Few creatures in the Arkene are more feared or dangerous than the haietlik, great serpents once said to drain first the heat, then the life from a person’s body. In reality, haietliks have little interest in humans and have never been known to view people as food, but their diets in the wild may vary from small lemmings and ground squirrels to hares, geese, foxes, caribou, bears, seals, fish, carrion, and even whales as they grow. Ambush predators by nature, haietlik will wait in snow banks or the sides of icy cliffs to spring on unsuspecting prey when young, and switch to actively seeking out whales, especially orcas, once they are grown. They are one of the few creatures made of ice that can withstand warm environments, for no matter how hot it gets, a haietlik’s hide is still far colder than anything around it, never melting. They do seem to prefer cold environments though, and do not grow as quickly if raised south of the Arkene. Haietlik are capable of seeing infrared light through pits in their jaw, and use this to determine when their prey is fit to be eaten. For the same reason, haietlik may search out frozen carcasses in the tundra, though they never eat anything dead that still emits warmth. They are prominent in the mythology of several peoples from the Arkene and northern Alasre Mountain Range. They are said to have originally been lightning bolts breathed from a great thunderbird, sent out to hunt orcas for the thunderbird to eat.
This bright egg is very cold, and you must wear insulated gloves when handling it.
A young haietlik is a wary creature when it hatches, but may be tamed with regular handling. Though their mothers coil around their eggs as protection, once a haietlik hatches, it will receive no assistance from adults and must learn quickly to survive on its own. Luckily the young are born with sharp instincts and a set of tools that allow them to hunt all manner of arctic creatures. Their glassy skin looks like diamond, but is in fact made of a magical sort of ice, colder than any other substance. They possess no venom, but instead ambush their prey and constrict them, leeching all heat from their prey’s body. Haietlik only eat frozen foods, and turn their nose up at anything their heat-sensitive pits detect as warm. They only need to feed once a month, and the rest of the time are apt to explore their environment, much to the chagrin of magi caretakers. Though they cannot yet fly, haietlik young are capable of squeezing into many tight spaces. Their ability to fit into these places is quickly replaced with a tendency to get stuck in them as they grow. It is far from easy to rescue a creature that can’t be touched from underneath a fancy wardrobe.
Even though they eat infrequently, haietlik grow at an astonishing rate as long as conditions are right. What started as a serpent small enough to hold in the palm of your hands has grown forty feet in length and can now hunt the species’ favored prey, orcas. Fully-grown haietlik develop the ability to fly at high speeds, and may often be mistaken for lightning bolts from afar when the sun glints off of their brilliant scales. Though they cannot remain long in the water, for their bodies will cause it to freeze, they will track orcas and other arctic whales for days, waiting for them to linger near the surface long enough for the haietlik to strike. After a successful hunt, a haietlik may go for a year or more without eating. At the Keep, they are prized for their beauty and heat-draining properties. Though the worst a young haietlik can give a person is frostbitten fingers, should one be foolish enough to reach near a hungry youngster’s mouth, touching an adult unprotected could easily prove fatal. Magical protection, fur-lined gloves, and years of training are necessary to work with haietliks, but the end result is worth the effort. Several spells and potions may only be produced with a haietlik nearby to whisk away all excess heat, and a trained haietlik offers one of the fastest modes of travel short of teleportation.
Obtained from: Donation, Retired
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: January 15th 2015
January 2015 Midmonth Donation Pet
Sprite art: Jrap17, GlassWalker/Jrap17 | Description: PKGriffin