Kuut'tha

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Kuut'tha
Information
Natural Habitat: Mwayambi
Classification: Mammal
Average Size: 6-8' high, 14-16' long
Average Weight: 3,000-3,500lbs
Coloring: Grey (males), tans, browns, whites (females)
Distinguishing Features: Massive size


The Kuut'tha are herded by the goblins of the Dark Torrent Clan, one of the Zul Kiran. A culture based around herding, the Clan allots its herds of Kuut'tha only to the highest classes. In the market towns of the south Clan lands, young bulls and cows are bought and sold at exorbitant prices for those wishing to create new herds or rejuvenate old ones. Kuut'tha cow meat is also bought and sold at high prices in the market towns and other Zul Kiran cities. Bulls are slaughtered very rarely and only for special occasions or religious rites.

Description

The Kuut'tha is a herd animal found in the bare expanses of the northwestern steppes. It resembles its distant cousin, the buffalo in hair and general body shape, but differs in certain ways. Instead of bull-like horns, the Kuut'tha's are curled like a rams. It has no hump, and consequently little ability to store water. It's biggest difference, however, is its size, which far surpasses that of the ordinary bison. A full grown male Kuut'tha is about the size of a large, covered wagon, standing 6 to 8 feet high, and 14 to 16 feet long. It's long hair usually obscures it's legs, which are wide and cylindrical like an elephant's rather than a buffalo. The bull's grey coloring from above ensures that it will be a less likely target than the uncamouflaged cows.

Kuut'tha subsist on plant matter such as wild desert or prairie grass, which they eat by taking large bites out of the earth, dirt and all. The dirt acts as laxative for the powerful stomachs of the kuut'tha, and they are almost constantly dropping clumps of waste. These clumps, consisting largely of dirt, are an extremely effective fertilizer, and prairie grass grows quickly back to replace the large amounts eaten by the great beasts. Shrubs and small trees of the steppes have also evolved to produce indigestible seeds, ensuring that they too will grow soon after being deposited.

Habitat

Great herds of 10-15 wild Kuut'tha can be found in the grasslands of Siombakgede, translated as "land of giants", and follow the rains. Migrations drive them across the mountains that divide the continent, across the deserts, to the lands controlled by the Bakbé tribes. A few months are spent in the lush forests at the foot of the mountains before they repeat the great migration once again. They can be found in the grasslands of the Ber jeron Empire and are kept in herds all across the land. Few wish to lead such creatures across the mountain range so the desire to migrate has been bred out of them.

Breeding Habits

Each April the herds of Kuut'tha complete one leg of their migration and come to a stop at the foot of the central mountain range in the lush forests there. The rut and mating season lasts a few weeks. After that the herd resumes their monumental trek through the mountains and across the desert plains. Roughly 8 months from the time of mating the mother gives birth to 1, possibly 2, babies. They are allowed only a few months to build up a fat store, grow thick fur, and grow skilled enough to attempt the return journey to the Siombakgede.

Other Characteristics

Wolves and other normal prairie predators stay away from the kuut'tha except in cases of extreme hunger, and then only go after the most weak and old. The main predators kuut'tha fear are the rocs of the Korthos mountains, both of whom favor kuuth'tha meat. The only natural defense the kuut'tha have against such powerful enemies is their coloring. Females are much easier to replenish than males, so their loss has been deemed by evolution to be more acceptable.

Wild Kuut'thas are also occasionally hunted by two legged predators. The Rintment of the northern reaches favor kuut'tha meat, but the wild herds are fewer in number in higher latitudes.

To defend against more earthbound predators, the kuut'tha have a number of different attacks. Their horns and size enable them to ram with the destructive force of an avalanche. Their hard feet are also useful in crushing smaller animals such as coyotes, dogs, and wolves. A kuut'tha herd has also been known to stampede and crush nearly everything in its path.