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Jangal Feline Profile
Life Expectancy: 100 - 150 Homeland: Jangal Wilderness Height Range: 5'6" - 6'8" Weight Range: 95 - 250 lbs. (calculator) Preferred Classes: Shaman, Physician, Warrior, Monk, Bard Classes this race can be: see official Feline Preferred Weapons: Fist and foot, edged weapons, blowguns Preferred Alignment: Good - Neutral Aggression Level: Low - Normal Intelligence Level: Moderate - High Spirit/Magic Rating: Variable, dependent on the individual. Strength Rating: Moderate - dependent on the feline's subspecies. Weak Against: Magic (Jangal felines with a higher spirit/magic rating can usually hold out longer against mages, but in a limited capacity) Strong Against: Poison, Pathogens, Physical attacks (generally prefer dodging, redirecting, or relying on a special exoskeleton-type armor) Related Races: Feline, Lycan Allied Races: They seek allies wherever they can find them. Enemy Races: Wraith, Fiend
While the felines of Jangal share many physiological and psychological similarities with their Hollow counterparts, there are a number of things that set them apart. Jangal felines tend to be a little taller and dark-skinned, with a higher muscle density due to their environment. In contrast, their aggression level has a tendency to be lower. Though their bodies and minds are trained for survival, Jangalans prefer not to engage in direct combat unless it's absolutely necessary.
One interesting quality has to do with practitioners of magic. To Jangal felines, arcane energy is so closely integrated into their souls, it can act as a sixth sense. This is due primarily to a unique quality of the Jangal Wilderness: its jungles teem with life that has naturally occurring "mana radiation", generating a super-dense atmosphere of what the denizens call "Spiritual pressure." To survive, the creatures of Jangal develop a Spirit-based counter-pressure that pushes against the atmosphere and still allows them to use it. One major, and potentially dangerous, drawback of this phenomenon can occur when these beings venture beyond their homeland, whether by accident or because of their Pilgrimage. Outside of the wilderness, the felines and other sentients of Jangal have to bear an item or seal that mimics their home's heavy arcane pressure. Should this item be removed, they lose the ability to contain their natural pool of energy, which overwhelms any living things within a wide radius. Their 6th sense is thrown into overdrive, forcing them to experience the agony of their surroundings, turning their greatest power into their worst nightmare. There is only one recorded incident of this occurring in Hollow, which explains why many do not enjoy fighting.
Another aspect of their home that continues to challenge their ability to survive is the local insect life. To put it simply, Jangalan insects are massive, intelligent, and mostly carnivorous. The origin of these beasts is largely unknown, though the shamans have many theories. One prevailing idea is that the creatures were at least partially designed by someone, given the number of sophisticated artifacts that have been unearthed.
While many villages and ancient buildings can be found nestled within the foliage of the Wilderness, most of their residents frequently travel from one village to the next, or make their way to and from Shankara, the capital city at the base of Jangal's northern mountain range. It keeps their skills sharp, and it gives them an opportunity to find food sources. When young Jangalan's go on their Pilgrimage into foreign lands, they find concepts such as agriculture farming to be inefficient at best. To them, foraging offers a much healthier and more sustainable diet. Families and friends are very close, given the dangers of their environment. No one likes to fall asleep alone in a place like Jangal.
There are multiple castes in Jangalan society (i.e. Warrior Caste, Technical/Scholar Caste, Merchant Caste, etc.), and young denizens have the right to choose which one they wish to group up in and represent. Those who aspire to lead Jangal are tested, and those who succeed become members of their generation's Shaman Council. Regardless of whether someone is a leader or not, each member of society undertakes a Rite of Passage into adulthood known as Pilgrimage. They venture beyond their dangerous and isolated homeland to test their ability to survive in strange places, and to also bring something of value back with them. Because they are foragers, gold holds little practical value. Food sources, technology, a potential mate, and information for Shankara's archives are all considered much more valuable. A second rite is undertaken for potential shamans: the Rite of Yamaloka ("Hellrite" in the common tongue.) One of Jangal's most carefully-guarded secrets is an ancient temple that contains a semi-permanent gateway into the Hell planes. Each shaman must test their strength of will and Spirit by entering the gate on their own terms and remaining there until they discover another way out. Everyone who has entered has not emerged the same. They bear scars upon their very soul, but they prove that they can represent the wisest and most powerful of their race (and perhaps the most insane).
Metalworking and goldsmithing are foreign practices in Jangal, as the earth gives very little in terms of metallic resources. These things are often traded with outsiders who have the Mental and Spiritual fortitude to venture into the Wilderness. Nevertheless, what they lack in metallurgy is made up for in their advances in physiology and biotechnology (for lack of a better term.) The floral diversity of their homeland provides many valuable ingredients for medicine, and many discoveries from abandoned and lost structures have aided their advancement further. Throughout all of their achievements as a people, from their archaeology to their environment to their Rites, there is an underlying theme: perfecting survival. Though Shankara is the focus of many forms of art and music that one would attribute to a cultural renaissance, Jangalans hold their survival as a civilization, on some level or another, to be their true masterpiece.
Jangal Felines & Religion
As a whole, the felines of Jangal are a very spiritually-oriented people. Many of them follow one god or another, yet they still acknowledge foreign gods as powerful entities. This is due in small part to the presence of an old Elven outpost on the far eastern border of the wilderness. According to some of Shankara's oldest archive entries, it was established by a group of Elven Templars who worshipped Lauria. They believed that they could better serve their deity by using the nearby rain forests as a training area. Upon discovery, a good relationship was set up with the local felines, who adopted the Elven tongue as a secondary language. This relationship was strained when some of the more overzealous templars saw the felines as heathens and abominations because of their Spiritual and arcane power. Fortunately, they were convinced to leave peacefully shortly after meeting the Elder Shaman of that time period, a representative of the Warrior Caste.
Jangal Feline History
The Archive in Shankara keeps copies of all recorded history of Jangalan civilization, in multiple types of media. It is one of the most extensive and thorough sources of information on historical events, dating back millennia, even covering history that transpires beyond its borders. This is due in large part to the Pilgrimages of young adult Jangalans as they venture into the outside world. Not only do they learn to survive across multiple lands, but they also study the history and technology of whatever nation or territory they find. The Shamans are always curious as to how other civilizations have advanced and evolved with the resources they are given. It often provides them with inspiration and methods to advance their own technology wherever they seem to fall short in efficiency or efficacy.
Another source of historical information is the Wilderness' network of permanent structures, temples, and dwellings that predate the Archive's records. Some of the Shaman Council members who oversee the Archive will often lead small groups into some of the deepest, darkest jungles for the sole purpose of carefully studying these ruins. From what they've gathered, the creators of these buildings had developed highly advanced medicine and biological information based on their study of Jangal's flora and fauna. Much of this information had been well-preserved, and is now at the disposal of Jangal's current residents. Another prevailing theory about these ruins proposes a potential link between this previous civilization and the origin of Jangal's array of magnanimous insect life. For contemporary Hollowans who knew him, it would explain Kumori's interest in the giant centipede. To him, that ancient creature was a key part of history.
Famous Jangal Denizens
Kalun (one of Jangal's Monsoon Dragons)