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Author Topic: The Gibbering Jackal of Eyelia  (Read 7886 times)
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Mirmec Rethindor
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« on: 11 April 2007, 13:32:35 »

The Gibbering Jackal of Eyelia

Appearance
The typical Gibbering Jackal is roughly one ped tall at the shoulder, and snout to tail a little over two peds with large articulated paws about one palm in width. The  grey whiskered canine head has backswept ears with a soft inner lining that acts to amplify sounds when the Jackal’s head is underwater. The short furred coat is a dull smoky hue which allows the Jackal to blend in with the shadows of the drooping vegetation near the edge of the Thaehelvil River’s edge.  The forelegs are longer than the hindlegs which give the Jackal a peculiar pouncing gate to its regular trot. Webs between the toes of the paws allow the Gibbering Jackal to maintain footing in the slippery river coastal muds, without sinking deeply and catching  paws deep in the mud. What is most interesting about the Gibbering Jackal though is that the markings of the matriarch of the pack are no different than the other female Jackals, thus to anyone who sees the Gibbering Jackal packs, it is hard to tell which female Jackal is armed with a poison salivary sac.

Selective breeding of the Gibbering Jackal ended in the days before the demise of Vista Castle, so much of what is known about the Gibbering Jackal are from Serphelorian outland settler experiences with the beast. Some say the piercing amber eyes of the Gibbering Jackal are almost mesmerizing in their intensity, but this may just be the scared recollections of those who have lived to tell of their close call experiences.

Special Abilities
Aside from the matriarch of the Gibbering Jackal pack ability to spit poison saliva on enemies, the common Gibbering Jackal has acute hearing underwater. This ability enables the Jackal to pick the best fishing spot. However with the frequent submersion of the Jackal’s head underwater while scouting fishing spots, this makes the Gibbering Jackal especially vulnerable to larger animals who stalk their prey. This may be one of the reasons the Gibbering Jackal’s hunt in packs along the coastline. So that while some have their heads submerged, the others are alert for any dangers coming from further in shore.

The pack matriarch’s poison sac normally remains unused in a pouch under the tongue, but when threatened, the sac will rapidly fill with poison. As the pack females mock charge the threat from different directions, the pack matriarch will approach from a side attack to spit the poison toward the face of the hapless victim. The male Jackals will repeatedly run in circles around the victim trying to bump it to the ground. Once the poison has been spat, the Jackals will back away careful to not get any poison on their own paws or hides.

When threatened, the pack matriarch spits a poison that causes the victim’s tongue to swell up as well as the inner lining of the chest, so that cries for help or any other words can not be understood. As the swelling increases, the victim actually starts to choke to death, and these gibbering pleas for help is how this particular Jackal get their name.

There is no known cure for the Gibbering Jackal poison and so berry bogs in that area have high wooden pickets built around them with wooden chutes and gates that connect each berry bog with each other. Some eastern shore berry bog owners have sought to cultivate thorn bushes near the berry bog approaches.

Territory
The current range of Gibbering Jackal is in the bottomlands and moors of the  upper Thaehelvil River area south of Tyr Thromgolin entrance's and before the split of Hell’s Fork in Southern Sarvonia. This Jackal is not a particularly powerful predator and instead scavenges on small fish and fresh water crawfish along the river shore. However as outland Serphelorian settlements began to encroach  along the eastern shore of the Thaehelvil in later years, the behavior of the Gibbering Jackal became more aggressive particularly in the berry bog areas, where the Jackal path would often conflict with Serphelorian settler harvest activities.  Found on both the eastern and western shores, the Jackals do not make their den’s very far inland, as their natural smoky coloring protects them more along the shadowy coastline than it would deeper into the green forest.

Habitat/Behavior
Gibbering Jackals have the peculiar habit lapping only from still water, and this is what draws the Gibbering Jackal to the edges of the berry bogs. Some Serphelorian outland settlers have taken this Jackal habit into consideration, and so around the eastern shore Thaehelvil berry bogs you will often see false ponds that are periodically refilled by hand mill and water chute from river’s edge.

The Gibbering Jackal communicate mostly through visual signals of stance, ear position and tail wagging during the day. At night time when they bed down, a few Jackal will remain awake and pace the borders of the packs den territory. Their howls which pierce the night are usually only when communicating warnings. Overall one of the greatest dangers of a Gibbering Jackal pack approach is that they move so silently through the moors and along the coastlines, that many folk are unaware they are near Gibbering Jackals until too late.

Gibbering Jackals usually rise at first light, as this is normally a good time for catching fish. Later in the day as the heat of the day warms the waters, the best fish will seek the deeper and cooler river waters away from the coastline. While the males spend their early day along the shore, the female Jackals will fan further inland, wary for any intruders. If a threat is spotted the female jackal will freeze raise her tail straight up. As Gibbering Jackals communicate primarily through visual cues, it is rare to find any one Jackal not in sight distance of another Jackal. Thus the intruder alert is communicated speedily towards the shore where the male Jackals can respond backwards up the chain to the location of trouble.

Female Gibbering Jackals also spend their day mentoring the Jackal cubs who are making their first steps out into the woodlands. Only older male younglings are allowed to watch near the coastline as the male Jackals fish. Later in the day, half the female Jackals will lead the young cubs back to rest and play near the dens. There they will learn the finer points of eating fish and building dens, and other woodland skills.

After the main fishing is done, the Jackals who will be guarding the dens at night return to get some rest, while the rest of male jackals scout further along the coast for new fishing areas. In this way the whole pack will slowly migrate up and downriver through a period of days.

Diet
The Gibbering Jackal of Eyelia mainly dine on captured coastline fish of the Thaehelvi River shallows. When the river is at low flow, the Jackal will dig crawfish and other small crustaceans from underneath the shore rocks, and shallows mud. As such the teeth of the Jackal are primarily for tearing the fish away from bone. An exception to this diet is when the female Gibbering Jackal is with offspring, they will graze on the sawgrass of the moors on occasion, to help in the later birthing of their young.

Mating
The Gibbering Jackal of Eyelia mating antics would seem humorous if viewed up close. At first look, it would appear two young male Jackal were splashing at each other while ducking their heads underwater. What they really are doing is seeing who can make the most catches for the female Jackal of their choice. As a prime fishing spot is easily ruined when too many Jackals disturb the waters, the young male Jackal will pace the coastline with certain stances to ward off competitors, and then dunk their heads down in the water to listen for the fish. But to ward off competitors they push out with their forelegs, which often causes them to appear to be splashing other young male Jackals on either side of them.

Once the triumphant male has dragged his repeated fish kills to the female Jackal of his choice, the female Jackal picks the young male who has brought her the most fish. As the survival and health of her young cubs will be ultimately determined by the skills of her male fishing mate, this decision is a critical one.

The female Jackal will indicate her choice by walking repeatedly around the young male she has chosen and rubbing up against him. Eventually the young male Jackal will also begin to rub up against the female Jackal to help her to get into heat and the mating will begin. These seasonal mating dances usually begin after the first buds appear on the trees so that by the later colder months, the young cubs will have been born and gaining their strength before the hard winters begin.

At any one time there may be only one pack matriarch, but there will always be two or more female Jackal offspring who have the poison sac in their undersnouts also. They are the direct line descendants of the pack matriarch who often has several mates. Upon the death of the current pack matriarch through accident or illness, these other female Gibbering Jackals will fight to the death using their poison sac attacks, to determine who will be the new pack matriarch. After the death match, the new pack matriarch will breed as soon as possible even if it is out of season, to maintain the health of the Jackal pack defenses.

General Information
Once a weapon of war used by Beastmaster Taranthir I of Vista Castle, after the Great Earthquake  of 15th century B.S. curdled the ground of Eyelia opening up huge maws, the Royal Bestiary was broken asunder and many marvelous and terrible creatures were set loose. One such creature which seemed insignificant at the time, would later be known as the Gibbering Jackal of Eyelia.

Outland Serphelorian settlers who have moved into northern Eyelia to farm berries and raise them in the berry bogs, run the most risk of running into the Gibbering Jackals. These Serphelorian settlers inhabit mostly the eastern shore of the Thaehelvi, and occasional contact is made with the wandering packs of Gibbering Jackals who favor the still water berry bogs to quench their thirst rather than the moving river waters.

The native Eyelians of the Thaehelvi river basin have no trouble with the Gibbering Jackals, as they are natural animal tamers. They live primarily downstream near Hell’s Fork territory which is called present day New-Santhala and other areas further south, though an occasional Eyelian does have a river home further up stream in the natural range of the Gibbering Jackals. Though there is no known cure for Gibbering Jackal poison, the Bear Clan Eyelian healers have poultices that can greatly slow the effect of the toxin such that with constant care some victims can live a season or more before their chest muscles are completely paralyzed.
« Last Edit: 14 April 2007, 01:46:05 by Mirmec Rethindor » Logged

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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #1 on: 12 April 2007, 04:39:13 »

You need an overview section.  Also, Hyena\'s are plains beast.  Take into account that it is probably a bad idea to use such a name when classifying this beast.  I\'d suggest changing to something that can be more aquatic.
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #2 on: 12 April 2007, 05:09:45 »

Commenting in red


The Gibbering Hyena of Eyelia

OVERVIEW SECTION IS MISSING!

Appearance
The typical Gibbering Hyena is roughly one ped tall at the shoulder, and snout to tail a little over two peds with large articulated paws about one palm in width. The feline head has backswept ears with a soft inner lining that acts to amplify sounds when the hyena’s head is underwater. The short furred coat is a dull smoky hue which allows the Hyena to blend in with the shadows of the drooping vegetation near the edge of the Thaehelvil River’s edge.  The forelegs are longer than the hindlegs which give the Hyena a peculiar pouncing gate to its regular trot. Webbing between the toes of the paws allow the Gibbering Hyena to maintain footing in the slippery river coastal muds, without sinking deeply and catching catching? catching what exactly? a paw deep in the mud. What is most interesting about the Gibbering Hyena though is that the markings of the matriarch of the pack are no different than the other female hyenas, thus to anyone who sees the Gibbering Hyena packs, it is hard to tell which female hyena is armed with a poison salivary sac. this is the first mentioning of the poison, so 'a' is more appropriate. 'the' would indicate it's already been mentioned, and confused people would go looking for it.

Special Abilities
Aside from the matriarch of the Gibbering Hyena pack ability to spit poison saliva on enemies, the common Gibbering Hyena has acute hearing underwater. This ability enables the hyena to pick the best fishing spot. However with the frequent submersion of the hyena’s head underwater while scouting fishing spots, this makes the Gibbering Hyena especially vunerable to larger animals who stalk their prey. This may be one of the reasons the Gibbering Hyena’s hunt in packs along the coastline. So that while some have their heads submerged, the others are alert for any dangers coming from further in shore. Explain a bit how both abilities work.

Territory
The current range of Gibbering Hyena is in the bottomlands and moors of the upperThaehelvil River area south of Tyr Thromgolin's entrance and before the split of Hell’s Fork in Southern Sarvonia. Found on both the eastern and western shores, the Hyenas do not make their removed 'animal' den’s very far inland, as their natural smoky coloring protects them more along the shadowy coastline than it would deeper into the green forest.

Habitat/Behavior
The Gibbering Hyena communicate mostly through visual signals of stance, ear position and tail wagging during the day. At night time when they bed down, a few Hyena will remain awake and pace the borders of the packs den territory. Their howls which pierce the night are usually only when communicating warnings. Overall one of the greatest dangers of a Gibbering Hyena pack approach is that they move so silently through the moors and along the coastlines, that many folk are unaware they are near Gibbering Hyenas until too late.I usually try to describe in this section a full day of the animals life, working through the resting, hunting/feeding, and socialising periods. More detail would do you much good here.

How is the lead female chosen/replaced?
The life of this animal, (Lifespan, age of maturity, age of death, amount of pregnancies, amount of pups per litter etc etc) needs to be looked into in either this section, or the mating section.
Diet
The Gibbering Hyena of Eyelia mainly dine on captured coastline fish of the Thaehelvi River shallows. When the river is at low flow, the Hyena will dig crawfish and other small crustaceans from underneath the shore rocks, and shallows mud. As such the teeth of the Hyena are primarily for tearing the fish away from bone. An exception to this diet is when the female Gibbering Hyena is with offspring, they will graze on the sawgrass of the moors on occasion. this grazing is verry unusual. it needs to be explained either here, in Behaviour, or in the Mating sections.

Mating
The Gibbering Hyena of Eyelia mating antics would seem humorous if viewed up close. At first look, it would appear two young male hyena were splashing at each other while ducking their heads underwater. What they really are doing is seeing who can make the most catches for the female hyena of their choice. As a prime fishing spot is easily ruined when too many hyenas disturb the waters, the young male hyena will pace the coastline with certain stances to ward off competitors, and then dunk their heads down in the water to listen for the fish. But to ward off competitors they push out with their forelegs, which often causes them to appear to be splashing other young male hyenas on either side of them.

Once the triumphant male has dragged his repeated kills to the female hyena of his choice, the female hyena picks the young male who has brought her the most kills. As the survival and health of her young cubs will be ultimately determined by the skills of her male fishing mate, this decision is a critical one. I would change the 'kills' to 'fish', but thats just a personal choice.

The female hyena will indicate her choice by walking repeatedly around the young male she has chosen and rubbing up against him. Eventually the young male hyena will also begin to rub up against the female hyena to help her to get into heat and the mating will begin. These seasonal mating dances usually begin in early in the season what season? so that by the later winter months, the young cubs will have been born and gaining their strength before the hard winters begin.


General information
Once a weapon of war used by Beastmaster Taranthir I of Vista Castle, after the Great Earthquake  of 15th century B.S. curdled the ground of Eyelia opening up huge maws, the Royal Bestiary was broken asunder and many marvelous and terrible creatures were set loose. One such creature which seemed insignificant at the time, would later be known as the Gibbering Hyena of Eyelia.

The current range of Gibbering Hyena is in the bottomlands and moors of the  upper Thaehelvil River area south of Tyr Thromgolin entrance and before the split of Hell’s Fork in Southern Sarvonia. This Hyena is not a particularly powerful predator and instead scavenges on small fish and fresh water crawfish along the river shore. However as outland Serphelorian settlements began to encroach  along the Thaehelvil in later years, the behavior of the Gibbering Hyena became more aggressive particularly in the berry bog areas, where the Hyena path would often conflict with Serphelorian settler harvest activities.

In such instances, contact with the matriarch of the Gibbering Hyena pack has often resulted in tragedy, as the female leader of the hyena pack has a special salivary sac located in the fore part of the undersnout. When threatened, the pack matriarch spits a poison that causes the victim’s tongue to swell up as well as the inner lining of the chest, so that cries for help or any other words can not be understood. As the swelling increases, the victim actually starts to choke to death, and these gibbering pleas for help is how this particular hyena get their name.this needs to go into Special Abilities

There is no known cure for the Gibbering Hyena poison and so berry bogs in that area have high wooden pickets built around them with wooden chutes and gates that connect each berry bog with each other. Some eastern shore berry bog owners have sought to cultivate the river thorn bush as a further hedge. Are Riverthorn Bushes an existing species? i don't mind you inventing it, but you will have to write it with capitals. if you were not referring to a single species of bush, the sentence doesn't make much sense and needs rephrasing

The creature has a peculiar habit of lapping only from still water, and this is what draws the Gibbering Hyena to the edges of the berry bogs. Some Serphelorian outland settlers have taken this hyena habit into consideration, and so around the eastern shore Thaehelvil berry bogs you will often see false ponds that are periodically refilled by hand mill and water chute from river’s edge.

It should be mentioned that the Eyelians themselves have no trouble with the Gibbering Hyenas, as they are natural animal tamers. They live primarily downstream near Hell’s Fork territory which is called present day New-Santhala and other areas further south, though an occasional Eyelian does have a river home further up stream in the natural range of the Gibbering Hyenas. Though there is no known cure for Gibbering Hyena poison, the Bear Clan Eyelian healers have poultices that can greatly slow the effect of the toxin such that with constant care some victims can live a season or more before their chest muscles Are completely paralised.


The coat of the Gibbering Hyena of Eyelia is smoky in hue, short so that it does not easily matte and pick up soil. The paws of the hyena have long retractable claws which help the hyena spear small fish by waters edge and also scrape out mud traps for the fresh water crawfish. The Gibbering Hyena also have soft webs between toes which allow the Gibbering Hyena footing in the shallows muds of the Thaehelvil River moors. The forelegs of hyena are naturally longer than the hindlegs possibly to help in the shallow water strike and capture of small coastline fish. Selective breeding of the Gibbering Hyena ended in the days before the demise of Vista Castle, so much of what is known about the Gibbering Hyena are from Serphelorian outland settler experiences with the beast.

this last section has many things that could just have been put into one of the other sections, or that isjust a copy of what is already there. Also i´m not sure who invented the General Information section, but IMHO its contents can be spread out over the other sections and the remains go into Myth/Lore


A good start, but with a few things realy lacking here and there. I am a bit concerned with the term Hyena here, as this is not your basic terran Hyena, and we prefer not to use Terran names for creatures we did not copy exactly. (and we try to do that as little as possible) Maybe you can come up with another word?

Good luck,
Miraran
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« Reply #3 on: 12 April 2007, 06:30:17 »

a nicely unusual animal. What worries me a bit is its very narrow diet. How can this land be very successful at catching fish? Grizzly bears hunt salmon but that's a special opportunity for them not their basis. Do we have fish in  Santharia that acts similarily suicidal as salmons in heat? Wouldn't it be easier to look for bird eggs and carrion? Maybe different hyena populations act differently?

I also didn't quite grasp its territory. Is it only along the one river? Maybe that's a little to few for a carnivore...

Minor things : Doesn't the term feline imply "cat" while hyenas are "dogs"? Not sure about that one. And for me the term coast and coastal refers to shores at an ocean rather the shore of a lake/river. However I'm not native English...
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« Reply #4 on: 12 April 2007, 06:48:04 »

Yup.  Feline = cat family while a hyena is of the dog family.
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Mirmec Rethindor
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« Reply #5 on: 12 April 2007, 08:20:12 »

these are great things everyone has picked up on. Especially a hyena not being a cat. Ok so i will probably change it to a cougar/panther sort as i know in the lowcountry of SC they have legendary black panthers in the palmetto grass for real world comparison. The reason why they are only on that particular stretch of river is that they escaped from the Royal Bestiary in the great earthquake and migrated northward, but i didnt include that link in the territory section only in the overview, so my mistake. And you folk did pick up on the fact the entry is repetitive. I actually wrote the last section first, and then filled in the characteristics. So i guess i should have left it at the top first and then did the characteristics? So that is a very rough first draft, needs alot more work, i'll try to have an improved version in there by tomorrow night hopefully, especially the part about the walkthrough of the entire life cycle and replacing of the matriarch.

Ok, so folk can continue to comment of course, and i'll just work to incorporate those comments as i go along.
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« Reply #6 on: 12 April 2007, 16:58:50 »

I wish you'd reconsider that!  We have a great number of large cats already extant - too many for the food web to support as it is.  Personally, I loved the hyena concept, not to mention the 'Gibbering' part of the name (though I'd change 'hyena' itself).  Could you not keep this as a wild dog, or dog-like creature?  Especially since you made them aquatic - a sort of 'rabid raccoon' -type animal might work very well. 

 I don't know about the location you've chosen - it may be too populous for how you describe them, but I can't resist an animal designed to live in or at the edges of a berry bog - so much potential!
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« Reply #7 on: 12 April 2007, 17:23:49 »

I agree with Judy! It doesn't have to be a cat or a dog, just describe it properly, so that we can envision it.

We do have a hyena-like animla already in the Raház-Dáth, the Cro'cuta. It has no shorter hindlegs, but the hyena was the base of it nevertheless. Maybe you find a way to link it, or is it too different?
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« Reply #8 on: 12 April 2007, 22:50:59 »

Errr, my cat dog remark mainly pointed at using "feline" as a description for a hyena. It conveys to me that it is actually a "cat". A simple "feline-like" or some different description would be enough to clarify that it is not but only looks like it imho.

It was a minor thing.
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Mirmec Rethindor
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« Reply #9 on: 13 April 2007, 01:52:13 »

ok i'll leave it a hyena, and work on my description better.

our internet is coming and going today though so i doubt i'm gonna get to post a revision until tomorrow. i can barely play my computer games like travian, so i'm horribly behind and this is groceries day.

will work on it some though tonight because Word is not online, its on the computer.
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« Reply #10 on: 13 April 2007, 05:09:56 »

Mirmec, you misunderstood what was being said.  Basically, everyone is saying keep it a dog but don\'t use the word Hyena.
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Mirmec Rethindor
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« Reply #11 on: 13 April 2007, 07:55:34 »

ok gotcha Drasil. computer up and working, games are working, so now i can go back to editing between wait times in my games like normal. maybe i have revision in by tonight, not sure. We'll see.
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« Reply #12 on: 14 April 2007, 05:04:37 »

ok the creature is renamed a jackal, i hope judy that is enough like a raccoon creature, and i fixed the canine references, and actually read up on a the genus of canidae on wiki to get a better idea of what i was trying to describe.

i'm open to any more things you folk need changed i think i incorporated everyone's suggestions in there this time.
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« Reply #13 on: 14 April 2007, 05:29:01 »

But Mirmec, it's not a Jackal either... How about calling it a erh..

-Yenyen (possibly referring to its call?)
-Amwet (random word)
-Frennic ( from the desert fox Fennec, for no good reason)

or some kind of made-up term, as it is a mainly made-up creature. The point is we try to avoid using terran names for creatures that don't look (almost) exactly like those terran beings.
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« Reply #14 on: 14 April 2007, 10:51:39 »

i'm not sure how you can say its not a jackal. it is a variety of jackal. you didnt like hyena, it was a variety of hyena. i don't want to make up a word, i mean sure i could call it a rare Fleed, or an uncommon Maramat, or a miniature Lanmag but those are empty words. Remember this was a cross breed in the Royal Bestiary. Just as a Gryphon of which Eyelia was famous for was parts of different animals, this is part Jackal and part something else. It has canine elements in it, and scavenger elements in it

So i'm staying with Jackal. A cross breed Jackal called the Gibbering Jackal. Now you have other comments?

Anyway look at the Moss Lizard entry, that thing is part lizard and part water beetle, and part silverfish, so at what point could you or could you not apply such a name? Even the pit worm entry was part worm, no one asked for us to call the pit worm a pit ulumin or a pit hostarerin?? Why? Cause the worm characteristics would have been lost. The Moss Lizard characteristics would be lost. So i would have to disagree with your line of thought in this respect.
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