Regnum The 5th Age
In the early days of the world known as Regnum, after the Elder Mysteries were thrown down and the beastmen began looking for places to call their own are tales of one member of the lion-like Rahl, called Bodhi-Shirn. Bodhi-Shirn was one of the last of the feline races to remember when the Elder Father took the beastmen’s most noble guardians, the Minotaurs to fight their wars on other worlds. Bodhi-Shirn saw what war did to the soul of the Minotaur and shed tears when he was forced to bear arms against the heroes of the beastmen. Still in the Age of Chaos no one questioned the will of their maker, the Elder Father. In the early times it was said that feline races would lives thrice their current lifespan. It is also said in the early times that the feline children of the Elder Mysteries did make war upon each other. The lion-like: Rahl, cheetah-like: Hifaur, leopard-like: Lulhan and tiger-like: Karya both of whom developed a white haired offshoots known as the Lulnun & Surka favoring mountains climates. The last of the feline beastmen were the caracal-like: Khamoch and the smallest among them the bobcat-like: Toran. War threatened to destroy all of them given their predisposition to a solitary lifestyle for everyone but the Rahl. Bodhi-Shirn knew that while they were still fighting they were living up to the philosophy of Agu, survival of the fittest. Bodhi-Shirn saw another way but still accepted that the path of the survivalist and warrior were but a choice, an aspect in the wheel of life. This idea would stay and be nurtured as he went about his life and interactions with others he would meet. Soon this philosophy would shape the fate of not only the feline beastmen but that of a nation.
It took decades of patience for Bodhi-Shirn to gather a mixture of the feline races into the first pride different breeds in it. Despite being the attacked or ridiculed it soon became noted that the Shirn Pride was never defeated. They would often come to the aid of those that not only could not defend themselves but could not repay Bodhi-Shirn or his pride. He merely asked that they listen to him talk about being “just Shirn” or one pride, a family for all feline beastmen. He gathered them unto his hunting grounds called Shirnairu all of the “one pride” lived in relative harmony. : Shirn historians think Bodhi-Shirn meant for this philosophy to eventually be used for all the races of Regnum. It is one of the few theories that explains 50,000 years of expansionist wars that came after Bodhi-Shirn’s passing from this world.
When warlords among the lion-like Rahl and tiger-like Karya led separate campaigns to take the lands of the caracal-like: Khamoch and the bobcat-like: Toran he moved to action with his pride for the bloodiest civil war in the history of the feline beastmen. When the war ended Bodhi-Shirn had subjugated the Rahl and Karya warlords. However, the damage had been done and both the Khamoch and the Toran beastmen had exterminated! The condition of their laying down of arms was no feline beastmen would harm another for fear of destruction by the Shirn Pride. Over the next five decades the smaller groups join the Shirn pride until the only three warlords remain. Saengjon for the Lulhan, Katto-suru for the Karya, and Bodhi-Shirn. For almost a decade their was what historians call the Sussurian stand-off. The Shirn Pride could easily take one of the other factions but taking both would be risky. Saengjon and Katto-suru could take each other in an even fight but neither of them could face the Shirn Pride and live. During this time border skirmishes were started and if the Shirn Pride were the victors it was the same price, listen to Bodhi-Shirn speak and they may go home. Numerous plot on his life were always avoided. A truce was called after Bodhi-Shirn came to the aid of both his rivals. Saengjon’s youngest son Jeolla’s defense against humans of Avestan was secured by Bodhi-Shirn. Katto-suru’s capital of Kitanagoya had been attacked by Dragons of the Isthmus in the south. Bodhi-Shirn actually negotiated the dragon’s withdrawal allowing everyone to save face. When he merely asked to meet with the leaders in return of payment in the month of Dey on the following year. Many among their camps were encouraging the meeting in hopes the fighting could end once and for all. It was not just that he had valor and courage, but he was wise in his decisions, generous with his wealth, caring for all he met. When the month of Dey came the following year the leaders met in what was now the great city of Shirnairu. It what has become a yearly ceremony and pilgrimage for many did Bodhi-Shirn begin to glow with a light that spoke to the strengths of the people gazing upon him. Knowing his physical time left on this plane of existence was drawing to a close he began to teach of a concept that had come unto him called Aspects. Every virtue was a path of enlightenment or perfection of the soul. For a night and a day he ironed out all the differences at the time between the warlords and with the setting sun of the following day he vanished. In three years it took to ratify a government and the nation of Sussuria was form from the three warlords. In honor of all Bodhi-Shirn had done for the feline beastmen, those present took his name as their own in honor of all he had done for them, the Shirn were born.
In the first few millennia after the formation of Sussuria the cheetah-like: Hifaur, and leopard-like: Lulhan had begun noticing that when they had children from mixed unions they no longer followed the normal pre-determination of boys matching the father’s line and girls the mother’s line. A new breed combining several of the traits came to being. When this new breed mated with a Lulhan or Hifaur neither child was anything other than this new breed. There was the mandate decided that Bodhi-Shirn had decided this was two spokes becoming one. By the 5th millenium of the Empire of Sussuria the Lulhan and Hifaur were no more and the Lulhi had replaced both breeds. Since then this occurrence has not happened again and modern Shirn scholars suspect this had been something Agu had planned but never got to implement before the Chaos Father was put to slumber. It seems they still produce a white haired version of the breed that now calls itself the Sulki. Many scholars among the Shirn find it strange that the modern Shihonese word for ghost or “Ulki” is the root of the offshoot white hair Lulhi.
The most notable symbol of the Shirn is the Orb-blade, it is the most common weapon in Sussuria and featured on their imperial flag. Coming from a warrior background as the genesis for their empire it easy to see how a weapon they could all agree upon would fill that role. There was a gathering among the warriors, workers and scholars of the Shirn in this new empire to decide what weapon would become the imperial symbol. It would have to symbolize the unification that could be shared and among the three breeds of the great pride. The notion of the “Orb-blade” came from the Shirn-Lulhi as a modification of one of the farming implements combined with the chakram blade ring. Soon styles and variations of 6 or even 9 blades on the ring began to surface but it had one thing in common. Three weapons anchored to each other as one weapon: * One blade represents the endurance of the Rahl, * One blade represents the speed of the Lulhi, * One blade represents the ferocity of Karya, three breeds, one pride. The “Orb-blade” became part of the national symbol of the Shirn became not just the most common weapon in the land, whole forms of combat were developed around it. Different version and sizes of the item became prevalent in all parts of society. Serving trays eventually all had three parts to them, chalk holders soon were made in the same shape to hold three sticks at a time. Meditation times came at dawn, highsun and dusk. Mind, body, and soul in harmony was a huge component of daily life among the Shirn that alongside the teachings of Bodhi-Shirn came the Paths of the Aspects.
Player Notes: Use the stats of the Tabaxi from Volo's Guide to Monsters with one change per breed. Leopard (Lulhi) keep the stats of the Tabaxi with no changes. Lions (Rahl) keep the stats of the Tabaxi with the DEX modifier switched to CON. Tigers (Karya) keep the stats of the Tabaxi with the DEX modifier switched to STR.
Shirn people by Pachycrocuta, check out that gallery!