“I am Brave Fighter, of the tribe of Courage of the race of the butu. We are the quickest to fight, the fastest to flee, the longest to survive. Our witch-doctors are the wisest, our rogues the sneakiest, our fighters are the most deadly.
Long ago the butu served the ancient ones, but we stopped. Powerful magic was tried, the butu advised against it, but the ancient ones were proud and would not listen. Then the Cataclysm came, and the ancient ones were lost. Well, most of them, for you must surely be their descendents. We have known since then that we were right, the touch of magic can be beneficial, but used unwisely it can destroy everything and everyone.
My tribe lives high up on Fire Mountain. We are not many, and our enemies are legion. Many hunt us for food, but we hunt them back. The flying garuda in particular love to snack on butu, so we learned to look above and to run fast. No one but a butu can outrun a flying garuda, and even then the race is uncertain.
We had thought all Nubari gone, until the recent Boom at the mountain top. Some butu were crushed by the falling rock, and only narrowly did we escape the burning rock. But survive we did, as always. The we saw Nubari and others who could have descended from the ancients scaling our mountain, bearing a gift for the fire. We knew you must be descended from the ancient ones, you bore a staff made of the ancient ceramic. A few treasured items among us have been passed down from chief to chief, we recognize the material.
So we have come down to see what happens in the jungle. Many of you are very large, but few can run as fast as the butu. We will survive. We will find others of our kind, for we surely inhabit every mountain in Malatra.”
Legend has it that the Butu arrived in Malatra as the pets of the Ancients, though in fact they came from an original koboldlike servant race of the Ancients. These kobolds mated with the resident bakemono to produce the modern butu. Long thought to be extinct, butu have been recently spotted among several remote rocky crags.
Butu physically resemble a cross between the Kara-Turan bakemono and the Faerûnian kobold. Their lower body is like that of a bakemono, with hairy legs with hoofed feet similar to that of mountain goats. Their upper body strongly resembles a kobold, though with two medium sized goat-like horns atop their heads. Their unique ability to run along the face of rocky cliffs like mountain sheep most likely accounts for their ability to survive the many Malatran predators.
Butu have their own language and communicate in shrill, yapping barks.
While they tend to avoid combat, if trapped Butu will fight to defend the clan and create a pathway to safety. The butu approach to combat centers around ambush, maneuver, sneakiness, and overwhelming numbers. In planning an attack they will use the terrain to the best advantage for ranged weapons and concealment. Like kobolds, they often hurl crude javelins and spears, not closing to melee until they see that their enemies have been weakened. Once melee starts, however, they can become impulsive (caught up in the heat of the moment); in this state they forgo any attempt at cunning or organized tactics.
When they do close for melee with their enemies, they rush to the attack with weapons swinging. A preferred means of attack is to charge in mass, head-butting their opponents and then engaging with hand-held weapons. A swarm of butu can often knock down even the largest opponents. Opponents on rocky slopes and cliff faces find it difficult to maintain balance after receiving a head-butt charge. Butu use horns, clubs, short bows, and stone knives. They greatly prize obsidian for this purpose. The wear a hodgepodge collection of armor, skins, and rags randomly strapped to their bodies.
The butu have limited infravision capability of 30’, but do not incur any attack penalties when fighting in bright light. A special defense of the butu is to huddle down into a small quivering form and hide. Enemies thinking it harmless, attack the nearest standing butu or other foe. Unfortunately, this special defense causes all “hungry” enemies to immediately attack the small, helpless-looking morsel.