Tuesday, June 24, 2014


"Whether we belong to the class of quadrupeds or not, is a question that has a good deal embarrassed our own savants: returned the stranger. "There is an ambiguity in our physical action that renders the point a little questionable; and therefore, I think, the higher castes of our natural philosophers rather prefer classing the entire monikin species, with all its varieties, as caudae-jactans, or tailwavers; adopting the term from the nobler part of the animal formation. Is not this the better opinion at home, my Lord Chatterino?" he asked, turning to the youth, who stood respectfully at his side.

"Such, I believe, my dear Doctor, was the last classification sanctioned by the academy," the young noble replied, with a readiness that proved him to be both well-informed and intelligent, and at the same time with a reserve of manner that did equal credit to his modesty and breeding. "The question of whether we are or are not bipeds has greatly agitated the schools for more than three centuries."
The Monikins
by James Fenimore Cooper

According to the surviving copies of the heavily-redacted shipping manifests, at least twenty breeding-couples of Monikins were brought into Wermspittle by the ANGSOC Refugees. These Monikins were mostly accounting-slaves, trained to perform various tricks of bureaucratic legerdemain, but a few were also trained to act as covet observers and body-guards. The Monikins were originally inhabitants of several lush, tropical islands situated within the same Antarctic archipelago from which the Tsalalians were displaced by the Horrors unleashed by meddlesome explorers investigating the nature of the Polar Monoliths first described in the Sibylline Leaves during the reign of Kalushma the Sagacious nearly eleven-hundred years ago...

No. Enc.: 2d4
Alignment: Neutral (60%), Law (30%), Chaos (10%)
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attacks: 1*
Damage: 1d4 or by weapon
Save: as Zero-Level Human
Morale: 7

Monikins with a DEX of 14 or better can use their prehensile tail to wield light weapons, small bucklers or wands.

Monikins can advance in any class, as long as they have appropriate stats. They tend to be very fashion-conscious and approve of good manners, good math skills, and good breeding. Their original society was very focused on selective breeding along caste-lines, something that their time in servitude to ANGSOC only reinforced and strengthened. They greatly fear and distrust Winged Monkeys whom they consider to be degenerates that they do not approve of at all, to the point that a Monikin will ask a stranger to convey anything they might have to say to such beings so as not to interact with them directly for fear of social contamination or censure by their betters.

There is a sizable Monikin community of scholars and money-lenders at the Academy in Wermspittle that have quietly been pursuing their respective areas of study and diligently refraining from any overt involvement in politics, ostensibly because of their many generations of mistreatment at the hands of ANGSOC. However, there are persistent rumors that imply that the Monikins are not nearly as hands-off when it comes to such things as they would have others believe...

Monikin Elders rejected the admission of Uberschimpanze into the ranks of eligible students for decades due to a misunderstanding based on the Uberschimpanzes lack of suitable tails, leading the Monikins to reject them as actual primates. This unfortunate incident has led to a bit of friction between the two groups, a situation made worse by the machinations of the Marmoset clans who have never really accepted the Monikins based on their dismissal of mustard as a mere condiment...

Inspiration: The Monikins, by James Fenimore Cooper, was published in 1835 and is a strange, satirical novel more about finances and money than monkeys. It is also available via The Internet Archive, or at the highly recommended ERBzine site. The author's daughter Susan provided an Introduction to The Monikins in 1861 which might also be of interest.

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