So we’re going to take a lookar a new Ancestry (race) available to players along with its two Bloodlines (subraces): the Pongos.
In brief, the Pongo ancestry is composed of species with ape- or monkey-like features. That’s it. I’m sure that once we explore other regions of our world, we’ll have plenty more bloodlines, but in Bukana, there are two commonly found bloodlines of the pongo.
We talk a lot about how Bukana is inspired by the Philippines, but the truth is that regions of it are also inspired by Indonesia and other nearby islands. That includes Borneo. I’m sure that you are all familiar with orangutans, but if you aren’t, here are some pictures of the highly intelligent and adorable apes:
The name Orangutan comes from the native Malay term “Orang Hutan,” literally “People of the Forest.” They apparently considered to be people and orangutan skulls have been found along with humans’ in headhunting tribes’ collections, further suggesting that they were seen as at least near-equals by locals. In Bukana, they definitely are people and have similar intellects to humans and other intelligent races. They are also more upright. We enlisted the help of Endless Studios out of Indonesia to help bring these people to life. An Orangutan ranger:
Although not native to the Bukanese islands, the Vanara have traveled to the archipelago in droves to seek adventure and enlightenment. The Vanara hail from the land of Bhodan that is inspired by South Asia. The name comes from the forest-dwelling monkey people that appear in the Hindu epic: Ramayana. Like the many artistic renditions of those people, we base ours on humanoids macaque monkeys, seen here:
To test our the concept, we had artist Darwind from India illustrate a Vanara Bard for an upcoming SRD Apocrypha article on the Bardic College of Lore:
You’re going to see a lot more Pongos in our setting. In fact, next week see how artist Ash Ben incorporated the Orangutan in to a action piece, including concept work.