Centaurs

“Never try an’ get a straight answer out of a centaur. Ruddy stargazers. Not interested in anythin’ closer’n the moon.”
—Rubeus Hagrid

A Centaur is a magical creature whose head, torso and arms appear to be human and are joined to a horse’s body. They are, however, their own species, and are not any kind of half-breed.

Despite possessing ‘human intelligence’, centaurs are classified as Beasts by the Ministry of Magic, at their own request, as they were unhappy at having to share Being status with hags and vampires.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

Like horses, centaurs can come in a variety of colours, ranging from deep black to white. They have the body of a horse, and the torso, arms and head of a human man.

Centaurs are not in fact half-breeds, but an entirely different species on their own. They are not very pleased to be insulted, particularly where their lineage is concerned, as Professor Umbridge found out to her cost.

HABITAT

Centaurs are forest-dwelling, and, in each country where colonies exist, the wizarding authority has set aside land exclusively for their use. One such colony exists in the Forbidden Forest, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, centaurs have their own methods of concealment, and generally avoid contact with both wizards and witches and Muggles. They generally live in herds of ten to fifty individuals.

MAGIC

Centaurs do not use wands for magic, but are known to be well-versed in magical healing, Divination, archery, and Astronomy. Centaurs burn herbs such as mallowsweet and sage to refine their stargazing findings. In fact, the centaur Firenze taught Divination at Hogwarts, starting in the 1995–1996 school year.

MANNERISMS

Centaurs are known to be gifted in divining. Indeed, the centaurs of the Forbidden Forest regularly made vague allusions to seeing the future, as when the centaur Firenze told Harry Potter that they were fated to meet again, and when he and Bane spoke of the “intermission” of sorts, between the First and Second Wizarding Wars. He also mentioned to his class at Hogwarts, that centaurs spend years trying to master their particular art of divining the fates.

Centaurs on the whole seem also to be rather proud of their species, which was evident in their testiness whenever anyone even accidentally alluded to them being “used” or in any way employed by humankind, as when Firenze was chastised for allowing Harry Potter to ride to safety on his back, after the young wizard encountered Lord Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest— his fellow centaurs considered allowing such a thing tantamount to becoming a ‘common’ mule.

In 1995, they attempted to murder Firenze for his decision to “enter into human servitude,” which was seen as a great and base betrayal. Centaurs also decided to be placed in the Beast Division instead of the Being Division in the British Ministry of Magic archives, because they wished to not be associated with hags and vampires, whom the Ministry designates “Beings”.

Centaurs also seem to favour nature over technology, the extent of their tools visibly in use being their bows and arrows. Instead, they cast their attention upon reading signs in nature, and living in forests appropriated by the Ministry of Magic.

They are territorial creatures by nature, as Rubeus Hagrid mentioned in 1995, upon seeing a herd of centaurs in the Forbidden Forest, whose land was being consistently reduced, and that they might revolt against the Ministry as a result. Later the same year, they proclaimed that even Hagrid was “no longer welcome” within “their” forest, as he had “forfeited the friendship of the centaurs,” and that their “tolerance was waning” (in reference to Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp, whom Hagrid was hiding in the forest at the time).

Centaurs do have a sense of honour, being unwilling to harm the young, as the herd within the Forbidden Forest refused to harm Hagrid due to the young Harry Potter and Hermione Granger accompanying him at the time. However, this patience and generosity can wane, as later they saw Harry and Hermione deliberately lead Dolores Umbridge into the forest to “use” the centaurs to eliminate her; this, along the fact that both teenagers are nearing their adulthood, led the herd to attempt to attack the two.

RELATIONSHIP WITH WIZARDKIND

Starting in 1811, centaurs were offered “Being” status, when Grogan Stump decreed that a “being” was “any creature that has sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community and to bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws.” However, they declined because of the associations with other creatures, such as vampires and hags, that “being” status would give them. The merpeople made the same decision a year later.

Despite being highly intelligent creatures, centaurs were still officially classified as of “near-human intelligence” by the Ministry of Magic in the mid-1990s, per the text of Law Fifteen B, as laid down by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Centaurs take this phrase to be a great insult.

A Centaur Liaison Office still exists in the Ministry of Magic’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, though no centaur has ever used it. In fact, the phrase “Being sent to the Centaur Office” has become an in-joke at the Ministry, meaning that the person in question is about to be sacked. A centaur was also represented in the Fountain of Magical Brethren at the Ministry of Magic, at least before the fountain’s destruction during the battle between Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort.

Centaurs have also been known to save wizards from harm, one instance being Firenze saving Harry Potter, when Lord Voldemort was in the forest, though this was highly looked down upon as centaurs were not supposed to interfere with “what is to come.”

When Harry Potter and Hermione Granger ended up leading Dolores Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest, a group of centaurs appeared with some of them carrying off Dolores while the rest were scared away by Grawp in an event known as the Skirmish in the Forbidden Forest. It was mentioned that Albus negotiated for Dolores’ release when he was rehired by the Ministry of Magic.

The centaur herd in the Forbidden Forest also fought against the Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts. Since then, centaurs have been seen around and even inside the castle itself. Seeing a centaur on campus is still rare, but more common than only a few decades prior.

CENTAUR TRAITS

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2 and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Centaurs mature slightly faster than humans, reaching maturity around 12-15 years of age. They can live to be well over 100 years old.
Size. Centaurs are towering creatures reaching 7-8 feet tall and weighing between 300 and 500 lbs. Your size is Large
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to a life in the wilds, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Mask of the Wild. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
Premonitions. As a reaction, you can cause an attack that hit you or an ally within 60 feet of you that can see and hear you to miss. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier. After a long rest, you regain all uses of this feature.
Stargazer. You are proficient in Nature. In addition, you can never get lost at night as long as stars are visible to you.
Wandless Druidry. You require neither a wand nor material components for Druid spells. For spells as a wizard, alchemist, or any other spellcasting class, a wand is required as usual.
Languages. You can speak Centaur, an unwritten language. Due to the xenophobic nature of your people, you do not speak or understand English unless you have a background or class that grants extra languages.

Centaurs

Hogwartz: From the Ashes Praissen