Name: Polar Skunk
Pronunciation: POH-ler Skunk
Scientific Name: Mephitis arctica
Height: 3-4' (0.8-1.2 m)
Etymology: From the common language words "polar" and "skunk".
Characteristics: Polar skunks are covered in glossy fur that varies in color only between shades of blue. They are colored either light blue like a glacier or nearly white like snow. They have many spotted markings on their forehead, back, and tail that looks almost like a tribal pattern. On their heads are a pair of short rounded ears. Their muzzles are large with equally large nosepads that allow them to breathe in cold, arctic air. Most polar skunks have blue eyes, though some are known to have green eyes. Their tails are large and fluffy, usually white along the outsides with their main blue coloring down the middle.
Abilities: Like most other members of the mephitidae family, they have the ability to spray a foul-smelling liquid at their foes. However, by consuming the berries or leaves of a special type of bush that grows only in the arctic regions of Casarok, their spray changes to more of a peppermint-scented pepper spray. It is much more potent than their normal spray. Due to their thick fur and a thin layer of blubber in their bodies, they have a strong tolerance for the extreme cold as well.
Habitat: Polar skunks live mostly in the Snowscape region in the northernmost areas of Casarok. They primarily keep close to the glaciers and tundras.
Behavior: Polar skunks are very strict about the use of their defensive spray. They prefer not to use it unless they alter it to smell like peppermint. When they do they have a much higher propensity to use it. In fact they consume the berries or leaves in various forms frequently to make their scents less offensive to other polar skunks. Polar skunks are highly fond of the scent of peppermint as well, so it has become embroiled into their culture. It is used for many things from teas to perfumes. Peppermint spray is also used as a warning sign that draws the larger surfeit or even entire tribes of polar skunks into action. Polar skunk social structure is essentially tribal, and most tribes maintain conservative toward old traditions. They are weary toward outsiders, but still welcome them openly. Some tribes do welcome new ideas and technologies, moreso in modern times. Tribes are led by an elected council with the leader of the most prestigious family becoming the headman of the village. For defense, some polar skunk mages are entrusted with magical artifacts known as runestones that contain various magic relating to their homes in the north such as snow, ice, etc.
Diet: Aside from the berries they eat to change the composition of their spray, polar skunks also eat a variety of foods that can be found in the north. They farm various magic plants capable of growing in the snow, hunt and farm some northern feral species, and fish in nearby streams or the ocean.
Language: Prior to picking up the common language, most polar skunks spoke a variant of the Inuit language. The actual language spoken often differed from tribe to tribe, however.