Greater Wooly Narggoth
|Greater Wooly Narggoth|
|Official Name||Greater Wooly Narggoth|
|Common Nicknames||Furbacks, Narfers, “Those Giant Monsters the Orcs Ride”|
Shaking the earth with each terrible step, the Greater Wooly Narggoth is the heaviest mammal that roams the fields of Daendroc. Standing at an impressive ten feet tall and weighing more than a metric ton, these beasts of burden are trained by the Orcs of the region to serve both in the various holds of different harrkh and on the battlefield as a terrifying mount. Its appearance is similar to that of a large bison, though with much greater density of muscle mass, three pairs of horns, and a third eye on the top of the head. Records show that the species has lived in the region that now makes up the Orcish homeland for millennia, with scholars and hunters of the Early Elven Empire keeping records of when to avoid the area to prevent being trampled by the beasts during mating season. As the Orcs entered into the region, they found the beasts pleasantly aggressive and began attempting to domesticate them. After a few decades, and several dozen deaths, the beasts were finally tamed. Today, the shaggy bison is a beast of burden for the green skinned Orcs, and can occasionally be seen being ridden into battle by raiding parties.
Early records from the Elven Empire show that the Greater Wooly Narggoth, Llawel’ynasall’yelelalln’asasallawwa’llyn in Imperial Elven, was a native to the jungles and plains of western Daen. Their habitat originally stretched from the southern borders of modern day Ithania, all the way south to the south shores of the continent. The species was migratory, and would follow the yearly weather patterns to avoid floods. As the Elven Empire developed, their range was smaller and smaller until it reached the size it is today. They were hunted for their pelts by the native Elves, which were made into soft, warm blankets and linings for clothing. For the most part, however, the Greater Wooly Narggoth were avoided, due to their aggressive tendencies and protective nature of their young. This opinion would change with the Orcish landing in Western Daendroc. Finding the beast to provide a great number of resources and enjoying the aggressiveness of the beasts, a group of Orcs began the process of taming the beasts for use. Most of these Orcs belonged to the gro-Narggok harrkh, who would take the credit for creating the name used today. Over the course of nineteen years, the Orcs managed to domesticate a large enough herd so they could have a sustainable population. Today, the species is found both in the wild as well as dwelling among the Orcish camps. Some Orcs today even ride the Narggoth into battle, crafting special armor for their furry mounts and wielding great, two-handed axes against their foes.
The simplest way to describe the Greater Wolly Narggoth is with three words: large, hairy, and brown. From the ground to the tip of the shoulder blade, the average beast reaches roughly ten feet tall, and grow to be twelve feet in length. The quadruped moves about the plains it calls home upon four, thick, muscular legs, each ending in a cloven foot, with the front two feet being, on average, the surface area of a dinner plate. The back feet are smaller, though not by much. These legs are similar to a tree trunk in size and deliver a deadly kick to even the toughest orcs should they be on the receiving end. The torso of the Greater Wooly Narggoth is curved, peaking at the tip of the shoulder blades and dropping down roughly two feet to the rear of the beast. These bovid are covered in a coat of fine, mahogany colored fur which grows incredibly dense around the upper torso and neck to create a mane. This mane of fur is much thicker and provides the animal with most of its heat during the cold months. Often times, these creatures also grow a variety of mosses and lichens within their fur, as the fur retains moisture for extended periods of time. Greater Wooly Narggoth heads are large for a species of bovid, being on average two feet in length. They are sloped downwards to their nose, which ends in a round, capable snout. Their mouths have one set of molars and two small tusks that grow from the lower jaw that curve up out of the mouth. These are used for digging up roots to eat and to defend themselves should they get in a skirmish. From their head grow three pairs of long, pale horns that start near the top of the skull and curve downwards and forwards. Older members of the species see these horns fusing together into one, giant horn with three points as the horns continue to grow over the animal’s lifetime. Beneath the incredibly furry mane of these creatures rests three eyes; two on the sides, as in normal bovid, and one in the front. This adaptation allows the animal to see more of their surroundings, aiding in their evasion of and other larger carnivores.
Gender diversity between Greater Wooly Narggoth demonstrate themselves in a number of ways. First, male Narggoth tend to be larger than their female counterparts, and grow longer, heavier horns. These horns are used between males during mating season in competitions to impress females. Female Narggoth have an udder, located along their stomach near their rear legs. This udder is used when feeding Narggoth calfs and has also been utilized by some Orcs as a source of liquid nourishment. The milk is naturally bitter and the Orcs allow it to sit out in large wooden vats to ferment into Vushrog, a typical Orcish beverage. Females are often smaller in size compared to the males of the species but develop larger ‘tusks’. These tusks are utilized by the species to defend young calves and deter any would-be hunters. Females also tend to have blue eyes, as compared to the green eyes of the males. Biologists are unsure as to why this adaptation has occurred, but they claim it is due to different humors being present in the females.
Life Span and Development
The average mating season for the Greater Wooly Narggoth ranges from early May to late June, during which males of the species compete in headbutting competitions to impress mates. The victors pair up with a female, and after eleven months, the female gives birth to one to three calves. These calves begin walking within ten minutes, and follow after their mothers. They will remain with their mother for roughly one year, by which time they will have reached maturity and leave their mother. In the wild, Greater Wooly Narggoth are capable of living upwards of twenty years, as often by that point they grow too weak to continue surviving on their own. In captivity, the life expectancy varies dramatically between harrkh, with some surviving to thirty when treated to by their orc masters, down to twelve for some that take worse care of their animals.
Greater Wooly Narggoth are capable of being tamed as well as ridden. Due to generations of selective breeding by the orcs, the aggressive natures have been curbed enough to calm the beasts, yet still enough of a presence that the beast is a menace on the battlefield. In battle, a skilled rider has full control over the beast. Yet when separated from their rider, a trained Greater Wooly Narggoth will still defend itself, often charging straight into the enemy's ranks and stampeding about until it is taken down. In the wild, the bovid is fairly docile unless young are present. At such times, the females of the herd will attack and maul anything they consider a threat to their young, including males from other herds that stray too close.
Territory and Groupings
The Greater Wooly Narggoth is a herd animal, and spend most of their life in the same herd they were born into. Should these herds become too large, they will often split into smaller herds in order for all of the animals to survive. The species is migratory, though their ancestral migration routes have long been closed off by encroaching settlers. The Avanthar have done especially well ridding their plains and prairies of the beasts, hunting any stray bovid that wanders into their domain. These herds travel with the rain, living off of the various grasses that grow in the fields of western Daendroc and knocking down trees should they have to get at the leaves.
- Among the Lusits, there are a number of people that believe the third eye of a male Greater Wooly Narggoth is a powerful medicine capable of aiding in bedroom activities.
- Orcs who herd Greater Wooly Narggoth utilize all parts of the animal when it dies. Their fur is made into leather or blankets, the bones are bleached and used as decorations, and nearly all the meat is eaten, bar the heart, which is buried in the ground.
- Strangely enough, both Orcish and Avanthar legends speak of a Great White Narggoth who can be seen on stormy nights, wandering the plains of the region. Both groups claim it to be twice the size of a normal Greater Wooly Narggoth, though while the Orcs see it as good luck, the Avanthar say it is a bringer of death.