|Official Name||Dirrin Reptile|
|Common Nicknames||Enteen Crawler|
The Dirrin Reptile is an extremely strange animal among the mounts of Aloria’s many Races. For one thing, it is not a reptile and is instead a giant salamander creature. However, its unique traits do not stop at just its size, as in addition to being able to walk up vertical surfaces, the creature is immune to Magic from the Void or Exist. This has made them highly valued and revered by the Suvial, whose death-struggle with the Kathar of the Dread Empire has seen a serious turn against most forms of Magic by their society. The Dirrin Reptile is ultimately a living representation of that mentality, despite their lack of sophisticated intellect.
The Dirrin Reptile has been part of the Sundial Isles for over two millennia, being found by the early Altalar colonists to the region lounging by the beaches and inland when they first arrived. Initially fairly skittish, the Reptile (which was later identified as an amphibian) was first tamed, trained, and then thoroughly domesticated by the now Suvial Altalar. The creature took on a life of their own in Suvial society, being found in artwork and clothing designs, being shipped back to the mainland for use by the growing migrated Suvial elite of the Allorn Empire. While their ability to go unaffected by either Void or Exist Magic initially led to Altalar recoiling from them, the creature’s growing usefulness won out in the end. But when the world grew darker, and the Empire began to crack, the Dirrin Reptile vanished from the mainland, becoming a near myth even among the Suvial who survived there as Void and Exist cults purged the creatures out of fear for their ability. On the Sundial Isles, the animal was still used and bred for centuries, but with the birth of the Kathar, and the formation of the process of Void-outs, the Dirrin was put in serious danger. In this time, following the Cataclysm which shook the world and did only minor harm to the Isles the creature called home, there was still a substantial wild population of the amphibian. But when the Void-outs began to fall, thousands died at once along with countless other forms of wildlife. This was not due to the overwhelming power of the Void-outs, far from it, to the great shock of many, members of the species would survive the blast. However, due to their spherical nature, digging several miles down into the dirt and rock, many immediately fell to their deaths. Hundreds more were displaced, be they survivors at the fringe or individuals scared off at the immense sound that would rock the world when one landed. Within a century following the first devastating Kathar attack, the Dirrin had been made fully domesticated. They remain this way even today, crowded in the overpopulated Suvial cities and towns, serving as unique transportation and powerful mounts given the ongoing conflict against the Kathar.
Why the Dirrin Reptile was initially categorized as such is unknown, but the fact that this miscategorization has stuck is what often gets in the craw of scholars. Still, as an amphibian, the Dirrin Reptile does show several borderline reptilian traits. They sit at around ten to twelve feet long, stand at a height of just three to four feet, and weigh around 300 to 400 pounds. Their head has a blunt, wide shape to it with a broad snout, and a pair of large, solid yellow eyes sitting on either side of their head. There are small, hard patches of skin around the top of their heads and tips of their snouts, which appear scale-like. They have a thick neck, immediately connecting their head to their bodies, slightly pudgy forms sitting on four surprisingly strong legs with four toes on their front legs, and five on their rear legs. These fingers and legs are seemingly coated in a thicker, more scale-like skin than the rest of the animal’s body, and the long-fingered hands possess extremely durable fingers with dozens of tiny suction cups. This allows them to perform their miraculous climbing abilities. Returning to their bodies, they have a small bump of a spine running along their back to their tail, which makes up as much as half of their length. Their body, aside from the previously mentioned scaled or “rough” points, are smooth and cool to the touch. Their color palette is stark, being a mix of oranges and whites, often existing in a splotched pattern along their bodies.
Dirrin Reptiles have limited diversity, as while their bodies can have unique patterns, the exact pattern is random and doesn’t often conform to any identifiable trait or determiner. However, the species does have sexual dimorphism in that males are always on the larger, but lighter end of the animal’s weight spectrum. Females are smaller and often weigh more.
Life Span and Development
Dirrin Reptiles, as they are actually amphibians, are born in soft-shelled, pale orange eggs in clusters of six to twelve around still, concealing water sources. About the size of a normal chicken egg, these eggs are watched over by the mother for several weeks before they hatch, at which point she leaves the larvae to survive on their own. Each about two to three inches long, these creatures have external gills to allow them to survive their aquatic environment and a tail, without any real legs. However, over a further several weeks, they rapidly mature into being a solid foot long, and possess much of their terrestrial appearance. They then fully exit the water, and the remaining offspring scatter into the underbrush. This does not happen with domesticated Dirrin, as while they may scatter in their simulated natural environment, they are easily corralled and moved together. They take a solid year after this to mature to their adult size, the process fairly slow but fairly noticeable given their immense final size. In domesticated surroundings, they are introduced to the feeling of the saddle early on as youths, small sized, non-functional dummy saddles placed on their bodies to simulate their presence. Dirrin Reptiles can live for forty years.
Dirrin Reptiles are generally quite docile and mute as creatures, lacking much in the way of response to external stimuli. They do not croak or make noise during the mating season, the closest sound to that being a brief popping noise that triggers when they are startled. They are fairly neutral about their own kind, never actively hunting them, or seeking to associate with them, but their large sizes and slow development time has sometimes seen both cannibalism and confrontations occur. However, this is extremely rare with the whole species now domesticated, and only perhaps a handful of groups remaining in the wild. The Suvial care for these creatures deeply and protect them just as fiercely. How or when their anti-common-Magic powers developed are unknown, but the fact that they have them has turned them into highly symbolic animals for the Suvial.
Territory and Groupings
Dirrin Reptiles once casually gathered in loose groupings called layabouts by the Suvial given their casual, quiet nature of just sitting around in the nature of the humid jungles of the Sundial Isles. Those in domesticated surroundings meanwhile are often grouped together on purpose and establish a pecking order, with the largest specimens eating first followed by those smaller than them. Most Suvial fix these issues by having different feeding troughs, but this is harder to accomplish in rural regions.
- Some wonder if the Dirrin might have ties to the mysterious Dragon Temple that sits at the heart of the Suvial capital of Sallatar, given the general understanding by some scholars of the anti-Exist and anti-Void stance of most Dragons, who instead favor Primal Magic.
- The Dirrin Reptile’s anti-Exist and Void power is so ingrained into their being that mounts have been seen to be directly hit in the face by Void-based Magic and not even so much as twitched in their charging course of action.
- The event of Dirrin Reptiles falling from the “sky” into the pits formed by Void-outs is often called a Dirrin Drop. The event is seen as tragic by the Suvial, especially given the sheer number that die when the weapon hits a major city, leaving behind thousands of Dirrin to fall to their deaths. On the opposing side, many Dread-loyal Kathar find the event hilarious.