Duneblessed Homebrew Redux - Vulpera Paladins, Priests, and some Spirituality

DUNEBLESSED HOMEBREW - Vulpera Paladins, Priests, and some other Spiritual Shenanigans

DISCLAIMER

This remains a Homebrew. As excited as I am Metzen gave a like to the following art in Twitter, I would like to remind you that nothing here is official, and it is built not with the intention of becoming an absolute Server Canon. This is mostly dedicated to my own settings, my friends and other people that orbit around the lore and practices related to this take.

The post is written from an IC perspective, as I salvaged some of my personal RP documents, though they remain an accurate representation of the whole deal

I decided to remake the old post given the need to update the old symbols and facts there

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GHmIATjWsAEFX63?format=jpg&name=4096x4096
Concept art by Matt Neves - https://twitter.com/mnevesart

The Duneblessed are a representation of all a vulpera is, but cranked up to fifteen. Zealous treasure hunters, stringent leaders of the caravans, healers, liberators and storytellers.

They’re devout of Vol’dun. Where many see a wasteland, and even fewer see an opportunity of survival, they instead choose to see a land of wonders and miracles. They echo these principles not only by telling inspiring tales, but by their actions.

They guide Caravans in an quest to unearth all the Wonders buried in the Sands, and fight for their freedom to do so.
At times, because they’re optimistic. At other times, not only because of their faith in the Sands ever providing, but also because of their own vulperan capability to see opportunity even in the worst situations and thrive.

“The Basics and TLDR”

  • This came up as a reaction to the potential homogeneisation around Tyr as a person of worship and the fears it would lead to Paladins for All. that way.
  • They worship the Desert as a whole, and draw power from whatever source they are inspired by: The Oasis, the Moon, the Sun, the Stars, a cactus, a Bilewing… They make do ,through a symbology that attributes a certain set of aspects to such elements of the desert.
  • They come from Shaman who expanded their view towards universalism based on the idea of the Desert, and a fair share of folklore.
  • Amazigh + Romani + Some Egyptian vibes mixed here and there.
Arka, the Magic of the Desert

From Arca, Baraka, and Arka. The first, the word for vessel in Spanish. The second is a term for a Holy energy commonly tied to ancestors by the amazigh. Arka is a sanskrit word for Hymn, Praise, Song, Sun, Light, Lighting…mayhaps anything that shines, from what I found out.

“Within the particularities of Vol’dun, the Light is not just the manifestation of the general beauty of creation or of the universe in an abstract notion, but rather, it is a spiritual legacy imprinted in the soil, like the Magic of the Sands from where we come and to where we shall return.

The shamanistic heritage of our people (and even that of the Orcish Lok’osh) already spoke of the elements within, and the new paths that deepen our connection to our people. This path is the one we named the Light that Lives (or Lived) previously.

It could be said that certain notions of this idea also appear within the Alliance, for the Humans who remember and honour their saints Uther or Tirion, albeit mainly as figments of the Light and obscuring their identities as individuals of shining virtues and suffering.

We focus on our own, on the people who toil daily surviving and thriving living in the worst the world could offer.
It is from them that the Light that Lives, the Arka, the Magic of the Sands, truly flows, it is from the meaning of their sacrifices and their daily efforts that the magic springs, and less about inspired, yet abstract virtues that sometimes can cause more pain than relief.
It is a conscious force, an amalgamation of will that has only grown thanks to the living and the dead that mastered their connection to it, through drawn symbols, songs, thoughts, and even instincts, and that takes different shapes depending on them, powerful and punishing like the Sun, soothing like the waters of the Oasis, or preserving and guiding like the Sands.

A Few Tenets

Preface - We Roam, Therefore We Are

Our tradition is more oral than written. Vulpera are not beyond anything, and setting down the survival principles We have followed for countless generations requires nothing other than sitting down and writing.

No caravan is truly the same as the other, and there is no intent of making a total compendium for the totality Vulpera. This script is directed, however, at those who try to embody and exalt what a Vulpera is, and seek to help, and even lead our kin in times of peril and glory.

There is an interesting irony in reading that which should be lived, because books only tell half of the story. No text can truly condensate all experience nor can it provide you with all the tools. There are tales, or in this case, lessons, that are best left oral, warnings that come and go as the Dunes see fit. We are creatures of movement, and in many cases if not all, We shall adapt.

But there are, as well, harder truths. Harder truths of the desert that even our moving hearts could not deny: The scarcity, the thirst through the days and the cold and fear through the night, the carnage of the slavers and the trolls, and the evil Empire that just very recently fell, leaving them scattered.

The necessity of strength, guts, and wits to survive became clear, in different shapes and forms, with different priorities, and with different reaches. But if one is to generalize from this, a few principles can be set down.

Principles not as abstract as those of the Human Faiths, and yet not so specific that they require a context more loaded than our Desert.
And from these, We begin with this almost self evident truth:

We are, therefore We roam. We roam, therefore We are.

No matter how closely you follow these principles to begin with, this is an idea to keep in your heart: Vulpera will thrive by roaming in the worst moments.

And We will thrive while and where others see just despair and death, and We do so because We do not lament, We do not preach our suffering, but because We see things as they are, accept them, and still keep faith, and move and insist until the Dunes provide, or until our wits come up with a solution from the most terrible of scarcities.

This does not just apply to Vol’dun, but it was born from it, and it shouldn’t be forgotten. Movement, like Vulpera, comes in many shapes and forms, it is not only the movement of the physical body but also the inspirations of the mind and the impulses and aspirations that make us act.

Thoughts, feelings, even simply walking from a point to the other are reflections of this core element. Embrace it, because it will keep you alive, healthy, and it will make you strong. To rest and to sleep is necessary and desirable, but to stagnate is to die.

After this share of thoughts, let us continue with the first tenets for the vulpera who seek to be a champion for their kin, a Duneblessed.

FIRST TENETS - Tenets of the Self (Live the Present)

Not for being the first to read are they that basic, and many would dare forget them because of their pride, or their overconfidence.

SURVIVAL: Instincts and basic experience.

The first step to be a prepared vulpera, is, first and foremost, being.
You can’t do anything if you die, that’s clear. The vulpera must gain the knowledge of their surroundings, the wildlife, the plants, the heights and burrows they can use to sustain themselves wherever they are.

We could speak of avoiding the Bone Pits, for it is ridden with Undead, or the history of Zem’lan and its cursed piracy that granted us many a disgrace for our own, and yet also speak of those who still dared to hunt its riches.

Or remember the uses of Bilewing secretions and the venoms of the Scorpashi despite what their names suggest.

But it is in these times beyond Vol’dun that this lesson needs to broaden to new “stuff”. The lush forests offer small prey and edible fruits, and more bugs than you can even imagine. The seas now carry more life than before, and it has become easier to gain water beyond collecting dew and prickly pears. The wood to build and remake tools with is sturdier and at times malleable.

Familiarize yourself with and experiment with these. Be cautious if you suspect something is poisonous or dangerous, and remember to seek neutral or Horde-aligned settlements. Take and carry on their offer of help and wisdom. The brain is the biggest back of tricks, and remember that it is not only the Dunes that will swallow you this time for being reckless.

For good measure, the oversized fungi of Grizzly Hills are edible.

BOLDNESS: Strength of Character, the guts.

You know what you need to do, but you’re afraid to do it. When you gain knowledge, it’s important to use it because knowing how to survive is just the beginning of the story. The Vulpera must attempt to put to use what they know, first, for their own sake, and this is where that old saying of “Take care of yourself, because no one else might” comes from.

Being afraid is natural, and it’s foolish not to listen to fear sometimes. This is true even for the Forsaken, who preach the Respect to the bigger tasks and efforts that we might find. When we have taken a moment to investigate and pry our surroundings, then we can act and find out more. Let it be slower or quicker steps, let your practice let you gain confidence, and begin building your character alongside your surroundings.

And remember, if something seems extraordinarily dangerous or you harbor certain doubts in front of a mighty challenge, step away. To swallow our pride and get out to live and prepare for another day has never been hard, and it is still good to know your limits and prepare to expand them in the future.
SELF-RELIANCE: The Basics of the self.

When the Vulpera has managed to gain the insight of the surroundings, and the guts to explore, it is the time to sculpt their bodies and wits to perfect their specific situation. The knowledge they have found must be tested by the practice they create themselves alongside their very physical capabilities. The mind must be set in a healthy body, so the Vulpera can be ready for the future. The more they learn and the stronger they become, the easier it will be to adapt in other spaces.

At this point, you can further yourself to become greater alongside your own. These first three pieces of advice will help you conquer yourself for the very basic interactions with your surroundings, and make the first steps.

SECOND TENETS - Tenets of the Few (Value the Past)

When the vulpera has reached certain experience and their mettle is proven to themselves, they can now finally deepen their tricks and wits. It is the moment they can open up to others with more confidence, and start expressing their resourcefulness with their own, generally in caravan life.

LIFE: The Traditional Wisdom.

When the aspiring champion has managed to assume their role as a survivor, they can finally preach with action and with help. The Vulpera may remain with his own and his caravan, his wagon, or those who keep them in company. They must not only apply what they already have learnt, share what tricks or what lessons they have, but as well open up to new problems of their people and seek to gain knowledge from them and their solutions. Start taking care of others, because it may as well empower you, but do not deny the need of their own challenges, because they may and must develop by themselves in some cases.

To know when and how, ask, and observe. Learn to read of their personality and their pride, and seek to balance it so they may not run into a greater challenge than they can take. Keep an open mind, on top of all, about the needs, trials, and tribulations of others.

POWER: The Perfecting of the self.

When the mind and the body are healthy, the vulpera can open up to new ways and techniques.

Magic is the first thing that can come to mind, and the philosophy of the Duneblessed inspires and leans towards the use of the Golden Magics of the Sands, or the Holy magics of the outsiders. The versatility of these magics can’t be denied, but it is not the only focus of the vulpera champion.

The vulpera must also develop their physical strength through combat, resistance training, and, importantly, manual labor alongside their kin, like building, hunting, or collaborating anything they can.
This also applies to the approach to medical knowledge and even arts and leisure, because it is possible to learn and imagine while one is merely resting and having fun, so the vulpera must remain ready to develop and express emotionally.

And yes, cooking also applies. Remember the fungi of Grizzly Hills.
This virtue is tied to a more traditional notion of Resourcefulness so keep in mind the nature of all your material and spiritual possessions.

RESILIENCE: Keep It Up.

Given the collective nature of these practices and approaches, the Vulpera must also gather the will to rise every day and repeat them on a daily basis. It is at this point where many might give up or laze, but the aspiring champion must strike the balance between their exhaustion and their productivity, and keep doing as they can, every day, little by little.

For this, seek others who can keep an eye on you as well, those who you can trust as their actions have spoken before their promises.

Speak to them about what you have learnt and what you can offer as a person, so you may trade even your spirits.

Work with them, and alongside them, so the burdens, and the glorious challenges may be shared and your being can work and rest every day without falling.

Sit down by the fires and tell of your tales and of the plans for every day. Dare to gain a presence with your caravan, learn of logistics and of the ways they manage the resources. Learn what works for them, and what failed, and do the same with yourself.

To be humble and disciplined is necessary, a lesson the Dunes taught us with how the desert devours the unready. Be careful, so this recklessness doesn’t cause others to die.

LAST TENETS - Tenets of the Many (Thrive in the Future)

When the vulpera has finally managed to lead, conquer, and win in Vol’dun with their own, they can finally take another step further. With these brighter days in which we have left Vol’dun, it is the time we take upon these lessons from the Sands, and spread them with our action. We did such, when we managed to join the Horde and apply much of our ancient knowledge to practice. With what we’ve accomplished, it is time we expand it, and become heralds of a future of Wonders to conquer.

ERUDITION: The Scholarly Knowledge.

The Duneblessed is not just a seasoned holy warrior, and a leader, because these things do not come for free, especially now that we have entered a world of new Wonders to discover, and alongside them, new dangers. The Duneblessed must expand their knowledge in the ways they followed, study the philosophy and sciences of the new world and gain a general insight of the notions that people follow. Learn of religions, customs, approaches, and open up to expand your magic with the locals who are willing to share some insight, yet do not forget where you came from and how your lessons and practices brought you to this point.

MISSION: Inspiration, Diplomacy and Politics

If you can, do it. Dare to express, organize, and share as much as you can. Carry and share, too, the tradition of our peoples and your own Caravan, and see to exemplify the unique usefulness you and your own may possess.

Gain the honor and respect to put order and organization as the ways of old taught you, but as a Herald for the World this time. Make the vulpera a welcome addition, and even leaders or commanders. Deal this time with the higher arts of war and politics of which you may still ignore much, travel there where a healer or a guide is needed, and keep always in high spirits to do so.

AMBITION: Always Go Beyond.

Always act, always go beyond. Be the most vulperan you can be, and work towards perfecting yourself in all aspects alongside the knowledge and guts you have gathered through the cultural exchange and the lessons of the new world and its peoples. See to expand your body and your magics and practices to exalt and stand out in usefulness. Do not brag or speak, act, and show what you can do and what you can become for yourself, your people, and the world.

They who thrive in the Sands can thrive in the World. It is time to reaffirm it over and over, and to push the limits of everything we are, and everything our surroundings seem to be.

Symbology of the Duneblessed

The Duneblessed, and others who share similar ideologies, views, or upbringings, have learnt that many tools can be used for different things simultaneously. Boxes can make neat tables, a venom can make a potent cure, and so on.

The use of Power can have many aspects. It can be a scornful punishment, it can inspire, it can heal your wounds or it can deliver you from pain. The nuances of the elements of the desert are hard to consider at first, and it takes certain knowledge to know how to contemplate them.

Everything is a part of ourselves, of our lands and of our world. To know and draw as much as we can from what we know is an expression of the Vulperan Spirit, the Magic of the Sands.

I set a division in three Inheritances, sets of Symbols inspired by the reality that surrounded us. They normally serve as catalysts of our Faith, some artistic inspirations, or magical inscriptions akin to elemental runes, because there were Shaman before the Duneblessed.

There is no shame or problem in recognizing shortcomings of the past in order to inherit such lessons or elements, and the same can be said for our future with the Horde, but our progression will remain different, our teachings will not grow but from ourselves as Vulpera devoted to Vol’dun.

See what motivates you, and focus on what you need from it. You may write a spell, poetry, a song or let the mere thought be your power. What matters is that we keep an idea of the many things we could draw inspiration from. The following ones are examples, and not the only ones, but the ones I used through my magics, writings and inscriptions.

INHERITANCES OF OUR HOMES

These are related to daily life, our tools, and the sort it is easier to discover the related meanings of. Normally, it is things we somehow made or discovered first through ourselves, without treading very far from our caravans or lands…

The (Free) Self

A first Symbol that means much for the vulpera: What you did and you didn’t. Remember the past Danger and let them inspire you, remember your Successes and your Failures and let them grant you wisdom. Assume the need to Change and grow, and remember your Freedom to do so. It also relates to Potential. Many selves represent Family, Friendship, and Life and Law.

The Hearth / The Torch

A Symbol of Retribution, Healing, Guidance, and Destruction. If it is represented with a drop or other symbols akin to food, it relates to Nourishment and Life.

It comes from the worship of the Shaman, but we do not forget the Light it emits. It is the force of fire in our hands, so it has many uses beyond the destructive and painful ones.

The Sand

A symbol of Resilience and also of Discipline and obligations, at times of Danger and Death, for we come from the Sands and to the Sands we will return. As a minor aspect of the Dunes, its power can be called upon for mending and fighting.

The Hyena

A symbol of Friendship, Opportunity, and also of Discipline and Protection. but it also inspires Ferality, Danger. Hyenas have always been allies to us, and therefore the enemies of those who dare threaten us. Because of their Scavenging nature, it is also used to represent Resourcefulness. Bring it forth to unleash your strength and break through your enemies and to charge and to protect be it with magic or with your own self.

The Alpaca

Similar to the Hyena, though more lenient, it ties to Friendship, Opportunity, Protection, and Guidance. Alpacas carry our weight many times, if not our entire homes, and this symbol will draw upon such in trying times.

The Bilewing

Symbol of Danger, Pragmatism, Death, and Life. It takes much to do what is necessary in Vol’dun, a reason why it is a symbol of liberators and their small armies…and it is used for magics of cleansing, bolstering, and reinforcing natures. It’s a tricky one…

The Drop

Symbols of Nourishment and Change, and also of the passage of Life. It is also another symbol for both Healing and Rest. This is similar to the devotion of Shaman towards water. Let it be present in tales and spells which remind of easier and calmer times, and soothe the wounded and the unfortunate.

The Hammer / The Sword

Symbol of Creation (Hammer) and Destruction. It is also the weapon of the guardians and the labourers and it relates therefore to Discipline and Retribution. Remember the sturdiness and utility of our weapons and our homes themselves. Let it bring forth strength and vitality, and inspire others to continue despite the hardships ahead.

The Paw / The Hand

A Symbol of Creation and Destruction akin to the Hammer, but also of Inspiration, Order, Peace and Freedom. Bring it forth as the main idea and promoter of your Potential, and let it do as your own hands would. This symbol inspires strength and pushes the limits of those who call upon it through a spell and their allies. Be careful, because in this case it might cause Exhaustion.

The Quill / The Scroll / The Book.

Symbol of Creation, Inspiration, Wisdom and Guidance. It is a sort of Gift given by birds, even vultures, and it is but natural to make use of it as we have to write and to make the end of our arrows. Let it inspire your imagination and your leadership, and use it as a mark of education, meditation, and guidance. It can help with focus and the use of magic.

The Caravan / The Wagon

Symbol of Life, Wisdom, Order, Discipline, Freedom, Friendship or Resourcefulness, depending on the Caravan itself. It is perhaps a vague one, because the way it is conceived can greatly change from certain vulpera to others. This symbol seemed to be useful for healing wards and totems of the Blessed sorts. It is one that represents Home, after all.

INHERITANCES OF OUR WORLD

Forces, elements, and creatures that might not be directly related to us, those that simply are beyond our closest conceptions and uses. They might relate to other peoples of Vol’dun.

The Dunes / The Sands (Plural)

Symbol of Hope, Discipline, Order, Freedom and Opportunity and yet it was made of Retribution, Danger, Submission and Despair. It is the truth of many, for the Vulpera and the Sethrak, that the Sea of Sands will swallow those who are not ready, and it was the place in which we did not only find our Freedom, but our generations of Slavery. It symbolises a History greater than the Sands we may have trod , so it can be also seen as a symbol of Healing, Wisdom, Resourcefulness, Death and Failure depending on how it is approached.

The Duneblessed must try to keep positive and refuse the imposition of the worst upon its concept even though its duality cannot be denied. It is what Vol’dun was when it was seen for the first time, and it embodies everything it can or will be at the same time. It is perhaps the most Versatile, so use it carefully.

This symbol that gave us our name, and it may very well represent Our World as well.

The Sea

Symbol of Hope, Freedom, Opportunity and Healing because of its relation to the Shaman. It means not only that of waters, but also any place that can be considered a “sea” of opportunities, though the quitters will clearly favor the former. Like the Sands, however, it is also a symbol for Danger, Death and Failure.

The Treasure / The Diamond

A Symbol that relates to Hope, Order, Guidance and Success. It also represents the need to make the most of any situation and the Wonders that can be found. It can also be related to Danger and Greed. It is a symbol for Inspiration, and Resourcefulness as well if it is set alongside other symbols like a Caravan or the Free self. In terms of magic, it might help with treasure hunting endeavours one way or another, but I have not verified it personally.

The Lightning / The Spark

A Symbol of Danger, Pain, Destruction and Hate. It is also a symbol of Order and Change, though with very bad connotations (Oppression and corruption). In some cases, it can also relate to Inspiration and Creation. Rarely will the Duneblessed find much use here that they could not find in others, but the magic flavoured after it is especially lethal, it can become akin to Lightning that the Shaman use.

The Chain / The Broken Chain / The Law

A Symbol of Pain, Failure and Submission. It can also relate to Order or Peace in certain situations, but rarely with a positive idea behind. When a Sword is drawn over it, it becomes a symbol of Freedom, Change, Resilience and Inspiration. Call upon it when you are forced to stop someone that refuses to listen to reason and intends in all ways to hurt you or your own. Break it to set someone free of bonds, magical or physical.

I have personally seen it used with a Free Self and a Quill to symbolise Law, because it is a sort of limit that can be imposed on ourselves, though by no means something as terrible as slavery.

The Snake / The Crowned Snake / The Wise Snake.

A Symbol of Danger, Submission, and Death, related unequivocally to the Sethrak, though it can also mean Healing. When it holds a crude crown on its head, it becomes a Symbol of Order and Slavery as well. When drawn with a symbol of a quill, a drop, a moon, or others, it can be related to Wisdom, Devotion, or Failure (because it is funny to mock the Devoted, it seems). Call upon the Wise Snake to heal poisons and certain illnesses. The others might help with control and offensive effects.

The Cactus / The Lasher

Another Symbol of both Resilience and Nourishment, Retribution and Hope. A versatile inspiration, for it is an example of making it through the worst situations and keeping oneself Protected against dangers, though because of this it relates to Pain and Discipline, though a Stubborn one.

The Oasis

A Symbol of Healing, Nourishment, Life, Rest, and Resourcefulness, sometimes drawn alongside the Sun or the Moon. It is a symbol that normally appears in Healing or in Death rites, because it might be a destination for some Wailing Bones. It is a great inspiration for recovery and strength.

The Eye

A symbol of Protection and Wisdom and a specially cryptic and mysterious one. It has always been related to ways to ward off evil and dark magic, so perhaps it becomes greater through the use of magics. It does not seem to be precisely exclusive to our beliefs alone, a reason why it is here.

INHERITANCES OF THE UNIVERSE

For generations have we seen these and for generations will we see them. They are not elements of the vulpera alone, but of every people that lived and every land of the world and beyond.

Here you will not just see the desert-related understanding of them, but also the perceptions of other peoples, for they are symbols so broad that they cannot be completed with the perspective of Vol’dun alone. These are some:

The Sun / The Fire Pterrordax

A Symbol of the preacher of Hate that reigns in the sky and Silences all who dare shine alongside him. A Lord of fire that leaves at Dusk to let us move until the bitter cold finally takes over. The way that it burns and extinguishes life is enticing for some, for it is a symbol of Zeal and Destruction, and some people of Vol’dun and Zandalar have been eager to draw upon it. Beware of its tremendous Potential when used as a symbol for magic.

Peoples like the Tauren and their Sunwalkers come from places where He speaks with a calmer voice, nurturing Life instead of killing it. It can also relate to Order, Pain, Healing and Wisdom because of it.

The Moon(s)

The silent speaker of Love and equality. Some people relate it to Life, Change and Opportunity for it is its pale light that allows for more movement, though it also relates to Rest and Healing because of its connection to sleep. Its different forms can also represent its different aspects, like the crescent moon representing Beginnings, and the Waning aspects the Ends or Death.

The Tauren have considered it a symbol of Retribution and Wisdom, because it seems to be identified as the other eye of their Deity that watches upon the land. It is also a symbol of devotion for certain heretics of the Zandalari. Certain sciences relate the Moons to the Sea.

The Stars / The Night Sky

The watchers of the night, the Stars are a Symbol for Hope, Guidance, Order, Opportunity, Rest, Healing, Creation and Inspiration. Alongside the Moon, they also represent Love and Equality, and alongside the Sun, it becomes the symbol for Infinity and Universe. They are small spots of Light in a limitless darkness, that shine when the greatest of them all, the Sun, goes away. They represent the infinity of Wonders buried under the Sands and any land.

Beware, because the emptiness of the Night Sky is also related to Death, Despair, and Dark Magic, something of the Shadow.

Extra: Some Creatures from the Homebrew

Solar Pterrordaxes

Minor manifestations of the Sun’s Magic. They tend to be seen only during sunrise and sunset, but they are suspected to be always watchful and judgemental. They’re also a bit bureaucratic and like to keep literal files of stone and magic fire to track progress or deeds…

Devah/Arka

From Daeva, and Baraka, both names referring to sacred energies or creatures. They’re Sandy Lightspawns, but they can also encompass djinn-esque elementals

Manifestations of Holy and Spiritual energies that the sands of Vol’dun gather. They are drawn by what they consider moments of great virtue (rolling a 20), and normally signify favour or good fortune. Considered either holy saints or just manifestations of holy energy (Arka).

Vikenai
Derived from Tibicenas, the evil spirits of the Guanches
Manifestations of pain and darkness, normally tied to the Vikenas and the Lord of the Eclipse. They appear to be ashen and tortured spirits risen by terrible catastrophes…

Silver Alpacas

Probably mythical creatures in all the senses, as they are rarely seen, and they may be tied to the moon’s distant nature. They’re spirits of guidance and assistance that help those who are deemed pure of heart.

Golden Beetles/Scarabs of Vol’dun

We don’t know, man… All that come to find one seem to have it following them or pestering them, until they decide to yeet themselves to oblivion by praising the Great Scarab.

Some Notes
  • All this stuff can, could, and has been used before for Shaman, and even for Druids with their specific interpretations, and by tapping more on the elemental, animalistic or plant-y symbols, though I did not quite finish this myself.
  • There are some “Saints” and Loa tied to the Homebrew, but I decided to omit them for now, given that they’re more localised for my Campaigns.
33 Likes

This is a rather interesting concept, and if the vulpera as a folk were isolated from the rest of the world it would’ve been truly perfect to make the loreless civilization live and thrive. The sad thing is that they’re not, and the mighty problem the more “self-sufficient” approaches to the vulpera always encounter is that their whole culture is closely tied to the Zandalari and Sethrak ones. Starting with the loa: at the island where the deities are real, physically present and give actual power to their followers having or not having at least one such blessing in the caravan can be a matter of life and death. With the numbers of the undead buried along with the treasures and the short distance between the Vol’dun borders and Bwonsamdi’s Necropolis I’m genuinely surprised no vulpera ever tried to ask the loa of death to help the dead stay dead like he does in Nazmir. So, perhaps Vulpera-specific paladins might be somewhere between the troll prelates and the tauren Sunwalkers. The worship of the Light through the spirits and the nature of the desert around can and would go well together with the reverence of the loa and the boons they grant, especially since a lot of them allow to cast Holy-ish spells.

I am Beezi and this is my favorite post on the Forums

2 Likes

I’ve shot this down before. We see reverence and reference to the Sands. We see none to the loa. Leave the loa to the trolls and the druid archetypes, I think it would be for once better to have them show their self reliance instead of having carbon-copies of troll prelates, because it is lazy, it ignores what we have currently established even for their specific rituals of the dead.

Just because the loa are around, it does not mean they are owed reverence by all people around it.

Specially when we already know that the vulpera:

  • Never went to the Temple of Sethraliss
  • Avoided the Valley of Akunda.
  • Have no relationship with Kimbul.
  • Constantly mention the Sands and the Dunes as objects of worship or at least some sort of mysticism.
  • Have a specific ritual of the Dead not involving such creatures.

I am not here to discuss the validity of my take and my hours of actually trying to avoid precisely this same idea that draws on the same trope I want to avoid, of having just little furball trolls. I do not want, nor do I think that we need little vulpera prelates, we need something based on the things that they connect to and have mentioned over, and over, no matter how little credibility it has to people who do not touch the race.

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And this is where things go messy. We have next to no lore in-game about the specifics of the vulpera traditions, their relations with the loa or absolutely anything that isn’t about screwing around in the sands or getting their tails kicked by the sethrak, the undead, the Alliance or whatever else is around. Even Kiro’s quests on reviving the old Zandalari irrigation system near the refugee camp never gets anything more than just a quest chain, while it could be a new shrine for Sethraliss and a starting point to reviving the land. I understand your wish to make something new and specific, but with how little we have in the first place it might be not the best idea to disregard the existing patterns entirely. Especially when it comes to survival and salvaging, something Jani might well lend a claw with.

Linma you’re taking this as the only option for faith that all vulpera have, rather than an option that some vulpera may have. A belief system is something entirely valid for a character or groups of characters to partake in, provided it’s not seen as something that everyone has to willingly accept and adhere to.

This isn’t that.

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Once again coming in here into this thread to say I love this homebrew and wholeheartedly support it.

It just makes sense.

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This thread, however valid, is based on the sad state of the vulpera lore. The need to invent the virtues, the values and the goals in such a fashion shouldn’t have existed in the first place. And with the exploring book on Zandalar coming soon-ish I wouldn’t want such interesting concepts being squandered by the updates that should’ve been in the game since the introduction of the vulpera race.

So what you’re saying is we should never come up with our own concepts in case future material from books or expansions contradict what we currently?

C’mon. If you don’t like the concept, say you don’t like the concept. Don’t concern troll over the fact that it may be invalid in the future because that’s literally applicable to every single bit of roleplay anyone on this server has ever done.

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Approve this idea hugely. Kudos, OP.

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I like the concept, I don’t like the fact that it’s the only thing we’ve got in the field of the vulpera culture. It’s blizz’s fault, of course, but I don’t look forward to the homebrews being the one alternative to nothing or resorting to the familliar matters of troll-ish themes dominating the narrative.

Based Kopt once more.

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Personally, the main strength of a concept like this that is almost completely detached from other cultures in Zandalar is that it plays on what we were told to expect about vulperan culture. If an alternative is ever introduced, it can still remain valid unless they outright state that’s how everyone does it. With the neglect that vulpera suffer in lore, they unfortunately rely almost exclusively in headcanon - hell, the best aspects of vulpera rp almost all derive from headcanon.

I expect literally nothing more than a paragraph of Thalyssra and Lor’themar commenting on how cute they are. If they actually dive into vulpera culture I will eat my proverbial shoe

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I don’t think it’s a strength. We have a culture that’s been thriving on the troll and sethrak ruins, their treasures, ever-staying diplomacy and trade with both of them, and it went on for millenia. Such relations are bound to enrich all the participants, and emphacising on the isolation where there was none is not exactly right to me. The situation looks similar with the races of Pandaria, all being different in their own way and yet forming a somewhat stable society. Of course, the trolls and the vulpera aren’t as close-tied as the hozen and jinyu freely training in the Tian Monastery, but ignoring the influence overall is not much better than mimicking the troll order and ways to power entirely.

It has very much done anything but.

It differs from Pandaria in that Pandaren have lived in peace for millenia after overthrowing the Mogu, while Vulpera suffered generations of being hunted down throughout the desert by Sethrak until around BfA. Their trust even in the Devoted is frail, and based on quest descriptions, they were never at the Terrace of the Devoted much, which was the main HQ of that faction of Sethrak. Add to that that Dazar’alor would regularly send Zandalari to Vol’dun to die, not under any diplomatic pretenses, so any relationship between them and the trolls was entirely out of convenience.

There’s an overall lack of depth to vulpera culture because none of their relationships really go beyond convenience. They don’t have a history of worship of much, especially not Loa, and they don’t share (or would probably want to share) anything in common with the Sethrak. There’s just not much in the way of an influence that the condemned troll exiles could give them.

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And this is the worst part. For a society to exist normally it should have some sort of stability, and relying on shamanism and plundered artifacts alone when even the condemned exiles can make deals with the loa sounds like a willing restriction that gets people killed. Dang, I know it’s the lack of world-building, but with how many ancient stuff and forgotten stories they find in the desert they were bound to establish at least some connections to the tortollans, and perhaps with Torga through them. And the same goes with the Zandalari exiles: blessings of Akunda and Kimbul alike could make a difference between a life and death in the desert full of enemies, so there’s no reason to avoid them unless the loa ask more than the vulpera would be willing to pay.

In your eyes they should have done such and such, but… the devs didn’t. And so we’re working with what vulpera do have, not what they should have. You’re seeing vulpera from your own headcanon, at least that’s how it looks to me right now.

And so Kopt (Holyfur) came out with a detailed, original take that is not tied to anything else. And it fits what we know about the vulpera and who they are. Tying them into other existing cultures in WoW would be frankly boring, and would rob vulpera of their originality. If they just accepted the Loa of others, what of their own would they have? Besides, this homebrew clearly is something that not all vulpera necessarily believe or adhere to. Vulpera are not centralized peoples, so if there is a vulpera worshipping the Loa, sure why not I guess? Nobody is saying they can’t. But I don’t know, to me having a belief system wholly unique to them is much better. And that’s why I think this headcanon works.

Most of us RPers work off of headcanons. It’s never been an issue, we always try to plug the holes in lore with our own ideas. So I don’t know what your point is here in a thread that introduces a headcanon that expands on vulpera culture and was conceptualized as “if vulpera had culturally appropriate paladins”.

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My point was that the headcanons shouldn’t be all there is to the race’s unique taste. We both try to make sense with the big nothing the vulpera lore in-game is, and the only difference between us is that I try not to invent new ideas where there are known ones able to work. Even though I agree that this homebrew is a really interesting thing and hopefully would do someone good in the RP someday. Apologies for the intrusion, I’m shutting up now.

The first disclaimer I had set down alongside the post is that this has no universal application.

There is no relationship between the Loa and the Vulpera even after 16000 years and even BFA. We do not even know if the fox in gnomish visage is related to them yet, no formal confirmation.

We have various sources they weren’t even known by the Zandalari, that they were locked away up to around , that they did not approach Kimbul’s, Sethraliss, or even Akunda’s temple for a place of worship (except that one joke about the Akundas)

And what we -do- have is at least folklore tying them to the Sands and its magics, giving them shape and life. That, alongside the various references in their emotes about the Sands (Sands, guide our blades, Sands preserve us, etc), the Dunes, Aisha’s (Dragon Consortium vulpera) references to the Sands as giving and bringing, really clarify what actual object of worship they have.

Not the Loa, and not the Sun.

I also have loa of my own for this, anyway, because I obviously didn’t ignore what Zandalar is. But as I said, not gonna bring them up. People can go to my twitter or discord if they’re any interested, but I didn’t add them here as they would not have helped with the clearer part I wanted to focus on and share: The sands/dunes and the desert as a whole.

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Hey, Kopt, Yagami, Sothin, Lakai, I just wanted to say I like what you’ve done with the concept I gave you, but it seems like you’ve made too much out of it? The idea behind what I said and shared was to allow other people to build on it to suit their tastes; it seems you’ve overdeveloped it instead of keeping it simple like they worship the Desert itself. It might be best to simplify the main post, leave out the more significant details like you did when you left out the Loa, and let other groups or caravans have their own takes and the like. Just my two cents. I still think it’s cool what you’ve done for your group! Also, happy the talks we had about this stuff from years a go stuck with you.

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