In the land of Yakai there are many mythological traits associated with rabbits and hares. They are seen as bearers of good fortune and their rapid breeding makes them symbols of fecundity. Various heavenly bodies are associated with them, tales saying they came to Teleria from putative stars, planets, or constellations. In other lands hares are bred or hunted for meat and fur, but in Yakai there are more cultural practices and rituals associated with hunting or killing them. It is customary for Yakai hunters and furriers to pay a symbolic ‘hare-price’ in exchange for taking the life of one. This usually consists of grains or vegetables, left where hares are known to frequent. Besides functioning as a spiritual ritual, this helps ensure their population remains robust enough for hunters to profit from it.
Raas Zal’far was a Human trapper who came to Yakai from Anhelt, and scoffed at the local customs. Paying no mind to the traditional hare-price, he killed as he pleased, despite the protestations of the locals. But those who slay animals for their living are at particular risk of contracting the Skinwalker curse, and those who take more than their fair share are all the more at risk, for they roll the dice of fate all the more frequently.
One day this fate befell Raas Zal’far as he butchered his catch, and a violent hare spirit attacked his soul. Rich fur sprouted over his skin, his ears grew skyward, and his body distorted painfully. Raal’s mind and spirit struggled mightily, and this transitory period of anguish lasted far longer than normal for a newly-afflicted Skinwalker. For weeks he rampaged through the woods babbling and shrieking, striking fear into the local people. Stories spread, and the constant repetition of his name eventually transmuted it into Razelvarg.
Though his violent struggle to integrate his beast-self eventually ended, Raas was left a vicious lunatic. He attacked farms and feasted on their crops, needing vast amounts of food to sustain his huge, swift, and robust body, killing any who barred his path. He scrounged a pair of swords, and when a wolf hunted him he slaughtered it and now wears its skin triumphantly. Survivors of his attacks described his incredibly swift leaps and bounds. They said slingers and archers could never get a shot at him, and that ripped the throats from his hunters or slashed them to ribbons.
The local magistrate put a massive bounty on Razelvarg and issued a call to arms. Sorcerers, priests, men-at-arms, gladiators from Velyzar, and Dwarves from the Skyiron Kingdom traveled to the region, lured by the promise of reward, a sense of moral duty, or both. Despite their shared goal, these bounty hunters have been reluctant to cooperate with each other, loath to split the prize and mistrustful of potential allies. Thus, Razelvarg remains at large, and scattered incursions into his territory have ended with no sighting of the creature, humiliating failure, or the hunters’ slaughter.