A societarian's best friend
There are no written records of a time in which societarians did not have lyraiks as parts of their households, farms, hunting parties and tribes. The lyraiks are a fully domesticated simple creature, of uncertain origin, which is now spread far and wide to all corners of the archipelago. Most households in the archipelago have at least one lyraik around, with farmers and cattle ranchers usually having several of them guarding their properties and herds.
Lyraiks are social creatures, that form packs of around 15 individuals when living without societarian interaction, with a tight-knit hierarchy system. They are pack hunters that chase prey quite larger than them by taking turns to wear them down as they attack their prey's legs to make escape more difficult. Once their prey is tired, the full pack will jump over them, latching to their bodies using their big, sharp talons. In captivity, they will consider their societarian family as their pack and form tight bonds with them. Despite being unable to form pacts, they are highly intelligent and can be trained to follow a vast array of commands, making them useful for things ranging from hunting to being obedient household pets, but also herding, guarding properties and defending their owners, fighting and even performing complex jobs like rescuing trapped people or aiding disabled owners.
"This kid is chirping like a deranged lyraik"They communicate through a variety of high-pitched squeaking sounds and chirps, akin to those produced by squeaking rubber, or by the whipping of long metal cables. They also rely a lot on body language to express emotions, including the position of their tails, the puffing of their feathers and grabbing motions made with their arms. One particular behaviour that societarians seem to really enjoy is the one they show when asking for food or sometimes petting, where they try to make themselves taller by angling themselves up and sticking their tongues out while staring at their owner, an expression best known as "blep".
Lyraiks are medium-sized, biped therapods covered in feathers except for the face, hands and feet. They have three digits on each foot and hand, with the ones closest to their body sticking up, making the claw on that finger or toe grow longer and sharper, to help them latch to their prey while hunting. Their feathers are a bit longer and darker on the anterior half of their body, with the posterior half having a light-coloured, short fluff that ends on a fan of flat and wide feathers on the tip of the tail, and then a small tuft of long and thin feathers right at the end of it. Their arms have the feather structure of a wing that, while they are flightless, aids them on jumping.
50 cm to the shoulder