The Ursal are perhaps one of the oldest races of Gaia, the first created by the Drakavir known as Terrakath, the Saffron Dragon of Earth. In ancient times the Ursal spanned across all of Gaia, claiming its many mountains as their kingdom where they would build powerful cities right out of the mountain itself, some of which still remain in use in Shafador by Humanity today. The Ursal are a race of large humanoids, appearing for all intents and purposes as Humans to the casual observer, however they stand on average between 6’0” and 6’6” regardless of gender, with both genders being remarkably muscular, though women tending to be more lean and athletic in build and the men being more musclebound. Typically they resemble Nornes, having hair colors that range from black to platinum blonde depending on where they come from. There are small differences that set them apart from a Human however, for example the Ursal have slightly overdeveloped canines on both jaws and their nails are harder than normal, ending in points that give them the appearance of claws. Most Ursal have thick facial hair, and men tend to grow large sideburns and chops, while women tend to only grow sideburns.
The secret behind the Ursal is their Rage, this is not merely a bad temper but a supernatural ability linked to their bestial nature. When an Ursal gives in to their Rage they are overcome by a bestial ferocity, transforming them into massive monsters. The Ursal is covered in a thick fur, their size increases to over 10’ and their muscles grow with their size. When Enraged, the Ursal becomes much like a Bear, though still retaining their ability to use tools and weapons as their hands are like a mix of paw and human hand. In this form the Ursal lacks the clarity of a sentient mind, only knowing the Rage that overcomes them; they will typically attack anyone around them or destroy anything in their path until the Rage subsides. This can sometimes take hours or even days depending on what set them into their fury. Despite their rough appearance, many Ursal are calm and placid, attempting to keep a level head and a rough skin so not to give in to the Rage. Because of this, many believe the Ursal are lazy or sluggish, often appearing half asleep which adds even more to their bear-like appearance.
Ursal tend to live twice as long as humans, this is because during the cold seasons they tend to close off their cities and fall into a deep state of hibernation. During this time they are put into a sort of stasis, requiring no food or water while they sleep and their vitals slow down to a point that causes them to cease aging. Not all Ursal enter this state, typically only those who live amongst their communities are forced into hibernation as if it were an infectious reaction. Isolated Ursal are capable of going indefinitely without ever hibernating, however those that do only live as long as the average human.
In the Far East there are a special breed of Ursal, those who have lived in secret since the Separation amongst the people of the island of Varja. While they typically have the same general appearance as any other Ursal, they more closely resemble the Ryuan ethnicity as opposed to the Norne, though obviously much larger than the typical Ryuan. In their Rage they appear as Pandas rather than the typical Black, Polar, or Brown Bear. Unlike the other Ursal however, this breed has mastered a unique Ki Ability they call Taming the Beast which allows them to control their Rage, being able to enter their Rage Form at will and maintain their sentient minds while in it. This Ki Ability is not exclusive to these Ursal however; any Ursal can learn it with the right amount of dedication.
Rage: All Ursal have within them a fire waiting to be coaxed, this can be done by numerous means and all Ursal must be careful or the beast will get out. Anytime an Ursal is personally insulted, assaulted, or repeatedly irritated they run the risk of becoming Enraged, a state that throws the Ursal into a mindless fury and transforms them into massive bear-like beasts. Likewise, many of their racial abilities have a chance to cause them to Rage as well.
Inhuman Strength: The Ursal are broad and powerful by nature, even when in their humanoid forms. They are capable of supernatural feats of strength though doing so puts them at risk to enter a Rage. Whenever performing a feat of strength beyond the capabilities of a normal Human they must roll a 1d100 difficult 25 or become Enraged.
Physical Resistance: Ursan are built tough, they have incredibly thick skin that is resilient to most attacks. When assaulted with a weapon or physical attack the Ursal has a +25% Physical Resistance, allowing them to roll against the attack to negate it. If using dice combat rules Ursal also gain an additional health point, allowing them to take one more successful attack before losing the fight. When in Rage form their Resistance increases to +35% and they gain 2 extra hit points. Unfortunately, regardless of the immense physical resistance each time an Ursal is attacked they are required to roll against Rage.
Natural Weapons: In either form the Ursal have deadly natural weapons at their disposal. While in their humanoid form the Ursal can use their claws to attack a target, and their bite is rather deadly as well, though typically only against unarmored opponents. However, in their Rage form the Ursal are a deadly weapon in their own right. Their claws become massive and their head, resembling that of a bear, is filled with huge powerful fangs that can rip a man to pieces.
Masters of the Mountains: Just as Kierrn are the Lords of the Forest or the Lepid are the Kings of the Plains, the Ursal control their dominion with their will. No mountain is capable of taming the wild hearts of the Ursal. When they tread through the mountains they never have to concern themselves with the usual hazards of the wilderness. It is as if they imbue the mountain with the power of Terrakath’s stability, preventing things like avalanches, cave ins, and other such natural disasters when the Ursal is nearby. This is how the Ursal are capable of building some of the most monumentous cities right out of the mountain rock.
New Ki AbilityEdit
Tame the Beast – Rank 2
Those Ursal who practice the Art of Dominion are capable of mastering their own bestial souls. Those who learn this Ki Ability are able to control their Rage, allowing them to maintain their minds while they enter their Rage form. This allows the Ursal to enter their Rage form at will without needing to roll against it.