Vzhare (Viz-air)

"Phantoms in the mists" is what the men kept telling me. I told them to be silent, there wasn't any wraiths or appetitions down here, it's just the damned mists playing tircks on the mind. That’s about when they started picking us off one by one…
— Durerd Do'zynge Dral'azie cavern raider.
  Scything their way through the haunting beauty of the The Sea of Mists, flights of Vzhare proudly prowl the vast expanse. These subterranean wyverns are a dreaded sight for wayfarers of the cavernous depths of the sunless realms, and rightfully feared. It has been well documented that a Vzhare have no qualm about attacking well-armed and provisioned cavern raiders or explorers, seeing them no different to the rest of the prey.
Vzhare male by Morf-en

Behaviour And Ecology

Vzhare are highly territorial creatures, especially the males. Vzhare live in tight knit family units of up to a dozen called Flights, headed by one dominate male. Those foolhardy enough to unwittingly venture deep into The Sea of Mists and The Sapphire Pillars, can easily find themselves pray to a flight, their bones picked clean. Many flights have been well documents to battle one another, in spectacular feats of aerial acrobatics, vying over territory and food sources. The more intense and bloody aerial combats amongst Vzhare are between two males, fighting for dominance or to overthrow the dominate male of a flight and take his mates. Such confrontations are usually fatal, especially when a male is being challenged for his position as Alpha of a flight. A dominate male that is beaten and manages to survive, skulks away becoming an outcast, flying the mists alone for their remaining days.   Female Vzhare lay 1 clutch of eggs every year and will have between 3-5 eggs per clutch, with a gestation period of eggs of about 55-60 days.  

Physiology

Similar in form to most Wyverians, the Vzhare are said to be descended from the ancient Dusk Dragons of the old world. They are most distinguished by their elongated horned heads, dorsal sail and finned tail. Possessing a rich pelt consisting of a voluminous mane and tufts on their hind legs. Sexual dimorphism between Vzhare is distinctive, males are larger than females, broader and possessing greater muscle mass. They are an truly imposing sight to behold. Females usually stand on average at 5 to 7 feet in height, whereas males can reach anywhere between 9 to 12 feet. It is not merely this difference in strength and stature that makes them stand apart. Males possess grander, more exaggerated horns and pronounced dorsal sail and tail fins.  

Lairs

In the heart of a Vzhares territory one will find their lair, these can take many forms dependant on the geographical location of a Vzhare. Typically what the Vzhare desire in these is security, away from larger terrestrial predators and opportunistic egg stealers that would raid their nests and pray upon them. For this reason, Vzhare of the mist sea purposefully seek out the smaller, isolated floating islands high above the main land masses. These offer the adequate protection and refuge they seek to build a lair and establish their nests. Some Vzhare have a keen penchant to seek out ruins and long abandoned structures to call their lair, offering a stable and secure location, this has lead numerous flights to migrate outside of the mist sea and into other regions of the underworld, this however comes with its own risks and new challenges.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Wyverian
Lifespan
Wild; 40 - 50 years. Captivity; 150 - 200 years.
Average Height
Female; 5 to 7 ft. Male; 9 to 12 ft.
Average Length
Female; 25 to 30 ft. Male; 34 ft. 40 ft.

Mist Stalker

For those unfortunate enough to stumble into an Vzhares hunting grounds, will unknowingly find the Vzhare stalk them high up in the dense mists. either co-ordinating with the rest of the flight, or preparing to ambush their quarrel. Known for being preferably ambush predators, the Vzhare have been coined "Mist Stalkers" by veteran cavern raiders and explorers of the mist sea. Adapted to silently glide through the mists and maintain a stable altitude, before finally diving down at dizzying speeds was they let out a blood curdling screech. Terrifying and bewildering their prey before making the fatal blow with ferocious jaws, and serrated claws. This lightning fast strike gives their pray little opportunity to react, offering minimal chance of the Vzhare sustaining damage from its prize. It is only the males that would more brazenly attack it's mark with little regard for such tact, and why they are less successful hunters.

Domestication

It has been well know that some Vzhare have been domesticated by the Temple of the Seven Signs as guardians to their holy places, especially in the more isolated temples and shines found of the underworld, becoming highly territorial and protective of the temple grounds. They have also been rumoured to be reared by the Templar Order to be used as mounts for long range expeditions.


Cover image: by Raka Raka

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