Towering giants that stand well above 15 feet,these inhabitants of the great grasslands that border the most remote boundaries of the nation of Xhiklus,are an intimidating cross between humanoid and rhino. Their massive heads resemble those of a rhino,but they possess the hunched,hulking lower bodies of a humanoid being,and are endowed with the ability to fashion and use tools with their huge,three fingered hands. Often called ‘‘the Grey Monsters’’ by most people of the Hundreds,they are a force to be reckoned with.
The supreme ruler of the rhino folk is the ‘‘Pulosh’‘,or ‘‘Son of Eshula.’’ Other titles for him include ‘‘Ruler of the Grasslands’’ and ‘Sire of many’‘. He is believed to be the earthly vessel that houses some of the essence of Ehsula,the eldest of the Spirit Guides the rhino folk revere,and is thus worshipped as divinity made flesh. This means that he needs the consent of no one to act as he feels is right,though the druids and earth-shapers are highly regarded by him and often counsel him on important matters.
The royal title of Pulosh is not inherited. Eshula chooses to place part of him in the one that he sses fit to house his essence. This can be anyone,from the son of a druid to the child of a humble forager.
When the current Pulosh dies,there follows a month of mourning when everyone ceases to forage for food,choosing instead to mourn the departure of Ehsula’s vessel. The druids keep the people fed by encouraging grass and fruit to sprout around abundantly around the homes of the Jabbaru. The body of the Pulosh is kept for 10 days during which the druids perform the final rites and appeal to Eshula to return soon.Then the dead king is carried forth from his palace to the huge earthen mound where he will be interred.
For the next few weeks,the druids are in charge of ruling the kingdom until the sacred day of Gosh arrives. This is day when the new Pulsoh is chosen. All the young males of the land are summoned and made to line up before the great earthen lunar temple some distance away from the grand residence of the Pulosh. They stand there totally silent,until a druid on the top of the temple sights the red star of Tarsis shooting across the sky. Tarsis is regarded as the vehicle of Eshula that carries him as he roams the skies above,searching for the mortal that will have the honor of serving as his divine vessel. When the star finally vanishes from sight,immediately all the eyes of the assembled young males are illuminated with torches. The one who has Tarsis reflected in his eyes is declared the new Pulosh. He is then carried by the rest gathered there to his new home to enjoy a new life of great comfort and luxury. The very next day,a week of celebration is declared. Great platters of food are brought forth by the royal staff for a feat held for all his subjects that takes place in the great halls of the Pulosh’s residence for every day of the week. The Pulosh himself appears before them to bless his people with the divine grace of Eshula and gifts are given away. He has of course,good reason to be happy.
As well as being give the best of what the kingdom has,he also has the preveliege of impregnating the choicest young females of the land,in order to give his people capable offspring that will help them greatly. However,if he female that he desires has already chosen another male,the Pulosh like any other male,must follow the dictate of tribal law and prove himself worthy of her by challenging his rival to the time honored duel where each tries to to topple the other with his huge horn. If the Pulosh wins,the female is his. If not,he must accept the outcome and settle for another female to be his concubine. In these cases,the sister or cousin is usually offered to the Pulosh,since it is considered rude to leave the Pulosh empty handed for all his trouble.
Children sired by the Pulosh are greatly honored in Jabbaru society. Indeed,many of a Pulosh’s offspring go on to join the Druid priesthood which accepts only those with a gift for wielding the elements,and contribute greatly to the Jabaaru kingdom,something attributed to their divine progeny. Like all Jabarru youngsters,they are raised by their mothers and never see their sire,for the Jabbaru feel that a male’s work in parenting done when he plants his seed in a female that catches his eye.
Directly below the Eshula and the druids,are the provincinal nobility or Chiefs that govern and protect the various Jabbaru villages from any reprisal human raids,in addtion to enforcing tribal law. Each High Chief is in command of his own army that is drawn from the ranks of willing young males that are eager to guard their people from raids by external foes.
Females stay with their mothers until they decide to take part in the great breeding orgies of the mating seasons,but males are driven out upon reaching maturity,forcing them to start a life of their own. Some of them choose to live alone,while others join groups made up of young males that live together,forming a brotherhood of sorts. Often wild and lawless,these brotherhoods,for the sake of stability and order,are strongly encouraged to join the armies of the Jabbaru where their hot blooded tendencies can be put to good use.
Jabbaru society is generally free,with no slavery allowed among them. All compelled labor is done by human prisoners taken in war,since prisonsers among them simply do not exist. All criminals and law breakers are either banished or executed. Furthermore,females are allowed to try their hands at the same things as males. The Society of Bards and Loremasters of the Jabbaru who are much esteemed for their preservation of the oral history of their people and second only to the druids in esteem,boast a large number of females among their ranks. Even the druid priesthood has been known to appoint elected talented females as head of its order.
The Jabbaru wear no clothing of any kind. However,they do enjoy bedecking themselves with gold jewelry,given the abundance of gold in the Jabbaru lands. Males wear giant torques around their thick,powerful necks while females prefer giant hoop earings that are said to make them more desirable to males.
Miltary wise,the Jabbaru are among the most warlike and powerful of the non-human races in existence. Extremely hostile to all humans whom they revile as ‘‘blood drinkers’’ and ‘‘flesh eaters’‘,the Jabaru often mount raids into the border lands of Xhiklos to sack and raze the human farms they find there. As far as the rhino folk are concerned,these settlements constructed by the hated blood drinkers,are no less than debased concetration camps where their fellow herbivores are killed off in horrendous numbers by vicious,beastial humans. Thus,it is their manifest duty to help clear this blight off the face of the earth whenever possible,a mentality that has led to frequent border skirmishes with the armies of Xhiklus and at times,even attempted invasions of their kingdom by the latter. Fortunately for them, the Jabbaru have always managed to fend off all attempts to put them under the despised human yoke. This is something of a surprise for their arrogant human foes,as by the standards of the Hundred,the rhino folk are very primitive,stepping into battle with only their famous stone maces and flint tipped javelines.
Having shunned the path of technology that the foul humans have so aggresively pursued,the Jabbaru despise arcane human weapons are tools of evil sorcery that are employed by foes too vile and cowardly to engage the enemy in honorable war fare. Thus,rather than stoop to the level of the hated blood drinkers by employing their dark instruments of chaos,the Jabbaru rely on their massive strength and great knowledge of the grass lands to lure enemy detachments into devastating ambushes. In one of their greatest victories ever against Xhiklos,their Pulsoh Ghia-Ul-Hulk and his brave warriors massacared 17 thousand of the Diktator’s soldiers and a senior High Kommander,showing the ruler of Xhiklus that the Jabbaru were no hapless savages to be crushed like an insect.