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Clanbar

“One roar from Ygdr here and most creatures will seek another meal. Sure, she can get cranky, that’s how I got this scar, but I’ll take her over a pack of hounds any day”
-Kuna Nordottir – Allfrerhem Clanbar handler

Also Known as: Karhukor, Bjørn-hund, Bear-dog, Hemicyonid
Habitat: Northern Mountains, Forests, Plains
Hazard Level: Variable

Summary
The Clanbar is a type of proto-bear found only in Northern Aeldos. Sharing traits with both bears and wolves, the Clanbar is a dangerous predator, combining the mass and power of Ursids with the pack hunting mentality of Canids. Fortunately for the inhabitants of the north the only surviving Clanbar were long ago domesticated by their ancestors. Clanbar average between 2 and 2.3 meters in length, and 80 centimeters tall, though there are some specimens which have grown as large as 2.8 meters long and 1 meter tall. The average weight for an adult Clanbar ranges between 300 and 400 kg. Clanbar females tend to be larger than males, but less aggressive. Clanbar fur colours have been observed to include black, grey, white, russet, and brown, with some bi-colour specimens. Clanbar temperaments are generally described as “grumpy but loyal”. Clanbar bond closely with their trainers and possess strong parental instinct, defending their perceived ‘clan’ aggressively. This same instinct has led to many examples of Clanbar readily adopting the young of other species Lifespans are between 20 and 25 years, shorter in the wild.

Description
Clanbar are large, sturdy, and social predators distantly related to both bears and wolves. They have a flatter face than a wolf, but a thinner and longer body and are a digitigrade species, unlike bears. In the wild they rarely form packs, tending instead to travel in pairs or trios. They hunt prey more readily than most bears but are not hyper-carnivorous, tending instead to be opportunists. They possess potent senses and most are capable trackers, able to follow scents as easily as any bloodhound. Clanbar do not hibernate but are known to enter long torporous slumbers during particularly cold periods. Clanbar are a relatively uncommon species, found mostly in Svertheim and parts of Vandar.

According to surviving records, during the Urul Imperium the Clanbar were pushed to the verge of extinction with only a small number surviving in captivity. During the cataclysm the species was released from captivity but many proved disinterested or incapable of resuming lived in their natural habitats. Intervening records provide little detail as to what happened next but the end result was the domesticated Clanbar of today.

Clanbar are found in many northern areas acting as guards, trackers, and hunting animals. Some Clanbar have even been trained as herding animals. Typically they are kept in kennels, outside of major bastions due to their aversion to dense populations. Most clanbar are docile or indifferent towards humans unless threatened, though they are also extremely protective of their trainers and close companions. The species is somewhat territorial; any more than 5 clanbar in an area tends to lead to trouble.

Domesticated Clanbar require considerable food, with a strong preference for fish, game meats, fruits, and honey. “Hungry as a clanbar” is a common Svertan turn of phrase, a reflection of the extremely voracious appetite the species is known for.

Clanbar litters are rarely more than two in size and are raised by both parents.

While the Svertan culture is best known for keeping Clanbars, the species can also be found serving Vandar tribes and a few particularly eccentric Granden nobles.

The name Clanbar comes from the history of the pre-Svertans who originally organized themselves into tribes or clans, much like the Vandar, before the uniting of the culture. During this pre-Svertheim period Clanbar were a part of most clans and typically seen as members of the clan. Some evidence even points to clan laws in relation to the species.

The species has demonstrated only limited morphological variance, with a small number of breeds.

Kotibar: Kotibar are the most common ‘breed’; none. Kotibar are found across the north, and have the greatest diversity of features, colours, and temperaments.
Lansibar: The Lansibar, or ‘Western Clanbar’ breed is slightly larger and less tame than the Kotibar and tend towards russet pelts, longer forelimbs, and a slightly more canine facial structure. They are generally considered less intelligent than other breeds.
Vuoribar (Mountain): The white and grey furred Vuoribar is almost exclusively found among the Felyagr, the Northern Tollam. They are the largest breed, averaging closer to 2.5 meters long and 380 kg. Vouribar have slightly more ursine facial features.
Hundbar (Hunting): The ‘royal breed’ known as the Hundbar are kept by Thanes across Svertheim as hounds. They have been bred for keen senses and intelligence, and are well known for both. Hundbar can come in any colour but many Thanes make it a point to seek breeds whose colours differentiate them from those of the other Thane’s. Hunds often have hetochromatic eyes, with one eye pale blue – this is considered a blessing as many Svertans claim that such a trait is a symbol of service to the Vox and attribute supernatural perception to those who bear it. Hundbar are known across Aeldos as loyal guards, exceptionally capable at distinguishing friend from foe.