|Official Name||Mulaan Manta|
The Mulaan Manta is one of the most well-known and long visible mounts of the Altalar Types, being the chief tool of the Fin’ullen in their travel and warfare for centuries. Large, semi-aquatic, and capable of both hovering over the land and thus, gliding over the ocean waves, these creatures have a heavy connection to the goddess Tal’Sieth, so much so that they are fabled to have all entered a period of mourning when she ceased to sail the seas years ago. The Manta is highly intelligent and may soon be seen by many more people if the Allorn Empire continues to expand.
Mulaan Mantas are mentioned from records over two millennia ago, during the Awakening of the Altalar and formation of the Allorn Empire. After the Avatars of the Gods aided Talea in uniting the Altalar and enslaving the Asha, they each went their separate ways. Tal’Sieth, the goddess of oceans, ships, and travel, built her grand ship the Wavebreaker to travel across the Allorn coastlines. In these movements came huge squadrons of the creature, and gradually over time, they became seeded across the Daen coast on the travels of Tal’Sieth. As the Fin’ullen emerged from the Altalar, they rapidly gained an affinity for the creatures. While at first, Mulaan riding was a sport, done in races over the waves and competitions of skill, the gradual decline of the Allorn Empire saw the Fin’ullen begin to make more use of them in warfare. But then came the loss of the Wavebreaker, as Tal’Sieth vanished from the world sometime in 650 BC and, for a time, the Mulaan Manta was in dire straits. They ceased to reproduce and grew easily tired, barely able to float in the air. Why this is, is unknown, but the effect was likely tied to the vanishing of the Avatar. Many Fin’ullen believe that the creature mourned the loss of the goddess. By 600 BC, though, the Mulaan Manta was again thriving and made up for the lost time. Ever since that point, the Mulaan Manta has seen frequent use by the Fin’ullen Altalar, be that on the coast or inland given the creature’s levitation ability. Many squadrons were struck down in the recent Dread War, but new ones arose to take their place. With the apparent reemergence of Tal’Sieth, and finally the freeing of the Fin’ullen fleets from their fear of Morrlond, much of the world may soon see the Mulaan Manta up close and personal in the armies of Allorn.
Mulaan Mantas are immense creatures, with fins spanning between eighteen and twenty-four feet, but only having a length of six to seven feet. Their heads, such as they are, have vast mouths at the front of their body, with two far set apart dark blue eyes on either side of two body parts known as cephalic fins, which are slightly curved funs used to channel water into their mouths when the animal is feeding. The rest of their body is a thick, oval base from which protrudes the two huge triangular fins that slowly flap and maneuver their form through the air and water. Their underside also holds a series of gill slits, from which the creature seems to breathe. Their body ends in an extremely short spike of a tail. Their body is also smooth and sleek, without scales given the creature’s manta heritage. Their body colorings are fairly tam as well, being a mix of dark blues or blacks and whites, with darker shades dominating their backs and faces while white can make a pattern on the top of their major fins, and dominate their underbelly.
Mulaan Manta are generally diverse in appearance due to their various body colorations despite lacking sexual dimorphism and possessing an equal gender ratio.
Life Span and Development
Mulaan Mantas are a rare breed in Aloria as they do not give birth to babies. Instead, their babies develop inside of their bodies after hatching from the internal eggs of a Mulaan Manta, being sustained for an additional year. However, the added weight from this arrangement will begin to weigh upon a mother, as at this point, the pups are expelled from her body. Numbering anywhere from three to seven, they will follow after her for a time, learning how to eat and playing with fellow pups, but after a year and a half from their birth, this bond is weakened. Mulaan Mantas often stay close to their home squadron though, with only males showing some pension for drifting, though this is not the case in Fin’ullen domesticated varieties, where vast squadrons, raised and kept together for centuries, will persist in only adding members to their vast numbers. Mulaan Mantas can live up to fifty years in the wild, and push sixty years in domesticated surroundings.
Mulaan Manta are extremely intelligent creatures, with a deep caring for their offspring and those others around them. In the wild, Mulaan Manta females form strong bonds in particular, while males are more likely to drift, remaining aloof much of the year. In domesticated surroundings though, Mulaan all care for one another, pups looked after intensely by both males and females, even if they are not their offspring. Mulaan Mantas largely consume small crustaceans and fish, along with tiny organisms and creatures known as plankton that gather at the surface of the water. While some have been known to dive into deeper waters for food, most remain in the shallows and in the air around such water sources. As a result of their ability to float in the air though, some have been known to eat small birds and mammals if truly starved. They will never seek to eat the sentient Races, who they are largely comfortable with. Wild squadrons will scatter from sudden approaches, but can generally be coaxed out, while those domesticated by the Fin’ullen are wholly used to contact with not just Fin’ullen but an array of Race kept as slaves, used to tend to them and clean their undersides.
Territory and Groupings
Mulaan Manta squadrons in the wild number as much as 100 individuals and are largely grouped around isolated or wild coastlines of Daen, a few pockets known to exist in the Sundial Isles, Hadar and even Fendarfelle. Their lack of presence elsewhere is largely thanks to the Kathar, who culled them from the lands of the Dread Empire while the Sendrassian Allar apparently ate them quite viciously, removing their regional populations. In domesticated surroundings though, Mulaan Manta squadrons can be found both by the coast of Fin’ullen states and inland within Daen, with Fin’ullen populations. Such versatile squadrons have been known to reach as many as 1000 members, capable of blotting out the sun itself when stirred into flight.
- There is an extremely popular tune played during Fin’ullen Manta races, though one that is also said to be life haunting, constantly remembered long after an individual has left the races behind.
- The wreckage of Wavebreaker is said to have the largest Mulaan Manta squadron in existence swirling around it.