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ID: 1400


November 7, 2005, 12:50 pm

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Woolly Wyvern


When the great ice-sheets covered the north, life retreated before them, but some species stayed and endured. Whilst man huddled around fires in his caves, mighty beasts roamed the tundra: the Woolly Mammoth, the Woolly Rhinoceros…and the Woolly Wyvern.

Not all posts have to be entirely serious…

Just as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros are larger, hardier and more powerful than their warm-weather cousins, so also is the woolly wyvern larger, stronger and hardier than the ordinary wyvern. Its body and wingspan are 30-40% greater than that of the ordinary wyvern (my ordinary wyverns have an 18-20ft wingspan and a 6-8ft long body, but your wyverns might be different) and its entire body, save for its muzzle, is covered in a thick coat of ruddy-brown hair, similar to that which covers a woolly mammoth. Only in its flame is it inferior to its hot blooded cousin: the ice and snows do not nurture a hot fire in the same way as the baking heat of the desert. The fire is still hot enough though that one would not want to stand in its way.

Now that the ice-sheets have retreated, the woolly wyvern’s range is restricted to the high mountains, where it lives amongst the snows, preying upon animals such as mountain goats, deer and so forth. The woolly wyvern’s thick hair and subcutaneous layers of fat mean that if it left the mountains, even to the foothills, it would seriously overheat - ones taken awya will be sickly and frequently die within a year. However, in a particularly cold winter, when ice and snow grips the land tightly, a woolly wyvern, driven from the heights by lack of prey, may venture down to the snow-covered lowlands to hunt for food. Its winged silhouette gliding across the sky, particularly in lands that may not have seen a wyvern in years, may strike terror in to the hearts of simple folk.

Woolly wyverns are territorial, each territory being inhabited by a mating pair. Woolly wyverns are monogamous and a female will typically lay one, occasionally two, eggs per year. Immature woolly wyverns, both male and female, typically have the worst territory (as there is only one of them to defend it) and the mortality rate is high amongst them. Territorial fights are fierce and bloody, though woolly wyverns will never use flame against another woolly wyvern - with their thick coat of hair they are particularly vulnerable to fire. They do not recognise ordinary wyverns as being their kin (though fortunately for both, their paths seldom cross as they inhabit radically different environments).

Interactions with humans
A woolly wyvern is almost always the top predator in its area; as such, they have little fear of humans (though they usually, but not always, avoid eating them). This is with good reason - few humans would be a match for one and, if in danger, the woolly wyvern can fly away. Certainly most mountain inhabitants and tribes know that it is best to give them a wide berth.

Other than their obvious prestige as trophies (should a hunter be able to kill one), the most valuable part of a woolly wyvern is its hide: when properly treated, this can be made in to a supple yet tough “leather”; as it is also covered in hair it combines light armour and warm clothing in one. Some archers are also known to prize the claws of a wyvern as arrows.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
November 7, 2005, 12:59
Very impressive.It is a good thing for the survival of the spices that they don't use fire against each other.
Voted Mourngrymn
November 7, 2005, 13:58
I like the idea. I never was one for large or different types of the same creature, wyverns and dragons in particular. But this gives a perfect reason as to why they are the way they are. Why do they not use fire on each other? Only because they are flamable themselves? I would think that would be the perfect reason to use it, especially in a fight over territory or food.

Still all in all, a good solid idea with plenty of reasoning behind it.
Voted Ancient Gamer
November 7, 2005, 13:59
A solid and humourous creature. A 3.0 that got a .5 boost because it made me smile
November 7, 2005, 14:02
Mourngrymn, they don't use fire on each other because it would very likely kill the other one - this is similar to many beasts in the real world for whom mating or territorial fights (with their own species) are either symbolic, do not use their full strength or have a get-out clause (e.g. rolling over to show submission). A species which routinely kills its own kind is not (usually) successful. However, you have a good point about food - I would think that in a very harsh winter, when it was find food or die, they might perhaps flame each other. Normally, the fire is just used against prey or predators.
Voted MoonHunter
November 7, 2005, 23:53
Humerous, but not silly. It is like the Drunken Oxen that Captain Penguin submitted a while back. The odd details add so much to a lifeform (or any submission really). *golf clap*
Voted Zylithan
November 17, 2005, 0:46
Not many flying things are woolly, eh? At least not be Iain! A fun idea and a reasonable creature.
Voted Murometz
December 7, 2007, 22:41
I like them, They may be humorous, but they are quite usable as far as I'm concerned. I adore the visual of a woolly wyvern.

Valadaar, could these fit into your Ice age expose? :)
Voted valadaar
March 17, 2014, 11:59
I fully agree with Muro on this one. I like it!

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