The chimai are small, monkey-like beings who are especially noted for almost never touching the ground. Their feet are as dextrous as their hands, but are not really designed for supporting their weight. While a chimai can stand and walk upright, doing so for long periods goes from uncomfortable to painful (much like a human woman wearing high heels). However, their limbs, including their prehensile tail, are well adapted for carrying them rapidly through the branches of their forest home. Ships’ captains have also noticed that chimai make excellent riggers.
There are a number of sub-races of chimai with radically different coloration and hair. The most common has sandy brown fur with black hands and feet, a black tail, and white rings around its eyes. Another variant frequently seen has largely black fur with shocks of bright white hair at the corners of the body (e.g., elbows, shoulders, temples). They vary from 2 1/2 to 4 feet in height and can range from 30 to 50 pounds.
Amongst themselves, the chimai are very social creatures. They live in tribes of 20 to 100. The chimai do not have a concept of marriage or sexual fidelity. As such, their family lines are traced entirely through the females, with paternity often being completely unknown. All children are raised communally by the tribe. Wealth is also communal, and the most the average chimai owns is usually jewelry and other personal adornment.
Out in the common world, the chimai quickly shed a number of these tribal tendencies. The importance of property and the notion that things such as food are not free for the taking are quickly learned. However, the chimai are notoriously skittish around the larger, rougher races. They are very slow to trust any non-chimai. Between this and their unique physical needs, the chimai in any city tend to group together into a self-imposed ghetto. For reasons that are mystifying to other races but blindingly obvious to the chimai, these ghettos never develop tribes the way that the forests do. However, there are a number of ships plying the waves that are manned by self-contained tribes of chimai.
The chimai are known in every city in the world as insatiable consumers of drugs. They love the alternate sensations and heightened moods. Unfortunately for most saloon owners, alcohol has only a limited effect on chimai, mostly just making them drowsy and depressed. Quite a number of enterprising traders deal with tribes of chimai deep in the forests for exotic intoxicants.
Every once in a while, an albino chimai will be born. This is always seen as an important omen by the tribe, though not always a good one. The white ones are seen as being touched by the greater powers of the universe. Most of the magically gifted chimai in the world are albino.
- +2 Dex, -2 Int
- Small size
- Can use feet as hands
- Prehensile tail – Extra limb, functions at 1/2 normal Dex
- Normal movement 20, Brachiation 50
- +1 Acrobatics, +1/4 levels