Qu

Bloated, bone-white beings with clownish, button-eyed faces and massive, lolling tongues, the asexual Qu are perhaps one of the strangest races in existence. Omnivores by nature, the Qu have managed to survive in their native swamps by being able to eat just about anything, no matter how repulsive; though their repast of choice is marsh frogs, in a pinch a Qu can content itself with trees, rocks, wild animals, monsters… Despite popular rumors to the contrary, they do, however, stop just short of putting other sentient beings on the menu. Mostly.

As might be expected, their bodies have adapted according to the needs of their environment and lifestyle. Long, muscular tongues ensnare and capture prey, while three separate stomachs – each capable of temporarily expanding to five times its original size – and digestive juices acidic enough to burn a hole through adamantine do the rest of the work.

Vital Data

Representatives: Quina Quen, Master Quale (FFIX)
Typical Height: 1.5-1.8m
Typical Weight: 160-200kg
Eye Colors: White
Habitats: Marshes
Lifespan: 40-60 years
Young: 7-8 years
Average: 15-20 years
Old: 40-50 years

Society

Qu tribes make their homes in isolated marsh enclaves across the world, gathering in numbers ranging from a few dozen to several hundred, all depending on how many ravenous Qu the area is capable of supporting. Qu society is hedonistic to a fault, with few cares beyond eating and procreating – thankfully, the intricacies of Qu reproduction are a closed book to the outside world. As a result, their culture has atrophied to the point where the guiding Qu philosophy can be summed up in one statement: "World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat." Social interaction between tribes is limited to monthly exchanges of recipes and ingredients and irregular cook-offs; for the remainder of the year, each tribe lives in isolation, taking care of its own affairs.

Younger Qu are apprenticed to a more experienced Master at an early age, under whose tutelage they are expected to learn the allimportant 'art of eating' – the finding, preparing and consuming of all varieties of foodstuffs. During this time, the apprentice is only permitted to eat what they themselves can catch and cook; in this way, the youngster is encouraged to be self-sufficient rather than perpetually sponge off his elders. Once their knowledge is judged to be sufficient, the apprentices become full-fledged Masters, ready to pass their own culinary skills on to a new generation of Qu. However, this process that can take many years, if not decades; those who fail to pass muster are frequently ostracized from the swamp in the hope that a change of environment – and a little sampling of international cuisine – will spur the errant pupils back on to the right path.

"Must try eating before we give up!" —Quina Quen, Final Fantasy IX

Masters, too, may leave the swamp in search of rare delicacies or culinary enlightenment; such ‘odysseys’ are considered part and parcel of a Master’s duties to his art, and serve as a tribe’s main conduit to the outside world. As a result, it is not uncommon to find wandering Qu employed as chefs and cooks, eagerly learning and eating everything a foreign kitchen has to offer.

Roleplaying

Because of the importance food plays in Qu culture, the average Qu is a natural gourmand. Qu that join adventuring groups are almost always searching for new tastes and exciting culinary experiences; material wealth is of little importance to a Qu, except where it helps speed the way to culinary enlightenment. Younger Qu will ignore almost any amount of danger if faced with a tasty morsel, although this tends to be drummed out as a pupil advances on the road to masterhood.

There are exceptions: those who reject the 'art of eating' in search of a greater truth, choosing exile rather than risk being cast out by their fellows for daring to contemplate that there’s more to life than simply catching things and devouring them. However, these tend to be a minority; the Qu themselves refuse to acknowledge the existence of such 'perverts'.

Students and masters of the art dress in a chef's hat and apron to reflect their status, wielding weapons adapted from eating utensils such as forks and knives. They adapt to other environments relatively easily if ever required to travel, though homesickness and longing for those ever-tasty marsh frogs does take its toll. Because the concept of gender does not exist in Qu society, they do not identify themselves as male or female; in adventuring parties, a Qu's companions may unconsciously assign a male or female identity to it.

Qu tend to have a poor grasp of Common Tongue, particularly as far as grammar is concerned. This, combined with their food fixation, gives them a reputation among other races as somewhat dimwitted creatures. Qu have two names – a first name and a tribal one, both of which begin with 'Qu'.

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