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Author Topic: Yoyarr - Aquatic (?) Monster  (Read 13714 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 08 June 2009, 11:40:26 »

Rookie and I got talking (I blame the lack of creatures in salt marshes) and I mentioned wanting to make something that could eat brownies. In no short order I was shanghaied (well, not quite.) into creating the nightmarish creature described below. The format is presently a little skeletal, but if I didn't get it up I'd forget to ask important questions later.


Basic Overview of the Beast
The Yoyarr is a bizarre creature that dwells in the Black Lakes of Trumatyreon within the caverns inhabited by the Trumarim Dwaves and Darkling Brownies in western Nybelmar. Yoyarr, perhaps better known as the Akotiljor, are noted for their ability to survive in the otherwise inhospitable lakes and for their massive, glowing teeth. Unfortunately, while Trumarim are known to possess a wealth of information on most subjects that involve the Black Lakes, it appears that overfishing has removed Akotiljor from those sections of the lakes that reside nearest their settlements long ago, leaving Darkling brownies both their main source of the glowing teeth and of researchers' information on these enigmatic creatures.

Chronicler's Note: While this entry uses Yoyarr more often than Akotiljor to refer to the beast in question, the latter is the more common appellation, and should be used when discussing the creature. Information gathered for this entry was procured from Piscinites more often than not, and the use of their name for the Akotiljor does reflect this.


Appearance
After removing the layer of dark brown lake oil covering it, a Yoyarr is a black, slimy creature. The Yoyarr’s body is similar to that of an eel, with two long fins running along the top and bottom before ending a short distance before the tail, which is pointed. Two, broad short fins emerge from the body behind the head and just before the tail, which one surmises are used to help the creature maneuver in the subterranean murk. Specimens range from a fore to a fore and a half in length with some particularly monstrous examples extending to two fores.

The Yoyarr’s most notable aspect is its jaw, which can actually unhinge and enable the Yoyarr to consume larger prey. Also of particular importance are the size of the teeth. These teeth are long and curved and very durable and they glow in a bright, purplish colour. So, to uncanny effect, do the eyes.
        
Special Abilities
Aside from whatever unnatural constitution allows it to swim in the subterranean oil lakes, the Yoyarr is able to unhinge its jaw, which allows it to swallow smaller prey whole. Equally “special” but of unknown provenance is the glow which the eyes of the Yoyarr emit. This stops when the creature dies, so it is believed that the creature produces a glowing fluid to allow it to see in the oil. The Yoyarr is also capable of spitting oil from its mouth, usually at things it wishes to eat outside of the lakes.

Territory
The Yoyarr has never been found outside of the Black Lakes of Trumatyreon in western Nybelmar. Due to overfishing for it's teeth, the Yoyarr is found so infrequently near caves with any sizable Trumarim presence that most dwarves settle for trading with brownies for the locations of particularly rich caves, which benefits both parties quite nicely.
    
Habitat/Behavior
The Yoyarr swims quietly below the surface of the oil, before suddenly rearing out of the water to snatch a creature off the shore and into its belly. It is not otherwise known what Yoyarr spend their days doing, but they are believed to swim at the bottom of the oil lakes when not hunting. Particularly crafty examples of the creature have been known to swim just below the surface of the oil to attempt to snare hunting parties or to wait for something they can knock into the oil to consume it. Yoyarr have been seen to drag prey from the shore and are believed to use the oil to "preserve" their food. Brownies themselves have actually been known to hunt down Yoyarr and gut them for the sake of retrieving the corpses of their luckless fellows for proper burial.

Diet
Aside from unlucky (or stupid) Darkling brownies, the Yoyarr feeds on paprabaabs, spiders and in some cases, other Yoyarr. "We caught an akoltiljor, we were fishing for something else at the time. None of us rightly remember what it was. We gutted it, hoping that it had perhaps eaten something of value. They swallow some things whole, you see. The first thing that came out of it's belly looked to have been half of a spider, and then a jumble of guts and bones. Torchhand spotted something shiny in the whole mire there, half of it looked like it might have been oil at one time or another. Turns out it was a gem, out of a paprabaab, glowed pretty nice. While we sat there eating, someone (can't remember who now) had the bright idea that we should try to guess what some of those bones were from. Some of them were right tiny like. Piscinites we guessed. There were teeth in there though. Akoltiljor teeth. Disgusting."- Trumarim Journal Entry, belonging to Gravst Oilbeard, donated to researchers by his great-granddaughter. Entry dates C. 1332 a.S.

Mating
Occasionally, glowing balls float to the surface of the Black Lakes. These are the eggs of the Yoyarr, a rough 3-5 nailsbredths across, which researchers believe are laid at the bottom of the lake in a sticky secretion. Researchers also postulate that this secretion is used to afix groups of eggs to walls or the lakebed, and that other denizens may knock them about during their passage, causing them to come loose and float to the surface. Darkling brownies shoot these eggs on sight, with spears or arrows tied to ropes, for fear of allowing the monstrous Yoyarr to breed more than it does already. They will eat these eggs, since they are considered something of a delicacy and lucky besides.

Myth/Lore
The Yoyarr’s teeth are believed to be the basis for the Darkling Brownie pictogram representing (depending on the context) danger or evil, a jagged line of varying height. If a Yoyarr is killed, its blood is drained and returned to the lakes, believing it might poison other Yoyarr. The Trumarim believe that the Akotiljor (a contraction of Akotil, the Thergerim word for "evil" and anjor "fish") is a blight on the oil, so they killl it as much as the Piscinites do.

Usages
Darkling Brownies that manage to kill a Yoyarr make their teeth into spear points, which double as poor lighting, this effect does wear off after some months, usually about the time the spear has become too weak to be sharpened any further. Occasionally sections of bone become fearsome hats, worn by Piscinite religious leaders particularly during the month of the Rock Oil Spirit and the month of the Fish. Some bones, particularly the ribs are used as the base for Brownie houses.Yoyarr eggs, as noted above, are eaten by Piscinites. The soft "shell" of the egg is said to be somewhat rubbery, while the insides are pungent in smell and taste and both are often well spiced in order to be more palatable. Eggs are prepared by boiling them in their casing until the goo on the outside hardens and begins to crack, at which point the egg is removed from the fire, cut and seasoned before being consumed. Properly prepared, Yoyarr eggs are said to be very fortifying, if somewhat unpleasant.

Trumarim use the luminescant properties of the Akotiljor's teeth to form the base of a glowing paint they use to mark tunnels. The teeth are ground up and mixed with the baseparfi, a type of rock-oil that the Trumarim guard the secret of jealously. However, in this form the glowing properties of the teeth last for a fraction of the time the whole tooth would.
Paint formed in this manner glows for four hours at most unless mixed very carefully with ground paragems, which extends this glowing property to half a week. Some miners actually use small paint markings (often numbers) to tell how long they've been in a particular tunnel. Since it is not particularly safe to carry open flames through the lakes, the "fixed" paint is used in glowglobes, a cheaper substitute for paragems. The fixtures in which Trumarim install enchanted paragems are usually warded with Akotiljor teeth for luck and some use mirrors to project the tooth light further.



So far, my only difficulty is figuring out what a nightmarish fish that lives in a lake made of oil would eat. Other oil lake fish perhaps? Paprabaabs? Spiders? (something like an archerfish might exist then?) Other Yoyarr?

Just so we can get an idea of the reference materials used here
This lanterfish
+ a little photoshoping became: this which was the basis for the eyes (I had a quick test to see which variation look the most frightening actually).
The body was derrived from the Giant Grenadier
The colouring and fearsome teeth were borrowed from the Angler fish.
And while I have no image, I believe there are quite a few varieties of snake with the ability to unhinge their jaws to choke down prey.
« Last Edit: 18 July 2009, 03:05:51 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Grendal Thornfist
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« Reply #1 on: 08 June 2009, 12:09:21 »

My question is how do they breathe? Is there enough oxygen in oil or do they need to surface for air? Some animals do rise unconsiously like the manatee they will surface and resubmerge without ever waking up.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #2 on: 08 June 2009, 12:16:20 »

I believe there was mention of water underneath the oil. Kind of like when there's an oil spill, the oil will float on the surface.
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« Reply #3 on: 09 June 2009, 02:52:44 »

ooh, awesome - I love big ugly living-in-the-dark creatures. thumbup The name especially has a lovely sound to it, almost like an echoing, screaming kind of roar. Have you considered making it phonetic - so it's named after the sound attributed to it by the Brownies?
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« Reply #4 on: 10 June 2009, 05:45:24 »

That'd be Rookie's department, I just make the nightmarish stuff from the deeps. Nice idea though. I personally see no reason it shouldn't make sense, except for how and when such a creature would make such a noise.
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« Reply #5 on: 10 June 2009, 08:28:18 »

Alrighty then, I haven't found any real info on the lakes so sorry if I sound(ed) uninformed. I do have two questions though. The broad fins mentioned, would those maybe also be used to pull itself a short distance on shore to better snatch brownies? I still think that the oil would give it problems in breathing if it surfaces through it, what about like a layer of mucus that is secreted in order to shed the oil? Just a couple of thoughts.
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« Reply #6 on: 10 June 2009, 10:35:31 »

Allowing that the oil isn't a problem, I had envisioned them just sort of rearing up (a little bit like a snake) and snatching a brownie.
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« Reply #7 on: 10 June 2009, 23:19:14 »

Nice concept, but could do with some fleshing out! Each section should be at least a paragraph or two, with ones like appearence and behaviour exceeding that average!
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« Reply #8 on: 11 June 2009, 03:57:10 »

I'll be the first to admit that calling this anything but a skeleton would be a lie Decipher.
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« Reply #9 on: 11 June 2009, 04:39:02 »

Here's some preliminary brainstorming of mine. Great idea so far grin

Basic Overview of the Beast
The Yoyarr is a strange, confusing creature that dwells in the oil lakes within the caverns inhabited by the Darkling Brownies in western Nybelmar. They are noted for their ability to survive in the otherwise inhospitable lakes and their massive teeth.

* 'Confusing' is probably not a good word to use when introducing a creature. Go with something a little more broad and general, and then elaborate on it’s ‘strangeness’ throughout the entry

Appearance
After removing the layer of dark brown lake oil covering it, a Yoyarr is dark brown, ranges from a fore to a fore and a half in length with some particularly monstrous examples extending to two fores in length. The Yoyarr’s most notable aspect is it’s jaw, which can actually unhinge and enable the Yoyarr to consume larger prey. Also of particular importance are the size of the teeth. These teeth are long and curved, and very durable. The Yoyarr’s body is similar to that of an eel, with two long fins running along the top and bottom before ending a short distance before the tail, which is pointed. Two, broad short fins emerge from the body behind the head and just before the tail, which one surmises are used to help the creature maneuver in the subterranean murk. Also of interest are the Yoyarr’s eyes, which glow bright green.

* Intriguing description of its appearance. Though one thing still lacks in intensity: If something is mentioned in the overview, ie the introduction of the creature, as notable about this creature, then it best be notable. So far the facts about the teeth dun really make it all that impressive or special… large teeth, any monster can have those. Allow me an idea that just came to mind here: Inspired by the image you attached, and given the dark environment this creature would live in, glowing membranes would be a natural development for survival. So my idea was, to have the teeth be large and hard, but hollow on the inside and lined by a luminescent gland. That way the Yoyarr’s fangs would be truly be special, and given the dark muck it lives in it would make sense to have the things that stick out in front of it to be luminescent.
         
Special Abilities
Aside from whatever unnatural constitution allows it to swim in the subterranean oil lakes, the Yoyarr is able to unhinge its jaw, which allows it to swallow smaller prey whole. Equally “special” but of unknown provenance is the glow which the eyes of the Yoyarr emit. This stops when the creature dies, so it is believed that the creature produces a glowing fluid to allow it to see in the oil.

Territory
The Yoyarr has never been found outside of the oil lakes in western Nybelmar.
   
Habitat/Behavior
The Yoyarr swims quietly below the surface of the oil, before suddenly rearing out of the water to snatch a creature off the shore and into it’s belly. It is not otherwise known what they spend their days doing, but they are believed to swim at the bottom of the oil lakes

* Considering the oil lakes are thick and murky, no other creature will be able to wade out of the mess once they’re in there… So it seems only logical that the Yoyarr will have learnt to be a scavenger on those corpses as a source of food. Speaking of which, the Yoyarr could have developed a feeding pattern of hinging its jaw into larger pray than it can devour right away, drag them into the oil lakes and leave them there. Given the oil, just like moor-corpses, the body will be preserved ‘fresh’ longer than when out in the air, giving the Yoyarr a preserved source of food for the next urge to feed?

Diet
Aside from unlucky (or stupid) Darkling brownies, the Yoyarr feeds on

Mating
Occasionally floated to the top of the oil lakes are glowing balls. These balls are the eggs of the Yoyarr, which researchers believe are laid at the bottom of the lake in a sticky secretion. Darkling brownies shoot these eggs on sight, for fear of allowing the monstrous Yoyarr to breed more than it does already.

* Possibly talk about how this extermination of floating eggs affects the  population of Yoyarr in the oil lakes, if at all?

Myth/Lore/Origin
The Yoyarr’s teeth are believed to be the basis for the Darkling Brownie pictogram representing (depending on the context) danger or evil, a jagged line of varying height. If a Yoyarr is killed, its blood is drained and returned to the lakes

* Interesting concept, where does this lead to?


Usages
Darkling Brownies that manage to kill a Yoyarr make their teeth into spear points, and occasionally sections of bone become fearsome hats, worn by Piscinite religious leaders.

* Understandably, the glowing concept could come into this as well, in order to craft a spear which when held infront of you will slightly illuminate your path around the darkness of these caves? For this trait to work though the fact that the luminosity ends upon death would have to be changed though ofcourse.
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« Reply #10 on: 19 June 2009, 02:06:46 »

The Black Lakes of Trumatyreon get their first animal! And i didn't even have to write it myself!

Erh. Right. If you've got any questions about the area, i'm the person to see. I think that for now its important to know that the rock oil found there is far 'cleaner' than terran raw oil, with none of the solid components often found there. It may be assumed that those components have sunk tot he bottom in ages long past, and cannot be reached in any way.

As far as the water/oil system is concerned, bear in mind that this is not the case in every single one of the black lakes, although you can often tell whether there is water underneath the opil by the amount of paprabaab found there, as these critters need the oil/water divide to procreate.
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #11 on: 19 June 2009, 02:11:45 »

So it would be same to assume that something properly adapted could breathe the oil?
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« Reply #12 on: 19 June 2009, 02:18:42 »

I see no reason what so ever that the creature couldn't have an intricately developed respiratory system which allows it to breath in oil.  I have no doubt that if nature forced it upon the creatures of some sea, at least a few of them would evolve and adapt with such capabilities.
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« Reply #13 on: 19 June 2009, 02:57:01 »

Adaptation? What would you need that for? Th Gods simply made an animal so that it could breathe in oil. 'nuff said.
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« Reply #14 on: 19 June 2009, 09:37:38 »

Very nice idea  thumbup  I have got one too idea How about the glowing teeth be a lure like the anglerfish "fishing rod" After all a curious light would be interesting so then SNATCH th Yoyarr has it!  :)
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