Young nicori are arguably more threatening than the adults, likely to strike at anything that passes too near their jaws. The bites are rarely fatal to humans, but they are painful and can cause a nasty rash that lingers for days. Those allergic to insect stings often have worse reactions, and are advised to carry special herbs with them to nullify the venom. With care and training, though, nicori can become quite docile and in captivity behave somewhat like cats. The youngsters often play with each other, tumbling around and squabbling over food. They have massive appetites to fuel their active lifestyles, and even when given plenty of food will often hunt for mice and insects. Although adults may use the sheer strength of their jaws to bring down prey, juveniles prefer to use their venom, grabbing small animals and delivering their potent venom. Although they have large stores in their venom glands, youngsters waste considerable amounts and may even run out of venom, in which case they will hunt small beetles and flies until their toxins replenish. They are opportunistic hunters, and will go after invertebrates, shellfish, food scraps, rats, snakes, rabbits, and even birds, when they can catch them.
In the midst of the magewars, a legend appears that tells of stray magic wandering into a vast western swamp, turning native creatures grotesque and leeching into the soil to cause chaos. The most colorful retelling of this legend specifies that the small rat-like creatures in the swamp merged with local snakes to produce a new animal borne of corrupt magic. A similar story told by the people of Taggelisk has a lighter tone: once, mongooses were brought to Ageti to rid the city of snakes, but instead of killing them, the mongooses became enamored of the local snakes, and thus the nicori were produced. Whatever the truth may be, these peculiar creatures have intrigued travelers for generations. They have a fierce reputation and are well-revered for creatures of their size. While many parts of a nicori may be used for potions – the venom, rattle, sloughs, and fur all have magical properties – less familiar to foreigners is their value in controlling rodent pests. Despite their potent venom, adult nicori seldom bite humans, and with quick remedies sold in most markets, few in Taggelisk consider domestic nicori dangerous. Feral nicori are another matter entirely, though, and it is good advice to give the creatures a wide berth when encountered in the wild.
Sprite art: DarrkestDrow | Description: PKGriffin