THE THUNDERFOOT (OTORM-NRV)

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

The Thunderfoot (called "Otorm-Nrv" by the Ice Tribes) is one of the largest quadrapedic mammals living in the harsh, northernmost regions of Northern Sarvonia. It is despite its size a fairly gentle herbivore that is very loyal to its herd and immediate family. It has been known to be extremely dangerous when riled up though, or in defense of the herd’s young. Legend has it that this creature is favoured of Brender, the Ice Tribe’s Thunder God. The Ice Tribes have found various uses for this magnificent beast, and rare is it that the tribesmen will waste any part of the animal, for its body provides essential parts for the survival of the tribes in this harsh and unforgiving land.

Appearance. The first thing one notices about a Thunderfoot is its sheer size. It ranges anywhere from four and a half to six peds in height, and is approximately four to almost six peds in length, being anywhere between one and a half to two peds broad. Its body can be described as that of a square, albeit a very large one. The Thunderfoot’s back slopes very gently from its back to its rump, making its front shoulders a little taller than its back hips.

The animal’s thick, strong legs, end in flat feet with five toes. However, they are so covered with muscle and fat, that it seems as if they are one wide toe, with four nails. The creature’s legs and feet make up a little less than half the its full height.

The beast's head is large, with small black eyes and a big forehead. It has only a few large, strong molar teeth, used for the consumption of vegetation. The creature's nose and upper lip combine into a long, limber, multipurpose trunk, which nearly reaches the ground, and ends in a nose with two fingerlike appendages. They have thin, wide ears, that are nearly impossible to see, for they are covered in hair, and are almost always against the animal’s sides. Should one trim the hair off the ears, they can tell that they are rounded on top, and straighten to a point at the lowermost part of the ear. The males have two ped tusks protruding from the tops of their mouths, which slightly curve outwards in the middle. The females also have tusks, but they are less then a ped long.

Thunderfeet are covered in long, thick hair. Looking at an individual hair, one will notice that it is quite thick, and completely clear, but the creature has so much of it that it appears white. This is slightly unnerving, especially when one learns that the Thunderfoot’s skin is a dark shade of charcoal, although it is rarely seen through the massive amounts of hair. The Thunderfoot has a long ropey tail, which is also covered in hair, but which is much shorter. Of course, the only way to see these beasts without their hair is to kill them, which is why it is rarely seen, and then only by the Ice Tribes.
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Special Abilities. The prehensile trunk of the Thunderfoot is its most remarkable feature. The very tip of it ends in a nose, with two fingerlike projections, one on top, and the other on the bottom, which can pick up items. The trunk itself has enough strength to rip a very young tree from the ground, and the tip is sensitive enough to pick up a small needle. It can also use this trunk to make a blaring noise that is not unlike a trumpeting. It is this they use to warn other Thunderfeet or to display anger. The beast’s fur is also extremely warm, which helps it survive the harsher climates it lives in. It also allows them to stand the frigid waters that exist in the areas they live. Their eyesight is very poor, although their sense of smell and hearing are fantastic, so lack of good vision is of little hindrance to them. Their tusks are also quite dangerous, and can be used as a weapon, should one be foolish enough to anger the creature.

Thunderfeet eat by roaming the Iceland’s coast, using their trunk to find hrugchuck grass. They tear out as much of the plant as they can at a time with their trunk. They then use the trunk as a hand and put the grass in their mouth, eating the flowers and grass. They do the same at the edges of water, searching for algae. Due to the highly nutritious nature of flower, the Thunderfeet do not need to eat nearly as much food as their size would suggest.

The Thunderfoot are extremely good swimmers. Their swimming abilities are attributed to their remarkably light bones, and the layer of buoyant fat they have, which also, along with its massive amount of hair, protects the beast from the frigid temperatures of the waters of its homeland. They swim by having their entire bodies immersed in the water, while the tip of its trunk is kept above water so that it may breath. While underwater, they paddle with their strong legs, which along with the creature’s natural buoyancy, keep it close to the surface of the water. This technique of swimming is extremely dangerous in rough waters, so the Thunderfeet rarely swim during storms.
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Territory. Thunderfeet can be found in the northernmost parts of the Sarvonian continent, in the Peninsula of Iol and the Icelands Coast. There seems to be a small population in the Icelands of Aeh’Os’th’er’Oc. There are also unconfirmed reports of some being found in Cyhalloi, although these are only rumours.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The behaviour of the Thunderfoot depends greatly on their gender. The males and females have greatly differing lives.

Thunderfeet Females. The females are the epitome of the term ‘gentle giant’. They are one of the most peaceful creatures alive. They have little fear, and fewer predators, except as calves. Yet they do have a temper, albeit one that is rarely seen, so rare that few people even think that these creatures even do get angry. However, when this temper is flaring, and their trumpeting trunks are blaring, they are truly a fearsome sight to behold. They are very social animals. They travel in small herds ranging from six to about eighteen animals. Age and experience seems be the deciding factor of which a female leads the herd. The eldest female is always the leader, and these animals can live to a little over a hundred years. When the pack leader dies the next oldest female takes control. They are extremely protective of the herd’s young, which they communally help the mother raise. When threatened, the beasts will form a defensive circle around the calves.

Mothers of Thunderfeet have been known to ‘mourn’ the death of children, staying near their deceased young for possibly days. The entire herd will also take care of sick or dying members of said herd, staying with them and bringing them food should they need it.

Thunderfeet Males. Males, while gentle, have a much shorter temper than their female counterparts. It is a saying among the Ice Tribes, that one might ‘anger a Thunderfoot’, which means he brings great ruin upon himself. Male Thunderfeet are solitary creatures, usually leaving the herd at about age thirteen, and live by themselves from this point on. It is right after they leave that the males are at the greatest risk, for they are not fully grown, and no longer have the protection of the herd, although they are still quite formidable. During the mating months, the male seek out the female herds. Since there are more solitary males than herds, males will often be vying for the affections of the females of the same herd, which leads to titanic clashes (see Mating).

Some things are universal between both genders. For instance, as adults, these behemoths have very few real predators; the humans of the Ice Tribes, giants, and the gigantic caracal, a very rare, and extremely deadly cat of the northern regions of Northern Sarvonia. As calves, however, things as small as a wolverine attack them. Due to their lack of size and tusks, they are much more vulnerable, which is why the herd is extremely careful with the young. Of course males, who lack the protection of a herd, are more susceptible to being hunted, although a lone male Thunderfoot is a still a force to be reckoned with!
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Diet. The Thunderfoot is a herbivore whose main source of food is a sort grass called hrugchuck. They eat the grass and the highly nutritious flowers. The hrugchuck has its main roots in small regions which are warmer and have an open water source, from there roots are growing for strals under the snow in the frozen soil. It has a kind of liquid that keeps the plant from freezing, which allows it to tunnel through the lightly frozen ground, and retrieve nutrition from the frozen soil. The Thunderfoot uses its long trunk to dig through the snow for this grass. Because of the large amount of this grass that it consumes, the Thunderfoot has to consume a surprisingly small amount of vegetation to stay healthy, for the hrugchuck’s flowers seems to allow animals to eat far less food than would normally be needed. The Thunderfoot  will also eat algae or moss it finds, also under the snow or sometimes in lakes that have not frozen over.
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Mating. The females go into heat between the Sleeping Dreameress and Passing Clouds. At this time, the males from outside the herd start searching for the herd, and often, more than one male will find it. The males will then battle each other over mates. These titanic clashes consist of the two males connecting foreheads, and pushing, their tusks are now interlocked, and from this position, each male shakes their head violently, trying to knock the other off his feet. These battles usually last a long time, but rarely result in anything more than minor injuries. The winner then mates with the willing females of the herd. If a third male comes upon the herd while two others are fighting, then the third male waits for them to finish, then attempts to defeat the winner. The female will be pregnant for roughly eighteen to twenty two months, and then give birth to the calf. The calves are born with no tusks and very short hair. They are only a ped tall and require constant supervision, for fear of getting eaten.
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Usages. The Thunderfoot’s hair is extremely insulating. It can be used to cover huts for the Ice Tribes, or to cover the people themselves. Instead of making wool, the tribes’ people merely use the entire hide, covered by the hair. They also have surprisingly tasty meat, which the Ice Tribes take advantage of as often as possible, although hunting one of these beasts is not very conducive to a long life, for again, these animals are not to be riled up. Of course, if one is able take down one of these behemoths, they could feed a group of twenty people for over a week. The nomadic groups of the Ice Tribes often use the extremely light, yet very durable bones of the creature to build their tents. These bones can also be shaped into jewelry, which can be traded for food and weapons. The bones also make good weapons themselves, when shaped, for they are strong, yet light.

Of course, the
Ice Tribes must kill a Thunderfoot before gaining any of these materials. This is always a group effort, and always against a solitary male, for the humans know they cannot hope to defeat an entire heard of these angry titans. The way it is done is the hunting party forms a circle around the beast, all the while making loud noises in an attempt to confuse the beast. One or two particularly brave souls then act as the ‘bait’, and distract the beast while the rest of the group attacks it with any weapons they have, which, ironically enough, are sometimes made of the beast’s bones. This is obviously quite dangerous, especially for the very brave, or very foolish, tribesmen acting as the bait, and thus, it is only practiced by the most experienced of hunters.
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Myth/Lore. The Ice Tribes often hear the Otorm-Nrv long before they actually see one, which is why they have named the creature Thunderfoot in their own language. This is thought to have led to their belief on how the Otorm-Nrv was created. The Ice Tribes believe that the Thunderfoot was the result of the animals of Brender, the Ice Tribes' deity of Thunder, and Zundefor, the God of Land, mating before the gods began their eternal war. Since then, they believe that Brender came down in a storm, and came across his offspring, the Thunderfeet. He was proud of the fruit of his loins, for it defied the other animals with its strength and size. So he gave the creature a voice as loud as thunder, and that is how the Ice Tribes believe the Otorm-Nrv developed its trumpeting capabilities:

“The ice tribes often tell the tale of Brender and the Thunderfoot. They say that when the world was young, a storm blew over the Icelands. It was Brender, coming to the world. The storm came into the form of a man, a strong, angry man, who seemed to shed light with his very skin. He came upon the Thunderfoot, which was his offspring. He admired the creature’s size and strength, like how it defied Zundefor’s beasts with its massiveness. He bestowed upon the Thunderfoot a voice like thunder, so that it might proclaim to all that he, Brender, was superior, even in the world of beasts.”

-- Tale of the Icelands Coast told by Minóki Kíuru of the Himiko
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