The blue egg suddenly shatters, making a very impressive noise. Bits of shell fall away to reveal a tiny blue and red hatchling, which appears to be emanating heat. On closer inspection, it appears to be an very small insect that, despite its size, is giving off quite a lot of heat. As it shakes off the last of its shell, you realize the creature is a beetle, most likely from the Etain desert. The little one skitters happily about, looking for a bare patch of earth, which it promptly burrows into. This must be a scarab, which is a powerfully magical creature. They are rather difficult to obtain, usually forcing a magi to wait by the Stream for many hours, or traveling to the desert to sift through miles of sand. To have one as a companion is a mark of either great patience or luck.
Scarabs are found in the far deserts of Etain, where they burrow deep into the sand at night to slumber. They emerge as the sun rises and spend the day hunting for meals of insects. They can often be seen basking on rocks, and are sometimes mistaken for precious jewels due to their beautiful colors. These colors serve as a warning to predators, as scarabs are incredibly poisonous if eaten. Because of this natural defense their young are seldom in danger from predators, and have no need of their parents. Scarabs lay their eggs in the sands nearest their territories, making finding one a difficult task. These eggs are kept warm by the scarabs' ability to infuse them with warmth. As adults, they master the ability to store heat for cold nights. When living in the lands to the north, scarabs gain energy from fires as well as the sun, allowing them to survive during the winter months. As they approach adulthood they will shed and grow larger and even more vibrantly colored. Discarded scarab wings are highly sought after, as they create beautiful pieces of jewelry, and sell at a high price.
Sprite art: Niwer | Description: Zylle/Damien