|11 Bliss 1285 HE
When the Hydrocur fled Necrocrypt, they carried off Durkoth tomes and other things from the prison lab Barâb-Tarban. Far to the south, the Hydrocur established holdings on Karë, Tadâph and in the northern bays of Athoreon. Here they used an ancient tome of the Dawn Era named Maurgîn-Hîr, trying and sometimes succeeding in making new lifeforms. Their first success came with humanoids of the nearby mainland. First came a male elephant-like humanoid on 11 Bliss 1285 HE, then several years later, a fertile female, then dozens of more.
The Hydrocur gave their creations minimal education. They wanted them subservient, destined only for military matters. Where they failed was in teaching their minions how to speak and write in the Aquan language. Communication allowed the elderaunts to organize and ultimately rebel against their masters. Three hundred years would follow before they had true success. By 1619 HE, they had completed their mopping up operations, ridding Izagunbar of all Hydrocur influence.
Elderaunts are elephant-headed humanoids standing 7-9 feet tall and weighing anywhere from 400lbs - 550lbs. Their skin come in varying shades of gray and their eye color brown or black. They have hairless bodies. They are a superstitious people viewing storms and natural lightning with awe. The influence of Thjorygg along the coasts of northern Athoreon is the reason for this.
For those that grow up in the Athoreon homeland, ivory is sacred. They learn from stories, fables, and from religion, that ivory holds some of the soul energy of the fallen. The Tâchpachâr Empire rules most Elderaunts of Athoreon. They have strong laws against its use in the production of non-military items (c.f. Ivory Sanctity).
Elderaunts grow tusks over time. These are natural weapons just as effective as the horns of a minotaur. They have an exhausting trial of survival known as The Hunt for Ivory Storm. Completion of this ritual results in the rapid growth of the tusk. It is a journey deep into Ma'Ohari that is perilous and undertaken by few.
Elderaunts are a militaristic people. They have a motto, "Better to die in battle, than of wrinkles and sickness". Sociologists say this thinking is a product of the Hydrocur, and only time will see it pass.
... elderaunts view "falling stars" as a bad omen - a time of ill-luck, bad weather, rough seas, and the fury of Poseidon.
- Ermikel the Balance, excerpt from his book Species - "Elderaunt Omens"
|+2 Athletics, +2 Endurance
|-1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom
|single charging gore attack for 3d6 (plus strength modifier) points of damage
|see Trunk Rot below
The life expectancy of these humanoids is about 200 years. A small population of the Elderaunts make-up a group called the Elders. These venerable elderaunts have life spans up to 500 years. Only about 5% of the elderaunt race is gifted with this "elf-like" life span.
Many elderaunts believe it is their duty to civilize disadvantaged peoples, "the unfortunate ones". As such, they have a colonial mentality, governing and protecting weaker peoples. Those being "helped" often view this as exploitation.
The elderaunts of Tâchpachâr are a colonial people. They are not brutal or evil rulers. They claim to have a fair rule on less civilized races, but what the elderaunts think, and the subjugated people think, are sometimes very different. Many see them as exploiters of their resources, while others seem them as teachers and protectors of their unfortunate people.
- Ermikel the Balance, "The People of the Tusk"
The elderaunts use words like fortunate and good luck in much of their dealings. This reflects their superstitious nature. Generally, the elderaunts word is a bond to them. Their word is an honor and should never be broken unless it is against the interests of his tribe. It is also an honor to provide food and shelter for a friend.
Elderaunts are largely vegetarians. Their are accounts of rogues and cannibalistic bands south of the Elephant Backbone that believe the consumption of their dead result in the passing of knowledge from the deceased to the living.
Some elderaunts suffer from an incurable disease called "Trunk Rot". This disease is terminal and cannot be cured by magical or psionic means. It is said to be an imperfection in their creation and removing it by even by a Wish spells lead to death by a cascade of other terminal conditions. Fortunately for the race, the incident rate for this is only 1 in 1,000.
Families are very important to the Elderaunts. A male Elderaunts typically has a "herd" of 2-4 wives and 4-12 children. Life is competitive among the males in the herd, with each striving to gain a strong position in the family.
It is the duty of the males to protect and provide sustenance for the family. The duty of the female elderaunts is to raise the children and maintain the household.
Females have a gestation period of 10 months.
The elderaunts use many herbs for medical treatments. Their society has more shamans than priests.
This ritual is performed by elderaunts seeking rapid growth of their tusks. The shaman of the elderaunt's tribe must sponsor a quest for the individual. The quest is a difficult and arduous mission for the creature. If he completes the quest, the elderaunt's tusks grow to full-length in three months. Full tusk growth normally occurs by the age of 100.
The elderaunts frequently perform yoga and other activities to reach a higher state of feeling and thought. The use of the drug called wax of enlightenment greatly enhances this spirituality.
Elderaunts are a superstitious people. Some of their superstitions:
- In Ivory Asylum, killing an elephant is a sacrilege to the elderaunts; punishable by decapitation.
- Wearing leather on 50% or more of the body is believed to ward off evil spirits.
- Travel through calm seas and weather is a sign of Poseidon's pleasure with the voyage.
- Elephant graveyards are forbidden grounds; transgression or looting of these areas is a capital offense - punishable by keelhauling.
- Appearances of comets, meteors, and eclipses portend great changes or happening. These changes or happening are not viewed to be benevolent.
- Ivory is sacred to the elderaunts. It is honorable to use ivory only in the decoration of weapons. Jewelry making with ivory or hoarding the material is a serious crime.
The elderaunts are a tribal people. The members of a tribe view their tribe as a greater family. Loyalty of an elderaunt is first to family, then to tribe, and finally to the empire.
Battle is a test of prowess and personal honor for the elderaunt, they have the saying, "It is better to die in battle, than of wrinkles and sickness." The race takes great pride in military bearing and individual performance. The elderaunts have many gladiator arenas in the Ivory Asylum. It is a great honor to be a gladiator and the respect garnered from many victories ultimately leads to elevation in status and power.