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Land of Ice and Stone


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Maybe, although cranium size does not necessarily affect INT - Neanderthals had a larger brain that modern humans, for example. INT is more to do with frontal lobe size, probably, but I am not a biologist or doctor.

True, I am straying dangerously into phrenology territory there.

For my purposes I am going to use them as a race of mental giants. They are going to be the wielders of sorcery, along with the serpent men of course.

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The "scientific" view of Neaderthals has varied quite a bit depending on the biases of the person reconstructing them.  Some folks have depicted them as literal ape men, fur and all.  Another less bestial version has passed into popular culture as the stereotypical thickset, crooked limb cave man -- Alley Oop.  Detractors of this view insist that the individuals exnumed were aged and suffering from crippling, bone deforming diseases.  Still other restorers have declared that if you dressed a Neaderthal in modern clothing and put him on a public bus no one would notice -- and the Neaderthal would exit the bus as quickly as possible.  If the Neaderthal really did possess superior intelligence as well as superior muscle mass, he would remind me of Rolemaster's High Men, humans slightly less agile than the norm but stronger and tougher than lesser beings -- the Aragorns of history.


I also find it interesting that we keep finding "modern" humans earlier and earlier in the fossil record, alongside and before supposed offshoots and links.  Perhaps, despite their skewed 19th century science, Machen, Lovecraft and Howard somehow got it right in the essentials -- people physically like us lived alongside "demi-humans," beings that were human and people, but not like us.  And our legends of elves, dwarves, goblins, etc., derived from this.

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Lol....we can't have a setting without pre-human serpent men....

It would be cool to have a small source book with this, or an adventure book with a lost valley with something like Harry Harrison's West of Eden. (maybe the Yilane experimented on a neanderthal and enhanced/played with his genetics/memetics)

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