The Mermäc (plural: Mermäc as well) is a large lizard-like beast native to the Hol’Dispor, an enormous desert located in the southwest of the Island of Denilou. They can be found scattered across the enormous desert from the southwest edge to the northeast edge near Toll Brok’Barrol. The Meräc dwells under a thin layer of sand, only allowing its eyes and nose to show from the sand. It is a very deadly beast if you get close enough to it when it is hungry. But it will not go looking for a fight or food, it allows its food to come to it and only travels during the time of mating when the male must go search for a mate.
Appearance. The Mermäc's appearance is very lizard-like with leathery skin covering its body. It is colored beige blending in tremendously well in the desert climate. The Mermäc ranges from 4 peds to 5 (including tail), which is extremely large, making it easily one of the largest, if not the largest beast on all of Denilou. For those that have got close enough to the Mermäc to study it they may notice a black strip on either side of its vertebrae. Many speculations have been made, one of the most intriguing is that the Mermäc once had wings, but evolved back leaving a black strip where it’s wings once had been located.
The eyes of the Mermäc are well attuned to notice everything in the desert. They usually are coloured a pale red and are located near the top of its head so it can stay as far under the sand as possible. The eyes are close to 1 palmspan in width, they have eyelids that are very thin that they always keep closed to keep the sand of the desert out of their eyes. Though they can open them they actually rarely do so.
The Mermäc has 3 rows of incredibly sharp teeth located within its enormous mouth, there are 3 rows on the top of its mouth. All of these rows are sharp and extremely dangerous. On the bottom of the Mermäc’s mouth is another row of teeth, they are all flat and used as a flat surface for its upper sharp teeth to crush and tear its food on. They often fall out and are very sensitive, new teeth are growing back in roughly a week. The Mermäc have no ears, but sensitive nerves in its tail, the Mermäc keeps it tail near the surface of the sand, it detects all vibration under the sand.
The Mermäc have short but strong legs pertaining to its size, all four legs are around ½ a ped in length with a six-clawed hand at the end. Despite being small compared to the Mermäc’s size the legs can allow the Mermäc to leap up to 4 peds from its lying down position to capture its prey. This allows the Mermäc to jump nearly its own length. The females are routinely larger at around 4 ½ to 5 ½ peds in length; there leathery skin is a lighter as well. Its two ridges on the top of its head, one on each side, can always identify the females.
Special Abilities. As explained above the Mermäc has short legs but they are extremely strong allowing it to jump to around 4 peds from its lying down position under its sandy cover. The Mermäc also is an outstanding hunter, even though it does little hunting, it conceals itself under the sand leaving small fragments of its body out such as its eyes, ears and nose. It then waits for an unlucky individual to come close enough; then the Mermäc leaps onto its prey and quickly rips its head of before slowly eating the rest of the unfortunate traveller or beast. One thing to be thankful for is that it gives you a quick death.
Also worth mentioning is the Mermäc’s special ability of "hearing". It has sensitive nerves in its tail that can detect vibrations that are close to the Mermäc allowing it to find its prey without using its eyes.
Territory. The Mermäc solely resides in the Hol’Dispor located on the southwest corner of the Island of Denilou. It spreads across all corners of the vast desert usually one male and female Mermäc to every square stral.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Mermäc live under the sand, concealed, during the day and during the night. They have been known to be more active during the night, traveling to new areas for hunting if their current location is producing well enough. They also simply roam the desert during the night but then sleep under the sand until morning when their hunting resumes. The Mermäc are routinely very tame and peaceful to humans, not really caring whether or not humans are in their territory. Only when they are hungry Mermäc act vicious and intimidating to all others around it. When a Mermäc attacks it charges quickly, killing its prey immediately.
The female Mermäc are more vicious than the males. They are better-developed hunters than the males and crawl unseen under the sand to seek out their prey unlike the males who just wait for their prey to come to it. When the female catches its prey it tends to be just as quick as the males quickly ripping off its prey’s head, then slowly feasting on the remains.
Diet. The Mermäc eats anything it can get that roams in the desert. Not too many beasts live in the Hol’Dispor, making the Mermäc very anxious when it gets a chance to eat. When the Mermäc catches its prey it enjoys a fight often throwing it around, shaking it, hoping for some resistance before crushing its entire skeleton then feasting down to its dinner.
The Mermäc does use some skills to lure prey towards him. There is an extra gland in his system that produces an odour similar to that of a dead animal. The other animals living in the desert often are scavengers preying on the bodies of the dead, and they will often seek out the smell and will soon meet their end at the fangs of the Mermäc.
One of the Mermäc's favourite prey is a nocturnal rodent found within the Hol'Dispor named the flaret. They are not as small compared to many other rodents that dwell in Caelereth making the flaret a sufficient meal for the Mermäc.
The Mermäc also eat mostly all of the nocturnal mammals that roam the desert which withstand the powerful heat during the day. They live during the night scavenging over the desert floor for dead animals that fulfill their diet.
Mating. The mating season of the Mermäc begins in mid-Singing Bird and stretches into late Rising Sun. The female will seek out a male mate (when its parents died), usually within one square stral of it. The female is the dominant gender in reproduction, the smaller male submits quickly and easily. In roughly 3-5 weeks the female gives birth to 2 babies, the babies are called Hol’Thereen (Hol’Thereen, "Desert Babies") among the Thergermin of Denilou. One is a male and the other is always a female. The female determines the gender of the child.
The Hol’Thereen are born very active at around 1 ped in length, they run around on top of the sand for their first week of birth before the mother and father teach them how to hunt properly and to act with great stealth. When the Hol’Thereen are roughly a month old they have now become nearly half grown around 2–2 ½ peds in length. They hunt and stay relatively close to their mother and father until the parents reach near the age of 30 and die. The male Mermäc takes over the territory of the parents and the female goes off to find a male mate. The male will wait for a female from another family to find it and choose it as its mate.
Usages. Merchants all over Denilou treasure the Mermäc’s leathery skin. It is very expensive and the merchant earns a small fortune if he/she is able to get his/her hands on it. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to get Mermäc skin from a living beast. If a hunter can get close enough to kill the Mermäc it is usually already dead, and if the hunter does not notice the Mermäc when he is close enough, the hunter is certainly dead. The rarity of Mermäc skin is the real treasure that many people of Denilou desire to call their own. Get one and you'll be respected!
Information provided by Atrii Redwood