The sarka is a unique and deadly race of dragonlike creatures with acute venom, damaging voices, and the ability to 'phase' much like wraiths. They were created as a mockery of dragons by Death, crafted to be an ultimate weapon against the sacred children of the gods. They appear as black-scaled western dragons with unique anatomy and abilities. The strongest of these are Marked by their gods, and divided into several divine Flights.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: 10 feet at shoulder.
Average Weight:: N/A
Location Found:: Primarily Millirand, but abroad.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Marked by Birth vs Granted the Mark There are two ways a Marked sarka may be born or created; if two elite sarka breed and produce offspring, it will result as one being born with markings as a personal servant of their parents' god. Should a Marked sarka mate with one who isn't, there is a small chance of the hatchling being born so marked. A normal sarka may also be chosen and changed by their god or goddess, given markings later in life. These Marked ones tend to be stronger than their birth-brethren, despite being weaker before.
The Marked Flights Each of the Marked Flights have their own name and unique marking color based upon which god Marked them. Appearance details can be found in the main body of the text, but for quick color description details, please hover over the color swatches below.
Bone Flight - Marked of Dhath
Venom Flight - Marked of Daecuru
Blood Flight - Marked of Gurthril
Fire Flight - Marked of Lithmor
Amber Flight - Marked of Noamuth
Temporal Flight - Marked of Time
Storm Flight - Marked of Scylla
Celestial Flight - Marked of Lyfe
Harmony Flight - Marked of Leartes
Nature Flight - Marked of Balion
Valor Flight - Marked of Fenrir
Radiant Flight - Marked of L'zayn
Astral Flight - Marked of Gaz'in
Fortune Flight - Marked of Zeldrima
Tidal Flight - Marked of Sago
Soul Flight - Marked of Linath
Marked Exile Rarely, a sarka from one of these Flights will be banished, exiled or otherwise leave the service of their god or goddess - these lose their markings over time, and they change appearance to resemble scars as the marked scales rot before they are regrown. Their Flight-born powers disappear, and their natural abilities will weaken even past the point of a normal sarka's. Some may suffer personal vengeance from their former god for the disgrace, and others will be tracked down and slain by those they once considered allies regardless of Flight.
Sarka Eye Color A sarka's eye color will shift in hue according to their current emotions; a color chart can be found below.
The colors of positive emotions range from cyans and blues, through purples and pinks, all the way to white.
Pastel Blue: Carefree, Mischievous
Sky Blue: Relaxed, Content, Neutral
Blue: Happy, Optimistic
Royal Blue: Bliss, Goodwill
Lilac: Patience, Kindness
Violet: Lust, Desire
Magenta: Passion, Love, Romance
Pink: Infatuation, Embarrassment
White: Confidence, Exuberance, Courage
Silver: Determination, Calculation, Aloofness
The colors of neutral emotions range from yellows and greens, through shades of teal.
Gold: Mistrustful, Protective
Pastel Yellow: Concentration, Contemplation
Pastel Green: Curiosity, Energetic
Green: Inspiration, Creativity
Venomous Green: Ambition
Turquoise: Humility, Sincerity
The colors of negative emotions range from blacks and browns, through reds and oranges.
Grey: Exhaustion, Tiredness, Drained
Dark Grey: Sick, Ill-feeling
Black: Sorrow, Grief, Depression
Dark Brown: Melancholy, Sadness
Brown: Loneliness, Submission
Tan: Longing, Wistfulness
Maroon: Surprise, Shock
Ruby: Envy, Jealousy
Crimson: Annoyance, Irritation
Blood Red: Rage, Anger, Hatred, Wrath
Red: Powerful, Manic, Aggressive
Red-Orange: Fear, Caution, Hyper-stimulation
Orange: Confusion, Nervousness, Apprehension, Anticipation
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
red meat, preferably from dragons or another sentient predator.
white meat, fish.
carrion, weaker sarka.
Sarka are obligate carnivores, and make little distinction when it comes to prey. They will actively hunt sapient races, and prefer dragonkind over all. While dragons are their preferred prey, they will readily hunt any other game they may find, sapient or not. Sarka will also resort to eating carrion, or cannibalize other sarka if the need is absolutely dire; these cannibal instances are often sorted by rank, with Marked preying upon un-Marked, and un-Marked preying upon de-Marked and younger sarka.
The sarka's only subspecies, the ansar, has a diet with much in common as their primary species. However, they do not hunt dragons but will go after smaller game, occasionally seeking fish or other wish white meat much more readily than their dark brethren. They are not complete obligate carnivores, and may choose an omnivorous diet that includes roots and plants. When driven to partake in carrion, they only eat the meat of sapient races with extreme reluctance.
Species info credited to Verridith, Fyfergrund, Soundthebugle, and Hollander.
Appearance The sarka is a traditionally draconic species with a western body style - four legs and a single pair of wings. However, they may be found with similar mutations to the dragons they often hunt - multiple wings, tails, limbs and similar growths are not unheard of, though alternate body types (such as wyvern, amphithere, wyrm, etc) are thought to be impossible. Frills, extra spikes, and plated scales are very common.
All sarka share the same distinct features that make up their breed. All are dark in coloration, matte black or dark grey without highlights, rarely with blue, purple, or brown tints to their webbing, scales and hide; some may have darker stripes, spots or other mottled coloration, though true colored markings are impossible except in the Marked (detailed below). Eye color changes with emotion, ranging from solid to mixed depending on the depth and mixture of feelings present.
Their wings are large and, while the shape may differ from individual to individual, sport very flexible cartilage wing-fingers with no discernible joints from hand to clawtip, save for three extra fingers at the end of the leading phalange. Sarka head shapes are sharp and angular, with beaked snouts, chin- and nose-spikes, paired with long main horns and long fangs. Lastly, all sarka have both venomous tail-barbs similar to a scorpion's, and very large paws with long talons often tipped in venom.
Sarka may be blessed by various greater gods and turned into Marked, or be born Marked of two parents previously gifted. Marked sarka are generally larger and stronger than their regular brethren, and appearance details are listed by god below.
Marked of the Dark Five: The most common of the Marked. These are the largest and strongest physically of those marked by the gods, blessed with muscular forms equipped with formidable fangs and longer talons. The Marked of the Dark Five generally have broad, angular markings that end in sharp points and often follow the pattern of underlying bone, plated scales, or scutes. However, there are outliers, and no two Marked are the same.
Marked of the Felnovian Five: Rare among the Marked, and even more rarely seen among their brethren. Those Marked of the Felnovian Five are slender, often gifted with builds geared towards speed and maneuverability instead of physical strength. The Marked of the Felnovian Five generally have bold, elaborate markings that twist and join with one another, often in varying patterns of stripes, swirls, and dots. However, there are outliers, and no two Marked are the same.
Marked of the Millirandian Five: Rarer even than the Felnovian Marked, Millirandian Marked are few and far between. Larger than their fellows but not as large as the Marked of the Dark Five, these sarka are built for stamina and long-distance flying or running, depending on the area in which they live. The Marked of the Millirandian Five generally have thin, intricate markings with blunt edges and many streaks. However, there are outliers, and no two Marked are the same.
Marked of Linath: The rarest of all Marked sarka, the Linath-Marked - and before her Ascension, the Shiranui-Marked - are near mythical even among sarka culture, and only a handful have been selected over the many years of their existence. Linath-Marked can be big or small, built thinly or thickly, and have a vast variety of attributes spread across their Flight. The Marked of Linath generally have graceful, swirling markings that often glow with an inner light, sometimes changing shape and appearance over the long years of their lives.
Culture Traditionally, un-Marked sarka live largely solitary lives; they may come together and form small packs or family groups, though these often do not last long and are unbound by sentiments such as love or loyalty. Coalitions of sarka ranging beyond ten members living together for long periods of time are almost unheard of, though rare sarka settlements unaffiliated with a Flight do exist. Ferocity and strength are held above all else, and many groups devolve into infighting and power struggles should they remain uncontrolled.
The raising of sarka young outside of a Marked Flight is largely dependent on resources and protection. Should prey be bountiful and danger at a minimum, clutches will be larger and the parents will work towards raising robust and efficient killers beneath their watchful gazes. Mothers of hatchlings in these areas are zealously protective of their strongest offspring, though they may abandon or outright kill the weakest among them. Sires take part in protection and training, but are sometimes driven off or killed by the mother should she deem him unworthy of continued cooperation. Fratricide is common, and parents do not often interfere in the power struggles of their children. Mortality among hatchlings is very high.
When a sarka clutch fledges, they are tasked with a coming-of-age ritual that involves taking down larger, sapient prey. This is most commonly done for prestige instead of food, though sarka will partake of any healthy carcass when the opportunity arises. Dragons are the preferred target, though any significant opponent will do. Sarka that die on these quests are often never spoken of again, unmourned and forgotten.
Weaker sarka that survive to fledglinghood and are driven out may form bands together for protection and resources. While true companionship is rare, these bands are loosely loyal to one another until sub-adulthood, where fights for dominance may result in fatalities. These groups disband regularly when the sarka within them reach maturity, though it has been recorded that some may - very rarely - stick together throughout their lives.
Sparring among adults happens for a variety of reasons; sarka are unbound by traditional social structures, and may attack one another on a whim, especially if the attacker perceives their victim as weaker or a way to eliminate a rival. Fighting over mates is very common in both males and females, and may result in fatal injury. Sarka see strength as the deciding factor in almost all things, and should one of their number be unable to hold their own, their odds of survival drop severely.
The Marked are unusual in that they are commonly found among their own kin. Different Flights spend the majority of their time together - for example, a Dhath-Marked member of the Bone Flight would only rarely be seen in the company of a Daecuru-Marked member of the Venom Flight, and never with a Time-Marked member of the Temporal Flight. However, the four factions of the Marked share some similarities in cultural tendencies, and these are listed below.
Marked of the Dark Five: Members of the Dark Flights are known to be utterly ruthless, even beyond the level of their un-Marked kin. Only the strongest are allowed to survive, let alone breed and raise offspring, or partake in the daily life of a Flight. Skirmishes among the Marked are common, and may result in scarring injuries, debilitating wounds, or fatalities should the Flight's leader not keep his or her forces in check. Those too heavily injured or otherwise weakened will be hunted down and slain, should they not remove themselves before the rest of their Flight may rally.
Marked of the Felnovian Five: Members of the Felnovian Flights are known to be small and less numerous than the Dark Flights, but well-aligned with the wishes of their gods of light. They teach patience, resilience, and temperance; they actively seek to fight their murderous natures, and control their dark tendencies to the utmost degree. In younger individuals, this is particularly difficult - especially in the hunting and killing of prey. Fighting their instincts is of utmost importance, and many individuals find ways to actively cope. The Felnovian Flights are forgiving, and live largely secluded lives away from their un-Marked kind, and other sapient races alike.
Marked of the Millirandian Five: Members of the Millirandian Flights are less patient than their Felnovian brethren, and much more severe. They also push the teachings of controlling their natures, and any sarka which breaks the law banning the harming or hunting innocents is sentenced to death. They hold justice and retribution over all, and will actively hunt down lawbreakers to bring them before a Flight leader than allow any to escape. The leader of a Millirandian Flight is always the strongest and largest, and he or she will always be the one to bring a sentence of execution down by his or her own talons.
Marked of Linath: Linath-Marked sarka are in a class all their own for a variety of reasons. However, they are so few and their Flight so small that societal norms do not often apply to them. They are chaotic and unconcerned with anything but seeking vengeance and wreaking havoc upon any who threaten their mistress' spirits, ghosts, and souls. They find glee in bringing criminals to justice, and punishing those who harm innocents to a degree many would find repulsive.
Abilities Created to be the counterpoint to dragonkind, sarka are equipped with a variety of abilities and physical traits that allow them to hunt powerful draconic prey. They are swift and powerful, with strong jaws filled with long and sharp teeth reminiscent of a theropod - they have no molars, and their teeth are often serrated down one or both sides. Their talons are similarly longer and more pronounced than a typical dragon's, less prone to breakage and strong enough to cut through hard scale. All sarka also have spikes, spines, and plates to protect themselves and use as weapons, though these vary greatly individual to individual.
All sarka possess a unique and dangerous vocal ability combining physical sonic wavelengths with corrosive spiritual energy that may only be utilized in specific ways. Anything higher than a whisper has the potential for dangerous or damaging outcomes, even to other sarka, though all are immune to their own voice. Danger and damage increases with volume, and the louder and higher the pitch, the more potential for injury. Spoken words may illicit feelings of moderate pain and discomfort, where shouts may cause stronger responses and physical incapacitation. The sarka's signature shriek is a powerful tool that sends reverberations through the soul-energy of those surrounding, resulting in both physical damage - such as burst blood vessels, pressure cracking, and sensory overload - as well as spiritual damage that increases with a sarka's age. However, since sarka are vulnerable to the voices of others of their kind, they cannot use this ability in groups or around those they do not care to harm. As with most sarka abilities, this is strongest against dragons.
Both a sarka's long talons and the sharp, bladelike barb on the end of their tails hold venom glands filled with a potent toxin that gets more dangerous with age. Normally, the venom isn't deadly to non-draconic creatures; however, against dragons, dragon hybrids, and their related species, this venom is debilitating if not fatal. It grows more potent with age, and its lethality grows as a sarka matures. Ancient sarka older than their tenth millennium - should an individual live to be so old - have venom so toxic that it can down a fully-grown dragon of average size in less than an hour, and kill not long after.
The venom they carry holds a curious effect against non-dragons; it causes fatigue, numbness, and confusion, paired with hallucinations in the toxins of older sarka, somewhat similar to certain species of poison toads. However, injuries are generally severe and local necrosis is common as it sickens and kills the tissues around the entry point of barb or claw. In dragons, dragon hybrids, and draconic species, the venom takes a deadly turn, triggered via inherent magic that detects what has come to be known as 'Kazule's echo', present in all races related to dragonkind. It gains effects similar to cytotoxic venoms found in puff adders, though in greater amounts and at an accelerated speed. Acute necrosis, hemorrhaging, and eventual organ failure are common, beginning with respiratory distress and worsening from there. Serums exist, crafted by skilled alchemists, to combat such venom; light magic is effective, but one or the other must be utilized swiftly with urgency increasing with the sarka's age and the size of their victim. The older the sarka, the more potent the venom, and the smaller the victim the faster it spreads.
However, a sarka's best-known weapon is their ability to phase, or become physically incorporeal for a brief period of time. Sarka are able to learn how to phase when they reach maturity, though they often are incapable of holding an incorporeal form for more than a few seconds until they are well into their two-hundredth year and beginning their lives as experienced adults. The ability is described as both a physical and spiritual process: the sarka is able to become completely insubstantial physically, leaving only the energy of the spirit behind. Phasing through a living creature allows a sarka to bypass corporeal defenses, striking at the soul of their victim itself. As the corrosive spirit of the sarka comes in contact with the soul of the creature they are attacking, it causes damage via contact, the severity depending on length of contact and the age/size of the sarka in question. However, when attacking a dragon - or any related species, including hybrids - the amount of damage is increased exponentially. The oldest sarka are able to incapacitate and kill an average dragon with a single phase, though younger individuals may need to strike a victim several times before the damage becomes fatal. Light-based healing magic is the only way to combat the effects of a sarka phase.
Phasing through non-living materials is very difficult for young sarka, and is uncomfortable even to older individuals. Sarka with sufficient age and experience with phasing can even pass through large solid objects, such as stone walls or city gates. This phasing takes a tremendous amount of will and energy, and if a sarka loses their incorporeal forms while still in the midst of a solid object, they can be grievously wounded or even killed outright.
Non-Marked sarka are incapable of both elemental and non-elemental magics, and many are weak against light-based elements such as light, fire, and wind. Spiritual and related non-elemental magic can disrupt their own magic, force them out of a phase, and even limit the range and damage of their voices. Each of their abilities also uses an uncommon amount of energy, and the youngest sarka tire very, very quickly.
Marked sarka have their unique changes listed below. In individual Marked, a sarka may gain abilities related to their god; these often match clerical abilities, and a description of each god and their clerics may be found on the gods page.
Marked of the Dark Five: Stronger physically than other Marked, and gifted with greater stamina. They have little to no control over non-elemental magics whatsoever, though they may have some ability to tap dark-aligned elements (dark, ice, earth, lightning) to some degree. Their venom is more potent, and their phasing stronger, though their voices remain the same.
Marked of the Felnovian Five: Much weaker physically than other Marked, but very swift and keen of mind. They are strong in light-aligned elements (light, fire, wind, water) to a limited degree, though have no control over non-elemental magics whatsoever. Their venom is less potent and their phasing remains the same, though their voices are able to be focused more accurately, sacrificing wider range.
Marked of the Millirandian Five: Stronger physically but slow-moving compared to other Marked. They are strong in non-elemental magic (such as reiatsu control, emotional manipulation, etc) but have no elemental control. While they have stronger phasing, their venom and voices are weaker than other Marked.
Marked of Linath: Most chaotic of all Marked, their traits are incredibly varied. However, they are always balanced - those that are physically strong are weak in magic, and those strong in magic are physically weak. Their natural sarka abilities are very strong, and their voices and weaponized screeches are more musical and songful than all others.
The One had fallen. Death stood triumphant. Even though the Ten survived, and fled, Death paid them no mind, secure in his own power. For if the One couldn’t face him, his remnants surely stood no chance. Instead, Death turned his eyes upon the dragons, the One’s most precious creations.
From these will I create my own chosen race, so that the One’s own creation will in turn be my triumph, Death gloated. Many dragons were taken, and molded by Death’s terrible power, and many of them died. But one endured, and became the first sarka. Her scales lost their luster, and her eyes lost their pupils even as they began to shift color with her emotions.
She was the first sarka. Her entire physical form suggested a deadly weapon, and her burning hatred and contempt for dragonkind aimed that weapon with murderous intent. To thee do I give claws that can rend draconian scales, venom that will leave them dying in agony, a voice capable of tearing the very life essence from their bodies, and, greatest of all, the power to become a wraith deadly to the touch, Death proclaimed.
But from thee do I take your children, for our full blessing will be given to who we choose. Those of your kind who impress me enough will earn my blessing, and a small portion of my power, snarled Death. Bereft of her fertility, the first sarka was left with only her desire to hunt and to kill all dragonkind. She departed from Death’s presence, and began to hunt. Many fell, victims of her deadly weapons.
Pleased, Death created more sarka, and as he had pledged, he took from among them those that impressed him the most, and set his Mark upon them. These Marked Ones were soon feared by all dragonkind for their power and murderous ferocity, and to this day, no dragon will lightly face any Marked one. The first sarka was feared most of all, for her drive to hunt and kill was singular and unwavering.
The sarka have spread to many Realms, but none provoke as much fear as the first, for the sarka can live forever, and none have ever bested her in battle.
The sarka Ancient First is an exceptionally large individual, three times as big as average. Her scales are a deep, light-absorbent black, leaving her looking much like a living, solid shadow.
Dhesilkam'zova was gifted with a far more potent venom and screech than the rest of her kind, equally lethal to all races. While she has slumbered for many millennia, once every few thousand years she will awaken for a brief time despite the vigil of her Sage, hunt, and disappear unseen, back to her hidden lair to return to sleep.
Classification: Light-aligned sarka. Location: Anquil, Evylon.
The ansar, or more properly Anquil-sarka, are a subspecies of sarka that were altered by Evylon. Their once-murky scales now gleam like obsidian, and their spines, spikes, claws, horns, and wing membranes all glow with a soft light, often appearing in hues of white or silver instead of the traditional black. Their eye color remains tied to their emotions as true sarka, though younger ansar have begun to display round pupils and only the iris changes color. Several ansar have started to display swathes and patterns of white scales, and some are entirely white, although this is currently rare. All ansar still retain the basic anatomy of a sarka - including the long claws and tail barb - though these are less pronounced than their kin.
Infused with Light, their voices have lost their lethality, but none of their potency. Sometimes called singing sarka, the ansar use their voices to calm, and in some cases, heal others. It is rumored that even the deepest mental or spiritual wounds can be cured by listening to the songs of the ansar. While older ones can still phase, the phased ansar's passing causes disorientation, or complete unconsciousness.
Far removed from their sarka cousins, ansar are not purely solitary creatures. They form familial bonds of their own, occasionally even multigenerational in nature; ansar bond with their mates closely and stay together for life. Once any hatchlings reach maturity, they are encouraged to find their own way and place in the world. This, however, does not mean that they do not return to their parent's territory for advice or aren't welcomed back. Ansar groups may occasionally come together for fellowship or for communal celebrations or festivities. An ansar may also form an attachment to a place or people and keep returning there, settling down to act as a sort of guardian or claim it as their territory. They have lost their innate hatred for dragons entirely, and will actively mingle with local dragonkind wherever their paths may cross.
The ansar see violence as a last resort, rather than a tool to achieve victory. They rather stay on the supporting side, should they get involved with the conflicts of others in the first place and frown upon war. They are, as a race, content with a calm life in tune with nature and the ones around them.