Biology · Races

Homin

Overview

Homins are a sapient species of humanoids that live on the planet, Kaf. Homins have distinctive long, prehensile tails and hand-like feet capable of well-articulated movements. In fact, Homins walk upright on two legs while on the ground, and crouch on two or climb on all fours along the branches of trees.
Despite being natives of another planet, they share a common ancestor with modern humans. They also still have most of the traits shared by all species of humans, making them as at home on the ground as they are in the trees. Even with humble beginnings in the high leafy canopies of tropical forests, their drive, curiosity, and determination allowed them to settle in various forests the world and even grow new ones to expand their territory.

Quick Species Profile
Homo arboreus “tree dwelling man”
Life Expectancy
Average: 65 years
Max: Possibly 180 years
Height: 0.91-1.20 m (3’0″-3’11”)
Weight: 18-36 kg (40-80 lbs.)
Creature Type: Natural Humanoid (Hominin)

Biology

Homins are a sapient species of hominin great ape, specifically the same genus that humans belong to Homo. This is because they have essentially the same arrangement of internal organs, share all of the same bones (though somewhat different in shape and size), share most diseases and have several important blood type systems in common. More importantly they have the human pelvis and spinal column necessary for an erect posture with bipedal locomotion and a large cerebral cortex allowing for the mental ability to create and use symbols or create new ideas and complex technologies.

The distinctive traits that differ from other humans is that their feet don’t have an arch and have the ability to effectively grasp and manipulate objects like that of other apes. They are also the only apes that have strong external prehensile, or grasping, tails that are capable of being used as “third hands” for holding onto branches like that of New World monkeys. They can even hang from their tail as it fully supports their body weight.

Appearance

Hair: Black, Brown, Blond, Red, Auburn, Midnight Blue

Eyes: Brown, Hazel, Amber, Green, Blue, Gray

Homins are bipedal beings near identical to humans but a foot or two shorter. Like humans, their bodies are covered in hair too thin and fine to usually see, except for the thick hair on the head and eyebrows, and after puberty, underarms and groin and homin male faces.

Their hair can be grown, cut, and styled for aesthetic or ritualistic reasons—The facial hair grown by adult males could be grown, styled, or shaved completely. Their hair color ranges from blond to black, sometimes with hues of red or brown, changing to gray or white as years passed and could be straight, wavy, or curly or frizzy. Some also have a natural shade of dark blue hair, which really only looks blue due to tiny air sacs in the hair scattering light and making it appear blue, in a similar way to the sky or blue feathers. In addition to those varied hair colors, their eyes come in shades of blue, green, amber, or brown. Gradiation of skin tone is also seen among homins, usually  various shades of brown, ranging from lightest peach to pale yellowish brown to darkest brown. This is due to the varying amounts of melanin in their skin.

Homin arms are longer and their legs are a bit shorter, meaning they can reach their knees without bending. The homin toes have multiple points of articulation, and one of them is an opposable thumb that allows for fine manipulation. Finally, unlike most humanoids they are all born with a fully prehensile tail that extends from the lower base of spine and sports a fine layer of hair, the same color as that on their head.

 

Physiological Traits

Species of Human: Homins are a member of the human family of animals, having the same direct ancestor as Homo sapiens. What makes they stand out is their various adaptations to an arboreal lifestyle which resembles that of other simians. Homins however share similar facial features, spinal/hip structure, and mental capacity with the human family.

Prehensile Tail: Homins have a long, flexible tail that projects from the sacral triangle that they can use to hold on to branches and alternatively, carry objects. Their tails are covered in terminal hair that matches the color on their heads. Longer than their legs, they have a patch of skin grooves similar to fingerprints. This adaptation to their mostly arboreal lifestyle serves as a fifth hand and strong enough to suspend their entire body from a branch.

Prehensile Feet: Homin feet have a grasping opposable big toe, similar to great apes. They are capable of a precision grip as well as a power grip, having the the same range of articulation as the hands. Unlike the great apes, a particular bone embedded within the foot tendon helps keep the foot rigid, especially when jumping from one surface to another like humans.

Thin body hair: Although technically covered in hair from head to toe except their palms and soles, it’s so thin and fine they look hairless. Their thinner body hair and more productive sweat glands help them avoid heat exhaustion while running or climbing for long distances.

Arboreal locomotion and expert climbing: Homins are mostly brachiators, propelling themselves through the forest by swinging under the branches using their arms. On branches and the ground, homins can walk on two legs.

High Agility: They can leap well above their heights due to high power to weight ratios launching them. The arms of Homins are long (they can put their hands on their knees standing up; take a moment and try to do the same).They can swing from branch to branch for distances of up to 15 m (50 ft), at speeds as high as 55 km/h (34 mph) and make leaps of up to 8 m (26 ft). When climbing a cliff face, they can typically travel up seven feet per second on average.

Strong Grip: Their grip strength can allow them to easily carry their own body weight on only their fingertips which tend to be longer than other humanoids due to bulkier knuckles.

High power to weight ratio: Homins bodies are relatively robust, and can withstand and exert a high amount of power. Their climbing lifestyle accentuates the need for arm and leg strength. A homin’s skeletal muscle has longer fibers than the human equivalent and can pound for pound, generate twice the work output over a wider range of motion. This also allows them to jump at least one-third higher than top-level human athletes.

Biomagical Attributes

Mana Manipulation: Being natural humanoids, homins can use the magical power they passively absorb into their bodies from the environment to conjure a substance known as manaplasm. Their magic revolves around the manipulation of manaplasm to do various things such as act as a projectile, barrier, mimic other substances, or alter preexisting magical effects.

General Diet

Homins are opportunistic omnivores, partial to food that contains a high sugar, fat, or salt content. Staples of their diet is fruit (which constitutes about 75% of their diet), leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts, tree bark, and tender plant shoots. They also eat honey, insects, spiders, eggs, lizards, frogs and small birds.

Communities with agricultural practices make the effort to grow crops like shrub berries, starchy tubers, beans, and gourd vegetables that normally within ground level on constructed hanging gardens in their treetop dwellings.

Reproduction

On average, females reach sexual maturity from 12-16 years of age with males slightly later. Copulation occurs for the first time at about 13 years of age in indigenous or traditional societies, often later in developed nations. Homin females are fertile year round, and in which no special signals of fertility are produced by the body. Opposed to many animals, female homins have a menstrual cycle roughly every month. Homin women will also go through menopause, typically after 50 years of age, in which they will no longer bare children. Homin males remain fertile much longer, many well into their 70’s.

As with other mammals, homin reproduction takes place as internal fertilization by sexual intercourse between an opposite sex couple to produce offspring. While developing in their mother’s womb, the child gives her a distinctive “baby bump” accompanied by a significant weight gain. Being mammals, the homin females give birth to live young, either one or several at a time. Two children born at the same birth are referred to as twins, and three as triplets. The delivery itself normally takes place after nine months of pregnancy.

As a consequence of bipedalism, homin females have narrower birth canals which can make childbirth painful and dangerous, especially given the larger head size of homin babies. In some circumstances, women could die during childbirth, although it became less common in places with access to top-notch medical technologies. During their first two years of existence, Homin babies are usually fed with milk from their mother’s breasts.

Lifespan and Growth

The period during which a young Homin develops from a child into an adult is known as adolescence. According to top therapists, that stage of development is emotionally hard to endure without support. Regardless of physiological and psychological changes, the legal transition from childhood to adulthood depends on culture. While some societies treated their members as adults as early as the age of 13, others considered that full adulthood was only attained at 21. As for when they hit sexual maturity, it averages 12-16 for females and 14-17 for males. The young then venture out (or are forced out by the same-sex parent) to start a new family group of their own. Homins are likely to be promiscuous, until they find a soul mate to start a family with.

Homins hit their peak of physical and mental capacity from the years of 25 to 35, after a decade or so from their bodies may deteriorate in quality without specific diet or exercises. A homin without advanced medical treatments can likely live roughly half a century, recent advances able to extend this to possibly a century and a half.

 

Etymology

Homin is based on a shortening of hominid or hominin, the proto-human ancestors of the genus Homo, including modern humans.

History

Human ancestors (Homo erectus) found their way to the forest region of Kaf by random temporal portals linking to prehistoric earth. Basically this gave these beings millions of years to adapt to the tree filled areas as they were pushed back by foreign and hostile creatures and mega fauna. Eventually their Kaf native descendants developed arboreal traits intrinsic to other primates such as the reintroduction of grasping big toes and longer arms. Random chance and sexual selection favored the development of long prehensile tails to better aid climbing through trees. Still they retained their bipedal walk and posture even in the trees, and developed traits similar to that of modern humans, such as increased brain size, similar facial features, prominent breasts in females, use of advanced tools, fire and a complex social culture.

Homins first appeared in tropical forest areas and after the Ghulat wars, were able to spread to island and temperate regions. A few went as far as mountainous and boreal forests. Another group learned to construct simple boats allowing them to populate various islands as well. During the globalization era, they were able to grow forests in order to increase their range, along with other forest beings.

The trees where they first settled were massive enough for the branches to interconnect them and allow for climbing between them. The trees were also able to support small huts they eventually built among their branches. Because they have mega fauna and magical beast enemies on the forest floor, homins survived by only going down when they were gone, and eventually building weapons to fend them off when they needed to.

Homin settlements were either nearby or cohabited relatively peaceful with fairies and various spirits of the forest. With various empires cropping up from the djinn and faye, homins in occupied territories grew a sense of nationalism and wanted their own nation. However the various major ethnic groups of homins couldn’t agree on a single territory which resulted in separate homin created states. These nations and a few surrounding territories where controlled by monarchs until the events leading up the creation of the United Sentient Species led to them taking on ceremonial positions. Now homin nations are attempting to participate in setting up social democratic models to govern themselves.

Culture

Homin Ethnotypes

  • Tropic
  • Silvid
  • Islander
  • Taiga

Architecture

Homin shelters are built around or in trees like tree houses.

For tropic and island homins, initially, a suitable tree is located: Homins are selective about sites even though many tree species are utilized. The foundation is then built by pulling together branches under them and joining them at a point. After the foundation has been built, the homin bends smaller, leafy branches onto the foundation; this serves the purpose of and is termed as the “mattress”. After this, they braid the tips of branches into the mattress. This increases the stability of the nest and forms the final process of nest building.

Then they may add additional features such as “pillows”, “blankets”, “roofs” and “bunk-beds” to their nest. Homins make “pillows” by clumping together leafy branches with the leaves in the center and the twig shoots pointed outward. They bite the twigs to blunt sharp ends. Pillows are added to night nests but are usually absent from day nests. A “blanket” consists of large leafy branches with which orangutans cover themselves after lying down. Homins may create a waterproof overhead shelter for the nest by braiding together a loose selection of branches. They may also make a “bunk-nest” or “bunk-bed”, a few meters above the main nest.

Forest and taiga homins used various material like fallen wood to construct shelters with the strongest branches of a tree. The result typically resembles a tree house which can have many variations in size, design, carrying capacity, and the like. Many have side or hanging gardens to plant flowers, crops or animals that would normally only be on the ground.

Spirituality

Early in their history, they encountered various local spirits and many had to determine which were helpful or harmful. This resulted in early societies having animist beliefs rooting in appeasing the local spirit creatures around them of called “Deshsa“. When djinn missionaries entered their settlements, they brought with them their major religions and the concept of divinity.

The variety of Deshsa followed by taiga homing near Wakoku has many purity rituals and a stronger focus on the exploits of spirits animating nature due to their history of contact with those of the yokai culture.

Djinn missionaries began the spread of their beliefs, particularly Sufi, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism;within the homin tribes of the Zomia Tropics and surrounding island chains. These peoples followed them with various degrees of devotion and admixture with indigenous beliefs.

Gender/Family

A small, stable homin family consists of a mated pair (a male and a female who mate for life) and their offspring. Homin mates usually stay together for life. Families will often group together to cover a wider area and share resources.

Dress/Modesty

Homins are relatively lax about modesty as most differentiate nudity from sexuality. Children innocently go around with relatively little or no clothing, in most cultures.  Most adults would also continue to lack clothing, especially in humid regions.

Exceptions included those who lived closer to subartic regions where clothing was almost a neccessity. Suppression of public nudity also occurred in megacities with heavy traffic of other species less comfortable with homin nudity. In these places homins wearing boxer shorts, briefs, brassieres, and panties, became normal.

Socialization

In traditional homin societies, the youngest are reared by their mothers and taught to forage for plants and insects, also how to groom themselves and others. Mothers may also take it upon themselves to teach their children observable things in nature and their lives. The father tends to show his offspring what the social groups rules are and how to travel in the trees or hunt if they do.

For knowledge outside of their family unit, homin children use observation, imitation, or listen to oral stories. Children and adolscents traditionally learn the skills useful for adults via hands on  collaboration and cooperation, typically under apprenticeships.

Shared between nearly all homin cultures is a training discipline that uses movement from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible, nearly identical to Parkour.  It includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation. No matter how rural or urban, homin children practice this through their play and into adulthood, even a significant portion of senior homins can still perform basic maneuvers. For young homins, this non-combatitive art complements their innate arboreal lifestyle, brings them together to share a philosophy about overcoming obstacles in life and compare their progress with each other to improve themselves.

Magic Use

As the largest group of hominins on Kaf, homins are noted for their type of magic they call the manaplasm arts, which functions differently than the magic system of the preternatural beings.

When homins channel the stored mana from within themselves, it combines with their bodies electrical potential to conjure a substance called mana plasma. This material has a combination of traits from non-thermal plasma, non-Newtonian fluids, as well as inherent magical properties.

Homins typically use magic in everyday aspects of their lives such as chores, most of which involves having manaplasm mimic certain materials or constructs that facilitate important actions. Homins can also use native martial art disciplines to direct the force of their blows and conjure constructs in the heat of battle.

Science and Technology

Transportation

Most of their history involved walking or climbing among trees. Some homins began creating devices that made this easier for special populations like grappling hooks. With the introduction of large cities, inventions like cable cars had to set up to get people around the cities.

Weaponry

Like humans, homins started out with wooden or bone tools such as knives, clubs, axes, and spears and slings for ranged attacks. Some Homins have also learned metallurgy from neighboring species to create metal weapons like swords. Soon homins adopted to the use of firearms as projectile weaponry.

Communications

For most of their history lacked long distance communication and mostly relied on oral records and stories. Slowly came the adoption of recording things in books and video but the rapid efforts of globalization meant young homins found use in cellular phones quickly.

Medical Treatment

Herbalism from past traditions remains alive and well but are integrated with antibiotics and vaccination administration. The holistic approach often favors the doctor to talk with their patient and helping them to prevent a condition or common ailment, many doctors taking house calls.

In developed regions, the next breakthrough for homins came from their faye neighbors. Noting the faye’s regenerative process, the homins have found out to clone tissues and organs for medical purposes. This has lead to regenerative therapy for natural creatures which can be used for organ transplants, blood donation, skin grafting, cosmetic surgeries and more.

Manufacturing

Using small strings of bark and roots, they weave and decorate baskets. They can use these baskets to carry plants, crops, and food to bring back to their nests. They are also known to dye the baskets with berries and clay, as well as to paint their bodies and dye their loin cloths. After the baskets are painted they are further decorated with masticated charcoal pigment. Similar processes were copied for other materials to trade with.

 

Author’s Notes

Unlike the other races who are based on established fantasy creatures, Homins are something I made up myself. The recipe involved a lot of research on human evolution, especially Ardi, and the lesser apes like gibbons. Something that can happen in evolution called atavism, is when ancestral traits reappear in a descendant species that are usually blocked during development. To clear up so misconceptions, it’s not evolution going backward (since the process don’t truly have predetermined paths or levels) but rather it’s using a potential present in its genes to respond to new pressures in a new environment. I thought of the homins design by putting ancient members of the human family and reactivating ancestral primate features like prehensile feet and tails merged with the human traits like upright posture and rational thinking. And be honest having potentially three more functional hands would make things so much more interesting.

I  originally intended for them to take the role of humans in Kaf but now I think that niche is also shared with a few others sapient races. Homins are more like indigenous humans as opposed to those within the mainstream/western world image and influence.

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