|Climate/Terrain:||Arctic/Plain, hill, and mountain|
|Movement:||9, Sw 15|
|No. of Attacks:||2 or 1|
|Damage/Attack:||1-8/1-8 (tusks) or by weapon (+2 bonus to damage)|
|Special Defenses:||Immune to cold|
|Size:||L (8’ tall)|
Thanoi, also known as walrus men, are a bizarre blend of the human and walrus races. In spite of their great bulk, they can maneuver surprisingly well; their clawed feet enable them to maintain a good pace over ice or snow.
Thanoi have thick, cylindrical bodies with human arms and legs, and faces much like walruses. They have huge, padded feet that resemble the flippers of fish. Webs of skin grow between their toes to help them swim. They have hooked claws on their toes, useless as weapons, but good for traction. Their hands are much like those of humans: the blunt fingers are capable of holding a staff or throwing a spear.
Their bodies are protected by tough, leathery skin, dark gray or brown in color. Folds of skin hang under their arms, below their chins, and around their waists. Thanoi skin has a fishy aroma, detectable from a distance of several feet. Thick layers of fat lie beneath the surface of their skin, insulating them from the cold; thanoi swim in the iciest of waters and suffer no ill effects. Although their ears are completely covered by skin, thanoi hear quite clearly.
Thanoi have two wide nostrils in the center of their faces. Their eyes are small and dark, usually black or deep blue in color. They have wide mouths with thin lips and rows of blunt teeth strong enough to crunch bones. A row of coarse bristles lines the upper lip and hangs over the mouth: these bristles are used to sweep away snow when digging and to strain water when drinking.
The most distinguishing features of thanoi are their tusks. The tusks are made of solid bone, several inches thick, and grow to a length of nearly three feet in the largest adults. The tusks are actually modified incisors, extending from the creatures upper row of teeth and down over the bottom lip. The tusks grow in such a way that they do not interfere with eating or speech. The tusks can be used as formidable weapons. They can also be used for digging, with the upper lip bristles used to sweep away debris.
Female thanoi are not significantly different in appearance from the males. Their tusks are somewhat shorter, averaging about two feet long, and their bodies are slightly less thick. Their hides tend to be lighter shades of gray and brown.
Thanoi have no need to use clothing for warmth, but they occasionally use it for decoration. Females sometimes wear short capes made of bear or wolf fur Males wear long scarves of the same materials. Kagog, the thanoi medicine women, are distinguished by crowns of bones, usually made from fish spines. All apparel is designed to be easily removed, since thanoi prefer to enter the water unadorned so their swimming is not impaired.
Thanoi move on land by combining shuffling and waddling motions. Thanks to their flipperlike feet, thanoi are quite comfortable in the water. They are able to hold their breath for long periods; large adults can remain underwater for as long as 30 minutes without surfacing. Thanoi have small blow holes on the backs of their necks, similar to those of whales. When a swimming thanoi needs air, it floats to the surface, opens its valvelike blow hole, fills its lungs with air, then submerges again.
Thanoi speech sounds like a cacophony of grunts, snarls, and coughs to other races, but it is actually a quite sophisticated language. Their spoken words are supplemented by non-verbal signs, such as chest slaps and facial twitches. The language is so complex that only 5% of characters with an Intelligence of 16 or over can understand them. However, evil races, such as the minotaurs, have a significantly better chance of understanding the thanoi language, especially if thanoi demonstrate their basic vocabulary. In addition to their own language, 20% of thanoi speak common.
Combat: Because the thanoi are seldom in contact with other races, they are not used to fighting experienced combatants: other intelligent races find thanoi tactics to be crude at best. Thanoi take tactical advantage of their ability to maneuver on ice and snow and attempt to ambush opponents from behind whenever possible. Otherwise, thanoi simply charge their enemies with their weapons swinging and hope for the best.
Because of their strength, any weapon used by a thanoi does 2 more points of damage than normal. Weapons used by thanoi include daggers, long swords, battle axes, clubs, spears, and maces, most of them made from bones, stone, and wood. The thanoi also use frostreavers, which are battle axes +4 made by Ice Folk (see the “Ice Folk“ section, under “Human, Krynn”, for more about these unusual weapons). Thanoi construct sturdy harpoons from wooden shafts with stone or metal points on one end and leather straps on the other. When used for stabbing, a thanoi harpoon inflicts 2d4 points of damage against medium-sized opponents and 2d6 points of damage against large opponents. When a thanoi hurls his harpoon by its strap, then the harpoon inflicts an additional 2 points of damage (only the thanoi receive this bonus, thanks to their special hurling technique).
Thanoi hands are not flexible, preventing the use of bows and similar weapons. However, a thanoi’s tusks are extremely effective in melee. Instead of using a weapon, a thanoi can make two tusk attacks against the same opponent, causing 2d4 points of damage with each tusk.
Thanoi do not wear armor. Not only do their tough hides provide armorlike protection, the bulky thanoi find artificial armor extremely uncomfortable.
Thanoi are immune to all forms of cold, both natural and magical, but this immunity has its disadvantages. They suffer 1 extra point of damage per die from any fire-based attacks, whether magical or nonmagical. Additionally, thanoi may suffer damage if exposed to climates above freezing. In climates with average temperatures between 32° and 40° F, thanoi feel discomfort. For every week in an environment with average temperatures higher than 40° F, thanoi lose 1d4+1 hit points.
Habitat/Society: The thanoi are not known for their intelligence. They are hostile and suspicious toward strangers, though they are cordial to other thanoi tribes and cooperative with evil races with whom they share common goals.
Thanoi kill for the sheer joy of it. They are fiercely territorial, and they mercilessly slaughter trespassers. They also engage in recreational killing of animals, the more helpless, the better; a band of thanoi would not, for instance, attack a dragon, but they would relish the opportunity to massacre a family of seals.
Thanoi live only in regions of extreme cold. Most live on ocean shores, but some tribes make their homes on drifting glaciers. Thanoi have no permanent settlements, relocating when they have exhausted the hunting and fishing in a particular area.
Several families live together to form a tribe. An average family consists of a mated pair and one or two offspring. The entire tribe comprises about 20 members, equally divided between males and females. Females give birth to one or two babies every two years. A young thanoi grows to maturity in about 20 years; immature thanoi (ages 2-20) cannot use weapons, but can make tusk attacks causing 1d4 points of damage each. An immature thanoi has 2 Hit Dice. Thanoi have a life span of about 60 years.
Thanoi homes are constructed from blocks of ice shaped to the desired size with their tusks. Pots of burning oil furnish light. A hole in the ceiling provides ventilation.
A tribe of thanoi always has a leader. This leader is usually the meanest and most aggressive male and must be at least 30 years old. The leader always has at least 5 Hit Dice. All decisions for the tribe are made by the leader. A leader picks another aggressive tribesman to serve as his deputy; in case of the leader’s death, the deputy assumes leadership. If the tribe runs out of eligible members to serve as leaders, they are absorbed into another tribe.
The eldest female of a tribe serves as its medicine woman, called the kagog. The kagog can cast cure serious wounds and predict weather, each three times per day (predict weather enables the kagog to know the weather for the next 24 hours within a 30-mile radius; the spell is 90% accurate). Knowledge of these spells is passed from kagog to kagog; as in the case of the leader, the kagog chooses and trains her own successor.
Thanoi collect treasure items, although not for their monetary value They mainly use the shiny coins and gems for good luck charms and fishing lures.
Thanoi often tame and tram ice bears as tracking animals. They sometimes use the ice bears to pull massive sleds over the snow; a typical sled holds a dozen thanoi and is pulled by a team of two ice bears. The sleds are made of wood and bone, thanoi coat the runners with fish fat or seal blubber for maximum speed.
Thanoi sometimes carry pots of oil (specially distilled from deposits found on the ocean floor) and pouches of burning embers with them on the sleds. The oil pots are ignited, then tossed on enemies. This is a particularly effective tactic when attempting to disable vehicles, such as the iceboats of the Ice Folk. Thanoi can also ride bareback on icebears; this is helpful when the thanoi need to cross an area of deep, soft snow, since the bears can easily traverse the largest drifts.
Ecology: Thanoi can sometimes be convinced to ally with evil races; however, thanoi are too independent-minded to form lasting alliances. They have strong relationships with the ice bears; ice bears are used as hunting partners and also as allies against common enemies. Thanoi hunting parties often prowl glacial areas looking for the hated Ice Folk, with whom they have violent, unending territorial disputes. Ice Folk hunt thanoi for their blubber, their hides (from which they make warm clothing), and their tusks (from which they make jewelry and weapons).
Aside from their weapons, thanoi produce no items of value and, priding themselves on their self-reliance, never engage in trade. However, thanoi-constructed weapons are highly sought collector’s items, particularly thanoi harpoons.
Thanoi primarily eat the fish that are trapped in the ice-covered lakes in their domains. They also enjoy the flesh of seals, whales, and sea birds. They are not above eating carrion. Thanoi always eat their meat raw.
Last Modified: February 23, 2014, 20:37:09 GMT
◆ 1973 ◆