Avg. Height: 6'10"
Avg. Weight: 260 lb
Avg. Lifespan: 320
|Eyes:||Deep green and blue.||Spines:||Longer than other gharkins'.||Skin:||Earthen tones varying from dark brown to bland tan.||Tusks:||Taller and straighter than other gharkins'.||Body Type:||Clothing:||Simple, made from the skin of deer, bear, otter, dog, or even their enemy; usually comprised of hide boots, breeches, and mantles.|
Languages: Common, Gharish
Special: Racial martial arts.
Bonus to Foraging, Outdoorsman and Skinning learn rates.
The hardy Valek roam the vast rolling hills and flat expanses of Thrael. They are herders, following game and the seasons as they come and go. Their tusks stand taller and straighter than any of their cousins, allowing the distinct differentiation of tribesman at greater distances across the plains (a Valek's outline on the horizon is much different than any other of Thrael's races or sub-species of Gharkin). Valek have incredible stamina and are able to run immense distances without getting tired, which is surprising since they are the tallest and largest of the Gharkin. Their hide matches their surroundings well: they are most often of earthen tones varying from a dark brown to a bland tan. The spines of a Valek are much longer than their cousins. In battle, or while charging, these long spins flail about like the mane of a large Mirecat, often obscuring their strikes behind a mass shadow of moving tendrils. Their eyes sparkle in deep, luminescent shades of green and blue. The Valek are proud warriors and herder, living a simple and rustic life. If strangers pass through their lands, they are more likely to shadow them, making their presence known, then attack outright — most of the time. The Valek only raid when times are dire and prefer quick incursions that leave little time for a counter offensive. In warfare, they prefer hit and run tactics, picking off their opponents little by little before coming at them full bore to decimate whatever resistance remains.
The Valek wear clothing made from the skin of deer, bear, otter, dog, or even their enemy. Their clothing is simple, though not more so than the Nosk, usually comprised of hide boots, breeches, and mantles. During the summer, the men usually go bare chested, wearing only breeches and boots; the women dress the same as the men — with shirts — unless pregnant, in which case they wear a long baggy deerskin skirt and a wide tunic. The Valek are not known for their tattoos, rather, they for their piercings. Anything from bone to shiny metals and rocks can be fashioned into rings, hoops, and studs of all types. Their nomadic culture makes the hoarding of any wealth very difficult, so they have resorted to wearing whatever it is they hold dear. When going into battle, they pack their most valuable possessions away with a hide marker informing their next of kin as to what will be given to whom should they not return. The Valek are also crafters of exotic bracelets, necklaces, and leatherwork. These items are greatly valued and treasured by rich aristocrats who find the Valek's simple items "beautiful oddities in such a regimented world." Not long after this trading began, these same aristocrats came to find that the horses raised by these Gharkin were of much higher quality than most of the best breeders in their nation. This has led to the creation of many small outposts near farming communities that have proven to be very lucrative for the Valek. These of course close during times of war. The Valek jealously guard their culture and refuse to allow any outside force influence over their young, and so the outposts are run mostly by adults who find themselves too injured or old to battle and keep up with the herd.
The Valek are an easily angered people. They are more than willing to walk through the land of others, but get easily upset when anyone walks through theirs. Any offensive actions, real or perceived, done towards the land they live on or to the Valek themselves will result in quick, ruthless retribution. A group of their warriors running across the plains is a terrible sight to behold, and even more so when they are running at you. These Gharkin have such stamina that even though they cannot outrun a horse in a sprint, they can outlast them in a long run. The horses they raise often run off, someone has to chase them down. Those warriors and rangers who are veterans of various wars and raids against the Valek know it is better to stand your ground and face them, than let them run you down and force you to face their onslaught exhausted. Only the plains-Vulfen can outlast a Valek.