A Kwannon-jin of the Eastern Hsien, the Hanumen are commoners; Hirayanu Shinma attuned to the element of Earth with the ability to turn into monkeys. They are often mistakenly referred to as Changelings.
The Hanumen take their name from their greatest hero, Hanuman, and are constant jesters and a force of undisciplined, random chaos. They have a wisdom of laughter that they love to share and are, more than most Shinma, on spiritual journey to tame their restless minds by discipline and find enlightenment. Unsurprisingly each monkey is at a different point on the journey. Most, in fact, have a long way to go.
While they are not nobles like the Kamuii, history is still full of stories of monkey kings and queens who ruled provinces and sacred sites, and their tie to the balanced element of Earth gives them a certain status. Many of the other hirayanu treat them like minor nobles while the Kamuii see them as distant cousins, a little closer to nobility than the other commoners but still works in progress.
Some Hsien think the Hanumen are a test of the gods to the Middle Kingdom and that the gates to the Spirit world will be opened again if they are helped on their journey. If this is the case, the monkeys are having a blast trying their patience. The jesters have sassy personalities and love to play naughty tricks on even the most stuffy of nobles. No one is spared their wits. Thought they can be temperamental they tend to be cheerful and their anger is quickly passing.
- Kwannon-jin Fortune: Earth
- Hsien-tsu - Monkey-folk who enter their current incarnation as children are an armload of trouble. They can be found climbing trees, drainpipes and rooftops and their trickery starts early; if they haven't played a prank by the time they've reached three years then something is wrong. They excel in sports and games needing dexterity of body and hand but lack the discipline needed to do martial arts or dance... they aren't much for rules.
- Hsien-jin - The adults aren't much better than the children. Their pranks are more elaborate and their tongues quicker. They like to hang around the Kamuii to learn something about being noble... or just to look for the opportunity to play a trick on them. They have great love for the Komuko who share their affinity for the earth. These monkeys are very social and enjoy joining other Hirayanu on quests.
The Wani Form of the Hanuman is a mix of human and monkey of about the same height as their mortal Hotei. They are covered in fur and have a prehensile tail with hands that can still delicately manipulate objects. They love exotic clothes and gaudy jewelry and tend to stand out in a crowd. Their monkey forms tend to be gibbons or macaques and appear as excellent specimens with luxurious fur, long tails, and well-developed hands and feet. When using the Mask of Shintai they become frightening and bizarre. Think of a 2 meter tall gibbon with a gaping maw, sharp teeth, and bulging, golden eyes plus a whip-like tail and bony protrusions along the spine. This is the Hanuman at their worst.
The monkeys find societies like the Li Shen or the Xian Mun rather funny. They are the Shinma who most believe in equality. After all, anyone can laugh or cry or die, right? If you force them to give an answer about their politics they will tell you they are on a path and that anyone they meet on the trail is family.
Luck & Curse
- Luck - As long as these tricksters use their abilities to help others, they can make a Charisma + Empathy roll to soothe the moods of others... even the supernatural rages and frenzies of other shen. One being is calmed for every two successes on the roll.
- Curse - Hanumen really take life seriously, particularly when politeness and courtesy are called for. All Etiquette difficulties are raised by 2.
When in their Wani Form, the Hanumen gain an automatic 2 dice in Dexterity, even if it raises the Attribute over 5. They can also use their prehensile tail to grasp and manipulate items. They aren't skilled enough to wield weapons but can maybe throw a bag of noodles and liven up a battle.