This week, Jacinth takes a trip to a warmer climate and examines the past of one of Dereth’s rulers not named Strathelar or Varicci, Bobo, a.k.a Oolutanga the Tusker King:

image Almost since the moment the Tuskers first arrived on Dereth, they have served as recipients of abuse by other species. The Virindi have used the primates as servants and guardians for their dungeons, and Isparian adventurers have spent countless hours scouring those dungeons, leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of Tusker corpses in their wake. However, it is said that what comes around goes around, and fate tends to have a wicked sense of humor. Both of those tenets are perfectly manifested in the person of Oolutanga, otherwise known as King Bobo.

Oolutanga was once an ordinary Tusker, bound into slavery by his Virindi masters. His future appeared to be the same as many of his brethren: To wander the wilds of Dereth in service to his alien overlords, to protect their strongholds from intrusion, and to likely meet his death at the end of an Isparian blade or spell. That future changed, however, when Oolutanga entered the laboratory of the Virindi named Aerbax. Aerbax was obsessed with the inner workings of organic beings and performed dozens of experiments n the hopes of understanding what made them function. His favorite technique towards that end was the mutilation and modification of still-living beings, often resulting in a mangled creature possessing as many Virindi parts as their original appendages; Oolutanga became such a subject.

Like many subjects before him, including Lilitha and Candeth Martine, Oolutanga’s body was experimented upon, altered to be far stronger than that of a normal Tusker. In addition to physical modifications, Aerbax also gave his prisoner several mental upgrades, increasing his intelligence and even giving him the ability to cast magical spells. Most chilling of the gifts Aerbax gave to Oolutanga, though, was fear; he tortured his Tusker slave, inflicting unspeakable physical and emotional abuse upon him, to the point that Oolutanga believed his master to be an actual deity. Unlike Martine, the Virindi believed, this creature wouldn’t rebel.

Time would prove Aerbax wrong, of course. During the prolonged absence of his master, Oolutanga made his escape from Virindi imprisonment. He eventually made his way to a previously undiscovered chain of tropical islands just off the coast of Dereth, a chain ruled by a Monouga of immense size and strength. Oolutanga battled this Monouga, and eventually his Virindi-augmented strength won out, though the victory cost him his right hand. There in his new kingdom, which we now call Aphus Lassel, Oolutanga established a home for his beleaguered brethren, a place where they would rule and others would serve. A handful of poor humans who somehow made their way to the islands were even made into the Tusker’s slaves, as they had once been slaves to the Virindi.

Oolutanga, who now also goes by the name “King Bobo” (a name much easier for his fellow Tuskers to pronounce), still reigns over Aphus Lassel, though that reign is far from peaceful. A mysterious old sage dwells deep within the jungles of the islands, offering advice and aide to those who would fight the Tuskers, and even among the humans enslaved in Oolutanga’s Retreat, a rebellion is forming, and the call goes out to their free cousins on Dereth to fight back against these simian oppressors. It appears that, even removed from the influence of others, the fate of the Tusker species still brings them into violent contact with Isparians. Perhaps one day, far into Dereth’s future, we Isparians will find ourselves finally at peace with the Tuskers, or perhaps that same future might see hostilities ended by the extinction of either or both species. Regardless, for the time being, Tusker and Isparian find themselves intrinsically linked, our fates bound far beyond the influence of alien beings and fake gods, with no change in sight for the foreseeable future.

For more on Oolutanga, read the Tusker Paw quest writeup.

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