|Common Nicknames||Northern Impossible|
|Habitat||Waterways of southern Drowda|
The Platus is a unique creature native to Drowda, famous for its combination of various mammalian and non-mammalian features. The Platus features a body similar to that of the Anglian Beaver, but it is combined with almost avian and reptilian features. Having lived since before the Cataclysm, the Platus remains largely unchanged in their base form, but has been mutated largely by the Exist since that time. The Platus is mostly friendly, if a bit skittish, towards the native Sihndar. Today the Platus largely exists as a curiosity, often mistaken for a monstrosity of the north despite its friendly disposition.
Before the Cataclysm, the Platus was already known to the Altalar and Drovv, but only as a minority oddity at the borders of their lands. In the past, the Altalar had sought the creature out and returned it back to their great cities in Daen as a menagerie animal, though time drew the Altalar to other diversions. However, it also seems as though the local Thylan, semi-sentient and long residents of the same terrain, also knew of the creature, as their art even today shows crude imagery of the Platus within any source of water, perhaps to indicate it as that substance. Surprising to many today, during this ancient time, the Platus existed very much in its current form with its odd features. However, when the Cataclysm took place, they vanished for a number of years, only emerging on Drowda around 100 AC when southern Sihndar uncovered their dwelling places. The Platus during that time seemed to have been mutated largely by the Exist, possessing dulled and muted varieties of some Lavvanya Mutations. Ever since, they have existed peacefully alongside the people of Drowda. They act as a sort-of playmate to many Sihndar children, having not been made aggressive by the essences that mutated it. Word of the Platus has also spread to Regalia, and while many questioned its existence at first, evidence provided by pelts and even a live specimen changed Ailor minds. As a result, the creature has also gripped the mind of many a Regalian child, specifically in literature, while the Ailor hunting community sees the animal as a highly valuable prize to be bagged.
The Platus ranges from a foot to a foot-and-a-half in length with a height of eight inches at the most. Their heads include the first of their unique features; a leathery, flat, duck-like beak at the front of their face. This bill seems to have strong senses, as the Platus notably closes its small silvery-blue eyes underwater and appears to navigate based on smell or something similar considering that the bill leads their actions. A short, well built neck connects the head to the Platus’ body, which is similar to that of a standard beaver. It possesses a flat, fur-covered tail, and a swimming body, though its feet on all four short limbs are webbed claws. Both male and female Platuses possess barbs behind their hind legs, though only in males are these barbs venomous. The venom of the Platus is painful and induces an unconscious state within minutes. The effect lasts up to 24 hours in the weak, frail or young, but can be undone through the use of certain alchemical substances. The animal’s body is covered in a layer of pale fur, ranging in coloration from pale-blue to teal. When the animal is calm, this fur appears to flow, meaning that even when fully on dry land they appear unearthly. The fur even maintains this ability after the creature’s death, making it a curiosity item for many Ailor and other Races.
The Platus is unique in that it can possess, in any combination, certain Exist-based mutations on top of its additional curious form. Examples are the appearance of short, white feathers tufting from their shoulders, green eyes rather than milky blue ones, pearlescent-white fur, and metallic-toned Silver or Gold bills and webbed feet. In addition to these unique physical traits, males are often longer than females and also tend to have brighter visual colors in addition to more commonly possessing mutations.
Life Span and Development
Another unique trait of the Platus is that despite being a mammal, the female Platus lays eggs instead of producing liveborn babies. The eggs the creature lays are metallic silver and gold in color with black speckles, but are very soft-shelled despite their appearance. They are laid in numbers of one to five, and are generally only a few inches large. When they first emerge, baby Platuses are bald with silvery-grey skin. Within two to three weeks, the animal develops its coat and essentially becomes a miniaturized version of its parents in how it appears, though it can have different mutations than them. Platus lifespans are unknown, with Sihndar myth claiming them to be immortal. However, others estimate that the creatures can live only thirty years, basing their guesses on ancient Altalar writings.
The Platus is a friendly creature, though very shy and skittish. The Sihndar, especially young Sihndar, love to swim with the Platus as their territory extends over areas belonging to the Tribes of Gladrin and Ma’ella. However, the Platus often just wishes to be left alone, and usually flees if too many people approach it. The male Platus can be aggressive during mating season and are more likely to use their venomous barbs, though outside of this time, they only use their barbs on predators. The Platus seems fairly intelligent and highly socially developed, most obviously seen in their complex system of communication. They use a series of clicks and pheromones they release into the water to indicate ideas to their own kind, like where food can be found and warning of danger. The Platus seems to care for other individuals of its species despite it being largely a solitary animal.
Territory and Groupings
The Platus lives in the southern region of Drowda, swimming in various freshwater waterways. They do not seem to avoid the Sihndar Holds. The Platus is primarily “solitary”, though this is sometimes seen as a fallacy. They are caring to one another, and so loosely follow after one another in their movements, producing small clusters of physical distant Platuses who move as one. When two individuals meet face to face, they tend to play with each other, though during the mating season such interactions cease.
- Many scholars debate the plural of Platus. Some say the plural should be Platuses, while others say Plati, and others yet say it is simply Platus.
- Why the Platus only receives mutations from the Exist is largely unknown. There exist rumors that some Platus species exist deeper inside Drowda, tainted by the Void to be more aggressive. However, these rumors have yet to be confirmed.