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Acretaima: The Learners

Giant of the Balvatti Brunaa

The Gea balvatii brunaa, "Gea Bal," or Acretaim (Learner) as known by the locals, are beasts of hulking size. Giants, two times larger than your average man. The bone-chilling howls that ring throughout the gloom would make any man tremble long before meeting the anger and ferocity carried in their bloodied-amber eyes.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Nature' Chimera
Yet, it is their frames that draw the eye. The Gea Bal is a twisted amalgamation, a union of humanoid, bear, avian, and reiaul. The maw of this beast is distinctly inhuman, holding many jaggedly pointed canines for rending tender flesh into thin ribbons.   Covered in thin dusky brown fur, the Gea Bal's upper body is particularly burly and fat, while its swollen arms are thickly muscled with rough pads and sickly black claws. However, its lower extremities are vastly different. The Gea has thick haunches shrouded in heavy stone-like scales, with very long bird-like legs, three talons per limb.   Other than their stony serpentine scales, the most defining feature of these beasts would be their fur. Their pale scruffy mane gives a bright contrast to their otherwise dusky brown coat, near black in color. It gives off an air of regality and grimness to their deathly form. The fur itself seems to produce an odd shimmer effect. Which, seemingly to distorts the vision of their prey.

Biological Traits

Changes
Domesticated Gea Bal, known as Gea Bal Maidi (Lesser Vale Giant), are much more docile and friendly than their wild counterparts.   They tend to be much shorter and leaner than wild Gea Bal, subsisting on a handcrafted diet of fruits, herbs, and cultivated fish. Raised since young by Morhím magisters, the bodies of Gea Bal Maidi seem to be auspiciously affected by Ynellian magics. Their serpentine-like scales seem to gleam with a faint amber light. And the dusky brown fur synonymous with all Gea Bal seems more vibrant, an umber brown in color. Faint splotches of ivory here and there.   Too as many of them are cultivated and born of domesticated pets. They have an awfully proper understanding of simple commands, recognizing names when called as well. Morhím magisters still aren't sure how much the Gea Bal Maidi will change in the future. But many scholars are vying to denote it as its own subspecies. Even possibly elevating it from a 'lesser' fiasha gochaui (magic beast) to a 'common' fiasha heldiand (hallow beast).   There are even rumors of higher sapience in the giants raised amongst Amarídeus nobles and Ayrgoth-born merchants.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Omnivores?
While very vicious and ugly creatures. The Gea Bal are not strictly predatory, nor are they compelled to eat men or any other beasts, for that matter.   As in fact, it seems by their very nature. They tend to be omnivores. Those Gea Bal that live near rivers and streams within the Cerpeska Highlands and beyond eat fish. Most other Gea of the Reiaule Dergon gravitates towards vegetation unique to those umber valleys in between, the Balvatti Brunaa. Other than llapin and fish, the Gea Bal's diets consist of: the iarbajil-aer (silver-grass), oadil brunaa (dark tail), and flahra noalaè (nightflower).

Additional Information

Domestication

"In centuries past, it had been their tendency for devouring men who roam the Balvatii Brunaa (Umber Plains), regardless of species, that earned the Gea Bal little love in the hearts of men. The Morhím Chavs knew not of their territorialism and omnivore diet, nor did they much care. Early Morhím Chavs took note of spots where Gea Bal were known to forage and hunt, avoiding those areas at all cost.   It was only through sheer luck that magisters learned the beasts weren't strictly carnivorous, like other Gea. Some Chavs, following the example of bolder men and folktales, took to offering Gea Bal tender game and fruit as to pass through the umber valleys, unharmed. Through this, they found patterns in Gea Bal behavior, and too, their true nature."
 
Process
Afterward, it was no wonder that many Morhím royals encouraged the capture of Gea Bal, this subset of giants, with hopes of domestication. Though, their first ventures ended in grisly failures.   Only after commissioning many weathered hunters were they able to achieve some progress. The hunters pursued lone older Gea Bal, giving the carcasses to Morhím mages for study. Scents and furs. When Morhím mages found that wearing the preserved pelts of female Gea Bal fooled the untried noses of young Gea. The basics of domestication were born.   Cloaked hunters lured young cubs with offers of sweet berries, silver grass, and fish. They carried them to specially made compounds employed by Morhím mages. These trainers would raise and condition the cubs. The domesticated beasts would then be bought as guardians for hinterland nobles outside of Dergonia. High nobles, Amarídeus Chavs, bought them as exotic pets for prestige.


Average Intelligence

Lesser Hallow
Unlike the Bedra, however, many Gea Bal lack much in the ways of high or human-like intelligence. Something most magisters would associate with a real fiasha qasinti (hallow beast). Led by the nose, they're oft easily tricked into large traps with enough men, time, and resources.   However, the Gea Bal are by no means mindless savages. Gea Bal are known to raise their cubs in groups and have a solid hierarchy. They don't readily attack unless threatened, and while minor, have some understanding of tools and problem solving.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Silent Killers
In old Chavic, the fur of Gea is called 'Alei Maeton Alwafrecia.' Or Maeon frecia, "the fear coat."   Despite their hulking size, 3 and a half meters (11.2 ft), many tales from the Balvatii Brunaa oft state how these giants spring throughout the umber valleys appearing, soundlessly, unheard upon their victims. And though countered well with pale magick. And some cautious usage of enchantment and rune tools. Initially, without any foresight, many people "oft-overlooked" these Gea Bal, never to be seen again.   Other than that, Gea Bal are known to have a keen sense of smell, hunting trespassers for days on end without losing their scent.

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Origin/Ancestry
Gea
Lifespan
100~120 yrs
Average Height
  • Wild: 4 to 4.5 meters ~ (13.1 to 14.8 ft.)
  • Tamed: 3 to 3.5 meters ~ (9.8 to 11.5 ft.)
Average Weight
  • Wild: 249.48 to 331.12 kg ~ (550 to 730 lbs.)
  • Tamed: 204.16 to 285.76 kg ~ (450 to 630 lbs.)

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Cover image: Pine forest - study by Mittmac

This species has multiple parents, only the first is displayed below.
All parents:

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