Deep in the woods live a reclusive race of humanoids. Large and very hairy, they wear no clothes and live simple, peaceful hunter/gatherer lives.
But these are not simple creatures. They are as intelligent as any human, and just as capable of speech and thought. They deliberately live “in harmony with nature,” as they put it, regarding all forms of tool use beyond sticks and stones as abominations that interfere with the pure flow of emotion and thought. They love poetry and music, but their first love is the natural world, and many a Wild One will spend many hours sitting contentedly, staring at a beautiful sunset or stream.
While a Wild One can chat happily for hours and are usually good companions, they live mostly solitary existences deep in woods or swamps, pairing just long enough to mate and raise children (they invariably give birth to twins), which grow rapidly. Wild Ones grow to adulthood in about 10 years, and often live past 150. In times of crisis, Wild Ones will gather together in a “howl” to discuss the problem and work together to solve it, often formulating and executing plans with amazing speed.
While they much prefer to keep to themselves, if a person threatens either a natural landmark or a Wild One’s child within a Wild One’s sight or smell, the perpetrator should arm themselves well or flee as quickly as possible! Wild Ones attack with unmitigated ferocity in an animal rage, with enough strength to tear a creature’s arm out of its socket.
Because they spend so much time deep in natural areas, most Wild Ones develop an affinity for magic, though they never study it per se. Most Wild Ones can cast a spell or three, though they are almost always utility spells.
As a friendly faction, while the party camps in or near a large forest, a lone Wild One approaches the party. She is polite, if skittish; her prior experiences with adventurers have mostly erupted into violence. She explains that a group of “robed humans” has established a permanent camp next to a beautiful tree deep in the forest, and have carved strange symbols in the tree, which would be bad enough if they weren’t also tearing up all the land around it foraging for food. She will offer two valuable rewards: she will immediately cast a useful spell or two (choose spells that would be useful for your particular party), and upon success, the party will gain the favor of the Wild Ones, who can guide them safely through any natural, wooded environment in the world.
As a foe faction, the party runs across a rogue group of territorial, tribal Wild Ones who are on a crusade against any tool use within their domain. Upon entering this section of the woods or swamp, a single Wild One approaches the party and informs them that any use of their weapons, lighting fires, or otherwise use of tools is forbidden. The Wild One may answer a question or two but will leave quickly. If the party disregards this warning, a group of Wild Ones will appear and attack the party. Once any Wild One is reduced to less than half Hit Points, the entire group will escape, only to return later all healed up (though they will attack at most twice per 24-hour period).