Lore Story: The Race of Furs
By Rick Merriman as “Grumby”
Furs are a mixture of man and beast created by the Gods in the first millennium of Mernac’s sparsely recorded history, and are only found natively on the island continent of Ooloo. Their 4-legged bodies are a cross between a large wolf and a lion, covered with thick, luxuriant fur, usually of a single color. Extending from the chest and shoulders is an upper torso of a human form, including a human type head and face, which have subtle canine influences. The hair on the head, neck, and down a Fur’s back appears closer to that of a lion than that of a human and is referred to as a mane. Furs have almond shaped eyes which are almost always somewhere from green to gold in color.
The Mother, Dulan, is the Matron Goddess of the Race of Furs, though not their birth mother according to mythology. Seasons earlier, before the creation of the Fur race, when the Race of Man was created, a part of each God and Goddess was given so that the Race of man could be created. Dulan gave her womb so that Man could be created. This, however, left her barren and unable to give birth to her own race. She turned to Siberlee, The Mother of Nature to be a surrogate, and to help her find a way to have a child.
According to ancient Fur mythology (Golden Siberlee and the Seven), Siberlee mated with a man, a wolf, and a lion, all in the same night and for 12 moons her body took on the essence of what was best in each race. One Chardralee, a night when both Moons were full, she finally gave birth to a litter of 7 cubs, each a different and pure color.
As both Mothers had other duties to attend to they needed someone to care for the young. Siberlee and Dulan had a difficult time finding anyone to raise the seven cubs; the lions and wolves of the forest had a great disdain for the Human part of these new creatures and the Humans called them Furry Monsters. Over the years this name was eventually shortened to “Furs” and the Race has gone by that name ever since.
Siberlee, The Mother of Nature, finally found a large Lion of a brilliant golden hue who had just lost his mate and cubs to a massacre by Humans, who was willing to care for the seven cubs. It was on the condition that Siberlee give the lion two gifts. These were; the gift of speech so he could teach the young ones to speak, and the gift of forgiveness so he could learn not to resent the young cubs for their partial Human heritage.
Siberlee gave him both these gifts and one more for the lion being so wise as to choose the first two gifts. She also gave the lion, and the cubs, the ability to learn magic for their protection. The lion was so ecstatic with the last gift that the first sound that came from his mouth was an excited mixture of a lion’s roar and Human speech. It sounded like “Hooloo”. A sound. A word. A new way of life. The sound promptly became the Lion’s name.
Hooloo raised the young Furs with love and compassion. He forgave the Race of Man who also shared the Island where they all lived. All was well until a human, Onas Brushstroke, under the influence of the Fathers attacked and almost killed him and several Furs. After killing Onas, Hooloo decided that Man was too violent to share his island. He instilled a mistrust in the Fur race of anything that is Human, which still affects the race to this day. Hooloo then forced all the remaining Humans from the island continent where they lived. Very soon after the human exodus and the Furs’ control of the land, a contraction of his name, “Ooloo” became the name by which the island continent would be known.
Hooloo was a kind and gentle creature and with his great size, strength, and newly acquired ability to practice magic he had all the tools he needed to protect all seven cubs. This continued for the four generations of cubs while he was still alive. His influence on the newly created race lasted for many millennia incorporating such things as: only one with a golden coat of fur such as he had, could ever become the leader of a group; that most Furs go by names with double vowels; and that Humans, most other races for that matter, should be avoided, and certainly never trusted.
From the original seven Furs, each a different color, a caste system developed based on the color the Fur was born with:
Goldenfur – Only male – Political and spiritual leaders.
Silverfur – Only Female – Healers and magic practitioners, may only mate with Goldenfurs.
Blackfur – Male and female – Hunters, protectors, may only mate with Blackfurs.
Brownfur – Male and female – Workers, Gatherers, may only mate with Brownfurs.
Grayfur – Male only – Traders, explorers.
Orangefur – Female only – child care, wet nurse, sex givers.
Whitefur – Rare male or female, prophet, wiseman.
In addition to these “solid” colors of Furs, those with multiple colors of fur were born and are known as “Patchfurs.” These have always been considered a subspecies and “not pure.” Any Patchfur born is always placed in the wilds of the forest to be adopted by some other creature, or usually to die. Vicious roaming bands of Patchfurs eventually began to populate the forests of Ooloo. They have but one purpose beyond the necessities of life, revenge on the “Solidfurs” for casting them out at birth.
Furs are a non-violent Race who only kill non-thinking creatures for food and by necessity. Though they have been involved in several wars it is always by necessity and defensive. They are tribal and usually only live in small communities of 50-100 Furs, far away from any other races or cities. They are extreme isolationists and try not to become involved in anything but tribal matters
Furs remained somewhat secluded and out of the mainstream history of Mernac until the 2600s with the birth of the Goldenfur, Mootill, and the discovery of the burning properties of Manta Sap, both of which became critical elements in “The Sap Wars” that nearly tore Mernac apart in the mid 2600s.