As they grow older and larger, gilded koppises molt their shells a total of five times over the course of half a year before reaching their adult size. They also get faster and faster at moving around, such that adults are capable of keeping pace with fleet-footed jackalopes. Wild gilded koppises do not care for their young, meeting up once a year to breed before leaving a few eggs somewhere vaguely near a food source, but strangely, those raised by magi will watch their eggs and hatchlings and occasionally even bring them food. However, most of the time, they simply run about the Keep, exploring every corner and inspecting every plant. They seem to understand which plants are intended as food for companions and politely refrain from nibbling the others, and so are reluctantly allowed access to most of the Keep gardens.
Gilded koppises are the size of an especially large gold piece, but hardier than the toughest cast iron. If they are ever threatened, they simply retreat within their shells, where very little can break through, though some particularly enterprising birds still attempt to eat them by catching them by surprise. Gilded koppises generally have little to fear as long as they stay alert, though, and are thus bold, inquisitive creatures. Despite their small stature, they originally hail from the rainforests of Tetzcotal, where they enjoy swimming in the large puddles caught by leaf divots in the giant plants after rainstorms. They shed their shiny shells once a year, which can be gathered to make armor that is durable, light, and gorgeous. The sheer number of shells needed for such an undertaking, as well as the dangers of exploring Tetzcotal, means some enterprising crafters have introduced them to the greenhouses of Synara lately, where they have come to thrive as well, though the ones grown in Synara tend to be much smaller.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad