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Race Preview: The Fenrir


Today we preview another of the races of Aereon: the Fenrir!

Fenrir

Other Names: Wylfen, Wolves, Warg, Dog/Hound (derogatory)

Summary

Fenrians resemble biped canines, standing between 1.5 to 1.8 metres tall, with a slightly stooped stance, and weight 50 to 80 kilograms. They exhibit traits similar to the giant dire wolves of the Northern Wastes, such as their muzzle, tail, and thick fur. The latter covers their entire body, and is most commonly a greyish white, but variations of black, brown, or even red fur is occasionally seen. Their senses also tend to be more acute than a humans, particularly their olfactory senses, which Fenrian use to recognise each other, and their hearing, although they have trouble distinguishing between some colours.

The basic building block of Fenrian society is the pack, and like many other species, Fenrians seek the companionship of others for comfort and security. Although packs are traditionally family based, common pack types also include businesses, religions, recreational groups, governments, and military or mercenary units, and Fenrians generally belong to multiple packs at any one time. There is however a motivation for individuals to become dominant within a pack, and infighting is frequently used to settle disputes of dominance and insults, but when it matters the pack always comes first.

Fenrians believe that all things, from rocks to trees, to the great mountains and rivers of the land, are inhabited by spirits. Each spirit’s power and importance is based on their role in society, and many Fenrians take greater spirits as totems, dedicating themselves to the ideals the totems stand for.

Fenrians as a whole are an unpredictable race that embraces conflict and change, and this has led to many hostilities over the years between Fenrians and Humans, particularly those residing near or in the Borderlands. Most of this conflict occurs on the border regions where Fenrian city states seek to expand their borders and raiders attack indiscriminately.

Description

Believed to be descended from a species similar to that of the giant dire wolves of the Northern Wastes of Hyperia, Fenrian exhibit traits similar to that of the alpine predator, such as their muzzle, tail, and thick fur. The latter covers their entire body, and is most commonly a greyish white, but variations of black, brown, or even red fur is occasionally seen, with more colourful coats seen in the warmer the climate. In addition, their senses tend to be more acute than a humans, particularly their olfactory senses, which Fenrian use to recognise each other, and their hearing.

Fenrian stand 1.5 to 1.8 metres high (in a relaxed, stooped stance), and weigh on average between 50 to 80 kilograms. Unlike humans, Fenrian adopt a digitigrade stance (putting their weight on their toes rather than the soles of their feet) and have a slightly stoop. Also, whilst their hands appear similar in size and functionality to humans, examination of the internal structure reveals them to be quite different.

The Fenrian gestation period is usually four months, with litters averaging two pups, although litters of up to five are not unheard of. All pups are born blind and deaf, completely reliant on their parents (primarily the mother) for the first four months until the senses develop. Fenrian females are able to conceive again shortly after giving birth, but generally wait until their pups are at least age five or six and are able to look after themselves before having another litter.

The traits of pre-sentient canines are still evident in Fenrians when examining their personalities, for they constantly crave approval and recognition from their pack’s leader, be it in Fenrian society, or elsewhere. As such, once a Fenrian joins a group or cause they tend to be steadfastly loyal to its leadership, so long as that leadership continues to demonstrate they are worthy of leading.

Society

The basic building block of Fenrian society is the pack. Like many species, the Fenrian seek the companionship of others for comfort and security. Although this is found within the family, the gregarious nature of the Fenrian gives them a drive to connect with others and a need to belong to other groups. For this reason Fenrian packs vary greatly in form and function. Although packs are traditionally family based, common pack types also include businesses, religions, recreational groups, governments, and military or mercenary units. Most Fenrian belong to several packs, loyal to each one for different reasons and proud to have many commitments and loyal brethren.

Although the pack is a strong component of their society, individuality is still important within the pack, and each member strives to become the most dominant within the group. Infighting is also used to frequently settle disputes of dominance and insults, when charisma alone cannot. Infighting is not so much about injuring or killing the opponent but getting them to submit and thus proving that the victor is the most dominant. Despite this tendency however, the good of the pack comes first and members know that they can always count on their peers for assistance, companionship and support in times of need.

Large groups or organisations usually consist of several packs divided by the roles or specialities. Where several packs exist in a single organisation, a hierarchy exists where the leader of each one answers to the primary pack. This takes power struggles to new levels as individuals not only compete  for dominance within their own pack but with other packs in the organisation – a leader of one pack might seek to become the leader of another or he may try to make his pack more dominant within the organisation.

This mentality is carried across all facets of Fenrian society, with governments and businesses are constantly changing with the loyalties and goals of individual Fenrian. While this may seem anarchic to some, it is natural for a society built upon loyalty, pride, and the perceived strength of leadership.

Beliefs

Religion within the Fenrir is as diverse and varied as every other aspect of their society. However, the strongest and most common religion amongst Fenrian is a form of spirit worship in which they believe spirits inhabit everything from rocks and trees, to the great mountains and rivers of the land. These have varying level of power and importance based on their role in society, for instance, a spirit that resides within a pebble is much weaker than one that inhabits and represents a mighty mountain range. Many Fenrians take the greater spirits as totems, dedicating themselves to the ideals to which the totems stand for. Other religious splinter groups do exist, as do groups that venerate the gods of the humans, although they are rare.

Lands and Relations

The Fenrir homelands reside deep within the Frozen Wastes, and were driven from there to the Southern Reaches following the Age of Elements, and the subsequent emergence of the Mists. Some foolhardy Fenrian have attempted to secure the region, but so far none have succeeded.

Following the expansion of the Britannian Empire, most Fenrians now make their home in the borderlands of the Wastes, with others seeking refuge in the Thule Technocracy where they have adapted to live in a more structured society. ‘Feral’ Fenrians look down on their ‘Domesticated’ brethren, seeing them as week to accept the comforts given to them by their Goliath and Human ‘Masters’.

Humans and Fenrian have had a chequered history – a number of wars have been fought with these two races fighting against, as well as alongside, each other. Most conflict between them occurs on the border regions where Fenrian city states seek to expand their borders and raiders attack indiscriminately. However, it has been nearly one hundred years since the last major conflict occurred between humans and Fenrian, but the Fenrian are an unpredictable race that embraces conflict; it is therefore inevitable that these traits will one day lead to new hostilities.

Game Information

Racial Aspect

The following things are always true about the Fenrian racial aspect:
  • Fenrians have an excellent sense of smell, and can use it to track with.
  • Fenrians are acclimated to the cold, and do not suffer any ill effects for being exposed in such conditions.
The Fenrian racial aspect can be invoked for:
  • Fenrians senses tend to be more acute than humans, particularly their hearing and sense of smell. Invoke when a situation would call for the use of either.
  • Fenrians are fiercely loyal to those they recognise their pack. Invoke when assisting a pack mate or another individual who they are loyal to.
  • Fenrians embrace conflict, for it is a very part of their base nature. Invoke when involved in any form of conflict.
The Fenrian racial aspect can be compelled for:
  • Fenrian eyesight cannot distinguish colour as easily as humans. Compel in a situation when colour vision would be vital.
  • Fenrians are a naturally unpredictable race that embraces conflict. Compel when such a conflict would be a hindrance.

Stunts

The following extras are an example of the type of extras that should be considered when creating a Fenrian:
  • Lupine Swiftness: By moving down onto all fours, Fenrians are able to achieve a speed and ferocity of movement common to their ancestors. When doing this, a Fenrian may move an additional zone each exchange without penalty.
  • Vicious Bite: While the muzzles also tend to be slightly shorter than their canine ancestors, likely due to evolution from dietary variations over time, they still possess the ability to deliver vicious bites should the need arise. Their teeth count as a Weapon:2 rating weapon.
Other extras to be considered might revolve around the Fenrian's training, particular in his pack role.