by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
Creature Type: Animal (Bovine)
Disposition: Bulls are territorial, cows are generally passive but will protect young.
Special Talents: None
Special Attacks: Barbed tail-swipe, horn-bash
Locality: Nearly everywhere on Imarel save Irys, where the climate disfavors them.
Longevity: May live up to 20 years.
Class Types: 75% of Lashers will be Guardians. 25% Paragon Guardians.
Lashers are large, shaggy bovines that look a bit like an ox. They have over-sized, curled horns that roll off either side of their head, much like a ram and they have an extremely long, whip-like tail with a barbed end to it. Most are a deep russet brown or black, but there have been spotted lashers and even white ones further north, into Zoda and Miroa.
The lasher is one of the oldest animals on Imarel, having been domesticated originally by the Van’Su. While there are still wild herds of these large creatures, they are primarily found in Miroa and Zoda. These wild herds are hunted by the Voraath and the Northlanders primarily, though occasionally a Masoq tribe will get brave and attempt to fell a few of these beasts. Most lashers are domesticated now with their meat a popular item on menus across Imarel. It is a flavorful meat that has been used for everything from jerky to full course lasher steak dinners.
Meat isn’t the only thing people like the lasher for however. The famous naturally dark lasher leather is popular for its unusual flexibility and durability, lasher bull horns are popular for making both drinking horns and war horns, the latter of which popularized by the Kingdom of Moonfall. The tail of the lasher is also extremely popular as a relatively inexpensive but sturdy weapon. The process of making a lasher tail whip is a popular practice in Kasyr and Tashran where the Tashrani peoples wear them as a badge of honor. Lashers can also be domesticated as draft animals, though such creatures have their tails removed for the safety of those working with them.
Lashers have mating practices very similar to ox and will often birth one to three calves. While lasher cows are normally quite docile any other time of the year, while rearing her young she is possibly more dangerous than even a lasher bull. In fact, lasher cows have been known to drive away and even kill other lashers that get too close to their calves. The father bull is allowed proximity and in cases of domestication, many farmers have found that lasher cows will allow them near as well, but strangers should always be wary around a new lasher mother.
Lashers in the wild suffer humanoid races as by far their most dominant predator, however dragons will hunt them as well as Zodasian Plains Lions that feed off lasher herds almost exclusively. Lashers themselves are herbivores, but are quite voracious at devouring grass, low hanging tree branches and any other matter of vegetation they can find. While such greenery is lacking during the Divashi months, the stores of fat on their massive bodies do well to supply them until the herd can migrate to food .