V is for Varks
No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d8)Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2
Damage: 1d6, weapon
Hoard Class: XX
Varks are a race of primitive humanoids, so called for their porcine features and animalistic behaviour. Varks stand about five feet tall, are covered from head to hoof with tough bristles and rugged fur, have a distinct pig-like snout and sport two long, curved tusks protruding from their mouths. Despite being herbivores, they are extremely territorial and aggressive, and will generally hunt down and kill any creature approaching the vicinity of their squalid camps. The more unfortunate ones are captured alive, thrown into the animal pens, awaiting their ultimate fate; either to serve as slaves or become sacrifices to the Varks' bestial gods, ritually slaughtered on their plain stone altars.
Varks live in small herds in the open plains and are generally sedentary. Their camps consists of little more than a few ramshackle wooden huts, held together by clay or rope. Most of the herd simply sleeps in the open air, huddled together for warmth or under some canvas, sheltered from the rain. The grassland surrounding the edifices is transformed into a field of mud in less than a week after a herd moves in. The Varks rip open the ground with their tusks looking for roots and tubers, and enjoy rolling around in the earth and mud. During hot weather they soak the ground with any water they have available, and the herd gathers together in one big mud bath, which is suspected to hold some ceremonial importance for the Varks as well.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Varks get along very well with some of the animals native to the land. Pigs and swine are a common sight in Vark camps, usually allowed to run wild. The animals are kept for their milk and hide (once they have died a natural death) and as pets. Vark men train fierce boar which are kept in a special pen, and the day a Vark gets his first boar is the day he is considered an adult member of the tribe and a warrior. The bond between a Vark and his boar can at times almost seem telepathic, as the two become more attuned the longer they live together (it is not unusual for a warrior to eat and sleep with his boar). Meeting a pack of Varks complete with trained hunting boars thus becomes a very dangerous prospect.