Great Kar

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The Great Kar is a large predatory mammal. In most of its range, it is the largest predator and so has no natural enemies. In terms of earth creatures, it could be described as being something like a cross between a wolf and a grizzly bear.

The Great Kar has been both feared and revered by men since time immemorial. Never really tamed, but sufficiently trained to work as an animal of war in the era before gunpowder. They are large enough for a man to ride, but were never a main cavalry animal (see Ristkonian Horse Equivalents) due to being difficult to control and slower than the alternatives. More commonly they were simply unleashed upon the enemy with their teeth and claws as their main weapon. In several cultures, armor was frequently made for them to wear in combat.

The Beast of the Western Wilds was a particular large and fearsome example.

In modern times the creature was considered so dangerous and incompatible with humans, except the aforementioned military uses, that they were largely wiped out in the wild. Many survive in captivity and in a few remote areas.

The Stofonian Empire maintained largely ceremonial units of the Great Kar, for centuries after it had ceased to be useful on the battlefield. The creatures were displayed prominently in military parades and were occasionally used in blood sports.

The wild population was temporarily reinvigorated during the Fracture of the Stofonian Empire when many armies allowed their Kar to escape. In populous parts, however, most were killed or recaptured in the years after the war.

The remnants of the emperor's own Kar troops, were moved from military bases to a zoo in Stofstans. The largest and oldest currently living individual is called "Old Brown".

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