Centaurs are ancient mythological creatures; they are a combination of both human and horse. They have human features from their waist-upward while from their waist downwards is that of a horse. Anatomically it’s almost crazy trying to explain exactly what’s going on there. The things they eat, and how much they do? How do they mate? What are their newborns like? Can a centaur touch its own back feet and all of that? These are questions for scholarly and scientific minds to settle.
Beyond all of those minding boggling scientific questions, centaurs have been depicted in fiction works right from the Greek mythological era. Even more recent works like Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter feature centaurs. They are frequently depicted as powerful warriors, especially with bows and spears.
The average speed of a centaur is placed at 40-feet and is matched by no playable race except the Aarakocra. Combined with their Charge feat and equine build, the Centaur is capable of quickly getting into melee combat and making their presence felt. Their only known disadvantage is being bad at climbing.
Centaurs are monstrous beings with six limbs. A centaur is as big and heavy as a horse, standing about 7 feet tall and weighing about 2,100 pounds, with their equine bodies reaching about 4 feet at the withers. They possess the lower body of a large horse and the upper torso and arms of humans combining speed and strength in their powerful forms. Though their facial and upper torso features may appear human, there are still clear hints of their non-human attributes. A thin layer of velvet fur covers most of their upper torso aside from their face and belly, they also have pointed and movable ears, while their noses resemble strongly snubbed snouts.
Centaurs grow hairs in a thick mane starting at the top of their heads, running down their spine and down to the base of their upper torso. Most of a centaur’s coloring is brown, from a light tan to a deep, dark, brown. In some isolated tribes and rare individuals, other colorings emerge, such as white, gray, or black, but these are highly uncommon. They also grow long, thick tails. How they care for, trim, or tie their hair is one of the few genuine elements of centaur fashion although they take it highly offensive when their hair is insulted in any regard.
In view of the very large and complex bodies of Centaurs, they require a high degree of maintenance. Firstly, their body demands four times the normal food consumption, and twice the normal water consumption, of a human even when they mature and age at the same pace as humans.
The upper torso contains the impressively large lungs, heart, and primary stomach, including other non-essential organs. The lower torso contains the remaining digestive system and organs. Centaurs also have a high oxygen demand, which makes them breathe heavier than most horses, but hold their breath for roughly the same duration as most humanoids due to the increased capacity of their lungs.
Centaurs are fully omnivorous, possessing a long digestive system with four separate stomachs in a series. Each part of the digestive system is fully developed to extract certain types of beneficial chemicals. However, they are highly sensitive to ingested poisons, particularly alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol can fully intoxicate an adult centaur in a few moments. Who knew!
Due to their unusual anatomy, many would perceive centaurs to be awkward and stiff, although this could not be true sometimes, yet centaurs are flexible enough that they can reach every part of their body with their hands, while some can even touch their face to their rump or back heels. Centaurs are known for their graceful movement, which is in contrast with the halting and nervous movements of other hoofed creatures such as horses. The hooves of Centaurs nonetheless are natural melee weapons, which can be used to make unarmed strikes
A Centaur is born in almost the same way as a horse, and their bodies mature rapidly. Centaurs reach physical maturity very young, but may not be considered “adults” till they have proven themselves in a number of different ways, including service to the group, completion of a training or education provided by the herd, undergoing a trial of maturity, combat, or survival, and other milestones set by the individual herd in other to become a useful member of the herd. In view of that, Centaurs tend to have proficiency in skills such as Animal handling, Medicine, Nature, and Survival.
Far stronger and faster than other humanlike races, centaurs oversee a huge expanse of the wild. They build peaceful ideal communities, hunting what and where they wish. Centaurs organize themselves into massive nomadic herds. Centaurs can migrate through continents and take multiple generations to complete. Conflicts between herds are usually rare, as crossing paths is a predictable and beneficial event.
However, some herds have lingering animosity from long past conflicts. Elderly and sick centaurs who cannot keep up are left behind. Most do not survive for long when this happens, but a few linger on, taking up residence among settled people. Some settlements have thrived so well due to the knowledge of these centaurs.
The tribal society of the centaurs sees freedom and personal choice as the highest virtues, more like free thinkers in our very own society. As long as an individual’s choices do not hinder the welfare of other centaurs of the tribe, these peaceful creatures leave all their decisions in the hands of the individual. The perceived unorganized society of the centaurs is actually bound by an openness that more civilized cultures have lost long ago.
Complex forms of clothing are a rare thing for centaurs since most of them adorn themselves with practical articles, such as belts, or warm coverings in climate weather. The few who join a settled culture usually wear some degree of clothing simply for the purposes of fitting in or reducing the reactions of others. In any case, fashion in any aesthetic sense is uncommon among centaurs. Centaurs prefer to live in the wilderness directly as a part of it, and so are often seen as “talking animals” by many other races.
Centaurs often find themselves ostracized in human societies.
Most human dwellings are not built to accommodate the oddly shaped bodies of centaurs, their hooves damage floors and mud track. Hence, there are many businesses and estates which will outrightly deny access to centaurs. In worse cases, other races, particularly humans, tend to stereotype centaurs and stare at them awkwardly. Part of this is due to their nudity and can be remedied by dressing oneself, though, at some expense, as few tailors are conversant and at the breast with the art of clothing a horse and man as one. Yet their animal facial features, unusual appearance, and strange customs make it difficult for them to blend in. One community that has had a long-standing peace with Centaurs is the Elves, and the two races respect each other very much.
When it comes to family tiles, centaurs represent immediate families by their individual names. In their description of the family, many complexities and facets come to light, as opposed to the crude and narrow “bloodline” distinction used by “civilized” cultures. For instance, as part of their family, a centaur may name their best friend, the leader of their herd, and some kind and brave humans they have repeatedly crossed paths with, alongside their immediate parents, siblings, and children.
The following list of family names contains examples from fiction, myth, and whole-cloth creativity.
Male: Chiron, Nessus, Pholus, Centaurus, Sajacks, Elatus, Eurytion, Hylaeus, Latreus, Oreus, Oreius Rhaecus, Cyllerus, Polkan, Glenstorm, Ironhoof, Suncloud, Rainstone, Roonwit, Cloudbirth,
Female: Endeis, Hippe, Melanippe, Euippe, Ocyrhoe, Carystus, Hylonome, Cybel, Dawn, Mae.