The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu:
Markata

“Seeing how ugly the demon king had turned, Void-Awakened Monkey used his magic art of getting extra bodies. He pulled out one of his hairs, popped it in his mouth, chewed it up, and blew it out into the air, shouting, ‘Change!’
It turned into two or three hundred little monkeys, who all crowded round him.

-Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

Deep in the cloud forest stand huge temples, castles, and city complexes carved from the living rock of the mountainsides and overgrown with vines. Living in these structures, amid the mists and moss and trees, is a secret and thriving civilization, the Hidden Kingdom of Hanu. Many strange folk dwell within this kingdom, but the most common are the vanara, bandar-log, and markatas, who joined their peoples together in ancient times to create a society. The kingdom actively trades with those folk who live near their jungles, but they are cautious to ensure no outsiders learn the ways to or from their mysterious cities, for fear that enemies, old or new, might discover them and threaten their prosperity. On occasion, bands of adventurers go forth from their jungle homes to learn news of the outside world, and especially to collect rumors of their ancient foes, the rakshasas and serpent men.

The Markatas

Unlike the human-sized vanara, markatas are small enough that they can easily be mistaken for particularly large langur monkeys. Their mannerisms also make them easy to mistake for mundane primates, but this is largely intentional, as markatas are the most cunning folk living within the Kingdom of Hanu, and happily take advantage of being mistaken for foolish monkeys, and thanks to their small size they are even more at home in the trees than the vanara. In addition to being excellent spies, they are also the most talented at studying the ways of magic, and have quite a few wizards among their numbers.

Small but Proud

Most of the time markata are playful and wild, and their size can make them seem particularly non-threatening, especially in comparison to the massive and intimidating bandar-log, but markata nonetheless have indelible pride and confidence, frequently carrying themselves as if it is simply self-evident that they are important. On the other hand they are often easy to goad to the point of agitation with insults or disregard unless they are actively trying to be inconspicuous as part of some sort of plan. They do not hold grudges for past insults quite as fervently as dwarves, but only by a small degree.

Serpent Hunters

Far in the misty past, before they came to the Kingdom of Hanu, the markata were lured and charmed into the service of a race of serpent people and were frequently used as slaves and test subjects for bizarre magical experiments. The markata bided their time and covertly learned arcane secrets from their masters and at a moment of opportunity, they broke free, slaying hundreds of their captors in the escape. Ever since then, the markata have had an intense dislike of snakes of any kind and will raise war parties in response to even rumors of serpent people anywhere near their kingdom.

Markata Names

It is typical for a markata to have multiple personal names, one chosen by each parent. Usually the name is that of a notable ancestor from that branch of their family tree.

Masculine Names: Arjun, Bayani, Chandrakant, Chao, Dinesha, Huan, Kapila, Kumar, Nagendra, Ratna, Somsak, Uttar, Xiuying, Yu, Zhihao

Feminine Names: Amihan, Chun, Dalisay, Hui, Indira, Kamon, Luningning, Malati, Pravina, Qing, Sukhon, Ubon, Vasundhara, Xiuying

Markata Traits

A markata character has a number of traits and abilities from their monkey-like form.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
    Age. A markata reaches maturity by age 8 and they usually live to an age of 50.
    Alignment. Markatas often have little patience for stolid, meticulous proceedings or social hierarchy, and they value self-sufficiency. As such, they tend towards neutrality or chaos. They often care about the good of others, but are impulsive regarding their own interests, so on the whole they have an ambivalence towards good or evil.
    Size. Markatas are about 2 and a half feet tall on average and weigh about 30 pounds. Your size is Small.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Bite. Your bite is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal 1d4 + your Strength modifier piercing damage.
    Climb. You have a climbing speed of 30 feet.
    Prehensile Tail. Your tail functions as an additional arm and hand, and you can take the Use an Object action as a bonus action during your turn. Your tail does not grant additional attacks, but a weapon wielded with your tail can be used normally (including for two-weapon fighting).
    Slippery. As a bonus action on your turn, you can take the Disengage or Hide action.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
2’2″ 25 lbs +2d4 x1

New Feat


Taunting Trickster

You really know how to get under people’s skin, and slip away if you provoke them. You gain the following benefits:

  • You may use an action to distract a creature with an intelligence score of at least 2 that can see or hear you. You make a Charisma (Deception) check with a DC equal to the creature’s passive Wisdom (insight) score. If you succeed, until the start of your next turn, the target has disadvantage on attacks made against creatures other than you and its speed is reduced by half unless it ends its movement closer to you than it started.
  • When making a melee attack as part of an action, you may also make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check as part of the same action.
  • When a creature you can see misses you with a melee attack, you may immediately jump away from the creature as if you were making a running jump. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. Until the start of your next turn, the result of the next attack check that creature makes against you is reduced by an amount equal to your proficiency bonus.
Legal Appendix

Legal Appendix

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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu: Markata Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.

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