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.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.
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.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.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.
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.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.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.
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.