The Grassland Boar is a large but gentle omnivorous pig, mainly located in the Santharian province of Enthronia. The latter is also the reason why the pig if often referred to as "Enthronian Boar". It is approximately one and a half peds in length (not including its long snout and mouth) making it one of the largest known pigs in Caelereth. It has excellent sense of smell and well built legs for running also making it an outstanding hunter for small prey.
The Grassland Boar has three distinctive features that set it apart from other
pigs, one of those being its size. Its length is around one and a half
peds from the tail to the
beginning of the nose and varies only slightly from one to another. Height comes
in at about two fores
rivaling that of some of the smaller halflings,
while the width is usually around one and a half to two
The second feature that makes it easily recognizable is its long, thin, snout and jaw. This frontal expansion of the face is similar to the trunk on a thunderfoot, but includes the mouth and jaw as well as the nostrils and cannot bend or curve inward or upward. Although this would have some to believe that they would be able to open their mouths extremely wide, this is not so due to a small layer of skin that attaches the upper jaw to the lower one on both sides of the mouth up until around the halfway point. The skull and skin around the trunk is extremely thick so no injuries will occur, but this also makes the head very heavy. These trunks come in an array of sizes, the shortest being as small as two palmspans, and the largest getting up to two in a half fores in rare occasions. The width is usually about the same for all boars, being around a palmspan, but naturally that size increases a little depending on the length so it is able to support such a long trunk.
The third rare thing for a pig is the fact that Grassland Boars have little or no fur. Instead they have a rough brownish hide (which many think does not start out brown but is turned that way from all the digging and burrowing) that suits them well in their Enthronian climate. Like most other hogs, they have hooves and a small curly tail as well. They have dark blue and round eyes, but are unable to see directly below them due to their enormous snout. They have no tusks, but instead have 2 rows of very sharp, small, triangular teeth lining the insides of their mouth, as well as a few molars closer to their throat enabling them to chew plants and berries. Males and females are indistinguishable, except during mating season when the female puts off a foul odour.
Grassland Boars have muscular legs making them fast creatures, but not quite as
fast as the wild pig due mostly in part to their
large bodies. This is a useful ability for hunting down their prey and running
from other predators.
Its trunk also brings with it many abilities that aid the boar. Using his trunk a boar can dig in holes and crevices for small animals and can actually burrow their bodies partly underground, thus enabling them to hide in taller grass or create a quick shelter. Due to their large nostrils they also have a very keen sense of smell so they can sniff out their prey. Its two rows of sharp teeth should also be mentioned here, as this allows them to chew through almost anything they can get their mouths on, although over time they do begin to dull slightly.
Grassland Boars also, for some reason or another, are known to have very low amounts of energy. No one knows the true reason why this is, but it is speculated that this is caused from their very large bodies, mainly their forward heavy heads, which you will commonly see them resting on the ground. This limits the time they can keep up their fast running pace.
Territory. The Grassland Boar is mainly located in the Santharian province of Enthronia, although there have been occasional sightings of them in northern Sanguia and eastern Xaramon, but these are very rare. Because of this they are also known by many as “Enthronian Boars”. They generally do not go much farther north than Veltin, and seem to grow and thrive in excess population around the Alianian Hills and nearby regions. These beasts are quite common here, mainly due to the fact that their meat is strong and tangy, and widely disliked making hunters prefer to hunt wild boars if available. Their reason for not migrating to other areas is mainly due to their low amounts of energy, and the fondness to their current area.
The calm and mild climate in these parts suits the boar perfectly. The nice temperature in the area makes the Boars' lack of fur tolerable. On the few occasions when they do have rough winds or colder then average winters, the Grassland Boar just burrows into the ground, providing better shelter and protection. The fertile lands are not only comfortable for the pig, but also grow a number of plants and bushes as well as attract several small rodents.
There are a number of human towns in the area, the Jhehellrhim elves living in the nearby Istarin forest, and the Dogodan halflings who live directly on the Alianian Hills. The Boars generally try to stay as far away from the elves and humans as possible, but do not seem to see the hobbits as a threat, which is probably because of their size and peaceful living styles. The hobbits do not seem to mind them much either, and actually make use of them. If they see the Boars in their gardens or near their villages, they will capture and domesticate them, and then use them in various ways as they see fit.
The Grassland Boar also shares this region with a common competitor, the wild pig. Due to the fact that the Boar is a gentle creature, they usually run when being attacked by the aggressive pigs. Because the Boars are omnivores, and the wild pigs are herbivores, they generally do not have to compete for food as the Grassland Boars prefer meat if available, but they do sometimes get chased off of a certain area that the wild pig finds favourable. Other known animals in the land worth mentioning here are the Aurorian elfcats and the lingra wild cats. Grassland Boars have to compete with the former for meat, but usually have plenty considering they eat both meat and plants. The latter are not competitors to the Boars, but rather feared predators themselves, as they are known to take down and eat bigger animals such as pigs.
Habitat/Behaviour. Grassland Boars are peaceful hogs that only eat small rodents and edible plants. They do not attack people nor do they fight back when being attacked by wild pigs or other creatures, mostly because of their inability to fit their mouths around such things. Instead they use evasive tactics and try to stay hidden when around such predators. They are able to survive due to their seemingly higher intelligence, especially compared to other pigs, and their lack of competition when it comes to their food supply. The aggressive wild pigs usually do not attack the boars that often, unless for a certain area, or in a display of power among their pack.
Unlike their local counterparts, the wild pigs, the Enthronian Boars generally tend to be more of loners, although they are also known to roam in groups of three or four on occasion. However, one exception to this is when they are in mating season and can get into groups as large as 50 or so within dense forests. They have no permanent homes instead enjoying just to roam around until they are tired, in which case they burrow small pits into the ground and go to sleep.
If you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one these beasts without them noticing and running off, they would more than likely be running from hill to hill digging for food or resting there giant heads on the grass.
Diet. The Grassland Boar is an omnivore that feasts on the wild berries and rodents of southern Enthronia but prefers meat to plants. Their favourite meals are known to be field mice, which are plentiful in the area. They also like kuatu squirrels, but have a hard time catching these creatures because they usually live in trees. They will eat other small animals as well, such as hedgehogs and smaller ferrets when available. They usually try to stay away from anything slimy, scaly, or spicy but if hungry enough will eat things like the green grass snake, or small lizards.
They also enjoy eating some plants during the warmer months. Grassland Boars seem to like redberry and hearth bushes, and have been caught and domesticated by many hobbits for digging up and eating the delicious vegetables they grow there.
Their two main competitors for local food are the wild pigs, which also like to feast on the bushes in the area, and a few elfcats, which lower the rodent population somewhat. These are, however, not big problems for the boar, as their ability to feast on both gives them an obvious advantage and means plenty of food left for them.
Mating. Mating season comes once a year for the Grassland Boar, usually sometime in spring, and lasts about two weeks. Groups of fifty or more will crowd into a thick-forested area, usually around one fifth of these being females. The male with the biggest snout will go and choose his partner without challenge from the others. There is no fighting, and it is known by all Boars to be this way. Then the male with the second biggest will choose his partner, and so on and so on, until there are no females left, in which case the rest of the males will leave either to wait another year or find another pack that has not yet chosen its partners. During these two-week periods, the females can be detected from miles away from Boar or predator alike by the foul odour she emits. This odour is so unfavourable that predators will not go anywhere near these groups, even with the temptation of the large number of them in one area.
Usages. Grassland Boars are hunted, like most other pigs, for their meat but because it has a very strong taste that many people do not like, hunters usually target wild boars instead. But they are also hunted by the Jhehellrhim elves for another unique reason: The elves will sometimes go out in hunting parties specifically for these boars, in which case they will target some of the younger ones. Once killed and brought back to their camps, the elves will use the meat like usual, but will also cut of their trunks. They will then pry the many sharp triangular teeth (which are sharper from younger boars, which is why they are specifically targeted) from their mouths and use them as arrow tips for standard bow arrows, or crossbow bolt tips for use with the crossbows they are known to have invented.
The Dogodan halflings, as mentioned earlier, also use these boars for certain tasks. The hobbits are trained from an early age, on how to capture and tame these wild beasts. When spotted roaming near the village, the halfling will very cautiously try to sneak up on them from behind. Because the boars have excellent hearing, this is a very hard task to accomplish and takes a large amount of skill for the hobbit, and it is highly unlikely that a bulky human could do such a feat. Even so, it is best to attempt it while the boar is sleeping. If successful, the halfling then has to jump on the boar's backs and clamp their trunks closed. Due to the hobbits' small size, this is best attempted with help from a partner. Once the boar is wrestled to the ground, and one of the halfling has a firm hold on the boar's snout, his partner will then take a thick rope and fasten it securely around the trunk. Then they will take another rope, tie it around the boar's neck, and haul it back to the village.
After they are successfully captured, they undergo rigorous training, that lasts around a month. What goes on during this time is unknown, as the hobbits don't like to reveal their methods of domestication. Once the animal is tamed they get to have the rope around their trunk taken off, with the exception of the more aggressive ones. The hobbits will then assign them to different tasks they need done, such as hauling supply carts from one area to another, digging ditches or vegetable farms, and they are even used as pack animals for their owners when traveling long distances.
Information provided by Melathor