Species: Shrarr(s)

Shrarr

Pronunciation~ As it is spelled. However, the easiest way to say it is to mimic a big cat's snarl.

Note — the following stats are minimum and maxiumum for this species.

Height at Shoulder~ 5.5 - 6.5 for males; 7.5 to 8.5 for females

Weight~ 1200 - 2500 lbs.

Length Without Tail~ 10 - 18 ft.

Length With Tail~ 25 - 50 ft.

Colours~ Their long fur is ticked — meaning the last inch or so of the fur is a different colour than the rest of the hair. But there can only be certain match-ups. By far, the most common colour is black, either as a ticking or base colour. Note — the ticking/ticked colour is the colour which tips the fur, while the base colour is, well, the base colour.

base ticking
white black, grey/silver, dark brown, red
black grey/silver, dark brown, red, light brown, blonde
red blonde, grey/silver
dark brown light brown, blonde
light brown grey/silver

Temperment~ Shrarrs are dangerously unpredictable. The entire race varies insanely from individual to individual in temperament, so no average can really be offered. Oddly enough, each Shrarr holds the capacity to have any trait, characteristic, attribute, and/or quirk — it is the manner of the individual's youth and taught tendencies that decides which traits are expressed and which repressed. This also means that, should a Shrarr want to change its own personality, it only takes a bit of willpower and self-training to do so; this ability to change instantly makes them not only incalculable in battle but also incredibly complex. Almost every Shrarr, however, is both aggressive and ruthless in battle, as well as hot-tempered and very willful (often stubbornly so) — Shrarrs also have an overwhelming curiosity that is sometimes the only trait that can override their easily-pricked pride and innate love of battle. Females are usually more aggressive than males, while males are often a bit more social. Most Shrarrs aren't classified as 'warriors' due to their lack of honor codes, ethics, morals, and chivalry.

Physical Description~ Shrarrs are powerful, long-legged quadrupeds that are both immensely strong and quite swift for their size, as well as fairly enduring. They have a long, broad raptorine head and powerful jaws. They've large eyes, sensitive bat-like ears, and small slitted nostrils; they tend to breathe through their mouths, which is why they're rarely silent, usually vocalizing a growl in unintelligible comment. They have a long, arched neck complete with a massive, shaggy mane. (More on the fur in a moment.) Their torsos are deep-chested and solid, with a heavy, unusually strong skeleton and rib slats. Their limbs are long and muscular, both hind and fore, and are capable of speeds up to 70 mph in brief sprints; Shrarrs can hold a run of less than 45 mph for over an hour, easily. Their forepaws are rather feline with five long digits, the innermost of which can be used as a short thumb-like appendage; all toes are tipped in retractable feline claws. Their hind paws are broader and sturdier with shorter toes and heavier, nonretractable claws. Shrarr tails are also impressive: starting out thick and not very flexible at the base, they soon become more slender and toned, tapering out to a leathery, whip-like tip; these tails range from fifteen to thirty feet long and are surprisingly light, as the tailbones (excluding those at the thick base of the tail) are hollow for speed. These tails can be wielded with incredible strength and dexterity, both in hunting and in other tasks, as they are semi-prehensile.

However, the most striking thing about Shrarrs is the fur. This fur is shaggy and erratically layered in appearance, ranging from four inches of length on flanks, spine, muzzle, and tail to two feet on the backs of all legs, chest, stomach, and neck. Wiry but not coarse in texture, Shrarr fur is inflammable, a poor conductor, and rather difficult to slice without a very sharp edge or a lot of acute force. This fur is quite amazing, as Shrarrs can control it much like a prehensile limb with enough concentration — for example, during a battle, the fur can tangle around blades, claws, or teeth, possibly even weaving or plaiting, so that the opponent is trapped at close range. This "superfur", as non-Shrarrs have jokingly dubbed it, is a secret and powerful tool in battle; also, it never needs groomed, as it can untangle itself.

Shrarr senses are keen, but not exceptional: their senses of smell, hearing, and eyesight are all quite good. Also, Shrarrs have echolocation, but they rarely use it; in fact, many Shrarrs forget that they have it. Shrarrs, though omnivores, greatly prefer fresh meat to fruits and berries, and only when wounded or out of prey will they willingly subside solely on non-meats. Due to this aversion, the race has developed surprising abilities to go without: Shrarrs can go without a big meal for a month, without more than a daily mouthful of water for three weeks, and without a full night's sleep for months on end. However, Shrarrs under adulthood need food, water, and sleep on a daily basis to grow healthily and develop full control over both tail and fur.

Culture~ Shrarrs have very little culture of which to speak. Mated Shrarrs usually band together in loose tribal units without a prescribed leader. They do not mate for life — the parents stay together until their litter is full-grown and ready to become hunters, then leave; however, there have been numerous cases where two Shrarrs choose each other as mates repetitively. Cubs are called rarrans, a word meaning roughly "not quite Shrarr", and are grown in three years. Usually, the third year -adolescence- is the most dangerous. Then, hormones are running high and the young Shrarrs are battling for dominance among their peers. There are growth spurts in this third year, as well — the males' at the very beginning, pushing their size over their female peers, and then the females' towards the end. During this time of male-female size being nearly equal, conflict is often deadly. Males are sometimes killed after challenging a female for dominance; usually not by her, but by her female companions. Cubs tend to travel in small groups of three to seven, depending on how many are in their peer group, and back each other up in fights. Once grown, young adults are expected to become hunters and hone their skills by hunting for those families of their birthclan who have cubs; most Shrarrs gladly do this, but some resent the implication that they can learn nothing else but slaughter.

Habitat~ Shrarrs can live just about anywhere, as long as they have enough water and prey. Most prefer dense, jungle-like areas with lots of caves and warmth — few are found on plains or stark mountain cliffs, as Shrarrs love forests and dislike being in the open. Because of their fur, Shrarrs are extremely adaptable when it comes to climate and can live in both freezing cold and burning heat easily.

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