The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu:

“The kings of various kinds of monsters, seventy-two in all, all came to pay homage to the Monkey King. They offered tribute every year and attended court in each of the four seasons.
-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 Vanara

The vanara resemble humanoid monkeys, with similar posture and proportions to a human, but covered in fur and with a long, flexible tail. They are generally jovial and mischievous, but they do not give or break their word lightly, and tend to be dedicated, if sometimes unorthodox, followers of whatever religion calls to them. Most vanara have black, gray, or brown fur, but other colors such as blue, gold, or red sometimes occur, seemingly at random among the population. Many consider such exotic coloration to be a sign that the individual will perform great deeds.

Playful and Skilled

Levity comes as naturally to vanara as breathing, but this does not mean they don’t take things seriously. They can be just as diligent and responsible as anyone else (especially when it comes to self-improvement), they simply approach life with humor and high spirits. Even vanara warriors tend to employ flashy fighting styles with amusing flourishes and clever distractions. Some are content to be jesters, but others have an innate nobility and pride that drives them to be heroes. Whatever professions they pursue, though, they will strive to master it as if it were an art.

Treetop Masters

While the Hidden Kingdom of Hanu is mostly carved into the sides of mountains and plateaus, the area is dense with jungle, and the vanara are exceptionally suited to traveling through the canopy. Between their prehensile tails, natural climbing instincts, and many years of practice and play among the branches, most are nearly at home hanging from vines as standing on solid ground. Much of why their kingdom remains so well concealed is because their scouts can travel for miles at a time without leaving the trees, rivaling even the wood elves when it comes to patrolling their forests.

Philosopher Kings

On first impressions, vanara often seem frivolous or capricious, but they usually have quite strongly held principles and nearly all follow some sort of organized philosophy or religion, which they take quite seriously, even if their approach to serious matters still resembles what many others who do not know them well would consider to be flippant carelessness. The sovereigns of the Kingdom of Hanu are always vanara, and vanara nobles have a duty to be well versed in a number of philosophical schools by the time they reach adulthood, in order to inform their decision making.

Vanara Names

Vanara usually have only a single personal name, but they are fond of nicknames and will often have one or more as well.

Masculine Names: Byeong-ho, Guiying, Harisha, Iseul, Jie, Jagannatha, Kim, Noburu, Pitambar, Shu, Yong, Yuudai, Zhu

Feminine Names: Abhilasha, Bao, Chinatsu, Eun-yeong, Gyeong-hui, Hanako, Indu, Lin, Mukta, Nari, Saraswati, Tai, Umeko, Xiang

New Species: Vanara

    Common Personality Traits: Self-assured, mischievous, true to their word, sublime
    Common Physical Traits: Strutting, misleading ease, sprightly
    Type: Medium biped folk with a Reach of 1. Your maximum wounds equal your Constitution score.

  • Attributes: +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Agile Defense: Your Base Defense increases by 1.
  • Celebrated: Your Legend increases by 2.
  • Enjoy the View: Your speed when making climbing checks is equal to your base speed –10 with or without climbing gear (–20 when traversing inverted surfaces). You minimum result when making a Climb check is 15 unless you roll an error. Climbing occupies only one of your hands and you may cling to your current position without using any hands.
  • Prehensile Tail: You may move small objects with you tail as if it were a single additional finger (i.e. you can tug a rope, but cannot tie a knot in one using your tail). You gain a +1 bonus when you distract, disarm, taunt, or trip an opponent.

Legal Appendix

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All material in this document following the Playtest Version sidebar and prior to the Legal Appendix that is not otherwise designated as Product Identity is Open Game Content.



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Open Game License v1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. System Rules Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

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The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu: Vanara Copyright 2019-2020, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.