- "Initial scans of system designated LM0228 show heavy ore deposits infusing the crust of the third planet. Claim registered with Senate Mining Bureau; further exploration recommended. Additional: Displacement of native sentients (species designated Menahuun) required."
- ―Hugo Bartyn's initial field report from Lamaro system
The Menahuun, unofficially known as "little buggers" and sometimes believed to be gremlins, were a furry anthropomorphic lemuroid species from the planet Lamaredd —known as "Great Menahua" in their native Menahu language—. These arboreal mammals initially had a peaceful culture of hunters-gatherers but, in later times, they changed to become more competitive and aggressive.
Biology and appearance[edit | edit source]
- "Kill all the little buggers. Have yourselves some fun. And if any of 'em are still around when corporate gets here, you're joinin' 'em."
- ―Hugo Bartyn
The Menahuun were an anthropomorphic species of arboreal mammals with lemuroid morphology: They had long arms almost reaching the ground when they stood, lean legs that allowed them to climb and run — although they could not run as fast as a Human. They also had opposable digits on both hands and feet to increase their tree-climbing ability. Like many mammals, they had sexual dimorphism, meaning that males were different from females. Standing about 120 centimeters during adulthood, Menahuuns were covered with coarse, short fur whose color ranged from rust to olive green.
Because Menahuun had a poor sense of smell, they depended on their acute sight for survival. They had two big black eyes, as big as a Bith's, that allowed them to see shapes, but not colors, up to twenty meters away without any apparent source of light.
The Menahuun had a lifespan of only fifty-five standard years, and they started feeling the ill effects of age around thirty, becoming severe at around forty-six. They were considered adults at ten, and their adolescence started at six.
Society and culture[edit | edit source]
- "Mix! You swore you'd kill me! You swore! [coughs; then chuckles; then with fire in his eyes] No matter. They'll take care of it soon enough. They're out there, you know. They always have been"
- ―Byrch Dyshkava
The Menahuun evolved on the planet Lamaredd, which was rich in flora and fauna. Not having a scarcity food, they created a pacifist society of nomadic hunter-gatherers who respected sentient life. They banded together in several tribes that did not compete with each other, although they did fight natural predators. Each tribe had a well-defined leadership. Sometimes tribes met and performed metaphorical fights as a show.
Five centuries before the time of the Galactic Empire, the Menahuun were hunted almost to extinction and forced into exile from their ancestral lands. In that time, their society changed and they became combative and antagonistic. They became used to duels and even open wars as a means to solve a conflict. They also developed their resolution and cunningness, as well as a hatred towards any uninvited intruder on their planet.
However, the Menahuun were not anxious to jump to war without looking for a less bloody alternative. Continuing the centenary tradition, a disagreement between two tribes could be solved with a public duel of champions from both tribes; only if the losing tribe did not fill the conditions of the agreement would then a war be waged. For a Menahuun to be considered a champion, he had to steal the "holy mark" — which was the insignia from the Outer Rim Oreworks Company that many aliens on Lamaredd wore.
Although the Menahuun became familiar with Republic-level technology during their stay at Hua'Bal, they still resorted to more primitive items for their everyday life, including a simple loincloth for all clothing — no matter the sex of the wearer—, a leather pouch with a knife and primitive tools, and sometimes other personal belongings.
The Menahuun commonly learned the skills that could be useful in a natural environment, including survival, hiding, and searching. They also commonly learned a profession. Only rarely was a Menahuun familiar with advanced technology or even with any language except for their natural Menahu. Lamaredd was rich in the energy field The Force, known as "Pa'ela" in Menahu. A certain caste of Menahuun, the respected shamans, learned how to use Pa'ela and attributed its effect to magic.
Each Menahuun used a single name instead of a first name and a surname. Example names included Chylla, Henecho, Keycho, Suka, Teetch, T'kol and Uucheyek.
History[edit | edit source]
First Contact[edit | edit source]
- "The Slayer drove the Menahuun into the deep northern woods ages ago."
The Menahuun species evolved to create a culture of errant hunter-gatherer on the planet they called "Great Menahua". At that time, Lamaredd was a savage world, never touched by the galactic community. Initial scans performed by galactic scouts revealed that Lamaredd was not worthy of attention, lacking any useful resources. However, around five hundred years before the Battle of Naboo, Hugo Bartyn, a scout employed by the Outer Rim Oreworks Company, using more advanced technology, discovered that Lamaredd had a good amount of metals, minerals, and seafood that could be exploited. Bartyn also noticed the native, sentient species and decided that they should be removed to avoid further complications.
Hugo Bartyn and their team claimed Lamaredd for ORO and then they landed on the planetary surface. The Menahuun were astonished at the sight of people coming from the sky, and the species received Bartyn with all the honors they could show. Bartyn answered by killing the Menahuun, calling them "little buggers" and, when they tried to escape, Bartyn used his experience as a big-game hunter to track them through the coasts and forests.
Bartyn and his team pursued the Menahuun while ORO's droid built a mine in the local mountain range, later known as Krakana's Maw. The Menahuun, who had felt little need to fear or hate until that moment, began fearing and hating Hugo Bartyn, whom they nicknamed "the Slayer." Bartyn annihilated the tribes living on the coastline, but most of the tribes were instead living in the dense forests. Survivors of the coastal tribes simply crowded the forest tribes as immigrants and warned them about Bartyn.
The tribal leaders then decided to retreat to the northern woods and learn about the invaders from afar. They would attack only once they had learned about Bartyn's secret and weaknesses; otherwise, they would probably be wiped out. Suddenly isolated for centuries and without the resource-rich habitat they had grown accustomed, the Menahuun turned into a competitive society. Conflicts between tribes became common.
Eventually, the Humans decided that the Menahuun species had been utterly annihilated. Indeed, further settlers of the city Bartyn's Landing. assumed that the Menahuuns were extinct. Only Bartyn noticed that the jungles were too dense to find all the Menahuuns that could hide there, but he decided to keep his suspicions to himself. Eventually, even Bartyn decided that the Menahuun were no longer present, and even Republic xenoscientists listed them as extinguished. Nonetheless, the Menahuun became a constant myth in Bartyn's Landing. Approximately twelve years after the disappearance of the species, most of the fishing trawlers that were essential for the local economy disappeared in the open sea without any warning. Some people in Bartyn's Landing blamed the Menahuun and created rumors about the savages murdering the crew to eat their bodies. Actually, the trawler captains were creating a union and had disappeared to put pressure on Bartyn.
C. 499 BBY, the Menahuun had not been seen for decades. Suddenly, several trawlers from Bartyn's Landing suffered sabotage leading to their utter loss, mothers from Bartyn's Landing talked about strange creatures stealing their babies, hunting teams disappeared in the mountains, and strange altar-like piles appeared around the town. The Menahuun were believed to have returned. Bartyn, by then an octogenarian and father of several children, gathered twelve trusted experienced partners as a hunting team, including his older son Traggat, and went to the jungle to track the cause of the mystery. Bartyn and his men died horribly, and neither their bodies nor their technology was ever found. There was enough proof of Bartyn's death, but not of Menahuun implication in it. From that moment on, the supposed Menahuun presence faded for centuries.
Return to the ancestral lands[edit | edit source]
- "Three generations ago, we migrated south when the waters died and began to eat the land."
Unbeknownst to the Menahuun, they had settled near the end of the waste pipeline from ORO Mining Station LM0228, which had spilled pollution into the oceans for centuries. This eventually affected the local plants. Circa 194 BBY, the Menahuun shamans discovered that the pipeline was the cause, and the Menahuun leaders misinterpreted it as a conscious attack from the Humans. The Menahuun then decided to migrate south again and return to the land of their forefathers.
While traveling through the mountains into the Krakana's Maw, the Menahuun accidentally discovered an entrance to the fully-automated ORO Mining Station LM0228. The Menahuun sent in scouts, and these scouts found mining droids who did their best to ignore the intruders —they were busy with their work and had not been programmed to react to the presence of organics. The Menahuun entered the mine and discovered that it had been Bartyn's headquarters when he was hunting them. Noticing that Humans and other aliens did not enter the mine — Bartyn's descendants had bribed ORO officials to avoid the visit of ORO inspectors—, the Menahuun settled in the mine and named it "Hua'Bal", meaning "Hidden Glory" in Menahu.
The Menahuun adapted the mine to their needs. They turned storage areas into dungeons, built huts in the upper levels, and learned to use the streams of water entering the mine. Nonetheless, they still had insufficient food to create a real army. They found the great tunnel-dwelling predator Cavehoppers and fought it to use its skin for clothing or simply to survive its attacks. The Menahuun learned to hide whenever they suspected that intruders or predators had entered, but they were ready to fight to their death protecting their new home.
For decades, the Menahuun stole technology to learn about the aliens. They discovered a lot from the available mining lasers and datapads, and they learned to develop their own weapons. The ORO insignia, carried by many aliens, was considered somewhat totemic, and any Menahuun who achieved the feat of stealing one was widely respected. The reactor core control room of Hua'Bal included advanced technology that was beyond the technical skills of the Menahuun, although the shamans did know that it was dangerous.
C. 69 BBY, many Menahuun scouted the outskirts of Bartyn's Landing, going as near as 100 kilometers to the north of the city. They found a fugitive, the dark Jedi Byrch Dyshkava, who was fleeing from the local constable Mix Liddell. As a crowd, the Menahuun attacked Dyshkava and captured him; Dyshkava resisted, but he was overwhelmed. The Menahuun put Dyshkava in a bag and later threw him in a pit, where he remained for twenty years. During this time, Dyshkava learned to fear the Menahuun and discovered their plans of war.
C. 36 BBY, Guther Bartyn, Hugo's descendant and later Administrator to the family mine, tried to visit his Mining Station while hunting in the Maw. He was received with laser fire from the defenses. Bartyn escaped, assuming that a gang of outlaws were hiding in the mine, but never suspecting that his mine was full of Menahuun.
Gremlin presence[edit | edit source]
- "I saw gremlins near Tria Blue's slip two nights ago. I swear I saw at least two of them scrambling over the roof of the yacht. I fired a couple of shots in their direction, and they disappeared."
- ―Dockmaster Howe Walwahd
During their stay at Hua'Bal, the Menahuun solved their tribal conflicts and instead decided to prepare for a war against Bartyn's Landing. Following the tradition, the Menahuun would give the Landing a chance to avoid an open conflict by allowing them to choose several champions who could defeat several Menahuun champions in a traditional, non-fatal duel. The Menahuun champions were chosen among great warriors who had stolen the holy mark; foremost among them Eeytch, a shaman.
The Menahuun rabble was ordered to stay far from the alien eyes until the duel, because the community still needed to be hidden while preparing the army and learning as much as they could. However, several young, impulsive Menahuun began to raid outlying farms and trawlers. A number of Menahuun had gathered a small armada and sank any civil boat approaching the area known as The Rank. However, no inhabitants of the Landing still had seen the Menahuun and lived to tell it. The poverty-stricken, superstitious "Half Under" population gave ear to rumors about gremlins that were more believed than they would had been in other times; dockmaster Howe Walwahd also claimed to have seen those mythical creatures; and Administrator Guther Bartyn was worried enough about the security of his personal yacht Tria Blue to assign extra security personnel to protect it from the "gremlins".
Times of Reckonings[edit | edit source]
- "Unless the Landing's champions defeat those of the Menahuun, we'll overrun 'the Slayer's' land and kill all in our path."
C. 29 BBY, Byrch Dyshkava escaped from his Menahuun prison, reached Bartyn's Landing and warned his former enemy, Security Chief Mix Liddell, about the impending Menahuun threat. Liddell recruited a number of new Seconds to discover the truth behind Dyshkava's words, and he provided them with ORO insignias and other gear.
These new Seconds and a more veteran policeman, Boom Boom the Gungan, used swoops to check the coastline area where Dyshkava claimed to have been captured by Menahuun. Eight Menahuun scouts, who had the honor of wearing ORO stars, were on duty there and received the police with laser fire, severely injuring Boom Boom and escaping to the jungle.
The Seconds then investigated the reports about gremlin attacks in the docks, particularly the threats to the Tria Blue. At that point, two Menahuun had sneaked into the yacht, murdered all the guards and horribly maimed their bodies to use them as a warning. While the Menahuun were preparing an explosive to destroy the boat, they were found by the Seconds and forced to escape, but the Seconds grabbed the Menahuun laser weapons. Liddell noticed that the armament was similar to the mining laser technology used in Bartyn's mine and the Seconds investigated this new lead by meeting with Bartyn and, later, going to the mine.
This people's visit to Hua'Bal had been predicted by shaman Eeytch, who identified the Seconds as the champions of the Landing. Eeytch informed the other Menahuun that the duel would be impending and the Menahuun community gathered in the arena of Hua'Bal, with the Menahuun champions preparing. Eeytch welcomed the Seconds, explained their plight and took them to the field. Once there, Eeytch joined the Menahuun champions and the duel began.
The duel ended with the defeat of the Menahuun. The Seconds then conducted diplomatic negotiations with the Menahuun and reached a peaceful agreement between the Menahuun and Bartyn's Landing. Constable Liddell was happy to protect the rights of the newly-appointed Menahuun citizens wanting to join the galactic community and, although civil unrest was felt, all the community leaders accepted to work together for peace.
However, ORO decided that the Menahuun culture was a living proof of Hugo Bartyn trying to perpetrate a genocide against a sentient species with ORO's at least implicit support. Wanting to avoid any potential scandal due to that, ORO retreated from Lamaredd, abandoning all its assets and destroying most of the influence of the Bartyn family. Mix Liddell became the new Administrator of the mines, with his former Senior Second Grubber Vapps replacing him as Security Chief.
Guther Bartyn then went insane and reprogrammed two MMV security droids to attack Menahuuns in Bartyn's Landing. Administrator Liddell, Chief Vapps and several other people did their best to protect the Menahuun and fortify the city.
Menahuun in the galaxy[edit | edit source]
- "Strangers! I had a feeling you would come. We will be friends?"
After joining the galactic community c. 29 BBY, the Menahuun would have, for the first time in their history, a chance to visit places beyond Lamaredd. Most of them felt no desire to do so, although a few of them admitted that they wanted to be scouts among the stars. Few of them had a real skill to perform any activity requiring a great knowledge of technology, and no known Menahuun joined the original Jedi Order, as it would require to cut any link with a planet they did not want to abandon.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Menahuun were created by writer Cory J. Herndon and featured in the article Bartyn's Landing and in the role-playing adventure Reckonings, both of them published in the magazine Star Wars Gamer #7 (2001). The species also had an entry in Ultimate Alien Anthology (2003).
Star Wars Gamer and Ultimate Alien Anthology provide different RPG statistics for the Menahuun. The later source adds a previously-unheard penalty to their physical strength and charisma, ignores their ability to see in the dark and to hold their breath, reduces the bonus they received for cultural reasons such as swimming and listening —although giving them a feat to compensate partially this change— and, more strangely, considers the Menahuun to be a primitive species — which would preclude them from using laser weapons without a very important handicap.
Alternate endings[edit | edit source]
The article assumes that the player characters of Reckonings achieve the best possible ending but, should they fail, the adventure offers an alternative path.
If they cannot form at least a cease-fire pact with the Menahuun, then the Menahuun perform opening attacks against Bartyn's Landing. Guther Bartyn organizes the defense, mounting heavy weapons in the outer wall of Bartyn's Landing and recruiting most sailors and policemen to fight in the battles. This stops the suddenly-understaffed trawlers that formed the backbone of the local economy, catapulting the city into a recession and instigating a high crime rate. Many civilian citizens try to leave for other ports, only to discover that the Menahuun have already crowded other areas of the planet, including the small speck known as Bartyn's Retreat. Liddell's significant other, Miss Mylla, tries to reach Little Mon Cal but her boat runs aground in The Rank; as he discovered her trouble before the Menahuun did, he tries to send some help to rescue her — he could not go himself because he was busy in open battles with the Menahuun.
Eventually, Guther Bartyn asks ORO for corporate shock troops who could clean the mines of the Menahuun presence. The troops are then permanently assigned to Lamaredd to stop any further infestation of Menahuun.