|Official Name||Jungle Rhino|
|Common Nicknames||Jasskrellit Zezellona|
The Jungle Rhino is relatively unknown to the wider world despite its large size and role in the Sendrassian Civil War. It was a horrific tool of infanticide, used by both sides, which resulted in those populations on the Frzzsollona Peninsula being annihilated, and those nearby to flee from revenge carried out by the Void convert Allar at the end of the war. The animal is known for its bulky size, heavyweight and a single horn on the end of its snout. While rare to outsiders, with no specimens surviving off of Sendras for more than a few years, the animal is pursued for its valuable horn which is unique as it is not made of ivory, but keratin. However, given the vastness of Sendras, it is unlikely the animal will be hunted to extinction by the vengeful Void converts or nefarious poachers.
The Jungle Rhino has a surprisingly lacking history before the Sendrassian Civil War. Some believe this is due to the animal simply not existing in the region until that conflict, where they migrated into the region and found themselves caught up in the local conflict. Others believe that the animal’s lack alchemical ingredients meant that Al-Allar chroniclers simply did not mention the animal, as a purely “useless” animal to their society. Regardless of the region, it was during the time of the civil war that the animal saw the most widespread use and documentation. Initially, both sides thought to use the animal as a war mount. This proved unsuccessful, the animal resisting restraints and saddles. However, another use was soon found. A Cro-Allar general, Digmaan Krenzzell Jr’vrezz, observed when captured specimens of the animal accidentally crushed the eggs of a toppled Crú’áellë’ciádenӧ nest. His idea, rather insidious today in the eyes of most modern Allar, was to train the animal to crush the eggs of the enemy. Using fake eggs, painted Allar colors and the proper size, Sa-Allar keepers trained a number of Jungle Rhinos at the very far edge of his city. Later, he released them very near the enemy’s territory and was pleased to hear from a very disturbed captured soldier that a number of Allar eggs had been crushed.
However, the enemy learned what had been done and duplicated it. The records say the Digmaan resigned from the war the day he came into a destroyed hatchery of loyalist Allar eggs and saw his own work turned against him. The practice continued for two decades, until 33 BC. Ultimately, the loyalist Allar stopped using it at the urgings of the Soor-Rassa-Allar and other non-military castes, particularly the Sa-Allar. The enemy did not follow suit, and many Jungle Rhinos died attempting to reach and crush the eggs of the loyalist Allar. But near the end of the war, there seems to have been a radical shift in the treatment of the Void converts towards these mammals. Records claim loyalist Allar would come across brutally killed Jungle Rhinos on their scouting missions against the enemy, slaughtered by enemy blades. Many believe this might be from a horrible, though unknown instance, of Jungle Rhinos, accidentally rushing and crushing the eggs of the Void Allar. However, the details do not change the result. When the war ended, the Jungle Rhinos were significantly reduced in number, and many headed east, either on an ancient migration path or to escape the vengeance of the enemy. Today, the animal is prized by the outside world for its unique horn and little else, aside from perhaps the boasting rights of owning the various pieces of such an animal’s corpse. Any hunters would need to brave the jungles of Sendras to get it, and few do so. The animal is also recovering in numbers and likely will return to full levels within the next half a century.
The Jungle Rhino is a large, though low to the ground, mammal. It stands at five and a half to six and a half feet tall, ten to twelve feet long with weights ranging from 3000 to 4000 pounds. Their heads are long, with a large “beaked” mouth with a flap of skin hanging down from their upper lip. Their nostrils are found just above this lip. Their black eyes are small and found on either side of their head, with two large ears beneath that. The main feature of their face is their cranial horn, growing up from the top of the nose. These horns are greatly varied, but the majority are large, slightly curved and dull. They are also made of keratin, like that found in Human fingernails, which surprises many and certainly came as an annoyance to the first hunters who thought they had found a new source of ivory. They have a range of one to two feet in length and are naturally colored white but with age and time, slowly gather dust and moss to be various shades of off-white. Their heads are attached to their bodies by a thick neck, which is often joweled with either fat or by wrinkles in older age. The rest of their body is thick, with their four legs short but very muscled and clearly visible on the animal’s exterior, each with a wide three toed-foot. The body ends in a short, black-haired tail. The Jungle Rhino’s back and sides are covered in thick skin, which is clearly visible as it contrasts with the skin on their underbelly. The edges of this thick skin often possess minor “growth,” often plant-based, which they allow to exist. It is colored in a variety of patterns, with colors ranging from mud browns, dull greens, and dark greys. These tones are always two-tone, and three never appear on a single individual.
The Jungle Rhino had no obvious discernments between the sexes as males and females both have horns and can appear across their spectrum of physical sizes. As for their colorations, they are not inherited from the parents and are seemingly random.
Life Span and Development
The Jungle Rhino is live born as a single individual from their mother, with a flat white area that will one day be their horn, and a knobbled body build. However, they mature, age and grow rapidly. Within a year, a Jungle Rhino will have fleshed out their body and grown to half their adult size, beginning to develop their horn at the same time. Within half of the next year, they experience full maturity and have reached near, if not completely, their full size. Their minds also rapidly mature and follow the same pace. Once they have reached two years old, they are full adults and exist separate from their mother, who has cared for and protected them up until this point. The Jungle Rhino has no set mating season and can mate whenever two individuals of the opposite sex are interested. The Jungle Rhino can live for up to 40 years, but those who are captured rarely live a few months to a year from their removal from Sendras. The reason for this is unknown.
The Jungle Rhino is a rather docile creature, lacking in aggression or violent instincts. They are known for their great caring, as while a mother directly protects her child, the whole herd also helps foster and grow it, ensuring it eats and keeps pace with them all. Older Rhinos are often shown signs of respect and love by all in the herd, usually nuzzles and pats. Further information on the animal is limited due to their isolation, but while calm and relaxed, they are not stupid. When threatened, they will react. This is often seen in a bellow, alerting others nearby to the threat. The animal will often simply respond to the actions of their threat, but its general attack is similar to that of the horses it is a distance cousin of. It rears itself up before smashing downward but does also charge and throw its horned head up. While rarely sharp enough to pierce the flesh, they are capable of delivering terrible bruises due to their heavy head and broad horns. The animal also shows violence in one other way: control of the herd. This violence is far more subdued, and often of an almost ceremonial nature. When an alpha dies, a main challenger arises. If any want to challenge him, there is a verbal call made, and the two males will square off. This often involved headbutting and shoves, seemingly to end when one individual is on the ground or their back. The process continues until a winner emerges and the herd then goes back to its business, having gathered and watched the whole procedure.
Territory and Groupings
The Jungle Rhino lives in small herds of ten to twenty individuals, clustered in packs of three or four rarely ten miles away from each other. When a herd is too large, an individual may leave for another, but some packs have been known to purposefully half themselves and go their separate ways. They are a sedentary animal, but evidence shows that they have slowly been moving east along the wide region known as the Sendrassian coastline for the past 300 years. Their territory is very loose, and they freely mingle with others of their own kind and the other herbivorous wildlife of Sendras, particularly the Three Tusk Tuverophant whom they often live near. They mark their territory with their body waste, though such actions are not territorial in nature.
- Jungle Rhinos are most commonly hunted by the Songaskians, who use their fine white horns in artifacts for their sun temples.
- A famous Allar tale from the war speaks of a Sendrassian Long Maw Saurian being bested by a Jungle Rhino. It was aged and ignored by the larger creature, but as the predator moved over the Rhino to go after his fleeing herd, the Rhino headbutted up into the Long Maw, which supposedly sent it shrieking away, an ugly yellow-black bruise already forming.