Long ago, when the gods wore the forms of beasts, the anumi plant was created with the aid of divine magic to transform particularly beloved sentry animals into special temple guardians. The recipe has since been adapted to work for all beloved pets who had reached the end of their service due to infirmity or old age. A humane alternative to euthanasia, the fruit is mashed together with the blood of the animal’s master and mixed in with the animal’s favorite food. Upon digestion of this strange mixture, the creature becomes instantly revitalized and transforms into an anthropomorphic form; a swarthy and muscular human body with the head of the animal. Along with the facial semblance, the bestial companion retains rudimentary and dreamlike memories of its former life. It begins life again as a young adult sentient humanoid.
Anumi in this text are presented as a fairly fresh race to the world. While they do have ancient origins, there is no history to worry about between then and now. This allows them to be placed in virtually any campaign setting with little work. As is, they require almost no adjustment to your world to begin play immediately. One down side to this “newness” is that they lack tradition, language and history common to other PC races. This may cause some anumi to research and explore the ancient past; perhaps finding ancient relics keyed to their race, special secrets relating to their transformation, or new paths to explore. However, there are many boons to being a brand new race as well. Anumus player characters can be bold pioneers, inventing their own paths, their own history and their own unique traditions.
Anumus add a new dimension to the animal companions in your game, and give new options.
For example, a local dog pound may spring up in the area run by anumi. Anumi might develop new pet items, new animal cruelty laws, or take a special interest in a PC’s pet.
Optionally, the Gamemaster can create a more detailed back story for the anumi. Perhaps there was an ancient uprising of the species and they were wiped out. Now that they are back, a cult with primeval ties may be hunting the anumi or watching to make sure they stay in line.
Perhaps the anumi are completely new; the results of recent arcane experiments resulting in a new fad. Then again, the anumi might be an established race in their own right, with a history, biology, and origin akin to other PC races.
Whatever the case, the anumus will make a welcome addition to any game as a representative of the animal world, an unusual option for the player who is seeking something different, a challenge for the player who has played everything or even a fun alternative for those that really like their pets.
Physical Description: Anumi, from the neck down are identical to very fit Medium-size humans. Their skin tone varies from olive to dark brown and is both flawless and hairless. Gender cues are exaggerated; females have perfect hourglass forms and males feature bulging biceps and rippling abdominals. From the neck up they are entirely bestial and extremely varied. While proportionate to a human head, the animal head can be that of just about any imaginable natural creature. Canines, felines, and avians are most common. However, bears, boars, horses, and even lizards are also well-known. Any natural beast that someone might have considered a beloved pet or companion may become an anumi. If a species type is not listed, the Gamemaster may decide to add new statistics and powers.
Over the last few decades, the anumi have been trying to create a unique identity in the world. In their new forms, many study the crumbling ruins of the civilization that invented their magical origins. Some anumi have adopted a style similar to that which they observed depicted in ancient hieroglyphics and often pattern clothes, jewelry, and other personal effects to reflect this antiquated design. A few anumi even venerate these forgotten gods in an effect to resurrect a long dead religion. In their hearts, however, most hold true to the values of their original master, whom they often regard as a parent figure. Many continue adventuring with their original master for several years after they start their second life.
Ecology & Society:
Despite their attractive (from the neck down), and fully-sexed forms, anumi are completely sterile. They cannot have children, and have no way of naturally creating offspring. Instead, they defer toward using the anumi fruit to ensure that the species lives on.
The juice of the fruit itself is highly magical, though inert until mixed with blood. The blood acts as a catalyst only if the master truly cared deeply for his/her animal companion. Otherwise, it has no effect. Originally, it was thought that the mixture called specifically for human blood. The original directions stated this explicitly. However, experiments show that the blood of any sentient creature will suffice, so long as the sentiment is true. Regardless of the blood used, the body form always appears human.
The mixture only works on natural beasts of the non-magical variety. The beast’s original abilities, powers, skills, and so on are all replaced by those of the anumus. The Gamemaster may also rule that certain beasts are immune to the mixture.
The change in form is permanent and irreversible. Biologically, the anumus begins life with the body of a fit 16 year old human. Their countenance reverts to the way the animal looked in the prime of its life, adjusted for size proportion to the new body. Afterwards, the anumus ages much the same as a human.
As to its mental state upon first reaching humanoid form, an anumus resembles an amnesiac. At best he has blurry memories of a past in which he was an animal, though he seems to have a firm grasp of language and other basic skills needed for survival. During this period of mental confusion, the anumus is typically nurtured by its original master. In a few short months, the anumus is ready to set out on his own, if he so desires.
Relations: Anumi relate most strongly to humans, as they tend to share both a history and similar physiology. Many anumi consider humans to be both their parents and their parent race. Anumi also enjoy the company of halflings and gnomes, as these races are also fond of pets. Anumi are generally annoyed by elves, who they view to be very condescending. Certain subspecies are known to gravitate to other known races as well. Porcine anumi, for example, find they have much in common with half-orcs.
Relations to Remarkable Races: A relation of note is the one between amphibian anumi and the mogogols. While a few amphibian anumi are the result of a beloved toad familiar, most originated as the prized pets of the mogogol race. The bond between their two races is undeniable.
Alignment and Religion: Anumi vary in alignment, often according to subrace. Amphibians, avians, canines, and equines are generally good. Felines, porcines, reptiles, and ursines travel the middle of the road; preferring more neutral paths. Arachnids, ophidians, and rodents like to travel the darker paths of evil. Equine, canine, reptile, and ophidian anumi gravitate towards lawful thinking, while arachnid, rodent, feline anumi enjoy more chaotic endeavors.
Anumi most often venerate the religion of their masters. Some have been known to create cult-like representations of the gods of the ancient civilization that developed the anumi fruit.
Adventurers: Anumi often share the same ideals, virtues,
and vices of their original masters; this is often very similar to a
parent-child relationship. An anumus who had a very strict master is as
likely to be very strict as they are to be especially lenient. In any
case, anumi often show a great deal of respect and understanding of
their original master’s values.
Anumi also harbor an inner struggle with their bestial nature. This makes them especially easy to stereotype by species. For example, canine anumi are often very loyal. Feline anumi, on the other hand, are fiercely independent. Avian anumi are free spirits, while porcine anumi are often gluttons. Reptiles can be callous; arachnids single-minded; rodents jumpy; equines trustworthy. Unfortunately, these stereotypes do nothing good for their already diminished reputations. One of the biggest obstacles that an anumus faces is to be seen as a serious individual in their own right, and not just a personified animal.
It is often this lessened status that drives an anumi to the adventuring life. They have much to prove, and often have little trouble finding their niche. Often, an anumi picks up where their master left off: continuing a quest in their absence. In addition, anumi are fueled by the same goals as most humans; glory, gold, honor, and love. At their core, they are both human and animal. An anumus’s motivations tend to match both.
Many anumi take up the cause of animal rights, and are among the first beings in the realm to help orchestrate the formation of humane animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and laws that prevent animal cruelty. Most anumi will not stand by to see an animal
be mistreated, and will react in violent opposition. Some anumi often
adopt pets of their own, many which become anumi themselves after living
a long, happy life.
Names: Anumi often keep the names given to them when they were animals. However, some prefer to adopt names that are reminiscent of the extinct culture that created the anumi fruit.
Male Names: Ace, Ajax, Amon, Anubis, Bear, Bingo, Butch, Duke, Fido, Horus, Jaws, Killer, Lucky, Rover, Silver, Snapper, Thoth.
Female Names: Babe, Daisy, Dixie, Duchess, Fluffy, Foxie, Hathor, Isis, Jaws, Killer, Peaches, Pepper, Precious, Silver, Snapper, Snuffles.
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 12th
This bluish-purple fruit, which looks something like a tiny apple, holds the key to creating the anumi. The fruit becomes activated when it is mashed together with the blood of a master who truly cares for the creature, and mixed in with the animal’s favorite food. Upon complete consumption of this mixture, the animal transforms into a level 1 anumus within 24 hours. It has no effect on creatures that are not natural beasts. The mixture is specific to the animal it was intended for; it will not transform an animal that the blood donor did not care deeply for.
Note: This process, lost to time, creates the anumi plant which will eventually produce the magical fruit, much like any other fruit-bearing plants. Most fruits produced by this plant are seedless, though it will produce one golden fruit per year that has a seed which will grow another plant. Anumi plants live forever if left unharmed and well cared for, and produce about a three dozen fruit per year in warm climates or indoors. They will not produce fruit outdoors in the winter, as they go dormant.
The following feats are available to an anumus character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to an anumus character who meets the prerequisites.