|Common Nicknames||Winged Serpents, Angin-zamrud|
|Habitat||Skies of Hadaria|
Satraps are beautiful sky serpents with two sets of feathered wings, which let them glide through the air and carry their passengers or load effectively. They have long been close to the Allar Race, the species splitting into two varieties after the conflict in Sendrass drove the losing faction to the tropical islands of Hadar. The Allar, with the help of the Slizzar, have helped to foster the population of Hadarian Satraps into a powerful Mount for use by those two Races, but only for those with great skills and the full trust of their home city or village. Satraps are also known to be able to shoot precise sprays of water from their beaks after swallowing and storing a set amount of the liquid.
The ancient history of the Allar is well tied to that of the Satrap. A beautiful titan of the air, the large serpent was also a predator of smaller forms of life which were darkened beneath its four powerful wings. It is believed by many that the Satrap were likely created by the Dragons to serve as their direct servants in the south. Who they served is a matter of some debate, but it mattered little to the Allar. The creature became a feature in their artworks and culture overall, with several myths telling the story of the first Satrap to be tamed by an Allar. Some say it was a great warlord who, after felling a mother Satrap, took and raised her eggs to serve him. Others suggest a humble, nimble commoner Allar made use of alchemy to entrance and train a Satrap youth, until he was able to mount the animal and ride it against the savage Sendrassian jungle beast harassing his home village. Regardless of when it happened, it was sometime early into the Race’s history. By the period of the civil war that ripped Sendrass apart, a number of Satraps were tamed by both sides, and battled in the air as well as on the ground. This event reduced their numbers, but some did survive in the migration to the tropical islands of Hadar.
It is here where the Hadarian Satrap became a distinct entity from those of Sendrass. While the Cataclysm was a setback to the Allar of the region, and Satrap populations suffered as the disaster caused the eruption of volcanoes, the animal is said to have been one of the first to land on the freshly created islands of the disastrous world event. Their forms grew sleeker and entirely cared for by their keepers, they lost the edge as master predators of the air. Instead, they became beautiful symbols and icons of respect among the Allar, one of several living memories of the old homeland which none could return to. Despite this, they were still mounted and used in small local conflicts, and many were flown into the Chrysant War in attacks against the Regalian Navy. While some of these attacks proved effective, the Satrap’s lack of familiarity with gunpowder, crossbows and the rigors of conflict saw these attacks drastically reduced by the end of the war. The Satrap again entered a period of recovery, one it remains in to this day.
Satraps are largely reptilian creatures, but do have some odd avian features which mark them as unique. They are also massive when fully grown, but such a thing takes upwards of two centuries. Instead, the vast majority are smaller, between ten to twenty feet in length, three to four feet in width, with a wingspan of between six to eight feet, and varying weights to this complex body plan. The animal’s head features a blunted beak with a slight downward curve, built around a broad mouth in which rests a pair of fangs and a short forked tongue. The animal’s eyes sit above the tail-end of the beak, and behind these are two halves of a “feathered mane.” Divided in the middle along the top and underside of the serpent, each side has nine long, wide, and rigid plumes which can be retracted and pushed outward by the Satrap at will. The rest of their body begins behind these two half-manes; a long, winding body which eventually ends in a point. However, they also possess wings, one set shortly after the head, and another a third of the way down their body. These wings each feature a solid, scaly limb which reaches down to the phalanx area of the wing, before the feathered structure continues onward. A series of uniform plates with a small pair of spikes rest on the animal’s “back” and curl slightly onto the sides. These plates proceed down most of their form, but end about two or three feet from the pointing of the tail. There, a narrow, thick, tough dark point exists, though a small cluster of short feathers plume from the very end. Their underside is scaly and smooth in contrast.
The diversity of the Satrap is now well recorded, as for a long time, the only remembered, and available species, was the Hadarian Satrap which was taken as the standard. Its color palette often has dominant tones of blues, greens, yellows and browns, with rarer colors of all white or black. Their beaks are commonly dull yellow or brown, while their eyes are often pale purple, with pale blue a rare, but possible, occurrence. Sendrassian Satraps, meanwhile, are of a far fiercer appearance. Dark purples, black, and scarlet red are common across their bodies and beaks, while their eyes are often corrupted by the Void with a wide range of altered appearances. However, both subspecies have brilliant red feathering along their bodies. Further diversity exists that female Satraps are rarer than males, though an exact ratio is hard to determine as the species lacks sexual dimorphism.
Life Span and Development
Satraps are born in clutches of two to three thick-shelled, oblong, foot-tall pale green eggs every six or seven years. When they first emerge, Satrap young are a strange combination of a baby chick and bird, their body’s great length non-existent, and wings naked at this stage without many feathers. They make constant clicks and croaks, voraciously hungry and hard to please. It is only after a month, when their first coat of pale pink feathers come in that they calm down, and grow more accommodating. Over the next year, the young gradually shed their skin and feathers, up to five times in this period. The material from these efforts is then taken and added to their den, often by their mother the first few times, before they learn the task themselves. By the age of one, they are ready for their first flight, but Allar handlers keep a close eye on them during this time to ensure they don’t fly into danger, or get away. Young Satrap deaths are thus extremely rare. They continue to learn to fly, but also begin to grow in size, and learn a range of commands taught by their Allar keepers.
By the age of three, they have matured to the size of a large dog, and from here they become adolescents. Over the next five years, their size greatly increases, and by the age of eight, they have reached the next stage of their development; young adulthood. This is where many Satrap stop developing, though for unknown reasons. The next century and a half sees them able to slowly grow to their truly titanic adult size, but many die before this happens, and the younger forms are far more commonly seen. However, should a Satrap reach the age of 150, they are viewed as a Greater Satrap, and honored in the Allar land they fly over. They are never used in warfare, save in dire straits, and generally appear to lose interest in most affairs of the land. They will take off and fly for days to weeks at a time, a few even leaving the ground for years. However, they will always return. Satraps are capable of reaching 250 years old, though the number of these known to the Hadarian Allar is very few. Most Satraps instead have a lifespan of around 100 years, many more dying young to a range of hostile forces.
Satraps are one of the most uniquely developing species in Aloria, as it is claimed that with age, they grow more intelligent. How true this is, is not known, but in general, while they are rather slow-witted when young, commonly slithering or flying into walls (likely due to underdeveloped eyes and tongues), this changes over time. By the age of three, when they begin to physically grow in size, they can understand the tasks and training put to them, and by the time of young adulthood, they are complex, animated animals. They flick their fans of feathers to display irritation, pleasure, calm, while also hiss or rumble, and can shift their wings to indicate the same. They often view their young with a degree of exasperation, but also understanding and care. The large reptiles are known to be playful, capable of spewing directed streams of water out of their beaks to douse unsuspecting Allar tenders and other members of their species. This unique ability is commonly used to help put out fires that get out of control in the Allar homeland. Satraps do not mate for life, their species fairly open with regards to couplings and partnerships. Males who produce offspring will often help their mate with early rearing, but the role of the Allar often allows this to not be the case, and most males depart soon after hatching. Same-sex couplings are also routinely noticed among Satraps who are recorded to have partnered with females in the past, suggesting a large degree of relaxed orientation among their kind.
This only adds to their great mystique, since as mentioned earlier, it is said Satraps grow smarter with age. While this is true of all species, rarely does it lead to the ability to speak in one’s elder years. Such things have never been confirmed by the Regalian Empire or Ailor, with even some Allar believing them to just be legends of their people, but most Hadarian Allar insist this is true. Old Allar tales commonly see wise and ancient Satraps speaking in full sentences to those who approached them, and even some more modern tales, one recorded said the same trait lay with Banyu the Beloved, who composed a verse for one of the first public Slizzar-Allar unions. Ultimately, their level of intellect is up to matters of belief and culture rather than hard facts.
Territory and Groupings
Satraps live in grand complexes maintained by the Allar that let the animals live comfortably. They often feature a central, tiered tower, with the ability for the creatures to slither up and down at will, or take to the open air. They are also always built at the edge of Allar cities or towns, and commonly use natural woods with minimal stonework, save at the structure’s base and for essential support. Such towers usually hold anywhere from twenty to sixty Satraps.
- Sendrassian Satraps were a menace in the conflicts Regalia fought with the Sendrassian Empire in 308 and 309 AC. While crossbows were initially effective, the Sendrassian Allar soon perfected lightweight armor able to shield their Satraps from attack.
- Banyu the Beloved was a legendary Satrap, the last of a generation who had survived the civil war, and is said to have conversed with Dragons directly. They say Banyu birthed the Skybright Lineage of Hadarian Satraps, sky-blue Satraps still flown today by those of great skill and respect from the Kingdom of Sungaibiru.
- Some believe that with the vanishing of Dragons around the era of the Cataclysm, the Satrap as their servant rapidly lost the skills they were gifted with. Thus, while Greater Satraps still exist, their capacity for full speech is lost, though it might soon return as Dragons have been remerging steadily since 305 AC.