Muuyrox Species in The Chronicles of Evalaw | World Anvil


Work in progress.

The Muuyrox is a staple in the sunless realms, serving a similar purpose of livestock such as cattle and sheep. Herds of them can be found around most underworld cities and communities.
Throughout the complex layers of Evalaws subterranean world, it is not uncommon to stumble across a plethora of strange and peculiar creatures that would never be nomraly seen on the surface. The Muuyrox is one such animal. These large, blind mammals have adapted to live in the sunless depths of the underworld. Predominantly inhabiting the upper layers, they are considered an integral part to the biodiversity of the underworlds complex ecosystem. Resembling something crossed between a bovine and a mole, they use their powerful claws to burrow underground and dig out a vast network of tunnels to traverse the underworld. Typically in search of food or to escape from predators. Over the centuries they have proven to be an invaluable resource to numerous denizens of The Sunless Realms. Providing many communities with milk, meat, hair, down fibre, hides, draught power and dung (principally used as fuel and building material amongst the more nomadic communities).
by SerenityOnyx
  The Muuyrox is a omnivorous animal with a diet predominantly consisting of roots, fungi ,insects, worms, grubs and carrion when available. Due to its subterranean nature it has evolved a digestive system that can cope with digesting certain foods that would be otherwise poisonous. However due to its lack of sight, it relies heavily on a strong sense of smell and hearing, as well as an ability to create a low frequency sound from their bodies to navigate underground. Giving the Muuyrox the ability to detect magnetic fields allowing it to orientate itself within the underword. It will often sniff out edible plants or other prey before venturing out into the open to forage. It has also been known to create a low frequency sound from its body to alert others of danger or attract a mate. When threatened it will emit a high pitched screech and then charge at the enemy. The Muuyrox is a slow moving animal and it is said that a group of these creatures can overwhelm even a large predator by simply charging in a large herd.  
by Anithecutie
Ya see, lads, that there Muuyrox be like a stubborn boulder with legs, takin' its time as it meanders through the caverns, remindin' us that patience be the pickaxe that breaks the hardest stone.
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Behaviour And Ecology.

The Muuyroxs temperament can be quite unpredictable, on the whole they are generally quite docile, unconcerned and even lazy creatures. While not normally aggressive, Muuyrox are very protective of their young and will attack if provoked. They also have a tendency to charge at anything unfamiliar with a sudden burst of speed, being able to move at speeds up to thirty five miles per hour, and cover long distances at a lumbering gallop. Unfortunately this has led to large number of these animals are killed every year by unsuspecting miners and adventurers alike. They are however in no way vicious, merely curious about unfamiliar things. Once they become familiar with the smell of a creature they will either ignore it or simply move away. Due to this behaviour they have become the most common source of food for many of the denizens of the underworld. As well as being hunted for meat and hides, they are also used as a source of draught power due to their size and docile nature.  
Though the Muuyrox does not appear to be a naturally aggressive species, they can nonetheless defend themselves should any threat arise. When threatened, will emit a high pitched screech and then charge to intimidate and drive off enemies, its thick hide makes it difficult to penetrate and powerful legs to kick attackers inflicting deep lacerations. Should a Muuyrox's herd be attacked by predators, they will form a circle around their offspring to protect them, but will attempt to flee rather than fight back.
  In their natural environment, the Muuyrox has adapted to life in the underground. Relying on their nose and sensitive whiskers for detecting vibrations and their powerful claws and horns to dig out intricate networks of tunnels and burrows. While their eyesight is poor they have adapted a sensitive nose, allowing them to navigate their surroundings as well as find water and food sources, potential mates and avoid predators. Though vital for their survival at a younger age, these senses diminish towards adulthood, particularly for males, since the horns they grow for breeding rights obscure them from detecting such vibrations.   Females have less pronounced horns, though they are still formidable enough to deter those who try to approach too close. In order to maintain their senses throughout the rest of their lives, the Muuyrox spends much time grooming themselves, removing dead hairs and skin that accumulate over time. This process allows them to maintain their sensitivity to vibration and heat. Additionally they will groom each other, creating a social bond through touch which they rely upon for comfort.  

Social Interaction.

  Muuyrox have been observed to have very strong maternal bonds being fiercely protective with their young, born in litters of four to eight with the mother raising them until they are able to fend for themselves. If attacked by another animal, mothers will protect their young first and foremost. They tend to be territorial and will not tolerate any other member of their species within a certain distance of their burrows. Muuyrox are social creatures, in most cases they will form herds of up to twenty to fifty with dominant females often leading their herds while male leaders tend to be reclusive individuals.  
Muuyrox mother with calf.

Muuyrox bulls are typically solitary creatures only coming together in large groups during mating season. During this time, males will gather to compete for females and begin their own herds. They will battle to establish dominance with each other and establish a hierarchy. Males will use their horns to injure and subdue opponents in displays of combat, such fights can lead to serious injury or death. The winner of these fights becomes the dominant bull taking over leadership and gains the right to breed with the females of the herd. He will remain dominant until he either dies or another young male wrestles control of the herd away from him.  

Rouge Bulls.

Males that become too boisterous and aggressive towards the herd, will either be driven out by a dominate male if they refuse to become subservient, or will leave on their own accord. These rogue bulls will either seek to challenge an Alpha of another herd and drive him out, or attempt to attract young females to leave their own herds to begin one with him. Rouge bulls can be highly territorial and quick to aggression when encountered, so it is encouraged to stay well away from them. Typically excess males in herds managed by peoples of the underworld are removed and gelded to become Bullocks.
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10–20 years.
Average Height
Between 2.3 m (7.5 ft) to 2.5 m (8.2 ft).
Average Weight
1,250 kg to 2,000 kg.
Average Length
4.75 m (15.6 ft) in length.
Natural Predators


Many subterranean societies rely on the Muuyrox and their by-products in the underworld, Dravarii tribes in particular are well known for their heavy reliance on the animals to sustain their communities. Becoming an integral way of life. Despite its wide usage and the existence of large herds amongst underworld communities, the Muuyrox has never truly been fully domesticated like cattle found on the surface. Numerous attempts have been made to breed more docile creatures, but have met with limited success. Many retaining their wild instincts, with Muuyrox being frighten easily and resort to their "flight or fight" response. Burrowing away to safety or becoming unpredictably aggressive, especially during calving or mating season. As such, it is advisable only to keep small herds of up to a dozen, and keep males separated from the herd to limit triggering this response.  
Muurox Saddle
by PoBosNox
Muuyrox Oxen with bridle and saddle.
  Bullocks are common amongst the nomadic tribes and agricultural communities of The Sunless Realms. Like many bovine, castration inhibits testosterone and aggression in the Muuyrox, making the males docile and safer to work with. These gelded Muuyrox are trained and used as draft animal and beasts of burden. Some have even been known to be used as modes of transport. Commonly seen used by Dravarii outriders and favoured by Dvergar merchants to haul their hulking wagons through the underworld.  


  Myths and legends surrounding the ancient Dwarin Empire of ?? speak of the many wonderful and extraordinary things that were once found in underworld of old. How this ancient people built the vast network of passages that connected their mighty empire together has always been a mystery. A feat of unrivalled engineering that even modern mining practices would struggle to achieve at such a colossal scale. It is no surprise that countless Dwarin stone sages have dedicated their lives to seeking answers in the ancient texts to such questions. One such tale alludes to the idea that the ancient ones beseeched the aid stone father, Jhollrg. Coming to form of agreement. Exactly what Jhollrg asked from the Ancient Dwarin is uncertain, only that for a time they were reputed to be able to call upon the help of beasts such as the Muuyrox, whom would carve out great caves and caverns, they would call home. As such, some have theories that perhaps the Ancient Dwarin found a way to domesticate and use the Muuyrox to their advantage and mine out much of their ancient subterranean domain. Others view such a theory as hogwash, being met with strong skepticism and heavily scrutinised as naught but whimsy.   Folk lore in Dravarii culture speak of Jhollrg having a chariot pulled by fourteen great beasts that would later bare the Muuyrox. Their stories tell how it was Jhollrg that bored his chariot through the world and created the places below. Older GIthyanki legends tells of Jhollrg possessing a magnificent war chariot pulled by the first Muuyrox that he used during his cataclysmic battles with the great god of fire Infủs. It was Infus that cut the chariots reigns free during one such battle and the Muuyrox escaped into the underworld, where they have remained to this day.


  The Muuyrox is enormous in size, with tawny brown fur, a broad head and long tail. Believed to perhaps be some primordial mammalian precursor of some of the animals found on Evalaws surface, something akin to a bison crossed with a mole. Their large size and statue has helped the Muuyrox to deter any potential predators. Though this has not thwarted the more, opportunistic predators. Taking to targeting either the young or sickly and infirm of the herd, knowing better than to challenge a healthy adult.  
One of their most notable features are the distinctive horns bore by both males and females. Typically using their broad heads as battering rams, effectively using the momentum produced by their weight as a weapon if threatened.
Another adaptation the Muuyrox have developed is their high tolerance to carbon dioxide, enabling them to effectively reuse exhaled air. As a result, they are able to survive in low-oxygen environments such as their burrows and caves with little to no airflow.
Muurox Original
by PoBosNox

Cover image: by steppecrow


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Dec 27, 2022 04:30 by George Sanders

I'm catching up on reading! I noticed a typo that a spell check is not going to pick up. In the title I think you want "Staple" not "Stable". I liked the mythology section. I just read about Jhollrg. These beasts seem a fit with him.

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Dec 29, 2022 22:41 by Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine

Ooo, thank you for catching that! Should be fixed now ^^ I need to do a proof read before the end of World Ember! Thank you, really wanted to try and link some of these articles together, quite liked the idea of them having a genesis myth tied up with Jhollrg.

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Dec 29, 2022 04:52 by Starfarer Theta

These Muuyrox are fascinating. Guess I've never thought about what kind of herds underground societies would utilize, so I'm glad to see an answer to a question I never thought to ask. The idea that the muuyrox may have been responsible for carving out a network of underground tunnels is very interesting. Very capable they must be. Of course the tunnels are another point of interest. Depending on how expansive these tunnels could be, there may be secrets waiting to be rediscovered. Perhaps those could be useful, perhaps not. Always a gamble when diving ancient ruins.   Back to the muuryox, I've witnessed their fight or flight response by accident. I was too careless when meeting a small group of them for the first time, and they so surprised by my unusual mode of arrival, that they gave a high pitched screech while charging away. Of course they could have attacked me instead and I'm thankful that did not happen if those horns are any indication. Another reminder that the animal kingdom ought to be given its due respect. - Nemo, World Traveler

Jan 19, 2023 16:44

What I particularly like about your article is that there are completely different biological laws on your world in relation to the size of the animals that live underground, in connection with their maximum age and the number of litters of young animals than on Earth. Does one of your other articles explain the laws of biology? Additionally I would like to know when your species is sexually mature and how long is the gestation period?

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