All throughout the deserts of Aloria, there are many dangers that worry travellers and merchants alike. Most worry about their camels dehydrating, or lack of food, but little does the common traveller ever think about the animals that lurk in the dark of the desert waiting for a victim. The Hagaan is one of the infamous reptiles to walk the deserts of Aloria, and it is feared by Qadir and Ailor alike for its deadly bite.
First Recorded Encounter
The first recorded encounter was in Al-Alus, when they first migrated from Farah’deen. A wealthy merchant was travelling to the former capital of Al-Alus, and his camel suddenly dropped dead. On its leg he found a Hagaan, latched on, slowly consuming the meat that was on the camel’s leg. In Caliphene, the first recorded encounter was by a traveller who was nearly dead, he cut open a cactus for water, and burrowed inside was a Large Hagaan.
There was only one ever recorded time of a Hagaan being domesticated. It was during the reign of the first Caliya in the Caliphene Republic. In general most people don’t try to domesticate the lizards on the account that they are territorial and rather dangerous, though it is assumed many black market dealers have them stowed away somewhere to milk them of their poison.
The physical composition of the Hagaan depends on the location of the animal. Al-Alus’ Hagaan is almost flat like a snake, burrowing small holes in the ground to blend in with the sands, with its large flat head sticking out, waiting for prey. Al-Alus’ Hagaan also is the smallest, meaning it has short, stubby legs, and a less than average body, with most of its thirty ounce weight coming from its head. Contrary to Al-Alus, the Caliphene Republic’s species of Hagaan is much different, it is thought because of the different climate zones that this happened. In the Caliphene Republic it is found that the body and head of the Hagaan is much more proportional, and its tail is far shorter, and rather than its body being flat, it's tail is flat much like a tadpole’s. In other deserts around the world, the less common, more sporadically colored Hagaan vary between being proportioned or flat, depending on the region.
Notable Physical Traits
The most common Hagaan is only about twelve inches long at most, including its tail. In Al-Alus, where it is most common, it is often found to be colored orange and black, to blend in with the desert sands as it awaits a prey to bite with its deadly venom. In the Caliphene Republic, a larger, rarer version is found, coming in at twenty inches at its largest and colored anywhere from orange to yellow with various black spots. Elsewhere, it is common to find the Hagaan before it bites, as it is generally out of color for its habitat. In Mooriyye it was once found that a Hagaan was nearly teal in color with orange speckles. The Hagaan is very similar to a salamander in that it has no scales, but rather a leathery layer of skin that they shed just before mating season.
The poison of the Hagaan is notoriously dangerous even in small amounts. Since the Hagaan bites the victim, it gives the poison a direct route into the bloodstream where the neurotoxin does it's work the quickest, cutting off the receptors in the brain and normally killing the target in a matter of minutes. Sadly, for the people that sell the toxin, it only lasts outside of the Hagaan's body for a short while, two days at most, due to the exposure to oxygen that it gets during the harvesting sequence. This ups the price of the poison exponentially, and is the cause of its rarity. As a consequence, it is generally only used to kill high profile targets. Should a victim survive an attack by a Hagaan, they will feel sick, with headache and nausea often followsing often flu like symptoms will occur. They will lose interest in water and food, being almost comatose for about three days, before the venom is worked out of their bloodstream.
Origin and Diversity
The Hagaan can be found in nearly every desert in Aloria, spanning from Mooriyye to Farah’deen. Though, some types of Hagaan are only found in certain regions of the world. The Common Hagaan is exclusively found deep within the deserts of Al-Alus, where the first discovery of it was made and recorded. The Caliphene Republic houses the Large Hagaan, which resides in cacti to await birds to prey on. The Hagaan, with no prefix is the most common, and found everywhere else in the world, including the larger deserts such as those of Farah’deen and New Ceardia.
Life Span and Development
Once a mate is found, the male and female leave the mass congregation of Hagaan to mate and find a place in the desert, usually near a cactus, or plant, to conceal the eggs as they develop. Once this has been done, the male often times goes back to finding another mate, while the female awaits the now fertilized eggs to hatch. After about a month, the eggs are ready, and anywhere from two to ten Hagaan hatch, being tiny versions of themselves. Often times, their tail is not fully developed, and they are so low to the ground during infancy that they almost have to act like a snake for the first month of their lives. The average Hagaan length of a Haggan’s life is unknown, though it is suspected that they live from fifteen to twenty years, though only mate during the winter months once a year.
Hagaan are utterly independent animals with the exception of mating season. Hagaan, during the day, often at times will burrow themselves into the sand to remain cool, as the reptiles are reliant on their surroundings to keep their body temperature at a healthy rate. During the day, they remain burrowed in one spot, or remain burrowed in a cactus, in the case of the Caliphene Republic's species of Hagaan. They always keep their head open, so should something step near it, it can attack its prey. During the night, though, this is when they move around, prowling around its territory and searching for anything that may be intruding, including other Hagaan. Should it find something that it perceives as an edible food source, it will bite it, injecting poison and killing the intruder in a matter of minutes. It has often been observed the Hagaan are more aggressive at night, than the day. Seeing as their body temperature evens out at night, since it is cooler, the heat of the day makes these animals slower to move and think.
During mating season, which has been observed as the winter months Hagaan switch from territorial animals to social animals. It has been observed that hundreds of Hagaan will all gather in one place, covering the sands and hunting for a mate. Hagaan, during this time are far more aggressive to any intruder, and seem to act like a pack. Should one Hagaan perceive something as a threat, or a food source, the rest of the Hagaan will follow, and then proceed to eat the victim of the ruthless attack. This is only true during mating season, as any other time, the Hagaan is aggressive toward anything other than itself.
Territory and Groupings
Hagaan are most often solitary, until it is mating season, in which they gather in large groups and cover the desert sands to find a suitable mate. It is at this time that they are the most dangerous, as every Hagaan has a grander appetite. It is often observed that the Hagaan’s aggression increases tremendously during mating season, and they tend to swarm any source of food they can find. To add to the danger, Hagaan are very territorial and extremely indiscriminate about what they eat. It has been observed that one Hagaan will eat another Hagaan should it cross into its territory.
- It is said that the first Caliya of Caliphene had a pet Hagaan. It is said that they used it to execute heretics.
- The Hagaan’s poison is the most expensive on the market, costing up to seven-hundred regals per vial.
- Written by Out_of_Harmsway.
- Processed by Terence29 and 0romir.