Curse of the Neverborn's Blood
The Kingdom of Ator
- Capital – Gurr’ash (population 3,200).
- Population – Gurrash, a few Shazaks, and a handful of Cayma slaves and “snacks”.
- Ruler – Queen Ator I “Old Gray Fangs,” slayer of King Osh III.
- Typical NPC – Gurrash raiding party.
- Patron Immortal – Goron.
The Gurrash were a dismal failure on the part of Araneas Anathema, at least as far as the wizards were concerned. It was hoped that a cross between Shazaks and alligators would produce a tougher warrior race to fill the ranks of their master’s armies. This mix resulted in the creation of the Gurrash. The Gurrash turned out to be very tough, very tall, and quite bloodthirsty, while remaining very crude and totally unruly. Early specimens had a tendency to turn against human troops. They were also absolutely incompatible with Shazak troops, whom they viewed as tasty food.
A few attempts at developing a more controllable breed took place, but a large batch of the creatures escaped from the laboratories, forming an uprising and wreaking havoc among the Araneas. After this bloody episode, the surviving Gurrash fled into the Bayou despite Herath’s frantic efforts to eradicate the whole species. The Araneas rulers hired bounty hunters to rid their area of the frightening Gurrash threat. It made bounty hunting a booming business for a few decades, but the Gurrash quickly out-bred the hunters, causing the hunt to become increasingly perilous.
Once the bounty hunters had been discouraged from preying upon them, the Gurrash quickly turned against the Shazaks, who populated the Bayou at that time. Within a century, Shazaks had all but abandoned the Bayou. Fortunately for the Shazaks, the Gurrash stopped their territorial expansion at the edges of the Bayou, preferring to remain in the murky waters of the wetlands. Since then, the Gurrash population has stabilized. Diseases, parasites (many introduced by the Araneas), and limited food cause weaker hatchlings to perish.
Occasionally, when the number of Gurrash increases beyond what the Bayou’s ecology can sustain, the creatures go on a massive rampage into one of their neighbours’ territories. Gurrash Shamans usually incite these raids on behalf of their patron Immortal, Goron. The raids are now sacred ritual in which a warrior supposedly gains Goron’s favour by spilling the blood of foes in the most savage ways imaginable. Bringing back food is of course useful to the community, but the Shamans secretly understand that the true goal is to limit the Gurrash population lest they learn to feed upon one another.