The skjoeldus is the largest bird north of Silva, at least on land. Taller than a man but otherwise resembling any other penguin, the creatures frequent the Borean coastline in the remote northern tundra. They are noted for their magical ability to warm things, though this is used almost exclusively for nesting, and no one has ever reported being attacked by it. In centuries past, these creatures were a favorite of northern fisherman and explorers, who hunted the skjoeldi for their rich meat and blubber, and harvested their guano to use as fertilizer. The slow growth of the creatures and their finicky breeding cycle soon caught up to early hunters, though, and eventually populations dwindled until they were thought to be extinct. Many of their nesting islands were destroyed by guano miners, making a population resurgence difficult. The discovery of a few individuals throughout their former range prompted quick action to save the species, and now special protected colonies have been established on a few remaining guano islands in the north. The Preservationists Association have also started to bring some of the animals into a specially-developed cold room at their facilities to study them and hopefully find better ways to manage the small remaining population.
This egg peeps occasionally and smells strongly of fish.
A young skjoeldus hatches as large as most other adult penguins, but like other penguin hatchlings, depends heavily on its parents until it loses its baby down and can start to swim. Skjoeldi lack the brood flap that other large penguins use to keep their eggs warm, so instead they use magic to raise the ambient temperature of the air around them and keep the egg from freezing to the ground. They can use this ability for other eggs, too, and some who help raise these animals for the Preservationists Association have found ways to use their incubation magic to optimize conditions for creatures with fickle hatching conditions.
Skjoeldi range throughout the Borean coastline, darting between icebergs to catch their favorite food -- herring, icefish, and squid. Larger than any other penguin, they have to eat nearly fifty kilos of food daily to keep warm in the frigid waters, so when times are lean, they are unafraid of using their size to raid the nests of other penguins and ground-nesting birds. They'll even go after small seal rookeries, though they avoid those of the praluven seal, as even their large size is only a minor deterrent to such vicious predators. On the rare instances when they're not hunting, skjoeldi gather on rocky islands to tend to their eggs and chicks. They only lay one egg every few years in the wild, and always on the same guano-covered islands. Hunting of these birds for their meat and harvesting of their guano has diminished their numbers considerably in recent years, making their populations scant over their large range.
Obtained from: Shop, Preservationist Shop: 2000 gold
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: November 14th 2019
Sprite art: Jrap17 | Description: PKGriffin