The lands of Sigzlor have long been populated by the shrines and temples of wolfgangs, thought to be among Ealdremen's most devoted to dead gods. Although not every wolfgang will be pious, their societies value faith as an element of communal unity, and the idea of losing this tradition is often repugnant to even wolfgangs that do not believe. Their dead gods must never be forgotten; from the atheist to the zealot, wolfgangs view all individuals responsible for the survival of the traditions that so many others have sought to destroy.
- 1 Etymology and Other Names
- 2 Biology
- 3 Sociology
- 4 Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)
Etymology and Other Names
Wolfgang is a translation of the original, now-archaic Morish term for the race, fakosporat tiras, literally meaning wolf-monster hunting group. Languages commonly spoken by wolfgangs in ages past traditionally differentiated the race by various social subspecies based on what moon they were born under, such as Lodov's draselmnya for wolfgangs born under Draselmvyet's protection. The race as a whole is called kogravyet in Lodov, a term that also spread to Eruino and means godclaw, likely in reference to the wolfgangs' long claws on their hands.
The shortest of wolfgangs often tower over the tallest members of other races, in spite of their short legs relative to their height; even though many wolfgangs have a natural hunch in their shoulders, they will often be heads taller than others, particularly with their long ears that protrude from the sides of their heads and point upwards. Their wide, pointed ears usually tilt inwards towards the set of horns that grow on the tops of their heads. A wolfgang's horns will usually be short, rarely coming even close to passing their ears in height, though some subspecies have wild horn growth further accentuated by having shorter ears. Such individuals' horns typically curl once they grow more than a few inches vertically and slope towards the wolfgang's back or curl around their ears.
Wolfgangs are covered in shaggy fur, particularly on their heads and backs, where they have a thick mane. It is most common for the mane to be more darkly colored than the wolfgang's body, which often is burnt orange, brown, grey, or any color in between. For the most part, wolfgangs will have spots or stripes, although some may have markings so close in color to their base fur color that they appear to be solidly colored. The vast majority of wolfgangs do not have tails; the subspecies that do are increasingly rare throughout Ealdremen, and taillessness is a dominant gene for wolfgangs, further reducing the overall population of tailed wolfgangs as time goes on. Wolfgangs tails, if they exist at all, are short, though they may appear to be longer from the long hair that grows on the tips of their tails.
Most wolfgangs have especially long claws on their thumbs, and their canine teeth are often elongated compared to the rest of their jaw. Some wolfgangs have such pronounced canine teeth that they cannot fully fit the teeth behind their lips when their mouths are closed, further made visible by the short but broad muzzles of the race. Even within relatives, however, which teeth are elongated can very dramatically. Some could have an overbite, whereas others might have asymmetrical tooth growth and only have one protruding tooth.
The gods have always featured heavily in traditional wolfgang beliefs and customs; outside influence is thought to have strengthened their dedication to their traditions, and even wolfgangs far separated from their ancestral homelands tend to echo their traditions as best they can, particularly when it comes to faith. Though a wolfgang could conceivably follow any god, they mostly favor gods physically proven to exist, especially the three that were manifestations of Sigzlor's many moons in their legends. These gods, Elamadi the Lightfont, Seldrin the Martyred Child, and Galanias the Cometfletcher, are respectively represented by the moons Draselmvyet, Selvyet, and Galvyet. The five moons of Sigzlor, of which these gods represent three, are thought to dictate what path a wolfgang will take in their life; even wolfgangs born away from Sigzlor may seek to use moon charts and astronomy reports to find out what sign they belong to. It is common for a wolfgang to worship the god they are born under, but some particular moon phases may indicate that the wolfgang will grow to cling to another god.
The moons Lestros and Vlathgrad are not connected directly to the gods; their orbital paths rarely allow for them to be the only moons in the sky, rendering these birth signs as rarest for the wolfgangs. Those born under Lestros are believed to be grand leaders that will bring others home to the paradise hidden away somewhere on Lestros' battle-scarred surface; Lestros-born wolfgangs, however, are burdened by expectations of self-sacrifice, for it is said that they will never find paradise themselves. Vlathgrad-born wolfgangs are thought to be damned by the dark moon, forever fighting both inside and out against the monstrosities and unseen demons that supposedly originate from a portal somewhere on the moon's surface. The Vlathgrad-born can become beacons of light and find grace with the gods if they persevere and overcome the sinister forces contending for their soul, but their destinies are forever grim and full of conflict. These astrological facets of wolfgang culture point towards the overall desire for an individual to achieve their destiny in some way; whatever is expected of them, they ought to fulfill.
Wolfgangs trend towards group cohesion above all else, which can render them resistant to outside ideas unless the group collectively desires otherwise; even faith and religion tend to be community aspects of a wolfgang's life rather than individual. Their temples and shrines are common meeting places, where they will often beseech a god's blessing before departure. Prayers meant to invoke a god's might are often group activities, where they will rise together initially in a discordant chorus of different desires that eventually ends with everyone on harmonized notes and words. Wolfgang societies' emphasis on the divine leads to many of them viewing arcane magic as somehow unclean or dangerous. Though some wolfgangs may approach arcane magic with the mindset of never using it for risk of being tainted, others will use it, but simply not create more themselves. Wolfgang-created technology instead usually finds ways to blend divine magic and machines.
Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)
Wolfgangs are a Medium race and have no penalties or bonuses associated with their size, and they have the juggernaut subtyping and inherit those bonuses. Some wolfgangs may be smaller than average and may instead be Medium, in which case they have no benefits or penalties associated with their size. Wolfgang characters may choose either +2 Strength and -2 Constitution or +2 Wisdom and -2 Charisma to be applied to their starting statistics. Wolfgangs hold divine power in high regard, choosing faith over many other worldly powers, though their zealotry can make them feared by other races; even then, their impressive statures also belie an unnatural selection from ages past, as it is said that only the strongest wolfgangs survived racial purges and that they had to flee their homelands for such a length of time that even their descendants are easily short of breath.
Martyr of Light (Ex)
Gods are ingrained in wolfgang culture; even when all of Ealdremen grew prosperous and eventually turned away from religion, wolfgangs by and large still maintained their faith, especially in the gods Elamadi the Lightfont, Seldrin the Martyred Child, and Galanias the Cometfletcher. When Elamadi and Seldrin died, not only did many wolfgangs turn their backs on the rest of Ealdremen, but many of them also found themselves granted a small facet of divinity for their continued piety -- allowing them to assist their allies when they most need a turning fortune.
At character level 1st, a wolfgang chooses one of the following sub-abilities. Once made, this choice cannot be changed.
The Lightfont's Unity (Ex)
When the wolfgang rolls a natural 20 on a skill check, ability check, or saving throw, as an immediate action, the wolfgang may instead roll again and take the second result, even if it is worse. The wolfgang may then grant the natural 20 to a willing creature within 30ft for use on their next skill check, ability check, or saving throw within the next 24 hours. If the wolfgang is making this check at the same time as another creature is making the same check, the natural 20 may replace the creature's original roll if this ability is used before the results are revealed. The other creature must be able to hear, see, or otherwise interact with the wolfgang to receive this blessing.
- Keywords: Active, immediate action
The Martyred Child's Sight (Ex)
When the wolfgang scores a critical hit on an attack roll, as an immediate action, the wolfgang may instead deal normal damage (forgoing any bonuses or abilities that require a critical hit for that attack) and grant the critical hit to a willing creature within 30ft as an immediate action. The other creature's next attack roll within the next 24 hours is automatically considered a critical hit and deals damage accordingly. The other creature must be able to hear, see, or otherwise interact with the wolfgang to receive this blessing.
- Keywords: Active, immediate action
Group Cohesion (Natural Ability)
A wolfgang's community might be united by either social ties or by religion; in many cases, the two are intertwined, although a given individual may choose to favor one over the other. Through social connections and piety, wolfgangs can congregate with like-minded individuals, pushing out those who don't know enough to be part of their community.
Wolfgangs have a +2 racial bonus to either Knowledge (Religion) or Knowledge (Local).
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability
Insular Mindset (Natural Ability)
Even wolfgangs separated from their insular communities know that Ealdremen can be a hostile place, especially to Sigzlorians such as themselves. They must be wary of others' ill intentions, as the reputations of groups such as sallowpaws will always precede them. They must always be alert for the slightest change in the social atmosphere, for anything that could portend violence. They must never forget that Ealdremen's colonists first called them monsters.
Wolfgangs have a +2 racial bonus to Sense Motive.
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability