Some beastmen are the children of nature spirits and animals, while others are the result of biological experiments performed centuries ago by the Dragon Mages. Centuries ago, naturally born beastmen looked down on the creations of the Dragon Mages as "second class" or even "false" beastmen, but centuries later through wars, oppression, slavery, and several attempted genocides, beastmen no longer judge based on the origin of another's people.
Not to be confused with Therionthropes whose forms shift and change, Beastmen have a fixed, vaguely humanoid form and are as versatile in physical form as any animal. The level of humanoid shape versus animal features varies widely. For this reason beastmen who do wear clothing tend to make it themselves with exceptions being made where their body type and limb configuration are more the norm. While may combinations of forms are possible there are some more reasonable rules that they tend to follow which include ...
- the Torso is more likely to be humanoid than any other portion of the body
- bird and bat wings are not seen as separate appendages as they are seen on angels and demons
Most beastmen follow a grouping similar to that of their animal ancestor, lone predators can be found wandering those places where they can find an advantage and are most likely to be seen in the mix of traveling or dangerous professions. While herd animal beastmen who are related to cows or similar can usually be seen mingling with others whose mentality is much like their own and can be counted among the peasantry and foot soldiers.
The unique problems faced by beastmen is their half-and-half grab bag of features and traits.
- Not all beastmen who share a trait with a vegetarian beast will be a vegetarian.
- Just because they have scaly skin doesn't mean they are or are not cold-blooded.
- Not every Beastmen is recognizably a particular animal.
The history of Beastmen is older than record. They are some of the oldest people in the World of Destiny, sharing their space with nature spirits and elementals. Unfortunately for beastmen of all varieties there came a time when dwarves reached the surface. They discovered the Tribal or lone beastmen and put them to work. For centuries beastmen became 'civilized', without written histories they were all but entirely lost in wars with dragons and invading monsters. As intermingling became more acceptable interbreeding naturally followed and a surprising compatibility was discovered. Should there be a humanoid form shared between them the pregnancy would take and the resulting offspring would have some mixture of traits from both parents. So it was that a lizard male and female leoman (cat) could have a child with a poisonous bite and otherwise cat features, but later down the lineage a fully scaled leomen comes out of nowhere. It's because of this reason that some communities forbid cross-species. This is largely in the process of dissolving as populations struggle to maintain a certain set of features and abilities.
In the Realms
Most beastmen communities are tribal in nature and there are usually shamans or wise elders who teach the secret lore of their animal ancestors, the slyness of the fox folk, the silence of the owl or cat, the cunning of the wolf. The beastmen tribes of the Northern Realms are sparse, given the inclusive nature of the kingdom, the few that can be found are in the more wild areas of the map such as the Savannah or the Jungle.