|Habitat||Oceans of the south and west|
The Mossassarios is a huge marine reptile, capable of deep dives into the depths of the southern and western seas in the pursuit of its favored food and other prey. This creature often uses brute force when hunting, and by the end of their long lives, have earned many wrinkles and scars as signs of their great age and power in the hostile Oceans of Aloria. It has been observed for centuries by some of the oldest Races in Aloria, yet details of its life and actions remain shrouded by those same depths it hunts in.
The Mossassarios were supposedly first identified by the Allorn Empire around 2000 BC, as Fin’ullen exploration of Aloria’s Southern Bodies brought them into contact with many new aquatic species, eventually finding them in the ÄWest Cross Ocean. However, the Allar claim that members of their aquatic subraces first discovered the creatures in an ancient time without a date, but certainly before Teledden slavers reached the shores of Sendras. Regardless, by 1000 BC, a number of groups were aware of the Mossassarios. Fin’ullen tales spoke of them as servants of Morrlond, whales made fierce and dark, while among the Allar the beast was seen as a monster of the ocean worthy of worship and respect. Surprisingly, the Slizzar also knew of this marine animal], who viewed it as something to enslave after the Deep Sea Serpents were fully subjugated, while the eventual Minoor came to know the Mossassarios as a spawn of the Deva-Anlon, a servant of its evil. Since then, the Mossassarios has gone relatively undisturbed, though it has been observed more and its nature is better understood. The reason it has played such a minor role in modern history is due to their nature as an apex underwater predator, rarely surfacing or appearing in shallow water except in unique circumstances. Their fearsome reputation remains high, though largely as that of a mythical creature or a tall tale, with more common “threats” such as sharks occupying the mind of Aloria’s most populous Races instead.
The Mossassarios is a brutish creature with a huge form, reaching anywhere between thirty and forty-five feet in length, a width of some ten feet, and weights clearing a ton. Its head features a long, crocodilian snout with a tooth-dense mouth and a pair of small, black, forward-facing eyes. Their large heads are connected to their thick bodies with an equally thick neck, with noticeable wrinkles in the joint area. Their bodies are propelled through the water by huge “fins,” featuring the ghost of a hand with digits spread across the broad flipper-like membrane. The animal’s form has significant bulk around the front pair of limbs, which have a curve to them like fish and marine mammals, while the smaller, rear pair have a more uniform rounded appearance. The Mossassarios ends in a long, vertically flat tail, with a single fin protruding from the top close to the animal’s tapered end. Mossassarios skin is smooth in areas like their backside and tail, but rough around the head, underside and limbs. Notably, the animal lacks scales despite its reptilian features. Their colorations are various and feature shades of blue, green and brown, with an underbelly and face markings having a pure white or pale gray coloration.
Mossassarios diversity is hard to ascertain as, despite being long known to many of Aloria’s oldest and most well known Races, active engagement is slim due to how dangerous the animal is. Males are generally seen to be larger than females, but this may be a flawed dichotomy. The gender population also appears to favor males by a slight margin. The only true definition of diversity within the Mossassarios are their neck joint wrinkles. Older members of the species will have many, while younger ones will have far fewer, the same being true of scars in most cases due to the animal’s need to tangle with creatures like the Moloq or other beasts less known to Alorians.
Lifespan and Development
Mossassarios births and life development are murky to understand. It is generally believed that female Mossassarios give birth to a single offspring, with rare instances of twins observed. They do this in shallow water, with the baby emerging as a miniature version of their parents, and they will, for a time, be looked after by the other. By the six month mark, the mother will actively abandon their offspring to return to deeper waters, while the youth left behind will start to grow in earnest. By the age of three, they have reached their adult size and maturity, but will have to compete with older members of their species for mating rights during the season. Severe attacks on young Mossassarios by others of their kind are not uncommon during this time, and females tend to only mate with older, more powerful Mossassarios. Still, their vast spread means that sometimes, the only male and female for miles will find each other suitable. The marine reptile’s lifespan is unknown but is believed to be between fifty and perhaps a hundred years.
The mentality of the Mossassarios is one of savage determination. They lack complex thinking patterns, but are still intelligent predators. However, this intelligence seems to dull with age. While younger Mossassarios have flexibility and often swim swiftly in calculating hunts to target specific prey that might make up a favorite meal, full grown adults are much more haphazard, targeting groups of smaller creatures, and single, larger targets when the need for feeding arises. They also lack the acrobatic skills of their youth, instead relying far more on their tremendous matured strength and crushing jaws to grip, shock and rip at prey. Oddly enough, Mossassarios do not seem to care much for boats. The few instances of attacks on large cargo or fishing vessels just pulled in a haul likely attracted the Mossassarios, most suspect.
Territory and Groupings
Mossassarios are generally solitary creatures, with adults existing separate from other members of the species. During the mating season, however, they will often congregate at so-called “Cradles.” Younger Mossassarios are known to partner up into small groups of two to five members, but these never last long. They possess a sense of territory, but can travel far over the course of their decades of life. The waters they occupy are broad, stretching across both of the Southern Bodies and the singular named expanse of the Western Bodies.
- Some tricky yet savvy merchants sell Mossassarios bones as Dragon bones.
- Mossassarios are often visualized as being coated in scales rather than skin in artwork, to further lend connections to the scaled creatures of the sea like serpents and fish.