"My child." - Task
"I can't believe you'd assume [he's a pet]. He's part of this team." - Borky
Tarusk is the animal companion of Task. Initially, Tarusk was a guard drake created by a group of Dragon Cultists that were raiding the town of Dragon's Den to the north of Alivast. The Unexpectables added him to the party after defeating the cultist raiding party while searching for a missing girl. Task immediately claimed ownership of him due to him being draconic. Originally, Greckles picked up the magical whistle that controlled the drake, but eventually handed it over to Task, expecting a favor from him in return.
Initially, Tarusk existed only as a draconic item, responding only to commands from the magic whistle. But over time he began to develop a slight semblance of sentience and even the facsimile of a personality.
Willow pet-sat Tarusk when The Unexpectables disappeared during the eclipse. He protected her from an attacker and in gratitude for his girlfriend's safety, Doros took him to the pet spa where the drake got a bath, was treated for mites and other parasites and had his claws trimmed, much to Helga's relief. He also gained a significant amount of weight due to Willow and Doros feeding him cupcakes and other treats.
For his first winter in Alivast, Task got Tarusk a heavy coat with a piece that went down to his tail and fastened around it with straps, complete with goggles, from Nine.
When visiting the Orthoc Temple, Tranquilisaint revealed to Task that Tarusk was created from an abducted dragon soul, and the whistle forced him to bend to the user's will. Task explained that he had effectively weaned him off of the whistle to the point that he was listening to his master's commands on his own, but vowed eventually to find a way to free him from his bonds.
Task got his chance when during the ball the Silver King took offense to Tarusk's existence as a bound guard drake and demanded to know who commanded a chained dragon. When Task explained Tarusk was under his protection, the Silver King made an offer to release him from his slavery. He also explained that guard drakes are created in a foul ritual that uses scales of a dragon and binding a dragon's soul from its extraplanar resting place. Before he did so, the Silver King asked if Task could make a family out of the kind of creature that killed his previous one. When Task's reassured the Silver King that he was capable, the Silver King performed a ritual on the spot that gave Tarusk his soul back, but caused him to be reborn as a dragon egg.
Task took care of Tarusk's egg while he was home and asked Neragen to take care of it while he was away. When Tarusk hatched, he was essentially now a baby dragon and Task quickly found that Tarusk was now far more independent than he used to be. Task however still does what he can to provide for Tarusk.
Learning and Growing
Tarusk is now being tutored and nannied by the Silver King's daughter, Zotira, in the ways of being a dragon, as well as shapes and speech. She has started using flashcards to teach him vocabulary and he is learning to say some simple words like "dragon" and "pie". Zotira has sent him off to Tater Tots Daycare so he can socialize with other children, and apparently he's doing quite well other than not being able to write due to the lack of proper hands, and his voracious appetite including crayons. His school uniform consists of a sailor suit and he carries a lunchbox complete with a meal of marrowbones, meat, and muffins from Tai. At school he has two friends, a dragonborn boy and human girl that he loves to play with. He has a parent/teacher conference coming up.
During the 5 months the Unexpectables were in the Realm of Discord, Tarusk grew very big, becoming larger than his guard drake form, and learned to speak.
Tarusk is a sweet sunshine boy with a golden heart and bloody fangs. Because of his loyal, somewhat dopey nature, people on the street often mistake Tarusk for a dog, or compare him to one as they don't understand what he is.
Tarusk has a voracious appetite, and often spits up things he has swallowed, usually related to his location, where he's come from or simply because it was nearby.
Although being walleyed and originally needing to be commanded via the Whistle of the scale guard, Tarusk seemed to be developing mild sentience, as seen when he instinctively ran into battle and attacked enemies without being commanded. This happened to Tasks' amazement and happiness.
Since his resurrection as a dragon, Tarusk has unsurprisingly shown to be sapient and at a developmental stage similar to that of an infant, being stubborn and colicky when pressed to do things he doesn't want to. He is still devoted to Task, but has had little restraint exercising his newfound free will. He has also been known to steal food from Tai Borpington's kitchen.
Now that he has fully free will and a developing mind, Tarusk has a deeply seated hatred of whistles. The very sight of one on a flash card causes him to injure Task with his lightning breath in his attempt to incinerate the hated image.
Task's initial relationship with Tarusk was more akin to a master and a prized pet than equals. But as time went on he developed a familial interest in Tarusk and thought of him more as an individual than anything else. Task grew to have a deep affection for Tarusk, though preferred to keep his sometimes overeager animal companion under control through simple discipline.
When he learned that Tarusk's condition as a guard drake essentially made him a prisoner in his own skin, he vowed to find a way to make things right. Thus he consented to Tarusk's rebirth. Now their relationship more akin to a stern but loving father dealing with a obstinate child, though Task is not above spoiling his "son" now and again.
Through the combined power of Orthoc, Oreyara, and Aos, Task visited a potential future timeline where he encountered a fully grown Tarusk. He didn't recognize him at first, but the dragon recognized his father and greeted him warmly. Tarusk then took it upon himself to teach Task how to fly over the course of several weeks. This future version of Tarusk said that Task had taught him to fly using a traumatic but effective "roof method".
While she is frustrated with Tarusk's claws becoming too long and scratching up the floorboards of the Sweet Dragon, she does like him and will occasionally pet him.
Willow adores Tarusk, and happily pet-sat him while Task and the Unexpectables went on a quest. While pet-sitting Tarusk, Willow and Doros ended up spoiling the little Drake by feeding him many pastries and getting his claws manicured.
The only person able to keep Tarusk accountable for his actions has been his new nanny, Zotira. She understands his needs as a growing wyrmling and has been teaching him good behavior, language, and all things dragon. Her patience and gentleness has proven very effective at dealing with his sometimes headstrong behavior.
Tarusk terrorizes Tai in his kitchen by sneaking in and begging for food or stealing things to eat like a naughty boy.
- What would happen if Tarusk ate Gripples? "In-DIE-gestion" - MontyGlu, 2018
- As part of The Unexpectables streaming setup on Twitch, Tarusk holds the tip cup in his mouth and will slowly swallow the bits over time.
- When exposed to the Dog Zone in episode 15, Tarusk is transformed into a Guinea Pig.
- In a pet show Tarusk got a consolation prize consisting of a "Good Boy" ribbon and a coupon for Tai Borpington's soup.
- Tarusk had an inflated Fugu Pufferfish in his throat for an unknown amount of time with no notable ill effect.
- Monty made Tarusk buff knowing full well the community would draw bara-ized fanart of him. She cannot stop it.
- Tarusk had a burrowing speed of 20 which he used to dig his way into Task's cell in Episode 20/Podcast 8: Orun's Folly. It is unknown if he retained this movement option after regaining his soul.
- Tarusk has displayed the ability to dab and win the hearts of drunken dwarves with his break-dancing skills.
- He is the goodest boy.
- Tarusk and Task shared a dance at the Silver King's ball.
- He shares a birthday with Gaijin Goombah.
- When he was transformed into an egg, he was still wearing his winter outfit which disappeared. Task was reimbursed the cost of the gear.
- Tarusk has a doghouse out in front of the Sweet Dragon.
- Baby Tarusk is a member of the Coldblood Club, alongside Task, Neragen, and Uromajister.
- Baby Tarusk is addicted to bread and pastries, a possible holdover from his previous life's time with Doros.
- One of Baby Tarusk's favorite games is "Baby Bird", wherein he walks up to people he knows and opens his mouth wide in the expectation of food.
- If Tarusk hiccups, little sparks of lightning will come out.