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The Ursa

Resembling might bears, the Ursa are in fact a direct reaction by the magicks of the multiverse to the terrible summoning of the comet 65 million years ago. This mystical people measure the weights of the six cardinal directions in every situation to predict and change the future. They also brew one of the most powerful spirits in the multiverse.

 


Physical Characteristics and Anatomy


The Ursa resemble nothing more than giant bears, although their faces are more expressive and they have opposable thumbs. They usually walk about on their hind legs, but when speed is important they are not adverse to dropping to all fours.

 

Ursa can reach heights of 12 feet, but are usually between 8 and 10 feet, and weigh between 900 and 1700 pounds.

 

Behavior and Diet

 

Despite their sharp teeth and claws, the Ursa prefer to eat vegetables. When they do eat meat, Ursa prefer fish, and fishing is a popular Ursan pastime. They have an incredible capacity for alcohol, and Ursan brews are amongst the strongest on IIo. The Ursa are able to drink both dwarves and giants under the table.

 

Each Ursa places considerable care in their equipment and surroundings. The Ursa are very meticulous and attempt to balance all things around them.

 

The Ursa are renown for their kind hearts and aura of mysticism about them. They frequently seem to be pillars of tranquility amongst the chaos. Friendships between Ursa are for life, as well as marriage. The Ursa are usually shy and secretive, but are ferocious when roused.  Many friends of the Ursa refer to them as "big, cuddly teddy bears".

 

Language and Communication

 

The Ursa speak their own language, known as Ursan, and regularly learn the languages of their neighbors.

 

Habitat and Environment

 

The Ursa can be found in nearly every environment, but typically are found in forested hills.

 

Civilizations and Organizations

 

Technology

 

The Ursa are excellent architects, navigators, and farmers. They can manipulate objects with their claws that most would not believe they could. They are experts in the use of lodestone, and manufacture the unique magickal compass, the Horus.


Magicks and Abilities

 

The magicks of the Ursa are the magicks of balance and alignment. By aligning and shifting the weights of the Six Cardinal directions in everyday objects and creatures, the Ursa are able to achieve a variety of effects, as well as being able to use the levels of the Six to predict future events.


Known and Unknown History

 

The creation of the Ursa is tied irrevocably to the being known as Arcturus or Polaris. This being's magicks were pulled to the Realms of IIo and Lysia after the coming of the Comet. There, the magicks touched a race of creatures yet unsullied by the magicks of the universe.

 

And so the Ursa came into being. Due to the universal magicks of Arcturus, the Ursa were unaffected by whatever Realm they lived in and were able to observe and analyze the magicks of the land. The Ursa were neither of IIo or Lysia, but instead were creatures of the universe.

 

On IIo, the Seal of the Archmagi locked away the magicks of the Ursa left out of the SubRealms. They died out by the millions, but those left alive were granted the cruelest of fates: without magick, they began a process of devolution, becoming the mighty bears of IIo.

 

The Ursa of Lysia continued to carve out small communities for themselves as they avoided the high elves and became friends with the Elysia. When the Sundering occurred, the Ursa were able to travel to IIo once more, and those Ursa of IIo that had survived in SubRealms reclaimed their ancient lands.

 

Since then, the Ursa have lived as they always have, working to guide the other races as they strive to live in harmony with the universe.

 

Beliefs, Legends, and Religion

 

The Ursa worship the six aspects of the compass, each personified by great beasts and each a guardian of the Six Realms of the Multiverse:

 

Arcturus, Ruler of the North, Guardian of the Realm of All, Giver of Medicine and Navigation.

Bahamut, Ruler of Above, Guardian of the Realm of Cosmos, Giver of Mathematics and Music.

Behemoth, Ruler of the East, Guardian of the Realm of Land, Giver of Construction and the Horus.

Falak, Ruler of Below, Guardian of the Realm of Fire, Giver of Fire and Metallurgy.

Leviathan, Ruler of the West, Guardian of the Realm of Water, Giver of Irrigation and Brewing.

Ziz, Ruler of the South, Guardian of the Realm of Air, Giver of Agriculture and Writing.

 

Relations, Alliances, and Vendettas

 

The Ursa are nearly always found on peaceful terms with all of their neighbors. They regularly inhabit temples and places where multiple races worship. They are particularly close to humes that worship the Wanderer, whom they believe to be the companion of Arcturus.

 

This is usually how most humes meet one of the Ursa, and there are many hume phrases about the Ursa. Saying one has the "heart of an Ursa" is a compliment that means either a person is particularly loyal and fun or that a person can hold his liquor. "Sleeps like an Ursa" refers to the hume belief that the Ursa sleep half of the year (although this is not true, in winter Ursa will frequently sleep for most of the day). Saying someone is "Ursan" is akin to saying they are anal, referring to the careful arrangement of objects to shift the balances of the Six Realms that all Ursa do.

 

The Ursa rarely, if ever, attack unless provoked, and so only find themselves in wars against creatures that have invaded their territory; typically, goblins, and aviadins and lizardfolk, although occasionally the orcs of Bershidai and ogre tribes.

 

The Ursa can typically freely travel in most communities with little effort or trouble, this extends even into the Alyres, although all Ursa hate elven esolons for their experiments resulting in the creation of the feral Ursa.

 

Subraces/Relatives

 

Feral Ursa

Modern bears

 

Class Tendencies and Racial Specific Classes

 

The Ursa have three sacred professions that only they may take:

Ursan navigators study the Horus and the weights and measures of the Six Realms.

Ursan oracles are those navigators that use the Horus to peer into likely futures.

Ursan geomancers are those navigators that use the Horus and drastically shift and alter the weights and measures of the Six Realms to drastically alter the world around them.

Many Ursa learn and dabble with the abilities of all three professions, but those Ursa that follow one of the three sacred paths their entire lives are rare. Most Ursa prefer professions such as fisherman or interior decorator.

 

Notable Creatures

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