The Boardrak, commonly referred to, improperly, as the "Giant Boar", is one of the most massive omnivourous animals in northern Santharia. Its name was derived from the fact that though it is a boar, it is also around the size of certain drakes and has a distantly related feature reminding of these beasts: small bony extrusions on the boar's back. Although this name seems clumsy it remained as the proper name for this beast. These immense lumbering beasts are almost a mirror image of the smaller woolly boar, although they behave quite differently. They are scattered throughout the Tandala Highlands, Mithral Mountains and in some areas of the Warnaka Mountain ranges also. Some Gob-Oc orcs find this boar a great challenge to hunt and it is usually eaten by them in a special maturity ceremony.
Appearance. The Boardrak is very similar to woolly boars, aside from some small differences such as its tusks and teeth. Most people notice one thing about the Boardrak above all else, and this is its size, hence the common and improper name, the "Giant Boar". It can grow up to two peds and a fore and weigh a massive ten pygges, however this is usually rare and only a few boars seem to meet that standard. One thing however that is usually true about these extraordinary large Boardraks is that the the male Boardraks are always bigger. The average size of a Boardrak is about a fore shorter than two peds, and weigh about seven pygges. Males are usually twice as large as the females who normally are a ped and a half and weigh around five pygges.
Most Boardraks gain about a pygge when they near the colder months, by gorging on specifically meat, and usually all this is fat, for in all the places they live it gets considerably colder in the winter. They usually gain this fat around the neck and belly area, gaining the least on the back.
Boardrak fur can vary in shades from black to brown, the lightest cinnabrown to the darkest nor’sidian. Their fur, which is sometimes sometimes referred to as "bristles", is very stiff and covers the boar throughout except the snout and genitals. In the winter usually between the bristles a thick softer fur of a somewhat darker colour grows. However, in the spring they will slowly shed this fur, which birds will gather for their nest.
A Boardrak's body is quite barrel shaped and sturdy. It has two small beady eyes with a large, wet black snout, about a palmspan wide. This leads into a somewhat small mouth. It has a small lower jaw filled with many flat molar-like teeth, used for crushing up plants. It also has a few sharper teeth towards the front of the mouth used for tearing meat. However the most unusual and noticeable part of its face is the beast's tusks. Their tusks are completely vertical to its snout and in both males and females protrude for about two fores. The males' tusks are considerably thicker and blunter than a females. Their thickest point which is as soon as the protrude from the jaw, they are about a palmspan thick. However in females they are considerably thinner, about half a palmspan when they protrude from their mouth. However they are much, much, much sharper, they are even capable of cutting through a man's flesh.
Boardrak necks are covered in fat and also protect the males' necks during mating fights. These boars also have a series of small bony extrusions, starting at the nape of its neck going down to the middle of its back, which is thought to be used for protection against pouncing mountain cats. These extrusions get smaller and smaller as they go down to the middle of its back. These bony lumps are usually about six nailsbreadth at the neck and get about half a nailsbreadth smaller as they go down, and come in numbers ranging from thirty to forty.
These boars have large muscular legs, particularly in the back, in order to hold their immense weight. They also have wide hooves to hold the boar up in deep snow. They have a large round rump and a small straight tail marked with a small white ring in the middle. This tail is about half a fore in length. They also have large strong shoulders, and very strong necks, as their heads are as heavy as a small human child. Atop these heads they have large spear-head shaped ears, being a palmspan at their thickest point.
These creatures usually have little or no smell to them, although after a large meal will reek of meat or plants. Thought to be caused by small pores in the skin that exude the odour of what it ate just a moment before. These boars have a very rough feel to their skin, from bristles, and at times feel very dirt matted.
Special Abilities. The Boardrak is a very interesting creature, for they have adapted very well to the cold environments they live in. Of note are especially two features:
Good Hearing and Smell
The Boardrak's hearing ability and sense of smell are very powerful, despite their poor sight. It is said a Boardrak can smell a man from up to forty peds away. This is quite useful for finding food such as carrion and other plants and sensing its only predators, the Gob-Oc and the Horned Dragon. It’s quite astounding how these boars learn to combine both scent and hearing to create an even more complete picture than the eye could ever make. For it would require seemingly mere magic power to even get near a Boardrak and even then it is risky.
The Boardrak is a very large creature, and because of this must find a large amount of food. A regular boar's diet of plants and carrion wasn’t sufficient enough to sustain the massive amount of food this boar needs. For in an area of six square strals their wasn’t enough of regular boar food, like plants and carrion, to sustain a Boardrak for a month so they started eating a wider variety of foods. This boar can substitute three fifths of its diet for meat, and has also adapted to eating many different grasses also. A Boardrak was dissected once and was said to have the same stomach structure as a cow. It is said this is the main reason it can eat grass. There's a misconception that these boars eat humans, but in fact they avoid them. The rare amount of humans that do come by will usually never even know a Boardrak was near the area of their traveling.
Territory. The Boardrak lives throughout northern Santharia, specifically in a few places. These places are the Mithral Mountains, the Tandala Highlands, and the Warnaka Mountains. The reason it prefers these places is because of its mild and chill temperatures, since this boar can’t survive in very hot temperatures, as it would overheat. Giant Boars specifically prefer the Tandala Highlands, probably for its very cold temperature and its plentiful supply of food. This is also the region where this boar grows biggest, again from its plentiful food supply.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Boardrak is a very solitary creature, for it doesn’t need protection in herds, its sheer size does that. The only time a Boardrak is with another of its kind is either a mother with her babies or a mating sow and boar. Even then, though, they only stay together to mate for about a day. A Boardrak needs an immense amount of food to sustain itself and will spend three quarters of its day hunting or looking for food. The other quarter is scattered about spent eating it.
The Boardrak is a very large creature and only has two predators, the Gob-Oc and the horned dragon. The Boardrak's large tusk helps it to uncover grass and plant matter from the snow. They are also used for defense and mating fights. But the most important part of all, hunting. This boar will quietly wait behind a tree, until prey such as a deer wanders up. Then the boar will charge and gore its prey, eating it immediatly after. Hiding leftovers in the dirt for another meal. The Boardrak doesn’t need much water to sustain itself for it gets this from plants, and will also eat snow.
At night the boar will urinate on trees before sleeping. Although it has no apparent odour another Boardrak can smell this from a long way away before it stumbles on the sleeping boar. After this before the boar goes to sleep it will dig out a shallow hole and bring any plants and put these inside the shallow hole as to insulate against cold nights. Then the boar will sleep, however the slightest suspicious sound or smell will wake it very quickly. Females, if they have piglets will usually dig a shallow short tunnel for her piglets to sleep in with her tusk and will line it with plant material. Then she will sleep in the same shallow hole as mentioned before, placed right beside her den.
Diet. The Boardrak's diet varies greatly and consists of half greenery half meat, if possible. The Boardrak, unlike its cousins, is a skilled hunter and can very easily catch a deer, for example, and by simply waiting. Hidden until it comes then it will charge and gore the deer to death, then eat it. The Boardrak will eat many plants such as: the doch nut bush, the sunflower, red berries and water berries, odea moss, mushrooms and any others it can find and will also eat any grasses. The other half of its diet is meat and is made up of: steppe deer, capricus, woolly boar, Sarvonian white deer, field mice, hynde goats, and many other smaller creatures.
Mating. The Boardrak's mating process is quite bloody, and has been described as a beautiful dance. The reason it is so bloody are the fights between the male boars, that usually result in serious injury. At the start of the mating season the females will begin giving off very noticeable odours from the urine, attracting males from many strals away. However, before the female mates she will wait for as much as a day for any competitors, and if none come they will mate.
If one more male comes, then the fighting starts. As soon as the male that is there sights another male he will brace himself and paw the ground, shaking his head violently, and making loud bellows. If this doesn’t intimidate the incoming male when they meet they will look each other in the eye and start to circle while facing each other. This circling can last for up to an hour before the fight starts, but when one of the boars even flinches they will charge head on. As soon as they meet they will interlock tusks and try to gore each other, once one boar penetrates the others defenses he will relentlessly gore the opposing boar until it flees, then the boar will mate with the female.
This usually occurs in the middle of the usually mild summers and the female will give birth to the babies during the spring. The litter is usually three to five piglets although litters of ten aren’t unheard of. The female will feed the piglets on breast milk for the first six months of the piglets' lives, and then will chew and regurgitate food for them. At about the first year of the piglets' life the mother will teach it how to hunt and forage. At two years she will rush the babies onto their own.
Usages. The Boardrak is usually not hunted by any tribe, for it is considered almost suicidal to go hunting for one. The Gob-Oc however will hunt this boar in a trial of maturity, and it is said when a young Gob-Oc male kills a Boardrak he becomes a mature orc in the eyes of the tribe, a fully fledged member. The young Gob-Oc will then be thrown a massive feast and for a main course the boar is eaten, and usually supplies enough meat for the whole tribe. During this hunt the Gob-Oc uses a boar spear, as to try to prevent the fatality of the Gob-Oc. The only way the Gob-Oc will be able to attract a boar is to make the boar charge him, usually by coming within forty peds of the boar and yelling at it. Then he will lunge forward and stab the spear into the boar’s heart. If his first lunge doesn’t kill the boar then there is a very likely chance the Gob-Oc hunting this boar will die.
The Boardrak's hide by the way is not used for anything because of a quite profound stench that emanates from it. For as soon as it is removed from the dead boar the stench will soon arrive.
Myth/Lore. The Boardrak is said to be a test, a test to any hunter who wants to gain the blessing of Arvins, the Hunter-God. A blessing that will let the hunter be fruitful for the rest of their life, all done by killing a Boardrak. Although many people are skeptical of this, somebody who has seen a person that has been blessed by Arvins wwll believe it. The following is a quote from an Injerín elf girl who was watching another Injerín hunt:
"We have been sitting here, sitting here for many hours behind this rock. We were waiting, waiting for that catch. He said that he was blessed by Arvins because he killed a Boardrak, however I was very dubious. Wouldn't Arvins have brought his catch in by now? Then all of a sudden a large pack of about twenty deer walked in front of us. He quickly shot one down with his bow, but I thought "Well thats just one deer." Any hunter could do that. But then when we both inspected the carcass the arrow had traveled through the deer's neck and hit another deer behind it. I was then from there on never skeptical of Arvins blessing."