Appearance and Habitat
One of several bipedal races in the Kingdom, the Montari have vaguely simian or canine faces, small ears low on their heads, opaque black eyes, and short fur covering their bodies, longer on the top of the head and receding from face, hands, and feet. Their stature is comparable to humans. They have opposable thumbs and two broad fingers on each hand instead of a human's four.
As with other intelligent races on Ramar, some Montari have magic and become mages.
Montari are tunnel-dwellers, living and working in underground colonies first delved by their ancestors and extensively expanded since; adjusting for soil quality, a crew of Black Montari, the worker caste, can dig up to 500 feet a day. The entrance to Kyree, one such colony, lies between Balmestri and Sortega in the south of Pianda. Montari colonies are typically winding, extensive, unadorned, and unlit.
History and Culture
Montari have been living in Kyree and other local colonies ever since their ancestors first started to dig there. Recently, Kyree has been troubled by drought, especially since Lord Gerson diverted their river for his fields and moat. Black and Brown Montari, hungry and desparate, responded by raiding the surrounding villages and even other Montari colonies. Small bands of hostile Black Montari are frequently encountered aboveground in that area, and as the drought progresses, hostile Brown and Grey Montari roam the halls of the colony itself.
Chee, the leader of Kyree Colony, advanced a plan to seize their water source back from Gerson, but the plan was tabled in favor of the efforts of a Ghanish mage, Enkudi, to restore their underground river by use of a dowsing rod.
Living with no dependable sources of light, the Montari measure time in cycles and sleep cycles rather than days and nights.
A strict caste system based on fur color divides Montari culture. There are four castes: workers, the Fifakree (craftspeople), warriors, and the ruling class to which colony leaders belong. The Gold and Grey Montari are considered upper-class, while Black and Brown Montari are not.
Gold Montari, the ruling class, are the only ones permitted to mingle with toplanders, considering it unbefitting for those of other castes to do so. They insist on only conversing with high-ranking toplanders. Montari of other castes are not supposed to leave their colonies.
Though Montari Chain Mail is beautiful and extremely strong, low-ranking Montari warriors usually wear common leather gear or simple loincloths in battle. Grey Montari more often use Montari-crafted equipment.
The Montari work with delicately-crafted metals, onyx, and ebony. Montari Chain Mail can be found as early as Chapter 1, while Montari Plate Mail (the strongest Armor in the game) and the Onyx Blades whose forging secrets are known to none are first seen in Chapter 6.
Chee notes that the Montari have no reason to rid their tunnels of Masliths, considering these venomous lizards delicious. He refers disparagingly to eggs as "unhatched chicken embryos." Despite this, the Montari are widely known as premier confectioners; their chocolate, the best in the kingdom, is marketed in Midova, and Lord Gerson praises their candied figs. Recently, drought and pirate activity have made it difficult for them to get ingredients for their wares.