Friday, May 25, 2012

(Bonus) Mascot Monday: Rabbitjacks

This is an 'extra' Mascot Monday entry for Memorial Day weekend; we'll have another when actual Monday rolls around.

The Rabbitjacks of Dawn Valley, a species of bipedal lagomorphs, are not native to Wampus Country. Their forefathers arrived in this world by means of a spherical craft made of semisentient water, which was capable of moving across planar barriers.  The original crew of the ship were explorers and diplomats who used their magical and alchemical skills as they traversed the multiverse; unfortunately, when the aquaeous generation-ship phased into Wampus Country, it did so too near to the defensive cannon on the walls of Sugarplum Castle.  A fusillade of cannonballs battered the spacecraft, and then a final eldritch bolt from the Witch-Queen's staff brought the water-ship down.

Crashing in a flowered valley just outside the borders of the Candylands, the rabbitjacks buried their dead and took quick account of their situation.  They were devastated - their commander and several of the most adept sorcerors had been killed in the crash, and the ship itself was beyond repair.  The small company of rabbitjacks  were forced to begin anew with their myriad children, but so much knowledge was lost.  In a matter of generations, the rabbitjacks had established themselves as a power in Dawn Valley, and as a threat to their new nemesis, the evil Witch-Queen of Sugarplum Castle.


Rabbitjacks (the neutral or male term; females are rabbitjills) average about five feet in height, with rabbit-like heads and faces and long, floppy bunny-ears.  They stand nearly upright and are fully bipedal; each arm ends in a dexterous four-fingered hand.  The senses of a rabbitjack are quite keen, particularly the hearing.  Although rabbitjacks are quite capable of wearing human-like clothing, most eschew this adaptation, preferring to go au naturale or simply wearing a belt or bandolier on which to hang their rapier and pistol.  Some rabbitjacks, especially the gardeners and briar-jacks, wear gloves.

 Most of the adult rabbitjack population has some proficiency with magic use, but their collective skill has suffered much since the crash; PC rabbitjacks count as elves in all ways.  Fur colors include white, brown, tan, grey, black, spotted, striped, and even more unusual colors for some family lines with a little more magic in their blood (for example, a family of rose-colored rabbitjacks who seem to be immune to fatigue).  The majority of rabbitjacks are either Neutral (50%) or Good (40%).


The hillsides in Dawn Valley are dotted with hemispherical homes and outbuildings, but much of the rabbitjack settlement is actually underground warrens and burrows.  A number of the edifices are barns, corrals, and the like, the 'jacks having taken to raising horses as steeds and oxen as plough-animals.  Workers till the fields and grow wheat, vegetables, and corn; gatherers (known as apple-jacks) pluck fruit from the orchards in the hills while the briar-jacks tend to the defensive thorny hedge; rabbits hop here and there visiting their friends-and-relations.  Life in Dawn Valley would be rather idyllic, were it not for the constant threat of the Candylanders and their wicked matriarch, the Witch-Queen.

Strategic defense of the rabbitjack colony is coordinated by the Council of Five, who also act as a judiciary for any inter-rabbit disagreements.  The cold war with the Witch-Queen works on two fronts: first, the crusaders, a cadre of mounted warriors, some armored, who patrol the valley.  The second prong of the strategy involves a 'special operations' team of rabbitjack, the so-called 'Tricksters', who regularly penetrate into Candyland and act to disrupt the Witch-Queen's operations and generally foil whatever she and her minions happen to be up to that week.  Morale is kept high by the colony's priests, who serve as both a living link with the forgotten culture of the rabbitjacks' homeworld and a diplomatic corps which can deal with human visitors; however, of late, a small cult (the "Westburrow group") has cropped up which advocates intolerance of other species.  There are rumors that one or more of the rabbitjacks has abandoned the colony and gone to willingly serve the Witch-Queen; these sorts of rumors are quickly quashed by the elders.

Rabbitjack alchemy, although much diminished since the Crash, remains one of the colony's strong points.  Skilled brewers manufacture all manner of potions, and rabbitjack defenders are often armed with one or more of the common types, and trained in their effective use.  In addition, the chemists of Dawn Valley have developed a new potion which requires as an ingredient liquid from the Witch-Queens chocolate fountain - very difficult for the Tricksters to obtain - but which, when properly prepared, produces a "quickening" effect in the imbiber comparable to a long-lasting haste spell.

A rabbitjack alchemist responsible for potion production.
A stalwart defender of Dawn Valley sallies forth on patrol.
This trickster made a name for himself defending against last year's giant insect incursion.
Another rabbitjack trickster; he has been assigned the task of locating and sabotaging the Witch-Queen's granaries, but unfortunately has yet to lay hands on the cereal.

1 comment:

  1. Fact: I am drinking from a Quik bunny mug as I write this. His ears are the handles.