Monday, 6 May 2013

Domesticated Animals of Ix

I've written before that cats, goats and rats are the only mammals on Ix, apart from humans. All other animals are of the reptile, bird or insect families. It thus makes sense that humans would have domesticated some of these creatures for various purposes. Here are a few such beasts.


Ixilots
Gargantuan 25' long tortoise-like reptiles bred for their might and stubbornness. Ixilots are commonly found at the head of large caravans, as they can pull tremendous loads. Their shells are ringed with barbed tusks, and they bear two curved horns on their foreheads -- Ixilots are a formidable force in battle, despite their slowness.

Ixilots are a purely domesticated animal, without any extant wild relatives. The downside of the use of Ixilots as beasts of burden is their appetite for huge quantities of plant matter and water -- caravans using them have to be well stocked.


Like other animals of the tortoise family, Ixilots have the unusual capacity to enter a deep hibernation sleep. If placed in cool and complete darkness they enter this dormant state after several days, and can thence remain asleep for a span of some years without food or water.


Skanks
The domesticated lizards are bred from wild relatives which hunt the desert in packs. They have been bred into many forms, and are used for many purposes, from guards to pets. Typically skanks are in the region of 4' long, but larger and smaller species exist. They are intelligent and can be trained easily to perform a variety of tricks or functions.

The wild skank possesses a musk gland which can exude a stench sickening to other creatures. The skanks use this gland defensively if cornered. Most domesticated breeds have had the musk gland selectively bred out over millennia.


Scarabs
Giant burrowing beetles 20' long with iridescent black shells, these insects are sometimes used for pulling caravans. They are almost as strong as ixilots, and require less food and water, but are more difficult to train, being especially unintelligent and single-minded. The only way to control scarabs is by the use of certain special scents.

The raising of scarabs is a specialised and complicated art, as their maggot form is so large and voracious, and requires darkness and large quantities of dung and ash to gestate in.


Orks
Domesticated from a species of predatory flightless desert bird, these creatures are used as mounts. They are renowned for their running speed and their resilience to dehydration. Orks have a heavy, horny beak which can inflict vicious wounds. They are aggressive by nature, and have to be well trained in order to be safely used by humans.


Gajji Grubs
Gajji are a vicious species of giant beetle with horrible slicing mandibles. In captivity only very few are allowed to reach the mature form -- and those purely for the purpose of breeding. The 2' long grubs are valued for their succulent pink flesh.

Moiks
These 9' tall lizards are bred for their running speed and endurance. They stand on two legs, with small clawed fore-limbs. Their necks are long and flexible, with a sleek head.

2 comments:

  1. I have a feeling that there's going to be a bit of confusion between the predatory flightless desert birds, and certain green-skinned demihumans that don't actually exist in this setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yes. Maybe it was my way of making a point that they absolutely, definitely do not exist in the setting ;)

      Actually I have Ork Racing in mind as an arena sport, which could lead to even more confusion!

      Delete