Dark denizens of Hell, and creations of the late Spirit King Kairn. Large, three-headed dogs associated with hellfire, who traditionally serve both present and past members of Hell's royal family. Normally fierce, and incredibly protective, the cerberi of Hell are also very territorial. Cerberi feed off of spiritual energy rather than proper flesh, and often clash with souleaters on who might get the choosiest souls out of those dark ones sent to be devoured.
Average Lifespan:: 6,000 years
Average Height::20 feet at the shoulder.
Average Weight:: Several tons
Location Found:: Hell
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Species info credited to Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance;; Giant, canine beasts with large fangs and sharp, tearing teeth. They are heavily muscled, and bear three heads, and can range in build and fur type from a thick-furred wolf to a lean pit bull. Most often, cerberi are short-haired with longer, tapered ears, and can be found with fiery manes and glowing mouths, depending on how old they are. Most will have dark pelts with limited markings, though lighter-colored cerberi have been reported; things such as horns and scales have been seen as well, though are very rare.
Ancient cerberi are comprised almost entirely out of churning hellfire, and die when the life-fuel for that flame is entirely consumed. Sometimes, a starving cerberi will rather violently burst into flame, raging in agony up until the point of its death.
Tactics;; Any individual cerberus are known to be highly intelligent, though ferociously protective of whatever they have claimed, as well as highly territorial. They will challenge anything that threatens the parts of Hell they have claimed for themselves, as well as anything they've chosen to protect, such as a member of the royal family, their pups, or trusted friends. Most cerberi are easily bored, and may be seen playing with the undead, crushing their bones underneath large paws, or knocking skeletons apart to watch them rebuild themselves after.
Most cerberi are solitary creatures, avoiding forming packs and only coming together rarely, to breed and raise pups, or briefly forming friendships with other individuals on the edges of their territories, to spread news from other parts of the Realms and other worlds. Pups are kept until they are gangly sub-adults, then are chased out of their parents' territory, with the mates splitting up soon after if they do not choose to breed again. Most often, the same mates will come together to attempt to produce offspring year after year, though the conception of puppies is a very rare occurrence.
If a cerberus' trust is gained, one may be considered a friend for life, and something to protect. Older individuals enjoy discussing many topics with ones not of their species, and young cerberus pups will play with and chew on anything. Where most often a cerberus will share a single consciousness between the three heads, multiple personalities may come up where each head will be a separate entity. These are not known to survive long, and those that do often sport thick facial scarring from the quarreling between heads.
Abilities;; Unique among the creations of Kairn, only the cerberi were gifted with the use of hellfire - a specific and deadly form of Hell's own reiatsu, a silver flame edged in deep red. It's a flame that burns with incredible heat, though it can be use in a variety of ways. Those things that it burns physically leave scars that can never be erased, and a feeling of constant burning even long after the wound has healed may still be felt. If used against other things created from reiatsu, it has a purification effect, burning away darkness and disease from everything it touches. As such, it can't be used lethally against being made of light reiatsu, though will completely eradicate anything of the dark.
Cerberi, along with the souleaters, were originally created to erase the darkest souls of Hell, as well as protect its borders. A cerberus will generally devour a handful of souls a month to survive, and can occasionally feed on fleshbound creatures trapped inside of Hell's boundaries, never to escape.