Who are the Arluru?
Arluru are wolf-like hunters, who’s rage fills their minds and hearts. They dwell in the untamed wilderness, taking up and protecting their territory with extreme vigilance. A pack of Arluru are not to be trifled with. A group can explode into a frenzy and tear the offender apart at the drop of a hat.
Arluru are, by instinct, berserkers. When provoked, backed into a corner, or outnumbered, they unleash their anger in desperation. And when one is dangerous, a pack of them is unfathomably terrifying.
The Arluru are fae, and their purpose is to protect and keep the wild lands wild. As such, seeing one in a small town is rare, and one in a major city is unheard of.
Only recently have the Arluru begun to emerge from wherever they came from to The Known World. Before this, they were in a much more horrible place.
Arluru are recognized by their wolf-like features in-game.
The Arluru have wolf-like features, and even have the head of a wolf (proportionate to the size of the humanoid body, of course). They are commonly mistaken for werewolves, and it is true they have some similarities aside from appearance. However, Arluru are built much more slender, and their skeletal structure is closer to a human’s.
Another similarity to werewolves is the Arluru’s vulnerability to silver. This allergy to silver is physical only. Wearing plate mail can make one immune to weaker blows of any kind, though Arluru find wearing lots of armour too restrictive.
An Arluru’s adrenal glands work very much in the same way as a human’s, though the body’s reaction to it causes less stress on the body. This is probably due to the Arluru body adapting to the maddening effect of the Black Oblivion.
The diet of an Arluru is mainly composed of meat. While they don’t necessarily need to eat meat exclusively, a vegetarian Arluru is unheard of. Any plant matter consumed is usually found in the stomachs of their prey.
Birth and Childhood
Arluru have a slightly lower conception rate compared to humans. However, an Arluru female can give birth to a litter of pups of two to four.
Because of this, several litters from different pack members would become a burden for any pack. Therefore, packs only allow the pack Alphas to breed. This way, a pack of Arluru isn’t overwhelmed by several litters.
When a litter is born, the entire pack is responsible for their upbringing, in addition to their regular duties. Pups are taught about the laws of the wild, the order of nature, the Elements, and the hunt right from birth.
Arluru begin puberty at age 6, and become fully mature at age 8. During that period, their natural Arluru rage begins to grow. Arluru at this age are brash and arrogant, and find it hard to control their anger. The pack must teach the adult-to-be to calm their anger, and to keep their mind focused all the time. Those that master their rage can begin to achieve greater things such as perfecting the art of hunting, taking up a craft, or becoming a shaman.
Once an Arluru reaches maturity, he or she is sent off to join a friendly neighboring pack. If there are no other packs around, or there is a feud between local packs, the young Arluru will stay with the pack until a new one can be formed or found.
Claiming and Marriage
The concepts of Love and Marriage are almost alien in an Arluru society. The closest thing to a married couple is the roles of Alpha Male and Female, the only two in a pack that are permitted to breed.
It is not that Arluru are incapable of love. Indeed, the love for their children is the only time an outsider ever sees an Arluru express such emotion. The problem is that those emotions are almost always overshadowed by their rage. Even the love toward their offspring is a kind of ‘tough love.’
Love inside a pack between two non-Alphas is considered taboo, and many couples discovered by their Alphas are driven out of heir territory and exiled. Also, a member of a pack who takes a fancy to an Alpha is considered a challenge to the other Alpha.
Relationships outside Arluru society are almost unheard of. Most simply don’t find them attractive in that way.
NOTE: If it MUST be said, Arluru and Kaern are genetically incompatible with one another.
Death and Burial
The average Arluru lives for about 60 years. Shamans, however, have been known to live to almost 100 years old. An Arluru reaching his last days displays many signs of aging. His skin begins to sag, especially around the face. Fur becomes gray and mangy, and begins to attract fleas. And, most notably, an old Arluru’s mind begins to succumb to madness. Many Arluru are afflicted with senility as their days end. Shamans are almost always immune to this affliction.
Different rituals or events happen depending on how the individual perished or is about to perish. In most cases, however, the body is burned and the ashes are scattered across their hunting grounds.
If the Arluru in question is entering his final days and has not succumb to his madness, he may request on of two things. He may either leave his pack behind and wander the wilds until his last day. Or, if the Arluru feels he is too weak and will be a burden to his pack-mates, he can ask the Alpha to put him down. In this case, after the euthanizing of the elderly Arluru, the pack then goes on a great hunt together in his honor.
The murder of a pack-mate is a great offense, and is treated as an act of war. The pack goes into a frenzy, and tries to track the murderer down and avenge their fallen brother with extreme brutality and prejudice. The killer’s head or spine is kept as a trophy. If the killer returns, he or she is chased and kept out of the pack’s territory or killed again.
A pack of Arluru usually has about 4 or 5 members, but can consist of up to 12 or 13. Depending on the size of the region, the area could have several packs.
There are two leaders in a pack, called the Alphas. One is male, and the other female. Both are considered equals, and advise each other on decisions that affect the pack.
There is no divide between sexes, aside from determining pack leadership. Only males can challenge males, and only females can challenge females.
Below the Alphas are two Betas, also one of each sex. They act as lieutenants, advisors, and leaders when the Alphas cannot. Most often, a shaman fills the role of one of the Betas.
All of the other pack members are formally called Omegas, though this title is rarely used. They do the bulk of the work in the pack. Most pack members fill the role of hunters. They are the warriors and providers of the pack, hunting, skinning, and preparing food for the their packmates. Other roles include Apothecaries (Alchemists), Primalists (Mages), Shamans (Mages with the Psychic skill), and War-forgers (Smiths). However, even if an Arluru is dedicated to one of those roles, most have some hunting skills. If one does not, he or she is mocked mercilessly until he or she is taught.
Arluru are fiercely territorial, both of land and possessions. A pack is either nomadic, or claims a plot of land to call home. The size of this land depends on the strength and numbers of the pack. Packs must be careful not to overextend their borders. The larger the turf, the harder it is to defend from other packs and threat to the natural order of nature.
Packs claim territory to secure an area they can hunt freely in and protect wildlife from anything that would disrupt the balance of nature.
Territory disputes are uncommon between packs of Arluru. The most common reason for a “turf war” is that one pack may feel that they’re territory is too small for them and the only way to expand is through another pack’s hunting grounds. Other reasons could be that a pack is failing to preserve nature and must be eliminated, or that the pack as actually caused a disturbance in the balance, accidental or intentional, and is reveling in it. For the most part, however, packs sharing borders leave each other alone.
As stated earlier, all packs of Arluru have two Alphas, male and Female. these roles are determined by unarmed combat to submission or unconsciousness. The Arluru believe that the strongest should lead the weaker, as well as breeding better specimens of Arluru.
If a pack member wishes to challenge an Alpha for leadership, there are a few conditions before the challenge can take place.
- The challenger must have been in the pack for a significant length of time, usually about a year.
- Both Alpha and the challenger must be fit for battle.
- The challenge cannot take place during war.
In addition, there are a few rules for the challenge itself.
- Both combatants must fight with claws only; no weapons.
- Both combatants must be free of all alchemical, magic and psychic enhancements.
- The fight lasts until one submits or is knocked unconscious.
- Whoever succumbs to their rage is disqualified.
The winner is declared the pack Alpha. Cheating is punished by death or exile.
Pack Betas are chosen by the pack Alphas. Most frequently, one of these roles are filled by a shaman. Disputes between Alphas regarding the choice of a Beta are usually solved by the two Beta candidates battling it out, using the same rules as an Alpha challenge.
Interaction With Other Societies
Arluru try to stay out of major settlements, as it is their belief that cities are not a part of nature. In fact, if a group of people try to start a new town in their territory, a pack will do their best to drive them away. Packs claiming territory close to small towns may try to reach an agreement to try and uphold a balance there for both peace between the two groups and to make maintaining the wilds a bit easier. If the town begins to disrespect nature, the Arluru will hunt them down.
The notion that Arluru and Kaern naturally hate each other is a misconception. Arluru try to avoid Kaern prides as much as possible. Arluru are not afraid of Kaern, but they respect them as fellow hunters. Many packs will try to trade, make peace with prides, and negotiate hunting grounds to try and avoid conflict, but the same rules apply. If the pride in question violates the order of nature, the pride must be driven away or killed.
Crime and Punishment
Arluru believe that there is a balance in nature that occurs naturally in the wild, and that all Arluru are honour bound to protect that balance. this balance can be compared to the Food Chain. Eveyr creature has a place in that chain, and the creatures above them keep their numbers in check. Arluru are on the top of the chain, and govern all life in their territory. If one species begins to dwindle or becomes to populous, it is the pack responsibility to solve the problems. This is balance that the Arluru must uphold.
Solving such problems could be as simple as culling the herd. More complicated problems usually involve humanoid settlements, which can be far more dangerous. But regardless, the balance must be upheld, and the Arluru are not afraid to die to preserve the beauty and tranquility of nature.
Law Within a Pack
Specifics of rules and punishment for disobedience varies between individual packs, but do follow the same general guidelines.
The Alpha Is In Charge
An Alpha’s word is final. While a Beta or Shaman may question his word, an Omega does not have any say in the matter. Those that defy the Alpha usually get tossed around by the vexed leader. Repeated or constant defiance would result in exile.
The Balance Must Be Upheld
This is a very important rule. Arluru who willingly break this rule are killed outright.
Silver weapons are the mark of an assassin who hunts Arluru. Packs never use silver weapons, even on rival packs, as a matter of honour. The only item of silver (aside from coins) a pack would possess is an ornate silver dagger used in some of their rituals. Pack members found carrying silver items are exiled, after their weapons are destroyed. In addition, other humanoids carrying silver weapons are shunned at best, and killed if they approach their camps.
History and Beliefs
A thousand years before the arrival of the Fey on the Known World, the Arluru lived in relative peace in The Mists. However, the entire race was lured into a subterrenan world with promises of a great hunt. One that would increase the power of their entire species. Instead, they were trapped there, where they were hunted by the denizens of this new, harsh environment.
These insect-like warriors called the Xin-T’ai, came from a world that was completely underground. Many Arluru were eaten by the Xin-T’ai or escaped through the tunnels of this new world which they named the Black Oblivion. This world is harsh and over time has changed the wolf-men from what they once were. Arluru were not created with the rage they have today. This effect has become permanent, even on other worlds.
For a thousand years, the Arluru fought a stalemate against the Xin-T’ai, with casualties uncountable. In the last decade, however, the Xin-T’ai have found the weakness of the Arluru: Silver.
Armed with silver weapons, the Xin-T’ai have begun to push back the Arluru and enslaving, torturing, and annihilating their race once again.
The true history of how the Arluru came to the Black Oblivion has been lost to time. Arluru Alphas and Shamans tell a different tale now. They believe that the Faerie thought the Arluru were inferior species of Fey, and were simply discarded, banished to the Black Oblivion to perish and suffer. Because of this, the Arluru often use her name as an insult or with negativity. The term “faerie bitch” comes up quite frequently in conversations involving her.
Some Shamans, however, paint a different picture. Some say that this is a test for the Arluru, and that if they can defeat the Xin-T’ai they will be brought back to the paradise of The Mists where they can hunt freely and once again live in peace.
Regardless of their debate over what happened in the past, the Arluru revere the Elemental lords, which they call the Material Gods. They may be harsh and unforgiving, but they are neutral, unlike the Faerie.
Void is the pure opposite of anything found in nature, as it simply destroys, and nothing more. Therefore, Arluru despise Void magics, and cannot cast it themselves. Whether the Faerie built this inability into their minds, or just another affect of the Black Oblivion, is unknown.
Psychic abilities are not treated the same way. Arluru simply haven’t had the patience to learn Mind Magic ever since being sent to the Black Oblivion. But because they don’t understand these powers, Arluru are weary of psychics, and try to avoid them.
However, Arluru are great believers in divination, and all Shamans have the knowledge to predict the future through rituals of divination, be it their version of tarot cards or some other method. Shamans generally use divination when another pack member asks for advice, and to help advise the Alphas.
Work and Play
From an outside glance, Arluru seem to be spartan hunters. However, Arluru are at their happiest when they’re on the prowl. While the balance of nature governs how often they can hunt, nothing is more thrilling to them than taking down one’s prey, and the Arluru revel in the adrenaline and fast-paced attack.
Arluru pride themselves on their accomplishments, in both battle and hunting, and collect trophies off their prey. Skulls and other bones are common trophies, as well as weapons or trinkets off humanoid enemies.
Arluru collect personal trophies as well as pack trophies. Personal trophies are small and worn proudly, while pack trophies are larger and shown off to friendly visitors. Along with the trophies are the tales of glory of their hunts, and Arluru are more than eager to their their stories.
Looking Like an Arluru
Arluru are recognized in game by their wolf-like facial features. This is easily achieved with facial make-up, though latex prosthetics are suggested. The most common colouration is that of the timber wolf, though other patterns are acceptable as long as it is wolf-like. All Arluru have tails, but it is not necessary to have one for your costume. One could have had their tail removed, or it could simply be tucked into their pants.
Arluru dress in crude clothing and animal hides and furs. Browns and greens are the most common; perfect for hunting.
Thinking Like an Arluru
Arluru are predators. every decision is based on survival of self, pack, and nature. They’re rage clouds their judgment, and that is why they’re taught to attempt to keep their rage in check. However, anger often gets the better of them and they stop thinking logically, letting their predatory instincts take over their decision making abilities.
Acting Like an Arluru
Despite their looks, Arluru don’t share many of the same traits that wolves do. Arluru are always angry, though they do not show it unless provoked. It’s more of a bitter rage than anything else when an Arluru is calm.
They do have a few traits common to wolves, however. A major one is that of the pack mentality. Among themselves, and allies that prove thy are not trying to kill them, they are highly social. The pack is family in the end, and act as such. When hunting together and while in combat, Arluru work as a team to take down their prey. When relaxing, they train and practice their hunting and combat skills on each other in friendly contests, practice other trades or just relax in the natural world and pack around them.
Arluru are somewhat xenophobic, and try to distance themselves from other races. When alone or without a pack, this fear doubles, and most will interact with others as little as possible until others of their kind are found.
Fighting Like an Arluru
Arluru are filled with rage, but they aren’t stupid. They know when to flee and when to unleash their rage. Alone and backed into a corner, all their anger is unleashed as a defense mechanism, and the Arluru becomes stronger and tougher out of desperation. Physically and mentally, the Arluru body can handle the stress of such a frenzy.
Most Arluru prefer their own claws first and foremost. They do recognize the importance of being able to block weapon blows, of course, and do take up weapons. They prefer lighter weapons that do not hinder movement and flexibility.
Packs use teamwork and tactics to overwhelm a target. Against even or greater numbers, Arluru will use guerilla warfare tactics to weaken their target until they’re weak enough to finish off.