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The Way of the Whiskers

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The Way of the Whiskers
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The Way of the Whiskers

There is a story popular among the freyjan. It holds that, when the Goddess was shaping Crystalia, she passed her hand through groves of great trees and brushed up a cloud of fluffy seeds. Delighted, she blew on them, and laughed as they scattered in every direction to spread life to the world. But the force of her breath carried on, and the chill of it grew as it flew from her, so that by the time it caught in the tangle of rock that became the Frostbyte Reach, it was so cold that it froze everything it touched. Ice and snow encased the mountains and have never released their grip.

 

The vast majority of freyjan, even those residing in more urban or settled areas, live in ways that most settled folk consider primitive or even barbaric. The basic social unit is the pride, an extended family with various friends, retainers, companions, and in-laws grouped under the same roof. Prides are typically semi-nomadic, roaming in a defined area, usually around a longhouse, and doing a bit of hunting, gathering, and casual cultivation, as the opportunities come up.

 

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According to legend (which they accept as fact), the freyjan had a largely uniform appearance until they accepted the Goddess. Their break with the Nether Realms heralded the first split with the tonnerians, but once they fully embraced Crystalia, they began to adapt to their new homeland in striking ways. Now, each tribal group bears slightly different markings and favors different colors in their fur. These seem to be reactions to their environment, with grey and charcoal common among cliff-dwellers, and brown and tawny showing up in those that stalk the alpine meadows.

 

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A majority of freyjan tribes trade in crafts made from wood, bone, ivory, cloth, and leather, mostly for metal tools and weapons. They have few smiths but are often surpassing leather and woodworkers—living as close to dwarves as they do, this arrangement generally benefits everyone. Freyjan acrobatics, dance, and music are among the most intriguing and engaging in Crystalia and traveling troupes of performers crisscross the world.

They have a difficult relationship with magic, however. This strikes many as strange, given the discipline needed to master such power, but virtually all freyjan who show an inclination for magic are sent away to study with other races, mostly humans at Crystalia Castle. Some claim this part of an ancient pact, buy the freyjan deny this.

 

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The freyjan universally believe that the Goddess saved their race. Only by the changes wrought on them could they survive and expand, and the Goddess is the source of this. The monk’s teachings showed them this, and without either, they would have vanished in violence centuries ago. Though others often see them as mischievous troublemakers (or at least far too curious for their own and others’ safety), they see these traits as their gift to Crystalia. They explore, push limits, dare greatly, and dig up trouble in service to the Goddess, as an active prayer of thanks for their existence. Every freyjan embraces this truth, and most gleefully pursue it their entire lives.

 



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