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Wulfkin

The inhospitable mountains and tundras of the world are difficult to live in even if one is left undisturbed, but survival is further complicated by the presence of deadly and terrible creatures, many of whom are of a malicious bent. One such creature is the winter wolf, born of frost and possessed not only of sapient intelligence but cruelty to rival even the most vile of humans. Winter wolves reap a terrible harvest from humanoids stupid or desperate enough to wander into their territories, leaving behind frozen bones and shattered dreams to mark the fall of their victims.

Except that sometimes, the story is different. It’s rare, but sometimes a humanoid joins the winter wolf’s pack.

Almost inevitably theses are savage, evil humanoids— exiles from barbaric tribes, malicious rangers, or dark druids that call the tundras home. Integrating into the pack is difficult, but in rare and exceptional circumstances, the humanoid not only survives but thrives, proving their strength and their right to rule alongside, or even above, the winter wolf. If both are of an open enough mind, they join together as mates.

Wulfkin are the rare and empowered children of these packs, the sons of snowfall. Driven out by their parents as a threat to their dominance, wulfkin are forced to find their own place in a world that not only despises their origins, but suspects them of the evil which gave rise to their life.

Appearance

Wulfkin are the rare and empowered children of these packs, the sons of snowfall. Driven out by their parents as a threat to their dominance, wulfkin are forced to find their own place in a world that not only despises their origins, but suspects them of the evil which gave rise to their life.

Wulfkin do not often have access to the comforts of civilization and are most often garbed in leathers or hides they made themselves. Some manage to join barbarian tribes or orcish hordes and dress as appropriate for their new culture. Even then, wulfkin tend to favor light armor, and may take trophies—especially bone trophies—from their kills. A wulfkin’s breath frosts in the air no matter how cold or warm it is near him.

Demeanor

If wulfkin come across as savage, violent, and uneducated it’s because they usually are. Driven from their homes as young adults, wulfkin tend to fall into one of two general types—lone wolves who crave company and try to spurn it at the same time, and pack leaders who motivate others with negative reinforcement. Wulfkin are taught the basic skills they need to survive and expected to do so on their own, and this gives them a certain callousness that can cause, or permit, acts of evil. Though most wulfkin are not raised with a taboo against eating sapients, they typically learn at a young age that sapients taste terrible, and few wulfkin are cannibalistic as a result—which is not to suggest that they aren’t murderous.

The company of other sapients, rather than wolves or wolf-like beings, comes as a rude shock to most wulfkin, who are confused and intrigued in equal measure.

While wulfkin can get away with joining savage or evil societies (such as orcish tribes) while being standoffish and barbaric, those that make contact with other forms of sapient culture quite often go to some lengths to change their behavior so they can explore it more thoroughly. After being deprived of their only real cultural connection at a young age, wulfkin crave the ability to bond with a group and belong to an identity greater than themselves, and that need to belong is more often than not the catalyst to them rising above the evil which created them.

Backgrounds

Wulfkin are rare, as or more rare than even alicorns; the circumstances that create them are extraordinary and require that two mutually murderous beings set aside their rage and instead form a lasting and meaningful partnership. Wulfkin are raised with that strong example of loyalty and leadership, only to see it turn on them out of fear of inevitable betrayal. Most develop a distrust of others as a result, one which follows them through their lives.

Once driven from their packs, wulfkin are forced to spend a large period of time without the company of their fellow sapients, and not necessarily because they want to. Long periods of solitude, coupled with the sting of betrayal, make wulfkin as wary of sapient beings as they are fascinated by them, and many develop a distant, observant relationship with others that never really thaws into a real relationship. Those who can get through a wulfkin’s distance find someone desperate to be accepted, with a fierce undercurrent of protective loyalty begging for someone or something deserving of it. Wulfkin make friends only rarely and will move mountains for those who win their hearts.

Adventurers

Wulfkin are among those races who fall into adventuring because it is better—and sometimes safer—for them than “normal” life would be. Wulfkin are largely selftaught, though some do get basic instruction from their parents or by observing others from a distance, and are most often found as barbarians, rangers, rogues, and stalkers, with a small subset of sorcerers that favor ice magic. It is extraordinarily rare to see a wulfkin within a more “trained” class such as clerics or especially wizards, given their upbringing.

Wulfkin tend to see sapients in terms of how they behaved within the wulfkin’s territory and judge new races as they come. Evil wulfkin divide other races into rivals and prey, where less malicious ones simply take note of the dangerous aspects of a new race and disregard the rest until or unless it becomes relevant to their lives. Wulfkin have a strong affinity for wolves and canines of all kinds and may feel a kinship with caninelike sapients.

Racial Traits

Wulfkin possess the following racial traits.

  • +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, –2 Intelligence: Wulfkin are strong and alert, but altogether primitive and lacking in mental faculties.
  • Medium: Wulfkin are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties for size.
  • Humanoid (crossblood): Wulfkin are humanoids with the crossblood subtype.
  • Humanoid Heritage: At first level a wulfkin must choose from the dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, or human subtype. They gain the chosen subtype in addition to any other subtypes they possess.
  • Fast Speed: Wulfkin are fast; they have a base speed of 40 feet.
  • Ice in the Blood (Ex): Wulfkin gain Mixed Blood (cold) as a bonus trait.
  • Wild Instinct (Ex): Wulfkin are adapted to surviving in the wild, gaining a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks with an additional +2 racial bonus for Survival checks in the arctic.
  • Winter Breath (Su): Once per day as a standard action, a wulfkin can breathe a 15-foot cone of cold that deals 1d6 cold damage per character level. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 their character level + their Constitution modifier) reduces the damage by half.
  • Darkvision (Ex): Wulfkin can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Scent (Ex): Wulfkin have a heightened sense of smell. They have the scent special quality.
  • Languages: Wulfkin begin play speaking Common. Wulfkin with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Aklo, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, and Orc

Alternate Racial Traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Feral Lunge (Ex): Some wulfkin are actually related to worgs and not winter wolves. These wulfkin have black fur and lack the icy breath normal for wulfkin. Instead, these wulfkin increase their reach by 5 ft on their turn when they attack; they snap and lunge with vicious speed. This replaces winter breath.
  • Hell’s Breath (Su): Some wulfkin smell of soot and constantly have ash stuck amongst their fur. These wulfkin breathe flames instead of ice. Once per day as a standard action, these wulfkin can breathe a 15-foot cone of fire that deals 1d6 fire damage per character level. A reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 their character level + their constitution modifier) reduces the damage by half. In addition, the wulfkin gains Mixed Blood (fire) as a bonus trait. This replaces winter breath and ice in the blood, and modifies Wild Instinct to function in mountains and underground.
  • Massive Bite (Ex): Some wulfkin have the muzzle of their winter wolf parent, full of vicious teeth. They have a bite attack that deals 1d6 damage. This racial trait replaces the winter breath racial trait.

Racial Favored Class Options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Bloodforge, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press, LLC; Author: Matthew Ryan Medeiros, Jade Ripley, based on material by Owen K.C. Stephens.