Fluorowings are cryptic crystalwings thought to be very rare, almost never wandering near the surface. They have only been sighted by magi on rare occasions in the past, and seem to range in size as adults, some never passing the size of a cat, while others are nearly large enough to ride. They live solitary lives in the deepest parts of caves, moving slowly and conserving energy in the times when they can't easily acquire food. Although opportunistic like many cave dwellers, fluorowing crystalwings rely heavily on an unusual food: cave bacteria. They have specialized chisel-shaped teeth for scraping patches of bacteria off of rocks, preferring those with a fluorescent or phosphorescent glow. The components of glowing bacteria augment the crystals growing on their body, giving them an eerie but beautiful glow as adults.
This heavy egg is covered in brightly glowing gemstones.
Hatchling fluorowing crystalwings are born completely black, an important adaptation in their desolate cave habitat. Few creatures dwell deep in the Caves of Nareau, and because of this most of the deep-dwelling creatures must be able to take whatever comes their way. Juvenile fluorowings even have to be wary of adults of their own kind, as their species is one of the largest in the deep caves and requires more energy than any of the cave-dwelling fish or worms or salamanders. Hatchlings survive by staying out of sight for the first few years of their lives, wandering the water channels of the caves in search of blind cave fish or the occasional animal that washes through the underground river systems of Nareau. They are quite adept swimmers and only every grow in short bursts, when they happen upon a large supply of food. As they grow larger and exploration of the caves' waterways becomes difficult, the fluorowings begin to grow in a new set of teeth that allows them to exploit the bacteria-lined walls in some of the caverns. As their diet shifts, they begin to grow in the bright crystals which mark their maturity.
So little is known about the behaviors of adult fluorowing crystalwings that no one is quite sure what the function of their unusual glowing gemstones must be. These grow in as the crystalwing ages, and are a direct result of their microbe-rich diet as adults. Many magi point to the defensive use of these gemstones in other crystalwings, the hard gems forming a sort of scaly protection from predators, suggesting that once the crystalwings reach a certain size, they must invest in defenses to keep from being eaten by their own kind. Others point out that although adults vary greatly in size, these variations only occur between different tunnel systems -- a single adult will not wander far, and within a single system is only likely to encounter adults of the same size. The current hypothesis for why the gems glow is that they are used in mating displays, as the largest and most well-fed fluorowings usually have the largest and most vibrant crystals. However, why both males and females have these impressive structures remains a mystery.
Obtained from: Event, Magiversary, Retired
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: May 10th 2016
Sprite art: Lazuli | Description: PKGriffin