Fetsirg

Fetsirgs are large, bear-looking animals that are fully domesticated by Morknars and used as burden beasts. Unlike Dlintiarnas, they rarely serve as mounts as they are pretty slow.  
Gérouns have their big boars, Morknars have their freaking bears, and we have what, horses? I wish we could import one of these.
— Frederiq Desco, Human horse breeder
 

Anatomy & Morphology

Fur, Skin

Fetsirgs naturally have a thick layer of fur and leather to protect them from the cold weather of northern Grishnak. As their domestication spread further south, some mutations with thinner skin were cultivated to make them comfortable in warmer climates as well.   Wild specimens often have a white-grey fur for those living in the snow, and brown for their cousins living in forests. Morknars played with their mutations again, sometimes with a drop of magic to create curious mixes in color patterns.

Eyes

Tamed Fetsirgs have narrow, tired eyes on the front of their head. Morknars selectively bred them to reduce their field of view to avoid distraction.   Wild Fetsirgs have wider eyes they use to spot preys in the distance. They can literally sit a day below a waterfall, spotting and catching fishes as they swim downward.   Colors vary between dark, light brown and green.
 

Legs, Paws

Huge legs and paws help Fetsirgs to pull the heavy agriculture tools and Science carts that Morknars invented. One docile bear can drag hefty charges if well-raised, which is why they are so popular among farmers.   Both wild and tamed Fetsirgs are rather slow. Tamed ones tend to be even slower, selective breeding traded speed for stamina.

Horns

Long, deer-like horns grow on their hands and curl on top of it. Wild specimens have long, sharp spikes they carve themselves by scratching their horns. The horns are evergrowing, wild Fetsirgs trim theirs by rubbing them against trees or scratching, and tamed ones have theirs trimmed by their owners.   They use them when fighting for territories and preys if hungry, alongside their razor-sharp claws. Some collectors keep fallen ones and use them as decoration in their houses.
 
Wild Fetsirg
 

Behavior

Wild Fetsirgs

Curious, playful, and majestic are the best adjectives to describe Wild Fetsirgs. They are often traveling in little groups as they are a very social species.   Most of their days are spent foraging for food such as berries, roots, insects, or small rodents. Some packs regularly settle in rivers for a few days, sitting most of the time while carefully waiting for a fish to come in their grasp.   As long as they are not feeling threatened or hungry, people can walk nearby without any danger. Still, as there is no real way of telling if Fetsirgs are hungry or not, people tend to avoid them.

Tamed Fetsirgs

Tamed Fetsirgs are extremely docile. They have been selectively bred for centuries to cultivate their friendliness. Unlike their wild counterpart, they are calmer and less interested in the curiosities of their environment. Breeders keep them in large enclosures where they can socialize and eat as they want while making sure to interact with them regularly, so they are used to being handled.   When using them at a burden beast, it is often recommended to have a pair or to have someone close to them all the time, so they don't get bored. Petting them or talking to them is often enough to keep a lone Fetsirg happy.
 
Nothing is dumber or lazier than a lonely Fetsirg.
— Famous Morknar expression.
Wild habitat
Northern Grishnak(extincted), Glestya (Island north of Grishnak)
 
Estimated wild population
5000
 
Tamed repartition
Mostly Hope's end
 
Wild life expectancy
15-20 years
 
Tamed life expectancy
25-40 years
 
Diet
Omnivorous
 
Height
1.60m
 
Length
2.30m


Young Festirg (Official art) by Boskoop

     
You can find these animals in many Morknar books and stories, both wild or tamed. They are a symbol of strength, loyalty, and beauty. What a shame that we lost so many of them because of The Dark Flood. My grandmother told me about the times she went observing them when she was younger, I am so sad that my children or myself won't ever get the chance to experience that.
   

Elder Fetsirg (Official art) by Boskoop



Cover image: by Michal Kva

Comments

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9 Jul, 2019 18:51

I love the images of the creature. By the quote it seems that people from other places thought they were mounts, but they weren't really? Just wanted to clarify that a little. The side quote mentions that they are related to strength and beauty, are there any legends about them that created that idea?   Overall, great creature.

Sage Happy4488
Matthieu A.
9 Jul, 2019 18:53

Hey! Thanks for the comment. :) Some people use them as mounts but it's kinda rare, as they are very slow. There are probably legends and stories about them, I need to flesh that aspect out a bit more :)

9 Jul, 2019 18:59

This is an awesome "beast of burden" article. I wish I could give you more in-detail feedback, but this article has nailed pretty much everything imo, including some very neat and organized formatting.   The beginning quote made me laugh, although I think perhaps it would make more sense after the first introductory sentence, so that the reader knows why a horse pales in comparison to this bear with antlers creature.   I really liked all of the distinctions you made between wild and domesticated Fetsirgs. One thing I was left wondering about the The Dark Flood, and why did it impact Fetsirgs particularly...

Sage Happy4488
Matthieu A.
9 Jul, 2019 19:02

Thank you so much for your comment.   I still need to write about The Dark Flood and definitely should explain it better here. Basically, most of the animals lived in the north of Grishak, which was entirely destroyed by the flood, killing all the animals living there at the same time.   Good point for the quote, I'll move it right now.

9 Jul, 2019 21:40

The really clear layout I have to give you that! The layout really makes the article pop.   As improvements maybe talk a bit about notable landmarks they have helped construct? they are beasts of burden after all and would be used to carry materials. Maybe a story about one ala "The Tiger who came to tea?" just freeballing ideas but overall I love the article!