Silinratath (Sah-lin-ree-tath)

… then there are the abominable elemental felines of the underworld. What accounts have reached us tell tales that these monstrous creatures are changelings that shift and alter their appearance wherever you find them. Wrought out of the very elements themselves, some even cast from molten earth, an entirely preposterous idea to say the least…
The Venerable Teague - Codex of Beasts and Beings, 3rd edition.
 
Found in some of the most inhospitable reaches of the underworld, these striking elemental felines have adapted to survive in these hostile depths by developing a particular taste for crystal, precious minerals and crystalline based beasts that live in its depths. These highly intelligent with keen senses they are formidable hunters and foragers with an eye catching appearance. No Silinratath looks the same, each of these majestic beast is strikingly different, ranging from beautiful and beguiling to absolutely terrifying. A wild Silinratath can be quite unpredictable and should not be approached, many ignorant explorer venturing into the underworld has fell afoul of these beasts, through their own wantonness or sheer stupidity.   Highly prized, and sought after by numerous cultures in The Sunless Realms, the Silinratath have been bred over the centuries for a diverse variety of roles. Ranging from beasts of burden, guard animals and mounts or as the prized additions to a wealthy nobles menagerie. These intrepid felines have successfully evolved and adapted to any environment or situation they have found themselves in, whether through natural means or domestication.  
Mushroom Variant - Female by Morf-en
Volcanic variant - Male by Morf-en
 
Silinratath Symbol by SerenityOnyx
 

Behaviour And Ecology

These creatures are social and live in packs of up to several members consisting of one male and it's mates and offspring. It is not uncommon to see lone bachelor males roaming the realm having no pack to call their own. These lone males have often been driven out by the dominate male when they reach maturity, or to they attempt to challenge him for position as the dominate male. It is not uncommon for these lone bachelors to shadow packs, and attempt to entice females away and start their own pack, many of which are chased off when the dominate male catches wind. The pack will typically occupy an area, establishing a territory. This typically coincides with availability of food, fresh water and safety for the offspring.   Litters usually consist of 1 to 4 cubs commonly born but larger litters can sometimes occur (most often in captivity) when the pack is very well fed and environmental stresses are low. Typically, mothers will raise their own young, but if the mother is not around, the pack will become protective and work as a whole to care for the pup.

Physiology

The Silinratath is a large elemental feline, that adapts to its environment. The exact method this has been achieved has still been undetermined by many scholars, what is understood is that it is a combination of their natural evolution and their natural diet. Taking on the physical traits and attributes of their environments and the diets they consume. Consequence of which affects the overall appearance of a Silinratath varies greatly according to the region of The Sunless Realms it originates. With the most common forms coming from the crystal chasms, mycelium rich forests or volcanic plains. Silinrarath thrive best in mineral/crystal rich areas but have been also (rarely) documented existing in the coastal reaches of the Mist sea where precious stones and creatures are rumoured to exist, as well as the strange climates of the vast subterranean Dsja'taresh desert.   Possessing incredibly powerful jaws and teeth capable or grinding crystalline and rock formations down with relative ease, and a ribbed tongue to help filter out any sediment or detritus from its food. They also possess large front claws specially designed for digging out embedded food and breaking down and exterior shells or defences of their prey.  
Male and Female differences. by Morf-en
There is notable sexual dimorphism between male and female Silinrataths, with the latter being consistently smaller. The average male can stand from between 10 to 14 feet long and 4 to 5 feet tall at their shoulders, whereas a female stands between 9 to 11 feet long and 3.5 to 4.5 feet tall at their shoulders. Males tending to weigh almost twice as much as a female, and possess noticeably wider forepaws, and larger claws and a more pronounced mane. It has also been hypothesised that body size of different Silinrataths populations may be correlated to the environments and diet habits they have acclimatised to survive. This was particularly focused upon by breeders during the domestication process, capturing and selectively cultivating desirable traits and sizes.
Their coats colour, and patten often reflect their native diet too; and breeders of Silinratath often will experiment with feeding their broods on solely one type of crystal in hopes of creating the most extravagant and sought after pattens and colours (example the rose quartz pink silinratath pictured on the right) And while wild Silinratath are not commonly found to have such unique and striking (while somewhat unnatural colour palettes) it is not uncommon to be able to identify the native region and diet based on its colouration and markings.   The tail of a Silinratath is equally varied in length and shape and the magical residue of its diet (the flame as it is sometimes known) grows and diminishes depending on how well fed or starved the individual is.  
Domesticated Silinratath by M4wie
Lifespan
Wild; 10 - 15 years. Domesticated; 20 - 25 years.
Average Height
Males; 4 to 5ft. Female; 3.5 to 4.5ft
Average Weight
705 – 1,200 pounds (320 – 550 kg)
Average Length
Males; 10ft to 14ft. Female; 9 ft to 11ft.
Diet
Crystal, Ore and Mineral deposits, Crystalline and elemental creatures.   Natural Predators
Vzhare
Skrixx'shaa

Domestication

The first recorded instance of Silinratath being domesticated is by Dvergar miners during the first age. Silinratath proved to be effective for breaking up ores, minerals and other difficult geological formations that would normally hinder progress. Invaluable to miners prospecting throughout some of the more inhospitable regions of the underworld, the Silinratath elemental resilience enables them to overcome such obstacles with relative ease. Due to their size and physical prowess, males in particular, were also used as beasts of burden to haul carts and wagons back from such expeditions. As Dvergar innovation began to revolutionise mining techniques, the use of Silinratath began to steadily diminish.   It wasn't until centuries later, when the Dral'azie would begin to establish their presence in the sunless realms that a second concerted attempt to domesticate the Silinratath would begin. They too, like the Dvergar recognised the benefits of taming and utilizing the Silinratath in the early years of their settling into the sunless realms, as they did with so many other beasts of the underworld. This was by no means a straight forward process, compared to the Dvergars method of enticing the wild elemental Silinratath with the promise of reward, the Dral'azie instead sought to breed a more docile and obedient variant. Trappers struggled to acquire live adult specimens, and even when they did they were notoriously stubborn and volatile. Instead, they were snatched away as pups and reared to trust their new masters. Generations later, various breeds of domesticated Silinratath now populate the Dral'azie city-states and beyond. Most either utilized as mounts or prized possessions.     Size and shape of the ears is another aspect breeders are particularly finickity over. Having bred generations of Silinratath for desirability qualities, the shape and size can sometimes be all the difference between a pure-blooded domestic pedigree and a common mongrel.  
It's one thing petting those dainty pure breeds the Dral are so damn fond of, but you try even go near one them wild one. It'll have your arm off, or worse.
— Warning of a Dvergar trader to his apprentice


Cover image: by Nalak-Bel

Comments

Author's Notes

Please note; All images used have been commissioned by artists for the Evalaw project.


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4 Jul, 2021 21:35

I want one. Now. How do we make this happen?   They sound so wonderful, and the attention you have given to their coat distinction and natural diets verse captivity is really aided by the artwork (which is stunning), as well as their uses in domestication. Well done :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
16 Jul, 2021 12:45

Haha, your more than welcome to purchase one from your local underworld Silinratath Breeder, Or if your feeling lucky try and tame a wild one. Word of caution, they are a bit temperamental, and possess some elemental abilities that can be a little challenging ^_^.   I'm really pleased you liked the article, means alot to get some feedback! Not going to lie, we've had these commissioned pieces hanging about for a while and haven't had any reason to do anything for the Silinratath. Summer Camp seemed like the right time ;)

Dare you travel the sacred waters of the The Great Nirkana.? Our entry for the River Challenge. Tell us what you think!   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
17 Jul, 2021 14:55

They seem very cute :D Do they need to be fed with particular crystals when they're young to change colours or can that still happen even as an adult? I really like the amount of details you have about everything and those artworks are really beautiful :D

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
17 Jul, 2021 23:30

Thank you! I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed the article :) That’s a good question; They do need to be fed with certain crystals when young, it’s what affects their overall appearance as they retain these features permanently when they reach adulthood. This is defiantly the case for the domesticated breeds. For the wild Silinratath, it is a little bit different, their diet and environment affects the appearance as more varied. The Silinratath that live in the mushroom forest for example are mostly impacted by the spores that begin to grow on them and the minerals they find these, I believe they do also have to resort to eating the mushrooms here when food is scarce.

Dare you travel the sacred waters of the The Great Nirkana.? Our entry for the River Challenge. Tell us what you think!   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
15 Aug, 2021 10:30

Great article with some very nice art added to it :D I really like the concept of them adopting features and colors depending on their diet or region. Are all types used for domestic use? Can one for example use a volcanic type as a mount or beast of burden or would that type be to dangerous for that?

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
15 Aug, 2021 11:44

Thanks so much! We are always absolutely thrilled when people enjoy our rambling articles! ^o^ So when it comes to breeding specific type/region-variants; providing you have ample and diverse food supplies that originate from the specific regions (like volcanic or desert) you can breed any varient-type of Silinratath! A note to remember on breeding though: While they will not have the truly wild look and features of a wild variant you can imitate a lot of the visual traits that are developed from their diets! (So the more you know about their wild counterparts natural diets the closer you can get to imitating them!)   On the matter of using all types for domestication of you will find that most denizens of the underworld have little to no clue how to utilise the region specifics for their innate unique abilities! Because their wild cousins can be very lethal to encounter there is not a lot of research and time spent investigating what uses there would be for them! This is why you will find that savvy breeders never use wild-caught Silinratath adults as breeders and instead take cubs (either from the wilds or from captive-bred lines) for development; as while they are in infancy they are able to be cultivated into any variant desired!   Bloodlines don’t play a massive role in their inherited visual genes which is why you can find litters of Silinratath grow into a wide variety of types depending on what each cub grew up eating !   I hope that covers it ^_^ The Silinratath are pretty much the Eevee of the Evalaw world I like to think, which is why they have such changeable and diverse appearences!

Dare you travel the sacred waters of the The Great Nirkana.? Our entry for the River Challenge. Tell us what you think!   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
15 Aug, 2021 23:01

These are really really fascinating! I also love the way their features and colouration changes depending on what crystals they consumed as cubs. It makes for such interesting possible variations across packs of the animals :)   I think it's really neat how they have sort of carnivore features, but they're used instead for digging out and chomping through tough crystal! Do they ever need to consume other things to help them digest or balance out their diet? What about regular non-crystal rocks?   Also, I was curious if they had any natural predators, or if they sort of exist separate from the food chain!   Really excellent species article :D I love em.


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
16 Aug, 2021 12:52

Aw thank you so much! We are so glad the Silinrath have been such an interesting species for people to read about, we hope that our slowly growing bestiary will maintain the same level of fun and interest! :D   Exactly my thoughts, I love the idea that no two silinrath will look quite the same! That and you could have a different type for every day of the month!   Oo! This is a question I've been writing notes on for a while and still trying to get it out of incomprehensible scribbles! The vast majority of their nutrient intake comes from the mineral composition so while there is a low level magical energy from crystals that give the Silinrath their unique appearances it's totally normal and seen commonly in "barren" environments (and very commonly on the surface realm) for the native Silinrath to have a much higher intake of Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic rocks and in very desperate times will resort to eating soils and skeletal remnants! This results in much more muted and ordinary appearance compared to their crystal imbued relatives and often times much smaller and weaker builds! Many of these Silinrath will tend to resemble something closer to real-life lions due to their very limited and mineral poor diets!   As for natural predators - being that the underworld of Evalaw has a great many horrors and monstrous inhabitants it's very much agreed that Silinrath are in the middle of the food-chain depending on where they are in the world! This ranges from the carnivorous fungal plants in the sea of spores, the winged terrors of the sea of mists (our Vzhare) to the Skrixx'shaa that dominate many corners of the underworldOf course their most prolific predators are the various sentient species who poach their young and like to hunt the larger and more unique of their kind for trophies, it's seen in some of the more tribal cultures as a great boon to slay and bring back the carcass of an elder Silinrath and make use of every part of the slain beast!   I hope that sates some of your curiosity! I would absolutely love to answer anything else you might want to know though ^_^

Dare you travel the sacred waters of the The Great Nirkana.? Our entry for the River Challenge. Tell us what you think!   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
16 Aug, 2021 17:55

That is awesome! I love the whole idea and all the details behind their diet -- resorting to consuming soil or even skeletal remains just for sustenance during hard times is excellent. I like how it's reflected in their appearance, too! And the predators sound terrifying :D


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage PanAndPaper
AS Lindsey (Pan)
25 Aug, 2021 15:21

This is a gorgeous article to look at - the layout, background image and article images all work together very well.   The animals themselves are fantastic, too. I love how much detail has gone into the different appearances of them. What sort of "crystalline creatures" do they actually survive on? Are such creatures common in this world?

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Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
27 Aug, 2021 09:28

Hello! Thank you so much for reading through our Silinrath page and absolutely thrilled it was well received :D   So, the range of cystalline creatures! Most commonly you'd find many small to mid-sized (around the size of dogs) reptillian-esque and insectoid inspired beasties that have evolved and adapted to the depths of Evalaw - nothing very big and thankfully, nothing too dangerous when it comes to their common living prey!   However there are plenty of bigger and more risky creatures that are on the menu for more bold or desperate Silinrath packs; there is the large boar-like creature that we've yet to officially name that stomps around the Dvergar territories; they are rather prone to goring anything foolish enough to hunt them!   And larger still are the various mega-beetles that have crystalline carapaces, much more rare to find but certainly a very big meal if they can be taken down!   Luckily for the Silinrath they are not strictly carnivores and do very well on digging out geodes and raw crystals from their environments (they've evolved especially well to sniff out and dig out their food!) which makes up the bulk of their natural diet!   Hopefully that sates your curiosity a little bit ^_^ If you have anything else you'd like to know about please don't hesitate to let us know!

Dare you travel the sacred waters of the The Great Nirkana.? Our entry for the River Challenge. Tell us what you think!   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
11 Nov, 2021 10:09

Incredible art, and excellent article layout! I love this :D


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