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Styx Sphingid #541

General

Acheron and styx sphingids can be found all over the southern parts of the world, from the Etain desert to Lake Lakira, but despite their wide range, it is rare to see them in the wild. They are very combative insects, and their omnivorous diet leads them to attack other insects who may not be the safest of prey. Both species will also attempt to raid beehives for honey, and this is the only case where acheron and styx sphingids will cooperate. They will circle the hive wildly, flashing the skull markings on their bodies and wings, and lure the bees out of the hive. At that point the members of one species, either acheron or styx, will sacrifice themselves so that the other can get the honey. Due to their powers over light and dark, some magi believe that magic in the world may become unbalanced if their numbers were too largely skewed in favor of one species or another. Due to this, it is thought that their strange hive-raiding behavior may be done to maintain balance in the numbers of moths of each species that coexist. This belief is supported by legends in ancient texts, especially those among the people of the Etain desert, that speak of seeing three sphingids of one species in a row without seeing any of the other as a sign of disaster.

Egg

This egg is wrapped in a small leaf.

Hatchling

Acheron and styx hatchlings have only minor differences in appearance. Both species consume vast amounts of vegetation as hatchlings, but are also omnivorous. If given the slightest chance, they will consume other insects, and styx hatchlings will attempt to eat acheron hatchlings whenever they can and vice versa. However, they will not consume their own species. Perhaps as a result of their diet, these creatures are rare in the wild, as both species seem to always coexist and each generation begins a race to see who can eat more of the other species. At the Keep, as long as the two species are kept separate, the caterpillars are used to spin a very unusual kind of silk. Acheron caterpillars will spin the finest, lightest silk in existence that cannot be dyed and will nearly shine when made into garments, while styx caterpillars will spin black silk that seems to absorb all light.

Adult

Styx and Acheron sphingids lack the silk-spinning capabilities they had as hatchlings, but are no less interesting or useful. Acheron sphingids glow and bring light wherever they fly, and can do so until looking at them becomes painful. A group of these creatures can radiate heat and light that is blinding to look at, and magi are encouraged to keep their acheron sphingids separated most of the time. Styx sphingids, by contrast, bring darkness, extinguishing light wherever they pass. Even lanterns and orbs of magelight will wink out of existence if these moths get close. Neither species seems to have any control over their power, either, and it will work passively as they flit about, waxing and waning with their proximity and however many of the same species there are. However, their powers will cancel each other out if there are equal numbers of acheron and styx sphingids in the area, and they are carefully managed and bred at the Keep. If the numbers of the two species are kept equal, the adults will not fight, but if one species outnumbers the other, the outnumbered species will begin to become aggressive.

Notes

Obtained from: Donation, Retired
Breeding: Yes
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: November 1st 2014

Breeds with the following:
Styx Sphingid + Styx Sphingid = Styx Sphingid Cost: 3 shards
Acheron Sphingid + Styx Sphingid = Acheron Sphingid Cost: 3 shards
Acheron Sphingid + Styx Sphingid = Styx Sphingid Cost: 3 shards

November 2014 5-shard Donation Pet

Sprite art: Tekla | Description: Raneth

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