THE LINDORM

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING  - MYTH/LORE

Cyhalloian legends speak of a giant, serpent-like beast of the dark pits in barren and reclusive lands, around 30 peds long and with dragon-like forelegs, pairs of lesser hind legs and a terrible head with a leering, fang-filled mouth and cold, hypnotic eyes - the Lindorm. The Lindorm uses a powerful hypnotic ability to lure its victims; both to ease the hunt for the beast and also making the enslaved thrall carry out the wicked-hearted creature's biddings. Unseen by most as its skin adapts to the environment like the shapeshifter, it always attacks with surprise; striking fear in its foes. It is said to be unnaturally intelligent and even sentient-like and uses its power for dark purposes, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Appearance. The Lindorm is an enormous creature, especially in length, although the few recorded encounters with this beast speak little of the exact size. Since it usually spends its day in its lair, none has actually seen the creature in its full appearance, but it is said that its snake-like body wriggles and twists in and out of holes around its lair in a nearly infinite dance of terror, making it appear as if it came from the very depths of the world. A fathomed guess is that the Lindorm's full length is somewhere around 30 peds, but the tail and the belly takes up the most part (at least by 20 to 25 peds) , like the body of an ordinary snake. The thickness of the body is supposedly around 2 peds at its largest point. Nevertheless, it is the upper body that characterizes and decribes the Lindorm best. For it is not like with ordinary snakes, but more like the one of dragons. There is a torso-like part from which a pair of forelegs grow, and also the neck; long still in its serpent fashion. While the forelegs are quite weak and not often used for anything else than digging and clutching (and only in some cases for fighting), the two pairs of underdeveloped hind legs on the lower part of the body are not used for anything other than crawling. The upper body and neck are both more heavily scaled and robust than the rest of the beast's full body, yet not as thick, and warts, spikes with patches of skin in between and other reptilian protuberances grow all over it. Still, it is the head which is known to strike the looming horror of the Lindorm into any poor fool who happens to lay eyes upon it. It is the head of a monstrous serpent, but even more sinister and fiendish than the regular fashion. Often mistaken for the head of a serpent-like dragon, it leers at the viewer in its grotesque glory, with many a sharp fang exposed, and the eyes gather all the hypnotic fear of serpentdom and burns ever with the cold gaze of death; never to blink or to be shut.

While the terrible eyes are said to have no colour but the faint, blueish grey tone of moonlit ice, the colour of the skin adapts like a chameleon to the environment. In summer, when the snow is faint in Cyhalloi, the lindorm takes the shade of dark, mossy green and brown, and in winter, it becomes a deadly white monstrosity almost invisible to the common eye, and when in barren lands of rock and stone it takes a shade of grainy, spreckled grey. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The Lindorm fears no cold as it has slumbered deep within the Cyhalloian tundra, thus making it grow powerful in the most ancient of cold places in the world. A giant predator as it is, the Lindorm strikes violently with fangs and claws, and can also attack with tail-whipping and by squeezing its foe with its large body, based on local rumours. Also, due to its skin's shapeshifter-like adaptation to the environment, it almost always passes unseen by its foes. But what also seems to be disturbingly true is the saying that when the Lindorm is on the hunt, it uses indeed its most effective talent. With its demonic eyes, it hypnotizes its victim, only to strike shortly after. It takes but a few moments of the prey to stare into the Lindorm's eyes for it to fall under the beast's spell. The Lindorm also uses this powerful hypnotism for other wicked purposes, such as making the hypnotized foe influence other of its kind to come to the beast's lair and be hypnotized in turn, and all of the victims are thus forced to follow the Lindorm's bidding. Return to the top

Territory. The Lindorm has only been sighted in the deepest woods and ravines of Cyhalloi's two largest islands as of yet, as far north as man dares to travel. Cyhallhrim lore also speaks of the beast further up north in the continent.
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Habitat/Behaviour. Naturally, the Lindorm attacks when agitated or threatened, as local hunters claim. But it is also said that the beast sometimes attacks purposely as if driven by a special goal, and even takes pleasure in killing and mutilating its victims. Still, this seems to be more of a little spice added by the narrators to make their stories better.
 
By further accounts it has also been learned that the Lindorm is very reclusive and seldom venture outside its lair with as much as a tip of the tail unless necessary, like, for example, when it needs to hunt. If so, it mostly only needs to move short distances to find its prey. In the common snake fashion it can strike its victim with great surprise, but the beast is also known to use its strange hypnotic abilities to capture its prey.

The Lindorm's lair is constituted by large burrows or holes in the ground or a hill and even the mountainside, preferably below one or more large trees.
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Diet. From what yet has been learned from the myths and tellings, the lindorm is obviously a carnivorous beast, but it seems as if it does not have to feed more than every third month. Local hunters have found numerous cadavers of Cyhalloian sheep and goats, and even some wolves or bears with teeth and claw marks of what supposedly is a large serpent or serpent-like reptile, which in the way the hunters told it speaks of the Lindorm's violent and almost sadistic nature. There have also been horrid tellings of humans being devoured by the creature, but such rumours seem far fetched and exaggerated.
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Mating. As the rumours go, the Lindorms are apparently very few in number and extremely rare. Not much has been learned about their mating behaviour, but it is fair to say that they follow the ordinary fashion of reptiles. Both sexes supposedly mate only once per lifetime, and after the female has laid her egg she nurtures it, but only until the infant Lindorm has hatched. It is then shuned by its mother and driven out of her lair to find a lair of its own and start growing. As a newly hatched Lindorm is said to be already very large (about the size of an adult wolf) , it can without any trouble take down a sheep, so naturally, younglings must have a good chance of survival. Since there have been no reports or rumours of two Lindorms living together, the conclusion is that the creature lives alone for its entire lifetime.
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Myth/Lore. As far as legends tell, the Lindorms originated from dragons, but it is said that dark, unspeakable powers had a part to play in their ancestry as well. In Cyhallrhim lore; especially in the fabled tomes of old, which are said to be originally written by the mysterious ulvur, the beasts are spoken of in dread, as they, according to the legends, are evil, sinister and greedy by nature, but on a dangerously sentient level. Whether this is true or not none now can tell, but all legends somehow always tend to have some sort of truth in them. A favoured myth as well is the one of wonderous treasures which lie hidden in every Lindorm's lair; gathered under decades of feeble attempts from bold adventurers to slay the beasts.

Still, it seems highly unlikely that the Lindorms once, as told in the legends, in the past enslaved entire villages of settlers in Cyhalloi's east island, and by the help of powers unknown and darker still built an empire to challenge the mythical ulvur shapeshifters' legacy, which in turn also is known as legend alone.

Yet there have been reports of sinister cults dedicated to the Lindorms and other serpent-like beasts among the settlers, even if they have not shown any notable trouble to society as of yet.
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