arctic raptor

I thought I had seen everything, but not even the Andovians' Warbirds could have prepared me for the ferocity of the arctic raptor. Our research team had the misfortune of stumbling into a nesting site while mapping out cave systems as possible locations for our research.
Yivnik Tarlo, SSED Explorer
  The Arctic Raptor is a cold-weather relative to the famed Warbirds of the Andisol Valley. Native to Igoris, these oversized birds have developed a well-deserved reputation as fearless predators, as not even the wolflike Icefang is safe when faced with a hungry raptor.

Basic Information

Anatomy

The feathered menaces were on us in an instant, their giant wings helping propel them forward at amazing speed even as they ran across the uneven ice of the mountainside. It would have been a sight to behold if not for the fact of those razored beaks, sharp enough to tear through even the toughest of our icefang-hide frostcoats, striking us repeatedly with precision before quickly pulling back their necks to attack from a completely different direction.
Yivnik Tarlo, SSED Explorer
  Arctic raptors have two large, muscular legs, ending in large three-toed feet, well-adapted for impressively high speeds across the ice flats. The bottom of their feet are coated in small, sharp protrusions which readily provide traction against even the slickest of ice.   Their large, oval body is framed by an impressive pair of wings, mostly used to provide balance and additional speed while the raptor is running but also capable of carrying their weight for short distances by flying slightly above the ground. This is a tactic rarely used by the bird, due to the energy expenditure required, but it does allow them an advantage over rough terrain.   Half of the bird's height is in its neck, a flexible collection of spine and muscle which allows the predatory bird to strike quickly and ferociously at its prey. The layers of feathers along the neck are particularly thick and typically fluffed up with air, both to provide insulation from the cold and protection from the defensive strikes of its prey.

Dietary Needs and Habits

I am the only survivor. Eleven seasoned researchers, eleven dear friends, gone in an instant. Food for those angry bird... things.
Yivnik Tarlo, SSED Explorer
  The arctic raptor is typically a predator of opportunity, attacking and devouring any prey which presents itself. Fish are a common source of protein for the birds due to their ready availability under the ice flows surrounding Igoris. As a result the arctic raptor is an impressively skilled ice fisher, using its sharp claws and beak to cut its own holes in the ice before using its neck to precisely strike and devour any fish swimming near the hole.   Icefangs are a particular favorite prey of the birds, due in part to their size. A full grown Icefang can sustain a brooding arctic raptor couple for most of a week. Of course, when brooding, any source of sustenance that wanders close to the nesting site is welcome, and in the colds of Igoris meals can be preserved almost indefinitely. This allows the birds to kill with impunity when protecting their young and retain the subsequent carcasses for mealtimes and hunting lessons.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

I will be joining them in death soon. I have no supplies, and my injuries will not allow me to return to Camp before nightfall... Not even a raptor bone for a fire.   But at least I have the luxury of freezing to death instead of being eaten by an overgrown predatory bird.
Yivnik Tarlo, SSED Explorer
  Raptor bones are lightweight and flammable, easily sustaining a hot, slow burn. For this reason a small selection of differently-sized raptor bones is a standard component of emergency kits for the Society of Scientific Exploration and Discovery and their work at the Igoris Outpost. If a research party spends the night outside of the Outpost, intentionally or due to unforseen circumstances, burning an appropriately-sized bone will provide enough heat to sustain a group and stave off frostbite without resorting to magic and risking an unwelcome interaction with the unstable magical fields of Igoris.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

It's not even mating season! Raptors aren't supposed to be in the mountains this time of year, or we wouldn't have been scoping out the caves!   But there's no sense dwelling on what should have been. If a kindhearted soul finds these notes, and is inclined to fulfill a dying man's wish, please return my locket to my husband in Elyria. Tell him my last thoughts were of him.
Yivnik Tarlo, SSED Explorer
  Arctic raptors are only found on the continent of Igoris. They are most commonly found along the ice planes where their natural speed and sure-footed grip against the ice provides them an advantage when running down their prey. Forays into the Igoris Mountains are rare outside of brooding couples, where the rocky crags allow them to protect their young and train them in the art of the kill while their offaprings' muscular legs strengthen and develop.

Scientific Name
Gigantavia igorika
Conservation Status
Uncommon
Average Height
12 ft
Average Weight
350 - 600 lbs
Geographic Distribution
Igoris
Geographic Location | Jul 18, 2020

Igoris is a continent of icy glaciers and unpredictable magic. While the continent provides a hostile environment for the researchers probing to learn its secrets, Igoris provides a haven for the variety of life which has adapted to the unrelenting ice.

The Icefang is a favorite meal of the Arctic Raptor, although hunting the Icefang does pose difficulties due to their tendency to run in packs. The quick reflexes and impressive speeds of the predatory birds provide them with an advantage, but hunting Icefangs is rarely easy.  
Icefang
Species | Jul 26, 2020

Icefangs are canines adapted for life in the chill of Igoris, with a tendency to melt if removed from the continent.



Comments

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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Jul, 2020 02:21

Another awesome critter! grat work. I really like the quotes and love how you continue the story throughout the article. each section slowly reveals the unsettling circumstances. well done. Also i love that their bones have a practical use... and that use being flammable is delightfully unexpected.

Check out my work | The Web | Expedition Demeter
2 Jul, 2020 12:59

I will tell you a secret. I needed a lightweight, portable method to start and maintain a warm fire on a continent almost entirely made of ice, where using magic carried the risk of disaster.   Flammable bones felt a lot more fun and effective than some sort of oil burning contraption, and so the Arctic Raptor became reality.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Jul, 2020 14:16

I love it! It's a super creative way of doing it. Oof. Looking forward to the work you'll be putting out this month.

Check out my work | The Web | Expedition Demeter
2 Jul, 2020 07:53

Raptor bones are lightweight and flammable, easily sustaining a hot, slow burn.
  I *love* this part. :D   Is it ever used elsewhere, commonly? Or has it more or less been made obsolete by magic?   I love it :D Good luck with Summer Camp, Solar!

2 Jul, 2020 12:55

While a small quantity had been exported by the SSED (for scientific study, you understand, and alchemical research) they are only commonly used on Igoris. The scientists researching on the southern continent need to try and avoid using their own magic, as the magical fields are unstable there and the use of magic carries a risk (although not a guarantee) of serious accidents. So they needed something lightweight and portable, and preferably local to Igoris since they only receive supplies once a year.   Raptor bones became that solution! Although with the disadvantage that they needed to find a dead raptor, or kill one before it kills them. (Domestication efforts have been... informative? And deadly.)

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities
2 Jul, 2020 19:00

I love the quotes!

2 Jul, 2020 20:15

You had me at

... feathered menaces ...
so I for one welcome our Arctic Raptor Overlords!

2 Jul, 2020 22:48

Killer emus was already a great topic. The mini-story told through the quotes was a very nice finish!

3 Jul, 2020 11:27

Great work! The quotes really help bring to life the article and give a good example of how ferocious they are.

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