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Kupuk, also known as walrus dogs, were creatures native to the Great Glacier and domesticated by the Ulutiuns to serve as sled-pullers.[2]

DescriptionEdit

At first glance, a kupuk appeared to be a cross between a walrus and a dog. They were thick-bodied, with leathery skin, which had a gray, yellowish, or tan color to it. They were mostly hairless, but had a thick mane around their heads and hair on their long tails. They had two large tusks, about six inches (fifteen centimeters) each, and a canine face. A kupuk had four paws that were webbed and flat, with sharp claws. These allowed it to tread easily atop snow and let it swim with ease.[1]

A kupuk had a prehensile, furred tail, which it usually kept curled up in a spiral. The tail was five inches (thirteen centimeters) thick and, when fully extended, five feet (150 centimeters) long. The tail also had a sharp, bony point at the tip, which could be used as a weapon by the animal.[1]

Kupuk had strong senses of smell and could track prey from up to 300 feet (90 meters) away. They were so adapted to cold environments that not even magical cold effects would cause them harm.[1]

A kupuk was strong enough to carry 500 pounds (225 kilograms) on its back and could easily drag sleds carrying double that. They did not, however, like to carry humans on their backs.[1]

BehaviorEdit

Kupuk made loud howls, which were very similar in sound to those of wolves. Mildly intelligent, they spoke no language but could be trained to understand human commands.[1]

Curious creatures, a wild kupuk would often approach a human calmly. If fed or tickled on their tails, kupuk would quickly attach themselves to strangers, even going so far as to protect them.[2][1]

CombatEdit

While generally friendly creatures, kupuk would defend themselves violently if attacked.[2][1] They clawed and bit but also used the sharp point on their tails to impale enemies. If defending their nests, they would sometimes enter a frenzy, much like a badger or wolverine.[1]

SocietyEdit

In the wild, kupuk packs were led by the largest female, who also usually had the strongest sense of smell.[1] A typical pack would contain between half and two dozen animals.[3] A pack usually had half as many pups as adults.[1]

They did not make permanent lairs.[1]

EcologyEdit

Most kupuk were raised domestically, but wild packs of the creatures could be found in Alpuk, especially in the plains and the foothills of the Lugsaas Chain.[2] The Surykyk Mountains were also full of wild kupuk. They often used Mount Akka as a nesting place.[4] Small numbers also roamed the Ipinovularond mountains of the Novularond.[5]

Kupuk were carnivorous.[1] They preferred seal and fish,[1] but also ate deer, rabbits, and even wolves.[6]

They were not, however, at the top of the food chain, and they were hunted by tirichik[7][1] and white dragons.[1]

Kupuk were egg-laying creatures. They reproduced about once per year. When ready to lay her eggs, a kupuk mother would first dig a shallow hole in the snow and then deposit one to four gold-colored eggs, about a foot (30 centimeters) in diameter each. She would then cover the eggs with snow. A mother would valiantly guard her eggs until her pups hatched.[1]

UsesEdit

Kupuk were known for their loyalty. In fact, charms carved to look like kupuk were given to children as a part of the utqukoku ritual to symbolize that trait.[8]

The primary use for domesticated kupuk was as sled-pullers. A kupuk sled was larger than a dogsled, being between three and four feet (90 to 120 centimeters) wide. Where a dogsled was pulled by a team of six to eight dogs, a single kupuk was strong enough to pull a sled, even if loaded with half a ton (450 kilograms) of weight.[9]

Kupuk were also used to pull hiuchupuk, types of water sleds, or umiaks, which were a kind of boat.[9]

Kupuk were often trusted to protect Ulutiun children. Kupuk would naturally wrap crying babies in their tails and allow them to suck on their paws to calm them.[10][1]

A kupuk was worth about as much as five sled dogs in the Ulutiun economy.[11] Kupuk trained in the village of Puttak were especially coveted.[12] So valued were kupuk in general that they were one of the few things allowed to be passed on to one's offspring upon one's death.[13] In some villages, kupuk even had their own snowhouses, called jititp, in which to live.[14]

While generally docile, one tribe of bandits on the Great Glacier, the village of Eghagu has trained kupuk to be attack animals, using them to fight in raids on travelers.[15]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

Those who did not know better believed that kupuk laid golden eggs.[16] In truth, the eggs were not made of any exotic materials; they simply had a golden color.[1] Even so, kupuk eggs were still valuable.[1] They could be used in certain healing potions and could sell for as much as 500[1] or even 10,000 gold pieces in the Cold Lands![10] Unfortunately, the eggs needed to be kept cold to maintain their rigidity; they would often melt when transported.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier (Monstrous Compendium). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  3. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  4. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  5. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  6. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 90. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  7. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  8. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 40. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 91. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  11. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  12. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  13. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  14. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  15. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  16. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 80. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.

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