Scrappy, energetic, and passionate, the Aurin are a race of forest dwellers from the planet Arboria that use their inherent ferocity and agility to protect their woodland homes. Driven from their planet by the Dominion, the Aurin joined with the races of the Exiles on their journey to Nexus, hoping to find a home there—at least until they can find a way to reclaim their homeworld. Using their understanding of the natural world and their skill with manipulating primal energies, the Aurin have proved valuable allies in the untamed wilderness of Nexus. They are prepared to bare tooth and claw to defend their new home and protect it from suffering the same fate as Arboria.
For thousands of years, the Aurin lived simple lives on the forest world of Arboria. Having developed a symbiotic relationship with the trees of their homeworld, the Aurin were fierce and agile hunters that protected Arboria's forests and the creatures that lived within them. Led by an unbroken line of queens that communed directly with the ancient and powerful Mother Tree, the Aurin enjoyed an idyllic existence in their hidden paradise on the edge of the Fringe.
Originally, the Aurin were simple, tree-dwelling bipedal creatures. Over the centuries, their close connection to their tree-homes allowed the Aurin to evolve the ability to connect with specific trees, mingling their consciousness and primal life energy together to gain greater strength, focus, and awareness of the forest. In time, this led to the transformation of Aurin from feral woodland creatures into self-aware, intelligent beings.
Though Aurin had been forming bonds with trees for hundreds of years, it was Ferin Treespeaker who transformed Aurin culture by binding with an exceptionally old and massive tree. Ferin discovered this great tree had its own kind of awareness and intelligence, and responded to her questions. Not only could she now learn from the tree's vast store of knowledge, her bond also allowed her to connect with the other forests of Arboria, and thus to the matrias of all the disparate Aurin tribes.
With her newfound abilities, Ferin united the scattered Aurin communities and became the first queen, leading the Aurin into a new age of unprecedented prosperity and civilization. She named the ancient tree with which she had connected the Mother Tree, and from that day forward, all Aurin queens were chosen based on their ability to bind with it.
Isolated by the location of their homeworld, the Aurin had never encountered offworlders until the arrival of Dorian Walker - who stumbled onto Arboria while pathfinding for the Exiles, and who was soon followed by the rest of the fleet. Appreciating the good-natured independence of their visitors, the Aurin welcomed them, curious about their colorful stories of other worlds among the stars. The Aurin were happy to trade fresh food and water for the strange new tools offered by the Exiles, and a friendship born of kindness and generosity quickly blossomed between the two races. Fearful of bringing the Dominion down upon their new friends, the human fleet soon moved on, though from time to time individual ships would return to pick up fresh supplies and visit with Aurin friends.
Despite the careful precautions taken by the rebel humans, the Dominion managed to trace the path of their fleet and eventually discovered the location of Arboria. In order to take advantage of Arboria's natural resources (and, some say, as punishment for aiding the fugitive Exiles), the Dominion declared unconditional sovereignty over the Aurin's forest kingdom and sent an army of devastating Planet Reapers to collect the empire's rightful due.
The Aurin fought back bravely against the initial Dominion forces who invaded Arboria - but the Planet Reapers were monstrous mechanical resource harvesters designed to withstand all but the heaviest firepower, and Aurin weapons were no match for the technological might of the empire's military. Suffering heavy losses, the Aurin were forced to fall back, deeply affected by the agony of the trees as the Planet Reapers reduced huge swaths of their beautiful and verdant planet into barren, smoking wastelands. Desperate, their young and newly crowned queen, Myala Everstar, sent out a distress signal to their Exile friends--hoping that her people might be saved from destruction.
The Exile leaders received Queen Myala's cry for help and immediately formulated a daring rescue plan. With the help of Granok mercenaries led by the indomitable Durek Stonebreaker, the main body of the fleet was sent to bait Dominion forces, while a second group - manning a flotilla of emergency shuttles - crept past them and landed on the surface. The rescuers quickly loaded as many Aurin as they could onto the shuttles while the Dominion was preoccupied fighting off the battle-hardened Granok mercs, who were more than ready to settle an old score with the empire.
Even with every transport ship available, it soon became clear not all the Aurin could be saved. Queen Myala initially refused to abandon her people, vowing to stay and fight for her beloved Arboria until the bitter end. But advisors like her First Consort, Arwick Redleaf, begged her to reconsider, for the loss of their queen could very well mean the end of the Aurin race. In the end, a brokenhearted Myala agreed to board the transport for the good of the Aurin people, but promised the remaining Aurin she would one day return.
Safely aboard the Exile fleet, the Aurin struggled to overcome the despair they felt leaving their homeworld while slowly learning to adjust to life in space. They embraced the sciences and technology of their new allies, using their affinity with nature to tend and maintain the fleet's agricultural vessels. Despite the tragedy they had suffered, the Aurin were determined to survive. The day would come when they would return to Arboria, drive out the Dominion, and reclaim their beloved homeworld.
Now, many Aurin settlements can be found in the forests of Nexus and some Aurin have started to think of Nexus as their home. Meanwhile, their beloved Queen Myala grows weaker every day, cut off from the ravaged forests of Arboria to which she is psychically connected through the ancient Mother Tree, adding an increased urgency to the new conflicts with the Dominion.
Appearance & Physiology
The Aurin resemble diminutive humans with feline or rodentlike features, including furry tails, claws on the toes and fingertips, and large, pointed ears that rise well above their heads.
Aurins are mammalian, but unlike humans, they evolved from Arborian marsupials (instead of primates) and have retained many traits of their tree dwelling ancestors (ie. their ears, claws, prehensile tail and reproductive cycle). Their neurological structure is however astoundingly complex which accounts for both their high intelligence and latent psychic affinity with primal Life energy, which they call the Weave. The Aurin's evolutionary path was greatly influenced by this phenomenon.
Their natural coloration is widely varied, necessitated by the multitudes of forest and jungle micro-biomes of their original habitat. While once there were hundreds of Aurin sub-species, interaction with the Weave pushed the species to inhabit specific forest locations on Arboria, causing them to become genetically homogenized. They are nominally omnivorous, yet their digestive tracts can derive all their nutritional needs from basic vegetarian sources.
Aurin are extremely agile and lithe. Their ears give them a great awareness of their environment, their powerful tails are great tools for swinging through trees, branches, and other obstacles, and their eyes have spectacular vision. They also have claws for climbing up surfaces, and fangs for eating or biting hostiles.
Aurin live approximately 65-70 years, but reach maturity comparatively early - around 15-17 years old.
Like all mammals, Aurin have two sexes, and both the mother and father donate genetic material to their offspring. Their internal reproductive organs also show some similarities to their marsupial ancestors. Contrary to rumor, aurin do not have pouches.
Females are much taller than males, and only certain females (matrias) are able to interact with Primal Energies and "the Weave" to form the spiritual connections necessary for their survival and development. Males have more varied fur colours than the females. They are the only ones with speckled patterns, two or more different tones, and faded tips. They have also been noted to be "scrappier" and more aggressive than the females.
The varied styles of Aurin ears all developed based on the environment they had evolved in. Arboria having been a planet of many habitats, there are varieties better suited for jungles, in caves, or even in deserts.
Females have more outlandish ears than the males, and males in return have ears resembling Earth animals. The difference is so stark it's been said that female Aurin seem to be wearing novelty headbands.
Aurin are omnivorous, and subside on a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. They maintain their lithe, fit physiques this way. Though it is technically possible for an Aurin to become overweight, their strict adherence to balances means that a fat Aurin is either an impossibility or a one-in-a-million occurrence.
They react strongly to caffeine. The already hyperactive and chipper Aurin will become a supersonic dynamo, running around full-tilt for what seems like forever after having just one cup of a drink such as coffee.
The Aurin hail from Arboria, a Fringe world completely covered in a thick canopy of forests, jungles and marshes. There are six great forest types on Arboria: the Lansa (sequoia-like), the Nestri (aspen-like), the Hirn (acacia-like), the Desodar (oak-like), the Wikren (banyan-like), and the Verdune (evergreen-like).
Aurin are a friendly race that pride themselves on harmony, balance, and positivity. As a result, most every Aurin is polite, chipper, and highly tolerant of the other races. This can get grating on their allies at times, but even the gloomy Mordesh yield to their eternal sunshine.
Despite this, Aurin are ferocious fighters who will not hesitate to gut anyone who disrupts the balance, harms their environment (especially trees), or is generally a very bad person. ("Being really mean" is a criminal offense under Aurin law.)
The personalities of Aurin males and females are drastically different. Males are more high-strung and hot-tempered while females are spirited and positive. Aurin are generally welcoming to visitors within their lands, but expect those visitors to respect them. Those individuals who dare to exploit or harm the forest homes of the Aurin are dealt with swiftly and violently.
The Aurin have two driving motivations on Nexus that are sometimes at odds with one another: one, to protect the life they have made for themselves on Nexus and two, to find some way to defeat the Dominion and return to Arboria.
Aurin first names are generally derived from Aurin root words and handed down through family lines. Aurin family surnames are more literal, and often have some historic or literal meaning to the family—the royal Everstar line, for example, was said to have originated with an ancient matria who, while lost in the forest, followed a single star on a cloudy night until she found her way home.
- Examples: Myala Everstar, Darsa Windwalker, Neras Sunblade, Ferin Treespeaker, Arwick Redleaf
Aurin like to employ metaphors and figures of speech that relate to the natural world. Though capable of taking mathematical measurements and making calculations, they are more likely to describe a large object as "taller than a nafflebird" rather than the more accurate, but arguably less evocative, "3.2 meters tall." That said, on Nexus Aurin often pursue the adventurous sciences of exploration, navigation, archaeology, and exobiology. As such, they sometimes speak in a more educated fashion seemingly at odds with their crafty nature.
Aurin are polyamorous. Having multiple romantic partners is not an uncommon thing in Aurin society. Monogamy is also accepted; it's really just personal preference with them.
Aurin communities are matriarchal and have been for as long as the Aurin can remember. Communities are led by a female called a matria, who offers motherly guidance to the community and leads cultural rituals such as marriages (called Joinings) and funerals. Aurin communities are built around the dwelling of the matria, who serves as the link between the Aurin and the surrounding forest. Other important Aurin community roles include watchers, hunters, and tenders.
Matrias, as mentioned, are the leaders of their communities, powerful females who form symbiotic connections with the forests around them. Succession is decided by skill, not heredity; if a matria's child is not qualified for the position, the community has no obligation to instate them anyway. There are three tests to proving the capability of being a matria. The first involves finding a community's matria totem using a trusted assistant, the second is summoning a beast for their consorts to prove their ability to protect her, and the third is channeling primal life into the roots of the largest, oldest tree in the community.
Consorts are a matriarch's trusted assistants. They may be romantic partners or not, and it is not unusual for children to result from these unions.
Hunters provide valuable meat, bones, and leathers to their villages, alongside maintaining the balance of the local animal populations. They do not take their job lightly: they emphasize the proper killing of prey - quickly and efficiently. They do not condone the death of harmless prey such as jabbits, and will lambast anyone who does so. They are fond of sharing stories about their hunts or the hunts of others.
Aurin avoid large-scale industry and take only what is necessary for survival, though they are not averse to integrating technology where appropriate and useful. The Aurin are tolerant of the industrial enterprises of other races of the Exiles as long as they do not affect Aurin lands. The Aurin eco-terrorist group The Thorns of Arboria has been known to fiercely attack any group—even Exiles—that fails to respect those lands.
The Aurin believe in and can interact with a force called "the Weave," the energy that connects all living beings. This allows them to make an empathic connection with their environment, allowing them to "talk" with organisms like the trees, feel the health of their habitat in their gut, and feed off of the life energy of the flora. In turn, they take care of their habitat in a symbiotic relationship.
Aurin revere trees, being able to "talk" to them through the Weave. They are oftentimes considered family and friends. As such, they take great care of them, acting as their guardians and nurturers. You do not cut down trees relentlessly or harm an Aurin's habitat, unless you want them to murder you.
The bond an Aurin has with trees is a primal one, possessed from birth. It is based largely on ancient instinct, and amounts to a “sixth sense” which allows Aurin to perceive threats and natural imbalances based on subtle environmental cues (including those provided by the Weave). Though some Aurin might profess that trees “speak” to them, this is (in practice) more a figure of speech than a reference to literal Aurin-to-tree conversations.
The vast majority of trees present on Nexus are not intelligent or self-aware. Even those trees on Arboria possessing a semblance of sentience, such as the Wise Ones (also known as Wisdom Trees), required the expertise of Matrias to communicate fully with the Aurin people. As the Wise Ones were remarkably ancient and filled with boundless levels of primal life, the Aurin sought to follow the example of Ferin Treespeaker and join with them.
Most of the Wise Ones on Arboria have been destroyed, and those that remain are far beyond the reach of the Aurin living on Nexus (with the exception of Queen Myala). Few of Nexus’s trees are ancient enough to possess even rudimentary sentience, much less full-blown self-awareness. Despite this, one or two examples of sentient trees have been found, such as the Godwood Tree in Celestion and Elderoot in Everstar Grove. Given the amount of primal life present in Wilderrun, it’s entirely likely that other such trees exist there.
In the case that such a tree can be found on Nexus, bonding with it requires the Aurin in question possess a strong connection to the Weave. Following a period of physical and spiritual cleansing, the Aurin must then perform the Rite of Bonding with flawless precision, and this can take several weeks. A single mistake during the process can be disastrous, resulting in the death of the Aurin as her mind and primal energy are completely absorbed by the tree, leaving a lifeless husk behind.
Once a bond with a Wise One (or equivalent tree) is achieved, it can only be broken by the death of either the bound Aurin or the tree itself. The new connection allows both individuals (the Aurin and the tree) to access the knowledge of the other. Such access is initially hampered by a “language barrier” of sorts, as both the tree and the Aurin seek to understand one another. This obstacle can be overcome, but it often takes months or even years before both parties are able to interpret the other flawlessly.
In addition to gaining access to a great tree’s knowledge, the bound Aurin is also capable of drawing on its vast store of primal life energy. Being in close proximity to the tree is of particular importance if such an attempt is to be made. The Aurin also finds herself able to communicate with other great trees, assuming they are all joined by a vast network of roots as the Wise Ones were on Arboria. It remains to be seen if such networks exist on Nexus.
For in-game lore entries see the Aurin entry in the Galactic Archives.
- Loremageddon, as preserved on the Internet Archive
- Loremageddon FAQ, as preserved on the Internet Archive