|Common Nicknames||Mesmer Horse|
A horse with a scaled body and serpentine head with a vile gaze, the Nerrilisk was only recently discovered by non-Slizzar. Strange in form, considering its rather non-reptilian proportions, the creature also has a strange power; when an individual is caught in its stare, they can no longer see the Nerrilisk or its rider. Perfect for the stealthy, manipulative Slizzar, the animal recently suffered a precipitous drop in population as a result of the anti-Naylar fervor that swept the Regalian Empire as a result of the Chrysant War, and the Allar’s own turn against their former allies. Rare, but likely still a common factor in Slizzar society, the Nerrilisk is an enigma with few questions having any solid answers.
The origin of the Nerrilisk is utterly shrouded in the mists of Slizzar history. When the creature came into being, where it was first found, or if any part of it was natural, to begin with, are lost concepts to the Race of spies, sneaks, and saboteurs. The creatures were first reported in roughly 150 AC, when a group of Altalar in what is now Narseth Charossa broke up a political scheme against the regional leadership by usurping forces. Among their number was a trio of Slizzar, and their fearsome animals. Given the intense vision of the strange reptilian horses, the Altalar names for the creatures evoked the fearsome Basilisk that was said to hold a similar hypnotic, freezing power with its gaze, though how the Nerrilisk could make one forget the existence of itself and its rider remained a mystery. Resistant to the touch of outsiders, the Slizzar ultimately escaped custody, fled on their steeds, and were not seen again. In the years since that time, further Nerrilisk were found in Slizzar possession, but as they vanished without a trace soon after, it took until the Chrysant War for them to be pinned down. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Essa Empire, the Regalian Empire learned some information about the creatures from supposedly authentic records recovered from the major city of Fuessa Huallo. They were said to be artificial creatures, formed through the use of Magic from the Slizzar and Alchemy by the Allar to craft a steed that would perfectly serve the interests of the Slizzar. Many suspect that Slizzar in the Regalian Archipelago so easily escaped from their many assassinations in the weeks following the end of the conflict thanks to the powers of the Nerrilisk. In the years since this event, few Nerrilisk has been sighted, which is no surprise, but many believe the new stock is being bred within the streets of Sassrakkand every year to replace those lost in the tumult of the fall of the Slizzar’s great state.
Nerrilisk represent a strange union of reptilian and mammal traits, though they are classified as a reptile due to certain physical features. The animal stands at just four and a half to five feet tall, with a relatively light weight of 200 to 300 pounds. Their heads are their most alien trait, being broad and serpentine with bright slitted yellow or red eyes, with the added trait of a small, black, limbal ring within. Their eyes are large, and their skulls are said to “adjust,” allowing them to snap and stare directly forward at something, or drift further apart. Their “brows” are thin, but rapidly furrow when the animal looks at another, and this intense, vile stare is considered to be the triggering mechanism for their unique ability. Any caught in this gaze immediately cannot see the rider or the beast itself, effectively blinding them to both danger or a fleeing perpetrator. Some tales say the power goes further, that it can erase the memory of the people who come into contact with it, but reports from guard forces over the years indicate this is not the case. The rest of their head only adds to their infernal appearance, with the end of their snout having sharp, square plates pointing upward, while their mouth has a long, dark purple tongue. Their necks are relatively short and smoothly connect to the rest of their bodies, sleek and short, sitting on four hooves legs, and ending in a short, pointed, reptilian tail. The animal’s body is covered in scales rather than hair and is often black blue or extremely dark purple. Their hooves, meanwhile, are always black.
Nerrilisk colorations seem somewhat random, not indicating their gender, or past parents, at least as far as non-Slizzar are aware. The animals apparently possess sexual dimorphism in that males are slightly bigger than females much of the time, but no further traits expand on this. Their gender ratio is unknown.
Life Span and Development
Nerrilisks have an unknown development cycle, with some believing them to be born alive while others claim they must be laid in an egg, like a true reptile. The Slizzar certainly aren’t revealing this truth to anyone, but young Nerrilisks were observed and killed during the Chrysant War, revealing themselves to be smaller copies of adults, with no further body features to indicate their adolescence. The lifespan of a Nerrilisk is similarly a mystery, but some suspect that they can live around sixty years due to recovered Allar papers referencing the creatures, and their death dates.
Nerrilisks are extremely loyal, fully domesticated, and unflinching servants of the Slizzar Race, believed by some to be connected on a deep level that few other Races and their steeds can match. The creature is best described as intense, capable of sudden harsh actions, be that its stare, its ease of suddenly changing direction, or its aggression against those not of its keeper Race. The only group they accept other than Slizzar is Allar, but this has diminished since the end of the Chrysant War. Further information on their mentality is masked by their silent presence in Slizzar society, and a lack of people observing them in their everyday lives.
Territory and Groupings
Nerrilisk seem to dwell wherever there are Slizzar capable of riding them, with tales being told of secret Slizzar rest-stops across Daen and the Regalian Archipelago that cater to Slizzar alone and their vile steeds. Nerrilisk seem to function alone, with no herds or groupings found except in paddocks and small grazing areas (though some insist the beasts must eat meat as well).
- Despite the papers providing information on the Nerrilisk being generally accepted in the Regalian intelligence community, some hold that the papers are filled with lies, and that the ancient city of Sassrakand made use of Nerrilisk imagery in ancient parts of the outer ring, disproving their more “recent emergence.”
- Whether the Nerrilisk and the Basilisk have any true connection is unknown, but it has been claimed by some that Slizzar riders in Daen easily pass through the Stone Forest where no one else dares to tread.