Ursus

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In lands deemed forsaken by most, the nomadic Ursus thrive. High atop crags where the sea whips below, deep in vast dense forests or on the frozen edges of the world, is where an Ursus feels alive. Here, a mighty but peaceful people live a life hunting, gathering and tending to the natural order.
 
Known to many as bear folk, an Ursus' size and natural weapons are intimidating at first. In reality, they are helpful people with a reputation for showing kindness and a willingness to be patient. Ursus are often described as healers by those who cross the nomadic race's path in the wild.   However, their gentle nature can quickly change into a seething rage when provoked. When pressed with no other alternative or in times of great danger, an Ursus becomes a rampaging beast drawing on its primal instinct. After their ferocity has subsided, if able, the Ursus will hope to collect the fallen body of its allies and enemies as a source of food. Consuming the fallen, Ursus or otherwise, after the soul has departed is a high honor among the many nomadic clans.

Nomadic Clans

Ursus clans are led by chieftains supported by tanists, similar to the Northlands Warlords Alliance. As clans are constantly on the move, chieftains attempt to track other clans to share information or come together in times of danger. Trained animal messengers relay information between clans on a need-to-know basis, with important meets between chieftains regularly occurring, typically yearly.   If a chieftain dies or becomes unfit to serve the clan, they pass their title to their tanist. A chieftains tanist must not be of direct descent, allowing leadership to never stagnate amongst the clan. Thanks to the nature of the nomadic clans, an Ursus views their clan as a family. All clan members raise and protect children, take care of the sick and share resources together.

Basic Information

Anatomy

An Ursus combines the features of a humanoid with a bear. Large in stature with thick fur hides covering a massive build, Ursus have large canine teeth, long snouts and powerful jaws. The color of their fur is dependent on the region they were born in, with most taking a shade of black, brown or white.

Growth Rate & Stages

An Ursus reaches adulthood at age 20. All Ursus must perform a coming-of-age ritual to prove they are ready for adulthood. Regardless of when they reach "adulthood," if they fail to prove their maturity to the clan, they will look upon them as a child until the ritual is complete.   A ritual can vary between clans but generally consists of surviving in a harsh condition alone with limited supplies. At the start of each year, the clan's chieftain announces the ritual of the year, which all coming of age Ursus must perform. The following year will see a new ritual announced by the current chieftain.

Ecology and Habitats

Ursus gravitate towards harsh climates away from natural civilization. As a predominantly nomadic people, Ursus settlements are temporary as a clan rarely stays in one place for longer than a few months.   Ursus do not hibernate but do settle in during the coldest months of the year in the most adequate shelter they can find at the time. This often takes the form of defensible ravines or deep caves close to water and food sources.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

An Ursus has a birth name that is often difficult to pronounce and full of consonants. After reaching adulthood, an Ursus chooses or gains a nickname to help non-Ursus avoid the name’s difficulty.
Male Birth Names: Calthudallran, Kithuthdromar, Nirthumek, Umbyrennish
Female Birth Names: Ebynisstrlynn, Jhasendalor, Krimtensuar, Tholdalistan
Nicknames: Bowhunter, Farseeker, Nightwisher, Truthsayer
Lifespan
Ursus reach adulthood at 20 and can live for almost 150 years.
Average Height
6ft - 8ft
Average Weight
200 pounds - 350 pounds

Tribal Rites

A race attuned to the spirit and natural world, Ursus look to tribal shaman and Primal Deity mysticism over other Erenel religions. Ursus do not view dead bodies, referred to as vessels, sacred, preferring to eat the remains instead of burial or burning. This cannibalistic approach is disturbing for many, but to an Ursus, there is no more significant sign of respect than to help a soul reach the afterlife by consuming its remains.   All deaths in an Ursus clan lead to a community funeral as each member eats the remains of their fallen companion. Ursus who leave their clan for an adventuring life are quick to either forget this ritual process or perform the acts secretly.

Ursus Shaman

Ursus Traits

Your Ursus character has a variety of natural abilities common with your ancestry.
Ursus 5E Racial Traits

Ursus

Ability Score Increase Choose one of: (a) Choose any +2; choose any other +1 (b) Choose any +1; choose any other +1; choose any other +1
Size Medium
Speed 30 ft

Bite

Your powerful bite is a natural weapon, which you can use to make an unarmed strike. When you hit, the target takes piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.  

Darkvision

You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.  

Nomadic Intuition

Thanks to your nomadic nature, you gain proficiency with one of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Medicine, Nature, or Survival.  

Powerful Build

You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.  

Ursus Fury

As a bonus action, you can make a special attack with your Bite. If the attack hits, it deals its normal damage, and you gain temporary hit points equal to your proficiency bonus. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Languages. Common and one additional language of your choice


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