|Common Nicknames||Wóddie, Long Neck, Wód|
|Habitat||Hyarroc and Daendroc|
An essential, though terrifying, piece of Wolathar culture, the Wódbehaeri are a species of hornless Elephau. Their impressive size and strength make them fantastic hosts for the homes of the Wolathar. Mostly docile creatures that are only prompted to action by those reliant on their size, the Wódbehaeri are generally left alone by other sentient races, and even some predators that could match their size. They are common in the dense jungles between Hyarroc and Daendroc, and spend most of their days eating and resting.
Wódbehaeri are ancient creatures, visible in Seraph murals and even on Meraic artifacts. They are theorized to have originated in the jungles of Hyarroc and gradually migrated through the jungles, reaching into areas of Daendroc. In the beginning of the Elven Empire, records show that the creature was already attached to the tribalistic Wolathar. Being so heavily incorporated into Wolathar culture and serving as living villages, the Elven Empire sought to target and kill wild herds of the creature out of a hatred for their wild cousins. Since the Cataclysm, however, these efforts have ceased with the only contact between Wódbehaeri and the outside world occurring when the Wolathar attack Cielothar settlements, riding the colossal mammals into battle or when rangers encounter a band of Wolathar in the jungle. With the deep jungles the animals call home and the fierce protection they receive from the Wolathar, their numbers are likely to remain consistent and safe for years to come.
The Wódbehaeri is an incredible creature to behold, standing anywhere from 15 to 30 feet tall and weighing anywhere between 20 and 30 tons. Its head features a beak-snout that is covered in the same thick, grey skin as the rest of its body, though it does lack a horn or tusks like similar species. Instead, the Wódbehaeri has a sharp hook at the end of its head, which doubles as a vegetation-acquisition tool and a defense mechanism against possible attackers. The nostrils and eyes are located laterally on the head, and the former is roughly five times the size of the latter. They have ears that stick up on either sides of their heads and end in a tufted point. There is no noticeable divide between the Wódbehaeri’s head and neck, with the neck being twice as thick and making up about a quarter of its height and width. The body is rounded and supported by four column-like legs that end in circular feet. The front feet each have three toes, whilst the back feet have four. Their shoulders and hips are level with the section of their spine that spans their back. Both the scapula and the pelvis bones of the Wódbehaeri have evolved to be wide and thick, making the back flattened and therefore suitable for Wolathar structures to be built upon. Thick, penetration-resistant skin covers all of the Wódbehaeri’s body.
Sexual dimorphism is very prevalent in the Wódbehaeri. Females are often ten to fifteen feet larger than males, and have more muscular bodies, becoming favored by the Wolathar for carrying their structures. Males are smaller, weigh less, and have more pronounced spinal curves.
Life Span and Development
Wódbehaeri calves are liveborn and develop over the course of four to five years. Mating is often an arduous process for both the male and female Wódbehaeri, largely due to their size difference. The gestation period for a Wódbehaeri is anywhere from 18-20 months, after which the calf is born live. Wódbehaeri are herd animals, and the mother of a calf is its primary caregiver. During the first four to five years of their development, they eat around twice their body weight in vegetation and grow at a rate proportional to the lifestyle they live. Sedentary herds often see calves that develop to full adulthood in around five years, while the more active ones used by the Wolathar won’t see their calves develop for ten to twelve years. Wódbehaeri have a lifespan of roughly two hundred and fifty years.
While some Wódbehaeri have been proven to be intelligent, they are largely creatures of habit and necessity. Wódbehaeri only do things because they need to be done, and not for some form of purpose. They have developed their own sort of pseudo-language of grunts and whistles that can easily be learned, so as to communicate with the animals. Wolathar elders are often masters of this language, and show a deep connection with Wódbehaeri.
Territory and Groupings
Wódbehaeri that are not under the influence of a Wolathar tribe often occupy one single area and will rarely leave. They are herd animals that are incredibly friendly and not at all territorial. Wódbehaeri herds always welcome each other and even allow members of other herds to mate and care for their calves. The Wolathar are just as revered by the Wódbehaeri as the Wódbehaeri are by the Wolathar.
- Wódbehaeri are born at a ratio of 5 to 1 for unknown reasons, meaning that in order to preserve their species a single male will usually be required to mate multiple times in one season. The most common way for a male Wódbehaeri to die is overexertion from mating.
- The only natural predator to the Wódbehaeri were supposedly Dragons, as anything else is simply too weak to break the incredibly resistant hide. There is a Wolathar myth that states that a herd of Wódbehaeri once brought down a dragon by clipping its wings and stomping it to death.
- Wódbehaeri hide is a common ingredient in Wolathar shields, though can never be used for anything bigger than a buckler because of its weight.
- Wódbehaeri are also an important source of food for the Wolathar people. Grimy deposits built up around the legs of the Wódbehaeri, a thick mixture of wood sap, flower pollen and plant fibers which is then consumed by the wild people.