Razor boars are a notably vicious species of wild pig found in many environments across western Immoren, particularly in semiarid hilly regions. They often breed out of control and threaten other species living in the vicinity.
Razor boars are roughly the size of wolves, and their thick skulls have been known to deflect gunfire. A thick pelt of fur that runs around the razor boar’s shoulders and down its spine grants it some protection, allowing it to drive through the densest thorns and underbrush with impunity. The male’s tusks are very sharp and can grow up to a foot long; the female’s are no duller but much shorter. Some lowland breeds have a secondary set of sharp tusks set just behind the first.
Razor boars are omnivorous but prefer meat. Because they are smart enough to attack individuals rather than groups, solitary journeys through their territory are a dangerous endeavor. Skilled hunters and scavengers, razor boars are capable of subsisting on any edible material. Adult males are typically solitary but sometimes hunt in small groups; juveniles and females live in groups of twenty to fifty led by a dominant female. During mating season, these herds grow larger with an influx of adult males.
Once razor boars move into an area, they are difficult to eradicate due to their size, robust physique, and rapid breeding cycles. With access to an abundant food source, females can produce two litters a year with an average of six offspring per litter. This has led many areas of western Immoren to post bounties for razor boar pelts in an attempt to cull swollen populations.
For centuries the farrow have used razor boars much like men use hounds, teaching them to guard territory and bringing them on hunts to track prey. Farrow selectively breed razor boars to produce larger, more aggressive specimens, often culling a litter to eight or nine shoats to ensure the boars they want are the ones that grow and thrive. Only the biggest boars possessed of the most savage dispositions are chosen to be mated, a primitive breeding program that has resulted in beasts barely controlled by their masters.
Occasionally, razor boars raised by the farrow will escape and move into the wild. Larger and far more dangerous than the wild breeds, these individuals quickly mingle and become dominant in the wild population. As a result, wild razor boars on the fringes of farrow territory are even larger and more vicious than those in other areas. Farrow frequently hunt promising specimens, supplementing their breeding stock. Particularly impressive razor boars are sometimes used as valuable barter within a tribe or between cooperating tribes.
Any razor boars kept by a farrow tribe are trained in a most rudimentary and grisly way: they are fed the meat of a large variety of species. The farrow prefer to butcher these victims close to the razor boars so that the creatures hear the anguished cries of their coming meal. The victims’ screams of pain and fear ring out from the butchering complex before each meal, and the beasts learn to associate them with an impending meal. The sounds of the dying on the battlefield awaken razor boars’ hunger, making the cacophony of battle sound like a dinner bell to them drive the beasts into a ferocious rage.
Trained like hounds to attack on command, razor boars are often the vanguard of farrow raiding parties. Razor boars on the periphery of a farrow tribe may serve as an early warning measure against intrusion by outsiders. In battle, razor boars are typically equipped with a tusked helmet. The helmet does not impede the razor boar’s motion, and the beast does not require training to wear it.
The meat thresher, a simple chariot built from scrap iron, makes use of razor boars an integral part of its engine. Rather than relying on a complex boiler system to generate steam power, the meat thresher uses its stove to heat a massive steel cylinder holding a small herd of razor boars. As the cylinder heats up, the panicked creatures begin to run, powering the machine’s locomotion. The razor boars, running within the drum and finding no escape, are slowly cooked alive. As an added bonus, when the boars succumb to the heat they'll be cooked to delicious perfection.