by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
Creature Type: Animal (Reptile)
Disposition: Highly aggressive
Socialization: Pack hunters
Special Talents: Chameleon ability, silent movement, immune to mental attack/domination/fear
Special Attacks: Bone quills (on the back), paralyzing poison stinger, highly acidic blood, frenzy
Locality: The Burning Lands (Sovereignty of Anthalas)
Longevity: May live up to 130 years.
Class Types: 75% of Anamalians are Berserkers. 25% are Paragon Berserkers.
The average anamalian is roughly 14 feet long and weighs around two hundred and fifty pounds. They vary in coloration in slight degrees, but most all of them have olive green scales from their large snake-like head, across their back to their tails, while their undersides are covered in a short, brown bristly fur. Eyes vary in color between yellow, red, amber and green. Some have reported anamalians with black eyes but this is a very rare trait and usually means the creature was born blind. The six inch claws affixed to the creature’s paws and the creature’s strange scorpion-like stinger are always black.
Before the Cataclysm of D`Mir, anamalians simply didn’t exist. It is thought when the tremendous wave of chaotic magic swept outward from the doomed city, that many people and animals that lived in the D`Mirian Plains were forever altered in painful, abhorrent ways. A great deal of evidence suggests that the first anamalians may have once been the now extinct D`Mirian plains lions that were altered as a result of the massive chaotic magic wave. Whatever the truth of their creation, it is commonly known that the anamalian is quite high on the food chain in the Burning Lands. Known for being able to kill both lesser demons and Voraath, they are not to be taken lightly.
Anamalians are very successful pack hunters. Using their ability to blend in with their environment and various means of communication, including a frightening roar that can be heard over great distances, a more subtle thumping of their tails against the ground and other strange clicking and hissing sounds they are known to make, anamalians are both highly organized and highly intelligent. On more than one occasion, anamalians have been known to display even problem-solving skill in order to capture and corner prey. The average hunting pack is roughly six anamalians, though they have been known to hunt in packs as large as twelve and fourteen in some of the more treacherous parts of the Burning Lands. The pack typically has one anamalian that will herd their prey into a waiting ambush, which has been useful in taking down larger prey such as Sand Drakes, Desert Behemoths or the occasional treat of a lost caravan.
Anamalians, when attacking will usually open with their bone quills, situated along their back. These four inch quills are hollow and can cause profuse bleeding, if not removed immediately. This tactic is employed not only to soften up larger prey, but to put their blood-scent on the air for the rest of the hunting pack to close in on. Once the quills are fired, the anamalian leaps from its position and roars at the prey, snapping and slashing at it with claws in order to herd it towards the waiting ambush. Once cornered, the anamalians begin stabbing with their stingers to paralyze their prey. Once paralyzed, the prey is dragged back to the rest of the pack for consumption. Nothing goes to waste with an anamalian; bones, brain matter, cartilage — it’s all eaten. In times of little food, they have been known to eat trees and other foliage.
In a fight, anamalians are quite tenacious and will always try to force their adversaries into fleeing. Striking a wound on these vicious creatures is quite difficult due to their thick, almost dragon-like scales that appear everywhere but their underbellies. Making anamalians bleed is as dangerous as fighting the anamalian, due to their highly corrosive blood. Yellowish in color, it has been known to eat through boromandite plate armor in a matter of minutes and flesh in a matter of seconds. If that weren’t bad enough, a severe enough injury to the creature will cause it to go into a berserk frenzy where it will ceaselessly attack until it or its prey are slain.
Anamalians also mate and breed every spring, like most other animals. Males contest over un-mated females in vicious, but usually non-lethal fighting. As deadly as anamalians are, they seem intelligent enough to refrain from killing one of their own kind. A female can lay up to eight eggs, though the average tends to be around three to five. Mortality rate is very low as these eggs can survive in even drastic weather change and for obvious reasons, nobody but people looking to raise an anamalian for taming purposes will ever get anywhere near a nest. Particularly brave Sand Drakes have been known to chance smaller anamalian packs for their eggs, but such endeavors go well for the Drakes. Packs tend to roam a particular territory except during the mating season where a stationary place is chosen so that the eggs can be guarded more easily. This is usually a high place, such as a mountainside with a suitable plateau or cave niche that can be better protected against aggressors.
As previously stated, there are those who actively hunt for anamalian eggs, in order to raise them to be tamed. If such eggs are found the anamalian whelp that hatches from it will bond with whomever is with it at the time of hatching. Those who seek to train such whelps must prove their dominance from the moment they are large enough to walk around by themselves till about a year old. Any failure to do so by the trainer can lead to the anamalian whelp killing the surrogate parent, in asserting its own dominance. Beyond the year, the anamalian whelp will generally accept the surrogate parent and those he or she socializes it with. These individuals become its new pack and are treated as if they were anamalians themselves. Anamalians raised by people will protect that person with vicious tenacity, as if its pack were endangered. This makes them highly prized as Shar`Vaire pets to guard family compounds or homes.