|Official Name||Marrack Ravager|
|Common Nicknames||Sanra Lizard|
Marrack Ravagers are savage reptiles of violence and bloodlust that were tamed generations ago by the Kathar. Now their chief Mounts for conflict, the creatures are distinctive and recognized by many other Races on sight. Ravagers are unique not just for their love of blood and carnage, but also for possessing a small third eye upon their heads that serves an extra-sensory function. They are also known for their insanely long tails, reaching nearly twice as long as their stout bodies.
The Marrack Ravager has an uncertain history, shrouded by the rise of Void cults in the Allorn Empire and the Kathar they eventually became. A common myth, perhaps apocryphal or accurate, speaks of Zannar the Zealous. Who he was, if he truly lived, has been lost to time and the many myths ascribed to him. He is commonly held as one of the first to contact the Void, and later, one of the first to transform into a Kathar though the span of time involved makes this impossible. Still, Zannar is said to have been called by the Prefect of War to a location off the coastline of Teled Varren, in a region most now believe refer to the once Sunbright Isles, and are now the Shadow Isles. There, “He beheld the ravaging reptoid of war, of sacrifice, of change and necessary pain. And they fed upon His blood and flesh, the Madness He inspired surged great thoughts in their minds. And so upon His reformation from remains, full of new knowledge, did they join with Him and all Kathar.” Poetics aside, what most modern, non-Kathar scholars draw from this story is that millennia ago, a Void cultist traveled to an unknown region of the Sunbright Isles, located an isolated group of reptiles, and sought to tame them, in which he ultimately succeeded. There exists further debate if the Void was also used to enhance and enlarge the Marrack Ravager into the creature it is today, but this is also ultimately unknown. Marrack Ravagers were also apparently not viewed until after the Cataclysm, but due to the fragmented end of the Allorn Empire, this might be false information. What is certain though, is that when the Dread Empire emerged following the devastation of the world, and began their warfare against the Sendrassian Allar, Suvial and others, Kathar warriors rode many beasts, the Marrack Ravager chief among them. The animal has remained common in Kathar circles, even among those who have settled in the Regalian Archipelago, and was more recently on display during the Dread War. The reptiles earned a fearsome reputation that has continued until today, and will likely retain it going forward.
Marrack Ravagers sit between twelve and thirteen feet long, with a weight of 300 to 500 pounds. Their heads have a long, pointed snout with the nostrils higher than those seen on other reptiles. They have two large, slitted eyes but also a third eye resting at the top of their head, known as a parietal eye. This is not a result of any Mutations, but a natural feature seen rarely in amphibians and reptiles, used to serve a range of extrasensory functions. This small eye is a pale gray, as opposed to the other eyes which are a range of warm colors. Marrack Ravagers have broad mouths with many teeth, as well as some minor cresting on their face with sections of dense scales. They have a flexible but strong neck, allowing for a rapid reversal of direction, and a thick, short body standing on four, short but sturdy legs. Each is tipped by a thick foot with four long toes tipped with sharp, shredding claws. Their body is ultimately short, and ends in their exceeding long, whip-like tail that narrows to an absurdly thin point, and keeps going for several more inches without any bones. The ratio of this tail is somewhat baffling to view, as it can reach as much as two-thirds of the animal’s size. Marrack Ravagers are covered in dark-toned scales, commonly black and shades of gray with a lighter tone on the underbelly of the body, but also sometimes deep reds, purples, or browns.
Marrack Ravagers lack sexual dimorphism, with males and females appearing identical. There is a difference in gender ratio however, with males favored over females.
Life Span and Development
Marrack Ravagers are born in clutches of oblong, beige-with-red-speckled eggs numbering between ten and twenty. Such high numbers are often weeded down by Kathar practices and, when the young have first emerged, the seeming barbaric choice of their mother to kill the weakest few of the group, should any gain such an ire from her. The Ravagers are thus fed the blood of others from a young age, and this preference for blood continues for years to come. Marrack Ravagers upon first emergence are always black, with half-closed eyes unable to fully process light. Their third eye is also not yet formed, making them easy prey. A mother Ravager, after her culling, is ultimately dotting on those babies remaining, and over the coming weeks to months, will ensure they are fed with bloody, raw meats. This sometimes takes the form of outright lashing, or biting at, Kathar or slave caretakers if they are taking too long or are not moving with speed. Some Ravagers even outright kill such people, and feed them to her children, if they have been starved or are in a particularly bad mood (usually as a result of an offspring unexpectedly dying of a disease or some other incident).
Marrack Ravagers mature quickly, their eyes rapidly opening at three days, and by the age of three months, they have begun to develop their parietal eye, alongside a larger, adolescent body. Over the coming months, they continue to grow, reaching a teenager stage by their first year, at which point the mother will leave them be, and actively ignore them, even attacking them, should she somehow be found and bothered. Another two years see a Ravager enter adulthood, at which point the clutch that remains is put with others. Once their mother has left them, Kathar animal tamers and their slaves will step in to take care of Ravagers, and also begin training them for their eventual purpose of being ridden for combat, and get them used to wearing lightweight armors. Marrack Ravagers can live for up to seventy years, but many die well before then, even after the culling of the egg clutch.
Marrack Ravagers are commonly said to be sadistic, violent, and savage creatures, and these are all accurate traits unfortunately. There is no hidden complexity with these animals, for seemingly either due to the Kathar’s longtime manipulations, whatever ancient lives they lived before the Kathar found them, or a vile blessing from one or many of the various blood-soaked gods of the Kathar Race, the Marrack Ravagers are vicious. They seek blood in combat constantly, the spilling of it in their presence of great pleasure, and it will drive their energetic movements throughout the field. They will feast on the dead and dying, aiming for spots that provide the most blood, and are known to enter a state called the Madness, where they will indulge themselves in this practice until they nearly collapse with exhaustion. This might be a problem for the Kathar, but they are experts at diverting their Mounts away from such situations, and only allowing them to enter the Madness when a battlefield is well and truly taken, or when a burst of savagery is ideal. The Kathar also have a singular, powerful tool at their disposal to reign in this situation: the Bell of Control. When rung, any Ravager in the Madness will snap from their condition, and obedience is immediate. This allows Kathar forces to rapidly reform their units after a battle, and proceed onward. Ravagers are fairly unsocial among their own kind, but are known to bathe one another. However, this is not always for the care of their scales, and instead is often done to clean the dried blood from another’s form which cannot be reached. This is something commonly allowed by males with females for the preference or favor of a female Ravager.
Territory and Groupings
The Marrack Ravager was domesticated fully by the Kathar millennia ago, and so live in the great cities of the Kathar, their hidden hideaways across the world, or the more moderate settlements in those areas less overtly-hostile Kathar live. Their pens are called Marrack Mazes due to a series of interlocking chambers and maze-like conditions for those creatures kept within the structure, with gates and walls that will shift to change spaces in tests of Ravager intelligence. The large lizards have a social hierarchy dominated by females, their lives privileged, free of the fights which often break out between males closer to the mating season, as they jockey for the attention and “prestige” of a female’s notice. However, there are rare cases where a male is so attractive to a female that one or more of them will scuffle for the chance at mating. These sights are usually watched on silently by the somewhat stunned male populace, and with bemusement by the creature’s caretakers, high above, through narrow slots carved into the ceiling into large corridors, done this way to avoid creating any interference during this process. Despite this combative nature, Marrack Ravagers are taught very well, and in a military setting, rarely get aggressive with one another.
- Marrack Ravager eggs are a delicacy enjoyed by many Kathar, but are also a fairly frequent sacrifice able to be acquired by many in their society. Oddly though, Marrack meat is not popular, said to taste “odd”, and only really eaten by the truly eccentric, or those lacking tongues and taste altogether. It is also sometimes fed to other animals.
- The third eye of a Marrack Ravager tends to get coated in blood during their savage methods of fighting, but has developed a unique method of clearing this substance from itself by watering, “flexing” the scales around the eye, and ultimately pushing away the blood.
- Marrack Ravagers are always the Mount of choice for followers of Qarrakh, the Flesh Hunter. Additionally, while he is commonly shown as a flayed Centaur, a small cluster of Marrack Ravagers are sometimes shown to be following him in Kathar art, to drink from his kills and grow their own strength. This imagery is ultimately contradictory, and suggests an oddly parasitic nature for the creatures.