This beast is most commonly called a "Demon Drake", which is perhaps unfair. It certainly looks like it might have Netherworld characteristics - it is believed to have originated during the War of the Chosen, is very reclusive, and it is unusually aggressive in the wild with a voracious appetite. But beyond that the name is undeserved, being in captivity very sociable and tame like horses or dogs, except in battle when they are used as mounts. They usually live to 10 years of age, 20 if they are fortunate not to be killed before then.
Appearance. The Demon Drake is from 2-3 peds in height, with a neck about a 1-1 ˝ peds long, and a tail of almost 2 peds long. It usually walks or runs on its hind legs in bipedal fashion, though it can go on all fours if it chooses to do so. The drake has three claws on each of its hind feet, and five on its long fore arms/legs. The fore claws are shaped like a human hand and are prehensile, allowing the drake to pick up and carry objects. It has a long maw filled with teeth, the front fangs and teeth being sharp and dangerous, while the teeth in the back of the mouth are like human or bear teeth, allowing it to grind and chew food like humans. The skin of the beast is scaly and rough, brown in colour. They have a crest running from their nose to the crown of their heads. The male's crest is scarlet in colour, the female’s gold. Juveniles incapable of breeding have a green crest, and it is notably diminished in size compared to the adults. Their eyes are the most startling characteristic, being small and round… in fact they look like human eyes, with a violet coloured iris. Demon Drakes have a pair of weak but fully functional wings located behind their shoulders, though they cannot fly if they carry a rider, unless the rider be hobbit or Brownie. It ultimately looks like a cross between a human and a drake, which may be what gave it the name "Demon Drake".
A Demon Drake can run. Fast. Very fast. It can also fly or hover in the air, but
only for short distances. Unlike some drakes, it will hunt in packs, in fact it
seems to prefer it. The females can lay large amounts of eggs, leading to
population explosions at times, hence the name Locust Wyverns.
Territory. Locust Wyverns can be found in West Nybelmar, in the Kingdom of Orcal. It was nearly driven to extinction, and indeed it was on the very edge when a daring and curious orc stole an egg and from a nest and hatched it. The resulting offspring was very friendly and sociable towards the orc and all other orcs, but would turn very violent against other species, including his own! The orcs saw this and risked an experiment: they continued to raid nests, stealing eggs and raising the offspring. Before long the species revived under the care of the Orcals, and they used them as war mounts for scouting parties, as they had berserker-like characteristics in battle.
The Demon Drakes have slowly begun to spread again, as the Kingdom of Orcal has traded some off to the Zhunites, who have traded them to Anis-Anpagan, who have in turn brought them to the Crimson Islands and to the attention of the Sarvonians, and some daring thieves and rogues have managed to steal eggs from their orcish caretakers (though goodness knows how!), and they may soon become common as an optional war mount for other countries.
Habitat/Behaviour. Demon Drakes can be found in places with plenty of food. They do not like cooler climates, though they adapt when necessary. When summer is warm and conditions are right, the females lay large amount of eggs and leave them to incubate in the warm earth. When the eggs hatch, their great hunger drives them to seek out large amounts of food. The only instinct stronger than this is to stay away from large groups of other beings, hence they will hunt and forage in seemingly random paths, eating anything that suits them, which is almost anything that humans, elves, dwarves, etc. will eat, which is why they are also called Locust Wyverns. They are very sociable with each other, but shun intelligent/sentient species, and if cornered, will fight with a mad bloodlust and abandon rarely seen even amongst drakes or dragons. If raised in captivity, they are very sociable to their caretakers and guard them fiercely, and in some cases will bind very closely with their regular handlers.
Diet. Demon Drakes feast on meat primarily, but they will also eat fruits and vegetables when they are hungry enough, which is not uncommon. If given a choice they will always take meat, but never carrion or rotten flesh, preferring other foods over that.
Mating. The social behaviour of the Demon Drakes extends to family groups and they will mate for life. The male must attract the female's attention through his crest and throaty call. The larger the crest, the older and more desirable the male. If the female dies and the male lives on, he will mate again, hence a "widower" may have a better chance of getting a new mate than a younger male. They also make a throaty call or croaking sound, and again, the louder males will win a mate faster. In the case of the females, it's first come, first serve; whichever one finds the male first will strut and bow, signaling she is ready for mating.
The female will lay from 5-12 eggs. The warmer the summer, the more eggs. She buries them in warm earth or mud, but will not tend them till they have hatched, leaving them vulnerable to predators and thieves (this may be what caused their near extinction). When they have broken free of their eggs and mud, she claws the dirt off them and they follow her, staying with her to eat and hunt, until they are 3 years old. They will mate when 4 years of age, spending the year in between following the group and hunting with them.
Usages. The Demon Drake is slowly gaining popularity throughout Caelereth as a mount like a horse or other beast. It is very tame when trained properly, and excellent for defending ones self in a fight. Hobbits or Brownies would have the greatest advantage in using it as a mount because they are comparatively lightweight to other races, and the Drake can fly when they are onboard, as with a human or orc they must go on all fours to reach their great speeds.
Myth/Lore. There are many myths concerning these beasts, and each has some common points. They were created during the War of the Chosen and through strong magic, but the hows and whats are somewhat in debate. Some say the mage who made them (his name is not known) took a drake and melded it with a demon from the Netherworlds. Others say it was a cross creation of a human and a drake. Afterwards, the new drakes were so frightened and humiliated by their appearance so that they fled, refusing to interact with other species except to hunt. And by and large they lost some of their intelligence, becoming more like animals and less like the sentient beings they once were.
Another myth states that a mage, instead of killing a dravilonia that was attacking him, turned the dravilonia into a living creature and then frightened it away, and it was so terrified it wouldn't come near intelligent creatures of its own free will ever again.
The truth of these myths may be in doubt, but they are certainly unusual creatures.
Information provided by Morcaanan