Beastfolk, Sirius (3.5e Race)
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Dogs have a long history of serving humankind as companions through all trials and desperate times. Considering this truth, it was only natural that there should arise a race born from the same origins, and serving the same purpose. Some wolfen, many centuries back, simply could not compete among their own race, finding themselves perpetually at the bottom of all social rungs. In this desperate state, these weakling wolfen sought out new lives among the other races of the world, especially among the humans, and among their new ‘packs,’ the race that became known as the sirius, or dog soldiers, thrived.
Sirius are the soul of loyalty and devotion. They live to serve, and they serve to live. Despite this basic truth of sirius life, most sirius are actually very laid-back, fun-loving and great party hounds when they are ‘off duty,’ or not assigned to a particular task. But the moment a sirius is given a charge, or put ‘on duty,’ then the dog soldier’s former carefree and playful nature vanishes completely, and they become intensely serious, willing to battle friends and family alike to fulfill their mission, even if it means death. This is the dichotomy of sirius life, and it is one to which they take with all their hearts. To be anything else is to be a wolf, and wolves are hunted down and killed as traitors to their kind.
The dog soldiers have the same basic appearance as wolfen’‘: a canine head and ears, a furry body, and a tail. Beyond that, however, sirius are an incredibly diverse species, with as many different breeds as there are types of canine. This is due to the selective breeding programs that have occasionally been guided by many of the masters which the sirius serve, inspired largely by the success of breeding normal dogs, and then continued by the sirius themselves, who felt that the distinctive appearances that resulted from this selective breeding helped to make them more distinct as individuals – a mark of pride, as the distinct traits of their particular breed are noticed and known by all.
Sirius are the loyal and devoted servants of other races, as a rule, save for a few isolated outcastes. They are on best terms with humans, and most sirius are slavishly devoted to the ones that they serve with all possible devotion. However, though sirius are most closely associated with humans, they also serve other races, being often found in small numbers among the dwarves and the halflings, especially. Dwarves respect the devotion of the sirius, and treat their willing servants with fairness and honor, while halflings see the sirius who travel with them as loyal friends in all situations, one of the only Big Folk to get such special treatment, and consider them especially favored pets. Elves do not generally like the lack of independence shown by sirius, and feel uncomfortable in their presence, and gnomes find it far too easy to resist playing pranks on the slow-witted, slavishly devoted sirius, and actually feel guilty doing so, so they prefer to avoid their company when possible. Sirius hate orcs and everything that chaotic, savage race stands for, and they dislike goblinoids, viewing them as regimented enemies to those who they serve – their opposite numbers – and regard it as a duty to combat these foes with all their might and will. With regards to wolfen, the race from which the sirius spring, the sirius are divided. They feel a kinship to wolfen, but at the same time they cannot help but feel fearful of the rampant savagery of their wild cousins. Because of these mixed feelings, most sirius try to avoid wolfen whenever possible, though it is not unheard of for sirius who have lost their masters through some mishap to join a wolfen pack.
Note: Foxkin, Sirius, and Wolfen can all interbreed, with the offspring taking the racial traits of the mother.
Because of their racial devotion to duty and honor, most sirius are Lawful Neutral in alignment, though any Lawful alignment is generally acceptable, taking after the alignment of the ones holding their leashes.
Sirius, as a rule, do not have lands of their own. A few vagabond packs of dog soldiers might roam where they can, living off the land and surviving on their own, having devolved into a more wolfish state and living without names, but this is as close to having lands of their own as sirius ever get. Instead, sirius live alongside those they serve, and share their lands and the duties that come with them.
Sirius revere deities of devotion and duty when they are given a choice of religions, favoring such deities as St. Cuthbert and Heironeous. However, most often sirius will adopt the religions of those they serve, in an effort to find greater acceptance.
Because of their long detachment from the wolfen race, sirius only speak Common as their starting language. They can select bonus languages from Danali, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Halfling, Ibixian, Orc, and Wolfen.
Sirius usually take the names given to them by the people they serve, and if they are never named, they do without. This sometimes leads to sirius being given a number, if they come from a highly-regimented military unit of dog soldiers, or a childish nickname, if they make friends with one of the children of their chosen charges. It is considered essential and desperately important by sirius to have a name, any name, because it implies a sense of belonging and acceptance. A sirius without a name is a vagabond and an outcast – an unloved dog – and is considered less than nothing.
Sirius usually adventure for only a few reasons. The most common is because one of their charges is going adventuring, and the sirius feels it a duty to come along and ensure the safety of their master or mistress. Another reason is that a stray, nameless sirius that lacks anyone to serve, for whatever chain of misfortunes that might have brought such an occurrence about, might latch onto a party and adopt its members as the sirius’ new ‘pack,’ which can easily occur if someone in a party casually gives a stray, lonely sirius a name, however insulting it might be. Finally, a sirius might become an independent, and decide to join an adventuring party because that best suits the wandering lifestyle that suits this streak of independence best. This last reason is the least common, and is almost unheard-of, though not completely impossible, usually resulting from a throwback to the wolfen ancestry that lies buried deep in every dog soldier’s heart.
- +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
- Monstrous Humanoid
- Sirius base land speed is 30 feet
- Low-light Vision
- Dog’s Loyalty: A sirius gains a +2 morale bonus to Will saves when in the service of friends, loved ones, and those to whom the sirius has pledged loyalty.
- Selective Breeding: Sirius can take either the Dwarfism or Gigantism Feats (found in the “Feats of the Beastfolk” document) without penalty.
- +2 on Survival and Listen checks
- Keen Scent: Scent is an automatic racial Feat
- Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Danali, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Halfling, Ibixian, Orc, Wolfen.
- Favored Class: Fighter or Samurai.
- Level Adjustment: 0
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