Vanaras are were-monkeys with origins in India. They gain increased strength when in monkey form, and because of their similarity to humans, they have the ability to speak in their animal form as well. They also possess prehensile tails strong enough to lift a person.
The Vanaras are reputed to have assisted local Indian kings and generals in resisting Rakshasa domination. They used to spend their time closer to cities, but hid in the Tungareshwar Forest after the British came to India and parlayed with the Rakshasas. At the time of Prudence, they had been in hiding for 40 years. They resent the idea that the British bring enlightenment to India.
They are very fond of tea, and value it above all things. This leads them to steal Lord Akeldama's special tea blend during the events of Prudence.
Vanaras are intelligent monkey creatures of Hindu myth and legends, specifically the Epic of Ramayana. Mythology suggests that they were created by Brahma specifically to battle the Rakshasas.
- There were no females seen during Rue's visit to India. The assumption is that they also have difficulty metamorphosing women.
- They speak an exotic (perhaps ancient) version of the local dialect.
- The Vanaras signed a treaty with the Shadow Council, negotiated by Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama.
- "They are extolled as brave and inquisitive, amusing and mildly irritating, honourable and kind, and so forth. They are reputed to have, at various points in the distant past, assisted local kings and generals in resisting Rakshasa domination." (Prudence, Chapter Ten)
- "The Vanaras were arrayed on the other side, backs to the temple, and there were a good deal more of them. Either they hadn't the same procreation problems as werewolves or they formed bigger groups." (Prudence, Chapter Fourteen)
- "The Vanara odour was all warm fur, dried moss, and some exotic fruit. They had neither the predator meat odour of werewolves, nor the carrion rot of vampires." (Prudence, Chapter Fifteen)