Sunday, 5 April 2020

Vulpana, People of the Fox


The Vulpana are fox people. They used to be humans but now they can converse with and, occasionally, become foxes.

The Orinian wilds are mainly forested and the only place the Vulpana can be found. Only at adolescence do the children of Vulpana begin the 'scrutting', their eyes becoming more sly and their features more angular. Every Vulpana is born with a fox kit. The kit becomes an ever present companion to the Vulpana, and the Vulpana will defend it with their lives. Fox companion funerals are more elaborate and sad than for humans.

During scrutting, the child gain their foxname. Here are some examples:

- Bristlewish
- Redclaw
- Prickler
- Danceshine
- Dashsnout

Their beforename is based on the plant nearest to their birth.

Vulpana shamans are venerated. They hold the secrets of the fox connection to the Vulpana, but speaking this out loud would force them into exile to the Brashlands (a name for a literal physical hell on earth beyond the mountains). Only one shaman has been exiled for this, as was the person they told. Shamans are the only ones able to fully shapeshift into foxes at will after 3 hours meditation. Others are able to shapeshift at dusk at a new moon.

D6 objects you'd find in the Vulpana village:

1. Wooden icon of Vultis, the foxgod. Ten are made per year before being burned in the winter as an offering.
2. Brushles: while Vulpines have fox features, they do not grow tails. Brushles are imitation bushy tails. It's deeply disrespectful to touch another person's brushle.
3. Skulkstones: Each stone is polished and carved with the name of the owner. They are sacred and if lost the Vulpana compare it to losing their soul.
4. Painted fox skull: bright plant dye covers the fox skulls (like sugar skulls). They are used at funerals and scrutting ceremonies.
5. Pot of insects: Vulpana are omnivores, enjoying an insect meal with vegetables. Visitors are always offered a pot of insects called a skitterbowl the first night they stay.
6. Shrave: a spear tipped with foxbone and covered in poisonous bile.