Panteru
Size/Type: Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40(50ft/x4 if on all fours)
Armor Class: 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 dex, +2 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+10
Attack: +3 bite (1d8+2) or claw +6 (1d4+2)
Full Attack: +3 Secondary Natural (1d8+2;20/x2, Bite), +6/+6 Primary Natural (1d4+2;20/x2, 2 Claws)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities:
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 9
Skills: Climb¹ +11, Jump¹ +15, Survival¹ +6.
Feats: Endurance (PH 93), Weapon Focus (PH 102) (2 Claws), Multiattack (MM 304).
Environment: Isle of Phendra
Organization: Solitary, Hunting party (2-8), or tribe (50-100, 25% non combatants)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Lawful Good
Advancement: As Character Class

Tred lightly when approaching the island of Phendra. They have good cause to mistrust outsiders, and aren’t the type to back down. Don’t lie to them, they aren’t the forgiving type. Don’t step on their toes, they aren’t the live and let live type. But if you’ve want to sit around until the wee hours o’ dawn discussing honor or need some sturdy claws to watch your back in one of those let’s save the world battles, you won’t find better folks! - Tara Whitequill, Adventuring Anthropologist.

Combat

Panteru fight for glory, and as such tend to go after the most dangerous looking opponents first. They will use slings for hunting, but for battle they prefer to use only their teeth and claws. When going to war, they will adopt leather breastplates and heavy shields, but otherwise prefer to fight unencumbered.
Skills: Their feline heritage provides the Panteru with a +4 racial bonus on jump and climb checks.
Running: A Panteru can move on all fours, but cannot use their front paws as hands during rounds in which they move on all fours.

Character Racial Abilities:

o +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
o Base land speed of 40 feet.
o +2 Natural Armor bonus.
o Racial Skill Bonus: +4 Jump, +4 Climb
o Natural Weapons: Bite(1d8+2), 2 Claws(1d4+2),
o Darkvision 60 feet.
o Low-Light Vision
o Bonus Feat: Endurance
o Favored Class: Fighter (Warblade)
o Level Adjustment +1

Panteru

Within the misty isle of Phendra dwell the Panteru, descendents of the Leonals, warriors dedicated to honor and bravery.

Description

Panteru resemble bipedal lions. The smallest among them are seven feet in height, and the largest males can easily reach ten feet in height. Females are notably shorter than the males, averaging between six and eight feet in height. Panteru have tufted tails, and consider it very rude to have their tails touched by any other than their mate. Though Panteru are bipedal, they are fully capable of running on all fours and will occasionally do so to gain additional speed. Due to how their bodies are formed, Panteru find riding horseback and sitting in chairs to be extremely uncomfortable. Rather than chairs, they prefer woven mats or pillows for sitting and sleeping.
Their fur is a tawny gold, and the males have manes that vary from gold into red, black, and silver. It is generally accepted that the darker the mane, the greater the battle prowess of the male. The fur of a Panteru protects them against the elements by being both warm and waterproof.
The claws of the Panteru are retractable, and they are lethal with either claw or fang. They are meticulous about maintaining their claws, often carrying small stone knives with them for just that purpose. Panteru cannot wear boots, and gloves and bracers must be modified to be worn. For armor, most Panteru use only breastplate and shield as all else tends to constrict their mobility.
Clothing is mainly for decorative purposes, and many Panteru only wear clothing on formal occasions. Most limit their clothing to ornately woven sashes worn tied around the waist. When the weather is bad enough that their fur is not sufficient to protect them, Panteru wear woven or seal-skin ponchos to keep out the weather. Armbands woven with beads and pearls are popular decorations, and mates exchange amulets at the end of their courtship ritual.

Habitat

Panteru dwell on the island of Phendra, hidden behind jagged reefs. They encounter other races only rarely, and are thus on the xenophobic side. Phendra’s southern half is an area of rolling hills covered in light to medium forest. The northern half is an area of tall grass and few trees, with scattered watering holes and a several rocky ravines.
Though Panteru hunt in the forests, but prefer to live in the grasslands. They are nomadic, wandering from watering hole to watering hole in search of prey. Many watering holes have structures that are shared between tribes and returned to time after time.
In the center of the island stands a large, jagged volcano. The volcano has not erupted in generations, but geysers and occasional small lava flows are common. The Panteru view the volcano with great superstition. Around the volcano are winding lava canyons that alter as the volcano shakes and the lava flows, quickly rendering maps outdated. Canyons of obsidian can cut the boots of travelers to shreds quickly, and geyser spouts can cook the unwary in moments. In several areas, the ground can crack and drop travelers into boiling mud, and pools of acid dot the area. In spite of the dangers, or perhaps because of, the volcano is considered a sacred hunting ground where only the most powerful hunters dare to travel. Hunting and slaying one of the fire serpents that dwell in the volcano can net hunters bragging rights for the rest of their lives.
Phendra itself has few metals, thus most tools used by the Panteru are crafted instead from obsidian. Hunters use obsidian tipped javelins and harpoons for hunting. Steelwood grows in the forests of Phendra, and saplings are sometimes taken to make items. Panteru law demands that two seeds be planted for each live tree taken.
The eastern slope of the volcano features hot springs. The springs closest to the volcano can go from pleasantly warm to fatally boiling in the space of moments, but the springs further away are safer and are a popular location for tribes to gather. One spring is the site of a powerful druidic grove, sacred to all the Panteru.

Diet

The Panteru are carnivores. Their diet varies depending on which area of Phendra they dwell, with fish being the primary diet of those along rivers. The grasslands are home to bison, gazelle, and a variety of birds and ground mammals. Coastal dwellers often add seals and occasionally even whales to their diets. Within the forests are deer, moose, and turkey. Snakes are viewed with superstition, and their flesh is never eaten. On occasion, the male Panteru will hunt the river crocodile or the massive bears of the forest, but these hunts are more sacred ritual than food source.
Some tribes supplement their diet with a flat seed bread cooked in animal fat. Though the Panteru are carnivores, they do maintain small gardens along their trails as way stations, generally consisting of medicinal herbs. Panteru also use the herbs with the honey they gather to make a strong mead.

Behavior

Honor is the most sacred virtue of the Panteru. They do not lie, and their language has no word for theft. Within the tribe they treat each other with respect, as their law demands they deal with others honorably. Mock combat is a popular form of entertainment. Panteru history is kept orally, and the tribe will often gather to hear recitations of legends and historical figures.
Especially among the males, scars are worn as badges of honor, and meetings between tribes often consist of comparing scars and sharing the stories of how they were earned. Panteru often duel among themselves, but it is forbidden by custom stronger than law for one Panteru to kill another. Punishment for crime is exile from the tribe and lose of the criminal’s name. Exile can last anywhere from a month to the rest of the criminal’s life.
Bravery is considered part of honor. It is unseemly to fight a battle with the odds heavily in your favor. Many Panteru would rather die than commit an act of dishonor. In their eyes, an individual is worth is determined by their honor, and thus without honor there is no reason to live.
Panteru prefer a simple life. They need little, and consider greed unseemly, and by their law take no more from the land then they need for survival. Buildings are communal, but otherwise Panteru treat each other’s person belongings with respect.
Perhaps the most notable trait of the Panteru is they are stubborn. When you earn the friendship of a Panteru, you’ve earned a friend for life. The same is true when you earn the enmity of a Panteru. They are implacable foes, unwilling to surrender to forces they view as evil and willing to sacrifice their lives to defend their tribes.
To the Panteru, few other races meet their standards of honor. Those without honor are not truly considered ‘people’ to the Panteru, but something in between prey and ‘creature to be tolerated as necessary’. Many find this attitude abrasive and offputting.

Society

Tribes are lead by a pack leader, called a Rajzir. A Shaman, usually a druid, and a Lawsayer aid the Rajzir. Rajzir are almost always male, but the Shaman and Lawsayer are as likely to be female as male. Generally the Rajzir is usually eldest and wisest male in the tribe, but in times of war the Rajzir may instead be the strongest warrior in the tribe. A Rajzir’s position can be challenged during peace time, but during times of war the Rajzir’s position may only be challenged by the joint agreement of the Shaman and Lawsayer.
When making a more permanent settlement, Panteru tend to build only one structure: the tribal hall. Individual homes usually consist of little more than a woven pad for sleeping. The weather in Phendra is tropical, and their fur protects them from the elements. The tribal hall is in the shape of an oval, with a small area next to it dedicated to a sacred garden, and rarely more than a simple, hide-covered pavilion tent. A few are built of stone, taking advantage of natural terrain features.
Each tribe is made up of 5-15 family units. Each family sets up its own hearth fire each night, but otherwise the tribe lives and works as a community. There is no concept of orphans among the Panteru, as cubs are welcome at any hearth fire and raised by the village as a whole. The fastest way to earn the enmity of an entire tribe is to harm a cub. Cubs are taught the value of honor from birth.
Panteru mate for life. It is not uncommon for one half of the union to die of grief should tragedy befall the other. Courtship takes a full year, and the marriage ceremony is a time of rejoicing. Marriages within a tribe are often discouraged, and there are several locations where tribes gather to trade back and forth and meet potential mates.
Cubs are considered to be adults in their fourteenth year. Cubs are forgiven indescritions. Once a cub reaches adulthood however, they are considered fully bound to the customs and laws of the tribe. The ceremony confirming adulthood, called the Za’gra, involves the cub choosing a new name. From that time on, being referred to by one’s childhood name is considered insulting by all but close family.
Panteru cremate their dead, burying the ashes in the herbal gardens.

History

The Panteru believe they are descendents of Leonals, trapped in the material world during a long ago battle against a great evil. They hold themselves ready to face that evil again, believing strongly that it still dwells beneath the isle of Phendra, awaiting the day when the Panteru turn their backs on honor. The nature of the evil has been forgotten, but some scholars believe that a powerful fiend may have been trapped beneath the sea. The resulting upheaval of earth created the island.
Few Panteru ever leave the island, and the reefs make trade relations with the island difficult, if not completely impossible. Generations have often passed with the Panteru being lost to the mists of history. Panteru themselves have a distrust of other races, fearing a race less honorable than they may accidently release the evil. For this reason, Panteru will not disclose the location of their island to other races and have few compunctions about imprisoning or even killing sailors that happen to find the isle.

Bestiary

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