One of the newest native races to be discovered in Oki, The Neanderthal’s are an old race of primitive humans that inhabit the frigid peaks and valleys of the northern wastes. Having only been encountered during the last 30 years when the Exiles made there first real attempts at northern expansion into the Deadlands and the unknown lands beyond, civilized folk know very little of this native race. What little is known of them has been filtered down in story and many a tall tale from those who have made the trek from those Northern climbs and come back intact. They are said to be giants among men easily standing over a foot taller then most men at there shortest heights and to have strength to rival that of even the most irate Orc with the faces to match filled with large molars that folks have said could chew through shoe leather like it was gruel.
They are believed to be a primitive offshoot of man that has adapted perfectly to the harsh cold of the climbs with some even claiming they can withstand a blinding blizzard in little more then a few hides. They speak the language of the people of the northern wastes which they refer to as Argon a rough language that is theorized to have come from the mixing of the Common and Dwarven languages of those northern clans and the bare bones language these cavemen were using before; quite often it is shouted rather then spoken in the hostile climbs where the wind will run away with anything less then a scream. They have also begun to relearn Common which until recently was so little used that it had almost faded into obscurity, much of it had becoming either new terms in Argon or done away with entirely. and since many Neanderthals are illiterate and therefore do not write much down.
On the technological side of things it is believed that many of the neanderthal tribes still live quite primitively with many of them having yet to master the art of forging with most tribes have very little if any gear that has ever seen a forge but with increase in Exiled trade and presence many small outposts have begun to spring up in the region and along with the discovery of the Exiled Dwarven families of Miggrad and Stolik that is sure to change.
Many of these primitives live in semi-nomadic tribes, following the massive game herds on their long migration trails as they pass through large, irregular chunks of land they mark as their territory and hunting grounds. As of yet no more then a dozen or so tribes have been discovered and of those there are around half that want anything to do with outsiders. But as further evidence is collected from the surrounding areas and histories taken from tribes more welcoming to visitors there could be over thirty or more tribes living amidst the region, following the herds through areas neither charted nor seen by civilized man.
As for magical aptitude the Neanderthals have shown a surprising array of interesting new abilities not seen in the south, though the practicing of arcane magic is very rare and not on par with that of the great mages that inhabit the civilized lands they show a surprising amount of skill with the nature magic of the druids and the divine magic of the snow and earth they call their own with many tribes boasting at least one druid and a few rangers and even a favored soul from time to time. Of the tribes that the Exiles have made contact with very few of them have a known name. This is believed to be some form of tribal defense as a way to keep ones clan and it’s secrets safe from outsiders of the few we know of are The Tiger Clan, The Elk Clan, The Flying Shadow Tribe, and The Fox Clan
- +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Cha: Neanderthal’s are strong and posses a feral cunning but often come of as dogmatic or terse in the presence of other non-neanderthals
- Medium: Neanderthal’s are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Slow and Steady: Neanderthal’s have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
- Ancient Foe: Neanderthal’s gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC and +2 bonus to grapple checks vs. animals, which are both their natural prey and quite often their most deadly opponents.
- Keen Instincts: a Neanderthal gets a +2 on all survival checks
- Natural Armor: Neanderthal’s get a +1 natural armor bonus due to their tough hides.
- Weapon Familiarity: Neanderthal’s are proficient with Boarspears, Greatclubs, Handaxes, and Harpoons
- Winter Trekker: Neanderthal’s recieve a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue, exhaustion, or ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, or hot or cold environments. Neanderthal’s are used to harsh environments like those of the frigid north and are well adapted to them
- Languages: Neanderthal’s begin the game speaking Neanderthal. Neanderthal’s with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Dwarven, Giant, Orc.