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Vlaka

Wolflike creatures with thick fur, vlakas hail from an arctic world that is the most distant from its system’s dying star. Life is barely sustainable there, and as its sun grows dimmer, it might be able to sustain an ecosphere for only a few more centuries. Some vlakas respond to this knowledge by building strong communities that can last as long as possible on their home world, but others travel among the stars seeking a longer-term solution.

Vlaka fur is usually white with large patches of pale blue, gray, or black, and it provides them protection against all but the most bitter cold. Around two-thirds of vlakas are born blind or deaf. Although they have long had access to magic and technology that can mitigate or remove such conditions, not all vlakas choose to do so, valuing the cultural touchstones such as language and perspective variances that are associated with differing ways of sensing the world. A typical vlaka stands 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 feet tall and weighs between 175 and 250 lbs.

Vlakas can appear unnervingly serious, but they’re acutely attuned to the emotional state of others, and they offer friendly encouragement when they sense it might be helpful. Vlakas emphasize on the well-being of the group over the individual, a practice that evolved from survival strategies required to thrive in the tundra of their world. While not wholly self-sacrificing, vlakas go to great lengths to assist, protect, and encourage their friends, colleagues, and kin. Vlakas frown upon self-aggrandizing leadership, and they respect those who display wisdom, listen the most, and speak the least.

Most vlaka groups are led by councils whose members rotate between roles and dutifully carry out the will of their constituents rather than seeking political power for themselves. Vlakas who travel with other races often find themselves thrust into leadership positions thanks to their penchant for working for the benefit of and listening to their allies. Most vlakas accept such responsibilities but deflect any unwarranted respect afforded them solely due to their title.

Many sapient creatures find themselves drawn to the camaraderie vlakas offer, but others try to take advantage of their openness. Vlakas who grow weary of the strife among other races might withdraw to focus on working with animals or machines. However, most vlakas seek well-intentioned groups of like-minded starfarers to do some good in a galaxy that can be callous and brutal.