The Morra Sin
Often simply called the 'Sin'. A tainted and cursed cousin of the veldryn. Usually brightly colored, wearing skull-masks to hide hideous wounds across their faces, and the fact that their mouths are sealed completely shut at a young age. Energy-devouring creatures led by a matriarch in small, savage prides, these creatures are feared across the Realms.
Name:: Morra Sin; Sin
Average Lifespan:: 250 years
Average Height:: 4.5 feet at the shoulder
Average Weight:: 300 pounds
Location Found:: Abroad, mainly grassland areas.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Appearance Built very much like the veldryn, a Sin will traditionally look very similar to a wingless dragon, with large, flat scales and bright coloration. They have thick, fluffy manes that start at the top of their skull to halfway down their tail, often consisting of two or more colors. They have anywhere from two to four spikes jutting from their narrow muzzles, with three unusual claws on their forepaws and doglike paws behind. Some may have frills in multiple places, depending on the individual, and most have tufted ears of some variation.
The most unique aspect of this race, however, is the so-called Morra Curse; a thing that took a relatively young cousin of the veldryn species, as it grew away from its fellows, tainting and warping them to a shadow of their former selves. Along with their bright coloration and bold markings, they were inflicted with horrific injuries to their faces that continued to grow over their expansive years. However, the Sin that were able to escape crafted spelled bone masks to place over their faces and stop the growing of these injuries, and so lengthen their lives. These masks will usually be a mask from a Sin pride's kill, then shrink the skull and form it to a hatchling's face. This skull will be granted as soon as the injuries begin to manifest, and grow with them over their entire lives.
For most of their lives, their mouths are sealed shut, often having to be stitched or sewn to re-seal them in the event of an injury. As Sin do not need to eat in the traditional sense, all but hatchlings have no need for their maw, and the mouths generally seal themselves with age.
Culture Led by a matriarch or pair of strong sisters, the Sin are often found in groups called 'prides' of up to ten individuals. Lesser females are driven out or killed, while the matriarch holds sole breeding rights to any male in her pride. Generally, a Sin clutch will be fathered by four or five different individuals, allowing hatchlings to be born with wildly different coat patterns and combinations. Generally, females come into heat twice a year, and lay six to seven eggs, though only a couple of these will grow enough to reach sexual maturity.
Most Sin are savage and cruel, with the males being much more docile than the females. They are very cunning and intelligent, with the matriarch leading her pride with absolute authority. They may pledge their allegiance to one faction or another if it benefits the pride, for good or evil, never straying far from serving their own needs. Rogues are either driven from the pride or killed, and many bear scars from an angry matriarch on their shoulders and backs.
Abilities Gifted with great speed and agility, the morra Sin take down their prey by overtaking them with incredible stamina, running what they chase into the ground over many miles. After disabling it with their savage claws, they will siphon its energy off until every member of the pride has been fed, before killing it outright. Matriarchs always get first pick of the prey the males bring down, and devour the most energy, before allowing the males by. For several days afterwards, the pride may eat residual energy off of the carcass, before moving on to the next kill. When hatchlings are present, the head will be removed and the flesh torn from the skull, crafted by a Sin who can manipulate energy to give to a youngling when their scars begin to manifest.
Magically, the Sin may develop a variety of abilities, though the manipulation of the energy they consume is most common. This is used to 'change' their surroundings to a limited degree - as in spark fires, mold stone, enchant bone, and many other things.
Often as he could, Time liked to wander the Realms, visiting the various creatures he had created to see how they were doing, and to spend some time at ease among them, relaxing and sharing his wisdom. It was on one of these forays into Noctis to visit his stonelions, concerned that they were growing and expanding unchecked, that he spotted something new, and unusual.
At first, he thought they were a a pack of kamine migrated from Millirand, but these creatures lacked wings. Hiding himself from sight, he moved closer to better observe the creatures. He found them to be unusual, reptilian canids unlike any he had ever seen, covered in velvetine fur. Though they had only primitive minds, he was impressed by the cleverness and cunning he saw within them, and decided they would serve as a good balance for the stonelions, and curb their steady expansion.
He awakened their minds fully, and gave to them the gift of language and culture, then tasked them with serving as a balance for the stonelions so that neither species would expand too far, matching nehryngi cunning and agility against stonelion strength and fortitude. He blessed the leader of the nehryngi, the first he blessed with an awakened mind, with a higher level of intelligence, the ability to understand all languages, and the power of Sight.
Some of the last remaining nehryngi in the Realms made their home on Millirand, hoping to preserve their race after being supplanted on Noctis by the veldryn. For a time, their numbers remained stable, but they failed to grow in number, forced as they were to compete against many other species for hunting grounds.
However, their lives changed forever when a hunting group learned how to use their Fury to siphon off the very life energies of their prey. Though the process caused deep, bloody wounds to their faces, the energy gained this way was highly invigorating, and addictive. Soon, the rest of the nehryngi succumbed to temptation and took to feeding off of life energy.
This was to have disastrous consequences, for the wounds they suffered began to spread through their bodies like a disease, and many died, cursed by their greed but unable to stop themselves. Finally, a few of the survivors figured out how to hold the curse at bay through a ritualistic binding of a bone mask upon their faces. This ritual fused the bone mask to their skull, and forever sealed their mouths shut.
They were no longer nehryngi, calling themselves Morra Sin, or simply Sin, as a constant reminder of their cursed state. Though the terrible curse they bear is kept at bay by their masks, they still hunger for life energy, unable to sustain themselves on anything else, and their bold, bright coloration marks them as easy sights out in the wilds, warning other species to avoid them.