The Adventurer's Guild
Bhuka (Sandstorm 39) are a goblinoid race native to this region. They are a quiet, peaceful people with a tribe-based matriarchal society.
Bhuka look like tall, slim, sandy-skinned goblins with tightly curled, brick-red hair. They have large ears which can be folded back against their heads to conserve heat at night and keep out blowing sand, or rotated outward and flicked (usually while dampened with water or spit) to radiate heat during the day. Their faces are flat, with slit-like nostrils and long-lashed eyes to keep out desert sand. The skin around their eyes is darker, helping protect from the glare of the sun and making them look as if they are wearing masks. A bhuka’s feet are wide, helping them move more easily over shifting sand, and they do not wear shoes.
Bhuka clothing consists of simple, flowing garments woven from desert grasses. Tattoos are used to mark a bhuka’s tribe and social rank—a young adult starts with a simple stripe, while tribe matriarchs have their entire upper body tattooed with complex, swirling patterns.
Bhuka stand 4-5 feet tall and rarely weigh more than 90 lbs. They reach adulthood at 14 years, middle age at 25, old age at 37, and venerable age at 49, with a maximum lifespan of 69 years.
Bhuka tribes tend to keep to themselves and are therefore regarded as mysterious and shy by non-bhuka. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Bhuka are friendly, loyal, outgoing folk who happen to live in a barren wasteland where few non-bhuka travel. A bhuka will form close friendships with virtually every other member of their tribe, knowing and adapting to the likes and dislikes of upwards of fifty individuals.
According to their legends, when they were first created, the bhuka were a child-like, innocent people. In order to protect them from the world, their goddess, Kikanuti, raised and taught them deep underground in a massive cavern complex they called the Second Womb. While the peoples above ground warred and built great empires before tearing them down again in more violence, the bhuka lived a sheltered, harmonious life under the earth.
Finally, when the constant warring had taken its toll on the land and the last great empire fallen to the encroaching desert, the bhuka were ready to emerge from the Second Womb onto the surface world. There, thanks to Kikanuti’s teachings, they were able to live and thrive in a world too harsh for its original peoples.
The bhuka are the undisputed masters of Taklmal, and the only people reliably able to cross the treacherous landscape. Traditional paths are handed down from mother to daughter, and bhuka living in Taklmal routinely hire out as guides to travelers. Bhuka can also be found in other parts of the desert, but those tribes usually have little contact with outsiders.
Bhuka generally inhabit small, cleverly disguised villages dug into the sides of sand dunes or even into the ground itself. Bhuka are nearly vegetarian, and grow many succulents and desert plants in dry but surprisingly fertile farms surrounding their villages. Should resources become too scarce to sustain the tribe, they move on to a new area, either building a new village or taking over an abandoned empty one.
Bhuka tribes do not prevent others from entering their territory, although they tend to be cautious about approaching unknown non-bhuka. They welcome other bhuka tribes (encounters with other bhuka tribes are a time for young adults to find spouses outside of their birth tribe).
Bhuka language is distantly related to Goblin, but the two peoples have been apart so long that other goblinoids usually cannot understand Bhuka. Most bhuka speak no other language, but those who serve as guides generally speak Common and often a smattering of other languages such as Gnome or Halfling.
Bhuka has no written form, although the pattern of knots and weaving in traditional bhuka clothing and textiles serves as a memory aid for oral storytelling.
A bhuka child is given a milk name until they come of age, at which point the matriarchs of their tribe choose a name based on their personality and achievements. A bhuka’s full name consists of this given name kha (“born of”) their mother’s clan name gi (“joined with”) the clan into which he or she has married (if applicable).
Bhuka who have extensive dealings with other races may choose a shortened version of their name to use with non-bhuka so as to avoid having to hear their name repeatedly butchered.
Given names (male and female): Aghila’ak (Runs Like Lizard), Chinkichu (Basket of Corn), Cochik’ukan (Eyes of Sunhawk), Gistik’uwa (High-Kick Dancer), Hintak’inai (Far Traveler), Kekkoti (Little Ear), Kotigana (Ears of Hare), Lakinigo (Slow Smile), Namatagi’na (Sings with Paint), Niskigan (Snake Fang), Piklit’akit (Jumping Mouse Grace), Stikuchi (Dancing Mother), Takigini (Speaks with Force), Takihoti (Speaks with Wisdom), Wikitagan (Flight of Swallow), Yukaki’na (Leader of Songs).
Clan names: Chikuk (Sunhawk), Kekkinna (Ear of Corn), Kichu (Basket), Niski (Rattlesnake), Pitlitak (Jumping Mouse), Wiki’i (Swallow), Wokuhoo (Moon Owl).
- −2 Strength, +2 Wisdom. Bhuka are slight of build, and deeply in tune with the desert around them.
- Medium. No special bonuses or penalties.
- Base land speed 30 feet.
- Sure feet (Ex): Bhuka’s broad feet and splayed toes help them travel over sand and other loose surfaces without sinking. They treat all shallow sand as normal terrain and deep sand as shallow sand.
- Glare resistance (Ex): Thanks to their long lashes and dark pigmentation around their eyes, bhuka are never dazzled by bright sun.
- Water sense (Ex): Bhuka have an innate ability to detect sources of drinkable water within 100 feet of their location. This requires a Survival check, the DC of which depends on the water’s depth below the surface.
- Desert resistance: Bhuka gain a +2 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to resist the harmful effects of heat and dehydration.
- Desert knowledge: Bhuka gain a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks and Knowledge (nature) is always a class skill for them.
- Heat Endurance: Bhuka gain Heat Endurance (Sandstorm 50) as a bonus feat.
- Automatic languages: Bhuka and Common. Bonus languages: Gnome, Halfling, Orc, Elven, Draconic.