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1  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Earth Eater on: 19 March 2004, 05:08:00
No clams do not have tails, but evolution has been at work...giving these ones tails so that they will have a better chance at survival in their new homes. I will change the carbon dioxide, and although the digesting it's body parts is going against its survival....ummm....okay I guess I'll change it if it bothers you that much. Your instructions about the time aren't really clear. Why shouldn't the time be described almost exactly...what can I use instead of seconds...?

2  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Earth Eater on: 16 March 2004, 03:17:00
I wanted to do a good myth too, but I just couldn't think of anything....hmmm...lemme sleep on it...for a few hours. Then I'll get back to ya.  

3  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Earth Eater (a work in progress...no where near complete on: 13 March 2004, 05:33:00
:clap :clap  Now I am done...YES!!!!!   :clap :clap  

4  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Earth Eater (a work in progress...no where near complete on: 13 March 2004, 04:47:00
Okay, I'm not done with this yet. Just trying to keep my thoughts together and focus on this creature.

5  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Earth Eater on: 10 February 2004, 03:00:00
Single Clam- Earth Eater, Sand Clam, Behemoth Clam
Three or More- Pod
Young- Clam

Basic Overview of the Beast
The Earth Eater, known also as the Sand Clam, is a rare breed of clam, which has become accustomed to life deep within the scorching desert sands. These creatures can grow to a height of 3 peds and the average Eater weighs over 8 pygges. Eaters are found mostly in southeastern Aeruillin, but they have been seen in the southwest as well.

Appearance
The Earth Eater is one of the largest land animals in all of Aeruillin. It is often seen as a mere myth to those of the northern port cities who have never lived in the deserts. But to those tribes who have lived in the merciless deserts they know that these creatures are powerful forces to be reckoned with. They look almost exactly like clams found in the seas and oceans, except for the fact that they are many times larger. Mature Eaters weigh anywhere from 8 to 10 pygges and can be as tall as 3 peds. Their length from the beginning of their bodies to their heavy, and dangerously sharp tails is usually about 2.5 peds. In 50 years it can grow to be more than 1.5 peds across. Eaters come in a variety of dull colors, from light grays to dark blacks and there are dull brown Eaters as well.

Earth Eaters do not have the tongues that their ocean counterparts do. Instead they have tubes that act as filters. The tube is round and hollow in the inside. It has a hole in the opening and a hole at the ending, which is where the eater's anus is. The tube is rather elastic and can stretch out about 1 ped from the eater's mouth. This tube sucks in sand and anything above the sand; humans, elves, and other animals alike. The tube then pushes the items into the eater's digestive system, where it pulls out whatever nutrients, moister, or meat it needs. Then the wastes and the sand are dumped out of the eater's anus, located under the armored tail. Any oxygen absorbed is sent down another smaller tube that is attached to the main tube. That small tube leads into the huge respiratory system of the eater, carbon dioxide is then spat out of the anus as well.

The Earth Eaters can use their massive tails to propel themselves forward. It takes a lot of energy to do this, so the earth eaters hardly move. But when they need to capture an unsuspecting creature or if they need oxygen they can push their heavy body out of the sand. The tail is also used to dig into the sand. It only moves in up and down motions, so it cannot be used to swipe at anything. But if someone is unlucky enough to stand behind the eater the force of its tail will crush him or her.

Special Abilities
These creatures have a very thick layer of skin, which has hardened and acts as a protective armor. This makes the eater very difficult to kill. It takes the Tiraelhon many sharp axes to cut into this creatures hide.

The earth eaters are also known for being able to hold their breaths for an immense amount of time. It is necessary for these creatures to be able to do this because it is unknown when they may get any oxygen if they dig to deep in the sand.

The earth eaters are able to use a special attack against their foes. But this attack works only if their attacker is behind them. The earth eater can spew its waste products at its enemies, plus the high amount of carbon dioxide they expel with their waste could cause dizziness, or could be terminal. With the waste comes any bones, hair, claws, teeth, or other things that the eater’s stomach was unable to digest. So being "spat at" by these creatures could be a very disgusting situation.

Territory
Earth Eaters are only found in Aeruillin. These creatures have been seen in other places around Caelereth, but this is often because they have been brought there. They do not live in any bodies of water because they would drown if they went in the water. But they can be found near them. They often choose places with soft sand, or fertile areas, and eaters will usually bury themselves no deeper than 3 to 5 peds under the sand. A sign that earth eaters live, or have lived in an area is to look at the soil. If the soil looks healthy, and plants grow without ale, that means that the soil is just naturally good, or that the amounts of carbon dioxide expelled by these creatures and their waste products have contributed to making the soil very fertile.

Habitat/Behavior
Earth Eaters are sluggish, massive powerhouses that move very little unless provoked. They spend most of their seven hour days digging deep into the sand with their massive tails and feeding on the nurtients and any other organisms in the sands.

These creatures are often found near bodies of water, or other moist areas. They do not need it to live, but it helps to keep them cool in the hot sands. Eart Eaters are highly territorial and often live in groups of no more than three. Those three that live together are often many peds apart and hardly ever come into contact unless they are all heading towards a source of water, food, or unless they are breeding. The female eaters are often the ones who seem to lead the pod. It is rather difficult to study these subterrainian behemoths, but from what many researchers have gathered the largest female eater will often emit a certain scent from her tube that will attract all the others towards her. This scent is generally used for mating but if the pod needs to move the female will use it.

If the area in which an earth eater lives become too dry they will dig their way to the top, which often takes a day or two. If they cannot make it in time and they are completely dried out, the earth eater will die instantly. Seeing as how these creatures are slow the mortality rate in eaters trying to reach the surface is 3 out of 5.

Diet
The Sand Clam eat practically any vegetable matter. Leaves, grass, reeds, roots, flowers, fruits, bark and even soil if the mineral content is high. They do so through the tube that serves many purposes for this creature. Eaters have been known to catch large and small animals in their tubes and many have found the bones of elves or humans hidden tightly within this creature's feces. The earth eater must eat up to five times its body weight in food each week. If they do not accomplish this then their body will start to digest its own internal organs to make up for the loss in food.

Water is important for the eaters, but not too important. They can go up to two weeks without any water. After that point they must refill, often having to travel about twelve peds just to find a fresh source of water. These sources can even include the resources of humans and elves. Dead sand clams have been seen in the middle of settlements with water bins knocked over around them. Obviously these creatures were too late.


Mating
Female earth eaters are sexually mature at 25 years of age. Once they reach maturity they often leave their pod in search of a mate and emit a scent along their path. This scent enhances a male eater's sexual drive and causes them to follow that trail relentlessly until they find the female. Once the female is found the male spews his waste products over her back. After this is done he moves towards her, his tail pushing him all the way. Once he has the front tip of his shell at her sexual organ, located just below her anus, he turns all the way around. This turning usually takes up to half a bell, but it is worth it because it is not common for eaters to find each other easily. Once his anus is to hers his sexual organ slides out under the armor plate and they copulate for a brief thirty-fifty seconds.

Afterwards the female lets out a very deep grunting noise and begans to fan the male away with her tail. She stores the sperm in a sac in her organ, not yet allowing her eggs to be fertilize. She will check out all of her prospects before finally choosing a mate. A female eater usually goes through this five times every three months.

Gestation takes up to 25 months, the single egg growing in the female, creating a bubble on the outside of her anus. During this time the female is highly vulnerable, she is a lot more tired and moves around a lot less. She also does not go underground during this period. The roughness of the sand could rupture the sac and she would loss the egg and a lot of necessary bodily fluids.

At the end of the 25 months the sac is the size of a 5 yr. old human child balled up in a fetal position. The female uses her tube to push her heavy body at an upwards angle and uses it to scratch her sac against the sand, but she only does this just enough so that it creates a small tear on it. She then begins to push, first out comes the thickened fluids in the form of a watery bag. Soon after this comes out a tiny clam, of a beautiful white color falls out onto the sands. The mother then turns around, which as stated above takes up to half a bell and leaves the newborn clam vulnerable to predators. Once she is facing her offspring she places it in her mouth by applying suction on it with her tube and then placing it in a once hollow part of it's massive head.

That part of the shell, which was once hollow, has begun to fill up with a thick, milk-like fluid, which the clam will feed upon for 3 years. While it is feeding it has gills and the tail is vertical instead of horizontal, giving the young clam the ability to swim in its own food. Once the 3 years have passed the clam is spat out and left to live on its own. On average the earth eaters are only half of their size by this time. Only 4 out of 7 of these abandoned clams make it to see adulthood. On average Earth Eaters will also live to be up to 135 years.





Usages may be coming....I am contemplating whether or not I should put it....

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 3/12/04 12:06
6  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Cragok Goat on: 14 November 2003, 01:53:00
Okay, I guess my last statement was quite a lie, huh? But I am here now...okay let's see. I suggest you run it through a spell check because I see a few typos and spelling errors.
Quote:
These goats are known for their superb balance which helps them make their homes among the rocks of their habitate


Is it habitat, or habitate? I don't really know which it is, but habitate doesn't sound right to me. Okay, how about I do it like this, when I see something that I think is a problem I will write it out here and then make my suggestion in blood...I mean maroon?

Appearance

They are a little over a fore in height at the shoulder. Should it be they are little over a fore?

Males with grow, another typo, horns from their skulls...They hoofs (hooves) are cloven and able to grip the rock, which helps with balance. Hoofs (same as above) are almost always black, but may also be dark brown.

Special Abilities
The undertone of the fur is black, which helps further to keep the animal warm. (I think that this statement is irrelevant because you already stated it in the appearance section. I suggest keeping it in appearance or keeping it only here)

Territory
They, however, are nomadic, ( I think it would sound better if it said, "However, they are nomadic...";)  

Behavior
When the eldest mother dies, the group will typically split up, though they have been cases where two or three sisters have kept the family together. (...though there have been cases...) ...hieghest female (spelling error "highest" ) ...as adolescent males challenge each other for potential males, and challenge older males for their current mates. (as adolescent males challenge each other for potential mates. I hope it is not for males, we don't want any of that going on :biggrin  )

Diet
Their main diet is Peat grass, though they will also eat the weeds that grow in the stone fields of {eat. Peat grass, however, because it does not die in the winter, is the most important food source, able to be eaten all year around, which is helpful because the Cragok does not hibernate when the weather turns cold. (Totally confusing statement, may want to fix any errors that are in those few sentences, because theyare confusing.)

I'll let somebody else look over the rest before I return...

Edited by: Lady Tiaa at: 11/13/03 8:54
7  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Cragok Goat on: 12 November 2003, 23:37:00
I don't see anything wrong with this, but then again I only briefly scanned through it. I will have to give it a good run-through when I get back from the mall.  

8  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Avásh Veván (don't know how to translate Stryash correct on: 06 December 2003, 18:56:00
Okay FIXED IT

9  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Avásh Veván (don't know how to translate Stryash correct on: 27 November 2003, 07:37:00
I did the arrow thing and I made the word say choice piece of prey?? or something like that I can't remember...

10  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Avásh Veván (don't know how to translate Stryash correct on: 27 November 2003, 03:05:00
Edited!

11  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Avásh Veván (don't know how to translate Stryash correctly,) on: 25 November 2003, 07:20:00
Basic Overview of the Beast
The Avásh Veván (translated to mean "Wind Bird") is a famous bird around Aeruillin for its uniqueness among all birds. The Sor'inyt tribe most often refer to it to as the Running Bird. It is widely known for its ability to eat the swift copper snake, the deadliest sand serpent on Aeruillin, and its preferences for speeding across the deserts.

Appearance
The Avásh Veván is a large, black and white mottled ground bird with a unique head crest. It has strong feet that rest under long stout legs. Two forward toes and two behind can characterize its feet. The bird comes in a blend of dull colors, ranging from brown and black with a few white spots to the very common just black and white. It has a long, white-tipped tail that is graduated and is carried pointing upwards. Its bill is oversized and is a dull light brown. It has external nostrils from which excess salt is eliminated; unlike other birds who eliminate the excess salt through urine.

The Avásh Veván ranges in length from 2.5 palmspans to a fore from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak. When these birds sense danger or are traveling downhill, they fly by revealing short, rounded wings with a white crescent. It cannot keep its large body in the air for more than a few seconds. And so it prefers walking or running (up to seventeen peds per bell).

Special Abilities
In order to store as much water as possible, it reabsorbs water from its droppings before actually dropping them. During the heat of mid-day, the ground bird will reduce its activity by half, both externally and internally. The Running Bird is perhaps the fastest land animal in southern Aeruillin. It can run at speeds up to seventeen peds per bell, and some have been noted to run at twenty.

Territory
The Running Bird can be found throughout most of Aeruillin, save for the Void. It has a higher population in the south, but more specifically the southeast than it does other parts of the continent. A smaller population has also been found in southern Santharia in the Aj‘nuvic Grounds during the summer, and then migrating insmall packs to the Flood Plains when winter arrives.

Habitat/Behavior
This bird can be found in open, flat, or rolling terrain with the scattered cover of dry brush or other desert shrubs. Running Birds can never be found in groups unless they are mating or if they happen to come across the same meal. They prefer to be alone and do not make the best companions. The only time the Avásh Veván can be seen unmoving is if it is very hot in the desert, if it is silently watching its prey, or if it is resting.

The Avásh Veván can live for up to six years, and by the time it reaches old age it does the opposite of what most would expect. Instead of the bird slowing down its movements, it seems to speed them up for some highly unknown reason.

Diet
The Running Bird feeds only on other small animals, including insects, lizards, and copper snakes. During the colder months they may eat a low amount of plant material due to the scarcity of animals at that time. Since the Avásh Veván is so quick, it is one of the few animals that can prey upon the copper snake. It uses its wings like a cape and snaps up the copper by its tail. It cracks the snake like a whip and repeatedly slams its head against the ground until it is dead. The Running Bird will then swallow its prey whole, but is often unable to swallow the entire length at one time. It will continue to run about with the snake hanging from its mouth, consuming another palmspan or two as the snake slowly digests.

Mating
When spring arrives, the male bird, in addition to acquiring food for himself, offers choice morsels to a female as an inducement to mating. He usually dances around while she begs for the food, then he gives it to her only after mating. Both parents collect small sticks used for building a shallow, saucer-like nest, but the female actually constructs it in a bush, cactus, or abandoned hole. She will then lay two to twelve white eggs over a period of three days, which results in separate hatchings. Incubation is from eighteen to twentydays and is done by either parent, though the male prefers to do it because the nocturnally incubating males keep a normal body temperature.

The first to hatch often crowd out of late-arriving runts, which are sometimes eaten by the parents. Usually only three or four are finally fledged from the nest after about eighteen days. These remain near the adults for up to two more weeks before dispersing to the surrounding desert.

Researchers
The most notable researcher is the Aeolrhan adventurer and artist, by the name of Favelcavar Maiitarnae. He has been studying these birds for over twenty-three years and we commend him for his research on the ground birds.

Usages
The Avásh Veván has many uses for the tribes in Aeruillin. It's feathers can be used as decorations for clothing and weapons, plus other ornaments around the home. It can be killed and its meat used for food. Its eggs can be taken and used to make a number of products, plus it is said that if you clean your teeth with the tail feather of an Avásh Veván you will have sparkling teeth. The Tiraelhon often use the feathers to decorate their throwing axes, and they use the meat to make a wide variety of meals.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 12/6/03 9:40
12  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Melád Feníl on: 12 November 2003, 23:22:00
Does that mean that this is good to go or it still needs work?

13  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Re: Melád Feníl on: 02 November 2003, 03:02:00
Edited!

14  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Melád Feníl on: 28 October 2003, 06:30:00
Basic Overview of the Beast
Melád Feníl-Grey Cat
Plural- Melád Feníl

The Melád Feníl (Stryásh, meaning Grey Cat), is actually not even related to felines. It is also known as the grey rabbit to humans. It is in fact more closely related to the squirrels, "kuatu", of Southern Santharia. It is a rodent that loves to live amongst the sparse trees and underground. The reason for their name is their long tails and elongated ears, but they are rather stout and resemble rabbits more closely than they do cats. The Melád Feníl is closely related to the Norjordi, a rabbit-like beast, in the Aj'nuvic Grounds, that have the special ability to climb the great cacti that grow in this area.

Appearance
Melád Feníl are small, grey furred creatures with a height of about 5 palmspans from the shoulder and about 4 heb in weight. Its length can be up to 1 ped, though its extremely long tail can take up 45% of its total length. The purpose of the tail is that it allows the Melád Feníl to be able to climb the sparse trees within Northern Sarvonia. Along with this tail to climb, they also have retractable claws, which can be used as a defense method and to climb trees.

The Melád Feníl has a very short, stout body with many layers of fat to keep it warm, and it has very long fur, that often hangs over it's paws. Melád Feníl have two blunt teeth in the front of their mouths and the rest of their teeth are much smaller and are used specifically to grind leaves and grass, and nuts. The Melád Feníl has long whiskers protruding from the side of it's face and a tiny pink nose.

Coloration does not vary at all. Every Melád Feníl is grey, regardless of age or sex. The only way to tell the difference between a male and female is to look at the eyes. Eye color is one thing that does vary. Younger females tend to have grey eyes, while the older females have black eyes, youhng male Melád Feníl have light blue eyes but the older males have dark navy blue eyes. The older a Melád Feníl the thinner it becomes and thus the more succeptible to being killed it becomes as well.

Melád Feníl also have pouches within their cheeks with which they can use to store food, they can store up to seven nuts in each cheek or more depending on the size. The Melád Feníl has strong, well-muscled back legs that they can use to jump short distances, and they can be used to stand on their hind legs.

The funny thing about Melád Feníl that make them so irresistable to watch is their waddle. Their tails are so long that it makes their four-legged walk unbalanced and in order to keep their balance they must do a sort of waddle, by twitching their abdomens left to right.

Special Abilities
Melád Feníl do not have any particularly special abilities. They can dig extremely fast, it has been noted that a Melád Feníl has carved a deep hole in the snow within seconds after being startled by a Snoburr flying above ground. A drunken dwarf once said that the Melád Feníl are magical squirrels that can hop from one point to another, but this has not been proven nor is it true. The Melád Feníl are not very fast on their feet, but they are fast diggers and that is the basic key to their survival.

Territory
These furred creatures are found only in Northern Sarvonia, although they have a relative in the Shendar territory, but they greatly differ in appearance. They live in the Celeste Lowlands and a few can be seen alongside various river banks. Some have often been seen living in hollowed tree trunks in the forests of Northern Sarvonia. The density of their coats is dependent upon their home. It has been noted that those living in the Wounds of Sylvan (Kanapan forest) have retained more of their graceful ways as the climate does not demand as much fat storage or fur, while those found along the iceland coast are more at home in the ground as the weather requirements have made them slower and larger then their Southern brothers.


Habitat/Behavior
Melád Feníl that have gone away from their underground lairs tend to stay close to both trees and large open fields of grass. This may seem wrong for them to stay in open field because they become more easily targeted, but they do so because they will have access to such soft ground to dig on. Melád Feníl also stay in close knit underground communities of 10-15 other Melád Feníl. These communities are chains of families that work together for their survival. One family might be out getting food, another may be scouting the area for a new home, while another stays in the "lair" and cares for the young.

Melád Feníl can also be found resting high above the tundra in trees and watching their lairs from this high view point. Their tails and claws allow them to be able to scale the tree's bark and keep it's curious balance.

These "grey cats" live up to 16 years, but some have been noted to live up to 20.

Diet
The mainstay of the Melád Feníl diet is a variety of fruits and berries, most of which have been brought into the North from other areas either by trade or for cultivation purposes. The guiro fruit is one of the favored fruits of the Melád Feníl, although it is much smaller than it's Kanapan ancestor and has a sour taste. They also eat other plants called Lýth’béls, which tend to become a bluish purple color and the cold here has also given these plants a pleasantly sour taste to them. A favored food is also the Doridel, which many Snoburr use to line their nest durring their eggs' incubation, but the Melád Feníl use it both as food and as a sort of door mat for their homes. Another type of food is the Redberry, Melád Feníl males often feed the biggest Redberries to the female that they want to mate with during mating season.

Mating
Melád Feníl begin mating around the ages of 6-10 months of age. Males are able to mate at anytime once they reach maturity but females can only mate when they go into "heat". This period of time is often occuring several times a year (5-9), and it lasts for a week or two. They emit a strong scent from their sweat glands that often spreads through the lairs rapidly and literally burns the noses of any males within a 9 ped distance. The males rush to the scent as soon as they smell it, and they begin to wrestle in the female's den. The first male to keep his opponent on the ground for longer than five to ten seconds will win the female.  

The Melád Feníl have no distinctive mating ritual. The Melád Feníl gestation period is around 4 months, and Melád Feníl females can often be expected to birth anywhere from 2-8 young. The males do not stay with the females after the children are born. He will stay with her during gestation to provide food and comfort, but after that he will vanish until the next mating season. Once a female reaches her elder years, usually around the ages of 13-15, she is no longer able to reproduce.

Usages
Melád Feníl have a variety of uses, their fur can be used to make clothing or other various items to keep warm in the north. They provide a stable balance in the food chain, for the prominent predators of the "ice lands". Their tails have been used as earrings by the Losh' Oc in the area, and their bones can be used to make daggers or other utensils.

Myth/Lore/Origin (Optional)
It is believed that the Melád Feníl originated in Southern Sarvonia, and were brought up North in 733 b.S. by a mage and his wife (an animal fancier) trying to escape the Siege of Ximax. They traveled so far up North, in fear of being killed, that they found that there was no settlements anywhere around them as far as their eyes could see. They had made it to the Tandala Mountains, which is one place they knew that they couldn't avoid on their journey up North. The couple later died, but before falling into Queprur's grasp they released the wife's collection of thirty-two Melád Feníl into the wild. The once slim, short-furred cat-like creatures then adapted into what they are today and they traveled farther up north than the Tandala Mountains.

Note: Melád Feníl were called water cats at the time because they had a strange fixation with water, but this all died out after entering the North for some stranger reason, although some Melád Feníl can be seen swimming in the waters. But this is often not for fun or sport, but for survival.

Researchers (Optional)
There have been a number of casual researchers to date, mostly young elves who have become fascinated by the Melad's adorable waddle and decided to add more to our store of knowledge about it.

Edited by: Lady Tiaa at: 11/1/03 9:01
15  Santharian World Development / The Santharian Bestiary / Snobyrr on: 25 October 2003, 18:18:00
Snobyrr (Snoburr, Snowburr, Snowbird, Winter Hawk / Winter Owl White Ghost) Fem: Snobyrette. Plural: Snobyrr. Baby: Byrlet. Group: 'kettle' )




The Snobyrr is a beautiful large bird that lives in Northern Sarvonia. It is native to this area, and is one of the fiercest aerial predators within the lowlands. The Snobyrr is uniquely lovely because its feathers are pure white with a few yellow tinges here and there, reflecting the sunlight dazzlingly.

Appearance

The Snobyrr is a large predatory bird, standing slightly under 1 ped when perched or sitting on the ground, and weighing about half to three-fourths of a pygge. The Snobyrr has a broad wingspan, which can range from two to nearly three peds. The light-coloured creature has a yellowish-white back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill. The wings are pure white and allow the Injóh to blend in with its sorroundings during snowy winters. Colors vary between sexes; females usually tend to be whiter than the males and also have dull gray feathers on their breasts.

A Snobyrr's short, powerful legs are covered with light yellow scales, and are tipped with broad, taloned feet. The talons of the Winter Hawk are very sharp and can pierce leather and even soft wood.

The Snobyrr has sharp, keen eyes which are very light blue, and almost seem hazy. They possess very sharp eyesight and can see for very far distances, noticing the slightest movement in the short grass.

A Snobyrr's wings are long and broad, making them effective for soaring. To help reduce turbulence as air passes over the end of the wing, the tips of the feathers at the end of the wings are tapered so that when the Snobyrr fully extends its wings, the tips are widely separated. This also has the quality of making the wind over the feathers almost soundless, so that the beat of their wings is much softer than a similar large bird, probably one of the reasons they have earned the nickname 'White Ghost'.

To help them soar, Snobyrr use places that usually encourage rising warm winds, such as valley edges or mountain slopes, as take-off positions. Soaring is accomplished with very little wing-flapping, enabling them to save energy. Long-distance migration flights are accomplished by climbing high in a warm wind current, then gliding downward to catch the next winds, where the process is repeated. Several Snobyrr soaring in together is described as a "Kettle of Snobyrr".

It is believed that the tail is very important for flight and maneuvering. While the Snobyrr is soaring or gliding in flight, the tail feathers are spread, in order to attain the largest surface area and increase the effect of the winds. The tail also helps to brake the heavy Snobyrr when landing and assists in stabilization during a controlled dive or swoop toward prey. The strength of the feathers and the follicles holding the feathers is quite impressive when one watches the tail move back and forth and up and down during maneuvers.

Snobyrr have thousands of feathers. Snobyrr feathers are light-weight yet extremely strong, hollow yet highly flexible. They protect the bird from the cold as well as the heat of the sun, by trapping layers of air. To maintain its body temperature the bird simply changes the position of its feathers. While a Snobyrr suns itself on a cold morning, it ruffles and rotates its feathers so that the air pockets are either opened to the air or drawn together to reduce the insulating effect. Feathers also provide waterproofing and protection, and are crucial for flight.

Feather structure makes pliability possible. Overlapping feathers can form a dense covering, which the birds can open or close at will. The bird has several layers of feathers, each serving a different function. Under the outer layer of feathers is an inner layer of down or smaller feathers. The interlocking of feathers is an astonishing design of nature. The feathers enable the Snobyrr to live in extremely cold environments. The birds do not have to migrate to warmer areas each year to fulfill temperature requirements; rather, they migrate to available food supplies.

The Snobyrr have external nares, or nostrils, opening on both sides of the bill. A Snobyrr never reaches speeds that would interfere with normal breathing. The bird's lungs and air sac system is adequate for its size. Air moves in through the lungs and on into the air sacs before moving back through the lungs and out again. Air passes through the lungs twice with each breathing cycle - twice that of other animals.

Territory

Snobyrr can generally be found only in Northern Sarvonia, and most dwell in the Prominent Mountains. They are very territorial towards other animals, except for their relatives. They occasionally fly down to the Shaded Forest and some might even befriend an Injerin or fly to the Eastern foothills of the Prominent Mountains and harass some Losh'Oc orcs with their great size and shrill calls.

Habitat/Behavior
The Snobyrr often develops very close relations with its family. The children will often stay with their mother for many decades before they decide to go off on their own. Spouses and Siblings can often be seen hunting together or scouting their territory, and sometimes even large groups - 'kettles' - of ten or more Snobyrr can be seen flocking together.

Snobyrr are very curious about Orcs, they can often be seen antagonizing a group of wandering or raiding Losh'Oc orcs and stealing much of their meals, only freshly cooked meals though. They will often travel in kettles of three or four and they will begin to screech as they near the ground. Once they are directly above the heads of the Losh'Oc they will spread their talons and tear at the flesh of these beings. Many who have seen this sight have been made to believe that Snobyrr are vicious predators, but they are not. Taranka Dormil, the most notable Snobyrr researcher, has thrown light on the true nature of the Snobyrr.

In her studies the Snobyrr have been found to be very gentle and nurturing parents, and they seem to have a mental bond with one another. They often just know where they can find another Snobyrr without having to rely upon a call or sight. It is a very uncanny, yet real aspect of these birds. As to why they attack Orcs rather than Humans or Elves, Taranka has theorized that perhaps they either mistake or recognize the feathers with which many Losh'Oc decorate their body as potential prey. However, this theory has many aspects which are still unexplicable, and perhaps we should not even put it forwards here.

Diet
Snobyrr are mostly rabbit and other small mammal eaters, but they will take whatever prey is available and easiest to obtain. Large Snobyrr have been known to stoop upon small deer, breaking their necks, and then feeding on the carcass where it lies. Snobyrr that live along the coast and on major lakes and rivers feed mainly on fish. Snobyrr can fish in both fresh and salt water.

Snobyrr sit at the top of the food chain for their territory, and because of their size, they have few enemies and require a large hunting area. A Snobyrr's lifting power is about .25 pygges. Snobyrr will never take advantage of carrion (decaying flesh that has been dead for some time). Some people believe that a Snobyrr that has eaten carrion will have its feathers corrupted and turned black and brown.

Because of the energy expended during hunting, a Snobyrr has to spend a lot of time resting quietly. It's estimated that only five out of eighteen attacks are successful. Though not as fast as falcons, Snobyrr are fast fliers. When diving, where lift is less important than reaching drag, the Snobyrr pulls in its wings to minimize their surface area. They have been seen hunting in pairs; most times it is with a mate or an offspring, and they have even been seen in hunting kettles of five or six.

A Snobyrr protects its food by partially opening its wings, or 'tenting'. The Snobyrr steals food from other Snobyrr as well as other species. Chasing another bird of prey is usually enough to persuade it to drop its kill, but occasionally the harassed Snobyrrr will attack. Snobyrr have an outpouching of the esophagus, called a 'crop', where they can store food when the stomach is full. The crop also separates indigestible substances, such as feathers, fur, and scales from the meat. The indigestible substance is mixed with mucus and formed into a mass. After the meal, the Snobyrr eventually regurgitates the mass as a dry pellet of grimy felt called a 'casting'.

Mating
During the mating season the Snobyrr can be seen in large quantities sorrounding the whole coast of the Dark Sea and they also flock around the Celeste Mountains. Mating occurs during the fall and mating kettles can last for many weeks. Pairs of Snobyrr have been seen whirling through the air with talons locked together. This could be a form of courtship or a ritualized battle between an intruding Snobyrr and one defending its territory. Whichever it is, Snobyrr do not actually copulate in the air, as some people believe.

Some Snobyrr do not breed every year. Snobyrr are capable of breeding annually from the age of four, but some of the adults, though paired, seem to choose not to breed. It might be an instinctive decision, based on the weather; availability of nesting sites, or food.

Because a Snobyrr may live up to 50 years, it has many years in which to produce offspring necessary to replace itself. Only a few of the eggs hatched in a lifetime will survive to old age. Snobyrr lay from one to five eggs in each nesting. About eight days after a successful copulation, the female Snobyrette lays a speckled off-white or buff colored egg about the size of a fist. The second egg is laid a few days later, followed shortly by the third and then possibly one or two more.

The 45 days of incubation duties are shared by both male and female, but it is the female who spends most of her time on the nest. Trading places on the nest can be a tense time. The brooding parent may have to call for relief, or may be reluctant to leave and have to be pushed off the eggs or young. During incubation, the male Snobyrr regularly brings branches and twigs, and the Doridel, a scented flower on the lowlands, to the nest. Why he does this, no one knows, but it could be for deodorizing the nest or possibly providing shade for the Snobyrette.

During incubation, one parent is always on the nest, not only to keep the eggs warm but to protect them from other birds, which will break open and eat the eggs. The eggs usually hatch in the order they were laid. The young Snobyrr, or Byrlets, break through the shell by using their egg tooth, a pointed bump on the top of the beak. It can take from twelve to forty-eight hours to hatch after making the first break in the shell (pipping). Once the eggs begin to hatch, the female's vigilance becomes nearly constant. The male provides the majority of the food needed by his rapidly growing family. Eventually the female will take up her share of the hunting, but in the early days, all of her attention is given to the young Byrlets in the nest.

Researchers
Many people do not even dare meddle with these great birds because of their size and prowess both in the air and on the land. Only a handful have taken the liberty to study the Snobyrr. The most notable of these is Taranka Dormil, a 56- year-old Kuglimz female, who has been researching these powerful birds for more than 35 years of her life.

Taranka was only a little girl when she first saw the mating ritual of the Snobyrr. Their unmatchable grace for their size enchanted Taranka and instead of becoming a fighter like most other children had planned to do, Taranka became a scholar. Many of her studies have been on birds of prey and she has also studied the many fascinating cold-water fish and other sea-dwelling creatures of Northern Sarvonia. We are indebted to Taranka for much of the information in this thorough Compendium Entry!

Usages
The Snobyrr do not have very many uses to humans or elves, as they are too large and wild to be successfully flown in hawking. They also are difficult to locate and hunt. However, their feathers have been used for fletching arrows, and they have also been used decoratively for necklaces or hair accessories. It is believed by some that a necklace made exclusively of Snobyrr feathers and back vertebrae will confer invisibility upon the possessor - in conjunction with the right spell or enchantment! A Snobyrr feather earring is often used to signify grace and is worn by dancers and entertainers of the northern realms.

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 10/25/03 8:15
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