The dual, muted voice called out it's siren wail across the dunes, '...Of course, no one as brilliant as yourself would ever enter the deeper desert without one of my extra light canteens. Why, I haven't seen anyone come out alive without them! If you act now I can give you the reduced price...'
Standing just under three feet in height, a chimchera is hardly the most imposing of beings, but it is well known that they can bring the death of any traveller. Their pot bellies are supported by two, spindly legs that terminate in two-clawed feet. An eel-like neck, supporting a spherical head, straddles the spot where two shoulderless arms meet. Chimcherae are never found without their pale, porcelain masks, complimenting their dark mustard skin. These masks hide an inhuman mask of tentacles and their dual, slavering maws. Chimcherae use these drool-filled orifices to produce their deep, lyrical, stereophonic voices.
Yet these are only the most commonly encountered caste, the Merchants. The Lowest caste are the breeding males, who have no mouths, but are otherwise simply smaller versions of the merchants, with the notable addition of reproductive organs. Occupying a space in the heirarchy just below Merchants lie the Warriors, taller, straighter, and darker versions of their superiors, with only one mouth. Presiding over all are the females, or the Mother caste, bloated, lethargic beasts with angry orange-red skin with thousands of, gaping voids that few beings dare to call a mouth.
Chimcherae society is a form of Matriarchal Kleptocracy, with an individual member of the Mother Caste ruling absolutely over her children. Each family trades males with each other, to insure a lack of inbreeding. All money gained by the merchant caste is literally swallowed by their mother, and used as a sort of ballast that sinks them under the sand, with only their mouths exposed, much like an antlion. These pits are called Chir'Orpon, which litterally translates as 'Hall of the mother.' Males double up in their duties, not only acting as mates, but also as laborers for their short lives, supplying the Merchant caste with their seemingly endless supply of goods. When materials are needed, Females will occasionally regurgitate some of their horde, giving it to the merchant caste in order to obtain what they need.
Today, warriors are almost entirely unused, but thousands of years ago, the Chimcherae fought inumerable resource wars with the Egoyo. Though the bloodshed has long since passed, the Egoyo still hold a grudge. Oddly enough, the Chimcherae seem to hold no memory of the wars, most likely due to their lack of records and distance from the Blues.
Chimcherae language shifts on an almost daily basis, and each family speaks a number of dialects. The Chimcherae are quick to incorporate other languages, but often have trouble pronouncing them. Some languages consist almost entirely of borrowed words, mostly from Tallian. Because of the difficulty Chimcherae have in prounouncing other languages, most of the merchant caste choose to communicate through writing or signing their words. Those few who master human languages have colorful patterns or images painted on to their masks, the most common being inviting smiles. These masters of speech are also often found with tassled shawls thrown over their backs.
Most castes are house themselves in structures not entirely unlike termite nests, constructed by males and situated radially around the sink-holes of Mothers. The males produce the cement like material by mixing sand with a sticky, foul-smelling liquid they exude from their skins like sweat. Each 'house' generally holds one or two Warriors or Merchants. Lager living quarters have been constructed, however, and in recent years a number of eerie, mocked up human settlements have emerged.
- The players are running out of water, and a chimcherae merchant is the only source of it for miles. The problem is, he doesn't just want money, and demands that the players give him one of their party members as a slave!
- One of the local's is deep in debt with a group of Chimcherae merchants, he asks the party to convince the Chimcherae to let him off the hook for another month.
- A nearby town has been economically dominated by the Chimcherae, and the Mother responsible has begun sending her warriors into the town for unkown purposes...
- The party runs across a Chimcherae 'town,' constructed in a manner almost identical to that of a city nearby...
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? Responses (13)
I say tomatoe you say tomato, You say Chimcherae I say Chimera
Love the eel neck and pot belly....reminds me of my cousin
Dont we all have a relatve like that? Or are we sharing kin, Muro? :)
ROACK, WHY WON'T YOU RELEASE ANY OF THIS
Wow, released after almost a year of procrastination...
It has been well worth waiting for.
This strikes me as 80% of a great sub... What you have given is all great, but it has several unanswered questions:
They are merchants who prefer to communicate in writing, but don't keep historical records: How do they conduct business that way?
Do they build villages or towns of thier own, places where the different castes dwell within oddly hive-like dormitories and workshops? The Mother Caste may not need shelter, but do the others? Do they rest as other races do?
Do they maintain dwellings or buildings within the towns of other species?
Great questions, I'll get working on 'em!
Very much a unique creature, and it will be interesting to see what comes of your answers to wulf.
Very unique indeed. I do have one question: with such a bizzare and monstrous appearance - even with their masks - who would trade with these creatures? And what do they have worth trading?
Any changes planned?
Well, there were. I had them written down and what not, long with the names of those who helped them happen. But then I lost the document. And I started redoing the setting, anyway, and the Chimcherae, lovably hatable as they are, were slightly merged with the Egoyo, but mostly left for dead.
I love these guys! The detail that they need the gold as ballast for their Mother Caste is just..... original, to the point of genius! Darn, I wanna use these!