Ah manbeasts; also known as primal folk, Kyma, and filthy animals (but not to their faces if you know what’s good for you). There is more honesty, more decency and more humanity in your base manbeast than any fae. It’s not to say that they are not dangerous, it just that you generally know where you stand with them.
The manbeasts where first created by the alfar as a kind of cruel game. Most alfar wrought manbeasts are unique and few ever escape their clutches. The three basic forms of manbeasts are shifters, primals and kyma.
The classic manbeats. They are usually humanoids with one degree or another of animal characteristics. Some extremely adapted gobliniods are classed as kyma.
Sapient animals; made by either turning a human being into an animal (the method favoured by Alfar) or grafting a human spirit into an animal (the method open to anyone else). Some primals are born to kyma parents
Shape shifters; These beings have the ability to shift between two or more forms, often uncontrollably. They are more common in some kinds of manbeats than others but natural shifters are generally uncommon outside of
the courts. Shifters are often of Elani parentage.
The kyma you see at large where mostly wrought by the Elan. The process involve injecting a human with animal extracts and essence of goblin blood (small wonder then that they too are in on the action) to transform them into the desired result.
As artificial races they can have problems with reproduction; many are infertile and they have a high rate of miscarriage and infant mortality. The upshot of this is that they value their lives and the lives of their surviving children very highly (though infants are sometimes given short shrift), they are also poly-amorous and practice group marriages as standard. Another factor is that they feel the need to include humans in their blood line as a way to ensure they stay healthy and fertile; though in truth this is only of situational value (despite this many Elani manbeast breeders swear by it).
Kyma in the wider world
There are two broad categories of Kyma at large; feral and domestic.
These beings are legally property; either the states or an individuals. They are created, breed and used by many Elani cities and clans. They are often used as low level slave labour or expendable soldiers.
These are found in the human free cities, the barbaric lands and the wilds. Solitary inderviduals are not uncommon but most feral manbeasts live in tribes and small villages.
• The Elan regard them as at best problematic and at worst vermin.
• They get on reasonable well with goblins but there is a fair amount of conflict
• Most normal humans are frightened or superstitious of manbeasts but some they get on with well enough
Kinds of Kyma
These Kyma have furry backs and limbs. In addition to the normal two eyes they have a speckle of simple eyes across their foreheads and venomous fangs. They have four legs and four arms, two fingers and a thumb on each hand. At the end of each limb they posses a small digit with a long hooked climbing claw. Most true Arachne live in the treetops and are known to spin silk.
Adult males live together in a nomadic warbands. Females reside in small territorial family units and look after themselves. Males overwinter with the families; usually a different one each year.
They get on a lot better with goblins than they do with most humans. Goblins don’t judge them because of the way that they look so much as humans; there is nothing that they hate more than being judged.
Arachne also give birth to spidrosities and driders. Driders have an important function in Arachne society as casters and clerics. Spidrosities on the other hand are bear sized beings with a human head and torso for a thorax but spider all the rest. They live in underground burrows and will take anything that walks the earth. They are all abandoned but spidrocities are self-sufficient, instinctual and lethal hunters from birth. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were mindless animals but they possess all the cunning and intellect of their Arachne parentage honed to a razors edge by their bitterness and hate.
[N.B]: Mechanically I view man beasts as a template you overlay on the base creature type. They are currently subject to review and I am trying to come up with a range of fleshed out cultures.