top of page

The History of the Beasts That Walk Like Men

When the Elf branches split and the Álbezd’Álf became the fourth of their kind, they began experimenting with their love for various animals.  Chief among these animals were the great bears of Râmd’Ankellé, the northern dire wolves, and great cats of the southern reaches  These Elves eventually formed tribes using these animals as their sigils, eventually using their magic to become like these beasts.

            The Dwarves of Râmd’Ankellé referred to them by a collective name:  Bärvoltr.  The title translates into "the beasts that walk like men".  While they lived in relative peace with the other branches in the Elf line, their unique differences eventually created rifts and schisms between the three tribes.


The Great Bears

The first tribe accidentally cursed themselves into becoming bears.  As a result, they lost any semblance to their Elf nature, being instead in appearance to Humans.  All of their tribe are born with this Human guise which remains until they reach late adolescence or early adult hood; the time of transformation differs by the individual.

            Once the transformation took place, the individuals would undergo a massive physiological change, resembling large ursine figures capable of walking on two legs like they did prior to their metamorphosis.  In some instances, members of this tribe struggled to retain their intellect, giving way to the animal inside.  Most others are able to retain their intellect, but it takes years for them return to something similar to the lives they once lived.  One such member is Zavier Maix, a friend of Gavin Lake the Dragonmyst.  Maix had been friends with Princess Amara of Maíga prior to his transformation.  He had been a scholar in his youth and became a hermit scribe after the change into his bear form.

            As if to wear the badge of their shame for all to see, the Tribe of the Great Bear - as they internally called themselves - they publicly allowed others to call them Bärvoltr.


The Kílha Nashba

The second tribe - the Kílha Nashba - learned from their cousins' mistake and learned a way to use the transformational magic as a tool or weapon in their daily lives as hunters.  They eventually eloped to the Frostlands to live isolated lives away from Humans and Elves who believed them to be as cursed as the great bears.  They wanted to avoid the beliefs of the uncultured who thought they were werewolves.

            In the Frostlands, the Kílha Nashba formed three villages, one near forested lake, one set upon a high plateau, and one in the upper mountains.  Their greatest warriors - the Úlvarmard - were gifted with magical tattoos allowing them to transform into large dire wolves.  Unlike their ursine cousins, this is a full transformation that can happen at will, and the warriors are unable to walk on their hind legs when transformed.

            But this magic did not come without a cost.  The Kílha Nashba have a legend about one of their own clansmen who turned to cannibalism because he gave himself fully to the wolf within, killing Ronsonian fur trappers mistaking the non-Úlvarmard for just a normal animal.  The clansman's name was stricken from any written records or speech, replaced with a title invoking the taboo:  Vennik.


The Slavers' Empire

The third tribe traveled far south beyond the desert wastes of the region and established a country of their own on a newly discovered continent south of Râmd’Ankellé.  They slowly amassed an empire and became known as the slavers of the Mítzrâni.  They used their magic and permanently adopted the visage of large cats, retaining their intellect and bipedal forms, and passing these traits to their offspring.

            Over time, the Mítzrâni split into five castes based on their fur color.  Those with black fur are members of the noble caste, many sitting within the royal courts as advisors and diplomats, all vying for a chance to become the newest royals in control of the empire.  Those with red or orange fur belong to the militant warrior caste, serving as part of the navy, the army, or as palace guards; while the red-furred are the warriors, they are usually commanded by a member of the noble caste, typically a male.  Next are those of the cleric or priestly caste who possess white fur.  These members often paint their fur with markings made from a bright green pigment derived from a revered desert bush.  The fourth caste, the merchants who make up the majority of the middle class citizens, are known for their blue-grey fur.  They often run businesses both within the empire and outside of it, and often work with the nobility in organizing the slave trade.  The lowest caste and by far the largest, are the yellow- or brown-furred laborers who are typically required for the construction projects throughout the empire.

            With slavery being such a prominent feature of the Mítzrâni way of life, it is not uncommon for those of upper castes to take slaves of lower castes.  Typically, it is the nobles taking slaves of the warrior, merchant, and laborer castes with some taking slaves of Humans and the rare Halfling or even rarer Elf or Dwarf.  Most of the slaves kept by the Mítzrâni are Humans that have been sold into slavery through the markets in Ronso, captured from the nearby Island Province of Farfell, and from ships assaulted in neutral territory waters by Mítzrâni merchants (pirates).


GVenna screenshot_edited.jpg
Holem screenshot_edited.jpg
bottom of page