WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?The Irkalla Desert, officially within Areshket's borders, is not known for its kind and friendly denizens, but the desert surakh may be one of the least friendly faces any traveller could encounter (short of the area's presiding demon lord herself). Originating from demonic experiments and possessing a worrying level of intelligence, the surakh is a violent and carnivorous magical beast plated in layers of stony scale. It hunts prey smaller than itself and prefers to gather in groups to then take down larger prey - no other life in the desert is safe from the threat of the surakh. Thankfully, the surakh are a very emotional, warlike species with a strong territorial drive. Their hives regularly split into new factions and wage war upon each other, and the map of territory they claim shifts constantly. The populace throughout the Irkalla Desert is regularly culled by the region's brass dragon population, and make fantastic prey for the local blue dragons - not to mention functioning as sport for the region's strong demonic presence.
Sarenrae's teats, you don't pay me nearly fucking enough to get near that thing.The issue in studying the anatomy of the surakh is that it seems to evolve too frequently. As intelligent magical beings, the surakh improve their own defences through their lives, often augmenting their armour or combat capability with enchantments stolen from adventurers' armour or integrating weapons into themselves. They seem to be able to alter their own morphology quite significantly with additions, perhaps a remnant of their demonic origins; indeed, it isn't uncommon to see a surakh that has grafted horns, swords, and fangs from fallen foes. At base, however, the surakh is a scaled creature with incredibly sharp teeth and jutting horns. A strange red glow pulses through their arteries and veins at all times, giving their eyes a horribly demonic glow. This glow can be dimmed by a surakh through practice; those skilled enough to do so are able to hunt under cover of night whilst their brethren are forced to act only in the daylight.
A surakh is a terrifying foe. Not only are they skilled in combat from birth, possessing the ability to pounce on their opponents with surprising dexterity and grapple them in their sharpest scales, but they also possess a number of innate magical abilities. Perhaps their most useful is their ability to petrify foes with their looming red eyes, similar to a medusa; this, they often surprise prey with to more effectively hunt. Surakh hives are often littered with petrified bodies as a result. Killing a surakh is also incredibly hard. They possess an odd form of regeneration that can only be stopped with the bite of cold - something not common in the desert. If killed by standard means, a surakh will recover in a means of minutes and usually pursue its attacker, often loosing a volley of spear-like spines towards them if their petrification fails. They also possess a number of elemental resistances towards acid and fire, and are immune to poisons, disease, petrification, and some forms of magic. Some of the strongest surakh have also strengthened their scales to reflect magic outright, making them a truly deadly threat to any spellcaster foolish enough to approach their territory.
What do you mean they're not dead? No, I know what 'not dead' means, you-- ...O-Our best fighters are statues now?! Of course I want them gone, you idiot-- I'm sorry, HOW MUCH?! ...For that much, I'll kill them myself!