The Dancing-People are an arthropod race of people native to the island Bako-chun. For better or for worse, they are culturally defined by their unusual language, which is made entirely of movement through the whole body, akin to dancing. Many centuries of colonization and persecution at the hands of the kage-shun have led to much of their original culture being forgotten to history, though recent pressure from outside forces has given them more freedom to define themselves.
Etymology and Other Names
Dancing-People is a literal translation of their own term for themselves, which itself is derived from the kage-shun term zume-shun, "dancing people". Their name in other languages invariably refers to their unique language, such as the corvician term deapoi, meaning "little dancers".
Biology and Anatomy
Dancing-People bear resemblance to bipedal bees or wasps, with "fur" on the top of their head, on their thorax and abdomen, and on their lower legs and arms. This fur is striped, with the lighter color ranging from white to yellow to orange, and the darker color ranging from brown to black. Dying this fur is traditionally seen as offensive, but due to cultural exchange it is not unheard of for recent generations to dye. They have four arms, though the lower pair is small and vestigial, and is usually tucked against the sides of the thorax. Their eyes are similar to mantis eyes, with small square pupils on large domed eyes on the side of the head.
Dancing-People have little in the ways of sexual dimorphism, to the point that even one of their own will not assume sex based on appearance. Other races who are ill-versed on their biology may assume, however, that the larger ones are male, and the smaller female. In fact, differences in size and shape are a result of the peculiar way in which the Dancing-People mature. When they come of age, their bodies begin to adjust based on their "purpose"; thus, a more physical Dancing-Person may become larger, heavier, and more muscular, while a more intellectual Dancing-Person may have a larger head, more dexterous fingers, and clearer vision.
Though every Dancing-Person has a stinger, it is largely vestigial, and considering the self-immolating nature of the sting, it's much better this way.
Unlike their closest natural relatives, all Dancing-People are capable of breeding. Their life starts as an egg laid in a single cell of honeycomb. Traditionally, this honeycomb would be a communal wall, with the feeding of the hatched young being handled by dedicated nursemaids. Nowadays, it's more typical to have private combs for breeding purposes. After approximately two years as larvae, the young pupate and emerge as fully-formed young Dancing-People, molting twice a year as they continue to grow up to adulthood, slowing to a halt past the age of 20.
While Bako-chun was still under imperial rule, all Dancing-Person breeding could only be done in the empire-controlled Kabe-Fuku, an artificial honeycomb of exactly 200 cells. Unauthorized comb-building was prohibited by law, and any illegal cells were promptly and unceremoniously destroyed by law enforcement.
Sociology and Culture
A cornerstone of Dancing-Person culture is their idea of a purpose in life. Though all races to an extent may be prone to searching for meaning in life, in the Dancing-People it is almost a biological imperative to fill an empty hole inside them. Much emphasis is placed upon finding this purpose for yourself, and finding something that suits your individual needs; forcing your own idea of purpose onto another is seen as rude. Many of their stories or songs or art forms will feature a young Dancing-Person trying to find where they fit in the world.
Due to the nature of their language, dance and music is a large part of the cultural landscape. A form of idol show has risen in the last century, a combination of live show and storytelling unique to them. When their oppression was at its zenith, sometimes these shows were used to broadcast messages to the Dancing-People that the kage-shun would overlook, which almost led to their banning.
Bright or pastel colors are also popular among the Dancing-People, occupying much of their wardrobes and art.
Due to their longstanding oppression at the hands of the kage-shun, perceptions of the Dancing-People as stupid, inferior, and/or mentally ill are common even in cultures with no connection to Bako-chun. Chief among the ways used to mock them is mocking of their language; a form of minstrel show arose that consisted of painting oneself in stripes and performing a ridiculous jig, to the amusement of the audience. Though these shows have largely been stamped out in recent times, many a fight has broken out over an insensitive person performing an ill-advised silly dance in front of a Dancing-Person. Due to this backlash, many of the recent generations of Dancing-People will only use their language when among other Dancing-People, to diminish the risk of being mocked.
No emoting is done through the largely immovable eyes of the Dancing-People, save perhaps looking away when nervous. Instead, like their language, most of their emotion is conveyed through body language. When sad, wings and antennae will droops, and posture will slouch. When angry, the body will tense and lean forward, movements will be sharp and erratic, and the wings will buzz a continuous drone that gets louder the more agitated they get. When happy, the wings may buzz in short, light bursts, body language will be more relaxed and flowing, and wings and antennae will be held high.
Most Dancing-People have two names. One is spoken, and follows the naming conventions of the kage-shun. The other comes from their native tongue, and is usually a descriptive phrase.
Those who wish to openly rebel against the kage-shun may spur their spoken name, and instead insist on being addressed by their descriptive name, translating it into Common.
Dancing-Person names are not gendered.
Spoken Names: Kagaku, Ari, Chukon
Descriptive Names: Flies-Among-Stars, Past-Finder, Flower-Child
Dancing-People are usually a Small race, incurring all bonuses and penalties thereof, though large ones may be Medium. A Dancing-Person character may opt for +2 Str -2 Con or +2 Cha -2 Wis.
Vespela's Blessing: A Dancing-Person may choose three skills at first level. These skills are treated as class skills from this point on, or, if they are already class skills, they gain an additional +2 bonus. This must be set at first level and cannot be changed later.
Flight: Dancing-People are capable of flight. This requires rolling a 15 on a Fly check to take off from flat ground. No roll is needed for taking off from high ground (e.g. off the roof of a building). They also begin with +1 in Fly.
They Will Never Know Your Language: Dancing-People get a +3 to Perform(Dance). This cannot be stacked with the benefits of Vespela's Blessing.
These feats are available exclusively to Dancing-People.
- Strongarm: Your second set of arms is unusually well-developed, allowing you to manipulate objects with them as deftly as your main arms. You gain the kabu-shun trait Four Arms, but skills affected by Vespela's Blessing is reduced to one. This feat can only be taken at level 1.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and one other ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Size. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Vespela’s Blessing. You gain proficiency in one skill or set of tools of your choice.
Language of Gestures. You gain advantage on Performance checks to dance.
Flight. You have a base flying speed of 30 ft. Flying takes concentration as a spell; you cannot cast or maintain a spell that requires concentration while flying. When you take damage while flying, make a Constitution save with a DC equal to 10 or half the damage is taken, whichever is higher. If you fail the saving throw, you fall to the ground.
They're cancelled now. nobody gets bees. thanks, don, izaak, and bryan.