Therians – Bestial humanoids who pride themselves on their strength and bond with the great Cycle.
Max Age: 150 Years
Make Up: Were-Bears: Dark brown furred along the brow and jawline, Flesh colored nose, and fangs. Were-Wolves: Grey furred along the brow and jaw, Black colored nose, fangs. Were-owls: Feathering along the brow and jaw, black beak along the nose and upper lip..
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The Therian race is a versatile and insular breed of people, who primarily originate from their tribal lands in the Namarin Plains, and deep into the Grey Woods along the eastern coastline. Believed by some to be the descendants of ancient magical beasts, and by others the result of centuries of shamanistic seclusion, the Therian people tend to have a strong sense of duty to their clan, and even to non-therian allies made when travelling outside their homeland. The Therians are physically resilient, and as a whole, develop retractable claws during their adolescence, which can be used to deadly effect almost immediately. In turn, this early ability to wound or kill so easily requires parents of a young Therian to teach it how to use this ability, which tends to take the form of teaching a child to hunt and kill with its own hands. In this way, a young Therian learns important lessons of patience, hard labor, and the values and hazards of taking a life. This familial teaching tends to follow a Therian, even when a Therian family has adopted another culture. Even in faraway Il Paraonde, you will be hard pressed to find a Therian who has not killed with its own hands by its teenage years.
An interesting physical division exists within the Therian people, which tends to be immediately noticeable to anyone being introduced to the race for the first time. The Therian people can easily be broken up into three distinct subgroups: the were-wolves, were-bears and were-owls. Despite the physical and psychological differences between these three breeds of Therian, they tend to treat each other with a familiarity one would usually reserve for extended family. While they were once at war with one another, in recent generations, the Therian people have unified, to be represented by their chiefs on the world’s stage.
Culturally, the Therian people find themselves accustomed to a tribal life. Therians that grow up in other settings can find themselves at odds with the lack of unified purpose that city life presents, though some Therians have made a name for themselves in more civilized lands as mercenaries, bodyguards, and even a few healers. Such purpose sits well with most Therians, having a focussed goal, or person to protect calls their minds back to their tribal ways of community and preservation against outside forces. Though some Therians have been raised in such a setting, allowing them to easier absorb the rigid society presented in an urban town, they often feel a pull within them towards the primal. This is something that all Therians feel, no matter where one happens to be born, and this animal instinct tends to make many urban dwelling Therians seem distracted, or agitated to the uninformed observer.
To outsiders, tribal Therians seem brutish, yet empathetic. They tend not to concern themselves with tedious luxuries, and take no small amount of pride from the hides and pelts they wear, mostly because a tribal Therian will usually only don pelts it had collected itself. Concepts like stealing tend to confuse tribal Therians, as to them, one gains pride and respect from something one has collected himself, so how could one gain prestige from an object one did not earn himself. This outlook sometimes presents itself as distrust of outsiders, with the outsider having to prove itself honorable before it can stay with a tribe, usually by performing well on a hunt in the presence of the local chief.
Whether born in the deep forests of the Grey Wood, or under the stone towers of some far away city, the Therian people a proud and long lived race. Their longevity allows them time to experience the world more fully than many of their neighbors, and pass that knowledge onto their descendants. This had lead many Therians to be seen as wise teachers, even to the more civilised kingdoms of shorter lived races. Whether a Therian is found in its tribal land, travelling to faraway kingdoms, or born in a civilised setting, it will stand as an example of deep animal instinct, melded with presence of purpose.