Although similar in appearance to crocodiles, and reminiscent of leviathans, maastrin praefervi are, oddly enough, more closely related to carnivorous island lizards in the Callisto Islands. Their lineage stretches back far beyond that of people, and their fossils are sometimes found at the foothills of the Alasre Mountains. Individual maastrin praefervi are thought to grow quite old, living perhaps hundreds, if not thousands of years, but little is known about their lives because they prefer to spend time in the open sea. Some scholars propose that they can dive, like some whales, to feed on krakens and giant squids, but others point out their need to bask near the surface. It is true that they sport a fin like that of the suchul praefervi, which can absorb and store heat, but their plasma is magically charged, and so their fins are likely used more for thermoregulation, possibly storing energy to keep them warm during brief visits to the depths. The fins also seem to play a role in communication and courtship, though two maastrin praefervi are seen near the surface rarely enough that much about their mating rituals, remain a mystery. Males are easiest to see in the open ocean, silvery with white and blue that stands out as a show of strength and health to their mate. Female maastrin praefervi are darker in color, though their fins, as in their mates, are bright blue, like their plasma.
Praefervi are the languid top predators of coastal lagoons, preying upon all manner of sea creature they can fit into their mouths. Truly ancient praefervi can grow to immense lengths, and compete with leviathans for prey. However, it is not their size but their ability to spew searing liquid that gives them the edge over all other carnivores when hunting – save larger praefervi, of course. They get much of the heat they need from basking in the sun, either on banks or near the water’s surface, and only eat a few times each month. Praefervi are ambush predators, lying in wait for prey to come by and using their powerful tails to propel themselves forward for brief violent attacks. If the prey manages to escape, larger praefervi will seldom give chase, instead returning to their hiding spot to wait for easier prey to chance by. The potent serum they launch at other creatures is useless for hunting, but often used in combat, or to chase off other predators. Neither praefervi, suchul or maastrin, are above scavenging.
Sprite art: Lazuli | Description: PKGriffin