Bestiary

Gecola

by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0

Summary

Creature Type: Animal (Reptile)
Diet: Omnivore
Activity: Nocturnal
Disposition: Aggressive
Socialization: Solitary
Special Talents: Sticky Feet, Tail Regrowth, Elastic Tongue
Special Attacks: Tri-horn Nerve Poison, Paralysis Saliva
Locality: Burning Lands (Sovereignty of Anthalas)
Longevity: May live up to 25 years.
Class Type: Gecola attack as Soldiers 100% of the time.

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Description

The Gecola is a large, thick-hided reptilian that can grow to be up to three feet long. Contrasting the scales of most reptiles, the creature has notably uneven and jagged arrangements, something that gives it a rugged and agitated appearance.

Color-wise, it is usually found with a sandy or brown mat to its scales, camouflage something necessary in a place as unforgiving as the Burning Lands. Making up for a third of its body is a slim tail, peculiarly lacking the jaggedness of the rest of its body in-favor of being far more smooth.

At the end of the elongated tip is a pair of luminescent bulbs that, in the dark, could easily be passed off for its eyes. Its feet are also somewhat more forgiving, the stocky appendages ending in pronounced little pads it uses to scale walls. Usually, its eyes are similarly-colored to its scales, drifting between a dirty yellow and dark amber color. Situated above its eyes and a top its nose are a trio of spiraled, straight-forward horns that usually hold a sharp black pigment that dulls to silver with age.

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Lore

Scholars have agreed that the Gecola was something born of the Cataclysm of D`Mir, likely a mutation of a gecko-like creature that used to inhabit the now-ruined plains. The warped animals usually have a sandy or brown scale coloration, however they are notable for taking on a color best-fitting to their surroundings.

Gecola kept in captivity will usually change to fit their new homes, whether inside or outside. It has a multitude of unusual traits that make it well-adapted to living in the unforgiving Burning Lands. They have specially adapted feet, lined with microscopic hairs that allow it to effortlessly scale walls, even things as smooth as marble.

To evade predators, they often make use of their tail, the seemingly most exposed portion of their body, as a lure to catch a predator's attention. When something latches onto its tail, the Gecola will contract its muscles, snapping the tail loose and fleeing to safety while its aggressor wrestles with the lost tail. Another development, likely the oddest of them all, is its peculiar tongue. While normally used to clean itself and its lidless eyes, the saliva it produces causes astute paralysis when it comes in contact with the exposed flesh of those unfamiliar with it.

The three horns situated upon its head also hold a deadly nerve toxin, which it uses to incapacitate small prey before consuming them. Against larger creatures, namely humans, while it is unlikely to kill them outright, the incoherence and weakness coupled with its own natural environment is likely to lead to a slow death, wandering amongst the Burning Lands while hallucinating wildly.

While often aggressive towards those who invade their territory, Gecola are, despite their doom-bringing venom, treated as a good omen in the Burning Lands; if you find a Gecola, it means there is something nearby to actually support life, although whether one can find the source or not is questionable. Outside of breeding, finding more than two or three in an area is rare, especially because of the scarce amount of food in the Burning Lands. They have, in times of starvation, actually been known to eat one another if no other nourishment can be found.

One of the bad things about laying eyes upon one, however, is that there may also be predators nearby. One of their most long-hated enemies are the Anamalian, whose cunning and intelligent disposition allow them to seek out the smaller lizards in their hiding places beneath rocks and in holes, as well as nullifying their last line of defense held in their tails; the vicious creatures have seemingly passed along the falseness of their tails genetically, as Anamalians will always strike straight for the neck as opposed to pouncing upon the tails.

Occasionally their horns and the venom produced within, find their way onto the black market, likely harvested by Masoq who find them useful for single-use daggers or poisoning things. Due to their exotic shape they are, rarely, chosen by some as a pet, however most choose to purchase them with the poison glands behind their horns removed for safety against the toxins inside. They are highly adaptable to different environments except for frigid locales, where they are unable to claim the necessary heat and sunlight for activity.

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