The Discord of Dissension: The Crown of Marduk
Zuie are small simian-headed humanoids. Aside from their heads and necks they could easily be mistaken for adolescent halflings with monkey-like tails. Their skin tones range the gambit of the normal human pigmentation, and the fur on their heads can be brown, gray, black, or white, or any combination of those colors, with no association to the color of the skin on the rest of their bodies. The fur from a zuie’s head extends down his neck, to mid chest on a male, but stops at the collar bone on a female. Their faces are obviously simian, with large canine teeth protruding from their mouths, and deep set eyes, eyes which can range in color from snowy white irises to exceptionally deep, nearly black, purple irises. All adult zuie stand between 2 and a half feet tall and 3 feet tall, with the occasional exceedingly tall male adding an inch or two to that height. The average zuie weighs around 25 pounds, with very little body fat and a sinewy but obviously very strong musculature, they aren’t musclebound, but aren’t skinny either. Zuie tails are furry and prehensile, matching the coloration of their head fur. Zuie prefer simple, but elegant clothing, and usually carry excessively large swords, which they wield in uniquely a zuie style. Zuie are amazingly agile and flexible, giving them an edge over the majority of stronger races in a number of ways.
Zuie society is a strange mixture of rewards for physical prowess, and gilded noble families as old as the zuie’s time in Marduk. Zuie have great respect for anyone who proves themselves in battle, and this extends to those outwitting, out-dealing, or out-fighting their enemies. Once respect is earned within the zuie community, word spreads to all other warrens, and your respect cannot be lost, save by you dishonoring yourself. Zuie live in warrens, pits which have been dug into the earth, even within the larger cities of Marduk, but which are open to the air, not underground. Within these warrens are ramshackle huts and great mansions, truly a small scale city in and of itself. The noble families, mostly merchants who have ALWAYS been merchants, are well respected, and are thought to have proven themselves at some point in history, so much so that all progeny of these families are still given respect. No new noble families have been named in over 300 years, squarely because it is so hard to prove yourself on that level. Zuie, while nice enough, have a natural craving for battle. They do not seek fights, but have no interest in avoiding one either. Zuie reproduction results in 2 — 5 young, after a 10 month pregnancy. Zuie are the most common race in Marduk, by quite a bit.
Generally, zuie are quiet, noble, and loyal. This, and their diminutive stature, endears them to nearly every other race. Zuie, while incredibly fierce, and unwilling to stop a battle short of death or complete victory, are quite amiable to each other and those of other races. Humans in particular seem to be drawn to zuie, and once a true bond is made, a zuie will be loyal to that being until death or betrayal breaks the bond. As bloodthirsty as they seem on the battle field, especially in the Marduki naval forces, as a race they truly don’t seek out extraneous danger or scenarios in which to fight. Zuie nobles are quite talkative, and can be intriguingly duplicitous in their dealings, but this is largely because they see every transaction as a battle, which must be won at all costs. Still, zuie are well liked by the other races of Marduk.
Alignment and Religion:
Zuie are remarkably heterogeneous, with a capacity for both evil and likewise good. Generally speaking, most zuie are neutral on one axis or another, yet they generally tend to congregate behind nobles or in civilizations with specific alignments led by respected figures. Zuie are acutely lacking other races’ ties to religious tradition, and this means there are groups of zuie worshiping every god in Qopith. Zuie are the most likely race to turn to complete agnosticism or atheism, and give up on the gods altogether.
Zuie naming protocol is very specific, when a child is born, both his mother and father choose a name, independent of one another, the name the father chose comes first, then the name the mother chose. Then, the child gains his surnames when each of his parents, once again independent of one another, grant the child one of their names. Hence the diagram of a zuie’s name is as follows:
The father’s choice for a given name — The mother’s choice for a given name — Either of the father’s own given names — Either of the mother’s own given names
This naming protocol has been used for centuries, and all zuie follow it. Common choices for male zuie given names are Djonn, Kou, Sou, Tsao, and Unko. Common choices for female zuie given names are Ko, Temae, Tou, Unsei, and Yu.
Zuie Racial Traits
- +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity: Zuie are strong and flexible.
- Small: Zuie are Small and gain a +1 size bonus to AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a −1 penalty to CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Fast Speed: Zuie have a base speed of 50 feet.
- Bite: Zuie possess a bite natural attack that inflicts 1d3 piercing damage on a successful hit.
- Prehensile Tail: Zuie have a long, flexible tail that can be used to carry objects. They cannot however wield weapons with their tail, but they cannot retrieve small stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action.
- Weapon Familiarity: Zuie are proficient with colossus sword, gargan sword, knight sword, and mighty sword.
- Languages: Zuie begin play speaking Zuu, a complex language of whispers, hand signals, and normal speech; the written form of Zuu can take years to master. Zuie with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following as bonus languages: Common, Infernal, Runnin, and Undercommon.