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Fire Lizards

Discussion in 'Encyclopedia' started by Twist, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Twist

    Twist Your dish of T

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    Fire Lizard

    Fire lizards are small, scaled, winged creatures native to the planet of Pern. They are only available in five colors- gold, bronze, brown, blue and green.

    Appearance

    Adult fire lizards resemble smaller versions of draconic creatures on other worlds but with some notable differences. They possess two wings that spring from the center of their back, the breadth of width is about 50% larger than their entire body length. Their tail account for half of that length and are forked at the end. All fire lizards regardless of color have faceted eyes that swirl different colors depending on their mood at that moment and can quickly shift between blue, green, purple, orange, yellow and red. Their heads and snouts are rounded and they have four legs in total, two front and two back.

    In terms of size, golds are the largest, with the adults often reaching 3-4 ft. long from snout to tail tip. Bronzes are about six inches shorter than the average queen, browns six inches shorter than that, blues again six inches shorter on average, and greens are only about half the size of a gold. As hatchlings they start out about 2-4 inches long, with golds being the largest. Their scales are smooth and fine, and they do not shed their skin, requiring regular oiling to keep it supple.

    Abilities

    Fire lizards are capable of flight immediately after hatching. While in flight they are capable of traveling between. To travel between is to break through conventional space and into a freezing, timeless, formless place, from which their thoughts can direct them to any time and place to which they are familiar, providing it is within the current Pandora season. If they do not know the place themselves other fire lizards or another Impressed companion can send them the image instead.

    Impression is the act of psychic (specifically visually telepathic and absolutely empathic) bonding that takes place between a newly hatched fire lizard and the one feeding and providing care for it. The bond is reciprocal, meaning both the fire lizard and the one intending to bond to it must be open to the bonding process. Should no one else be there, it is bonded instead to the fire lizard hive mind. This hive mind allows fire lizards to communicate with each other over any distance and also allows them to share all memories. The empathic bond between handler and fire lizard is so strong that often any disappointments over color, size, breeding status and the like are lost in the psychically induced admiration of the new hatchling and the new bond created.

    In terms of intellect, the fire lizard's collective memories and ability to work together makes them a bit more effective than the average pet animal but they are not equal to human adult intelligence, being closer to that of a toddler at their most thoughtful. Most of the time they have the mindset of a cat or ferret- clever and aware of their own mortality, but not able to reason the way a person is. They possess claws and teeth which they will use to defend themselves but being finely boned and possessing delicate skin they can be fragile.

    Behavior

    The color of a fire lizard determines their general place in the caste of the faire and can be used as a general guide to their personalities. Regardless of their gender they will Impress to a person of any gender.
    • Golds are the matriarchal leaders of the group and as such are the largest, as well as the most intelligent, of the fire lizards- as well as the rarest. In most situations all of the other colors will obey a queen gold's commands and look to them in crisis situations. They are always female
    • Bronzes are usually the mates of queens and often considered the 'princes' of the faire. Being the next largest size they are often the most capable flyers and able to stay in the air for long periods of time, and are often steady, confident and martially minded. They are always male.
    • Browns are the next largest and are often calm, steady and even a bit lazy at times. While it is rare they have been known to mate with queens from time to time and on occasion can rival bronzes in size and flying skill. Very often they will fly the greens in mating flights. They are always male.
    • Blue fire lizards are the smallest of the males and generally at the bottom of the pecking order despite being larger than the green females, as female always overcomes male in the caste system. Very often this makes them nervous, exciteable and easily influenced by the whims of the other fire lizards and the riders, though they are considered some of the most whimsical of the colors as well, and most prone to cling to their human handlers. They are always male.
    • Green fire lizards are the smallest of the fire lizards but being female are often bossy and serve as lieutenants to the queens. They're also known for being snippy, loud, sassy and full of personality. They can also be a bit jealous of the attention of their handler.
    Aside from this, fire lizards as a whole tend to operate as a group, or 'faire', a bit like a medieval kingdom, with the queen and her chosen mate as the leaders and the others serving in various other jobs, from keeping watch to gathering food to defending the nest. When Impressed to humans they are see that person as their ruling queen and look to them in the same way.

    Fire lizards enjoy hunting for their food once they pick up the knack for it, particularly small insects and crustaceans, and occasionally small fish once they master it. They are masterful swimmers as well and can often be seen taking a dip in warm waters. Warmth is their friend and will sun themselves or lie and roll on hot sand to stay comfortable. However, they do not favor being overly dry and in less humid or colder climates will oil themselves or need oiling from their human companions to keep their skin from cracking and bleeding.

    Breeding and Hatching


    Gold and green fire lizards reach breeding age at about a year and a half to two years old, with greens maturing a bit more quickly than golds. Males are able to fly females a little earlier than a year and a half. About a week before the flight the rider and the other fire lizards will notice the changes in the female.

    While Pandora has dulled the mating frenzy somewhat, it's still advisable that other fire lizard owners within sight distance send their breeding females away when another female rises to mate, to prevent fighting and possible death of the creatures. Due to the telepathic link between handler and fire lizard, the human also goes through some of the mood changes of the breeding female, though only to the point of irritation and not utter distraction. For a few days before the flight, they will grow more edgy and easily irritated. On the day of the flight, they may find themselves craving affection and intimacy, particularly during the flight itself.

    Should the flight be successful, a gold will lay a larger clutch of about 5-20 eggs that she will look and can produce any color eggs. Green fire lizards clutches are smaller, between 2-10 eggs, and will only produce brown, blue and green eggs that the green mother will quickly abandon or forget about. In any clutch, greens will make up about half of the eggs, and if there are golds it is rare to get two; three is nearly unheard of. In the rare event that a green is flown by a bronze they may produce one or two bronze eggs.

    Other than the gold eggs, which are noticeably larger and more metallic than the others in the clutch, it can be hard to tell the other's grey, stony colored eggs apart without a good familiarity for them, making it difficult to guarantee color distribution. Eggs must be kept warm and protected or the fire lizard inside will die in the egg and never hatch. Overly handling the egg, polishing the egg or rough treatment of it can also kill the developing fire lizard; they need careful, delicate handling despite their thick shells, and should be turned no more than 2-3 times a day to distribute the heat properly.

    Should they be properly handled the eggs will all hatch within twelve hours of each other, about six to seven weeks after they were laid. All of the fire lizards within a mile will start to hum and go to attend the hatching if allowed, especially if they are close to a hatching gold egg. Once hatched the fire lizard is voracious and must be immediately fed, inducing Impression, or it will leave in search of its own food and the chance for Impression will be lost. In the first two weeks they need to be constantly fed and cared for with their skin needing frequent oiling to keep it from splitting due to their rapid growth.