Updated: Wylderkin (merged with Sarr)

OleanderSky

Artisan
New Hampshire Staff
Marshal
Diversity Committee
The Alliance 2.0 ruleset eliminates Sarr as a separate race from Wylderkin. Mechanically, great hunting cat Wylderkin are some of the many, diverse Wylderkin types.

Culturally, within the Sigiled Plains, the great hunting cat Wylderkin have long held themselves apart from Kin of other types, and until recently they truly were a distinct people with a different relationship to certain effects, magics, and the Glyphs. A shift in magic has brought them closer together in some ways, but there has been no major change to their societal structure. The great hunting cat Kin who have always called themselves Sarr retain this name for the members of their society, distinguishing themselves as a settled people who shun magic while people outside their society do not. The biggest change associated with this merger is that a Tiger-Kin was found born of the Glyph at the center of the Earth Circle, and a Mouse-Kin has borne a child as all other mortals have done all along

Changes in this packet for 2.0 will be emphasized in bold throughout.

Denizens of the Sigeled Plains

The known history of the Mists is that they appeared long ago and devastated numerous civilizations, with cities and settlements lost to the influx of the Mists. Sarr and Wylderkin adapted quickly. Hunter-gatherers and seasonal migrants were well prepared to resume their lifestyles in new territories.

The Great Hunting Cats - Loosely associated tribes

Recorded History
Wylderkin with the likeness of the great hunting cats have long considered themselves Sarr. Until the year 1018 PVF, some aspects of their biology distinguished them as a truly separate people. A shift in magic has now united Sarr with Wylderkin, though this has made no difference to the social divide. Many Sarr settled long ago along the edge of a forest populated with appealing game animals and built permanent structures interspersed with small farmed fields. Hunting competition with Gnolls in the area led to skirmishes over territory as well as the necessity of food production instead of sole reliance on prey. Existence near Gnoll bands was tense and often violent. Several centuries ago, open warfare began and devastated both populations.

The Sarr do not know which side started down the path to ruin through use of Necromancy and do not deny it might have been them. What they do know, as passed down carefully by lorekeepers, is Gnolls became more aggressive and began attacking settlements rather than just targeting hunters. Both sides used Necromancy in combat, increasingly often and at higher circles of magic. Though some of the Sarr necromancers began to report hearing whispers, feeling out of control, and eventually feeling drawn to actions that made them uncomfortable, use of Necromancy continued to grow on both sides. For some time, Sarr with defensible village structures held out well against Gnoll incursions, though the highly mobile Gnolls proved difficult to track and attack in their encampments.

There was no victor. Necromancers on both sides lost control and turned their violence on their own communities. Murder, arson, and sabotage left many Sarr dead and more homeless. Captured necromancers ranged from resistant and raving to remorseful and seeking redemption. Some claimed innocence while others claimed they did not understand their own acts of destruction. Seeing the horrific actions of necromancers who seemed to have lost themselves, some necromancers who had not gone so far as others gave up their spell books and sought aid in turning away from Necromancy or violence. There are, however, no stories of repentant necromancers successfully rejoining their communities. Faced with resource shortages and no stable place to call home, tribal leaders commanded the execution of all necromancers.

After purging necromancers from their population and driving back the Gnolls, surviving Sarr communicated and convened often to determine how their people could avoid ever repeating the terrible mistake of utilizing necromancy. Belief spread throughout the populace that use of Earth magic, though a great resource, was an enormous risk no longer worth taking. They judged it was better to do without magical healing, in order to remove temptation completely. Study of Earth magic was banned across Sarr lands, and individuals interested in healing were redirected to the Alchemical arts.

Soon after the banning of Earth magic, Celestial magic came under scrutiny. Though Celestial magic could not be reversed into a ruinous path, it was viewed as an extremely complicated method of solving problems compared to claws and blades. On the whole, Sarr adopted a belief that a simple life is the best life. Melee combat, possibly augmented with some use of alchemy, became the only accepted paths. Spellcasters were forbidden from teaching magic and offered aid in learning new skills. Those who refused to give up magic were shunned, and any caught teaching were exiled. Even individuals who sympathized with spellcasters tended to agree that everyone would benefit from a simple life.

Magic Today
Use of magic has fallen almost entirely out of use by Sarr. It is typically seen not only as a risk, but also against the true nature of such skilled hunters as the Sarr. Magic is beneath a people who do not need it. Wylderkin in proximity to Sarr are expected to follow the Sarr rules or stay far away with no alliance.

Rare visits from Selunari are accepted so long as the Selunari cast and teach no magic in or near Sarr settlements. Though some Sarr are told stories of Realms beyond the Mists where civilizations embrace magic to their benefit, Sarr pity these people who court disaster. Sarr do not typically hate magic, however. Individuals who travel a while with Selunari sometimes allow magic to be cast upon them, but take care to expend or dispel all effects before returning to their homeland.

Sarr who choose to use magic are shunned from Sarr settlements. Individuals who have learned only the first few circles of magic are expected to find a home away from Sarr settlements, but are allowed to return in time if they admit they were wrong, identify their teacher, and promise to give up use of magic. Individuals found teaching magic or casting from circles of magic above the third are permanently exiled from Sarr settlements. They are free to make a life for themselves with Wylderkin or with other exiled Sarr, but hunters ranging out of Sarr territories keep any eye on exiles. A credible rumor of a caster using Necromancy is an accepted reason to kill a suspected necromancer.

The Earth Circle of the Realm is guarded currently by the largest Sarr tribe, the Saber tribe. A large glowing Glyph resembling a great cat glows in the center of the circle. Unlike many circles, investiture naturally occurs when a Sarr or Wylderkin becomes skilled in the healing arts. Sarr and Kin who resurrect there are clothed and equipped to return home. Even members of a tribe at odds with the Saber tribe are free to go, likely poorly outfitted. Other Sarr tribes, as well as the most organized Kin, often contribute supplies.

In March of the year 1019 PVF, a newborn Sarr cub appeared upon the Glyph at the center of the Earth Circle. All who had access to the Circle denied any knowledge of how they got there. While the appearance of newborn Kin along the border sigils has always been the genesis of non-Sarr Kin, it was unheard of for a Sarr to appear in this way. This newborn has been the subject of much discussion by Earth scholars. This appearance combined with the changes many Sarr have experienced, such as gaining color vision and losing sensitivity to mint, has resulted in widespread agreement that the Sarr and Wylderkin people have been in some way united. Additionally, Sarr now feel a brief sense of comfort or connection when they touch the Glyphs.

Culture
Sarr have a natural lifespan of up to 80 years, but few live past 40. Almost all Sarr hunt dangerous game and some will give chase into the Mists. Sarr prefer to use their claws and edged weapons. Alchemy is limited in healing compared to Earth magic, leading to increased mortality. Because alchemy is vital to survival, it is common for Sarr to dabble in this art. Overall, Sarr cultural values place simplicity first. Sarr highly respect those who survive to their elder years as long as they do not have a reputation for self-preservation through cowardice. Sarr are considered full adults at 16, though they physically mature by 6.

Sarr may court romantically, but more often partner to have children. Children live with one or both of their parents, and orphans with close blood relatives, but extended families and friends share in raising the children. Partnerships easily come and go, and marriage is uncommon. Individuals may court during trade meetings between tribes and join the tribe of their new partner, improving the diversity of small populations.

Governance
Sarr rebuilt permanent settlements interspersed with small farmed areas, located near populations of game animals. There are approximately 10 Sarr Tribes. Tribes typically consist of 50 to 200 Sarr. Tribes of Sarr often ally for trade. Conflicts over territory are unusual and typically brief; and combat between Sarr is not always lethal. It is more common that tribes disputing a hunting ground will unite to drive out gnolls and have more to share.

Leadership is held by non-hereditary council members who select their own successors. Judgement is passed by council vote and executed by council-selected representatives. Laws vary between tribes, but all forbid magic. Exile is a possible punishment for crimes such as murder, and a typical punishment for spellcasters. Even exiled Sarr are loosely monitored for use of Necromancy.

Geography and Protection of the Realm
The Realm occupied by Wylderkin is approximately 30 square miles of primarily forested land. Sarr tribes claim approximately half the Realm. The Selunari often call this Realm “The Sigiled Plains”. Both races as well as Gnolls cut and maintain clearings for settlement, though many Kin prefer the forested areas and hunters pursue game in the forests.

The Realm is protected by a barrier that keeps the Mists themselves out. People and creatures can pass through freely in both directions. Monstrous creatures from the Mists enter, but are kept in check by the hunters in the Realm. No historians are sure why the Mists cannot enter the realm, but they believe it is due to Glyphs along the border. Miles apart along the border, glowing Glyphs mark the ground. Tracking a line between two Glyphs matches the edge of the Mists, and this is perceived as too consistent to be a coincidence. Each Glyph is a shape resembling an animal type -- equine, lupine, and many more. Each animal’s glyph comes and goes, replaced by other animals, in no particular cycle. How the Glyphs formed and why the Mists do not pass them is knowledge lost to time.

Celebrations
Most Sarr are very busy during the farming and good hunting seasons. Maintaining supply, preparing for winter, and producing alchemy are prioritized above revelry. Sarr are not without joy or humor, however, and are often fond of tactical board games in downtime. The beginning of spring marked by snow melting is celebrated as the return of productive hunts. Harvest is also celebrated. Celebrations are usually kept within individual tribes. Unlike many races, Sarr do not celebrate the solstices as they do not accurately track them. Sarr use a lunar calendar.

Playing A Sarr
Sarr from organized tribes value simple lives in accordance with their nature as hunters. Sarr who are not so inclined to hunt may be craftspeople or herbalists. It is commonly believed that magic complicates life and invites the danger that destroyed Sarr civilizations in the past. Any Sarr spellcaster is an outcast. Powerful casters and any teachers of magic are not welcomed back to tribes. Most Sarr do not hate magic, but view it with suspicion and as not befitting a strong people. Rejection of spellcasters is a matter of safety, and spellcasters are mostly seen as disappointments and liabilities. It is up to a player how strongly their Sarr character feels about rejecting magic. Some may accept the spells of outsiders who have made a dangerous choice, while others may refuse. As travel through the Mists becomes more frequent, hunters may seek new challenges, the curious might seek information, and exiles may seek new homes.

You might consider playing a Sarr if you enjoy a culture of fierce melee range hunters. Sarr spellcasters are rebels against their cultural values and live in exile.


Wylderkin - Diverse and dissimilar populations

The Nature of Kin
Humanoids with animal-like feature are collectively referred to as Wylderkin. This is not a name they often give themselves, however; for example those with much in common with a raccoon would call themselves Raccoon-kin. Kin share more than their appearance with wild animals; Kin possess instincts and mannerisms consistent with their animal appearance. Wolf-kin readily form groups and hunt as a pack, while Bear-kin rarely gather for long. After adolescence, Kin of different types do not typically join together for long if at all, as many have mostly incompatible preferences. Some Kin types do work together at times, such as coyotes with wolves, or similar birds with each other. Kin of all types, no matter how different, often consider Wylderkin to be one diverse people, though they do not use this all-inclusive name or identity. The great hunting cat Kin have long had a separate culture from other Kin, known as Sarr, as described previously in this packet. They remain culturally distinct.

Kin lifespans vary from less than 10 years, such as many Mouse-Kin; to over 100, such as many Tortoise-Kin. Even within the same Kin type, lifespans range from the related animal’s lifespan to 80 years.

Culture
Wylderkin are survivalists. They do not form complex civilizations or governments. Leadership and hierarchy are based on personal strength. Those who have interacted with organized civilizations see individuals who could not survive without their structure because they have lost touch with the importance of self-sufficiency. Though Sarr are acknowledged as hunters and able to exert force over the less organized Wylderkin, Sarr are seen as too reliant on permanent settlements and unnecessary governance. Even Wylderkin with potentially permanent structures feel prepared to move on with little warning. They may form cooperative societies, but rules are more suggestions and might often makes right. Money seems artificial, so Wylderkin trade in goods and favors when they can.

Wylderkin inhabit the same Realm as Sarr. The majority of Wylderkin hold separate territory from Sarr, but often choose to ally with them. Sarr spread word of their views and laws against magic, and Wylderkin are aware that spellcasters are completely unwelcome near Sarr territories. Spellcasters are uncommon amongst Wylderkin, both due to Sarr influence and because settling down to study is not highly valued as a survival skill. Kin are often taught that Sarr believe magic is dangerous and overcomplicated, and many believe the same. Kin who do learn magic know to keep this secret from Sarr and their close allies. Necromancy is so rare among Kin that few have strong opinions on this particular form of magic.

Territory and Protection of the Realm
Wylderkin occupy approximately half the Realm they share with Sarr, detailed above in the Sarr “Geography” section. Wylderkin feel more certain about the purpose of the border Glyphs than most Sarr. Wylderkin feel a brief sense of comfort or connection when they touch the Glyphs. Many believe the purpose of the Glyphs is to hold back the Mists, and that there is magic within them that fundamentally connects with Wylderkin. This is what unites even the most unlike Wylderkin to believe they might be one people. Additionally, both Wylderkin and Sarr can pass through the Videan Mistwall at all times without harm, furthering this belief.

Gnolls keep distance from Sarr territories unless they are actively looking for a fight. Gnolls hold a small area of settlements that do not overlap with Sarr or Kin, but their hunting grounds are almost entirely claimed by Kin as well. Kin who are inclined to hunting share territory with gatherers and scavengers, but bristle at Gnolls and violently deter threats against their less well defended neighbors.

Birth and Celebrations
Unlike the other races, Wylderkin were until 1018 PVF unable to reproduce through mating. Infant Wylderkin are apparently generated by the border Glyphs. These infants always resemble the type of animal depicted in the Glyph by which they were found. Much like the unpredictable nature of which Glyphs appear along the border at any time, there is no pattern to when these infants appear. Some Kin have made it their purpose to patrol the border of the Realm looking for these Glyphborn infants before Gnolls or creatures from the Mists can take them. When an infant is discovered these Kin usually try to find a group of Kin more suitable for raising the particular Kin (for example a Bear-kin might have difficulty raising a Butterfly-kin) but will raise any children for whom they cannot find a home.

The finding and adoption of a child is a cause of celebration among Wylderkin. Whether a lone parent or a group of Kin, welcoming an infant is a choice Kin do not take lightly. Partnered or grouped Kin celebrate the adoption of infants in varied ways, usually through sharing a special meal or telling stories of the adoption of older members of the group.

In December of 1018, a Mouse-kin birthed a child in the same manner as other mortal peoples. Wylderkin who have heard of this largely consider it a shocking indication that they have become more like the Sarr.

Wylderkin use a lunar calendar if any. Wylderkin groups may have many different celebrations, often resembling a behavior of their related animal. For example Magpie and Crow-kin often have contests of riddles, relating to the curious and clever nature of those animals. Other Wylderkin, such as Goat-kin or Walrus-Kin, may hold tests of strength and skill such as through martial combat. Celebrations are as diverse as the Kin themselves are.

Playing a Wylderkin
Wylderkin are highly diverse, and the only commonality across the entire race is focus on survival. Wylderkin can form organized societies, but highly organised civilizations are strange to Kin. Wylderkin may still choose to live among other peoples and follow their laws. Wylderkin are rarely spellcasters, but Kin have few laws and rarely any against magic. Wylderkin spending time amongst highly organized civilizations will generally use money and follow complex laws because, while they may see these practices as nonsensical, they are adept at adapting to their surroundings. Wylderkin could not reproduce before 1019 PVF. All Kin before this time appeared upon the Glyphs, and this still occurs alongside reproduction.

Players of Wylderkin are encouraged to message the plot team during the process of developing their character's history, such as their family or group's traditions.

You might consider playing a Wylderkin if you are interested in portraying a survivalist mindset based on animal instincts and a connection across a diverse culture.
 
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OleanderSky

Artisan
New Hampshire Staff
Marshal
Diversity Committee
2.0 Update

The new rules eliminate Sarr as a separate race. The packet has been updated to merge them with Wylderkin and explain how this affects their culture.
 
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