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Archaeopteryxes

Creatures revived and Lessened by the perverting magicks of the aviadins, archaeopteryxes are a bestial mockery of the proud race of Saurians that share their name. Now no more than a glorified mount of the aviadins, they climb and glide throughout the homelands of their masters as an obedient animal.

Physical Characteristics and Anatomy

 

Archaeopteryxes are a mixture of bird and saurian features. They possess a jaw full of sharp teeth, wings with sharp three fingered claws, and a long feathered tail. The males possess a spiky feathered crest, and both genders have brilliant plumages of red, blue and/or green.

 

Their wings are primarily used for gliding, but can manage very limited flight. They are powerful jumpers and climbers, and easily scale cliff faces and trees alike with or without riders. An archaeopteryx's run is an interesting thing to witness, as they glide as much as they run.

 

Archaeopteryxes grow to over 10 feet long with their wide feathered tail extending another 10 feet. They are lightweight, possessing hollow bones like other birds, and generally weighing no more than 150 pounds.

 

Behavior and Diet

 

Archaeopteryxes possess a savage cunning that protects them from the many predators of the lands they inhabit. They hunt throughout the day, and shelter in their nests at night. Unlike typical birds, archaeopteryxes lack a hind claw and are ill-adapted for perching on small branches. Instead, archaeopteryxes typically stretch out on larger branches or on cliff ledges.

 

Archaeopteryxes hunt by swooping down from heights to catch their prey unaware. Unlike owls, archaeopteryxes typically are unable to fly back, so instead they land atop their prey and eat it quickly. Most commonly, archaeopteryxes eat animals and large insects no larger than their jaws, but with their sharp teeth and claws, they are able to tear skin and muscle. In times of limited food, archaeopteryxes can scavenge carrion, and can also subsist on fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 

Archaeopteryxes are solitary creatures. During mating season, the males engage in elaborate dances to attract female attention. This is one of the only times an archaeopteryx rises up on its hind legs, although they sometimes will to scare away predators. If other males are in the area, then fights can break out to establish superiority before or during any dance. The female lays 3-5 eggs and incubates them in the nest.

 

Archaeopteryxes are born without feathers, but are able to climb and crawl around shortly after birth, and regularly explore the trees and cliffs around their nest. They become independent before maturation, and most will not survive to adulthood.

 

They are most commonly encountered as the preferred mounts of the aviadins. Their swiftness overland, their strong climbing ability, and their natural agility make them the perfect mounts for the mountain-dwelling humanoids.

 



 

Language and Communication

 

Archaeopteryxes have an elaborate language of calls and trills, but are incapable of mimicking humanoid languages as well as parrots and the like. Still, they are capable of understanding semi-complex orders, and their aviadin trainers seem to be able to understand them to a limited degree.


Habitat and Environment

 

Wild archaeopteryxes are most commonly found in tropical forests and hills, and occasionally in warm temperate forests. Tamed archaeopteryxes are found wherever aviadins take them, and many of these beasts have developed a downy under-fur over the years to combat the cold of the mountainous terrain aviadins sometimes inhabit.

 

Archaeopteryxes are not as fragile as other birds however, and use their quick wit to forage for warm bedding to make nests of when they find themselves outside of their preferred temperature range.

 

Magicks and Abilities

 

Archaeopteryxes possess no known magickal abilities, and lack the intelligence necessary to grasp universal magicks.

 

Known and Unknown History

 

Before the summoning of the comet that decimated the saurian races, archaeopteryxes were part of the new breeds of saurians that would someday warp and twist to "evolve" into modern-day birds. Flighty by nature, archaeopteryxes nevertheless were a respected part of saurian society.

 

After the comet, their fossils became the first hint to the Ancients that birds and, what they termed "dinosaurs" , were somehow related. With the Sundering of the Seal of the Archmagi, the aviadins looked to their collected saurian fossils and chose the archaeopteryx as their mascot. The aviadins, close enough genetically to dinosaurs to unlock their ancient citadels and fortresses of magick, spurned their ancestors and warped their magicks to their bidding. The twisted monstrosities the aviadins resurrected from saurian artifacts were mutated and bent into their slaves.

 

The archaeopteryx mount became the rallying cry for an entire civilization of aviadins that refused to acknowledge saurian superiority. Since their first "resurrection", archaeopteryxes have flourished, both in and out of avish control. Most aviadins have long since forgotten the true origin of their prehistoric pets, and value them as an integral part of avish society.

 

Subraces/Relatives

 

The Saurian race of Archaeopteryx, which died out before the coming of the Comet.


Concept Art