Tuskaar are deeply honorable people that take great care to think things over before acting. They are mighty and strong, yet do not often throw this around, preferring to stay out of trouble. While they are slow to act and slow to anger, Tuskaar act as a landslide and cannot be stopped once they have chosen to act. Their reserved nature often lends them to be considered one of the lesser races of Adia as they tend to stay very close to their villages and families. They are often looked down upon by the nobleman of Nethandre Star Kingdom and are considered nothing more than simple-minded savages. However, it’s not unheard of to find Tuskaar who run trade routes as merchants or set up shops within the lowest tier of Nethandre Star trying to sell their homemade wares.
Tuskaar, like the Elves, are very hardworking and care more for actions than words. They care deeply for their kin, whether they are Tuskaar or not. If you have earned the right to be called kin by a Tuskaar, you can count on them to help you as though you were their own flesh and blood. Most Tuskaar live in Tribes, sometimes considered to be their herd by outsiders, and possess a great vitality. The Eldest Tuskaar is 200 years of age and still able to throw a spear as far as a young cow.
Male Tuskaar are very plain but extremely large, with the shortest Tuskaar standing 9–10 feet in height. The tallest Tuskaar, Gohja the great Warlord, stands just over 13 feet in height! Males do not shy away from using their tusks in combat or during ritual battles to honor their warlord and matriarch. Depending on the male, they will sometimes carve their tusks to show battle achievements in much the same way that other races might get tattoos, and use these carvings as a storyboard of sorts to tell war stories to the young. Female Tuskaar are typically smaller than their male counterparts and have shorter tusks. As many females lack enough surface area to carve their tusks, many paint or tattoo their ears and faces as well to distinguish and express themselves. It is not uncommon for a female Tuskaar to have intricate piercings as well.
Kin of the Kinsworn
Like the Fire Crest Elves, the Tuskaar treat other members of the Kinsworn as their own birth family. If their allies would be overrun, the Tuskaar are often the first to rush forward to hold the line and secure their allies’ escape. In battle, they are prone to putting the lives of their brothers- and sisters-in-arms above their own. As a result, a disproportionate number of last stands are made by the Tuskaar compared to other races.
This bond of loyalty extends to their own tribes and their party members. Once you are considered kin of a Tuskaar, you can rest assured that you will never be left behind or abandoned no matter the circumstance. This, however, can lead a Tuskaar into many difficult situations as they seldom care for the law of the land if their kin acted in a way they felt was right. Likewise, it takes an unusual amount of evidence to sway a Tuskaar once they have decided someone is or is not trustworthy. This unrelenting loyalty and love for their companions can and has been used in the past to manipulate young Tuskaar into placing their trust in those who would use their strength for their own benefit.
If, however, such a betrayal or wrongdoing is discovered and believed, it is not uncommon for a Tuskaar to swear their wrath upon not only the person who has wronged them, but their family, village, or race as a whole depending on how severely their trust was abused. These grudges settle deeply into a Tuskaar’s mind and can cause a Tuskaar to refuse aid to a descendant of one who has wronged them simply because they are kin to that person.
“Do not forsake your brothers and sisters lest you be forsaken in your own time of need. The strength of the individual is the strength of the tribe whether that strength lies in raw power, hospitality, fortitude, kindness, patience, or a hearty meal. Be strong for your loved ones, thoughtful for your tribe, and unyielding in your faith. We have, all of us, our parts to play and our burdens to carry within the Tribes and our mark to leave on this world.” – Sareensa, Tuskaar Matriarch of the Ivory Stronghold
A Feast for Kings
Though they know how to prepare meat to serve to their guests and friends, all Tuskaar are vegetarians as meat disrupts their digestion. In fact, a Tuskaar that eats meat can be sure that they will be very ill for several days. As a result of their intolerance of meat, Tuskaar subsist entirely on fruits, nuts, milk, and vegetables. Like the Cenzai, a large portion of their daily activities is devoted to foraging and gathering from the areas around them. While the trade routes have made it easier to settle in a location for longer, most Tuskaar still prefer the satisfaction of fresh food found in the areas around them.
Their tall stature and raw power enable the Tuskaar to harvest fruit from even the mightiest of Tundorah trees without leaving the ground. Often, a Tuskaar who is busy gathering will use sturdy vines as rope in the Tassradan Jungle to pull branches lower to harvest fruit from the now-reachable branches. Some Tuskaar prefer to work alone in this task, but most team up so that one can pull while the other harvests. They do not rely only on foraging to sustain them, as they know it is important to maintain enough food for the beasts of the wilds. They also farm vegetables and have a distinct preference for leafy and root vegetables.
Smaller tribes often maintain a large central garden that individuals tend throughout the day as a community. The ever-popular Tungah Root grows deep roots that often reach underground water sources rich in Spirit. This often causes them to swell to nearly the size of the Tuskaar themselves. These behemoths are a spectacle to harvest, requiring several Tuskaar to dig around the pale green vegetable while others use their tusks as levers to dislodge it. Still, more Tuskaar use their prodigious strength and strong vine harnesses to pull it from the ground. These Tungah Roots can feed a large family or small village for several days.
The Tuskaar are knowledgeable in the ways of cultivation and are known for these skills in the trade. They can often be found selling produce for reasonable prices in the markets and bazaars of Shamradaer and Nethandre Star Kingdom. Though most races look to them for their skills in cooking and cultivation, Tuskaar are not without their appreciation for arts such as tusk carving, tattooing, and jewelry work despite the fact that many of the “high born” races see their art forms as primitive or crude.
Trunk of the Leviathan and Tusks of a Monster
Tuskaar, one of the most intimidating races, are truly nothing more than gentle giants. They do not enjoy fighting in the way that others enjoy showing their skill or flaunting their control of those that follow them. They are aware of their own strength and size and do not engage in physical violence lightly. A large bull Tuskaar could easily take a Courser’s skull in his hand and crush it, yet out of fear of being labeled monsters, they hide away in the Tassradan Jungle and prefer the company of races they see as less fragile. The fact that they stay out of sight from most of the other races on Adia lends to the rumors that they are savages and barbarians.
When truly provoked, often by seeing others in need that cannot defend themselves, they will take matters into their own hands and act upon their drive to defend. In these times, Tuskaar no longer care about the feelings of other races, and trumpet away, thrashing their trunks and carving through everything in their path with their mighty tusks – almost turning them into a wild monster in the eyes of many.
While the Tuskaar choose not to deal the first blow against other races, this does not stop them from competing with one another in honor fights. These honor fights are typically to show which bull is stronger. It is a sport that most females choose not to partake in as their calmer disposition makes fighting berserking males an unpleasant experience. These honor fights can be dangerous and deadly since they are not engaged in lightly. They tend to arise only when one Tuskaar has deeply wronged another or as a means to try to claim leadership from another. When a warlord’s title is threatened or an individual’s honor is called into question in such a way, it is not always possible for the challenged party’s rage at such a thing to be controlled. On the other hand, Matriarchs tend to default to ritual combat to settle their issues to avoid severe injury or death to those that they would lead, while a male Tuskaar cares more for their personal pride.
“Stand tall even in the face of death or defeat. Never open the line and let these vile demons through. You are the wall that stands between them and your kin. Defend them to your dying breath.” – Gohja, Tuskaar Warlord of the Ivory Stronghold