The Dread Boar is one of the creatures that came out of nowhere and racked up a ton of mileage quickly. Debuting in the Legends of Windemere series, they have also been mentioned and appeared in War of Nytefall and The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks. That covers a lot of ground, so you know these giant pigs are going to keep coming back. Honestly, they’ve kind of become my ‘go to’ wild beast when I need something big and aggressive. Not necessarily for a fight, but comparisons and declarations of toughness for blowhards. So, where did they come from?
Way back, I was adding wild beasts to a nature scene to set the stage and I got to the audible parts. I didn’t want to do solely real animals and I began thinking of a beast that could roar in the distance. My mind kept coming back to boars since I had recently read about the Gullinbursti of Norse mythology. So, I had the loud bellow of a . . . angry . . . dire . . . death . . . Dread Boar! I brought up the beast a few more times before I actually showed what it looked like. Even then, it was a group of shape-shifting monsters disguised as Dread Boars. Still, this was the first look at what they were and they acted the way they were supposed to. Calm until they feel threatened and then they go on an aggressive rampage that can mow down an entire forest if left unchecked.
I made them huge with rough hair after reading on how pigs can quickly go feral when they are released into the wild. They go from cute pink animals to the destructive boars that fictional barbarians battle when they have nothing better to do. This wasn’t fantasy enough for me, so I added metallic tusks and hooves. Dread Boars are not only strong, but they are fast and smart enough to use group tactics. This goes out the window if they are enraged, which happens if startled or threatened. Protecting their young isn’t as violent because they make a circle around the babies and scrape their tusks together to create an ear-wrenching screech. This scares off most animals and warns others in the area that the herd is nearby with children. When moving, they will knock over trees that are in their path, but their dung is a very powerful fertilizer. New plants grew fairly quickly in the wake of a Dread Boar.
So far, I’ve only had them on Ralian, so I haven’t decided on if you can find them on the other continents. Definitely not Shayd or Ambervale due to what they are. I might come up with variations for the other regions. Maybe have one kind be a little smaller like your African and Asian elephants. Another could be more aquatic if I put it in the Cerascent Archipelago. For monsters that are designed to be part of the wilderness, you can play with have different versions of the same species. After all, that’s how things work in the real world.