"Ah, yes, of course. All of my sails are made from Gurzwa leather. Such a precious thing -- I had to pay the Shasreel a hefty price to travel the desert, even more so to inquire about their wondrous sails. My only wish is that they were bigger. They're patchwork for now, though my seamstress does a good job at hiding it. I'd pay a king's ransom for such magnificent sails could they be done in one piece." - Rodrigo Valance, Captain of the Headhunter
The Gurzwa is a large rodent found within The Sands of Sturn
. In appearance it is somewhere between a rat and a fox, but size much closer to a wolf. Most notably about them is the collection of loose skin in overlapping folds over their body. Using a thin muscle membrane under the skin, they can stretch it to the far extents of their limbs to disperse heat in the sun or catch water in the rare case of rain. This large stretch of skin is what makes the Gurzwa so highly desired for it's utilization as leather.
Each dead adult, when properly skinned by a skilled hunter, can produce a hide that is nearly ten feet long and four feet wide. Though it loses a bit of length in the tanning process the hide remains long enough for the sails of Sand Skiffs, for which they were originally purposed by the Shasreel. Once tanned the leather remains extremely pliable yet durable. The leather can stretch with rope and wind and endure great tension and strength without ripping. The Shasreel were the first to realize it's value and use them for sails, before sharing their knowledge with select passengers.
News of the hide spread quickly after learning it's uses from the desert nomads. Dahlen
within their cities sent hunters to collect it for their own personal uses. From the hide they made durable garments, containers, satchels, even flags for family sigils and tents for market shops. The mass appeal and demand caused the Dahlen to hunt the Gurzwa into near-extinction, believing them to be so for many years. The Shasreel have claimed otherwise stating that they have simply gone into hiding from the greed of city-dwellers. Gurzwa leather has become a highly desired rarity now, easily worth it's weight in gold.