Yrsena Panopida - Floating Plateau Creeper
The Yrsena Panopida are hunters that primarily prey on small to medium-sized creatures including rodents, small land-dwelling mammals, and birds. These creatures can grow to be quite large, ranging in height/length from 3ft to 6ft on average. Though larger have been witnessed but are quite rare. Their bodies are light, and their bones are hollow like a bird, with much of their body being made up of a cartilage-like material. Their white semi-translucent skin is tautly stretched across the back of their bodies and hangs loosely off their sides. The creature uses their skin as a form of glider where they float in the strong air currents of the valleys that surround the plateau.
Biology and Hunting Methods
The Yrsena Panopida has a unique digestive system as its underside contains its entire biological system relating to its feeding. It has rows of teeth in the central portion where it grinds its prey into mush and then manually pushes the mush upwards and downwards into digestion sacks where the prey is fully digested. It injects a paralytic poison into its prey when they first catch it, so that they can feed on it without them struggling to escape. This paralytic poison is one of the only known substances to help alleviate symptoms of Mindscape Madness.
These creatures live in a dangerous region known as The Ruined Plateau of Thysduin, the former homeland of the elves before the race was nearly wiped out due a magical plague. This plateau is still a dangerous place, and much of its interior is not fit for life or any sort of colonization.
Ecology and Habitat
The borders are less extreme, but a lack of food and unpolluted water makes life difficult for the few creatures that live there. The outer plains, where the Yrsena graze when not floating in the nearby valleys, provide a small amount of food and resources. Including tufts of cactus-like weeds, and the occasional rodent or small mammal, which the Yrsena will gladly spring upon and consume. The valleys which surround the plateau are extremely wide and deep, in fact, no one has ever seen the bottom of them. Gazing below will only reveal empty darkness that seemingly goes on forever.
The Yrsena typically find a mate after they have reached adulthood, about a year and a few months after birth. They mate for life and will roam their territory together, hunting and roosting with each other. The Yrsena can have several clutches of spawn a year, but only about half of what is birthed survive. They roost on the sides of rock faces, where they will stick sacks filled with eggs to the craggy walls with a gooey substance formed in their bodies. These sacks burst open after only a few short weeks, and up to a dozen young Yrsena Panopida spew forth. The young Yrsensa are usually only the size of a hand, and often only half or less will survive to adulthood due to the rough nature of their surroundings. The younglings will grow rapidly, becoming three times their size in two to three weeks. After only a year, if they are able to find enough food, they will be considered adults. Yrsena do not live long, and only have a lifespan of five to eight years, partly due to the lack of reliable food. If they have reliable food they can keep growing, and the largest seen has been 7ft tall with an enormous 'wingspan' to match.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
The Yrsena Panopida, also known as the Floating Plateau Creeper is a predator that roams the flatlands and deep valleys on and surrounding The Ruined Plateau of Thysduin. This grotesque-looking creature floats about the borders of Thysduin, feeding off of the paltry grasslands that still cling to life on the rocky plateau. They also spend significant gliding about the strong winds of the deep valleys that surround the plateau; grasping onto the edges to rest and roost. The valleys are one of the Yrsena's favourite hunting spots, where they will strike unsuspecting birds pinning them to the plateau's rock face before consuming their prey with the strange digestion system that lies on their undersides.