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Railway Beetle

The massive beetle hung from the branches, it did not seem to care about us or who we were or if we are threat. This wondrous creature gripped the branches with massive claws and walked from branch to branch with ease. Despite its size, it did not appear to be that heavy as the branches barely moved with the new weight. What fascinating creatures this forest has!
— Jorsi Thoricik -- Lifestone Expedition Journals
  The Thoricik Beetle is a massive creature that seems more comfortable on the ceiling than the ground. It lives in the Lifestone Forest and was found crawling among the high branches of the trees.

The Thoricik Beetle was easily tamed and moved to the city for transporting goods and people. The massive stairs created between the Lake Stratum and Hydro Stratum took several periods to traverse. This was made even more difficult for heavy suppliers. This led to the design of a rail that wraps around the center column of the staircase for supplies and a large stone rail on the ceiling for the Gondola Rail.   The Thoricik Beetle would be used to move the gondolas up and down the stairs, they would commonly be called Railway Beetles. With the creation of the Strata Lift, the Gondola Rail would be retired and the Thoricik Beetle left to the Lifestone Forest.

Basic Information

Anatomy

It has four main legs with large rounded claws to grip the branches. It also has a dozen small spiky appendages that can be used when walking along stone walls and ceilings. Their shell is considered one of the hardest in the forest. The shell protects the most vital organs. Some Thoricik beetles have been known to lose all their legs and even their heads to an attack, just to have it regrow within a few cycles.

Genetics and Reproduction

These beetles tend to have very few offspring, usually less than five. They only lay eggs once in their entire lifespan.

Growth Rate & Stages

They grow slowly and take care of their young for many years until their shells are tough.

Dietary Needs and Habits

They generally eat small flowers that grow on vines that wrap around tree branches. These same flowers would be used to train the beetles for their job on the Railway.
Lifespan
90-150 yrs
Conservation Status
The Railway Beetles are no longer used for moving people or items. They still have some in the farms as part of the ecosystem, but that is the only place you can see them outside of the Lifestone Forest.
Average Height
5-6 ft
Average Weight
40 lbs.
Average Length
9-12 ft

Railway Beetle Shells

Given the hardness of their shells, there was some interest in using them to make armor and tools. Several attempts were made, but it appears that as soon as the beetle dies, the shell degrades quickly. Some magical solutions were attempted more recently with only a moderate slow down in degradation. The druids say the shells are constantly being rebuilt by the beetle during life, but recreating nature's process may just be too difficult for science and magic.

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