|Official Name||Two-Claw Raptor|
|Common Nicknames||Konzzo-Rzzrasslo, Ch’issâ-intëlí|
An agile nightmare to some, and a loyal companion to others, the Two-Claw Raptor has had a long history with the Allar. Trained a century and a half before the Cataclysm initially, they were left on Sendras in the hands of the Void worshiping Allar. These Allar now rides them, especially the Maz-Allar as it would seem as if the two reptilian hunters share a bond not only through physical appearance but by their like-mindedness. They live in large packs in the jungles of Sendras, and are prone to conflicts with opposing raptor packs.
The history of the Two-Claw Raptor is murky, as are many things regarding the time before the Sendrassian Civil War. However, some general information remains known to Allar scholars. The Raptor was originally a nuisance and a competing predator to Allar civilization, taking up nests in rich hunting grounds and raiding outlying homes for prepared meat. The Cro-Allar apparently found this to be insulting, as they were supposed to gain the best meats first and so attempts were made to capture or kill them. This failed for a number of years, as the animal was deceptively clever, especially the females. In 150 BC, however, the Digmaan Cro-Xaasheikkah aided in the design of effective traps that contained these dangerous predators. However, while he personally wanted them dead, his animal taming followers made a connection with the creature and so the Digmaan allowed them to continue their actions. The result was a weaker, yet tamable Raptor that soon spread as a common mount for Maz-Allar.
In the Sendrassian Civil War, the Two-Claw Raptor saw extensive use by both sides, especially in the final stages of the war. Void mutated Raptor mounts did battle against non-mutated mounts, often a fierce battle to behold. Unfortunately, the longer these mutated mounts were tested, the better they got, and the loyalists were soon forced to develop Allar versions of anti-cavalry tactics. By the end of the War, the Two-Claw Raptor had been abandoned as a mount by the loyalists as they knew the crossing to Hadaria would be almost impossible with them but also because some feared the creatures after the actions of the Void converts. In the centuries since, the Two-Claw Raptor has remained an animal of mystery with occasional sightings by vessels and groups exploring the coastlines of Sendras. Most speak of it as an animal of the past, though to the Cro- and Maz-Allar of wider Aloria, it is the ultimate battle mount and they hope to recover these weapons of war someday.
The Two-Claw Raptor bears a striking similarity to the Maz-Allar due to many physical features. They are large reptiles, growing anywhere between a range of twelve to twenty feet in length and six to ten feet in height. Their heads feature long snouts attached to round heads, and mouths with two rows of sharp teeth. They have two small but power nostrils at the end of their snout, while their eyes are slitted and able to be red, orange or yellow in coloration. At the rear of their heads are one to three sets of pointed horns set around the tympanic membranes that serve as their ears. A long neck of two to three feet connects the head to their bodies, which are powerful but lithe. They have two sets of limbs, small arms averaging three feet long while their legs are longer and larger, at four to five feet. Each of these limbs is topped with two prominent black claws. On the hands, they are designed to latch into their prey with slight barbing on the underside. On the feet, the claws are zygodactyl and retractable with two much smaller claws in the ankle area to help the Raptor balance. Both give the animal its name in Common, but also its reputation as a fierce hunter as while dangerous on their own, the Raptor’s hunting techniques are far more deadly.
Their body is rounded off by a pointed tail capable of minimal movement that helps them keep their balance, especially at high running speeds. It is also supported by the Raptor having a hollow bone structure, which is adapted to taking punishment when leaping or being thrown off. The Two-Claw Raptor has several interesting covering features that further mark them as similar to the Maz-Allar. They sport vibrant feathers of many different color variations on their heads, arms, and ends of their tails. However, neon colorations are not naturally occurring in the species. Aside from their feathers, they are covered in hard, thick scales which can be a variety of colors, from green, brown, grey and occasionally white. The scales offer a layer of minor-natural protection equivalent to that of thick hide. Given the harsh climate of Sendras, these scales also allow less moisture to escape the raptors body making it extremely adaptable to harsh and hot temperatures.
Due to selective breeding by the animal keepers of Digmaan Cro-Xaasheikkah, the Two-Claw Raptor has been divided into two subspecies. The first is the Raptor’s current form, wild and untamable. However, extensive hunting by the Void convert Allar, and a diaspora along the eastern coastline of Sendras also makes this subgroup the rarest. They are regularly the largest Raptors encountered. The second subgroup is those that were domesticated by the Als-Allar While often physically smaller, they are easily distinguished as the majority of them have been mutated by the Void in the care of the Void converts. Some have escaped into the wild and have survived, but their smaller stature makes them easier prey for other predators such as the Sendrassian Long Maw Saurian. As for diversity in gender, there are more females than males. However, females are often seen as more clever and better in the hunt as they commonly have better camouflage in their feathers and scales. Males are notable however for their better sense of smell.
Life Span and Development
The Two-Claw Raptor undergoes a two month incubation period, during which their eggs are gathered in large circular nests, often protected by several females. The coppery green eggs are six to ten inches in diameter. When the Raptors hatch, they are around the size of a large cat, and their forearms are roughly the same size as their hind legs. As a result, hatchlings spend the first two weeks of their lives in a quadrupedal stance while their legs grow. As they develop, the first thing that comes is the growth of the tail and the legs, after that the torso, neck, and head will grow, after which comes the arms and feet-claws. Topping it all off comes the second row of teeth and the feathers. This process takes about three months, during which the hatchling must eat three times a day to sustain its growth. They obtain food from the female Raptors of the pack who are the primary hunters and physically mature by the age of just four months old. However, mentally they are only mature after a year at which point the cycle can begin all over again. Their packs are highly communal, with little infighting. In domesticated settings, this process is helped by pens, ample food supplies and handlers who help arrange matings and rear children to perfection. The Two-Claw Raptor can live up to 35 years old.
Both subspecies of the Two-Claw Raptor possess an astounding intellect. They are capable of distinguishing trip wires and snares, and even, in some cases, disable them. They are also exceptional hunters, able to track and pursue prey with chaotic precision, able to predict the moves of their fellow pack members. Normally this gives them a synchronized thought process. Aside from their intelligence and predatorial thought process, they are extremely passionate to other members of their pack, not including the males who normally compete for Alpha status. For the tamed breed of Raptor, the males are more mellow and not so aggressively challenging to other males. This lack of conflict makes the tamed subspecies of the Two-Clawed Raptor even more passionate, normally to their Maz-Allar owner and other members of their pack.
Territory and Groupings
The Two-Claw Raptor is a pack animal. Comparable to other group predators, the untamed version of raptors form in packs consistent of mainly females, with up to three males leading the pack with one Alpha and two Betas (Depending upon the size of the pack) and all from three to thirty females. Additionally, conflicts with other packs are not uncommon. Usually, the males tend to duel it out, and the strongest male absorbs the opposing clan and their territories. On rare occasions, however, this is not the case, and the females will engage in large-scale combat alongside their male alphas. The tamed and selectively bred version, however, is more flexible in pack size considering the males are more docile. These tamed Raptors keep to large yards within a city or Allar ranch, fed and groomed by Void convert Allar. They construct strong bonds with their riders, often developing an immersive relationship with the Maz-Allar, considering their physical and mental alikeness.
Both the wild and tamed version of female raptor share similarities in nesting. The females typically form group nests, consisting of 2-6 large circular burrows next to each other where the females lay their eggs together. The nests are then watched over. Females of the wild nests do much of the work in the pack, such as watching the eggs and gathering food, whereas the alpha rests, eats, mates, and keeps a lookout for hostile groups. Tamed Raptors normally share the load of the nest, and do not quite require watching the eggs so attentively, given the stables and yards they are domesticated into. However, females are notably still the main laborers when it comes to egg watching.
- In wartime, the convert Maz-Allar will dye their raptors feathers crimson red if their natural color wasn’t already red.
- The claws of the Two-Claw Raptor are often used in tools and weapons of the Void convert Allar on Sendras.