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Tu’ru

Appearance

The Tu’ru resemble overlarge gorillas in appearance, save that they have a second pair of arms, that are used to assist in climbing or pinning opponents. Their forms are lean and muscular, and – at full height – they have posture identical to Elves or Humans. They’re beings of massive strength and endurance, and have a keen sense of smell twice that of any Elf or Human. Tu’ru fur is typically black or brown at birth, but they’ve been known to dye their coats in a myriad of shades. However, Tu’ru born with red or white fur are seen as “marked” and destined for futures as priests or leaders.

None of the Tu’ru have ever been observed to die of old age. Magical study reveals the possibility that they can live for centuries, but this is only broad speculation until more work can be done. Tu’ru themselves often speak of a ritual where maimed and “useless” warriors are stoned to death and cannibalized.

History

The tower complex that the Tu’ru call home existed long before they came into being. It was built during the latter colonial days of the First Empire, and was occupied by the Durn’hala during the Elven Civil War. It was abandoned once most of Dark Elven society moved underground and largely forgotten, until the Tu’ru seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Some speculate that the Tu'ru are the result of magical experimentation that took place there, and others instead suggest the Tu'ru, or their ancestors at least, migrated from Nira or even an unknown part of Itaire.

Though the appearance of the Tu'ru as a semi-civilized people has only come to recent light, attempts have been made to contact them or, in some cases, capture and interrogate them. With either method, there have been varying degrees of success.

Culture

The Tu'ru are powerful craftspeople of stone and metal and are natural adepts of spiritual and arcane magic. Despite their primitive appearance and lacking any real amount of metal or the capability to mine, Tu'runian crafters are capable of producing quality weapons and armor. They have learned to employ a magical “threading” technique, similar to that of the Dark Elves, allowing them to fuse metal cores or skins onto predominantly wooden or stone weapons or armor. The main weapon of the Tu'ru are spiked and plated stone clubs. While the Tu'ru have never been observed to employ traditional ranged weapons, they are proficient with bolas, which they use to great effect against fleeing enemies or their mounts.

The Tu'ru follow a simplistic tribal structure, with a chief, presumably the strongest and wisest, at the top. He is served directly by two subordinates, a spiritual leader, and a military one. The chief will also apprentice what he deems his successor, grooming him or her for the chieftanship.

The religious nuances of the Tu'ru are still a mystery. Though they have no navy to speak of, they are great lovers of the ocean, and make constant reference to a “shining god of the waters” that many of them revere. Little is known beyond this, and while some speculate that this is simply a primitive form of Sun God worship, there is small evidence of it.