Vulpe

Nowdays, people say, cunning as a Vulpe. When I was young, the words was bloodthirsty not cunning... The printing press has done miracles for the fox people, I guess they were cunning like that
— Oldman in the streets of Thebes

Beautiful green valleys and hills littered with stepped rice fields, busy white washed cities of tall, purple-tiled, sloped rooftops and the sound of swords clashing, either in the dojos or in the field of battle. Short, with a lush red, white or midnight coloured fur, the Vulpe, are the fox-like kin of Viliria. Creating the first cities, clans, empires and waging bloody wars before even the Anthros climbed down and left their trees, they are one of the oldest civilized species to rise from the ashes of the cataclysmic event that saw the Atlanteans disappearing into thin air.

 

Cunning mind and Flexible bodies

Vulpe stand about 135cm tall in average, significantly shorter than the average Anthros, but their nimble multi joined legs are able to flex extremely allowing them, for impressive speeds and agility of movement. The great Shirori warriors of the Dominion might wear light armour but, many have reported tha they are so quick to move that even people focusing on them can lose track of where they are. The only thing that can compete with their agility is their quick thinking and witty rapport. Vulpe are known to have a hard time to hold their tongue. It takes a very well trained and calm vulpe mind not to start a war by slinging sassy comments to their discussion opponent. In many ways it's their cunning mind that led to all the bloodshed of their early history.

Savages turned Sages

The long history of the Vulpe saw them clash time and again, whole clans dissappearing due to savage slaughers and enslavement of the children and females of the destroyed factions. For hundreds of years the nomadic tribes of the Vulpe fought fiercely for their hunting grounds and distrusted people outside their clans with an uncomprehensible frevor. The birth of agriculture and Axiemi, the first city did not stop them from killing each other, it made it more organized, one might even say civilized, but it was still slaughter. It took thousands of years for the Vulpe to master their inner deamons and an extreme focus on spirituality and philosophy to realise the mistakes of the past.

Vast population and Warring Kingdoms

Vulpe, to this day still fight each other, but at lease the wars have been codified via a complex system of honor and tradition that prevents genocides in the name of modern civilization. Many say that the perpetual state of war is a result of the evergrowing population. Vulpe really enjoy the carnal in all its forms, this combined with an average litter for 3 to 6 cubs, can make any population explode really quickly. In truth, the vast, lush lands of Viliaria can very easily sustain a much larger population of Vulpe, if only they stopped killing each other.

Origins

The vulpe ascended from a wild mutation during one of the first Seedings. It is very common for many vulpe to keep Foxes, their genetic ancestors at home as pets and many clans breed foxes to match the clans' fur, lips and eye colors.

 

Ethics, Honor & Philosophy

The most important contribution of the First Axiemi Dynasty was the establishing of a code of honor and a clear definition of the layers of Vulpe society. That singular legislation that allowed for both the governance of the empire but also the shaping of a holistic understanding of a society, changed the flow of history of Viliria.

Ansiro the code of the Shirori

Shirori, is the new warrior class that was established during the first Dynasty and it still remains the definition of nobility. The Shirori are the warriors of each clan led by their Shirori Ho (Clan Leader). The Ansiro, is the code of conduct, a collection of ideas that define what is the meaning of nobility for the Vulpe.

Rectitude or Justice

Ansiro refers not only to martial rectitude, but to personal rectitude: Rectitude or Justice, is the strongest virtue of Ansiro. A well-known Shirori defines it this way: ‘Rectitude is one’s power to decide upon a course of conduct in accordance with reason, without wavering; to die when to die is right, to strike when to strike is right.’ Another speaks of it in the following terms: ‘Rectitude is the bone that gives firmness and stature. Without bones the head cannot rest on top of the spine, nor hands move nor feet stand. So without Rectitude neither talent nor learning can make the human frame into a Shirori.’

Courage

Ansiro distinguishes between bravery and courage: Courage is worthy of being counted among virtues only if it’s exercised in the cause of Righteousness and Rectitude. In his Analects, Toa "Nine-tails" Yin said: ‘Perceiving what is right and doing it not reveals a lack of Courage.’ In short, ‘Courage is doing what is right.’

Benevolence or Mercy

A Vulpe invested with the power to command and the power to kill was expected to demonstrate equally extraordinary powers of benevolence and mercy: Love, magnanimity, affection for others, sympathy and pity, are traits of Benevolence, the highest attribute of the human soul. Both Confucius and Mencius often said the highest requirement of a ruler of men is Benevolence.

Politeness

Discerning the difference between obsequiousness and politeness can be difficult for casual visitors to Viliria, but for a true man, courtesy is rooted in benevolence: Courtesy and good manners have been noticed by every foreign tourist as distinctive Vilirian traits. But Politeness should be the expression of a benevolent regard for the feelings of others; it’s a poor virtue if it’s motivated only by a fear of offending good taste. In its highest form Politeness approaches love.

Honesty and Sincerity

True Shirori, according to author Nitobe, disdained money, believing that “men must grudge money, for riches hinder wisdom.” Thus children of high-ranking Shirori were raised to believe that talking about money showed poor taste, and that ignorance of the value of different coins showed good breeding: Ansiro encouraged thrift, not for economical reasons so much as for the exercise of abstinence. Luxury was thought the greatest menace to manhood, and severe simplicity was required of the warrior class … the counting machine and abacus were abhorred.

Honor

Though Ansiro deals with the profession of soldiering, it is equally concerned with non-martial behavior: The sense of Honor, a vivid consciousness of personal dignity and worth, characterized the Shirori. He was born and bred to value the duties and privileges of his profession. Fear of disgrace hung like a sword over the head of every Shirori … To take offense at slight provocation was ridiculed as ‘short-tempered.’ As the popular adage put it: ‘True patience means bearing the unbearable.’

Loyalty

Economic reality has dealt a blow to organisational loyalty around the world. Nonetheless, true men remain loyal to those to whom they are indebted: Loyalty to a superior was the most distinctive virtue of the feudal era. Personal fidelity exists among all sorts of men: a gang of pickpockets swears allegiance to its leader. But only in the code of chivalrous Honor does Loyalty assume paramount importance.

Character and Self-Control

Ansiro teaches that men should behave according to an absolute moral standard, one that transcends logic. What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. The difference between good and bad and between right and wrong are givens, not arguments subject to discussion or justification, and a man should know the difference. Finally, it is a man’s obligation to teach his children moral standards through the model of his own behavior: The first objective of Shirori education was to build up Character. The subtler faculties of prudence, intelligence, and dialectics were less important. Intellectual superiority was esteemed, but a Shirori was essentially a man of action.

Fei Shen, the way

Fei Shen is one of the Lyra’s largest religions and originated 5,500 years ago in South Viliria. Practitioners of Fei Shen believe that the Vulpe life is one of suffering, and that meditation, spiritual and physical labor, and good behavior are the ways to achieve enlightenment and become one with the whole.

Xia Fu was the first Vulpe to reach enlightenment and was, and is still today, known as the Fei Dan. Practitioners of Fei Shen do not believe in any kind of deity or god, although there are supernatural figures who can help or hinder people on the path towards enlightenment. It is very common for followers of the way to meet and talk to Xia Fu's now, incorporial aspect in times of trouble. XIa, ascended by leaving her physical body but her spirit is one with everything and for those who seek enlightenment she is a guide and protector.

Yin Shu Martial Arts

Yin Shu, is commonly known as the martial art employed by the Shirori. It is the mastery of ones body and understanding of their surrounding environment. Shirori combat methods are taught via forms Shi-Kus. Forms that are technically closely related are coupled together and are considered of the same sub-style. These are usually called the small and the big forms, which altogether make the Shirori Zhi Qi style. These styles are not complete or stand-alone, this is just a classification of different forms of Shirori Yin Shu based on their technical contents.

Most of the styles try to immitate the fighting styles of animals or study the properties of the natural elements and powers in the world. For example the Me-Shu-Fa (Way of the Tornado) style is taking the basis of its forms from the way the wind moves and students often are seens emulating the movement of the wind around them during their practive of Shi-Kus.

In reality, Yin Shu refers to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete. In its original meaning, Yin Shu can refer to any discipline or skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial arts.

Technological Achievements

Vulpe Society is by far the oldest, uninterrupted technological tradition. In the last 5000 years alone, Vulpe have led the way in a great variety of technological innovations. Sadly most of them found their use in the battlefields of Viliria which, in the long run, significantly stumped its progress. Still, these five millennia of hard work, gave the world the first writing, astronony, currency, the first treatises on military tactics, bronze, iron and of course Vilirian Steel folding and last but not least the Printing Press that single handedly popularized the dissemination of ideas around Viliria, Thebia, Azun and nowdays is being weaponised in Nyria.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Vulpe are covered in fur and they are easily distinguishable by their 2-jointed legs and bushy tail.  

Nine-tails

The Nine-tails (born not with one but nine separate tails, is a rare genetic mutation that is known to occur randomly across Viliria. Some of the sages assume that it is related to the mothers will to create a child that will excel and related to the legend of Toa "Nine-tails" Yin the legendary Sage warrior and first Empreror of the First Axiemi Dynasty that united the clans under a single banner.

Ecology and Habitats

Vulpe live in a variety of habitats ranging from the lush green valleys of Viliria to its highest and coldest mountains. What they share in common is their dislike for salt water. Vulpe love bathing and children can often be seen swimming in crystal blue-green lakes and rivers, but salt water is something all vulpe stay away from. It's not the only, but it is certainly one of the contributing factors that the Vulpe stay almost exclusively in the continent of Viliria.

Dietary Needs and Habits

The Vulpe are largely omnivorous but have a distinct taste for meat. Most of their non-agricultural land is in fact dedicated to the breeding of sheep, and many of the mountain folk in Viliaria exclusively focus their industry into the sheparding and butchering of sheep.
Temporary Reference Image
 

Rules

Attibute Scores
+4 Agility (8-18)
+2 Will (6-16)
-2 Constitution (4-12)
Bonus Skill Ranks
+1 Coersion
+1 Acrobatics
+1 Resolve, Mental
Size
Small
Philosophy Teachngs
Vulpe get access to all Vulpe Philosophy teachings allowing them to use all willpower skills and abilities associated with their school of thought
Keen Sense (Hearing)
Due to their mobile and well designed ears, Vulpe have the ability to hear sounds clearly and from great distance. +1 Step bonus Species bonus to all audio based Perception checks
Keen Sense (Smell)
Thousands of years of hunting and tracking left the Vulpe with an amazing sense of smell. +1 Step bonus Species bonus to all smell based Perception checks
Lightning Speed
All Movement Rate is upgraded by 2 classes
Common Female Names
Ai, An, Bao, Ban, Chen, Chi, Fa, Fen, Hai, Hua, Huang, Ji, Jin, Ju, Ju An, Kai, Kun, Lang, Lei, Li, Lin, Ling, Mei, Meilin, Nei, Na, Nushi, Qing, Qua, Shu, Shufen, Sui, Wei, Wan, Xi, Xiu, Xiulan, Xifen, Xue, Ya, Yani, Yi, Yin, Ying, Yu, Zhen, Ziyu
Common Male Names
Aigu, Bai, Bo, Bowen, Chang, Chen, Cheng, Chih, Da, Dao, De, Dong, Feng, Fang, Fu, Gang, Guo, Hai, Hao, He, Hen, Heng, Hong, Jia, Jian, Jin, Jing, Ka, Kai, Liang, Ping, Quiang, Qiu, Rong, Rongen, Shan, Shi, Tao, Wen, Wu, Xiang, Yang, Yuze, Zihan, Zixuan
Most family names depend on the ethnic group they belong to and denote their clan
Scientific Name
Canis Vulpix Sapiens
Origin/Ancestry
Canis Vulpes (Common Fox)
Lifespan
60 years
Average Height
135 cm
Average Weight
30 kg
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Vulpe fur is most commonly brown or reddish brown, but depending on their origin this can vary a lot. Completely white furs are a signature color for the south Viliria Vulpe while bright reddish furs can also be found mostly as a result of selective nobility breeding. Dark Brown, Yellowish brown and even auburn brown furs are uncommon but not rate. Almost always the chest and groin area is cover in white fur (black furred Vulpe tend to have black fur there as well)
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
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Comments

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24 Dec, 2021 06:18

Interesting society. I'm curious about so many things- the honor system they have: What is it and how does it work? How do they get along with other species? Do they tend to stay in their territorial regions or do they have wandering traders or adventure seekers? Are they seen as wild, dangerous, foolish or the general cunning? Being an earlier developed society, how does this reflect on their technology, metallurgy and other industrial works?

Forgemaster Dimitris
Dimitris Havlidis
24 Dec, 2021 06:38

All VERY good questions, I will expand on the article. We were just discussing their honour code and philosophies with Janet.

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30 Dec, 2021 08:59

I'm getting some very strong Japanese/east-asian vibes from these. I assume that's highly intentional?

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
25 Jan, 2022 00:22

I really like this one, gives a great insight into the species and its foxes, what's not to like :)

1 Feb, 2022 01:36

I love foxes and it’s a nice read. The honor system is well thought out.

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Starfarertheta
Starfarer Theta
5 Feb, 2022 19:01

I like how their ideals are backed up by past experiences over thousands of years. Gives their philosophy added weight.

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