|Languages||Dependent on Race before Symbiosis|
|Naming Customs||Dependent on Race before Symbiosis|
|Distinctions||Symbiotic beast-men hunters|
|Maximum Age||Symbiosis halts aging and adds another 200 years on top of life expectancy.|
|Height||Average to Tall|
|Eye Colors||Eye color from before Symbiosis is kept, otherwise brown, blue, or green.|
|Hair Colors||Fur colors follow hair color before Symbiosis, and if no hair was present it defaults to brown.|
|Skin Tones||Skin colors follow skin color before Symbiosis (also scale or fur) but can also be full-body fur.|
From the far north stampede the Urlan, a Race of beast-men that roam the wilds, lording over all manner of beasts and creatures with their unrivaled hunting skills and large size. Urlan are a relatively rare sight, and much of their existence remains a mystery to many, despite the fact that the Urlan have been around for millennia. Many regions in Jorrhildr have been declared off-limits by a couple of nation states like the Regalian Empire, as the Urlan Throngs roam these lands and rule them, smashing any military force sent to try and compete them out. Some, however, wander to Regalia, called by adventure, or to settle to eternal struggle in their mind where they are torn between their beastly wild mind, and their old life. With great physical prowess and a stoic demeanor, Urlan are seen as the most stalwart and strong warriors, able to rival the Eronidas shocktroopers of the Regalian Empire and surpass them. Any self-respecting hunting guild contains at least a few Urlan, and Urlan have also become a staple in the Regalian Military due to the inclusion of the Urlan Legion under the previous Emperor Cedromar I. One of the fastest-growing Races in Aloria, the Urlan have yet to find their place in the world, whether to embrace the call of the savage wilds or to try and hold onto their old lives, as well as settling their own self-worth and identity of a soul in turmoil.
The Urlan are, at their core, a Race of large beast men with all the muscle and horns to fight, but the willpower and restraint to fight only when they have to. Anyone would look at an Urlan and say they are savage beasts, but rather than solving every problem in the world with violence, Urlan instead use reasoning and diffusion. This inherent unwillingness to give into their most basic of instincts gives the Urlan their gentle giant thematic appeal. Urlan are called by the Wild Hunt, the idea that they have an itch that needs to be scratched, a need to feel like a predator and to catch a fierce or agile prey to boast about. Urlan are also constantly torn between worlds, between the urban and the wild, between the free and the constrained, between the sensible and logical, and the chaotic and unruly. Each Urlan is in themselves an identity crisis, learning more about themselves as much as they learn about the world around them.
Because (non-born) Urlan are made through Symbiosis between a host and a symbiote, each with their own mind which fuses and forms a single consciousness, each Urlan struggles with their identity caught between worlds. Each Urlan struggles between the memories of their old life as well as the memories of the symbiote overlapping theirs, and how to console them to form a new personality that takes aspects of both. There are yet also Urlan who reject their symbiote presence, and continue their exact personality before Symbiosis, but also those who allow their entire personality to be usurped by the symbiote, thus letting their old self die. Many Urlan experience the world anew, even if they once did the same things and saw the same views. Through new eyes and a new perception of the world, they have to re-learn what certain things mean, and how they feel about them.
Evolution through Symbiosis
Urlan are produced by a symbiote called an Oorl Worm fusing with a host, both mentally and physically. This process is either voluntary or involuntary depending on whether the Oorl Worm feels threatened, using Symbiosis as a defense mechanism. Regardless of how the Urlan or others feel about the person having been changed into an Urlan, from a purely scientific point of view, Symbiosis confers many physical advantages. The host becomes much stronger, more agile, more durable, lives longer, remains combat ready for longer, and generally has a more balanced temperament. The Urlan without exception agree that Symbiosis is wholly positive from a physical standpoint, even if they may disagree on the mental aspect of things. Even if they hold the belief that they did not consent to the changes, they cannot deny the sheer benefit the changes manifested in them. The ones that do accept the mental benefit also, are of the opinion that Symbiosis should be spread to remove physical flaws in other Races, as a form of forced (or willing) evolution, which is part of their ideology.
Wild versus Urban
Many Urlan also struggle with very basic considerations of their lifestyle, like where to sleep, what to wear, or what to eat. This is generally the mental struggle Urlan have to figure out for themselves, whether they prefer the freedom of the wild, or the abundance of civilization. Each Urlan has a thrift for the hunt and to be free in the wild, but many are also called to the structured life of civilization. As such, they struggle to choose between wearing as little as possible and only in the hides of their prey, or to wear the next seasonal brocade fit for their bodies. They might struggle to desire raw meat on the bone, or a succulent spiced and cooked steak with vegetables. They might desire to sleep under a bridge in the cold morning air, or to have the luxury of a house bed. Many Urlan frequently switch between wanting either, both, or neither, struggling to settle, and changing their moods with the seasons.
Urlan do not have any set personalities or mental traits, rather, as a Race, they are the most inconsistent by mental characteristics. The Symbiosis symbiote is called an Oorl Worm, which by nature has a very docile, curious, skittish, cowardly, thoughtful and philosophical mind. The host may have similar traits, but more often than not has opposite traits, belonging to for example violent and brutish Velheim Ailor, vain and self-assured Eronidas, or dogmatic Teledden. Putting their personality traits together with Oorl Worm personality traits in a hat can result in truly random personalities, but may also result in more controlled personalities as the Urlan leans their self identity more towards the Oorl Worm, or more towards their previous life.
The Urlan are not exactly a Race in the way that most other Races would define them, but they are not an Affliction either because they can reproduce normally like all other Races after Symbiosis occurs. Urlan, are at a base, other Races who have their bodies willingly or unwillingly invaded by a symbiote that then merges both its body but also its mind with the host to fuse both, causing a number of rapid mutations in the host to produce a new Urlan. Urlan are at a base, reminiscent of minotaurs, with the body of their previous Race (though often bulked up and made much stronger), with the head of a variety of animals. There are a couple of different head shapes, but they are not considered subraces. Urlan keep the eye color they had prior to Symbiosis, unless they were born Urlan in which case their irises are either blue, green, or brown, with a gray sclera. Urlan who reproduce with other Races or other Urlan always produce full-blood Url, it is not possible to be Half-Url. Urlan heads follow specific Clade groups that are classified based on the rough area where their Oorl Worms can be found:
- Northlands Clade Urlan are found in Ellador, Jorrhildr, and the further cold lands. Their heads are shaped like those of Wild Cattle, Bison, and Buffalos.
- Midlands Clade Urlan are found in the Regalian Archipelago and Ithania. Their heads are shaped like those of Elks, Megatherium, Deer or Ancylotherium.
- Southlands Clade Urlan are found in Daenshore, the Allorn Empire, Hadar, and Farah'deen. Their heads are shaped like those of Ibex, Sheep, Goats, Mouflon and Argali.
Beyond their head however, Urlan bodies look the same as their previous Race besides some modifications. For example, an Asha who had Symbiosis happen to them still has a furred Asha body with tail, claws and digitigrade legs. An Allar who had Symbiosis happen to them still has scaled skin with a tail and raptor claws. An Ailor who had Symbiosis happen to them still has their original skin tone, and their normal legs and arms. Though, not all Symbiosis results in the retention of Ailor skin for example. Urlan can also turn out to have a full body covered in fur, cloven hoofs, plantigrade feet and legs, a tail, or no tail, it is quite varied. The most notable changes of Symbiosis are:
- By far and large, the most obvious change is that the host becomes much bigger. They easily grow a foot taller, and gain much more muscle and body mass.
- Their body becomes hairier, and if they had feathers or fur already, all of this is transitioned to fur instead, though they can also be fully covered in fur.
- Their nails grow more claw-like, while they may also optionally have hooves for feet, as well as two large bull or ram-shaped horns on top of their head.
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons). Urlan cannot be included in Mixed Heritage Characters.
- Urlan can choose one pack from Training Point Buy for free.
- Urlan can choose one pack from Athletic Point Buy for free.
- Urlan are immune to Afflictions and cannot become Undead, though they can have Affinities. They also cannot be fed on by Vampires/Geists.
- Urlan are unable to connect to other Dimensions, as such they cannot Point Buy Radiant, Sinistral, or Enchant, but can buy Faith Point Buy Categories.
- Urlan cannot be Aligned to any type of Alignment other than Dragon Magic/God Magic, though if made Void/Exist Urlan, can align to those Dimensions and Point Buy Magic.
- Urlan are immune to feeling cold or frost damage/hypothermia, but can be affected by hot weather. Additionally they are immune to ingested poisons, and can eat raw/spoiled meat.
- Urlan when using out-of-combat Strength competitions that involve Dice Rolls, can add +5 to any Dice Result, same as Eronidas, but always beaten by Fury Arkenborn.
The Urlan as a Race do not have a formal language, the closest to a formal language to them is Skodje, and only because the majority of Urlan in the north are Velheim, and already knew Skodje before Symbiosis. The Oorl Worm in theory has a language of its own, but this is entirely lost in Symbiosis as they are presumed to communicate to telepathy, but this ability is lost when the Oorl Worm fuses with the host’s body. Urlan do use a minor form of body language, for example, an Urlan yanking another Urlan’s right horn is a sign of greeting, while tapping the hooves or feet on the ground is a sign of excitement. Urlan naming as such is also nonexistent, simply keeping the name they used to have before Symbiosis, and naming any Urlan children based on their old language. Some Urlan have however started adopting names that they feel are right, but can never quite explain why. It is thought that these are vestigial Oorl language words, though they are only chosen as a way of a new name by Urlan who either accept the merger of Oorl and person into a new person, or wish to abandon their old identity completely.
- Names for Male Urlan: Torrok, Tarlok, Tarman, Taromt, Taqarm, Talaar, Teghem
- Names for Female Urlan: Reen, Rentar, Renven, Rektee, Reenhar, Ralla, Rasma
- Names for Non-Binary Urlan: Ehr, Ufr, Aram, Orm, Eret, Alq
Religion among the Urlan is complicated. The population is roughly split 40-40-20, with 40% worshiping Fornoss, 40% worshiping Dragon Worship, and 20% worshiping Unionism (of the total number of faithful, not including agnostic and atheist Urlan). The religion chosen entirely depends on where the Urlan originally came from, if they were originally a Velheim Fornoss worshiper, chances are they will be an Fornoss worshiper after Symbiosis also, same for Unionism. Dragon Worship usually comes into being when the Urlan connects more with the wilder Urlan tribes in for example Jorrhildr, and learns about Valerius from the other Urlan. Valerius is however not the only exclusive choice for Urlan, many are also drawn to Caius's ideology of power and strength, and just because Valerius is considered the mother of all Oorl worms, does not mean that not choosing Valerius as a favored Dragon is shameful.
The matter of Symbiosis is quite controversial among scholars both from a scientific and a moral standpoint. Symbiosis can occur in one of two ways, peaceful and voluntary, or forceful and involuntary. With peaceful and voluntary Symbiosis, the host has a welcoming attitude to the Oorl Worm, not triggering its defensiveness, and allowing it to remain docile. The host then simply ingests the worm which slides down their throat and then painlessly worms its way to their heart to merge with it, causing the mutations to take place, their minds and bodies to be fused, and the Urlan to be born. In the case of hostile and involuntary Symbiosis, the Oorl Worm was given some reason to be scared of the host, or forced onto the host that was scared of them. Unless the host is exactly welcoming and has kind intent towards an Oorl Worm, the worm can telepathically sense disgust/fear/revulsion, and trigger a defensive mechanism that causes them to attack the would-be host. This is how most Urlan are created in the northern regions, because they accidentally run into an Oorl Worm, or think it can be used as bait for bigger animals to hunt. If the Oorl Worm feels threatened, it will latch onto the host’s sternum and bite its way inside. It is not possible to detach an Oorl Worm once it has latched onto the chest of its target, and will burrow inside and then merge with the heart to begin Symbiosis. In case of a more violent Symbiosis, this experience is painful and takes longer than a peaceful Symbiosis. Regardless of the pain however, the Oorl Worm corrects perception of the event afterwards by convincing the host that the pain endured made them tougher, and many Urlan see this pain as part of the procedure, feeling that peaceful Symbiosis leads to weaker Urlan who do not appreciate the gifts of the Oorl Worm. The act of cornering a person and forcing an Oorl Worm on them is considered Baalaan, the act of what Baal Urlan do to others. Many Urlan play god however in this aspect, choosing only specific people for Symbiosis that they are impressed with, or think deserve Symbiosis. Other Baal Urlan engage in forcing Symbiosis indiscriminately, letting the Oorl Worms sort out the weak.
Urlan families are somewhat flexible. Many Urlan are monogamous, and many Urlan just continue their relationships they had prior to Symbiosis, even if this requires some adjustment on the part of their partner (and does not always work). Some Urlan however also see Symbiosis from Oorl Worms from their own body as a form of polyamory. Indeed, Symbiosis performed by Oorl Worms created by specific Urlan tend to create complicated feelings in the new Urlan towards the Urlan who created the Oorl Worm that made them. Even if there is complete resentment at having consent taken from them, they can never deny the ultimate draw they feel towards that Urlan, which does not necessarily have to be intimate, but often is. It is not uncommon for an Urlan chief, especially in the wilder lands, to have a larger harem of other Urlan that they helped Symbiosis for. Urlan are never repulsed by Urlan heads even if as an Ailor they were prior not attracted to Urlan (no anti-furry virtue-signaling self-loathing please!). Urlan children are raised in much the same way the children of their previous Race, though with some changes. Urlan have similar gestation periods as Ailor, but Urlan children grow very rapidly. Within a matter of days they become independently able to walk, eat, and speak, and in a matter of several years, they are fully grown to adult and have an adult mind also. As such, childhood does not really factor in much with the Urlan, they very quickly treat their children like adults, and more often than not are children even treated more like siblings to their parents than actual infants meant to be doted on or disciplined. Within family relations, Urlan can both be very cooperative and kind, but also very hostile and violent to correct unwanted behavior and habits.
Urlan politics, like one might expect, are very split between the continuation of old traditions, and the creation of new ones. Many Urlan in the Regalian Empire still function within their positions. Several Urlan have very high positions in the Imperial Court and the Empire in general. Notable Url are 2nd Prince Frederick, the Emperor’s second oldest son who became an Urlan to convince the Jorrhildr Urlan to join the Regalians in their war against the Isldar in Ellador, Prince Taldemarr who became an Urlan during an exploration voyage, and several Counts and Barons in Gallovia who became Urlan due to an explosion of Urlan in the region. Equally however, while such high ranking Urlan exist in the Empire, Urlan form their own clans called Throngs with chiefs called Artok. The Artok is usually the biggest and meanest of the Urlan who forces others to be their Throng members, or performs Symbiosis on many other Urlan, thus inducing them into the Throne. Urlan can move between Throngs at will, and many Throngs are also based around the Artok just being a wise and old Urlan who aids the other Urlan in accepting themselves and forming their new identity. In Regalia, several Artok exist at any given time.
Urlan in Regalia
The Urlan in Regalia have a unique position. Much like the Eronidas, Urlan were effectively a shunned Race for much of their existence in the Empire, until the Imperial House Kade came to power. Imperial House Kade started strongly championing the cause of the Urlan to exist both in their old lives, but also as entirely new people in their own right, and gave them citizenship rights. Emperor Cedromar went even further and accepted a series of laws called the Horned Stipulations, that gave Urlan wide civil liberties, beyond even what some of the Races who had lived in the Empire for centuries enjoyed. While Symbiosis is still very strictly regulated and illegal to perform in a forced manner without consent, the state houses warehouses with Oorl Worm samples and offers generous Symbiosis compensation schemes for Regalians who wish to escape poverty, accept Symbiosis, and join the Regalian army as shock troopers. This is especially useful because Symbiosis corrects any lost limbs or amputations the host suffered in their prior life, thus making it a very attractive option for veterans who lost arms or legs during wars. It is also exceptionally functional in re-introducing retired warriors (as Symbiosis resets the Urlan’s aging and makes them young again) and citizens who are simply too frail to be warriors, by using Symbiosis to quickly and efficiently boost them up to the level of Eronidas and making them dangerous on the field of battle even without military training from essentially nothing.
Urlan fashion, not to beat a dead horse, is equally at odds with its own identity. Many Urlan in Regalia wear the products of the hunt, trying to be self-sufficient and making their own clothing. As one might expect of the more beastly Races, they do not enjoy wearing too much clothing, and find clothing on fur very suffocating because it does not allow them to move as freely, or become overheated. Equally however, many Urlan wear clothing of Regalian design, some even of the more upper class Regal designs. Especially Regal clothing styles have become popular among Urlan, the full-black or full-beige tones with minimal color and lots of silver or gold thread lining and patterning. Urlan rarely if ever wear shoes, and sometimes their physiology requires unique clothing tailoring, especially if they choose to make use of their ability to increase height and size, and want to avoid tearing out of their clothing. Some specialty shops have sprang up around the city, advertising their ability to produce size-fit Urlan clothing which accommodate body growth as well as unique physical features like the wider Urlan necks and their legs and hooves.
- Urlan nations do exist but they do not exactly have sovereign borders. There are so called Throng Confederacies in Jorrhildr and Ellador, large groups of large Throngs that loosely unite, Artoks acting as a general council to determine foreign relations and domestic policies. These nations however don’t have formal taxation or cities, and mostly roam around, which proves a problem for states like Regalia who love drawing borders on a map. These Throng Confederacies largely adopt Velheim culture, as the majority of the Urlan are Velheim there, and only have Velheim culture as a point of reference.
- Urlan who aren’t actively hunting engage in whatever hobbies that their past lives endeared them to. Curiously, all Urlan discover that out of nowhere, they suddenly have a craving and great love for making and painting small figurines. An Urlan can spend hours, hunched over with big meaty fingers controlling a tiny little pencil painting figurines of warriors and creatures for a tabletop game called the Hammers of War.
- Url are very common among the Velheim Ailor, though only because Velheim are geographically close to the regions where the majority of the Oorl Worms can be found. Velheim Ailor in general have a hard time accepting their fused identity, and mostly roam around the world, or just accept their wild instincts and join the Throng Confederacies in Jorrhildr.
- There is only one real Urlan dominated city, which is in Mannadh Alba, the regional city of Dunhan in Loch Dunhan. This city is almost entirely 95% inhabited by Urlan, and both the mayor and the Count who rules over the area are Urlan as well.
- Urlan are fairly detached from social class and understanding social class. While they have a rough understanding of it from their prior lives, even the Princely Urlan in House Kade spend more time with the poor and the soldiery than they ever had in the past, often even insisting on ignoring state protocol and behaving very un-royal in the company of other Urlan.
- Urlan usually avoid technology like the plague. Technology to Urlan is like accepting a physical weakness that one cannot overcome, and believe that whatever weakness is implied with technology should simply be trained away until it is no longer a problem. Biotic replacements for lost limbs are also not acceptable as such.
- The Urlan are still in active military conflicts with the Dwarves and the Isldar, particularly in Ellador and with Velheim Ailor in Jorrhildr. In the modern era however, most Dwarves that would fight the Urlan have left the surface in Jorrhildr, and the Ailor Velheim settlers in Jorrhildr are practically all extinct, or have been turned into Urlan themselves through Symbiosis. Regalia occasionally is stupid enough to send an army into Jorrhildr also, causing that entire army to be lost to Symbiosis.
- Oorl Worms, besides being created inside an Urlan host passively, can also reproduce by themselves. They however reproduce asexually, and split themselves in half, creating two separate Oorl Worms. Oorl Worms that are kept in captivity or domesticated cannot divide, but also lose their defensive instincts and will not invade a host.
- Urlan are rare in other societies, as Regalia is the only real state that has accepted them as citizens. Other nations generally reject the Urlan, like the Allorn Empire which sees them as nothing but overgrown pests, and Farah'deen who consider the Urlan state a disease. The only other states that somewhat accept the Urlan are the Velheim and Ceardian states that follow Fornoss, though it is debatable whether this is by choice or necessity to keep the peace.
- A regiment of Urlan warriors exists in Ithania called the Taureaux d’Or. The Taureaux d’Or are the Ithanian King’s personal bodyguard and a mimicry of the Imperial Guard in Regalia, 300 of them serving the Ithanian King in gold plated armor.
- A little known fact is that Urlan are capable of also performing Symbiosis on their pets. Familiars can have Symbiosis performed on them if the owner also becomes an Urlan, getting the same beast-like head, fur, and horns but smaller. (Urlan do not keep past Race Specials. If they had a Familiar through a Special, the player needs to get the Pet Pack, otherwise the Familiar dies/leaves them).
- Urlan do not consider themselves related to cattle or other bovine-like animals in the wild. They believe that the head shape similarities are purely coincidental, and do not feel insulted by being confronted with these animals. However, being compared to them is immensely insulting, because Url tend to be vain in their appearance, and proud of what the Oorl worm did to their body.
- Many Urlan who follow Unionism follow Evintarian Unionism, which has recently adopted ideological talking points on evolution and genetic enhancement through the inclusion of one of the Urlan Kade Princes. Symbiosis is thus seen by the deity's followers as a form of self-betterment and an act of piety, and this level of respect is carried through Evintarian Unionist worshipers for the Urlan in general.
- Many people think Urlan decorate themselves with animal bones and other such barbaric items, but the opposite is actually true. An Urlan’s vanity comes out fully when they are able to purchase golden adornments for their horns, tusks, ears, and nose in particular. Piercings and horn decorations are very common.
- Tattoos are also very common among the Urlan, though exact styles do not matter as much. Many Urlan choose to be fully furred from head to toe, and as such tattoos become less visible. To compensate for this, war paint has become more popular among them, which is usually shaped like plant matter, vines, thorns, or circling motions.
- Despite having a religion aimed at smothering Occult things out of the world by making them all Urlan, Urlan are surprisingly apathetic to the Afflicted and other Occult. They are grossed out by Vampires, but Vampires effectively do not ever bite them, so they don’t find them threatening, and Geists are often just considered a form of Undead in Urlan society. As such, Urlan just feel apathetic to most Occult things.
- A little talked about fact is that Urlan are occasionally captured and shipped to faraway lands for nefarious research purposes. Many Allar research institutes in particular are very interested in the hormones and substances produced by the Oorl Worm, and attempt to extract parts of it while the host is still alive. This happens even in Regalia in criminal circles, as the Oorl Worm is considered the holy grail of some body-modification Alchemists to unleash all manner of enhancing elixirs.
- Urlan are considered very wild, passionate and invigorated partners, though are extremely shy to show any of it in public. In public, Urlan do not enjoy being touched, or coming too close in contact with others, and may frequently have a jumpy reaction to being accidentally touched.
- Urlan have a somewhat complex gender identity. Urlan absolutely had a gender identity and sexuality before Symbiosis, however this may change during Symbiosis, or become harder to pin down for the Urlan themselves. Many Urlan become pansexual and non-binary in gender expression after Symbiosis, especially because Urlan lack gender dimorphism and don’t have breasts for example, and are generally more attracted to power and pride than specific sexes.
- Urlan have some unique insults. A very common insult is “No Profile”, which is an insult used against those who are not muscular or large and imposing. Urlan also refer to the Eronidas as Hornless, because while their profile is much the same (including the tusks) they do not have horns.
Gallery of Art
Urlan are really cool and awesome, and lots of art has been made of them.
- Why Urlan heads are shaped like bulls 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.
- Urlan, when engaged in an honor duel with another Urlan, 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.
- When an Urlan dies of old age, their heart mutates into a cocoon that eventually bursts and gives birth to a handful of Oorl Worms. These new Oorl Worms are entirely new beings which will then bite their way out of the host corpse and live on.