Mahrog are descended from an alternate branch of the human species family tree. Unlike their human cousins, the Mahrog have changed little in the intervening time due to deific interference. Due to deific interference, the mahrog have not needed to advance technologically. In the hands of a mahrog, a stick is as lethal as a sword and a common animal skin is effective armor. In essence, the deific blessings raised the mahrogs from obsolete to competitive, without having to advance. The world has suddenly seen a great influx of this new but ancient race; along with its unwaveringly primitive ways and obscure customs. The mahrogs have finally entered a new age.
Unlike most new PC races, mahrogs come with a divine element. While this aspect could easily be added to any game with little revision, some Gamemasters may be hesitant to adjust their existing pantheon for one new race. In such cases, it may be easier to present the mahrogs as agents of some other nature god, such as the Earthmother, Gaia, or a nature god native to the Gamemaster's campagin world.
Another feature that would work very well with mahrogs would be to include ice-age animals. It is very plausible to expect that the secluded valley in which the mahrogs lived as time passed them by sheltered more than just mahrogs. Mastodons, cave bears, and giant sloths could all be reintroduced to the world along with the primitive people who are familiar with interacting with them.
Whatever the case, the mahrog will make a welcome addition to any game as the savage PC, an unusual option for the player seeking a challenge, an option for the player who likes to play everything or even a fun alternative for those that enjoy the simpler approach to life.
Physical Description: Mahrogs are vaguely human
in appearance, but shorter, ranging in height from four to five feet
tall. They are also quite squarely built with well-defined musculature. A
mahrog’s shoulders are stooped and gait slightly hunched. Their arms
are longer and their legs shorter in proportion to a humans. Their fingers are stubby, while their feet are large and flat. They also have considerable body hair, though they are not prone
to have more hair on their face than on the rest of their skin. Their
heads, however, feature a shaggy mane of bright red hair. Their faces
seem primitive and almost simian. Mahrogs have sloping foreheads,
heavily ridged brows, weak chins, and broad noses. Their ears are large
and round. Their eye color is usually blue or grey. Mahrogs typically
dress in animal skins, and prefer primitive weapons and attire.
Ecology & Society: Biologically, mahrogs are nearly identical with humans. Some might even mistake some mahrogs for human, and some humans for mahrogs. Mahrogs are built for a brutal existence. They have a high pain threshold, seem to be better at withstanding harsh environments, and are generally very strong.
Mahrogs mature slightly faster than humans and live shorter lives. They typically have children early in their lives; age eleven or twelve is not uncommon for a mahrog parent. Child rearing is similar to humans, though at a faster pace. Five-year olds are expected to participate in hunting and gathering expeditions, and they do so with some success. This rapid maturation may lead some to believe that mahrogs are actually mentally superior to humans, especially at a young age. However, humans tend to intellectually outpace mahrogs once they hit their late teens.
According to most who view them, mahrogs are a primitive race. They stubbornly cling to strange superstitions, have brutish mannerisms, and face most problems with either fear or hostility. Many see a mahrog’s typical demeanor to be rather bestial. In many ways, they seem very simple.
However, mahrogs are sophisticated in other ways. They are deeply religious, and feel close ties to gods of nature. Mahrogs are also very close to their family and tribe. If one member of their family needs something, they will go through great personal sacrifice to get it. In many ways, mahrogs are a very sensitive people. They focus greatly on emotion and feelings rather than power or glory.
Perhaps it is these traits that led them to become a matriarchal society. Women are the leaders and the directors. Males are expected to obey, protect, and serve females. Females are seen as direct emissaries of their goddess, and are encouraged to behave accordingly. Occasionally, a male mahrog will rise to power, but only if he demonstrates great humility and piousness. Despite this balance of power, male and female roles have a blurry line. Both become hunters, priests, gatherers, child caretakers, and so on. With the exception of leadership, rolls seem to be divvied up more by skill and preference than by gender.
Mahrogs, perhaps because of their closeness to nature, have an affinity for beasts. Most have pets or animal companions. Many mahrogs have an uncanny bond with a certain animal type, which they refer to as their power animal. Many times, they will dress in furs and collect other body parts (fangs, claws, horns, etc.) related to that animal.
Relations: Mahrogs get along well with any primitive culture. Barbarian tribes often share a mutual respect with the mahrogs. Consequentially, most of their allies are humans, dwarves, and half-orcs. Mahrogs admire the love of nature that elves and gnomes often have, but both sides feel each other’s approach towards nature to be a bit extreme. Halflings and mahrogs see eye to eye on ideas of home and hearth, and will often become friends based on that alone.
However, mahrogs also share a point of contention with each race. Although everyone else has forgotten ages ago, the mahrogs still dwell on the conflict between themselves and the humans. They feel that dwarves are cursed by “spirits of the stone” for stealing away precious minerals. Half-orcs have orcish blood, and are therefore believed to beast-tainted. Elves and gnomes are similarly stereotyped as “treacherous fey-folk.”Even halflings are not immune; often branded as “heathens who should know better.” Mahrogs also universally despise cities and city-folk, which they see as an affront to their nature deity.
Relations to Remarkable Races: Mahrogs shun the unusual, and therefore mix very poorly relationship-wise with other remarkable races. They especially despise boggles and their inventions. The zif often study the mahrog, fascinated that their shared language survived virtually unchanged with such a primitive culture. Mahrogs, however, find the zif to be quite repugnant.
Alignment and Religion: Mahrogs usually follow a path of neutrality; not having the patience for laws or the motivation towards chaos. They are good more often than evil, as their society typically frowns on any action that might draw negative attention to oneself.
Mahrogs exclusively worship their patron nature goddess. Clerics of other faiths are nearly unheard of, as they would not have the blessing of their goddess. To the mahrogs, these blasphemers exist as pariahs and sad examples of why one should always revere their deific patron.
Adventurers: Mahrogs most often adventure to help or further their family or tribe.
Occasionally, they will adventure to further their personal standing within their group, or to redeem themselves for a misdeed. Wealth,
glory, and fame mean little to a typical mahrog. They also seem to have a
lower propensity towards greed and vengeance than other races.
Most mahrogs become barbarians, warriors, clerics, or rangers. Wizards, and those that have an arcane focus, are exceedingly rare among the mahrogs. Although not a traditional role, druids are also possible so long as they continue to revere the Earthmother in addition to the forces of nature.
Male Names: Ack, Agg, Az, Daz, Doz, Dzon, Ekh, Gat, Igg, Oog, Ooz, Rez, Rog, Tez, Ugh, Uk, Zoog.
Female Names: Dozi, Ekha, Gata, Gera, Goya, Igga, Kara, Ooga, Oza, Reza, Rooga, Teza, Tya, Uki, Zooga.
The following feats are available to a mahrog character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to a mahrog character who meets the prerequisites.