Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Hu

We know from hence the races came. Lizard Man. Goat Man. Horse Man. Each one is the uplifted, enchanted form of an animal given a bipedal shape and a mind to create and build.

But what about Humans. Humans are clearly Hu-Mans, made from a Hu and uplifted into a Man. But what's a Hu? What were Hu-Mans before they became Men?

The Hu
The Hu are flightless bipedal birds. They have no feathers, only bare skin, and form small tight-knit communities as dwellers in shallow caves and large wooden canopies of fallen trees. They squawk and have no known language. They do not use tools, but can weave 'basket-like' nests to protect their young. They form these into bowls to carry their eggs from nest to nest in case of trouble, which is about the only thing their small, clumsy wings can carry.

Hus live in small colonies and form into mating pairs. They are known to be highly protective of their young, and due to poor differentiation between them, mothers and fathers will dab the tip of their beaks into pond scum or clay and “draw” a small symbol on their chick's bodies. Due to the fact the Hu never bathe, this symbol stays with them until young adulthood when they no longer need looking after. This is one of the few occasions of body art among animals, an activity mostly reserved for members of the intelligent races. The Hu have also been known to mark the same symbols onto fallen tree logs, and will build “bridges” of long sticks between fallen logs for the grubs within to climb between them. By doing this, the Hu are ranching small worms and other creatures to fresh wood to eat before the Hu eat them as a valuable source of protein.

The Hu survive off a diet of nuts and seeds in addition to their grub “farming”. Because it can be hard and tedious to pluck up seeds with their beaks when they don't have a long neck to make ground foraging easy; the Hu will instead roll a stone over the seeds with their feet, crushing them up into dust in small communal recession areas, which are then mixed with water, which is carried in with a small bowl. The Hu will then often fight over who gets to eat the soupy mixture; the tallest male and the prettiest females dance and bump chests until the winner is determined, in which case they get to eat the soup. Sometimes this takes so long the soup mildly ferments, and the Hu will sometimes seemingly prolong these “fights” to allow this to happen. While the losers of these battles can still get food, losing means going off and pout in a corner in shame. Sometimes, Hu kick one of their baskets over their own head, which is assumed to be a method to “hide” themselves from the rest of their flock during periods of stress and isolation from the group.

There is an unmistakable element of sadness and awareness in their eyes. It is clear these things have the capacity to be human. It is clear all who are Men, were once Hu in some way. All of their behaviors are instinctual, but human behaviors dulled without the intellect of being -Man. The Hu are nonetheless a rambunctious species despite their shyness and rarity.

Hu (1 HD, -2 AC, 1d2 beak, panicked squawking)
Numbers- 1d6 tending to grub logs, 2d6 fighting over seed-drink, 3d20 in large nesting colony
Morale- 4

The Hu are an extremely weak creature. It is trivial for a person with weapons or armor to kill the Hu, do to their exposed naked bodies and lack of offensive weaponry. The main advantage of the Hu is their large numbers; in which case a failed morale check causes all Hu within the hex to hear it, putting them on edge and making it more likely for them to avoid surprise and avoid notice entirely. Hu are known to pick up nests and move over a single warning call, so it is almost impossible to sneak up on a colony by surprise.

(Idea stolen from Skerples.)


  1. Platonic idea of human, embedded into equally platonic cave of shadows and 'if tree falls in the forest' question?

  2. the "hu" idea may have come from skerples (now i feel less guilty about wanting to come up with my own version of "hu") but this is still very well realized and also gross. The way you write about their behaviors makes them seem like real creatures I could see in a David Attenborough documentary.