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Cavedigger Moles

Giant moles with natural armor that can dig into stone

Special thanks to Rosana Dos Santos Pinto and Allurys for helping with the brainstorm for this article

Introduction


"They are not our 'pets'. We don't leash them, like you people leash your dogs. We work together, as two peoples aiming for a common goal."
— a Cliffer about the cavedigger moles

Deep within the Bashmu Mountains, the Cavedigger Moles have found a place to live. Evolving from common moles, their exposure do the aether-ridden environment granted them greater size and their distinct, hard snout shell. They have long befriended the Cliffers, forming a mutualistic relationship.

Basic Information

Anatomy

While mostly just a larger version of the common moles, cavediggers have a few, key differences. Their claws aren't as big in comparison to their bodies since they depend less on it. Their snouts, though, are a little longer and have an armored shell on top of them, so they can pierce and break rocks to make their tunnels. This shell also extends to their back, protecting them from any rocks that may fall on them while they dig.

Ecology and Habitats

One may have daily contact with cavediggers and die before seeing one on the outside. They live underground and inside mountains, and leave only in case they are starving and desperate. The main problem is that animals outside are often too agile to be caught, and cavedigger moles are rather slow, depending on either surprise or even slower prey.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Cavediggers and omnivorous, and not a little picky at that. They prefer small animals such as rats and worms, but due to the environment, their main food source is the Shriekers. They have grown immune to the poison these fungi produce, and because of that, the shriekers have become easy prey.

Additional Information

Domestication

Cavedigger moles don't tend to be aggressive, but they can be quite stubborn in the wild. Once befriended they are much easier to deal with, but they can hardly count as pets. Their relationship with the dwarves is mutualistic, and not one of servitude. They don't easily bond with dwarves, but every once in awhile a cavedigger can be seen visiting a friend in the Citadel.

Uses & Exploitation

Good diggers as they are, the mountain dwarves often use the moles to help them dig their tunnels. A cavedigger may be approached by a dwarf with food so it may help them by digging until it feels like it. Given enough time, the moles eventually get used to the dwarves and begin trusting them, working together to find food through the tunnels with the help of the dwarves.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

It is believed that cavedigger moles have originated in the Bashmu Mountains since that was where the first report of their sightings was made. But whether they were spread by someone or they evolved separately, there are now cavediggers in other regions of the world.

Average Intelligence

While not one of the most intelligent animals, when properly domesticated the cavedigger moles can understand basic commands and empathize with people. This was an important characteristic that helped to make them ideal companions to the dwarves in their excavations and explorations.

Sensory Capabilities

Due to living almost exclusively in the underground, cavedigger moles are effectively blind. Their main sense is their smell, with super-sensitive noses much like other moles. But they can also feel the vibrations on the ground more easily, helping them to find things behind walls and floors.

Cavedigger

A cavedigger tracking food with the Cliffers

Lifespan
8 - 10 years
Conservation Status
Rare
Average Height
80 - 100 cm
Average Weight
150 - 200 kg
Average Length
1.3 - 1.5 m


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