Giant vultures of Tokaru Species in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Giant vultures of Tokaru

The fierce vultures used by The Talons of Aetora¬†nest across the highest peaks of the Hela's Crest mountains of southern Tokaru. They reach wingspans of up to 20-30" and can carry a fully grown kin, and even two for short distances.  
In the wild, the vultures will bond deeply with a lifelong partner, and their loyalty and devotion the them is unbreakable. This loyalty extends to the other birds in the Eyrie, and they are a formidable force when united against foes.   Long ago, the goblins of Uferbrech learnt to redirect this tendency for deep bonding by stealing the eggs of unborn Vultures direct from the nests of their parents and bond with them in a traditional rite of passage known as Rite of the Hatching.

Basic Information

Anatomy

A full grown Toakru vulture has a wingspan anywhere between 20-30". Their wings and bodies are covered in feathers that are a deep golden brown on top, and a light lilac on the undersides. They have long, sinewy necks, devoid of feathers and leathery heads topped by grizzled crest.  The crests get bigger and more warped as the birds age, and change colour from pale lilac when calm to a deep blood red when angered.
by Midjourney

Growth Rate & Stages

In the wild, adult vultures mate in pairs and bond for life within eyries of extended families.  
The bonded pairs raise broods of 3-4 chicks in their nests about two or three times in their long lives. Their nests are built in high places that bask in direct and constant sunlight, which the rocks of the nest absorbe the heat. This removes the need for the birds to sit upon the nests.   All members of an eyrie will work together to hunt and guard their collective young, both from rodents that prey upon the eggs, or from the occasional raid from other eyries as they battle to remove competition in the area.
by Midjourney
  The young will be collectively cared for by the adults in the Eyrie, and will spend nearly 20 years growing into adulthood before they bond themselves to a mate and begin the cycle. The nests will often be inherited and added to by successive generations.   The largest of the eyries is the Eyries of Aetora, which as grown over multiple generations across at least three of the tallest peaks in the Southern-most part of Hela's Crest mountain range.

Dietary Needs and Habits

The Giant Vultures are both hunters and carrion eaters. A major source of food is the large herds of Mulettes that roam the plains of Tokaru.   A favoured method is to swoop and grab one of the small horse-like creatures in their talons. They will then soar high and drop the terrified animals to their deaths. The birds will then wait until the meat begins to rot - usually 2-3 days before eating. Only when faced with fierce competition from other predators, will they force themselves to eat freshly-killed prey.   Often, to protect their carrion as it rots, they will bring the carcasses to well protected ledges high upon the sun-sides of the mountain ranges. Unwitting climbers who find themselves in rocky places, surrounded by dead and rotting carcasses should be wary of the vultures as they defend, and perhaps add to, their larder.
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Comments

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Dec 8, 2021 12:15

Very cool! The connection between vulture and goblin is one that seems very apt, too. :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.