The Durj

Copyright Tim Harper (aka Samwise7) © 2009

Edited by Mario Butter for The Guild Companion

"Gidim are cannibalistic if they get hungry enough, and they eat human races when given the chance"

The Gidim Durj (Dark Durj) Race

Racial Characteristics:

St +2 Co +2 Ag +0 Qu +3
SD +2 Re 0 In +2 Pr +0

Endurance +40

Power Points +20

Resistance Roll Bonuses
Stamina +20
Will +0
Magic +10

Demeanor & Appearance:

Gidim Durj posses two heads at either end of their long bodies. Both of their brains are equal in ability and are connected to each other. They can change which head leads when moving but both brains have the same persona. Both heads can talk at the same time, saying the exact same thing, or one head can keep silent while the other talks. Each head has three eyes; one is in the center of the head, while the other two are on the sides. This gives them a wide range of almost perfect vision, and makes it almost impossible to surprise them. Both heads are thin and elongated.

They have small round mouths and large cheeks that can stretch and fill with a very acidic liquid. Gidim do not have teeth because they don't need them. The cheeks fill and then collapse to spray acid to digest food, and to protect themselves from enemies. The small mouth allows for a high-pressure spray that has a 10 feet range increment.

Inside the mouth of the Gidim are hundreds of 2 foot long cilia/baleen that are stored in the sides of the mouth in pouches. They soak up digested material (from the sprayed acid) much like a mop soaks up water. Once the food is absorbed through the cilia/baleen, the Gidim pulls them back into its mouth. These cilia/baleen are also used to help feed their young that normally reside in a marsupial pouch on their short necks. In these pouches are smaller cilia that exude digested food. The young one's cilia touch the parent's cilia to transfer nourishment.

If you picture a large six-legged dog with a second head where the tail should be, you have a rough idea what they look like. The body of a Gidim is five to six feet in length when they are an adult, and roughly three to three and a half feet tall at the back and shoulders. Their bodies are covered in black greasy fur. They have six limbs with an appendage at the end of each of them. All of their appendages can perform like feet, but only four of them can act like hands. The front two limbs and the back two limbs end in appendages that can act like hands, while the middle limbs act more like our legs and feet do. Gidim can move backwards and forwards at the same speed and with the same skill since their bodies seem to be designed for that sort of thing. This is great when they want to change direction in narrow tunnels where they can't turn around. The middle knees have an almost 170 degree range of motion to help move them forwards and backwards. The middle knee joints are like a human shoulder ball joint, but more complex. The knees on either end of the Gidim's body bend at the knee back towards the body. The four appendages that resemble hands have six digits: four fingers and two opposable thumbs.

They also have sharp bony arm claws that protrude from just behind the wrist on the front and back two limbs. These arm claws are normally covered with sharp metal sheathes before combat to increase damage potential. They also use these arm claws to aid in digging. Treat these sharp metal sheathes for their arm claws like other small or medium bladed weapons (as some are made longer).

Though the Gidim have six limbs, they can only attack with two limbs in the same direction at the same time. It will be up to the GM's discretion as to whether the Gidim can attack two enemies coming at them from different opposite directions, but it would make sense that they could.

They have a marsupial pouch on their necks and stomach that can hold a child until it can fend for itself. When the child is old enough, the parent abandons it to the protection of the Dark Durj community. Packs of these abandoned children roam the tunnels of the home of the Dark Durj. Normally the children are the size of a football when abandoned. The pouches on the parent's necks are used when feeding the child, and at other times the child crawls on the body of the parent back to the stomach pouch to sleep.

Gidim are asexual and only replicate once every year or two. They have a gestation period of two months, which produces one to three children on average. Or to put it another way; every D2 years, they have D3 children. Being pregnant slows them down slightly, but not anywhere near what a human woman goes through.

Gidim are cannibalistic if they get hungry enough, and they eat human races when given the chance. They are known to eat their own young in desperate times, when food is scarce. They also eat lots of small animals, and some funguses and plants.

Lifespan: 80 years

Culture: Dark Durj, or Deep Warren

Special Abilities:

All-Around Dark Vision -- The two heads with three well-spaced eyes of the Gidim Durj allow them to look in almost any direction providing them a +10 bonus to all Perception rolls. They also have the ability to see up to 20' in total darkness. With at least some illumination, such as a candle, lantern, or torch, they are able to see up to twice the radius the light provides. Gidim may be "Flanked" (+15 OB), but they do not have a rear and therefore foes can't get the "Rear" (+20 OB) modifier.

Spitting Acid -- Gidim mouths can spit an acidic liquid that has a range increment of 10 feet. Treat this special ability much like "Grenade-like Attacks" on HARP page 73. This special attack depletes that head's acid supply for 1 hour of game time (so each head can use this ability once per hour). This attack affects a 5 feet radius from the point of impact. Those hit by the acidic spray will take a D100 Tiny External Poison Critical from the caustic splash.

Natural Weapon (Arm Claws) -- Gidim have natural arm claws that they may learn to use as if they were learning a Martial Arts skill that deals slashing or puncture criticals at the player's choice.

Height & Weight:

Base Length 5'6" (3' -- 3'5" high at shoulder)

Base Weight 200

Starting Age: 16 years

Blood Talents: none because they are asexual

Gidim

Gidim

Dark Durj Culture

The Dark Durj believe strongly in the power of blood. They mix pools of blood from all of the Gidim present, and the blood of the recently fallen soldiers, in a ritual/prayer before a battle. They paint this mixed blood on all of those going out to war. They believe in the "Blood Rage" as they call it when painting their faces to go out to fight, and to possibly die. Those taking part in the ritual remove all restraint from their minds and hearts to unleash their raw hatred on their enemies. The names of recently deceased Gidim are spoken aloud during the face painting ritual. These names are repeated by all of the soldiers after the speaker calls their names in an angry yell. The anger that this creates in the fighters is a solemn tradition that has been performed all the way back to the first death of the First Parent's children. Those that see the Blood Rage ceremony gain a new fear of the Dark Durj.

When a Dark Durj dies in battle, it is a paramount thing that their bodies are returned to their home. They honor their dead seemingly with much greater zeal than do other races. The body of a freshly fallen Dark Durj is taken home and drained of blood and then the body is burned. The blood is then held in stasis by a magic ritual in a holy vat. This Blood of the Fallen is then mixed into the next Blood Rage blood mixture.

The Dark Durj will stop at nothing to save spilled blood from any cut. Children are taught to save their own blood and swallow it, so their enemies cannot gain their strength by stealing it. Because of these blood beliefs Dark Durj (if able) grab any weapon that has Dark Durj blood on it, or soak up any Dark Durj blood on armor and on the fields of battle with absorbent cloths. If their lives are on the line they will leave the blood on the battlefield and curse the enemy as "Blood Thieves." They aren't as concerned about blood in times of battle, as in times of peace, but they make any rational attempt to collect the fallen drops of precious blood that they can.

Not only do the Gidim like to spray their acid on foes, they also have a disturbing taste for the blood of their enemies. They are known to cut unconscious, wounded, and dying enemies to drain them of blood. All Gidim soldiers carry Blood Pouches and Blood Pumps that drain the blood from an enemy with a simple (and disgusting) pumping system. The sight of fallen soldiers being drained of their blood disgusts many other races. The blood of enemies killed in battle is boiled and drunk warm like coffee when the Dark Durj soldiers return home in triumph or in defeat. It is said that by drinking the blood of their enemies, they gain their strength.

Blood Mages in the Dark Durj culture rely heavily on Blood for material components for spells (and replace other components with blood). The sacrifice of enemy life and blood is quite common in the casting of powerful spells, and those prisoners taken by the Dark Durj normally don't last very long. The blood magic of the Dark Durj is potent and strong in battle and offense. They brew potent potions from these powerful blood-powered spells. It is up to the GM, but using the blood of enemies while casting spells could grant extra Power Points, or temporary bonuses to casting spells.

Preferred Locations:

Gidim prefer the deep underground tunnels and lairs that make their deep warrens. They purposefully dig tight short tunnels to make it much harder for enemies to intrude upon their homelands, but they have no trouble navigating these tunnels themselves.

Clothing & Decoration:

Gidim prefer not to wear clothing, relying on their thick greasy fur. They will wear armor, but prefer leather armors or slightly heavier armors so they can still maneuver around their tight tunnels and caves.

Demeanor:

They tend to be aggressive and xenophobic, but certain individuals can break free from these tendencies. They have strong community that helps each other in times of need, but when food is scarce the weak become food. They view the world such that they believe all other races and monsters are enemies that are against them.

Starting Languages:

Durja racial tongue (S6/W4), Common (S4/W3)

Gidim Adolescent Skill Ranks:

Ambush 2, Armor 1, Attunement 1, Contortions 4, Endurance 1, Jumping 2, Locks & Traps 1, Perception 3, Stalking & Hiding 2, Tracking 1, Weapon Skills** 2

The Niš Durj (Sylvan Durj) Race

Niš is pronounced "Nish"

Racial Characteristics:

St +4 Co +3 Ag 0 Qu +0
SD +3 Re -2 In +1 Pr +2

Endurance +35

Power Points +25

Resistance Roll Bonuses
Stamina +15
Will +15
Magic +0

Demeanor & Appearance:

The Niš greatly resemble the Dark Durj except for the following exceptions:

The heads of the Niš are slightly wider than those of the Dark Durj and are more pleasant to look upon. They also have wider stronger bodies that aren't so thin.

They have wider and larger mouths than the Dark Durj with flat bony ridges that they use like teeth to bite with. They don't have the mouth pouches, and don't spray acid. They have powerful jaw muscles to chew bark and nuts from the trees. The mouths of the Sylvan Durj are so disease ridden that a bite from them is sometimes fatal when given enough time.

They have light & dark brown dry fur that helps them hide. Their fur can change colors to help them conceal themselves.

The Sylvan Durj are not cannibalistic, and they generally don't eat meat (except for small birds). They like eating bark, nuts, leaves, grass, fungi, bugs, and small birds.

They raise their young and love them, raising them to adulthood. They are caregivers and have large extended families that are very close to each other and see each other often. When one member of the family is hurt the family comes to their aid. To anger a Sylvan Durj's family is to invite their wrath, as well as the wrath of the rest of the family.

Lifespan: 100 years

Culture: Sylvan Durj, or Sylvan

Special Abilities:

All-Around Night Vision -- The two heads with three well-spaced eyes of the Sylvan Durj allow them to look in almost any direction providing them a +10 bonus to all Perception rolls. They also have the ability to see up to 100' easily on a starlit night. By the light of a full moon they can see up to 500' as if in broad daylight. In total darkness they are as blind as the majority of the other races. Sylvan Durj may be "Flanked" (+15 OB), but they do not have a rear and therefore foes can't get the "Rear" (+20OB) modifier.

Natural Camouflage -- Sylvan Durj have the innate ability to alter the color of their fur and clothes, so as to closely resemble their surroundings. This camouflage grants a bonus of +25 to all Stalking & Hiding attempts.

Natural Weapons (Mouth & Arm Claws) -- Niš mouths and Niš arm claw attacks can be learned like Martial Arts skills. The arm claws deals slashing or puncture criticals at the player's choice. The mouths deal crush criticals since their teeth are flat. Each head may infect one target of a successful bite attack with a disease (so you can use the disease special ability twice an hour). This disease special ability is identical to the base form of the Disease Spell found on Page 86 of the College of Magics book. Use the bite attack skill like a spell skill for the purposes of using this disease special ability.

Height & Weight:

Use their length instead of height for their Base Movement Rate.

Base Length 5'6" (3' -- 3'5" high at shoulder)

Base Weight 200

Starting Age: 20 years

Blood Talents: none because they are asexual

Sylvan Durj

Sylvan Durj

Sylvan Durj Culture

The Sylvan Durj are a people devoted to trees and the plant life of the world. The Sylvan Durj cultivate and strengthen the woodlands. Healing sick trees and plants is a sacred mission for certain of the Sylvan Durj Druids. The Dark Durj know that the Sylvan Durj love their trees and have been known to brutally destroy tracks of land with flame just to irritate their enemies into making mistakes in the war with them.

When a Sylvan Durj dies, his body is dried over a low fire and then hung in one of the 3 Great Trees that are a secret to the Sylvan Durj.

The Sylvan Durj nurture their children, and are trying to reach out to the other races to reach a lasting peace. The Dark Durj murder any members of the Sylvan Durj even under a white flag of peace, but the Sylvan Durj keep trying to forge a peace to a very long war. The Sylvan believe that love will conquer the anger in the Gidim hearts, but so far it hasn't worked.

The Sylvan Durj also have a warrior culture, but fight only when they are attacked. They believe in defense and are skilled archers and trap builders. Many Dark Durj curse the tricky and deadly traps of the Sylvan Durj.

The Sylvan Durj hate fire, and consider it to be an enemy. Fire is not allowed in any of the Sylvan Durj villages and cities. Use of fire is punishable by death or exile. Food is eaten raw or baked in black metal boxes that absorb the heat of the sun. These ovens are normally above the tree line to absorb more heat.

Preferred Locations:

Niš prefer wooded forests and thick jungles. Where there are lots of trees and plant life, they feel at home.

Clothing & Decoration:

They like decorating themselves with flowers, and other colorful plant life. They like collecting fallen leaves, small rocks, and other keep sakes from places that they travel, and many of them wear these items in their fur.

Demeanor:

They can be a paranoid and defensive people, but they love nature and would like to live at peace with everyone, but they understand that dreams of peace, and the real violent world, are two separate things.

Starting Languages: Durja racial tongue (S6/W4), Common (S4/W3)

Niš Adolescent Skill Ranks:

Ambush 1, Armor 2, Attunement 1, Climbing 2, Craft Traps 2, Endurance 1, Perception 2, Herbcraft 2, Stalking & Hiding 2, Tracking 2, Weapon Skills** 2, Weapon Skills*** 1

Durj Language: Durja

Durja is actually the Sumerian language. To learn more about Sumerian, here is an interesting link: http://www.sumerian.org/