The Vystrian basilisk is a lizardlike creature with six stout legs. Most often, these beasts will be very heavily built, and are quite slow-moving in cold weather. Some may appear with more than one set of eyes. A basilisk is known for its terrible gaze - when one wills it upon another, the sight of their eyes is able to turn their victims into solid stone.
Average Lifespan:: 90 years
Average Height:: 7 feet at the shoulder
Average Weight:: 3 tons
Location Found:: Mostly found in Vystrian mountains, though may be found abroad.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Species info credited to Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance The basilisk is unlike the great snake of human mythology; it is close in appearance to a wingless dragon, but with six legs, the back four always powerful hind legs, the front pair forelegs. Basilisks walk with all their legs on the ground; their feet are beastlike and not designed for picking up objects. This race`s scales do not shine like a dragon`s, but do have subtle highlights and are usually colored green, grey, or brown with darker markings, though rarely they appear white. Each leg is tipped with finely honed claws; the hind legs are equipped with broader, larger talons, while the forelegs` talons tend to be narrower, longer, and serrated on the inside edge, the better to rip and tear prey or an enemy. The basilisk`s tail are flexible and generally the length of their body, tipped with spikes. Their heads are graceful and short-snouted, with or without horns or frills. Their eyes are always a deep shade of amber-gold, with snake-slitted pupils. In size, a basilisk can range from being the height of a human to the size of a large hill; they never stop growing, though their growth is substantially slower than that of dragons` beyond hatchling age.
Culture Basilisks are just as intelligent as dragons, and a peaceable race--they prefer to stand on the sidelines and remain neutral of most conflict, and many will not attack until sorely provoked, though of course there are always exceptions.
This race is solitary, and usually only live in pairbonds. They mate for life. Broods have no more than a single egg at a time, and mating season comes once every five years, during the third month, Kelvar. The egg takes half a month to hatch, during which time the mother and father take turns hunting and guarding the egg. The hatchling emerges from the egg fully scaled but blind; sight comes in two weeks. After a month, the hatchling is able to survive on its own, and is driven from the nest. The young basilisk takes three years to mature and can then mate by the next breeding cycle. Prey includes anything from small deer to large carnivores.
Abilities The talons, tail-spikes, and fangs of a basilisk are their primary weapons; however, males possess a mild neurotoxin that immobilizes the victim in thumblike barbs on both foretalons as an added defense. Basilisks are swift runners due to their six legs, and powerful jumpers for their four strong hind legs. Many can use magic, but their abilities are limited to earth, light, and dark elements.
While they are strong in magic or talon-to-talon combat, the basilisk`s weapon of last resort is the infamous stone gaze. One may look deep into a basilisk`s golden eyes without harm, but if the individual wishes it, the slightest peek at their eyes will petrify the victim into a stone statue. However, this ability taxes the basilisk`s strength, and few of this race will use the power without good reason.
After watching a particularly large lizard ambush an auroch and kill it, Death was intrigued. He had at first dismissed it as being too slow to suit much of a purpose for him, but the speed with which it struck from ambush drew his attention. As it ate, ripping chunks of flesh from the dead auroch, the dark god pondered what to do with it.
By the time it had eaten its fill, he had a plan, and the torpid reptile could barely try to resist as Death seized it and began to work his influence upon it. He gave it an extra pair of hind legs to give it greater speed and jumping power, sharp talons capable of rending flesh, a long, whiplike tail tipped with sharp spikes, three sharp horns on its head, two above its eyes, and one on the tip of its nose. To its foretalons he added a paralyzing neurotoxin.
As it stared at him reproachfully, seemingly too dull of mind, and too torpid from its meal, to feel fear, his fangs bared in a malicious grin as he had an idea. He instilled a potent magic into its gaze, rendering it capable of turning lesser beings into solid stone. Then, satisfied, he awakened its mind, and set it loose.
Although the first basilisk lacked any real sense of malice, he was nonetheless aggressively protective of his territory, and proved to be a deadly fighter, capable of moving far faster than his size and build suggested. Death, pleased with his new creation, created more basilisks, and scattered them across the First Realm to sow further chaos.
This Ancient First was a basilisk that looked like multi-legged lizard with bright scarlet scales marked in iridescent blue; his eyes were the color of smoldering coals. He was an irritable and territorial individual, and had the ability to freeze any being into stone with his gaze.