|Official Name||Sangunos Bat|
|Common Nicknames||Blood-drinking Bat, Flesh-ripping Flyer, Mazo Children|
|Habitat||Northern Daen, humid areas of Corontium|
The Sangunos Bat suffers from a very unfortunate connection to Vampirism, which has heavily defined its representation in urban legends and folklore of many Alorian Races. The creatures mainly persist through the drinking of blood, though rarely make Humans or other Races their targets, instead focusing on livestock and other animals in and around their colonies. The creatures, because of this fact and greater superstitions around bats overall, are vilified by society, and their numbers have been rendered small through concerted efforts against them and their kind despite not being related to the Vampires at all.
Sangunos Bat, while believed by many to have a history exclusively linked to that of Vampires, is actually an ancient creature. While information is sparse, the creatures were perhaps known to the Asha during the time of their great Dewamenet Empire, given sparse bat iconography seemingly depicting the Sangunos species. Centuries later, the first Altalar reports of the creatures emerged, and they were highly unflattering. They saw the creatures as a direct pest upon their livestock and reported large members of the species causing chaos among smaller domesticated animals like chickens. However, these reports ultimately led to the discovery of the Mazo, a sentient Race of chiropteran creatures from what is now called the Alexandros Mountain Chain. For a brief time, the Sangunos Bat was confused as perhaps being the babies of this group, or being a cousin, but the Altalar eventually determined them to be wholly different. The Sangunos Bat remained ignored, and mainly an issue dealt with by slaves, but following the enslavement and extinction of the Mazo, fears of giant, flesh, and blood-eating bats spread throughout the slave populations of the Allorn Empire. While some knew these tales to be false, the fears were fueled by tales coming from what is now Ithania and the tropical regions of Corontium, where “attacks” by the species on sleeping animals and slaves left their clear mark.
But when the Cataclysm came, the animals were truly, finally, vilified. It took several decades, but tales of beings who drank blood and enslaved those under their control led to the Sangunos Bat being both tied to the Vampires in name, and in reputation. They were considered servants of the dark Affliction and tales of huge, mutated bats that drank blood (likely tales of Drowda Vas Pirions or Void-mutated bats) did nothing to stop these beliefs. It took until 200 AC, when some Sangunos Bats were properly studied by logic-focused scholars, for the animal’s true nature to be discovered. They were not the servants of Vampires, and while they drank blood and ate portions of flesh, the amount was minuscule, and the creatures were actually unique for their communal focus. Despite these efforts, the urban legends of the species continued, and even increased in 240 AC, following their jump to southern areas of the Regalian Archipelago due to trade lanes established in tropical Corontium solidifying. Today, the animal continues to inspire fear and is perhaps the species most at risk of destruction by human hands. Vampires, for their part, have largely come to embrace bat iconography, and while, overall, Sangunos Bats themselves cannot be tamed, special Vampire powers have been known to call the creatures into their service or develop a relationship with individuals of the species. This has done nothing to help the animal’s perceptions, and they continued to largely be vilified.
Sangunos Bats are unique for a number of reasons, especially when compared to the Fruger-Volador. They have uniformity in size, reaching five inches long, with a wingspan of around ten inches wide. Their heads are small, featuring a short, conical muzzle without a nose leaf, the strange formation that appears on most other bats. Instead, its muzzle has a bare, pink pad that exists in a U shape. The animal’s mouth just below this is small, but clearly displays their characteristic feature, sharp white incisors, and canines, while the rest of their head is finished off by two small black eyes, and small, triangular ears. The rest of their bodies is dominated by their wings, which wrap around them or sit at their sides while not in use. However, unlike other bats who have largely abandoned the ability to walk with any skill, the Sangunos Bat possesses this ability, their large membraned wings ending at a tail, and a pair of short, black-clawed feet that help facilitate this. Their bodies are dominated by the color black, which exists on their backs, in their membranes, and faces. However, their undersides get gradually lighter as they age, reaching a faint discoloration of grey by the end of their lives.
Sangunos Bats possess sexual dimorphism, with females noticeably smaller than males, while the gender ratio is slightly skewed toward females as well.
Life Span and Development
Sangunos Bats are born as singular pups from their mother resting upside down. The pup has fully dark skin and relies on their mother during their early years, but unlike other species of bats, this lasts considerably longer. Pups stay with their mothers, unable to free for as much as two months, their bodies slow to develop before they are capable of flight. They then actively accompany their mother in hunting, and similarly roost with her, though they are only weaned off what she can provide at nine months. After a year, males will usually separate, sometimes being driven out by other males, while females will keep with the colony. The species can live for up to nine years.
Sangunos Bats, due to a great deal of scrutiny paid to them, have all sorts of wild myths and stories about their nature and activities. However, others who have observed the animals with a more scholarly mindset have learned much of their actual mentality, which is a surprisingly caring, and mutually dependable one. Females are doting with their pups, but the overall species is also communal in their activities. They share food sources, not just on the ground with as many as five Sangunos attaching themselves to a single sleeping feeding victim (most commonly cattle), but also in sharing their food through regurgitation back in the colony. The creatures primarily feed on blood, drinking within the first few hours after emerging for the hunt, and then spending the rest of the time digesting. However, when they bite, they also tend to take a chunk out of their victim’s skin, though that is a secondary, less important meal to them. The species is also featured around large, aggressive males defending both themselves, their mates, and the colony, as the species is polygynous with several females being attached to a dominant male. These dominant males will dive-bomb threats, and actually scratch or bite at a threat, all while emitting their telltale screams and echolocation to both scare and properly maneuver.
Territory and Groupings
Sangunos Bats exist in large colonies that often dwell within caves and other underground spaces, with trees and structures being secondary. Their colonies can reach into the hundreds, if not thousands, of members, being dominated by a cabal of dominant males with several females close by for procreation and mutual care. Lesser males lack such dependencies, though still exist within the colony as lesser defenders. Sunguno Bats are also capable of roosting with other bat species, combining their colonies together for effective, multi-layered protection. They often set up near open plains and fields, given that is usually where their victims lay dormant.
- Many suspect that the Drowda Vas Pirion is a Void-mutated variety of this bat species, given their similar focus on blood.
- Tales exist from the Great Vampire Wars of large bats that served as mounts for certain Vampires and even were said to be the size of small Dragons. These were largely considered myths until reports emerged from Ithania in 205 AC of a mummified giant bat carcass the size of a man being semi-worshiped by a Vampire coven in the northwest of the continent.