|Common Nicknames||Beast-men, Bull-folk, Goat-men|
|Languages||Race dependent, though some speak Oortaal, the Oorl Worm language.|
|Distinctions||Symbiotic beast-men hunters|
|Maximum Age||Variable, Symbiosis extends lifespan by 40 years, Uurt-Url live 140 years|
|Body Types||Muscular, Strongman or Musclegod; some Uurt-Url Athletic|
|Height||6’0 to 7’0, females max at 6'8|
|Weight||220 to 400 lbs|
|Eye Colors||Dark gray sclera, orange iris with red and yellow colorations|
|Hair Colors||Brown, black, blond, rust brown, never bright colors|
|Skin Tones||Depending on host race, natural, but decolored|
While this doesn't mean your character has to come from one of these places, it's recommended they do.
The Url are a race of half-beast half-men that hail from Jorrhildr, though the truth behind their existence is far more disturbing. The Url were originally not the creatures that are known around the world, but a symbiotic worm and a non-Url host that fuse into what is commonly known as the Url nowadays. Once in symbiosis, the Url are strong and pensive, and possess an unquenchable hunger for the Beast Hunt: A search for large and dangerous game. The Url are stoic and reserved, rarely lording their physical prowess over other races, though quick to anger when disrespected and insulted in their great pride. As beast-men predators, the Url face a choice that no race ever has: Salvage their old lives, or abandoning them in favor of embracing the Horned Throng, the Url Hunter confederacy, living their lives as feared hunters.
- 1 Physical Characteristics
- 2 Mental Characteristics
- 3 History
- 4 Culture
- 5 Changing an Existing Character
- 6 Trivia
To understand the Url, it is important to create distinctions among the various stages of an Url’s life. These terms are frequently used in both the Physical and Mental descriptions, and become contextually relevant in the Culture section. The Symbiotic worm that forms the fusion is called an Oorl or Oorl Worm. Oorl can infest a host either peacefully or aggressively in a process called Oorl-Invasion, which can only occur with adult humanoids. The resulting fusing of a host humanoid and an Oorl Worm is called Url Symbiosis. The final resulting creature is called the Url, which is in all aspects a different race from the original host or the Oorl Worm separately. Oorl Worms can only infest Human or Nelfin races, excluding the Dwarf, Songaskia and Drowdar races. Additionally, any half breeds of the aforementioned races can also be infested. Any racial abilities or special unique properties any of these races may possess are lost upon Symbiosis. Kathar and Isldar that engage in Symbiosis gain a regular Altalar skin tone and hair color.
Due to Url reproduction, two species of Url exist. Natively, when an Oorl worm invades a host, it creates a Thar-Url, or Pure Url. When two Url reproduce, after a short carrying period, an Uurt-Url is born, or impure Url. Despite being referred to as impure Url and being shorter and smaller than Pure Url, it is actually the Uurt-Url who are the purer species of the two since they do not have any trace of Oorl in their body. There is an unofficial third category called the Nor-Url, or Not Url. This category defines any person who is born from an Url and non-Url parent, which will be born as if a half breed (or pure breed) between the mother and father species, assuming the Url was pre-Symbiosis. What this essentially means that if an Url who was once Ailor mates with a pure Altalar, a half-Elf half-Ailor comes out. Url can only re-create Url when reproducing with their own species. Url on other species reproduction follows the normal processes, though it should be noted that Male Url are extremely virile, and always impregnate without protection. When two Url mate, the same virility causes pregnancy practically instantly. Additionally, Url carrying terms are far shorter. Url give birth to Uurt-Url within a month of pregnancy, as opposed to the 9 month carrying term for Ailor. A further noteworthy curiosity is that on average, 8 out of 10 births of Uurt-Url are females, though the reason for this is not clear. Culturally, this has often produced strong inbreeding among the Url where two Url friends mate with each other's female offspring in the tribes, though curiously also, Url are completely immune to the inbreeding flaws and deficiencies that occur when the gene-pool is limited among say for example Ailor. All Url, be it Thar-Url or Uurt-Url are healthy, and devoid of any heritage flaws such as bad eye sight or cancerous growths or other inherited diseases.
To understand how Url are created, one must first understand what the Oorl are and where they come from. Oorl Worms are native to Jorrhildr, though smuggling rings can see the creatures displaced as far as the sewers of Regalia. These worms resemble purple-colored carrots that slowly move around. They also often congregate near carcasses to feed off the flesh. Oorl Worms are too slow to flee others and too weak to defend themselves. They are intelligent creatures that have a personality, are self aware, and even have a means of telepathically communicating with other Oorl Worms or Url in the vicinity. This communication is often limited to finding food and avoiding danger, though Oorl can also engage in long drawn-out debates about the morality of their fusion, Symbiosis, and their existence. Additionally, Oorl can sometimes choose a specific person as a host, and communicate the desire to symbiosis with said host to a nearby Url, so the Url may meet their needs. When an Oorl feels threatened (either directly by a Humanoid, or in the vicinity of a Humanoid) it will leap at the nearest humanoid person to try to infest them, in order to preserve their lives. This process is called Oorl-Invasion. Oorl Worms live up to ten years in the wild without Symbiosis, and upon reaching their maturing age will be about the size of an average carrot, though size does not affect the speed, pain, or effectiveness of infestation at all. When they die, their body cocoons and gives birth to two new Oorl Worms which then continue to live on. This means that Oorl cannot be bred even in captivity, and any Oorl Worms caught are rare and very difficult to acquire and smuggle around.
Oorl Invasion occurs when an Oorl Worm attacks an intended host, or is peacefully accepted by the host to commence Symbiosis. When attacking an intended host aggressively, the Oorl Worm will leap quickly at the host; a surprising act for such a lethargic creature. They latch themselves on any part of the stomach of the host using the small and serrated teeth on their mouth. Oorl Worms can tear their way through fabric and even leather, though cannot bite through metal armor. When facing an armored foe, Oorl Worms seem capable of understanding that the next best place to attack is the armpits, though success rates here are extremely poor and they usually just bounce off the metal. Armor is frequently used to capture Oorl worms. Once attached, the Oorl will attempt to forcibly enter the host by biting through their skin. This process is painful, and can take up to two minutes. While the Oorl cannot be pulled off the wound due to how tough the worm’s teeth and skin are, they can be killed with a sword or even bitten off due to how vulnerable the worm’s skin is. An Oorl that is killed during its “invasion” dies instantly, and can later be safely removed when surgical tools are on hand.
If the Oorl is not removed in this two minute time frame, it will break through the final layer of the skin and slip inside the intended host. Once inside, it will bite and worm its way to the host’s heart, which is both a disturbing and painful situation for the host. The worm will then latch onto the heart (which in itself almost feels like a heart attack) with its teeth. At this point, the Url Symbiosis may occur. Peaceful invasion is also possible, in which case the Oorl can telepathically sense that the intended host is willing to the Symbiosis. In such a case, it will simply await being put on the stomach of the host, where it will carry out the process of Oorl Invasion far less aggressively. The peaceful process is far less painful; the Oorl Worm discharges several numbing substances that nullify the agonizing aspects of the Invasion. Why this does not occur in an aggressive invasion is likely because the production of these numbing substances takes time, which an aggressive Oorl does not have. When a passive Oorl is placed on the host, it takes a minute or so before it actually begins to dig into the host, before which the numbing agents are applied.
Url Symbiosis is the act of the Oorl Worm fusing with the host to create an entirely new creature with a new personality: The Url. Once the Oorl Worm has successfully latched onto the heart of the intended host, it will start releasing a variety of substances that result in the mutations and fusing of host and worm. Before actual changes occur however, the Oorl Worm can still be killed over a period of 48 hours through the ingestion of the Saaktus Flower: A plant that is native to Jorrhildr. The 48 hour period is a period in which the Oorl connects with the insides of the host and still hasn't produced any of the mutating chemicals yet. The host will, in this period, be unconscious and burn up with a high fever (though this fever leaves no permanent damage), and will only awaken when the chemical injection process begins. This flower is harmless to humanoids, but is incredibly toxic to the Oorl Worms. If ingested in this two-day period, the flower’s toxin will kill the Oorl inside the host’s body and harmlessly dissolve it and its substances without any further damage. If the flower is not ingested within 48 hours, there is no way to stop the Symbiosis process without killing the host. This symbiosis process itself progresses through four stages over the timespan of an hour, which commences after the first 48 hours have passed. It should be noted that the stages of Symbiosis, side effects and any potential cures or preventative measures are only known to individuals who have studied either Husbandry or the School of Medicine.
- ‘’’Stage One:’’’ In the first stage, the Oorl Worm re-arranges the host’s skeletal structure and bone density. This is described as the most painful stage, as various bones either rapidly break and re-mend, or whole bone structures fuse and widen. This occurs particularly in the legs and the head, where the whole head and leg bone structures fundamentally change, new teeth are grown, and lost limbs are remade.
- ‘’’Stage Two:’’’ In the second stage, the Oorl Worm re-arranges the host’s internal organs and blood flow. The stomach is strengthened and additional digestion organs are formed. The skin also takes a more leathery texture while the pigment changes also, and hair forms on their lower legs as well as their heads. This is often described as the strangest stage as the host’s body appears to have a bloated ribcage; their body is not yet able to accommodate the internal organs produced by the Oorl Worm.
- ‘’’Stage Three:’’’ In the third stage, the Oorl Worm finally merges fully with the heart of the host, forming a secondary heart and releasing the final substances for mutations. These grow the host’s body to accommodate the changes in organs. Those that were around 5’5” to 6’0” before become around 6’5” tall, while those who were already around that height become 7’0” tall. Additionally, their rib cage expands and their musculature drastically increases in size to the Muscular or Strongman level (regardless of any previous base Body Shape). By this stage, much of the pain subsides, replaced by a sense of euphoria in empowerment, a towering feeling of being able to take on the whole world with new found strength.
- ‘’’Stage Four:’’’ In the fourth stage, the secondary brain (that of the Oorl that has become a secondary heart) connects to the host’s brain through their nervous system and transfers all memories, feelings, emotions, and personality traits from the worm to the host. This stage often results in a period of confusion at the end of the Symbiosis, which is closed with a last dose of feel-good substances before the Url is officially created.
If the Oorl Invasion was peaceful, none of these stages are painful, nor is the host even aware of them to a degree; the Oorl ensures the host is only semi conscious throughout the entire ordeal. This doesn’t occur during aggressive Oorl Invasion because the ordeal of pain and satisfaction at the end are key to forming the Url psyche to avoid self-rejection, which is not necessary in a peaceful Symbiosis.
Url actually produce a completely new Oorl Worm inside their own body after symbiosis. On average, Urls are capable (if they lose them) of forming Oorl Worms inside their own body every year or so, as the worm takes about a year to grow. Immediately after Symbiosis, the Appendix of the person is mutated into an Oorl Larva, which then takes a few weeks to grow. It will even in maturity remain in stasis inside the Url and attached to the internal organs of the Url for a blood and food supply until it is called upon. The in-stasis Oorl worm is unique and has its own personality but does not come with memories when engaging in Symbiosis with a person. In order to call out the Oorl Worm, the Url whose body is the host of the worm communicates with the Worm inside them through the Oorl language, which then awakens it. It will then forcibly burrow itself out of the Url through their side, but without causing excessive damage. The slime it is covered in stops bleeding quickly and closes wounds very rapidly with a sped up healing process. The Url usually catches the Oorl worm when it burrows out of its stomach, and is then free to use it to force or grant Symbiosis on another person. It takes nearly 11 months for such an appendix organ that is turned into an Oorl worm inside the Url to regrow, and then several weeks more to mature into an actual Oorl Worm, where it will then remain in stasis again until called upon. Urls who are made from the Oorl Worm that came from another Url's stomach instead of a wild Oorl from division, have a more intensely strong connection with the Url that made them, even more so than usual Symviosis, because the Oorl Worm does not bring any memories with it aside from the warm feeling of the Url's body. The sense nostalgic feeling of a mother's care and a father's protection is very strong, and those who have had Symbiosis performed on them, always harbor extremely warm feelings to the Url that made them.
While an Url might have originally been an Ailor, Qadir, or even an Altalar, the final resulting creature is in no way physically related to those original races beyond the proportions of their arms and rib cage. They stand at a height between 6’4” and 7’. Males tend to be slightly taller than females, as well as broader, while female voices tend to have a higher pitch to them, though still sounding deep. Below their knees, a gradual increase of fur leads down to their hooves where otherwise feet would be. Their legs are digitigrade, allowing them to support their large muscular frame and jump higher than all other races. There is a minor mutation among some Url which are formed without digitigrade legs or hooves, though the fur on their lower legs remains consistent. Aside from the fur on their lower legs, Url bodies are not covered with fur elsewhere save for the head and neck, the rest having a somewhat leathery skin texture. Their skin tones are often more dominated by the browner tones, and occasional decoloration into darker tints also occurs around the shoulders, forearms and chest.
The oddest-looking part of the Url physique is their heads. The heads of the Url (even among Uurt-Url who may have radically different heads than their parents) resemble a number of species, or certain combinations of them. The three main categories of Url head shapes are Bovine, Cervid and Capri, while the vast majority of them is Bovine, or a combination of Bovine and Capri. Within these categories, Bull-like heads are the most frequent, though a large variety of other animal-like shapes is possible. Below is a list of all the possible variants, none of which seem subject to inheritance and occur entirely randomly.
- Northern Url - Jorrhildr/Ellador based
- Wild Cattle (which includes the most frequently seen Bull-head)
- Midlands Url - Ellador/Essalonia based (most rarely seen, and with a high Female frequency)
- Giraffe (purely the head shape, not the long neck)
- Southern Url - Ithania/Nordskag based (Rarely seen by itself, though often traits combined with others)
- Goat (Ram'like horns are the most frequently seen among all Url)
- Warmblood Url - Daendroc based (Rarely seen by itself, though often traits combined with others)
- Brown Bear
- Black Bear
- Polar Bear
- Domesticated Pig
- Wildland Url - Jorrhildr/Ithania based (Rarely seen by itself, though often traits combined with others)
- Dire Wolf
- Woolly Rhino
- Ground Sloth
Note: despite the natural beings of the Warmblood Url not having horns or tusks or even fur (for the pig-variety), all these Url still have horns, tusks and hooved or humanoid legs covered in fur.
Uurt-Url might be mistaken for any of these creatures when hiding their body and only showing their face, though Thar-Url are more easily distinguished. Their heads feature much more masculine features, like pronounced brows and jawlines and strong muscles around the neck and jaws. All Url (Thar and Uurt included) have horns, at least one set of one on each side, and frequently also additional sets of smaller horns on the brow bones and above the eye sockets, with tufts of hair where eyebrows normally would reside. Urls have varying unique horn shapes even if their heads may sometimes look alike, which is why most Url can be identified based on their horn pattern. Various horn patterns are possible which rarely if ever respect the creature categorization. That is to say, a more Bovine looking Url may have Capri horns, etc. These horns are however relatively large, not small enough to be hidden with head wear or cloth, but not so large that they outsize the head. They may curl, twist, be straight, turn, and even split depending on the Url. The horns have colors ranging from light beige or brown to dark gray or even black, some of them have darker tips and lighter bottoms, some of them are smooth and some of them are ridged, there is great variety in the horns from Url to Url. Url eyes have dark gray sclera and orange-colored irises, with darker and more richer red and yellow tones towards the outer edge. At the front of their head is a powerful nose; Url have a greater sense of smell than other races. Along their chin and above their upper lip, as well as along the entire length of their jawline, the Url have strong and thick facial hair independent of biological sex. Furthermore, on top of their head they also have a mane that often extends down their neck. Their entire head is also covered in a smooth fur that can extend as far down as the shoulders and the chest, though can also remain confined to the head and the upper neck. Url hair can be anything among rust-brown, brown, blonde, black and in some cases gray when the Url is old. Url teeth are sharp, suitable for shredding meat and tearing into skin in that they are large, while two big tusks protrude from their lower jaw which they use to attack prey. Their tongue can also extend far out of their mouth, almost up to four inches.
Url have a secondary heart that remains dormant until they enter a mindset known as the Pursuit of the Hunt. When active, the secondary heart begins to assist blood and adrenaline flow, and heightens the speed, strength, and focus of the Url. This state of being is only triggered when the Url are hunting larger and more dangerous prey, or in life-or-death scenarios. It remains dormant in simple street fights or tavern brawls. The Thar-Url are about as physically strong as Orcs are, though are less resilient to repeated physical beating. In terms of weather resilience however they are stronger, able to resist freezing temperatures on bare skin and entering a sort of hibernating state that allows them to sleep for over a month without needing water or food. Additionally, they have a tough stomach lining, able to digest whole body parts of animals raw and clean with bone, though as a trade off, they cannot eat anything but meat, as vegetation causes them to vomit. Thar-Url are in many ways as such compared to Orcs, as hulking frames of muscle that seem to put no effort into their raw power. Uurt-Url on the other hand do not have this predisposition to hyper-muscle development, and can have any Body Shape or size ranging from 5'5" to 6'5". It is possible that an Uurt-Url eventually through training gains the same muscularity as a Thar-Url, but Thar-Url will always be able to smell the difference between a Thar and Uurt, and will always look down on the Uurt, even if they are their own children, an effect of their sense of superiority psyche caused by the Oorl Invasion's mind altering chemicals.
There are two very distinct Url Mentalities, that of the Al-Url, and the Baal-Url. Al-Url are Url that try to hold a semblance to their lives pre-symbioses, and maintain any beliefs, relationships, and values from their previous lives. Comparatively, the Baal-Url abandon their previous lives entirely to embrace the Url society in its fullest. These two distinct mentalities have very different outlooks on life as well as behavior, though there are a few shared traits. The most common trend among Url of any kind is that they are reserved, quiet, and stoic. An Url can often be caught silently observing a conversation before injecting a few weighed and practical words. They are calm and collected, but bear themselves with a great pride and sense of self-value. Url are, due to their calm demeanor, difficult to anger, but have a surprisingly quick temper that turns to violence when either their self-identity or the Oorl Worms are offended. Furthermore, both Al-Url and Baal-Url will barely ever view Symbiosis or the Oorl as a bad thing, only a few rare cases have ever been reported of Url rejecting their identity. Even if before Symbiosis they hated the Oorl or went through excruciating pain, this process is often held up as a challenge they survived, and a sign of their strength.
After Symbiosis, Url retain their old skills and knowledge, as well as memories and feelings (especially with and towards loved ones). Additionally, they gain the Oorl’s memories which mesh in the mind of the Url to where they can perfectly recall both (though the Oorl will usually only remember feeding off a carcass or slowly crawling around). All Url are subject to the natural urge to hunt big game animals and dangerous creatures around the world, and a general wander lust to see more parts of the world or achieve great feats to be proud of. This also makes Url have wanderlust. Remaining idle for too long causes Url to become restless. Regardless of these common traits, any newly-formed Url always has to make the choice whether they want to continue to try and adapt their old host lives with difficulty, or abandon everything they once were and become something entirely new.
Al-Url are often formed when a symbiosis between Oorl and host results in a more host dominated personality. When Symbiosis occurs, the personalities of both host and Oorl are combined. While the Oorl’s predisposition to caution and contemplation form the Url’s pensive and stoic demeanor, it is quite possible that other emotions and personality traits are more dominant from the host, like kindness, compassion, arrogance, or gregariousness. Al-Url tend to be more sociable than Baal-Url, which also causes them to try and adapt to their new body and personality in their old lives. Al-Url are protected by certain laws in the Regalian Empire that makes living among Ailor very comfortable.
Baal-Url mentalities are present in Uurt-Url that are born as Url, or Url that have recently come out of Symbiosis, and either fail to adapt their old lifestyle, or reject it. Baal-Url mentality usually forms when the Oorl Worm’s personality is much stronger than the host’s, causing them to view their old lives with a sense of disgust, rejecting it all in favor of joining with the other Url to give substance to the Url race. Alternatively, Baal-Url can also form if the Url is rejected by his or her old society and people around them, or if they simply decide to give up on trying to adapt to their old lives out of hardship. Baal-Url tend to be more boisterous, aggressive, vocal about their pride, and physically intimidating. While an Al-Url will easily go out of their way to avoid causing trouble, Baal-Url often relish in it.
Url history is considerably shorter than that of the other Races, largely because the Url are still few in number outside of Jorrhildr. In many ways, they retain their old persona and identity, thus becoming part of the history of their original respective races unless they choose to become Baal-Url. Oorl Worms similarly have a history of barely existing in the world. Some historical references of goat-faced Nelfin existed in the early Elven Empire, thus creating the impression that Url have existed for at least as long as the Elves have. Through the faster spreading of information during the rise of the Regalian Empire however, Url have taken a more public role in the world.
Url have enjoyed relative protection and lawfulness within the Regalian Empire since 293 at the behest of Emperor Justinian II, who saw value in the Url’s role in society after the scare of the Sa-Allar during the Chrysant War. Despite their legal status though, many still distrusted them. Prior to the education of the masses to the legislation that Justinian introduced, goat faces were often used to identify evil or demon-corrupted Ailor. This in itself was an old folk-tradition based on an Old Gods festival called “The Bleating Man,” a long festival involving consuming goat products with the thematic undertone that goats are probably evil because their bleat is both loud and annoying, and that they stink. While their heads aren’t actually shaped like goats, but rather more like bulls, many Regalians still call them goat-folk as an insult.
In spite of tradition, public opinion is starting to shift due to the changing liberties of other races, and how valuable Url have been to the Empire. Their hunting abilities, their military service, and their far more reserved behavior as well as acknowledge of Ailor customs and culture means they integrate well into society. In fact, many of them don’t need to integrate at all, as they are native to the societies they reside in. The last major event that resulted in nation-wide acceptance of the race as an (ironically) symbiotic relation between Url and Ailor was during the Deathling Crisis in the City of Regalia. When the demonic forces of the Primex roamed the countryside, the Url rose to the challenge to fight these wolf-men. Solitary Url hunters based in the countryside of the Regalian Crown Isle hunted day and night to capture or slay the wolf-men, keeping Ailor safe. The Url were also noted for assisting the rebellion against the Deathling Queen’s control of the city. Their loyalty and support of the state caused public opinion to become very favorable to them, though some still distrust them. Furthermore, while Regalians can support the existence of the Url in their society, they still do not welcome Symbiosis and consider it a corruption of body to be feared, even if they won’t say it directly to the Url that live among them.
While Url may only function as footnotes to the histories of the other races, some notable Url have and may one day pass into legend as the most ferocious and skilled hunters. The Url residing in the lands from which the Oorl Worm come may yet choose to have a bigger role in the world’s history.
A great number of Url exist in Jorrhildr, though many also spread across the world to seek out the thrills of the Nature Hunt, a practice all Url engage in, while many also remain part of the societies they originally came from. The Url engage in a practice called the Beast Hunt where they target the largest and most dangerous creatures in an attempt to slay them to prove themselves. The reason behind this is unknown. It is speculated that this is a latent desire of the Oorl Worm to experience the thrill of being a predator, thus compelling the fused Url to seek out the thrill of the hunt. Url frequently showcase their hunts to others, decorating their clothing with skins, furs, teeth and other memorabilia, for both Al-Url and Baal-Url, though Al-Url also combine these trophies with traditionally civilized clothing. Url are inherently solitary creatures, though they form relations with people where necessary, and can fall in love with others. Curiously enough, the vast majority of the romantic relationships Url engage in, are of their original pre-symbiosis race. For example, once an Ailor, the Url will frequently seek out Ailor partners. Even more curiously enough, Url that mate with members of their original race (or others, where racial interbreeding permits it), can give birth to very normal and healthy individuals that show no sign of Url physiology. Url are also known to bond with other Url (particularly Baal-Url) which give birth to Uurt-Url, less muscular and large Url which have a predisposition to be born female.
Url in Regalia
Url who were once Ailor exist in a rather interesting position in the Regalian Empire, where they remain legal and even enjoy a specific arrangement where their love relations or marriages may continue under the Horned Stipulation, an obscure law that offers Urls who were once Ailor almost Ailor-like rights for specific services. Url who reside in Regalia and live up to the Horned Stipulation (which is only applicable to native Ailor-Url) are expected to, much like Orc, serve in the Regalian Military, Regalian Guard, or a Noble House Guard. Additionally, these Url must present themselves to the Regalian Scholar’s Court whenever necessary to be studied in their physical capacity as well as mental processes, and hand over any and all creatures they have hunted (bar from a trophy tusk or fur) to the Regalian State for further research in dissection and taxidermy. Finally, they are expected not to be public about their relations, and are not allowed to engage in intimacy with anyone in public either, while they are also expected to keep a low profile by avoiding public physical altercations. In this way, Url serve a very useful role as mercenary-hunters extraordinaire in Regalia, and enjoy more personal liberties than other races. They are in fact the only of their kind (an Ailor that is somehow changed to no longer resemble an Ailor) that is accepted by common Ailor people due to their history in the Empire. Url who break the laws of the Horned Stipulation are denounced as savages and have their rights stripped.
Peaceful Url Symbiosis
Peaceful Url symbiosis occurs in some places of Jorrhildr where the local Ailor often tire of just barely surviving in the harsh Jorrhildr climate. These people accept the “gifts” of the Oorl Worm, which carries some minor role in the Old Gods faith as a sort of double-edged knife-gift from the god Bashtur. Alternatively, several small underground groups in Regalia believe the Url symbiosis is the next natural stage for Ailor-kind. These twisted and highly illegal cults frequently abduct surface-dwellers to force them into Symbiosis in the hope that it gives rise to more Baal-Url. Then there are Url who are created just by a random encounter with an Oorl Worm which feels threatened. A minority of Url is under the impression that they are the strongest race that exists and deserve to rule the rest. These Url abduct Ailor in particular, and restrain them before forcing an Oorl Worm onto them for a forceful mutation. Url formed through this process are not necessarily Baal-Url; all Url may make the choice to become Al-Uurl or Baal-Url. Finally, there are also some other ambition-bound reasons why a person would peacefully accept Symbiosis. A frequent one is where a host wishes to become a legendary hunter, but is constrained by their race’s own physical limitations. Another reason is that a host may feel weak in life, and seek a shortcut to strength that would otherwise take too long to develop independently.
Url Customs and Traditions
Url are honorable creatures who prize their own dignity, but also the dignity of others. They become less inclined to pay attention to a person if they see them surrender to degradation or self-loathing and self-pity. They call pride or self-value “Tarlok”, and it is considered “Urtaal”, or dishonorable, to pay attention or respect to anyone who does not have Tarlok. Furthermore, they challenge other Url or large races whom they consider worthy foes to a wrestling duel of honor, a practice called “Tarlok-Vheer”. Url consider honor a quantifiable substance that is gained and lost from duels with others, though also something that should be observed. Url are more inclined to simply ignore a person if they feel disrespected than to actually attack them, though continued pestering will eventually cause short temper to explode very aggressively. Url that have considerably high Tarlok are considered Rentar-Tarlok-Vheer, or masters of the honor duels. These Url are treated with much respect by other Url, and even members of other races.
Url have curious cultural practices. An Url greets another Url by roughly yanking their right horn downwards. This is not an attack or an insult, rather it is just the way the Url greet each other. If the left horn is yanked instead however, an Url disavows another, which may result in a Tarlok-Vheer. While Url are quick to anger, their anger towards a person never lasts more than a day. They have a practice called “Hertok” where they mentally cleanse themselves forcibly of disdain towards another person. Hertok can be applied three times to a specific individual before they are declared “Rektaal”, or enemy. At this point, said person should endeavor to hide, as Url consider it a possibility to simply eat them to solve the problem of their existence.
Url family relations are very complicated. A fused Url may deny familial relation to their old families, as they are biologically different than one-another. All Url, regardless of whether their Symbiosis is forceful or accepted, share a sense of kinship with all other Url, though also a form of brotherhood or sisterhood with any Url who were involved or nearby during their Symbiosis. This way, Url still maintain some sense of family even if the individuals in the race are barely blood-related to one another, a sentiment more powered by cultural norms than actual logic.
Cultures of Al-Url and Baal-Url
Url who remain in their respective societies and try to adapt their old lives to their new physiology and mindset often still form strong bonds with other likeminded Url in the same area. Url in Regalia form Throngs, which can be loosely interpreted to be groups of friends, comrades, or a brotherhood of Url where Url seek the companionship of other Url. This is largely because Url, regardless of whether they adapt well within their old society, always feel some need to commune with other Url due to a lack of understanding of their new being from their old society. As a result, these Throngs form as quasi-hunting guilds where Url frequently gather and discuss either the Beast Hunt or military matters. Alternatively, these meetings also have frequent Tarlok-Vheer or other means of boisterous or masculine behavior. While they are very competitive, the Url involved still meet with a camaraderie undertone. Throngs often gather in specific buildings, through open-air Throngs are also frequent, where the Url gather once a week in a specific location in the countryside. Occasionally, the Regalian authorities permit the Url to use this Throng location as a base to operate from, and engage in limited bear-hunting in the countryside.
Url that abandon their old lifestyle often have trouble finding roots elsewhere around the world beyond Jorrhildr. It is not unheard of for an Url to become Baal-Url and then decide to become Al-Url again, though this process is often difficult and requires a lot of outside help from Al-Url to complete. Url recognize the possibility for other Url to become their mentors, a process based on age but also experience where they recognize another Url as “Wartaal”, or mentor. As can be evident from the terms above, Url have a vocabulary of useful terms to describe situations and individuals, but it does not actually become its own language until they are Baal-Url. In spite of different lifestyles, this vocabulary comes naturally to all Url. It is theorized that this is based on what Oorl language sounds like, though it doesn’t become commonly spoken until a Baal-Url abandons their original heritage, refusing to speak their old language and instead using verbalized Oortaal, the Oorl language. Baal-Url also frequently tattoo their own body or cover it in war paint, or at the very least, the blood of their prey.
Primal Baal-Url that live among the other Url in Jorrhildr are considerably more tribal and savage than Al-Url. The Url that live there in these communities are loosely bound together by what they call the Horned Throng, a confederate state of various tribes loosely allied. The problem with Url society is that it lacks centralized leadership. They all commonly have a vague understanding of what is necessary to move forward in the world, but lack the centralized leadership of other states to achieve it, or even make any steps towards it. There is a semblance of culture, though many would reject it purely because of how otherworldly their customs are. The Url, in their natural homeland, barely wear clothes if any, and have only the basest of semblance of civility and etiquette. They unite in warbands that all commonly roam the countryside to create a Throng base, though often venture out alone when the Beast Hunt calls them. Practically every asset of their culture is congested in oral survival of stories of great Beast Hunts, ferocious foes and great deeds by Hero Urls in their own stories. Url often depict these situations in wall paintings drawn from earthen pigments or often also beast blood, painting all over ancient Seraph tombs or abandoned Nelfin outposts. Their purpose no longer survival-driven, the Url in these warbands create a strong bond of brotherhood, even if the original hosts or Oorl Worms had no family relations to one another.
Combat and Warfare
Url are fearsome physical fighters. Even though an Url who previously had sword fighting capabilities will still have them after symbiosis (to a degree), they often opt to use their own raw strength over weapons, considering weapons something for frailer people to use. Culturally, Url want to believe in their own strength, an aspect of their pride. An Url witnessing another Url using a weapon in their the Beast Hunt (beyond simple trapping tools and nets) or in the a street brawl will consider said Url an Urtaal and denounce them. A notable exception is that Url frequently use weapons while in active military service (such as the Regalian Army) or in their native Baal-Url warbands for the sake of practicality in a chaotic battlefield (though they can just as easily abandon their weapons in favor of brute strength). Furthermore, Url only wear armor during military service in a formal army, and frequently wear top-heavy armor and often even spiked additions to their horns. Url hit as hard as Orcs and can use their horns to do fierce damage to opponents. Furthermore, their hooves can be used to kick foes, and their capacity to jump higher and farther than all other races (twice, in most cases) makes them unpredictable in combat. While they cannot jump over people due to their size, they remain more flexible in their positioning during combat.
Changing an Existing Character
Existing Characters can become Url through a variety of manners. Url cults can force others to fuse, though a character may also accidentally stumble into an Oorl Worm when on an expedition to Jorrhildr. There are some things to consider when changing an existing character into an Url, which are outlined below. If you are interested in changing an existing character to an Url, please consult with Lore Staff in PM, but the following steps need to be taken in the actual process:
- While memories and skills are retained, Magic ability is not. Url are not capable of casting Magic.
- Url Combat Proficiencies are a bit more complicated. If a character is changed into an Url from a non-Url Character, old Race Boosts are lost and the Url boost is added instead. If the character was an Ailor however, Culture Boosts are kept. This only applies to Thar-Url.
- The minimum age for Symbiosis is 18. It is very difficult to measure the physical changes of Symbiosis on a teenager or a child. Additionally, Symbiosis is usually so violent that it kills a child, and Oorl worms avoid children.
- When finding out the new skin color for an Url converted from another race, take the base color and darken it slightly. Darker spots will often occur around the shoulders, chest, forearms and hands, and upper legs.
- When finding out the new hair color for an Url, a one-to-one translation is possible, but a random hair color may also be chosen. Within the permitted hair colors (and fur colors), complete creative freedom is possible.
- Newly formed Url will not forget or simply stop caring about all their loved ones, friends and relations. When formed as an Url however, it’s always a gamble to see how these people will respond to a newly formed Url. Additionally, even though the Url may remember being friends or in love with individuals, it is possible that post Symbiosis this is no longer the case. Even though the feelings are still there, an Url may quickly re-assess their relation with a person if their new personality should prove them no longer compatible. For example, an Ailor that was previously friends with a clown because they liked pranking people, after Symbiosis, might just find this clown friend to be irritating and not worth their time, and will thus abandon the relation. Similarly, Url are very quick to reject family, friends, or loved ones if they reject their new Physical appearance or identity as an Url. Consider each and every relation and how to view them as your newly formed Url without just assuming everything will stay the same as it once was. Challenge also the people that play your friends and family relations to take this change into account and drive a strong narrative over it. Remember that conflict is good!
- Changing an existing character into an Url is not something that requires a special permission and can be decided upon at any time. If such a change is done, you will be expected to update your character application with a backstory change as well as an outline of the personality, and highlight in a reply to your own application how their personality was affected by Symbiosis. This does mean that in order to convert an existing character, you must have an Approved Character Application, and only then may you convert it. Lore Staff may challenge you to improve the story flow if they think the Url transformation is cheap, or if they think you are doing it to powergame out of consequences of your character’s actions.
- It is recommended to ask your friends if changing your character into an Url will have a significant impact over their characters and their relations.
- Why Url heads are shaped like bulls or goats (to Nelfin in the past) is not known, though many speculate it is because Oorl Worms used Jorrhildr pygmy bovines and goats as hosts before learning that Humanoids were better hosts.
- When an Oorl Worm attempts to symbiosis with an Orc, the stomach lining of the Orc actually immediately kills it before it tries to reach the heart. Why Oorl try to infest Orcs but not other races to which they are incompatible is not known.
- Url, when engaged in an honor duel with another Url, frequently clash their horns in a wrestle-match. These horns are made of exceptionally tough material that can stop a sword mid-swing and lodge it into the horn. Horns can break off when clashing with other horns, but usually regrow within some years.
- When an Url dies of old age, their heart mutates into a cocoon that eventually bursts and gives birth to a new Oorl Worm. This new Oorl Worm is an entirely new being which will then bite its way out of the host corpse and live on.