Sauramedons are found only in Nybelmarasa (Naezshan Zhunith), in western Nybelmar. These not very widespread animals are sometimes also referred to as the "Bronze Beasts", because the scales which cover them from head to toe are of a magnificent colour which looks like real bronze. They look like a strange mix of animals, with a broad beak protruding from their heads, and their short, sturdy legs.
The kind of animal species the Sauramedon belongs to is undecided, because they
have features of different groups. They are fairly slender and very
powerful-looking. An adult Sauramedon is approximately one
pygge and two
hebs in weight and two
fores in height on average
when it is standing up on all fours. The average adult Sauramedon measures about
a ped of length, not
counting the tail.
Sauramedons each have one scaly tail, measuring half a ped. They have two rows of sharp but small teeth, only barely visible in their broad, bronze beaks which measure a fore long on average. Sauramedons are most comfortable on all fours, though they have no problem standing up on their hind legs, which are scaly, stumpy legs similar to a baby elephant's in both structure and shape, only with claws. The claws growing from those paws are as sharp as a newly sharpened knife, and can easily slice into a tough fruit.
People have argued over how Sauramedons breathe, since they appear to have no apparent nose. Because a Sauramedon looks like a strange mixture of animal species, one can't be sure similar to which type of animal this beast breathes like. There are strange concepts that a Sauramedon breathes through its scales, and others think it breathes through its beak. In fact they each have a small slit, very hard to spot, on either side of their beaks.
The Sauramedons’ glittering jet black eyes strangely resemble those of cows or horses; some even compare them with human eyes! They even have noteworthy eyelashes, useful for keeping the desert sand out of their eyes. The ears which stick up on either side of their heads more or less resemble an elf’s, except with a scaly appearance.
Sauramedons only come in one colour: bronze. They are born with an entirely smooth bald head, but as time goes by, neat rows of scales will eventually grow there, and a peculiar but fascinating black pattern will form on their heads.
Some people believe that Sauramedons are capable of understanding the basics of
any language; there is no real proof that that is true, but every now and then a
Sauramedon will strangely decide to do what you tell them to do, or it would
cock its head when you speak and appear to be listening. Their eyesight and
hearing are very sharp, and they can easily detect the slightest rustle of
bushes, or a snap of a twig many
It seems that the more knowledge Sauramedons gain, the more complicated the pattern on their heads will grow - at least that is what the Doimo nomads believe. Males who have very complicated patterns are usually more successful in getting mates. These patterns are also used for identification.
Territory. Sauramedons can only be found in Naezshan Zhunith (the Desert of Zhun). They are very seldom found in a shady place, and more often napping in sunny spots, where the heat from the sun has caused the sand to become so hot that it almost seems to be burning. Because of their sociable and trusting nature, Sauramedons are comfortable with napping in full view of humans, though they are usually covered in lots of sand, so it is hard to spot them.
Habitat/Behaviour. Sauramedons live to a maximum of 60 years. They are sociable creatures; they are friendly towards humans, and are often seen play-fighting with each other until they are about 45 years old, when they become too old to play-fight. When they are not play-fighting, Sauramedons always carry a dignified, majestic air about them.
Two words to describe the character of a Sauramedon in general are "sociable" and "trusting". They are often found in fairly large groups consisting of up to 15 Sauramedons; it is generally agreed that they are probably in those groups because they want company, and a companion to play-fight with. This also helps to protect them from hunters; when Sauramedons stick together, they can potentially be very dangerous, because if one beast in the group is hunted, the others will fight to save it.
Heat is something which Sauramedons adore; they are always at their most active when it is a hot day. Their scales reflect sunlight and keep them from overheating, which is partly why they love fire; because they don't feel anything other than a pleasant warmth. Sauramedons seldom come across fire, but when they do, they love its heat, and play with it. Whenever the weather is cool, like at night, they fall asleep and do not wake up until the temperature is above a certain level.
People who don’t know much about Sauramedons often mistake them for carnivorous creatures which kill and eat people. That is not true; in fact, Sauramedons eat both plants and meat, and are normally very gentle unless they feel that their eggs or themselves are in danger.
Diet. Sauramedons are capable of eating any plant available to them in the desert, and seem to be immune to any poisonous plants which are found there. However, because there aren't many plants growing where they live, they usually feed on small creatures, like insects and rodents. They are willing to wait patiently until their prey comes into view before pouncing on them; they can wait for hours for their prey if they are really hungry.
Due to the fact that Sauramedons live in the desert, they require very little water. In fact, if they drink too much, they risk losing their lives. They can go for up to three weeks without water. It appears that Sauramedons have an unusual digestive system and take much longer than normal animals to digest their food and drink, so that they seldom get hungry or thirsty.
Mating. Sauramedons normally breed immediately after the winter season has passed. Usually, the female Sauramedons just laze about, while the males try to get their attention by crawling around on the ground with the pattern on their heads in full view of their desired female.
If a female becomes interested in a male’s pattern, she will go over and inspect it. If she is satisfied, she will rest a paw on the pattern, and the mating will begin. However, if the female decides otherwise, she will give a loud, piercing shriek and cuff the male’s head with her paw. The rejected male would then crawl away pitifully.
During the mating process, the behaviour of both the male and the female would swap around; it would be the male's turn to be the dominant one, while the female would humbly submit; she would seem to understand that she was the one who had chosen him.
Usages. Because of their magnificent tough scales, Sauramedons are made targets by hunters, especially Doimo hunters, who are the dominant human presence in the Sauramedons' territory. The scales of Sauramedons are sometimes used as decoration on cloth or furniture. The fact that they have very good hearing makes their scales all the more expensive, because the number of Sauramedons who have been caught and killed by hunters is very rare. Some people, like the Doimo nomads, also use the scales of the Sauramedons to construct their armour.
The Sauramedons, strangely enough, have not ceased being friendly to humans. The reason for this friendliness is a matter of debate, and there are two main possibilities to explain it; either Sauramedons never learn from their mistakes, or they can recognize the scent which makes a person unique, and see humans as individuals. However, none of these theories have been proven.