Varanids (/va'ran.ɪd/listen are a minor species in the Sora. They are reptilian in nature, existing on many different realms but very rarely the dominant species on any of them. They're known for being rather single minded and straightforward.  

Physical Description

Varanids are very large and stout, standing around 8'6" tall on average and weighing well over 500 pounds. Their tails are nearly as long as their bodies, with powerful muscles at the base that quickly taper down into a thin, whiplike appendage. They have thick, muscular arms and legs, which end in clawed hands and feet. Their claws are curved and sharp, capable of inflicting serious wounds when in a fight. The claws on their fingers are two inches long, while those on their toes are three inches long. Their skin, frequently colored dark green or tan colored, is covered in small, bony scales.   Their long, round snouts are lined in numerous sharp teeth which are capable of tearing flesh from their prey. Their heads are rounded and merge into their rather thick necks. Varanids have small, relatively beady eyes that are usually darkly colored, mostly black or dark brown. They have small ear holes close to where their skull meets their neck.  


Compared to other species, varanids have relatively poor senses of sight and hearing. They are unable to see colors in low light and cannot hear frequencies as high as humans. However, they make up for this with an incredible sense of smell which is strong enough to pinpoint the source of even weak odors.  

Life Cycle

Varanids mate irregularly, typically driven by the amount of food they have eaten. If a group of varanids has eaten well for a period of a month of more, the females become fecund and will mate with the strongest and most dominant males. A few months later they will dig a shallow nest and lay a clutch of between 5 to 10 eggs inside it. The eggs are not directly tended to, though in varanid settlements they are passively protected and watched by the village at large. The eggs hatch after around seven months, with the varanid newborns cracking through the shells of the eggs with their egg tooth.   Young are capable of walking from birth and are able to talk within a few months. They almost immediately begin assisting with hunting and other duties in their villages, learning slowly but surely. They grow rather quickly, shedding every few weeks before reaching adulthood after about eight years old and full size around 10. They stop growing at this point, but will continue to shed roughly twice a year.   Varanids have relatively short lives, living roughly 50 years or so.  


Varanids are obligate carnivores, feeding primarily on live prey but occasionally feeding on carrion as well. They eat a wide range of meat, generally whatever they can catch. Young tend to eat small birds, mammals, and even insects, while adults often feed on larger prey like deer or ostriches. However, villages often supplement their hunting with fishing or even some small amount of animal husbandry. Varanids do not often keep many animals, but sometimes tend to small pastures of easily cared for animals, such as goats.  


As cold-blooded creatures, varanids thrive in warmer, sunnier locations, though they are perfectly capable of living comfortably in cooler climates. They mostly form small settlements of 40 to 50 individuals, usually in locations where they can easily hunt for food. However, small groups or individuals are uncommon, but not rare, sites in the larger cities of other species. They typically don't "fit in" well, but often take up jobs that make good use of their physical strength and adapt well to buying food.
50 years
Average Height
8' to 9'
Average Weight
750 to 850 lbs

Cover image: by Denis Khusainov


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