- Horace Barken, Of Islands and Bridges, the Definitive Guide to the Makamura, First Draft
The Ojo, also known as the Makamuran Gibbon, is a common creature on the plethora of bridges that crisscross the Te-jin Islands, and is often seen playing tricks on innocent passersby, using their elongated arms to pickpocket and steal to their heart’s content, before making their getaway. They’re considered to be a pest, although culturally, the Makamuran people consider actually harming them to be immoral. Overall, they’re just considered to be a childlike nuisance. Some success has been made, however, to domesticate them, and they are becoming an increasingly popular pet with Makamurans, as well as amongst the Val’korei Pirates of Bitterwing Bay, for those who can handle the animal’s rambunctious nature.
The Ojo is similar to a typical gibbon, but far larger, standing up to four feet tall while upright, with arms up to five feet long each. Each arm has an extra joint, roughly in the middle of their forearms, creating a sort of “second elbow” which allows for vastly increased dexterity in their swinging movements. Due to their extremely long arms, they are unable to walk normally, and either drag their arms behind them as they walk, or hold them up above their heads while they run. Their fur ranges from a sandy tan to a brownish-red, and their wide-eyed owl-esque faces are a dark black.
Most Makamuran writings typically compare them to an especially mischievous six year old, with no sense of personal space or property. Their name, the Ojo, actually comes from the noise they make while laughing or cackling with glee, which sounds somewhat like “Ooh! Ahh! Ohh-Juhh! Ohhh-Juhh!” An individual Ojo can climb and run at birth, and will slowly grow to adulthood over the course of about three years. They often form large “cliques” of up to six individual families of Ojo, which serve as both an opportunity to have strength in numbers, and a method to increase gains from thievery. Cliques have been observed executing complicated plans involving one Ojo distracting a shopkeeper while the others make away with stolen goods. All food taken in these escapades are shared equally, and there is no concept of an “alpha” in the clique. An Ojo will likely remain in a clique until it has reached adulthood, in which case it will travel away from the clique in an attempt to find a mate. Most Ojo taken for pets are young adults, as they tend to bond with humans better away from their cliques. Their diet is mostly made up of fruits and vegetables, which is supplemented by meat and whatever scraps they can scavenge.
The Ojo is only natively found on the Te-jin Isles, although groups of them have been taken overseas by enterprising animal traffickers. Some escaped Ojo have created fully functioning colonies in the Sunken Continent of Owasa. The liveliest and most well-adjusted colony in Owasa is the one on Bitterwing Bay, where the Ojo frolic and play with the pirates who also call the Bay home. Many Ojo become attached to their favourite pirates, and become especially upset when those Val’korei leave to go on expeditions. Some grow to love the Val’korei so much that they actually follow them on their journeys, becoming a companion of sorts, similar to the Swampewes of the Mellowmire with the Riverfolke. They are not illegal to own in any jurisdiction, but the Amyrian Empire is rarely happy to see them inside their borders. However, despite the Empire’s best efforts, hundreds of them are trafficked into the Commonwealth every year through the Black Canals.
- Ojo fur and leather is incredibly soft, and is a well sought-after luxury material, often used to make bags or stitched together to create incredibly expensive articles of clothing. This practice is deeply frowned upon by the Makamurans, who attempt to halt it wherever possible.
- Ojo are well known for their exceptional hugs, as well as the peculiar feeling of lightness in one’s pockets after you receive one.
- Ojo are prominently featured in rural Makamuran folklore, wherein the heroic and clever Ojo outsmarts a far more powerful opponent through trickery and traps. This is, of course, very appealing to the Makamuran ideal of Nijankawa.
- Ojo are very popular and fashionable pets inside the Faecourt. The Faefolke admire their rambunctious nature and peculiar intelligence, and some Faefolke have even gone so far as to try to begin to teach them how to speak (with next to no success).
Lifespan: 30-35 years
Habitat: Urban, Jungle
Can It Survive On Darroway: Yes
Tags: Small, Beast