunt, square jawed, broad-browed and square, but with an elongated muzzle ending in a prominent lantern jaw, and especially broad, seemingly lipless mouth, often having short tusks that protrude over the upper lip. The nose is small, upturned, and flat, and the eyes are narrow, deeply set and of a sinister yellow, with no visible pupil. They catch the light so that in the dark they seem to glow. They slant downward, giving the Caliban an almost sorrowful appearance. Hair on the face is rare, even where body hair is abundant, but when it is apparent it grows in sparse tufts.

Aetherial

The Caliban are not merely monstrous and strong as their appearance suggests, they also have a number of unique attributes that make them some of the hardiest and most enduring races on all of Allornus. They can live on near nothing, going weeks, even months without food, and they have no fear of any toxin, happy to eat the long dead, both their own and those of other races. They are less affected by disease than other races, and seldom do plagues take their lives or spread in their lands, though more virulent illness can sometimes take them. Their small eyes leave them with poor vision, and their indiscriminate diet renders their sense of taste useless, but they can usually scent a foe before he sees them and track their quarry by smell too.

Craft


Cunning

Caliban are creatures of simple-minded savagery. Not at all evil, they certainly do not hunt for food from starvation given that they can survive on nearly anything, but feeding on flesh will always benefit them when they have the opportunity. As such they will seldom pass up the chance of a meal should a large game animal wander into their range. However what makes them truly fearsome is how territorial tribes of Caliban are. If any other intelligent creature passes into their range, including other Caliban, they track and challenge them. They are not animals, and can be negotiated or communicated with, but if the intruder is not willing to make an offering for passing through their land the Caliban will often feel that he should offer up his meat instead. They are ferocious fighters, preferring to die than retreat, and even when they are crippled and dying they should be avoided, because they would like nothing more than to take a foe to the grave with them.

Social

Once a proud and civilized race, the lizard wars reduced Caliban culture to little more than savage tribalism. In kinder lands Caliban are often thieves, but just as often keep their own herds, usually of large herd animals like oxen or giant goats in the south. Tribes share a herd, and all defer to the leader's judgement regarding them. Those that live alone and tend herds can often be peaceful neighbours so long as they are left to their own devices, and in some places throughout the Ghanish duchies they trade meat and pelts with vicighans. They will almost never join a group however, and many have learned that trying to force them to serve as mercenaries will only end in violence. In Maldaakore the poor creatures are captured by the Draks, encased in steel, and forced into the armies of Baragau-Gul.

Civilization

Once the Caliban were a civilized race, but now no more. The mighty cities of adobe brick, with their great temples and stone-pillared avenues have long since crumbled to dust, and now the only things that the Caliban build are crude fortifications built over existing ruins. Ugly structures of wood and stone where sheer brute strength have replaced skill in their construction. Caliban band together into small tribes around a strong leader, moving from place to place almost randomly, and brutalizing whatever they find in their territory. When they do venture into civilized lands and stay there they seem to remember some semblance of their lost culture, building crude fortifications around existing ruins or gullies, and holding these fortresses against any and all perceived intruders, while cladding themselves in mismatched hunks of stolen armour and wielding battered weapons in their savage claws.

Language


The Mhulak who have returned to the surface have learned little of the culture of their now savage cousins, but whatever remnant they rescued is now lost to the Caliban themselves. Names for their lands, their ruined fortresses, or their forebears are lost. Still, the memory of the Caliban tongue might, after careful observation, be considered a crude rendition of the lowest possible Mhulak. But so many words are reduced to mono-syllabic grunts and growls that it would take a great deal of time to really discern any similarity. Certainly no Mhulak would admit any similarity any more than they would accept kinship with these monstrosities. But still, the Caliban are not mere animals, and those in far flung regions have learned their own tongue, or picked up that of the peoples around them. They never choose to name places or things, and as solitary as they are often don't take names themselves, but when they do deign to gather, or trade with outsiders they choose names with a surprisingly Mhulak sound, as if some memory has carried down through the generations of their degeneracy.

Names

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Statistics


Talents
Hale +4 | Strong +4 | Tough +3 | Fast +2 | Clever -5 | Knowledgeable -5 | Persuasive -5 | Lucky -1
Unique Abilities
Dense Bodied | Scent Hunters | Wasteland Survivors
Ageing
Infant 0-2 years -5 to all Talents except Lucky
Child 4-9 years -3 to all Talents except Lucky
Adolescent 10-14 years -1 to Tough, Clever and Knowledgeable
Adult 15-34 years none
Middle-aged 35-54 years -1 to Fast, Hale and Strong
Old 55-64 years -2 to all Physical Talents, -1 to Knowledgeable
Venerable 65+ years -3 to all Physical Talents, -2 to all Mental Talents
Basics Variables
Morphology Bipedal Height 6'3" + Size' + 1d3' - 1d3'
Diet Omnivorous Weight 210lbs + (Sizelbs x5) + (Brawnlbs x3) + 1d10lbs - 1d10lbs
Cycle Diurnal Gender standard
Prime Sense Smell

Dense Bodied

Like all of the kin of the Seafarers, the Caliban are dense-bodied creatures, paradoxically unable to stay above water should they even fall in. Caliban can't swim, they are almost completely un-buoyant. It would take a powerful mount to carry them, and a stout tree for them to climb. Perhaps this is why they make their homes in desolate wastes and high mountains.

Scent Hunters

Like hounds, the Caliban have become adept at hunting by scent. In fact, they have forgone their eyesight in favour of their sense of smell as their first engagement with the world. When they track they do so by smell, making them sometimes harder, sometimes easier to thwart. Sources of Advantage and Disadvantage will differ for scent hunters.

Wasteland Survivors

Caliban, like the Mhulak, have chosen a new and unnatural home and adapted to it. Caliban will never test for any sort of injury when eating rotten food, and need only consume one fifth of the food or water that a man might have to in order to survive. And in addition to their prodigious stamina, they ignore most conventional sorts of Disadvantage when trying to resist sickness or poison.