Lesser Wooly Narggoth
|Lesser Wooly Narggoth|
|Official Name||Lesser Wooly Narggoth|
|Common Nicknames||Nuzzlers, Smallbacks, Bleeting Voidsent|
Shuffling through the dense forests that line the western coast of Daendroc, the Lesser Wooly Narggoth lives among the undergrowth of the towering jungle. Having been originally discovered by nelfin hunters from the Early Elven Empire, the Lesser Wooly Narggoth is a smaller subspecies of Narggoth that survives off eating the roots of various jungle plants. Kept by some Orcs as guard pets, Lesser Wooly Narggoth are an aggressive little ball of fur capable of goring larger opponents with their horns. Today, they are common among both Orcs and Cielothar as a commodity, used both domestically as pets as well as a food source and are often raised by both races to produce milk and other products.
The Lesser Wooly Narggoth is a nonmigratory species who spend their lives in the thick underbrush of the Daen jungles. Once found across the continent, from the northern forests of Ithania all the way to modern day Saivale, the Lesser Wooly Narggoth was wiped out due to a disease that hit the population roughly a thousand years before the Cataclysm. Nelfin scholars, who saw the animal as little more than a pest, kept few records of the disease, but over the next few millennia, the population plummeted, resting around 76 individuals at one time. Since that point, the animal’s natural habitat has been reduced to the jungles of western Daen. Scholars believe that a special plant that grows in the region aided in the survival of the bovid there, but have yet to come to an accurate conclusion as to which plant it was. With the Orcish arrival in western Daen, the new green warriors enjoyed the aggressive behaviours of the small bovids. After several decades of switching between taming the beasts and hunting the beasts, a balance was struck and they decided to train a number of them, and hunt the rest. This has been the guiding principle of the Orcs over the past century and a half, leading to a unique relationship between the great green destroyers and the small horned cattle. Eventually a group of Avanthar raiders would kidnap a herd of the small cows from an orcish encampment, giving them to the Cielothar after the hunt. They were dubbed “Nuzzlers” by the agrarian elves, and found to be easy to manage due to their small size. Cielothar bred variations of the animal tend to have smaller tusks and blunter horns due to the selective breeding practices utilized.
The Lesser Wooly Narggoth rests at the smaller end of the bovid size spectrum. Growing to, on average, four feet in height at their tallest, the bovid easily camouflages itself in the local plant life. The species can be up to five feet in length, and grows a thick coat of greyish-green fur that often grows moss and other lichens. This thick fur coat is incredibly soft, and is prized by hunters for its natural water-retardance. The Lesser Wooly Narggoth is quadrupedal, with the front two legs being stronger and thicker around than the hind legs. The shoulder blades also rise higher along the back than the pelvis, causing the creature’s back to curve downwards towards the rear. Attached to the rear of the animal is a long, thin tail with a single pom of fur at the end that it uses to help keep bugs away. The head of the animal is typically a foot in length and curves down at the snout. The mouth contains two sets of molars, along with four tusk-like teeth extending from the bottom jaw. These four tusks, two on either side of the mouth, are used to aid in the digging up and tearing of roots from various jungle plants. The bovid is also unique in that it possess three eyes; two of which sit on either side of the skull, while a third rests in the middle. This adaptation grants the animal greater visual range and aids in the evasion of predators such as the Great Jungle Cat. Finally, the animal has two or three pairs of horns, depending on gender. Two sets begin at the top of the skull and curves downwards and outwards, following the animal’s skull. This is common for members of both genders. The third pair is unique to males, and grow upwards from the top of the skull, branching off into two points near the tip. These are used in both defense and in impressing a mate, as the males display their horns in an attempt to earn a partner during mating season.
Gender differences between Lesser Wooly Narggoth are easier than most to identify. First, the males have a third pair of horns , called ‘Show Horns’ by biologists, that can easily be identified from a distance. Males also typically are slightly larger and can be up to six inches taller than a female of the species. Females lack the pair of ‘Show Horns’ the males have, instead featuring larger primary horns. The females of the species also have an udder, located towards the back of the animal near the rear legs. The milk of the animal is rather sweet, and is enjoyed by Cielothar and Orcs for its use as a natural sweetening agent. It also is turned into fragrant cheeses and butter by the few Cielothar who domesticate them. Finally, females have longer tusks in their mouths, often used to defend calves from threats.
Life Span and Development
The yearly mating season for Lesser Wooly Narggoth begins in late July and goes until Late August, during which time males of the species perform mating dances in order to display their ‘show horns’ to potential mates. The female chooses her mate by the most impressive horns, and will give birth to a singular calf six months after mating. The calf will learn to stand and walk roughly six minutes after being born, and will begin following around its mother. It will leave its mother’s side by the end of the seventh month, and be fully matured in time for next years mating season when they reach two years old. The species have been recorded to live up to seventeen years, and can produce multiple offspring during their lives.
Incredibly docile in nature, the Lesser Wooly Narggoth is only aggressive when protecting themselves or their young. That being said, if aggravated, the Lesser Wooly Narggoth is incredibly deadly, as its horns and tusks give it plenty of opportunities to gouge and gore threats. The species was easy to domesticate, as they easily take food from outsiders that they do not need to dig out themselves. When domesticated, they are a simple animal, often showing affection to their owners and are even capable of being trained to act as a guard bovid by some Orcs. Trained Narggoth are capable of learning basic commands, though are not capable of solving puzzles as some trained species of dog.
Territory and Groupings
The average herd of Lesser Wooly Narggoth consists of upwards of ten individuals, often a few generations of family roaming around the jungle together. These herds lack specific territories, and simply roam where there is food, often mingling and mixing with other herds as they interact. Occasionally, individuals from both herds will simply leave with each other and start new herds, leading to new group dynamics. Finally, the easiest way to determine if you have entered Lesser Wooly Narggoth territory is to look for tusk marks around the base of trees, created when they attempt to dig up roots to eat.
- Lesser Wooly Narggoth fur is highly prized by Cielothar artisans, as its water-resistance nature and softness make wonderful blankets.
- The Cielothar have almost made a separate subspecies of Lesser Wooly Narggoth over the years due to selective breeding. A Lesser Wooly Narggoth in Cielothar society is smaller, shaggier, and less aggressive than the ones found among the Orcs.
- The udder of an old mother Lesser Wooly Narggoth is revered by Orcs as a good juju charm. The udder is removed at the death of the animal, dried in the sun, and the teats are removed and made into a necklace. It is said that whenever a bad spirit passes by an Orc, they must eat one of the teats to protect themselves.