|Images of charau-ka|
Source: The Inner Sea World Guide, pg(s). 308
The charau-ka are a race of little-known intelligent ape-men who live in the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse. Most worship Angazhan, the demon lord of apes and jungles, but some venerate other demon lords and deities, including Ydersius. In the polyglot tongue, charau means beware, although it is not clear whether the name for the race caused that association or vice-versa.
Charau-ka legends have their race being created by Angazhan from the first humans who fought against his cult; the dead rose as charau-ka. While proof has never been found, rumors persist than charau-ka clerics have a ritual that reincarnates dead enemies as charau-ka.
The charau-ka are savage and violent, terrorizing Garund, especially the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, Sargava, and the Sodden Lands. While some tribes are nomadic, most occupy abandoned villages or the occasional ruined city. Charau-ka villages usually stretch from the ground up into the jungle canopy.
Most charau-ka nominally follow the Gorilla King, with the most loyal and organized tribes being closest to Usaro. These same charau-ka also tend to be more powerful compared to their more feral relatives further away.
Charau-ka, while rumored to only feast on human flesh, are actually omnivorous. They gather fruits and nuts and hunt game, large and small. When attacking settlements, they do eat some of the dead on-site, but also take some prisoners for later meals.
Their violent lives are often cut short, but some charau-ka have lived as long as 50 years. Elders are killed or forced to flee if they start to slow the tribe down, unless they have a special skill such as magic. Children are expected to keep up with the tribe, usually by hanging on a parent during travel. Children start serving as scouts and foragers at three years old. Adulthood is reached around eight years old. Due to a cultural norm, the children are not included in the intra-tribal violence that is used to develop the tribe hierarchy.
Surviving elders are often used as guards for the pregnant females at the tribe's sacred birthing grounds. These grounds are used for the second half of the gestation period and during the nursing period after birth.
Charau-ka do not manufacture much other than clubs, other simple weapons, and tanned leather armor. They scavenge metal weapons from the victims of their raids. Anything they cannot use or carry away is destroyed. They have little in the way of treasure. Metal, other than weapons, is not valued.
Even though most tribes have a home base, they often have hunting territories that can cover over a hundred miles. When traveling, they move over 20 miles each day. Charau-ka on the move are noisy. Their howls and whoops allow them to keep track of where everyone is in the jungle canopy, set a pace, tell stories of past heroes, pray to Angazhan, and terrify their prey. When needed, the chieftain can command immediate silence.
Tribal hierarchy is determined by who can defeat whom in battle. The tribal leader is the most dangerous warrior. The traditional challenge, the Rite of the Blood Totem, calls for all challenges against the chieftain to occur within site of specific totems sacred to Angazhan. A warrior is eliminated from the mass-melee challenge when decisively defeated. Once a few serious contenders arise, the battle is waged until the death of all but one. However, the more civilized tribes allow the losers to live, but sacrifice an animal or prisoner instead.
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- The singular and plural of charau-ka are the same.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 308. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 174. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2010). Vaults of Madness. Vaults of Madness, p. 60-65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-275-3
- Gareth Hanrahan. (2010). Ecology of the Charau-Ka. Vaults of Madness, p. 60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-275-3
- Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 23. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0