|Official Name||Jaded Roo|
|Common Nicknames||Malicious Marsup|
The Jaded Roo was a large marsupial well known to the Drovv and Cult of Dronnal in Drowda. A curious animal for its size and capability to hop quickly across the local plains, the Jaded Roo was also perpetually seen as an aggressive animal. Patches of black fur above its large eyes gave it a look of constant annoyance though the animal only lashed out with kicks or swipes in the mating season or when members of their “mobs” (the term assigned to groups of the animal) were threatened. Ultimately, they were rendered extinct by a combination of the explosion of ice and snow from Ellador that followed the birth of the Isldar which froze large portions of their homeland, followed by the devastation wrought by the Fifth Void Invasion and the Cataclysm.
The Jaded Roo had a long history in the lands of the Drovv before the arrival of the Altalar. Like the local Thylan, they existed in temperate wilds, largely bouncing across great open plains and thin forests, and were only occasionally hunted by the ancient Race which called the region their home. At the arrival of the Altalar, unlike the Thylan, the outright aggressive look of the animal, along with their bizarre appearance, kept many hunters or seekers of animals away, at least for the majority of the Allorn Empire. When at last, the Altalar did express an interest in the creatures, their numbers were able to remain steady. In fact, for many of the Cult of Dronnal, their later fate seemed almost impossible as the Jaded Roo was one of the most widespread of all Drowdan fauna. However, unlike those around them, the marsupial proved unable to adapt. First, there came the sudden temperature drop at the birth of the Isldar in Ellador, their unknown spell spelling doom not just for the nearby Dwarven armies, but also for many other creatures like the Roo. Some were frozen solid, encased in unnaturally forming ice, while many more starved as local plants wilted and died. However, some Jaded Roos lived on, keeping close to Drovv agriculture and existing at the species furthest reach from their ancient plains. But, these population ended up sharing the same fate as the Drovv less than a century later when the Veil tore open, and the Void poured out. It is unknown if the animal was mutated and became a servant of the Demon hordes, but it is certain is that by the birth of the Sihndar, there were virtually no Jaded Roos left in all of Drowda. Scattered tales existed of lone members of the species, or small family groups being found by early Sihndarin scouts, but by 100 AC, the animal was gone. No sightings have taken place in 200 years, with the other sign of the animal being their bones and, in Jorrhildr, their forms frozen solid in ice. They are a distant curiosity for many, and serve as one of the more well-known instances of extinction at the hands of arcane powers.
The Jaded Roo was a curiously constructed creature, even for a marsupial. Their “height” varied greatly depending on their position with their most consistent measurements being their length (five to six feet long) and weight (70 to 150 pounds). The Roo’s head walong and narrow, shaped somewhat like a more delicate breed of cervid (hence its designations to many today as a “hopping deer”). However, its large black eyes, black snouts, and prominent large furred ears marked it as something different than those animals. The rest of their body drew the most attention. It possessed a pair of large and very well designed back legs which it used to bound forward at a startling speed. When doing this, the animal bent forward almost to the ground, pulling its smaller front limbs up out of the way while its head stuck out forward. These smaller limbs were capable of supporting the animal’s weight. When not standing upright on its large feet, it bent forward and was slowly moving. Those front feet had small hands with black blunted claws while the back feet had similar claws in a very different configuration designed to help them in their bounding technique. Their bodies ended in a long hairy tail. Their bodies were covered in fur, with males possessing a more reddish tone while females were shades of grey. They did not have a differently colored underbelly (though they did as joeys), instead, having a paler shade to their normal fur. The animal’s name of “jaded” also comes from their fur coloration as no matter gender or age, two black patches of downward standing fur existed above their eyes, giving them a perpetually cross look.
The Jaded Roo possessed a stark sexual dimorphism. Males were always larger than females once they had matured, both in weight and in height. In addition, male fur had a red tinge to it while female fur existed as a variety of grey tones. Females were additionally distinguishable due to possessing an upward facing pouch for their young.
Life Span and Development
The Jaded Roo had an interesting development cycle. Females never gave birth to more than two joeys at a time though they could have as many as three, all at different stages of their childhood, at once. When they were born, they existed within the pouch and lived there for at least three months, slowly growing in size as they fed on their mother’s milk. After this stage, they started to properly develop hair and the female then allowed a new child into her pouch if she so wished it. After another three months, the joey began to stick its head out of its mother’s pouch, beginning its exploration of the world. Soon after this, it would fully leave the pouch and begin to grow up alongside her, though it could re-enter the pouch with a nuzzle. During this time, the youth would drastically strengthen its legs, unused within the pouch. By the age of two, it had fully matured both physically and mentally into an adult and properly joined the mob of Jaded Roos it grew up in. The Jaded Roo could live for up to twenty years. They were also one of the few clear examples of naturally developing blindness in the elderly of the animal kingdom. While overall rare, some Roos were unable to see in their final years or months, resulting in them relying on their nose and others in their mob to guide them to grass.
Jaded Roos were surprisingly non-aggressive creatures, despite their perpetually angry faces. This does not mean though, that they did not fight. The mating season often produced male on male competition, especially between the largest males, simply for the expression of dominance. In these fights, males usually locked their upper limbs and used their powerful legs to kick each other, wrestling. A Jaded Roo kick has also been said to have been “powerful enough to knock out an Eronidas” by modern Sihndar who keep the tales of such creatures alive, even if Roos never met any Eronidas. Such confrontation with the Races though, were rare, as mobs of Roos were more likely to retreat upon being approached by a larger presence like that of Aloria’s Races. When it did happen though, it was usually in defense of joeys, the older members of a mob or because a male felt his dominance was being tested during the mating season. They did not kick chasing predators, preferring to outright flee, and only kicked as a last resort in those scenarios. Jaded Roos were highly caring individuals with regards to their joeys and the older members of their mobs (who were labeled as such after living past the age of fifteen), especially if said individual was blind.
Territory and Groupings
Jaded Roos existed in mobs which number anywhere between twenty to forty members. They were nomadic, moving across the open grass plains and brushland of The North Belt in and around Drowda. Mobs rarely met on purpose, though the mating season usually saw males leaving their original mob, sometimes to join another, which they were accepted into after a brief examination by several members of the new mob.
- There exist scattered tales of similar hopping marsupials native to Essalonia, but that land is mired in conflict and mystery, so it is unlikely the truth in these claims will be determined anytime soon.