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An idea about Chameleon Menby Gabriele Ferri
I had LOTS of things to do this month, but I've got a quite nice idea: I was looking in the B1-9 OD&D module, and I found that creature, the chameleon man. Hey, it's nice!
So here's what I thought:
the chameleon men's race is really ancient and is related to elves and, as some scholars say, metamorphosis. They have the ability to change their skin's colour in a very fast and accurate way without using any magic. They can also teleport in a 36 meters range without errors (this is a magical ability).
Their culture is primitive (stone age), but they are powerful druids.
a typical chameleon men's village:
is a big room dug underground (5/10 meters deep) in a forest. In this main room the tribe eat and makes social relationships. Some tunnels lead to other areas: there are a smaller room where the tribe sleeps, a small temple, a store-room and the chief's room. Note that CM aren't very good diggers, so their tunnels aren't like the dwarven ones.
CM worship Csyamanog, a minor immortal CM who has been sponsored by Terra and now try to protect his people. CM are really religious people, they honour their Immortal many times a day, and every activity is done for his glory. This feature makes them close toward strangers. Not xenophobes, but diffidence especially with men and humanoids, mainly because only very few of them have ever seen a man: so they have legend about mankind ('You know, if you don't go to bed now, I'll call the bad creature-who-cannot-change-his-colour who will eat you!')
economy and culture:
CM are mainly hunters, but they also grow giant mushrooms in an underground room dug under a great oak's (or similar tree) roots. They don't know how to produce bronze or iron, and those who find a steel dagger abandoned near a human village are looked with awe and respect. They usually fight and hunt with bow and bone-edged arrows, but they also use clubs and primitive axes. They know the fire and they can write complex ideograms.
the average CM tribe is composed by 25 hunters (both males and females), 15 mushroom-farmers, a chief and his harem (4/5 females), a shaman (cleric of Csyamanog) and 7/8 young CM. In war-time both hunters and farmers (without difference between males and females) fight.
They're just like the normal one, but they're highly respected by the CM. They are the ones who see more frequently humans (especially other druids).
Mystara CM population:
There are CM settlements in Karameikos and Darokin. A more advanced tribe lives in the Thanegioth Isles (I hope I wrote it right...), where it's at war with koprus.
They were kopru's slaves until 975 AC, when they rebelled leaded by a CM cleric inspired by Csyamanog. After that, this tribe has been Csyamanog's primary interest: he's teaching them how to work iron and how to fight better. The war they're fighting could end in about 1025 AC.