Blind corners, huge caverns, and secret tunnels hide all manner of creatures that lurk, waiting for their next meal. Camouflage and other magical abilities are common, hiding creatures big and small, their ill intent something that all should worry about. Hulking figures, serrated claws, giant maws waiting to devour, all this and more lurks in Káto
, but some creatures are more well-equipped than others when it comes to hiding from their precious prey.
In the upper tunnels of Káto
, it is but an insect that claims the title of one of the most deadly creatures to travelers of the tunnels. The Black Mantis
is known for many abilities that make it near impossible to find or detect, even with the use of certain magics. This is a powerful ability, one heavily sought after, making the risk of hunting these creatures worth the possible reward.
The nearly magical abilities that the Black Mantis
have manifest in their exoskeleton, often referred to as Black Chitin. This material is extremely strong, silent when moved, and invisible in certain circumstances. Highly coveted by the Silver Elves
for armor making, Black Chitin is a material that carries a great risk, but also comes with a great reward.
Black Chitin is solid black in color, often with a glossy finish that may change slightly in color when it catches the light. While an organic material, chitin is known to be stronger than some metals, serving as a great protective armor along with its other properties. Chitin is also extremely lightweight and durable without skimping on function. It is resistant to most bladed weapons and is difficult to burn or damage in most conventional ways. Chitin must come from an adult Black Mantis
to have all properties associated with the creature and must be processed correctly once removed. When treated properly once removed from the creature, these properties remain, but the improper treatment of the material will cause it to become brown in color and extremely brittle, shattering at the slightest touch.
Physical & Chemical Properties
are considered extremely dangerous due to their near-perfect camouflage and silent movements. These creatures are nearly impossible to detect in most instances and these abilities transfer to the chitin once it has been removed from the creature. Even when a full suit of this material is worn, Black Chitin remains silent and nearly undetectable unless magical means are used.
Due to their coloration, Black Mantis
are extremely difficult to spot in the dark tunnels of Káto
. In extremely rare instances, it is possible to catch one in the light, but only by using magical means.
History & Usage
This material sees a variety of uses, but most often in armor and various traps. As Black Mantis
are rather large, the chitin gained from an adult mantis can often armor an average size person. The rest of the creature may then be used for trap-making or anything else.
often use Black Chitin to make armor, an expensive product that requires great risk to make. In many cities, it is almost seen as a rite of passage to harvest the chitin from a Black Mantis
in such a way that a suit of armor could be made from it. The armor makers are highly trained as Black Chitin must be preserved properly or it becomes extremely brittle.
The Gem Dwarves
have chosen to utilize the leftover piece of the Black Mantis
, specifically their serrated forelegs, as parts of traps. These forelegs are extremely sharp and dangerous to anyone that may trigger one of these elaborate traps.
To create Black Chitin Armor
, the Black Chitin
of the Black Mantis
must be carefully preserved to keep the durable properties of the material. Improper preservation can lead to the chitin turning brown and becoming very brittle.
Trade & Market
Black Chitin is a coveted commodity in Káto
, often being twice the worth of Gold
. Due to the dangerous nature of retrieving the material, some sellers ask for higher prices depending on how difficult it was to obtain. Most commonly, Black Chitin is often traded in Silver Elf
and Gem Dwarf
cities as those two races are the largest users of the material.