Belief's Horizon: Setting

Grith Beasts: Tulls

This Berythean beast of burden is often seen working on farms, or pulling vehicles, and can also be saddled and ridden like a horse. It provides the bulk of land transportation for people in both Berythea and Maithea (having successfully migrated there with the advent of maritime trade in the 7th century of the Dark Age).

Tulls have remarkably fast-growing hooves, if stimulated properly by work on hard surfaces. At the end of a long journey, when they've stopped wearing down their hooves on hard roads all day, it takes a few days for the hooves to adjust their growth rate, so the tull's owner must trim them. These trimmings are traditionally thrown over the barn for good luck, and the dogs eat the ones that come down on the other side. This causes dogs to vomit, but of course they can't help themselves.

Sorry. This is not about dogs. Tulls have horns that begin at their temples, and curve back. Narrowing gradually, they keep curving, around the beast's long, erect, and motile ears, until they end in a point facing forward alongside their snout, which is short, fuzzy, and split-lipped like a camel's. Avid foragers, they will eat grass or any fresh growth on a plant, but also like grains, oats, and especially apples and carrots. They have a keen sense of smell, but are colorblind, and their fur tends toward bland grays or dun colors.

In addition to being strong and hardworking, tulls are intelligent and strong-willed, as far as domesticated animals are concerned anyway, and develop a bond with their co-workers (both people and other tulls). In fact, tulls will stubbornly resist strangers, and so can be useful as protection for both home and travelers. Enterprising merchants discovered that removing a tull's horns significantly alters their personality, making them docile and indiscriminating. Tulls whose horns were removed before maturity and kept away from unaltered tulls are called "tullpen" and serve as valuable animals for hire.

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