Racial Martial Arts
The vulfen are a race of canine-like humanoids, characterized by articulated clawed hands, muzzles, fur covering their entire body and padded four-toed paws for feet. Vulfen eyes can literally be any color, though the most common eye colors depend upon the pack or group from which they are descended.
The vulfen are known to have existed prior to the last Cataclysm. However, it is documented in the histories of the il'lthye and the daun that the vulfen were actually created by another mortal race. The texts conflict on this matter, some claiming that the daun created them, some claiming the il'lthye, and still others suggest the dragyns were the vulfen's creators. The vulfen themselves largely are apathetic about this history, most members of the race simply writing it off as pure foolishness, while others regard the entire idea with disgust and complete denial.
Vulfen possess a great amount of stamina and tend to prefer cooler climates due to their lack of sweat glands. While panting is quite effective, it is not enough to maintain a comfortable body temperature in the deserts and the tropics. The few vulfen that live in the hotter zones find inventive ways to compensate and keep cool.
In their thirteenth winter, most vulfen pups (excluding those of the Children of the Flesh) are allowed to first undergo their Rite of Passage. This tradition is the only way for a vulfen pup to be recognized as an adult by their pack. To succeed in the Rite, the subject must overcome a challenge given to them by their Alpha and, except in the case of the Brood of Tempest, approved by the pack elders as well. It is a matter of honor for the Alpha to give the pup a difficult, yet realistically attainable objective. The subject has their entire life to succeed in this task. When they do, they receive their first piercing, marking them as an adult. They may choose to be pierced anywhere they like, but ears are the most common choice. A piercing also allows them to attain brands as badges of valor, honor and strength (assuming they manage to do a deed that warrants such an honor). If the subject never succeeds, they will remain a child for the rest of their lives and be treated as such by most vulfen. They will not be given brands, regardless of how heroic and brave their actions may be and they will not even be heard out when they have ideas and suggestions. For this reason, nearly all vulfen pups complete their Rite of Passage as soon as possible after receiving it.
The average vulfen life expectancy is around eighty-five years naturally, but the mortality rate is high as many vulfen are killed or contract a fatal disease prior to reaching that point. Some vulfen live to be one hundred years old or more, but these cases are generally rare and cannot be predicted.
Vulfen lore is extremely rich and though their cultural beliefs vary greatly from group to group, many practices are common to all packs. For example, the art of "Time Weaving" has been a vulfen tradition since before recorded history. The various packs begin just before sunrise, raising their voices in soft, harmonic howls, gently awakening Solas from his slumber. They howl mournfully at dusk, laying the fiery orb to rest. The vulfen firmly believe that it is their voices that control the rise and fall of Thrael's sun and should they ever fail to perform the ritualistic ceremony, the land will be cast into eternal darkness, forever. Of course, the Children of the Flesh generally refuse to take part in something they consider so "ridiculous," which is one of the main causes for the pack's problems with other vulfen.
Vulfen have heightened senses of smell, sight and hearing. These enhanced senses come in handy when hunting in the wild and keeping an eye (or an ear) out for ambushes during times of tension or war with other races. As a result of their senses, extremely loud noises or bright lights could leave a vulfen reeling when a daun would simply see spots before their eyes or have ringing in their ears.
Most vulfen know how to speak the Grawlik and Common languages, though some packs do not and rely on just their barking, growling, body language and howls to communicate.
The origin of the vulfen is a subject of much debate. While the il'lthye and the daun have documented histories stating that they created the vulfen, and many others believe that the Dragyns first created them, most vulfen have different tenets.
The most ancient of their beliefs is that they are literally the Children of Thrael's moons. Many vulfen believe that the luminous satellites deposited them here for a singular purpose. The Progeny of Tallow, Brood of Tempest and Children of Tael all seem to disagree on what that purpose is, however, along with disagreeing upon which of the three moons delivered their race to Beade in the first place. Hence their separate names and cultures.
There is also the matter of an ancient manuscript that was unearthed by some members of the Children of the Flesh fairly recently, which claims that their creation was engineered by Morrn xul'Abraxas the il'lthye in the AoW 2904, a result of channeling experiments on members of the Canus race in an attempt to create a perfect life form. The manuscripts claim that the Children of the Flesh were the fulfillment of that goal, and all the others before them were failed experiments. Of course, this point of view makes the manuscript lose all credibility among the other vulfen sects.
Long ago, when the vulfen were first "discovered" by the other races, quite a few sought to harness their great strength and incredible stamina by enslaving them. The vulfen were fierce and powerful, rending flesh from bone and wading through the knee-deep gore that was once their attackers but in the end, their numbers were too few and the slavers' magic to strong. In this way, pack after pack was captured.
This time was known as "the Borrakkha" or "the Wailing" in vulfen history and for several hundreds of centuries, this hideous practice continued. While many vulfen still remained free, hidden away in the vast tundra of Thrael, for the most part their brethren were under the dominant yoke of their oppressors. They were beaten and bewitched, hated and treated like common animals.
No one is sure exactly sure what happened to change things, but history seems to agree on one insurrection that may have been a turning point in vulfen history. In the year 5 Age of Wonders, in the far reaches of Frigidium, it seemed almost as though the captive vulfen had found a way to communicate with one another over great distances. It is thought that their howls were actually the very thing that saved them, allowing them to share information between one another. It was on a single day that almost every vulfen slaver near the Sea of Wyrm was attacked. The captive packs in the area synchronized, acting to put themselves in an optimal position and execute their oppressors.
On this day, many vulfen were killed, but most escaped. This day, which became known as "the Grrulkkr" or "the Manumission" and is celebrated by vulfen every year on the eighth of Sune, was when the largest single pack to ever be formed came together. The united pack waited, healed and planned. At nightfall, they attacked. The small villages that had once been their prisons now felt the pain of retribution more profoundly than any other. The wrath of the vulfen was unleashed on that fated night. Many slave-traders and keepers were mercilessly and brutally slaughtered, their blood soaking the streets and smearing the walls of their burning villages and destroyed homes.
It was at this time that clerics and priests across the globe stopped receiving spells. Reports of a major disturbance in the Weave and growing chaos on the Astral Plane circulated from as far north as Ardara in the Skievalds to Vesevium in Hierenica. Widespread speculation that the gods of Thrael were dead was abundant and the races of Thrael were too busy shuffling around trying to avoid the inevitable sixth major cataclysm and the end of the Age of Wonders to notice the vulfen resurrection.
As the Age of Chaos began, the vulfen found themselves free, and although their hatred for their oppressors never died, and in fact still burns violently in the breast of the more vicious Tempest vulfen, they found that they needed to go on in order to survive the harshness of the new age.
The vulfen are separated into five different "packs." Each pack, with the exception of the Outcasts, embraces their kind closely and almost religiously adheres to their expected way of life. For vulfen, social behavior among their race is extremely important and being one with the pack is a matter of pride. All vulfen are inherent with an intense pride in what they are and an undying love of nature. On very rare occasions, however, life can rob them of that pride.
Racial Martial Arts
Vulfen have their own style of unarmed combat.
|Vulfen Brawling||Martial Art||
This martial arts stance is available to vulfen. The moves may be displayed with the