Races of the East: Taer

Primitive hunters of the icebound north, taers are cruel and savage creatures who haunt the remote mountains and passes of the East. They launch war parties into warmer lands, carrying off livestock, food stores, or even people for the clan's larder. Even more so than other evil folk such as orcs or gnolls, taers are regarded by other races as crude, bloodthirsty beasts without a single redeeming quality.

Although taers regard other creatures as potential enemies or meals, they possess a surprisingly complex store of oral histories, rules for conduct within the clan, and tribal wisdom. Long ago, the race developed a comprehensive code to govern its tendency toward violence, at least between its own members. Anyone not of the taer's clan is beyond the protection of this code and can be robbed, murdered, or eaten at will. Those few taers who wander into civilized lands either extend their concept of "clan" to some other set of intelligent creatures, such as a group of bandits, a village, or an adventuring band, or quickly die at the hands of an angry mob.

Personality: They lack the cognitive and innovative intelligence of humans and other such races, but taers are intuitive and imaginative in their own way. They think in analogies and metaphors, most of which are mythic sagas handed down by the storytellers of the clan from generations past. Taers see themselves as characters in a life-story that began long before they were born and will go on long after they are dead.

Taers who leave their clans and learn to regard people of other races as fellow tribesfolk (as opposed to prey) slowly weave their new experiences into their old worldview, constructing new myths to explain what they cannot understand any other way. A taer can literally "turn off" cognitive thought and descend into bestial rage in the blink of an eye to meet a physical challenge, but for days afterward, he ponders the experience and seeks to explain what happened.

Physical Description: Taers are powerfully built creatures about 5 to 6 feet in height, with thickly muscled arms and ape-like faces. They are covered in thick white fur that blends in with snowy backgrounds, although their hands and faces are bare of fur. Beneath their fur, their skin is dark gray and leathery in texture. A male taer weighs about 220 pounds, while a female is more lightly built, weighing about 180 pounds. Taers carry themselves in a crouch, their knuckles almost dragging on the ground; a taer that straightens up stands almost 7 feet in height.

Relations: No other race gets along well with taers, although frost giants, ogres, and white dragons occasionally ally with a taer clan to achieve some greater goal. In turn, taers typically view all other creatures as either enemies or prey. A taer who learns to include non-taer companions as part of his "clan" can be a loyal comrade, but he often measures his companions actions against taer expectations.

Alignment: Taers are drawn neither to law or chaos. They value the complex rules of their clan life but yearn for wild freedom. They tend to be evil, preying on non-taers too weak to defend themselves. Even within the clan, taers use their traditions ruthlessly to attain the highest status possible. A fair number of adventuring taers are of neutral alignment.

Religion: Taers possess a complex pantheon filled with spirits and mythical figures, but they most often revere aspects of Auril the Frostmaiden and Loviatar. Giant deities such as Grolantor and Thrym also appear in taer mythology.

Language: Taers speak Giant. Player character taers speak Common as well. Bonus languages include Auran, Damaran, Draconic, Orc, and Rashemi, although it's a rare taer who can manage more than two languages.

Names: Taers name themselves after landmarks and natural phenomena, preceded by a simple clan name. Examples include: Hrusk Mountain Thunder, Vulg Falling Ice, or Chark Smoking Sky.

Adventurers: Adventuring taer are almost always outcasts from their clan, who were defeated in (or failed to pursue correctly) the endless taer measurement of fitness. They are more comfortable joining a small band they can think of as a new clan than living among the folk of a large settlement. Most taer adventurers are simple brigands, but some become mercenaries who sell their strength and ferocity, and a few rare individuals attach their loyalties to a band of good-hearted heroes.

Regions: Almost all taers choose the taer region, which describes an individual driven from his clan and sent into exile in human lands.

Taer Racial Traits

Taers have the following racial abilities and characteristics.

Races of Faerûn
Character Creation