A brave but isolated race that is founded on ideals of community over individuals, loyalty and integrity.
Racial Traits Edit
- Average Height: 6´ 0˝–7´ 0˝
- Average Weight: 220–350 lb.
- Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +1 Strength
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 30ft
- Vision: Normal
- Languages: Common, Leonic
- Alignment: Lionborn are highly focused on society and family, and almost always are Lawful Good. Consequently, they are rarely, if ever, Chaotic.
- Brave: You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
- Natural Weapon: You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d6 Slashing damage on a hit.
- Relentless Endurance: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Physical Description Edit
Lionborn resemble humanoid lions. They’re covered in fur, and have tails. Some Lionborn even have manes. They are normally tall and powerfully built, covered in lean muscle and built for endurance. Lionborn average at about 6½ feet in height and 300 pounds or more in weight. Their hands and feet are strong; they have four fingers and a thumb on each hand that are all clawed and their hands and feet are padded. These claws are very powerful and many Lionborn use them to fight. A Lionborn’s head features a soft muzzle with whiskers, a set of ears that stick up from their head, and amber eyes with white strips of fur underneath. Though some Lionborn have manes, they are uncommon among both male and female members of the species. They are more commonly found grown by male Lionborn though Lionborn of all genders can grow them.
Typically, Lionborn fur is brown with an orange tint or beige. There are rarer colours such as white and black though they are so rare that they are a myth among most prides. Lionborn tails are an important part of their physiology. They have no conscious control over their tails; their tails function as an instinctual means of keeping balance, especially when running. Tails are also the main indicator of body language for Lionborn, and since it is very difficult to consciously control them, many Lionborn find it difficult to lie to other Lionborn. Though Lionborn are bipedal, occasionally they can be found to run on all fours, though this practice has died out as their society has progressed.
Like Dragonborn, Lionborn cubs grow faster than human children do. They are able to move independently merely days after being birthed and attain the size and development of a ten year old human child by the age of five. They reach adulthood by fifteen and live to be around eighty.
The origin of the Lionborn people is a mystery with many opposing theories. The most common theory is that they were created either due to a curse, or blessing, long ago. This is due to pictographs found on many ancient pieces of pottery showing a large, faceless being, looming over humanoid creatures that transform from having no fur, pointed ears, or tails, to having all of those features. However, most Lionborn do not care how they came to be and culturally it is seen as insignificant. As Lionborn have no deity they feel any particular loyalty to, or which seems to favor them, the question of who could be responsible for their creation is a mystery that seems unlikely to be solved.
In fact, most Lionborn history remains a mystery as they tend to only record their race’s history through oral stories and pictographs featured on pottery and carved into architecture. These pictographs are normally highly conceptual and oral stories differ across prides enough to not be considered an accurate source of information, though culturally they are highly valued. Since Lionborn are an isolationist race, and have had little contact with the other races, there are almost no records of their history in most accounts of world history. It is even unclear as to how Lionborn settled and remained separate from other races for as long as they have in Ashe. During The War of the Banners, when the Nulukkhaz invaded Ashe, Lionborn lost most of their art and oral stories, heavily focused on defending their borders for decades.
It is only from the end of The War of the Banners onward, about the last 100 years, that Lionborn have a clear knowledge of their history. Though The War of the Banners hit their society hard, their race survived largely due to the leadership of one particular pride, the pride which the current royal family originates from. The territory of this pride has developed into the only real Lionborn “city”, Siabuta, which is much smaller than cities found among most other races. Siabuta was named for the name of the head lioness of the pride at the end of The War of the Banners, who was a well known, popular, and exceedingly successful general during the end of the war. Many Lionborn consider her personality and skills to have been so powerful and valued that they have been passed down through the royal bloodline to this day. The monarchy still rules to this day and consider their duty to their people absolute.
Other than the addition of a monarchy, the most important aspect of recent Lionborn history is the introduction of merchants that interact with the outside races. About 50 years after the end of The War of the Banners, Lionborn founded a small market named Kisumet. This market is only open to outsiders for about one week every two months as the merchant prides spend the rest of the time wandering between the prides with established territories, collecting goods for trade with the other races. Mostly these goods include art such as paintings, pottery, and carvings. Kisumet is the only known Lionborn settlement to other races and the merchant prides that run it are the only Lionborn that interact fairly regularly with other races.
Pride Setup: Edit
Lionborn tend to live in fairly small groups. Prides tend to structure their society around a single cave or building and these structures are open concept, privacy being a fairly foreign idea. Most Lionborn live in groups among a pride and these groups tend to do everything together from sleeping to eating. There are a lot of open air markets and generally Lionborn communities are open concept. The lack of industry and infrastructure means that trade is very important.
Female Lionborn tend to be the warriors and breadwinners of prides. They are much more common than their male counterparts as their rate of birth is higher, about 9/1. Male Lionborn, on the other hand, are very rare and few are found per pride. Generally speaking, male Lionborn are more suited to leadership, healing, and protection positions, though nothing is set in stone. All Lionborn, including nonbinary Lionborn, are not confined to a certain career path due to their gender if they truly don’t want to be there.
Traditionally. female Lionborn would band together and mate, and this was how prides were established. Often, male Lionborn were brought into this relationship later on, after the pride had been established. Most prides were established long ago, though new ones occasionally pop up as the population is increasing.
Every pride, including the monarchy, has a head pair. This pair is normally one female and one male and usually both take on additional lovers but there are variations. The pride as a whole is not polyamorous but relationships in the pride are, and there are relationships that are not connected to the main pair. The female of the main pair is usually chosen by their predecessor and is raised to rule. Most males are raised to be good, caring leaders in hopes they will be taken into another pride, take over for their own pride, or be taken into the main pair. Nonbinary Lionborn can also be one of the main pair if they show qualities well suited for the position.
Those that lead a community are the main pair plus a council of the best warriors.
Male lionborn are generally more charismatic and protective and tend to be bards, healers, politicians, etc. Females tend to be more aggressive and active; they take up many
The Monarchy: Edit
The monarchy pride works about the same way except the monarchy’s focus is on bloodlines and there is almost always a girl on the throne. One member of the monarchy pair always comes from royal blood, the other never does. Before they take the throne, the royal is expected to find someone who suits their ruling style, their ideals and beliefs; someone who makes them better. They do not have to be mates. Each member of the main pair is free to take on mates, even if they are mated together but the royal must always have a cub. If they don't then some other royal related Lionborn will be trained to take the throne or that royal’s child will. It is not unheard of for the sister to the queen to have their child be raised to take the throne. Rarely ever does the former king/queen/ruler die before the next ruler takes the throne as it is expected that they will need support. Sometimes a royal who is about to take the throne will take on a person who is already mated, this is totally acceptable as the royal pair don't have to be mates. Sometimes, between the royal couple there may be like up to twenty people associated with the royal pair if each royal has multiple but separate mates.
Royal family members that are not trained to take the throne tend to travel between the prides as royal messengers. The royal family is in charge of keeping peace, collecting information, and making sure the smaller prides stay united. Many of the merchant groups are descended from royal messengers. Both the messengers and the merchants have no land of their own but their duty keeps them strong and they claim their caravans as their territories. Lionborn are isolationists for the most part and only merchants deal with other races.
The Merchant Prides: Edit
There are several well-known groups of merchants who travel and trade between prides and other nations. Whenever a merchant group shows up to a pride it becomes a festival day involving lots of buying and selling, songs, games, and plenty of good food. Prides save up their goods until that time of year comes around. The prides are largely self sufficient and are very artistic societies; they tend to spend a lot of time producing art and this art is what they tend to give to the merchant groups to trade with other races. Lionborn have little free time or leisure time. They spend most of their time together, working, raising kids, and producing art. A lot of art is collaborative.
Lionborn see non polyamorous relationships as strange and they tend to avoid getting into relationships with other races unless its poly. Monogamy is an unusual concept for them; why limit yourself to one person? What if something goes wrong? Multiple people mean multiple mediators, multiple personalities that both clash and benefit. For Lionborn, poly relationships are good for survival, saying nothing about being good for keeping healthy relationships within prides.
Gay lion bachelors occasionally become nomads, as occasionally it can be difficult for young lions to find prides. The vast majority of the time however, nomadic male lions are quickly brought into prides as lovers or friends. Even among poly groups, pairs or smaller groups tend to pair up. Among prides, there can still be lions that are part of poly groups that are not attached romantically or sexually to the group. Though male lions can be taken into a pride, prides are almost always overwhelmingly female. Prides dominated by men are incredibly rare, almost a myth. Generally, society is accepting of any structure as long as shit gets done.
Some people in prides are monogamous. In a group of ten there might be two people who are exclusive with each other but they're still part of the pride, though other Lionborn may find it difficult to understand these relationships.
Raising cubs takes a village. Though male Lionborn tend to be primary caregivers, as females tend to spend more time away from home, cubs are raised together by the pride. Biology means very little in theory. Sometimes cubs are unaware of who gave birth to them, however this doesn’t matter as everyone treats cubs as if they are their own. A family can be eight moms and two dads, or any other combination. There are lower birth rates of male Lionborn; for every nine lionesses, there is usually only one lion born. Due to this, male lions tend to be valued, seen as equals by the lionesses, not worth more or less. Traditionally, female Lionborn would treat males well to make sure they would stick around for breeding, but now they treat males well because it’sis culturally valued. However, females are not subservient to males, they don’t wait on them. If a male abuses his position he's likely to be kicked out of the pride or the pride takes a second better suited Lionborn into his position. Culturally, abuse is seen as horrific and losing a member of a pride to abuse is a seen as a huge failing.
People aren't literally replaceable, but there's always the threat of losing your place in the pride
Cultural Values Edit
Lionborn culture is a collectivist culture, not individualistic. Lionborn look down on people who are selfish, who put themselves or their interests above others but this is also partly due to the fact they care about each other greatly. Rarely are members of prides unhappy because unhappiness is bred from leisure time and self-interest. Lionborn work together to support each other and love each other but this demands that individuals recognize that they have a duty to their people, that they can't run from responsibility. If a cub was being raised to take the throne and they abandoned it, both that kid and their mentor would be shunned. The cub is shunned because they are seen to view themselves as above others. The mentor is shunned because they didn't stop that mindset or maybe even encouraged it due to mistreatment. Communities are only as strong as their weakest link and if you don't take your responsibility seriously then you are the weakest link.
This society is all about reform, they want to help people and losing pride members is normally considered a fault of the community not the individual. Lion culture is super loving. Strength is based on the strength of the pride as a whole. For any Lionborn who leaves society, they always search for another family that's as close-knit as the one they left behind.
Cultural values are courage, loyalty, strength of character, and integrity. Lying is seen as incredibly taboo and so is self-absorption.
Racial Names Edit
Lionborn have personal names given at birth by their birth mother, unless their mother dies in childbirth. Nicknames are very rare as birth names are considered a great gift, connected to the destiny of the individual. The only exception are Lionborn who identify as a gender identity different from that which their mother named them. In this case they are free to choose a new name and often do so with the help of their pride.
All lionborn have to earn their ‘given name’ or title. Anything can result in earning your name and these names usually come from great feats or showings of talent. Examples of names are "Earthbreaker" and “Strongfist”. These names are very significant culturally and are rarely negative. The only Lionborn that are born with given names are the royals that are meant to take the throne. They always bear the title of “Lifekeeper”.
There are little difference between male and female names.