What makes a Monama a Monama?
November 3, 2011
The House of Monama figures prominently in the Temple of the Exploding Head trilogy. Who are the Monamas and what differentiates them from the rest of the League??
This painting of Sam by Fantasio illustrates most of the various physical differences.
HAIR: Monamas have an incredibly thick and fast-growing head of hair that they normally wear down to their ankles. Their hair is invariably coal-black. Aside from their heads, Monamas are quite hairless.
NAILS/CLAWS: Monamas sport a formidable and iron-hard set of fingernails that can hack through a wooden door. Both male and female Monamas wear their nails rather long as they consider their nails a mark of beauty.
EYES: Monamas are well-known for their jet black eyes, including a lack of eye whites.
PALLOR: Monamas are ghastly pale. Living in a perpetual fog by the lake, their skin is often chalk-white in coloration. Those select Monamas that choose to come out of the fog can develop a slight rose tint if they stay in the sun long enough.
BELLYBUTTON: Monamas lack a bellybutton. They find Elder’s belly buttons extremely seductive.
GIFT-LIKE ABILITIES: All Monamas have a number of Gift-like abilities that work when they are touching the ground. When elevated or away from Kana, these abilities vanish. Monamas can “Blink”, or teleport themselves vast distances. They can also transmit their thoughts across the ground and communicate without technology from far away. They also can transform themselves into various humanoid guises–Monama females are much better at it than the males. Monamas also are adept at seeing the future with a high degree of accuracy. Monama males are better at it than the females–female Monamas must partially bury themselves to see the future.
ANUIAN/CONOX: There are two distinct types of Monamas. The most common are the Conox, or “Lesser Monamas” who are rather small and thin of frame, standing on average about 5’2 – 5’5. Much less frequent are the Anuian, or “Greater Monamas” who are significantly bigger, stronger and faster than the Conox, standing about 6 feet tall. Anuians are much more full than the Conox and have markedly different facial features. The Conox, however, appear to be heartier than the Anuians, being a bit less susceptible to cold temperatures and can manage the rigors of space travel much better. The Anuians also require six months in the womb, as opposed to the Conox who require only three.
Anuian Monamas were once very common in the southern lands of Kana, but were said to have been wiped into extinction by a “compelling alien force”. They now only exist in rare birthings amid the Conox, where they must finish their gestation in an “Anuian Jar”, an external womb made of clay and brine.
HEAD SWARM: Monamas tend to fall into a profound, trance-like state when faced with traumatic situations. They call the trance “Head Swarm” and once in it they are difficult if not impossible to revive.
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO COLD: Any temperature below 60 degrees F is quickly fatal to a Monama. Even bundled up, the cold will render them sluggish and eventually kill them. Lady Poe of Blanchefort created a Silver tech pendant called Snugs (with the image of a hummingbird on the face) that creates enough warmth for a Monama to survive in the cold without limit. Take away the pendant, however, and the Monama will be dead within minutes.
STRENGTH/SPEED/ENDURANCE: In comparison to Elders, Monamas are incredibly strong. An average Monama is about ten times stronger than an average Elder, though the Elder Gift of Strength can usually match Monama strength. They also have amazing, jaguar-like speed with the endurance to match.
VULNERABILITY TO SPACE TRAVEL: Monamas do not do well when removed from Kana. Extended trips through space can be quickly fatal to them. They can survive on other worlds, however, they lose most of their gift-like abilities until they are returned to Kana.
LANGUAGES: Monamas speak a group of regional languages spoken nowhere else in the League. The Sisters at one time considered making the speaking of their native Anuie, Conox and Systrel languages illegal due to the fact that the Sisters cannot read the Monamas minds via the Stare, however, more reasonable heads prevailed. The people of Hoban find Monama accents very soothing. Monama bards and storytellers are popular on Hoban.
EVIL NATURE: Although Monamas generally have very kind and modest personalities, they are convinced that they all carry within them a dark spirit of evil that is just waiting to come out. In their ancient writings they speak of the days when they were four-armed and evil and that the Gods in Jade and Sapphire freed them. The prospect of turning into a raging Berserkacide haunts them.
GODS IN JADE AND SAPPHIRE: The Monamas believe the benevolent Gods in Jade and Sapphire removed their ancient evil nature from them, along with their second pair of arms. They also believe they once bore the gods’ children.
SEX DRIVE/FECUNDITY: Monamas are well-known for their libidos and for their fecundity. They can have up to twelve children at a time in only three months. It is said Monamas can become carried away to the point of being dangerous when having sex.
copyright, 2011 Ren Garcia