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Shu were a secretive, slender humanoid race of warriors almost identical in appearance to halflings except that they didn't grow hair.


Shu were diminutive humanoids who weren't noted as growing any more than four feet (120 centimeters) tall. Unlike most humanoids, shu were completely hairless and unlike halflings, they didn't seem to grow fat. They adorned their bodies with copious amounts of war paint and wore garish jewellery as well as piercings in their ears and faces.[1]


With other shu, they were friendly and trusted easily, though interactions with other races, especially those that were bigger than them, were a lot more reserved. They generally avoided contact with others, but when they did, they weren't hostile unless first threatened. There was one exception, in that they were staunch enemies of the predatory black leopard katanga. Young shu demonstrated much more open-mindedness toward other races and tended to be much more willing to speak and trade with them.[1]


Shu were all proficient with blowguns and used both them and shortbows with deadly accuracy. Many could seem to completely disappear into jungle foliage. These abilities, coupled with ammunition dipped in a fast-acting sleep poison of their own concoction, made them dangerous ambush hunters. Shu were also resistant to poison and magic.[1]


Shu lived in small tribes, consisting of only a few families who had banded together for mutual protection. Long history of predation by animals and larger humanoids had taught them that being alone meant certain death and the proposition of being alone terrified them. This had also led to a warrior culture and a mindset that placed the importance of the group over the needs of an individual. Tribes containing five or more families often boasted a witch doctor, who created the shu sleep poison and led the tribe in the worship of their ancestors. The leader of a tribe was called the "shunin", but they were only chosen during times of great crisis and they were picked for their ability to inspire others.[1]

Tribes chose a representative from among their number to enter into a conclave with representatives of other tribes, creating a microcosm of a nation wherever shu were found. Shu had a strong oral history that they took as gospel, leading to beliefs such as if any shu committed violence against another, at best they would be struck down by an angry ancestor and at worst it would lead to a world-ending apocalypse.[1]

Shu were carnivores, using their skills as hunters to catch their food. They only foraged for food infrequently.[1]

Shu had a very low birthrate and as such, each child born to a family was cause for a great celebration. Similarly, Shu rarely lived longer than seventy years and funerals for such elders drew in shu from far and wide to attend rituals in honor of their passing.[1]


All shu history was oral in nature and not all believed in its absolute truth as most did.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Template:Cite Polyhedron/102/Malatra Monstrous Compendium Sheets

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