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Osqual #578

General

The Osqual is one of the many species of quetzalcoatl. It lives along lakes and rivers, mostly in the temperate and subtropical areas of the world. Its main diet consists of fish, which it snatches out of the water while flying or hovering over the surface, but it has also been known to catch other aquatic animals, like frogs and waterfowl. Osqualli are very efficient hunters, aided by their unique power: these creatures throw no shadow unless they choose to do so. This keeps an Osqual's prey from noticing it before it strikes. The power of an Osqual is not restricted to itself; it can prevent objects in its vicinity to throw shadows as well, although even the most powerful of these creatures cannot extend that power to more than about three feet in either direction. A subgroup in the herbalist guild has specialised in using this power to control the exact amount of sunlight their plants receive during growth. They claim to be able to tailor size and sweetness of fruits perfectly that way, and their skill in growing plants to the exact specifications of alchemists seems to support their claim. There is some controversy in where this power stems from. Those specializing in the dark arts propose that manipulation of shadows certainly falls into their domain, while the sun magi refute that and claim that this power is obviously using sunlight. The fire magi, always quick to argue with their sun rivals, point out that the power is also working on artificial light sources, like camp fires, and thus cannot be sun magic. Since none of the disciplines has been able to duplicate the power so far, the discussions go on.

Egg

This egg is a uniform tan in color.

Hatchling

The Osqual hatchling has worked its way out of the egg and has quickly grown in size afterwards. Even though its wings are still somewhat small, it has learned to flap around only hours after it hatched, and its skill has improved considerably from practice. It is already adept at hovering in place and snatching small items with its jaws while in flight. It practices these skills by picking up insects from the fields around the Keep. Curiously, it never hunts insects in flight, always opting to catch those running or sitting in the grass. It is also an accomplished swimmer, always eager to go down to the Stream or visit Lake Lakira. You have noticed that it almost never throws a shadow, and you begin to suspect that the Osqual's power is not to make its shadow disappear but that it might not have one in the first place.

Adult

The adult Osqual is almost fifteen feet in length. It is leaner and more delicately built than most other species of quetzalcoatl, but it still has the strength and agility of a snake and shouldn't be underestimated. It is one of the most successful hunters around, rarely failing in snatching a fish from the Stream, either by gripping it between its jaws or by wrapping its tail around the unsuspecting prey. The feathery structure on the end of its tail is covered with tiny hooks that dig into the fish and keep it from slipping out between the coils. You have examined the Osqual's wings more closely and found that it shares some characteristics with Tylluan wings, allowing it to fly in almost complete silence. When not hunting, the Osqual has the same love for sunlight as a snake, basking in the light in a warm spot. More than once, you have been woken when the Osqual decided to let the morning sun into your room by removing the shadow the eastern wall of your quarters throw, effectively creating a temporary window. In the interest of your undisrupted sleep, you no longer keep it in your room at night.

Notes

Obtained from: Stream (common)
Breeding: Yes
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: March 21st 2015

Breeds with the following:
Osqual + Osqual = Osqual

Sprite art: Lazuli/Munin | Description: Morgaln

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