Pack predators with an alarming amount of teeth
Even a Sazakraht knows to turn away from those places where the night smiles back at them.Laughing Night are nocturnal scavengers and predators hailing from the primary continent of Jhoutai. Their existence has given rise to many Sazashi and Verin folktales, myths, and horror stories. It's not hard to see why.
Their cackling boomed in the night, echoing from all directions and setting my every hair on end. It wasn't until I tasted blood I realized I was gritting my teeth hard enough to crack them.
Anatomy & Morphology
TeethThe teeth of Laughing Night are one of their most spoken of features, for good reason: they are one of their most prominent and alarming features, and the most likely to be seen in the dead of night.
Fast-Growing, Fragile TeethLaughing Night grow teeth rapidly and numerously. Their body prioritizes new teeth first, filling in any empty space in their maw before growing existing teeth. An individual tooth will grow until trauma causes it to get torn out. Due to the force of a Laughing Night's bite, the viciousness with which they attack, spurs which form in their teeth, and the fragility of their teeth, this happens often.
Poisonous, Glowing BacteriaLaughing Night are attracted to many poisonous species of glowing plants and will consume them for their digestive properties. The bacteria which make those plants glow then ends up in the flora of the Laughing Night's mouth and digestive system, causing their mouth, urine, feces, and internal organs to glow. While this bacteria seems to do no more than energize the Laughing Night, it is quite poisonous to most other species. Bites from Laughing Nights tend to become severely infected and send victims spiraling into psychotropic fevers.
Splintering, Spurred TeethAs a trade-off for the speed of their growth, Laughing Night have brittle teeth. As with all of their other adaptations, they have evolved to use this as an asset. Whenever they attack their prey they latch on and thrash around, causing their teeth to splinter and break off in the wound. This has the dual purpose of putting shards in the wound which can lock muscles and make movement impossible, and poisoning/infecting the prey. Rather than trying to take large prey down by force, they will take turns biting at it while its back is turned until it can no longer resist.
Dirt and fragments of old, brittle teeth crunched under my boots as I backed up to the cliff. I saw plainly the outline of my steps glowing faintly in the ground--my steps had reactivated the faint glow of their teeth. One of them stepped forward, black coat glistening like oil by the moonlight. It's lips drew back over the splinters and shards of its uneven teeth, curling into a broad, unmistakeable grin. "Heeee.... heee.... heeee...." it growl-giggled at me, pitch so low I felt it quaking in my bowels.
Dietary Needs and Habits
DigestionThe digestive system of the Laughing Night is fairly weak and basic. Rather than chew their own food they swallow sharp rocks and their own teeth, and use that gravel mix to help grind and pulp food in their acidic stomaches. Periodically they will regurgitate piles of rocks and teeth that have been worn smooth in their gut, during which time they will also flush out objects they couldn't digest, such as hair and grass.
Pack HuntingThey hunt by fanning out and harassing prey to flush it towards a difficutl-to-defend point, at which point they take turns charging at its vulnerable points and biting at it until it has sustained anough damage to go down. If their prey is wounded but escapes, they will follow after it until it is exhausted. Laughing Night only stop following their chosen prey once the sun rises.
ScavengingAlthough they are distinguished hunters, their primary sustenance is in scavenging dead meat left behind by larger predators or killed by other causes.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
TeethOn worlds where Laughing Night exist and culture has reverted to tribalism, it is not uncommon to see whips laced with the teeth of Laughing Night or clubs with them pounded, glued, or cemented into the wood. In ancient history this was also a popular weapon in the Nege Reach. In some places it is also tradition to give jewelry made of Laughing Night teeth to your loved ones. In a pinch it can be wrapped around a stick and used as a weapon.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
EcholocationThe distinctive sound for which Laughing Night are named--a gutteral, chilling laughter--is a method of echolocation. They will cackle at various volumes, delays, and pitches in differing environments to compensate for local sound altering materials and aspects such as moss and debris. The bony and quill protrustions on their jaw and cranium are hollow to catch the sound and aid them in building a picture of their environment.
EyesLaughing Night have milky eyes weakened by a life spent in the Coralums. They are Dichromatic witha preference towards the upper end of the chromatic spectrum. They are largely blind to green and blue light in that they can perceive that there is light but cannot distinguish anything by it.
Welcome to Ethnis
Ethnis is a massive Science-Fantasy setting and a backdrop for stories woven in many mediums—including books and RPGs! Join the Ethnis Discord for updates and discussion