Despite the gentle nature of adults, hatchlng sryllian flies are surprisingly aggressive. Though only a few inches long before they metamorphose, a hatchling's sharp mouth parts can cause painful injuries if the creatures are mishandled. The larvae live entirely underwater for their first stage of life, so bites are rare if a caretaker is diligent. Wild hatchlings are usually skittish around people and will only bite if provoked or if they mistake a toe or finger for their usual prey of small fish, tadpoles, and other insects. A hatchling sryllian fly's body is soft and delicate, so they collect objects to build tubular casings that they wear like shells. The highest densities of these flies can be found near the base of the Alasre Mountains, where runoff from the mountains yields rare metals and minerals for the flies to use in their casings. Precious metals like gold, silver, and bronze are the best materials for building these casings as they seem to hold stronger warding spells.
About a month into spring, when the weather in the foothills of the Alasres becomes warm enough to melt the snow for a few days, sryllian flies emerge in colorful blue-and-gold swarms and leave behind the casings that protected them as larvae. Unlike the other flies in the mountains, sryllian flies can live for several years as adults and are often adopted by insect enthusiasts for their beautiful appearance and aptitude for treasure-hunting. While adult sryllian flies are attracted to any reflective surface and can be trained to find certain rare substances, hatchlings go a step further and instinctually gather flakes of shiny metals and gems to create elaborate casings that are not only beautiful to look at, but also have protective capabilities. Suited to guard the hatchlings' delicate bodies from harm, these casings retain their magical properties after the flies discard them. Jewelry made from sryllian fly casings is valuable, as enough of them will protect a wearer from certain physical injuries. However, buyers looking to make armor from the casings should be cautious, as the protection they provide is more limited than it seems; plenty of foolish warriors have died thinking themselves invincible if wearing a sryllian fly ornament.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: PKGriffin