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saruCLIMATE/TERRAIN: Tropical Jungle
DIET: Omnivorous
TREASURE: Individual
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Good

MOVEMENT: 9, 15 in trees
HIT DICE: 2+1/Varies
THAC0: 20 base
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 or 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: By Weapon or Fist
SIZE: M (5'-6' tall)
MORALE: Elite (13)
XP VALUE: 175 per hit die

Saru are gorilla-like apes native to the Malatran Plateau. Saru have heavy upper-body strength, short legs, feet with limited grasping ability, and black or copper-red fur covering their body except on their faces, palms, and soles of their feet. Most saru are five to six feet tall (with females being slightly smaller) and have arm spans up to nine feet wide.

The language of the saru consists of hand gestures, facial expressions, grunts, hoots and screams. Saru PCs must spend two proficiency slots to learn any spoken language.

Since their first contact with human and shu tribes only a century ago, saru have begun to wear loincloths, crude belts (to hold weapons), and primitive jewelry.

Combat: Only recently have the saru begun to use weapons in combat, mimicking human and shu tribes they've come in contact with. Weapons that saru create or find themselves are limited to clubs and pointed sticks (treat as spears); however, other weapons are often trades from friendly tribes they've come to know. Saru can also strike with two fists per round in a violent pummeling motion. Each successful attack inflicts 1d2 plus Strength bonus, and gains a +/- 2 on the punching and wrestling chart (Dungeon Master® Guide page 59).

Saru fear magic and will flee displays of visual enchantments (PC saru may save vs. paralyzation to resist this fear, fleeing for 1d6 rounds if failing). Player character saru can be warriors, thieves, or warrior/thieves. Rare PC saru can be priests (only through special auctions and contests).

Habitat/Society: Saru are extremely family oriented. Clans of Saru are typically all related by blood or mates (marriage is a concept unfamiliar to saru culture), though clans may take in stray or orphaned saru. Clans generally consist of 3-4 adult males (ages 16+), 4-6 adult females, and 1d4 children. Females of a clan traditionally handle the care of the young, while the males hunt and protect the clan. It is not uncommon for young saru males to venture off into the worls in search of excitment and adventure. Several clans of saru have been known to gather together for protection during times of conflict or severe weather, while some groups of four or more clans have been known to stay together permanently.

Saru are neutral or friendly to most races of the Living Jungle including korobokuru, who hate the saru for some unknown reason. Saru also hate leopard katanga, who often feed on their young. Every living animal, however, is considered a "person" by the Saru. They try to speak with other animals, delighted when they are answered by those that understand them (apes, monkeys, and many human and demihumans). Even though they don't answer, hippos, lions, sloths, and other creatures are still approached -- and sometimes immediately fled -- by saru interested in conversation. In any event, saru can approach a normal animal with the effects of a friends spell once per day.

Saru priests are extremely rare, and only a handful exist at any one time--and only females can become priests. The saru venerate a greater being called Chee'ah, a demigod who walks the plateau of the Living Jungle. Saru females who have the "calling" leave their clan to seek out Chee'ah, and those who find their god return to the clan with great priestly powers.

All saru can climb trees. Other surfaces, like rock formations, are also climbable, but with penalties -- a base chance of 80%. Saru have no permanent settlements and move from one part of the jungle to the next. Saru cannot swim nor can they learn.

Ecology: Saru eat almost any sort of vegetables, nuts, roots, insects, and small game animals. They consider eating any sort of flesh to be tantamount to cannibalism, making them rather poor dinner guests for most tribes.

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