Prior to the Collapse, the Sascrian magocracy experimented on many types of animals for its gladiatorial arenas but none were was as well known for their sheer power than the Ursidian bear-folk created from the variety of specimens living throughout the different climates and regions of Gondal, Brandishing immense size and strength, hardy endurance and toughness, the different types of bears they used as their base animals offered a variety of advantages and disadvantages to the hedonistic Sascrian desire for blood thirsty entertainment. Of all the bear-folk that would be created from the initial Ursidian template the ones created from the winter bears native to the near frozen regions just north of Rhyrjia were arguably some of the most impressive in the arenas, at first thanks to their brutal power, resistance to damage, thick hides, and constitutions which set them apart from their southern cousins. Unfortunately as the warmer months started to arrive in the Sascrian cities the massive bears that were more acclimated for the colder weather proved unable to perform at the same level as they had once did forcing the mages to decide to send them back north to the region of their birth in order to still make use of them. This northern outpost of the Sascrian government, known as the Tower of Frost was a secret base from which they had planned to make use of their cold weather soldiers in the event that open warfare occurred between Sascria and the kingdom of Rhyrjia. Unable to pass troops or supplies to the north through enemy territory the Sascrian mages had devised a series of arcane webways in order to transport materials and people from one location to another and soon all of the Ursidians bread from the same northern stock were returned to the frozen north and set up to man and protect the Tower of Frost.
The Collapse brought about many changes to the face of Gondal and the essence of magic which resulted in the discontinued use of the arcane webways since passage through them could no longer be controlled consistently. Eventually the northern Ursidians would be left to fend for themselves, as the Tower of Frost was abandoned by its human occupants. These bear-folk would band together out of common ancestry and necessity and create the first tribe of Beorinvulk (or People of the Bear) and rewrite their own history. The Ursidians to the south (Ursanvulk) and those that were made from the black and white bears of the Eastern League (Ailurovulk) would be renamed as the Lost Tribes of the Beorinvulk with the bears of the north (Nordinvulk) believing themselves to be the true progenitors of the race.
The Three Tribes
Found in the colder regions of Gondal north of Rhyrjia and the Sarkan Tribelands these bear-folk were first created from a stock of large bears known for their strength and endurance. These winter bears were also highly resistant to cold weather and agile swimmers able to move within the frigid waters and harsh environments of the north with little discomfort.
Nordinvulk stand on average of 7 feet or taller and can weigh anywhere from 280-325 lbs of muscle. They tend to retain the black eyes and thick muscular necks of their bear ancestors with all body hair being white to ivory from birth. Nordinvulk wear little to no armor, as they feel they don’t need it thanks to their thick skin, and are just as commonly found to use only their natural claw and bite attacks as to use human weapons.
Since the Nordinvulk consider themselves to be the progenitors of the Ursidian race they tend to look with pity upon the bear-folk from the other “Lost Tribes” or at the most treat them with a mild disdain as they consider all other Ursidians to be weaker members of their race. They also do not have any excessive animosity towards humans as they were generally well treated and partially neglected by their human masters from The Tower of Frost then completely abandoned after the Collapse. They see humans as being a weaker species and rationalize their inability to survive in the harsher climates as a sign that they were never truly their masters. Unlike other Beorinvulk the Nordinvulk formed into one large tribe after the Collapse and have a strong sense of racial and cultural pride matched only by their fierceness in battle and devotion to their families and other tribesmen. Nordinvulk also live by a strong code of honor which has made diplomacy with many of the other, less honorable races in Gondal, a bit difficult.
On average Nordinvulk tend to be the strong and silent type. They will usually keep their own council, even in the presence of other Ursidians, as they have been isolationists for most of their history. Slow to anger they are very destructive when roused and tend to focus their attacks upon the cause of the infraction with a fury, and then just as quickly return to a normal even state. Nordinvulk also learned early on that if you cannot trust your traveling companions to have your back in a fight then its better to not have any and are more likely to be encountered on their own than with a party.
All Nordinvulk worship the Great Mother Bear who watches over them from her cave beyond the Sea of Ice in the coldest regions of their homeland. Few divine spell casters exist in Gondal but the Nordinvulk do have shamanistic warrior-priests who possess a small amount of clerical magic. Like other Ursidians, Nordinvulk tend towards neutrality.
Nordinvulk are almost exclusively of the barbarian class as they left the Sascrian arenas at an early stage in their development and were sent north to man the Tower of Frost. They also tend to enter fits of rage in combat but some more religiously inclined Nordinvulk have learned to channel the spirit of the Great Mother Bear and can cast divine magic. It is also not rare to find Nordinvulk who have remained on the path of the fighter or gladiator, a throwback to their Sascrian past.
Similar to other Ursidian names Nordinvulk almost always add an descriptive or occupational last name to their monikers like Foehammer, Iceheart, Hearthwarden, etc
(?pts) *Large Sized (+4 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, -1 attack and AC, +1 CMB and CMD, -4 Stealth, upgraded weapon damage) Nordinvulk are considered Large creatures for purposes of damage, attacks, grapple checks, and space but have a reach of 5
(-4pts) *+2 Str, -4 Chr Nordinvulk are immensely strong and hardy but not as agile as their other Ursidian cousins. Their isolationistic view, code of honor, and natural prejudice against what they consider weaker races makes them less personable than other Beorinvulk
(4pts) *Natural Swimmer - Swim is always a class skill for Nordinvulk and they have a base swim speed of 20 ft. They also receive a +4 Racial bonus on Swim checks.
(2pts) *ER 5 vs Cold
(1pt) *Lowlight Vision
(8pts) *2 Claw attacks at 1d6 and 1 bite at 1d4 Nordinvulk have two claw attacks and a bite and are never considered unarmed when making natural attacks.
(-1pts) *Heat Sensitivity - Nordinvulk's comfortable temperature range is reduced by 30 points compared to Humans - "very hot" becomes 60 degrees and "very cold" becomes 10 degrees
LA+1 (10pts +?)
*See Ursidian for general information.
Ursanvulkin (Lesser Ursanvulk)
These Ursidians who were crafted from the smaller black bears of the temperate regions of Gondal tend to be weaker but more agile than their larger brown bear cousins. This higher agility allows the Ursanvulkin to climb trees and tend to acquire many of the skills available to the rogue classes. Ursanvulkin tend to be friendlier and less solitary than other types of Beorinvulk throughout Gondal.
When the Sascrian mages tried to create Ursidians from these black and white bears from the Eastern Leagues they made a fascinating discovery that the bears possessed an innate ability to wield magic. In spite of their fairly large size this made them ill suited for battles in the gladiatorial arenas and more suited for further arcane studies. A similar but smaller version of the eastern bear known as Ailurovulkin to the Nordinvulk have reddish fur and like their black bear cousins to the west tend to favor rogue classes.
Beastfolk: Ursidians (Bears) (with PF points) - Creature type
Ursidians are a race of hulking omnivores originally bred to be elite pit fighters in Sascria.
Ursidians can be slow unless they are roused. They are not necessarily stupid, but they are deliberate thinkers and poor negotiators. Bearkin prefer to be solitary, and...
This page is to link all the various beastfolk races in one place.
Buzzkin/Apini - Honeybees
Boriwog - Boar / wild pig
Corvus - Ravens
Egalit - Bird of prey
Galadines - Mongoose
Hounding - Dog
Lupine - Wolf
Muroideans - Rat
Ophidian - Snake
Pantheria - Jaguars, Leopards and...
Sascria is the last realm in the known world where the old magocratic social order has not changed significantly. The towns of Sascria – the realm has no large cities – are still ruled by wizard councils, the rural areas are still mostly untouched and full of wild and dangerous creatures...