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Urpan

“I warned Ogon about hunting Urpan alone. You might get lucky with one or two kills, but once the band realizes it’s under attack… I hear they still haven’t found his face.”

Also Known as: Urgas, Bear-ape, Grundlebrog, Gashee
Habitat: Northern Mountains, Forests, Jungles
Hazard Level: High

Summary
A common and dangerous proto-hominid with traits similar to both bears and apes. Urpan groups, known as bands, are found throughout the north of Aeldos, hunting or torturing any animal they are able to catch. Urpan average between 1.8 and 2 meters in height when standing, though there are some instances of Urpan growing as large as 2.5 meters. Average weight for an adult ranges between 150 to 200 kg. Urpan are capable of walking upright but mostly walk on their knuckles, giving them a hunched posture. They are able to use crude tools for hunting but are otherwise dull witted, driven only by hunger and a seemingly endless cruelty. The natural Urpan lifespan is between 45 and 50 years but their aggressive temperament means few live past their late 20’s.

Description
The Urpan is a large, highly aggressive and territorial proto-hominid with a sloped face and large teeth. The facial structure of the Urpan has lead many to liken it to both bear and ape. These notoriously foul tempered creatures possess a limited intelligence which enables them to engage in extremely basic tool use and crude tribalism. Urpan have heavy body fat and fur allowing them to survive in the chill northern winters but limiting their migration as they tend to suffer heat sickness when transported further south than Lux. Urpan fur colours include brown, black, grey, mottled variations thereof. Rarer white furred Urpan are said to dwell north of the Sword peaks. Urpan are typically found in small groups of 20-50 known as bands which are ruled by the most powerful male. The lead male or ‘chief’ in a band is the only one permitted to breed; all other males are expected to show submission to the lead at all times. Each band claims a large hunting and gathering territory which they defend vigorously against humans, predators, and other Urpan with great violence. Internal disputes are also settled with quite brutal violence and few Urpan survive to adulthood without significant scars. Their preferred nests are built of bent trees and scavenged wood and branches, often haphazardly piled over crevasses or against rock cliffs to create crude shelter, in some ways akin to beaver dams but far less stable. Many Urpan collect trophies and trinkets and their nests can offer a bounty of random curiosities, lost weapons, and armour to those brave or stupid enough to approach one.

Urpan are known to ambush travelers, caravans, and even armed patrols, loping from the woods en masse to attack using their powerful hands, rending teeth, or general strength. Some particularly clever Upran will utilize crude wooden spears or lob heavy rocks from the trees. They are extremely strong and quick and can easily tear a humans arm off or snap a human spine once in range. The brutality of Urpan attacks is widely known; survivors are rare and almost always left disfigured and disabled by an attack.

Urpan hostility towards humans appears to be largely driven by territoriality and opportunism as they have come to recognize human caravans as a source of food, both in the cargo and the carriers (Upran seem to enjoy horse and human meat). While Urpan do not tend to seek out humans in particular, and will avoid larger settlements, they are known to prey on smaller outposts.

The Urpan diet is omnivorous with a significant meat component and they hunt wildlife as a band. Their general tactic is to ambush prey, rushing from multiple directions and tearing the living quarry limb from limb. Once a victim has been trapped the Urpan seem to take great enjoyment in their suffering, prolonging it by delaying the killing blow. Once the kill has been completed the Urpan will often join in a chorus of howling, snorting, and screaming to mark the act before beginning to feed. The dominant Urpan always eats first and to fullness before any other Urpan may partake. The sound of an Urpan victory is often the first warning for travelers in an area to be on guard.

There is significant evidence that Urpan hunt prey they have no intention of eating, leaving the dying to a painful and lingering demise.
Urpan territory is well marked and most hunters know to avoid it. The Urpan push over trees and smear feces as a warning to trespassers.

There are no recorded instances of Urpan being domesticated, tamed, or otherwise trained. To date, all encounters with Urpan lead to the death of one side or another.

Urpan Grundler The lesser Urpan, both male and female, are known as Grundlers. They make up the bulk of the Urpan band, following their chief until an opportunity to take control appears. More than one traveler has escaped an Urpan attack by killing the Chief, leaving the Grundlers to fight over dominance.
Urpan Chief Upran Chiefs are the largest, meanest, and very occasionally the smartest of the species. Most allow their Grundlers to lead attacks, entering only at the last minute to claim the glory of a kill. Chiefs are treated with great deference by Grundlers, at least until any sign of weakness or opportunity presents itself. Chiefs are typically identifiable by their size (larger than most) and the tendency to mark themselves in other ways (rubbing crude dyeing agents in their fur, draping rotting skins or furs over their shoulders, intentionally matting their fur with blood)
Urpan Whelp Young Urpan are known as whelps. Born in litters of 4-5, they grow to adult sizes within a year or two of birth. They retain a thin, patchy fur coat and thinner body for several more years as a result of their infrequent feeding. Whelps are often faster than adults and driven by an intense hunger that makes them less discerning about their targets. Most whelps don’t survive to adulthood, killed by malnourishment, disease, or their own band.