THE ARMOURED HEDGEHOG

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING -
USAGES

The Armoured Hog is a large, heavily armoured spiked desert predator found in the open lands of western Nybelmar. It is known to not run its prey down with speed, as the heavy armour weights it down, but instead rely on its nose and stamina to overtake its prey.

Appearance. The Armoured Hog is shaped like a dog, with long, strong legs, a barrelled chest, powerful muscles and a soft, brown fur. The body is covered in a thick, brown shield which is made even more impenetrable by the 13 nailsbreadth long spikes that cover the shield area running between neck and tail. The shield is bendy which makes it possible for the Hog to run. Yet it is tough enough to let it take a lot of punishment to be penetrated, and hard to crack with mallets. The spikes are there to protect the shield, and keep enemies of ithe animal's back.

The triangular head is jutting from the end of a long neck. The Hog can average between 2 and 2.5 peds from nose to tail.

The legs have five-toed paws with a 7 nailsbreadth long curved claw on each toe. The claws are used for getting a better grip on the soil while running, and are therefore quite dull.

The Armoured Hedgehog's face is pyramidal, with a jutting, three-cornered snout. The mouth splits that snout nearly in half, while two beady black eyes seem to balance just over the mouth's corners. The Hog has both piercing fangs, cutting teeth, and grinding teeth, usually with bits of rotting meat stuck between them. This factor, along with the jaw-locking abilities of the Hog, make a bite from this creature quite likely to produce a nasty infection if you manage to get away from it. Usually, a bite by one of the Armoured Hogs results in several broken bones, as it will trash around if it is dying, or you resist too heavily.

On the end of the snout is a small, black, sensitive nose, usually in constant motion as the Hog takes in sensory information. If you happen to be bitten by one, it is said that striking this spot will make it let go.
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Special Abilities. The Armoured Hog has few weak spots, but has a weak resistance against poison. Peculiar is as well that the Armoured Hog doesnít have to drink water in a lifetime, but instead relies on blood and fluids in the meat to still its thirst. A Hog also has an amazing stamina, being capable of running for hours without pause. Return to the top

Territory. The Armoured Hog lives in the western part of Nybelmar. The individuals have no ties to the various parts of the land, and usually move about a lot, wandering from place to place without staying anywhere particular for more than a day.

The Armoured Hog is known to prefer the open lands, and generally keeps out of forests, and is rarely seen in the mountainous regions.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Armoured Hog is very aggressive, attacking even without the provocation needed to get the other Hegdehog species to attack. They prefer solitude, and rarely spend time with each other, except for the regular mating, which is happening each of the late autumn months.

They are known to break into food storages if they are hungry enough, and usually prove an annoyance to farmers by taking their livestock, and occasionally, their kids. Still, they always move on, and wonít usually ruin a farmer completely.

Armoured Hogs arenít very bright. They might go into the same trap each day in their life, and wouldnít learn a thing. They are easily fooled, and easily trapped.
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Diet. The Armoured Hog prefer meats, like a sheep, a cow, a throwing hedgehog, the local farmer's son, or whatever can/could walk, swim or fly and is unfortunate to pass the Hog's way. Armoured Hogs arenít choosy, and could just as well take a week-old corpse like a dog. When the hunt doesn't turn out successful, they can eat lesser creatures, but according to Doimo tales, they believe itís a disgrace to eat small animals and insects.
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Mating. All Hogs mate in the late autumn months, when the males find the females, and reproduce without any obvious fuss. It is strange, however, that a creature with a spiky back reproduces the "ordinary" way, as it is obvious that the spikes and the shield is in the way. But, luckily, the males got their protective shield at their underside, so they donít feel a thing. Even though the male Armoured Hogs are very heavy, the spines usually donít break, as there are a lot of them that keep the male up. The females mate each third year.

During the spring, the females give birth to about 8-16 blind, little Hogs. After a few days they can see, and after a few weeks, their soft spikes turn hard. About only half of the Hogs survive their first year. 
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Usages. The Armoured Hog is sometimes hunted down, as the meat is edible, if not as good as an antelope, and the shield is used as a chest for storage, and the spines are used as spearheads by the Doimo if they donít have any spare iron. 
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