Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Bull Men of the Trackless Heights
The creatures known today as Tauri, are ogre-sized humanoids with heads like those of disgruntled cattle. Complete with curved horns and uniformly dour, sullen expressions, male or female, their coats are dusted with thick fur and hair. Female Tauri tend to be more slender, but otherwise quite similar to their male counter-parts in appearance, such that foreigners struggle to tell them apart. Both sexes wear long, flowing robes, carry staves and occasionally magical weapons or armor when girding for war.
Tauri have an inherent drive for knowledge, particularly dark knowledge that may serve to corrupt or dominate others. Knowledge that the Tauri cannot gain or use immediately is to be destroyed. Unsentimental by nature, Tauri parents pack children off to communal crèches once they are weaned, never to recognize them again. Tauri feel no loyalty to their families – only to their god and to their inherently superior race as a whole. All other races are slaves at best to the Tauri; even the Dao and other elemental earth creatures that they prefer to dominate.
Tauri are natives of The Beast Shards Mountains, comfortable among the foreboding heights and deep, hidden valleys of this range. Here the Tauri maintain their petty but powerful empire, ruling all other life forms within their borders. Outsiders know little of the creatures; for as long as even the desert bard can remember, they have remained within the confines of their land, content to enslave or kill whomever enters it. To the rest of the Dominions, they are mysterious figures, treated as “boogie men” – a scary race of evil, ruthless, unenlightened, powerful savages who threaten the security of Argoth’s borders.
Tauri function as a unified, malignant theocracy. All are fanatical followers of the Forgotten God. The worship of this savage deity directs their lives. The Forgotten God takes the general form of a Tauri, but the deity’s face is worn smooth into a featureless mask. Great statues of the faceless god dominate yak-men temples, which occupy the highest crags of the Beast Shard Mountains. The Tauri’s dark deity is appeased by sacrifice. These hideous acts also strengthen the beast’s domination of their land, since a slave who disobeys today almost certainly will meet his or her death on the morrow. It was the Forgotten God who enabled the Tauri to enslave earth elementals. In a legend told by wandering bards, it is said that the Forgotten God once journeyed to the Elemental Plane of Earth. There, through guile and deception, it defeated the Grand Khan of the Dao. The price of that defeat was harsh: the Dao were forced to serve the Forgotten God and its minions-and forbidden to attack them – for “…a thousand years and a day…”