Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => The Santharian Bestiary => Topic started by: Torek Ozzot on 25 December 2001, 18:46:00

Title: The Desert Drake
Post by: Torek Ozzot on 25 December 2001, 18:46:00
Appearance: The Desert Drake is one of the few dragons - both great and lesser that cannot fly. In fact it has no wings at all, and to even further that, they seem to hate heights. These burly drakes compensate for the lack of wings with an unusually thick hide, which ranges from lighter tones of black to deep browns and grays. The hide it's self is made up of thick overlapping plates, very much like scales, but harder, and more rock like in texture and appearance.  The Body is very much like that of an elephant, only somewhat larger, and it has six legs rather then four. Huge curved retractable claws can be found it's first two rows of legs, the hind set are used only for walking and balance. The front legs double as hands, able to grip and move objects, much as any humanoid can, and as such tend to be shorter then the back two rows. The second row is much more foot like, and is used almost primarily for digging - If not then this row is used for walking as well. The back row is solely for walking purposes, and is very wide at the base, aiding in balance when digging, again no claws can be found on the back legs. The drake's neck is somewhat long, usually about the length of one of it's front legs and is covered in a much softer hide then the rest of the body. The neck is therefore very flexible and can move with relative ease. Its head is covered in the same hard hide as the rest of its body, except around the eyes and back jaw, where it is a little softer. Large eyelids can be shut over the eyes, to prevent rocks and other debris from damaging the eyes, and the jaw holds, a mouth full of jagged teeth, interspersed with large grinding molars.

Special Abilities: The Abilities of this drake are somewhat limited by the standards of their brethren, but impressive none the less. Their uncanny ability to dig miles upon miles of underground caverns, yet never get lost for example, may seem somewhat less thrilling then breathing fire, but the desert drake will never loose it's way it it's own caves.  Also among the lesser drakes, desert drakes are one of the most intelligent, showing problem solving ability and even the basics of their own language, resembling that of the greater drakes. They even have a strict hierarchical system in their "herds" consisting of a leader (queen) and her underlings - workers, diggers, solders and so on.

Territory:  As the name implies, these drakes are found in the deserts of Aer'ai'chán. Their caves may stretch for miles but all herds center around one body of fresh water. As such there are five known herds of these drakes, each named after the body of water they originate from. To a layman each group may look the same, but they do have different colorings and features that separate the herds. The Aegyslam - calling the Sveltash Desert home (also the largest of the known herds) The Tardulan laying claim to the desert of light. The Hylmagor and the Bright witch are constantly fighting one another over space in the Desert of Ysthalinth. And the smallest and tamest of the known herds the Nirmenith, calling the Desert Rahaz - Dath home

Habitat/Behavior: Desert Drakes Spend most all their time in their own caves, just digging away and the earth, and setting sand traps to get their food. They do on occasion come up to the surface, but never for very long. They are also extremely aware and protective of their home. If any thing enters soldiers are soon on the seen to assess the situation. If it's food, and then the hunters are called in to take care of things, if it's deemed dangerous then, the soldiers waste no time in attacking. Some times the drakes will find no harm from an interloper. In these cases, workers will come and take the intruder to the nearest surface hole and let them on their way. The whole-heard acts much like a colony of ant's each different group has a specific job. The following is a brief overview of what each class of drake does for the heard, as observed by the dragon researcher Homloth

- Queen: The queen is the leader of the heard, as she is the dominate of the few females that are born. She will give birth to more drakes then any other female, and is the glue that holds all other classes together.
- Nurse: The other few and less dominant females are referred to ass nurses. The look after all of the queens needs, and takes care of all the queens eggs, and their own, and raise them until they start out in their own class
- Worker: These are the most common of all the classes and do all the digging, and trap making.
- Hunter: Catch any food that my wonder into the caves, checks the sand traps, and leaves caves to hunt for food on the surface if needed.
- Soldiers: Keep threats away from queen and out of cave, take direct orders from queen.

Diet: Desert Drakes are carnivores, eating any and all meet they can find. The hunters do a good job feeding the rest on animals that fall through the many sand traps that the drakes set up, but also get a fair amount of food from other cave dwelling animals that wonder to close to the drakes caves. (It's the #1 leading cause of death for Dune Mice)

Mating: Every one 150 years (keep in mind the average life span of a desert drake is 500 years) the mating season begins. The queen will pick several mates, while the nurses pick a single mate that they stay with their whole lives. Each nurse (there are usually no more then five) will lay two eggs, while the queen will lay around 12. The nurses care for the eggs, for about 100 years until they reach the age where they can find their own class. The % of births is as follows - again as observed by Homloth

- Nurse 2%
- Worker 60%
- Hunter 18%
- Soldier 20%

Myth/Lore:  There is an old tale that says that the ancient decadents of the Shendar (then called the Stratanian) found a way to befriend and even use these drakes as mounts. They would borrow under cities and raid them, with out even having to pass through a line of defense! But that just an old tale… right?

Edited by: Torek Ozzot at: 12/25/01 12:57:39 am

Title: Re: The Desert Drake
Post by: Tarquet Galbar on 27 December 2001, 01:36:00
Seems good to me. Sounds like it might make an interesting topic for one of the stories of the RDMs I'm making, a fight with a Rahaz-Dath desert drake who seems not as tame as his kin. Or maybe used as a mount of someone who saw the Shendar doing it, eh? Ah, the possibilities. Of course, locatoins and uses should be approved by the progenitors of the material in question (I.E.- Gean for the Rahaz-Dath, Talia for the Shendar), so forth and so on. Yea... I'm goin to bed now, more later maybe!

Tarquet Galbar, BeastMaster Of Santharia, He Who Rules The Animals.