|Official Name||Saltwater Snapper|
|Habitat||Waters of Hadaria, Sendrass and coastline of Teled Methen|
Long, with a savage toothy maw and an equally powerful tail, the Saltwater Snapper is a crocodile of large proportions and infamous reputation, known to inhabit the waters of Hadaria, Sendrass, and the coastline of Teled Methen. Known to be quick to temper and constantly hungry, Saltwater Snappers are symbols of ambition and ferocity but also of the Cro-Allar who share many features with these wild beasts.
Saltwater Snappers, despite the events of the Sendrassian Civil War, has always been well known among the Allar of Sendras. Some even revered it due to its physical similarities with the Cro-Allar. Despite this reverence, the Saltwater Snapper was a nuisance to many Allar coastal and river settlements before the Sendrassian Civil War, though often driven away rather than being killed due to their resemblance of Cro-Allar and their dangerous nature. After the civil war, Sendrassian Saltwater Snappers were kept largely unharmed, the majority of the Void converts ignoring their presence. At the same time that the Allar were engaged in all of this activity, residents of the Elven Empire were quite familiar with the Snapper themselves, having dealt with the creature in Teled Methen for all of their time there. It was certainly less welcome to them than it was to the Allar and were seen as a menace to all settlements along coastlines and several major rivers that fed out into the sea. The creatures were well known as ferocious beasts, capable of snapping small rowboats in twain; it was a bane to fishermen. These creatures were therefore not a welcome sight upon Elven explorations of Sendras over a thousand years before the Cataclysm and served as all the more reason for the Elves to never visit again, alongside the diseases and plagues of the jungle continent.
In Hadaria, the Saltwater Snappers were always an issue for Slizzar, occasionally attacking their settlements and homes. However, when the Allar arrived, they brought with them the same techniques they had used on Sendras and so helped reduce this risk. The Cataclysm, which it affected Hadaria little concerning geography, is suspected to have harmed Snapp populations due to an increase in volcanic activity, particularly in the Hadarian Archipelago. By the time of the Chrysant War, the population had reached a new peak and this only increased as their waters filled with new bodies of Allar, Slizzar, Humans, and near the end of the war, Maiar. However, alchemical pollutants from the conflict soon caused the spike of Snappers to fall as rapidly as it had risen. Today, the Saltwater Snapper is still a rare sight, where hunting from the Ailor and other races that are treading into their territories. Fishing and other such destructions of habitat in their habitats across Sendrass, Teled Methen, and Hadaria, causing their populations to remain at a steady low number, desire for their hides making them a prime target for hunters.
The thing that sets Saltwater Snappers apart from their fellow crocodilians is their size: the largest specimen ever recorded was twenty-two feet in length, though they tend to range more between twelve to sixteen feet. The animal also weighs an impressive 250 or more pounds, no doubt thanks to their rippling musculature, though are capable of being far heavier, if the individual has ample hunting grounds. Saltwater Snappers share their head with that of the Cro-Allar, albeit with significantly more teeth, that stick out from various places in the jaws. Topped with amber, slitted eyes their heads lack any visible ears, positioned at the front of their long bodies, where ridges of scales pop up from the neck to the tail. The Saltwater Snapper struggles to maneuver particularly well on dry land, often struggling to turn due to their large sizes. No doubt this awkward land movement is also thanks to their comparably short legs, with feet better suited for swimming than walking, let alone sprinting. Their skin is often of dark green complexion, rough and with incredibly thick scales that give them ample protection.
Female Saltwater Snappers are often substantially larger. Aside from this, very little separates the genders externally and even less separates the different populations of Saltwater Snappers, as most of them are either recently established or close enough to allow for essentially one population.
Lifespan and Development
Beginning life as an egg, the size of an Orc’s fist, surrounded by their kin in their eggs, a Saltwater Snappers beginning is a frantic race to maturity. Eggs are often buried in vertical pits, and, much like most crocodilians, sex is determined by the temperature of the developing organism, with those deeper in the pits coming out as males, while those closer to the comparatively cooler surface erupt as females. Upon hatching, it is not uncommon for larger or more mature individuals to eat their siblings, as only a few of the many eggs lain will make it to adolescence. Upon adolescence, not much differs until adulthood, other than the size of prey going up proportionately with their size.
Saltwater Snappers, unlike most people, would believe, are not the cunning, cold and calculating creatures. Alorians claim them to be, often falling more into the category of dumb brutes. A Saltwater Snapper cannot distinguish between a boat or a large fish, some even being cited to have attacked posts along beaches, perhaps assuming they were creatures visiting the shore. A Saltwater Snapper will, however, remember places that are particularly bountiful in food, and will often return to these areas in times of hunger. It would therefore to set up feeding grounds of Saltwater Snappers, though the risks may not necessarily outweigh the rewards of having the crocodilians guard the waters.
Territory and Groupings
Saltwater Snappers are not particularly territorial in behavior, capable of passively existing with other members of their species. Despite this, when particularly hungry they can resort to cannibalism, with extreme aggression being directed to other members of their species during these instances. For the most part, Saltwater Snappers can be seen bathing on the beaches of the regions they prowl, lined up, leisurely enjoying the sun and their full stomachs.
- Some pirate ships use Saltwater Snapper motifs to show their brutal nature, as a means to intimidate their peers and prey.
- Saltwater Snapper hide is considered incredibly valuable in the fashion world, a pair of gloves crafted from their hide would be seen as a luxury item only the most wealthy nobility could afford.