The largest bipedal creatures on Halestia are the jurens (singular: juren, adjectival: jureni). Their era of prosperity has faded under the march of time, but nevertheless they carry on. They believe that Vecia, the Lady of Fate, has instilled in them a spirit sensitive to the flows of time, and they remain the most competent astronomers. They are intelligent, strong, and peaceful.
They're built stocky, with short necks, and thick limbs. Their skin is a coppery or golden color, and their hair is always dark. Their eyes are small in comparison to their head, and jet black. Adolescence begins at age 20, and they're considered adults by 30. Jurens generally live not more than 200 years.
Jurens tower over the other races. A juren toddler is the size of a full-grown human. An adult juren, on average, stands up to an impressive 18′ tall and can weigh 6,000 pounds. They're considered Size 5. Due to their size, they have a very slow metabolism, and move only as fast as a human at walking speed. Being so huge, they dole out bigger hits, and they make harder falls. Their size isn't always a boon as a juren will have great difficulty fitting into buildings and underground ("Table for five, please. Oh, and some space out back for the juren").
Both male and female jurens enjoy long, braided hair. Males sometimes grow facial hair. Both genders don ornate jewelry made out of precious metals, but the amount of materials needed is many times more than what smaller humanoids use. Their wardrobe is usually limited to the pelts of enormous animals, so leather and fur are common motifs. Some wealthy jurens commission huge garments out of silks and linen, but it requires smaller workers to get it done. Their pacifistic demeanor means that very few wear armor, but ancient suits of jureni armor are still hidden throughout the world. Most jurens keep a massive hat that repels rain and snow.
A juren is first and foremost intelligent. They're great problem solvers and critical thinkers. Secondly, they're overall quite peaceful. Jurens enjoy a good laugh and to see their loved ones attain goals. They always fully analyze all aspects of a situation before they form an opinion. They're analytical but not cold, and many stories circulate of jurens as Good Samaritans. "Here, let me help you with that downed tree in the road." A juren probably won't be picking any fights, but they'll be glad to defend themselves or a loved one (whether they're their own size or smaller).
After their settlements were conquered by the ancient Dominion of Nivorios, and their people enslaved, the jureni cities were left to crumble and none are inhabited in this day and age. Jurens live a lonely existence. Their numbers continue to dwindle and many make a living in isolated jobs. Most jurens sleep under the stars to watch the cosmos fly by.
Jurens are enormous and their dietary needs are just as big. They began life as hunter-gatherers, but their extreme size forced them to hunt only the flesh and eggs of enormous creatures: whales, rocs, mammoths, and the giant reptiles common in the old world. Over the millennia, they took to farming. These days, jurens still hunt large creatures of the land and sea, and they also tend to farm crops which grow to huge size, like melons, gourds, and squashes.
In ages past, jurens congregated in city-states and lived under the rule of kings and queens. These once great monarchies haven't been seen for nearly fifteen thousand years. A memory lingers in the stories of their people: that cruel magic was once used to control their great strength to carry out the will of a mad tyrant. As a result, the jurens have a strong cultural sense of nonviolence; being warlike only causes suffering. This attitude makes them great neighbors, and they live quite happily under the governance of the realms in which they live — so long as they can live without oppression.
In fact, one of the only times jurens will let loose their brute strength is to neutralize an ogui — a twisted, monstrous juren from the ancient days. Since ogui cannot venture into the daylight, they remain in huge caverns underground and in other dark places. Ogui are rarely seen in the world, and the jurens are happy to help keep it that way.
In the far past, the jurens had a complex system of hieroglyphics, which they used to record language, mathematics, and astronomical events. Upon the end of their reign, the Jureni language was largely abandoned, but much of it still exists in ruins. The spoken language is all but extinct.
Pacifism has its benefits, and effortless friendships is one of them. They are particularly compatible with maghashi, who are tall, strong, hardworking, and peaceful. Juren tend to see kulgeris as savage, and regard evengar (and to a lesser extent, humans) as too aggressive, but bear them no ill will. Firnoy make interesting companions, as they can fit in a juren's front pocket and travel in style. Jurens recall ancient history where they were enslaved by the apsarava, so some jurens might be wary of them, but most know the sins of the father aren't necessarily the sins of the son. They get along very well with anyone who can stay up late to stargaze, like the nocturnal vidari and shou.
Their massive size is a great boon for many businesses. A juren can find great work as a laborer, dock hand, shipwright, or lumberjack. Most popularly, jurens are couriers or porters, and travel the wilderness with massive packs full of cargo.
It is extraordinarily rare to find a juren who enjoys battle. Their keen intellect makes most want to serve as strategists rather than warriors. However, some juren are spellcasters. Those who practice magic typically prefer Perceptive and Warding spells. Jurens don't craft weaponry, but they do need huge tools for their livelihoods or to hunt: nets, axes, bows and arrows, spears, clubs, and hammers.
Jurens are often searching for something. Good juren motivations usually involve locating something intangible. Historical knowledge, witnessing famous places firsthand, or maybe even mastering space and time itself. …Or perhaps just friends to share the long roads.
- Temporal Adept – Jurens are very conscious of the flow of time. Using celestial bodies and plain old gut feeling, Jurens can determine the exact time until sunrise or sunset. They can also determine cardinal direction very easily. They receive a +2 bonus to Search checks to navigate above ground.
- Unrelenting: A juren is capable of walking extremely long distances, even while carrying a load. +4 to Stamina to avoid any movement-related exhaustion.
- Written in the Stars – Throughout history, jurens have looked to the heavens to forecast impending doom. If a juren can see the stars in the night sky, he receives a +2 bonus to Clairvoyance checks to precognitively determine whether an action will end badly or has ended badly.
Societal Powers: Choose one of the following.
- Calculating – The concepts behind mathematics, astronomy, and physics are the stock-in-trade of jurens. They receive a +2 to Craft checks involving any kind of calculations or measurements. Typically, this is applicable to big projects like engineering and construction.
- Stout Body, Stout Mind – Jurens are keenly aware of their own destructive power. Each and every movement is carefully planned before its execution. They receive a +2 bonus to Mind Control checks.
- Beastmasters – For millennia, the jurens have been domesticating creatures of gigantic size and leveraging their abilities as beasts of burden. Perhaps it's their peaceful nature, their imposing stature, or their vast intellect. In any case, they receive a +2 bonus to Animal Control checks.