The Ursek

An example of Bestia Ursek, the Ursek in Deiran, the Orzek in Arturan.

Native to the northern reaches of the Grunvale and beyond, the Ursek has a particularly fearsome reputation. The Ursek are often found roaming mountain passes and the darkest parts of ancient forests in relative solitude, only gathering in numbers when the need arises. These creatures are a mass of muscle and dense layers of body fat, which combined with their unnaturally rugged hide, affords them a great deal of resilience to to the average blade and spear. To stumble across the site of an Ursek attack is a sight of pure horror. Corpses torn apart, rib cages crushed and opened up like potted meat, limbs and innards strewn around while smashed and gnawed heads sit atop twisted necks. Little can stop one of these creatures when they attack, and nigh on impossible to stop if they are enraged.

The heavily wooded and mountainous areas of northwestern Deira,The Kingdom of Arthtir and the Cantons of Cathair play host to sizable numbers of Ursek and their smaller cousins the Urczarn, with Arthtir having a long standing tradition of their nobility hunting Ursek and Urczarn as a rite of passage. Thankfully the Ursek are isolated to the north, with only small groups of Urczarn occasionally being encountered in the southern mountains of the Grunvale.

The term Orzek is the earliest name for these creatures, originating amongst the isolated ancient tribes of Arthtir millennia ago, before it was carried south by Deiran traders and morphed into its current form. While the Ursek is noted as existing in the south during those times, it was such a rarity that it only appeared anecdotally in local myths and tales. Whereas the tribes of Arthtir had such regular and protracted encounters with the Ursek and Urczarn that they quickly formalised their names, with them entering their everyday lexicon and as an ever present threat. To this day the people of Arthtir stand against these creatures as their ancient ancestors did, using heavy spears to hold them at bay while warriors with jagged picks and serrated axes tear at the beasts flesh.

Thankfully I have only encountered one of these creatures on my travels, which was one too many despite my endeavors to catalogue such creatures. A truly terrifying sight, its blood caked brown furred mass thundering into our caravan while we were traversing the snow laden forests on the border Deira and Arthtir. It tore open two of my hired guards within seconds. The only reason I and the rest of our group made it to our destination was thanks to me prudently hiring a number hunters from Arthtir, all working as guides during a harsh winter due to there being little quarry at home to feed their families. Two of the hunters fell to the creature along with six other hired swords, leaving ten armed men slain by the creature, and seven other members of our caravan joining them. Were it not for those hunters I am sure I would not be sat here recounting that most traumatising of experiences.

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

The Buru

An example of Bestia Babirusa, the Babirou or Buru amongst the people of Ilshana.

The Buru is a particularly resilient bestial form, capable of receiving grievous injuries and infections and carrying on regardless. Their hides are tough and their muscles dense, they are a stocky but quick creature, though with a short sprint over a protracted pursuit. 

They reside in the wadi’s and river deltas of Ilshana, along with sub groups living in the jungles and savannahs, often in close proximity to tribes of Kheranox. Naturally this leads to conflict as the Kheranox believe themselves to be the rightful inheritors of Ilshana, and the Buru simply so stubborn that they will challenge any that think they have authority over them or their land, which is often whichever area they have deemed theirs.

Buru have a particular appreciation for the flesh of humans, taking great delight in impromptu feasts made from isolated travellers and villages. Their level of joy at eating humans exceeds the usual depravity seen amongst other bestials, specifically seeking them out to gorge on them. While contented to eat meat from other sources, they will always pick sweet human flesh over other sources. 

Buru prefer to use hammers, clubs and maces against their prey, as they tenderise meat and crack the bones in one fell swing. Armour is often simple, scraps of leather, scavenged shields, and on the rare occasion metal armour. It’s considered quite a statement to wear and scraps of metal armour, as it means you had to put in some form of effort to get to your meal out of it’s hard shell, or you killed the fellow tribesman that did, which naturally means you were superior to them.  

The Buru share many physiological and societal traits with the Ebermann in the eastern regions around the Grunvale, and the Engalt of the frigid north, which leads me to believe they all originated from one source stock far back in the first ages of Yss. 

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

The Murrach

An example of Bestia Murrach, more commonly known as a Murrach,  Merrow, or Murr by the inhabitants of Yss. 

The Murrach are a widespread species with many variations across Yss. As an amphibious species they inhabit aquatic climes, from the deepest ocean to the great rivers and wetlands. They pose an ever present threat to seafarers and coastal settlements and regularly make forays along the great rivers raiding and reaving, capturing land dwellers for unknown reasons. The most prevalent theory is that they are a food source, mere prey to these aquatic beasts. Another is that they are used in profane rituals dedicated to their deities. whatever the case, none have returned to confirm these theories. 

From fetishes and charms found on Murr bodies, they appear to follow a pantheon that corresponds to those of the great enemy, though each is wildly different to the traditional forms known, or the variations found amongst other bestials and sentient followers. 

Physically the Murr look fairly lean, but much of their form is exceptionally dense muscle which can deceive an opponent in regards to their strength and speed. Their scaly skin provides an unexpected level of protection, and some sub classes have thick boney plates around their skulls and other areas which provide protection comparable to the steel armour used by us land dwellers. 

The most basic Murr is fully capable of tearing a man apart with its claws and teeth, but most are proficient scavengers and craftsmen. Most that reside inland and close to the coast use scavenged weapons and armour, or craft gear from the detritus of land dwellers. Those that reside in the deep seas and oceans make use of corals and the remains of sea creatures. Make no mistake, while their arms may look simple or ill maintained, they are quite deadly and fully capable of taking down a warrior in full plate if necessary. 

I advise that any incursion by Murr raiders be dealt with as quickly as possible, because for each raid they perform without resistance inevitably leads to them returning emboldened and in greater numbers, striking as regular as the tide itself. 

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

Warmaster Budahk Chain-Gor, Lord of the Minos, Tyrant of Blood Gor Peak.

~ Warmaster Budahk Chain-Gor, Lord of the Minos, Tyrant of Blood Gor Peak.

The rise of the powerful warlord Budahk Chain-Gor is a lesson in the Minos society.
Of huge stature early in life, he soon gained the respect of dark warrior kin and orc-foe alike, due to his shrewd tactical awareness and ferocity in battle.
Minos culture has two clear methods of promotion. One is to kill the incumbent in a straight fight. The other is staggeringly subtle, and would be missed by most. A simple nod of submission and the leader submits to his superior challenger.

It is said that Budahk, having defeated a particularly cunning and brutal Orruk Warboss, laid his kill as a sacrifice before the venerated Cygor, Bogut the Unworldly.
Bogut, struck by religious fervor, then laid prostrate before Budak. A sign that Budahk had truly honoured the gods and was marked for greatness.
Upon seeing this Budahks warmaster, Hacker Bloodhorn, submitted with a simple nod, and Budahk was now Warmaster of the Northern Herds.

~ The Uilebheist Plateau, the Northern Kingdoms, and the Isle of Elthuin.

Upon killing the last rival warmaster, Gruffen the Three Armed, King of the Southern Herd, by butchering him alive and finishing him by strangling him with his chain whip, Budahk enjoys an undisputed autocracy. Having unified the Minos, the brayherds, and beasts of the Uilebheist Plateau, he has brought the Orruks to a tepid truce based upon fear, respect, and a healthy stream of trade, mostly slaves.

~Excerpt by Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Thériology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din , and author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

~ Written by Phillip Starr, edited by Mark Talmer.