Bhuka Racial TraitsEdit
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity. Bhukas have a delicate build, but they are agile.
- Medium: As medium creatures, bhukas have no special or penalties due to their size
- Bhuka base land speed is 30 feet.
- Sure Feet (Ex): Bhukas have broad feet and spayed toes that help them travel easily over sand and simiar loose surfaces. They treat shallow sand as normal terrain and deep sand as shallow sand.
- Glare Resistance (Ex): Dark skin and long lashes around the eyes protect bhukas from sun glare, so these creatures are never dazzled by bright sun.
- Water Sense (Ex) Bhukas have the innate ability to detect a source of drinkable water within a distance of 100 feet. Doing this requires a survival check; the DC depends on the depth below ground of the water source, according to the following table
|Water Depth||Survival DC|
|0 feet (on the surface)||10|
|10 feet or less||12|
|71 - 100 feet||30|
- +2 racial bonus on Constitution checks or Fortitude saves to resist harmful effects from heat and dehydration. Bhykas are toughened to the rigors of waste life.
- +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks. Knowledge (nature) is always a class skill for bhukas.
- Heat Endurance: Bhukas gain Heat Endurance as a Bonus Feat
- Automatic Languages: Bhuka and Common. Bonus Languages: Draconic and Goblin.
- Favored Class: Druid
Although theirs is not a technologically advanced society, bhukas are a sophisticated people with highly developed art and social organization. They are not warlike, so they have learned to avoid conflict by the simple method of not being seen. A bhuka never approaches strangers but observers from hiding as long as possible while gauging the newcomers' intent. Even if she does make contact, a bhuka reveals nothing of her kin or settlement and is very cautious in her dealings. Within their own society, bhukas form strong bonds in extended families and cement the community as a whole through rituals and storytelling.
Bhukas are slightly built with sand-colored skin and brick red, tightly curled hair. They have little facial or body hair. Their large ears, networked with veins, fold flat against the head to retain heat in the cold desert night and keep out blowing sand. A frill of skin about the neck contains numerous spines that can lift the frill and raise it for cooling. The face of a bhuka is flat, with slit-like nostrils protected by flaps of skin. A bhuka's eyes have long lashes to keep out sand and dust, and the skin surrounding them is darker than the rest of the face, giving a bhuka the appearance of wearing a mask. Bhukas have wide, splayed feed that help them move easily over sand, and they do not wear shoes. Body paint is used to signify social position and ranges from a simple stripe on a low ranking youth's neck frill to an elaborate pattern of spots, stripes, and whorls covering the arms and upper body of a matriarch. Clothing is flowing and light, woven from desert grasses using ancient techniques that make the garb excellent protection from heat. A typical bhuka stands between 4 and 5 feet tall and rarely weighs more than 90 pounds.
From the beginning of their history, bhukas have been a gentle people of whom others have taken advantage. When the first people emerged from the lower world, bhukas were the last to choose their home and thus had to adapt to the harsh waste. The cruder goblinoid races deride them as weak, while the traditional enemies of goblins (such as badland dwarves and panted elves) are more likely to engage a bhuka on friendly terms. Warlike people of the waste have driven bhukas away from fertile regions, forcing them into an ever smaller and less hospitable territory. Yet this form of exile is a source of strength for the bhukas, who take pride in their ability to flourish even under such conditions. Bhukas are not cowards--push too hard, and they reveal a toughness bred of burning sun and baked earth. The bhuka people have a longstanding trade relationship with the crucians, exchanging food, art objects, and dyes for tools and other worked items. Asheratis are unnerving to bhukas. The asheratis' presence below the sand is disturbing to a bhuka's perception of reality and challenges his standing in the hierarchy of the waste.
A complex system of community relationships holds a bhuka village together. Respect for superiors and the need to contribute to the common good is drilled into every member of the society and those who do not adhere become outcasts. Bhuka society is lawful, with most individuals tending toward good.
Bhukas form extending family groups called phratries, consisting of several clans related by origin. Each phratry claims ancestry from one couple who emerged from the Lower World at the beginning of history and is responsible for maintaining a particular tradition of the people. Young adults of a given phratry cannot marry within any of its clans, which means they must wed someone from another village; the new family may settle with either parent clan. Bhukas inhabit adobe or sandstone dwellings built into and against cliffs or dug into its own home, with a terrace built under it to allow drying of food, space for sitting and talking, and access to other houses. The entrance to a house is well above ground level as a defense against the invaders--access is by ladders or rope lifts. A central spring provides water to the community.
Farms surround each village. The arid climate and hard earth of the waste makes agriculture a challenge but bhukas use traditional dry-farming techniques to grow their staple foods of beans, sunflowers, desert grasses, and corn. The fields are not plowed. Instead, tough native vegetation holds the soil in place, with the crops planted in rows of deep holes. Sometimes, the village spring irrigates a terrace built below the house entrances for growing small tough melons that furnish both food and containers. Bhukas supplement their diet with wild plants such as cactus pads, fruits, and the meat of small animals.
Religion is the glue that hols a bhuka community together. Each phratry is responsible for protecting a relic of Emergence, the time when the first people came out from under the earth. For example, members of the Wokuhoo (Moon Owl) phratry are the caretakers of the Talon, a relic of the bird that lead their ancestors into the Upper World. They lead ceremonies commemorating that event and control imagry that appears in sacred art relating to it.
Bhuka society is matriarchal, each village headed by a Grandmother who presides over a council of male and female elders. The Lower World from which the people surfaced is known as the Second Womb, where the mother deity, Kikanuti, nurtured them and taught them until they were ready to emerge. (The more savage goblinoids, they believe( are not yet mature and must stay beneath the earth.) The Grandmother is the village's link to Kikanuti and presides over important ceremonies.
Each Bhuka village has a ceremonial pit, dug into a courtyard or sacred cave and covered with a lid of painted hides. The walls are carved with traditional symbols that depict the Emergance and subsequent migrations of the people, as well as images of friendly spirits, important landmarks and food animals and plants. The most solemn rituals take place in these pits, which recall the dark world beneath the ground from which the bhukas emerged. Outsiders are strictly forbidden from entering sacred pits, and only adult members of the community participate in the rites. The village pit is also where coming-of-age rituals are held. Village festivals celebrating the harvest, weddings, and changes of season take place in the common area rather than the pit, and are occasions for feasting, song, and dance.
The bhukas believe that Kikanuti still guides them in the Upper World by sending them her spirit children to dwell among the villages. These spirits are embodied in ritual masks, which clan elders don for festival dances at specified times of the year. A mask's spirit possesses the dancer wearing it and is honored by the villagers with feasting and prayers.
Bhukas acknowledge the existance of hostile deities of the waste and take care not to offend them, even holding an annual appeasement ceremony at the winter solstice. Unfortunately for the bhukas, this practice does not usually deter the warlike followers of antagnoistic deities.
The Bhukas do not have a literate society. All their lore is oral, supplemented by a rich library of symbols that adorn both artistic and everyday objects. Their language is distantly related to Goblin, but the two tongues diverged so long ago that most other goblinoids cannot understand bhuka. The isolated bhuka society offers little reason for it's members to learn Common, but many bhukas speak Draconic due to their trading relationship with the crucians.
Bhuka names are long and carry much meaning, but they retain the harsh syllables of the Goblin tongue. A typical bhuka has a given name, followed by the name of the mother's clan (preceded by kha, or "born of"), and the clan which he or she has married (preceded by gi). Children receive a pet name until they come of age and choose a name that describes their personality.
Male Given Names: Aghila'ak (Runs like Lizard), Cochik'ukan (Eyes of Sunhawk), Gistik'uwa (High-Kick Dancer), Kotigana (Ears of Hare), Niskigan (Snake Fang), Piklit'akit (Jumping Mouse Grace), Takigini (Speaks with Force), Wikitagan (Flight of Swallow).
Female Given Names: Chinkichu (Basket of Corn), Hintak'inai (Painted Frill), Kekkoti (Little Ear), Lakinigo (Slow Smile), Namatagi'na (Sings with Paint), Stikuchi (Dancing Mother), Takihoti (Speaks with Wisdom), Yukaki'na (Leader of Songs).
Clan Names: Clan names carry the name of a totem spirit of relic of the Emergance. Examples: Chikuk (Sunhawk), Kekkinna (Ear of Corn), Kichu (Basket), Niski (Rattlesnake), Pitlitak (Jumping Mouse), Wiki'i (Swallow), Wokuhoo (Moon Owl).
Example Name: Takigini kha Wokuhoo gi Niski