Nian are shrouded in myth, and play an important role during the Lunar New Year Festival. It is said that nian are boldest on the last day of the lunar month, during which time they come down from the mountains and forests where they live to prowl through towns and villages. This is the time when magi are most likely to find nian eggs, but it is also a dangerous time for commonfolk that live in a pack's territory. In both the southern and northern regions where they dwell, nian once struck fear into the hearts of men, but thankfully, clever martial artists centuries ago found a solution. They crafted intricate costumes designed to resemble nian and decorated them with brilliant colors, furs, and bells, then danced through the streets, two people per suit. They were accompanied by villagers banging on pots and pans, and sending off firelights. The loud noises and fierce displays are said to have frightened off attacking nian, and the villagers were saved. Though most nian packs avoid populated streets and dwellings, the tradition is continued to this day, and has developed into a rich culture with many styles and forms of dance which mimic the behaviors of real nian. Some of them are even competitive, demonstrating the graceful fights between the beishi and nanshi nian.
This leathery egg is adorned with bright colors and laced with what appears to be gold.
These hatchlings are lively and active during the night, happily chasing after one another over every sort of terrain. Beishi nian are gifted with great agility and balance from a young age, and are able to climb straight up tall trees without difficulty. They are smaller than the nanshi, but make up for it with their stunning acrobatics. Both species of nian are known to be vicious toward other creatures, though with time and patience, a magi may come to befriend one. Nian are quite intelligent creatures, able to perceive threats and determine those that would harm them or their magi. Hatchlings are quick to act, though often back down from fights shortly after they start. Despite their active nighttime natures, nian become much more sluggish during the day, though no one has ever seen a nian truly fall asleep. A tame nian will often rest at its magi's side with its long, soft tail curled around both of them.
Adult nian are curious creatures, generally keen to keep to themselves and avoid the playful behaviors of their offspring. It is rare to come across a tame nian, but when they are trained, they can be dutiful, affectionate companions. They have a regal appearance, with long, flowing tails, metallic armor, and brilliantly colored scales. The two species are easy enough to distinguish; the beishi variety has jade green scales, while the nanshi variety is crimson. The green beishi are the northernmost variety, found in the Jungle of Raza and nearby hills. Among nian at the Keep, the beishi are known to be the friendliest, but that won't stop them from immediately engaging in a fight with any nanshi nian they come across. No one is quite sure why the two species of nian seem to dislike each other, but should one variety catch sight of the other, the two will start dashing around in an aggressive display that may look to an onlooker like a complex dance. Actual bloodshed is rare, though these contests become increasingly more dangerous as they progress, usually with each nian engaging in riskier displays to make their opponent back down. Young nian will usually retreat, but older individuals may continue to fight in this way until one of them becomes so exhausted it can no longer continue. Even the best-trained nian cannot ignore another nian's challenge, so magi at the Keep have to work carefully to keep the two varieties separated, and may use magical fog to keep them from noticing each others' presence.
Obtained from: Donation, Retired
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: March 1st 2015
March 2015 3-shard Donation Pet
Sprite art: Lazuli | Description: PKGriffin