Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Fox-people originating from the planes of chaos
Physical Description: While the vulpes have the general appearance of foxes and are well shorter than the average human adult, their chaotic nature means that no two look exactly alike beyond that. However, the most common differences are minor enough that the race is easily recognizable once identified. By far the most common mutation is ear length, but various other mutations are possible.
Vulpes live roughly 70 years.
Preferred Habitat: The vulpes can live anywhere, but tend to integrate with the societies of other races. If a group of vulpes lacks a city in which to take up residence, they will prefer noisy areas, such as the edges of forests.
Culture and Society: Vulpes take pride in integrating with the societies around them. As such, it is rare indeed for vulpes to have a unique culture or society of their own – they readily adapt to the customs of those around them and overall try to emulate other races rather than establish their own identity.
In the exceptionally rare case where a vulpe society and culture developed without outside influence, vulpe society would be largely political in nature, with status largely being determined by how well one can negotiate out of tough situations. Physical labors and solutions would be HIGHLY frowned upon, left only to the lowest in society. Interestingly, however, physical punishment would also be taboo – criminals would be more likely to be subject to mental tortures than imprisonment or physical torture.
History, Myths, and Events: Very little is known about the origins and history of the vulpes, or what they believe. What is known is that they emerged on Zhaltssom roughly 300 years ago, their first generation living in the decadence of the final years of the arvicol empire. After divine plagues destroyed the entire arvicol species and brought them back as undead, the vulpes convinced the other races to annihilate the arvicols and led the attacks. Their leadership did not last, however, and soon the various human races took over and built their own empire. Rather than fight this new power, the vulpes tried to preserve some of the knowledge of the previous empire and used it to gain status within the human kingdoms.
The vulpes themselves believe they exist solely to exploit the weaknesses of others. Those who cannot help themselves must be made to do so in a way that furthers the vulpes’ motives. This ideal, in fact, is what led them to lead the charge against the arvicols in the first place – the arvicols had lost their place in the order of the living and the races they subjugated had lost any sort of guidance. It was a perfect storm for the vulpes to temporarily take over. When the humans became strong enough to guide themselves, the vulpes backed down and exploited their desire for knowledge to gain status.
Relations: The vulpes are generally treated well by most other races of Zhaltssom. The moonborne humans tend to treat them with suspicion, however, and the arvicols steer clear of the vulpes because the latter led the annihilation of the former. Perhaps the race that draws the most enmity from the vulpes is the canids, who see the vulpes as prime competitors out to steal everything they hold dear.
Preferred Classes: The vulpes are not very dedicated to physical pursuits, preferring the intellect and mental grace of social situations. Their class preferences reflect this, as many would rather take up the bard and sorcerer classes, with the occasional rogue. Rarely, a dedicated vulpe who can focus on intellectual pursuits for a long enough time will dedicate themselves to the path of the cleric or wizard.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 10 and 19 years
Heights: Between 3’3" and 4’1"
Weights: Between 50 and 65 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Vulpes are a very intelligent and charming race, but not all that sturdy. They gain +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, and -2 Constitution.
Type: Vulpes are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Vulpes are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on their combat maneuver checks and to Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Base Speed: Vulpes have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Vulpes begin play speaking Common and Canis. Vulpes with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Resistant: Their initial exposure to raw chaos leaves the vulpes with some measure of physical and mental defense. Vulpes gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects and poison.
Trickster Bent: Vulpes are very skilled at mingling in society and learning how to twist it for their own desires. They gain a +1 bonus on Bluff, Disguise, and Knowledge (local) checks, and Bluff and Disguise are class skills for them.
Weapon Familiarity: All vulpes are instinctively proficient with bows and the short sword. No one is quite sure why.
Darkvision: Vulpes can see perfectly fine in the dark to a range of 60 feet.