|Environment||Cold plains, hills, or desert|
Source: The Hungry Storm, pg(s). 90
Saumen kar are a critically endangered species of humanoid native to the Crown of the World.
Saumen kar are hulking humanoids with long simian limbs and two ivory horns that stand 12 feet tall and weigh almost 2000 pounds. The ice and snow matted to their shaggy fur weigh additional 1000 pounds and make them nearly invisible in the ice cap, leading to the nickname 'men of snow'. As a result of their ancient bargain, a saumen kar's skin is marked by distinctive brands. Linguists identify them as an ancient script used to write the Jotun language, though only one word (meaning favoured) remains legible. Saumen kar insulate themselves with their fur and snow, do not need clothing, and proudly display their markings.
Saumen kar are omnivorous, though plant matter is rarely available. They consume the flesh of any creature other than their own kind. Saumen kar children grow quickly and learn to fend for themselves from a young age.
Saumen kar are nomadic and solitary. If food and shelter are available, they build rough igloos or ice caves from tightly-packed snow, and move on after having taken what they could from the land. It is rare to encounter more than one saumen kar at the same time, outside of folk stories that tell of multiple saumen kar banding together against a grave threat. Mating only happens when a male and a female happen to cross paths and are willing to do so, and families break up quickly.
In the Age of Legend, the saumen kar were known under a different name, and their flesh was unmarked by the brands that they now bear. Though they were never populous, few contested their claims to the Crown of the World. When Earthfall released an ancient evil imprisoned beneath the ice of the Crown of the World, the saumen kar sent their greatest warriors against it, among whom only four survived. They made a pact with their people's god: in exchange for sealing this entity away, their language and name were sacrificed, erased from existence, leaving only the phrase saumen kar, meaning bound in ice, which would become their species' new name.
With every generation, the saumen kar's lifespan dwindled: Aktamuuren, who forged the pact, died at an age of more than 3000, while modern saumen kar only live to around 300 years. Meanwhile, as their population dropped, these markings started to gather together on newborn children. Ainamuuren, one of the last surviving specimens, believe that he now bears most, if not all, of these brands.
Every generation, saumen kar pass down ice crafting techniques. Their lairs sometimes contain crude ice replicas of Erutaki tools, which seldom last long outside of polar climates and are rarely found among other species' possessions.
Instead of a specific deity, saumen kar worship the northern land and powers themselves. Elderly saumen kar sometimes travel to sites of great power or beauty to die, where their bones tumble together with those of previous generations. They rarely communicate with others, and their knowledge of foreign languages is usually limited to crude warnings.
While saumen kar can pass on the responsibilities of their pact to others, most are unwilling to even share its existence due to the terrible price involved. If not for great need, loneliness or desperation, they have long refused to befriend other species for fear of drawing them into burdens that they cannot comprehend, though Ainamuuren believes that this must be done.
- ↑ In First Edition, the plural form is saumen kars. In Second Edition, the singular and plural forms are identical.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Michael Sayre. (2021). Ainamuuren. Monsters of Myth, p. 8. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, and Tork Shaw. (2011). Bestiary. The Hungry Storm, p. 90. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-374-3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, and Tork Shaw. (2011). Bestiary. The Hungry Storm, p. 91. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-374-3
- ↑ Michael Sayre. (2021). Ainamuuren. Monsters of Myth, p. 7. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8