Centaur- Hell on Hooves

A centaur herald trots into enemy territory on a diplomatic mission.

World: Midgard

Diet: Omnivorous

Height: 7’8″

Lifespan: 70 years

Habitat: Anywhere, prefer plains

Activity Cycle: Diurnal

Most commonly seen on the great northern steppes to the west of Gurngamos, the centaurs are one of the strangest forms of beastfolk in all of Midgard. While most beastfolk are nearly human and transform to more resemble their infused animal, centaurs are permanently a bizarre fusion of man and horse. While most who have never seen a centaur assume that their bodies are an even split, with pure humanity above the waist and the rest of the body a horse, this is untrue. Like all beastfolk, their features mix and meld in unusual ways.

The human portion has more obvious changes. A centaur’s body will have the same skin tone as their horse body’s hair, including spots or stripes if they have any. Their fingernails resemble their hooves and are often black. When it comes to senses, their hearing is improved, with more horselike ears, while their wide-set eyes see less color than a regular human’s. Their jaw and teeth are enlarged, their canines becoming tusks that visibly poke from the lips of some men. The horse’s body only has a changed tail, thickened and more like that of some monkeys than a proper horse’s.

Internally, there is more mingling. The human portion of the torso is mostly dedicated to the lungs and heart, both far larger than a normal human’s to deal with their increased bulk. The heart is also very low, where a regular human’s intestines would be placed.  There is also the beginnings of the digestive system, which continues into the horse portion of the body, where most of it is contained. This system is more human than horse, not dedicated to grasses but the various foods that a human regularly imbibes, and is highly efficient to feed the centaur’s large body and brain.

Half a century ago, the centaurs of the steppes unified their diverse nomadic tribes into a conquering horde, sweeping through Gurngamos and many other nearby nations. Within decades, this new empire fragmented back into various tribes and the centaurs have mostly returned to their historical range, with the exception of a fragment of their empire that retains a part of Gurngamos. Here, centaurs and humans live together, varying in equality by which ancestral tribe rules their section of the land. Relations with Gurngamos are fraught, as Gurngamos attempts to take their land back and this burgeoning new nation attempts to keep it.

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