Zha'loth - "Columntreader"

Discussion in 'Approved' started by Exon, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Exon

    Exon Galactic Enforcer

    Sep 25, 2020
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    Carcinnum cnemica

    "Columntreader", "Seawalker", "Stiltcrab"

    A female Zha'loth, with diver for scale. Art by MaskedHero.
    The Zha'loth is an immensely tall Arcoszard arthropod. As normally seen, in females, it has a chitinous carapace and a largely vertical, somewhat triangular main body, with four immensely long legs. In an opening at the front of its carapace is a small, triangular head with a pair of small mandibles, used to emit clicks for communication, and a pair of simple eyes. It has two scything limbs that it uses to swat away predators as they approach, and a pair of maneuvering fins at the top of its head. Its legs are covered in an array of thin filaments which catch, intake and digest various plankton.

    The males, on the other hand, are substantially smaller, and parasitic. Rather than four massive limbs, they have four smaller, but much sharper ones which latch onto the hide of a Kh'ulkal and draw nutrients directly from its blood. This is fairly benign for the host, though Zha'loth can occasionally carry diseases that ultimately affect the host. They feed for their entire lives, and disperse genetic material during mating seasons.

    Passive. Zha'loth spend their time striding through the calmer waters of Arcoszard, passively filtering their microscopic prey from the water around them. Generally, they travel in groups of 1-3; a group of multiple is called a "haunt".

    Not smart enough to be tamed, not aggressive enough to be unleashed.

    Where is it found?:
    Currently it is exclusive to the calmer waters of Arcoszard.

    Fairly rare on a planetary scale, but not an uncommon sight within its effective ranges. Sticks to the moderate shallows.

    Diet/Method of gaining nutrients and energy:
    Filter feeding, as described above. Omnivorous.

    A cool story if you run into them while diving. Meat if you kill one.

    They reproduce by dispersion. During mating seasons, the females cluster together and dispense unfertilized eggs; this, naturally, attracts predators, including large numbers of Kh'ulkal. The Kh'ulkal, many of which carry Zha'loth males, can be seen swarming mating grounds, while the males disperse genetic material into the surrounding water, fertilizing their eggs. They hatch within a week of fertilization; the females make their way into the armor plates of the adults, where they feed off of a "milk" of sorts, whereas the males immediately attach to a Kh'ulkal. In this way, the Kh'ulkal are actually a key part of the Zha'loth's life cycle.

    Tall. Adult females can reach up to 2,000 feet in height, with an average main body size of about 12' in height. Males never grow larger than about 8' in diameter, and are roughly circular.

    Somewhat heavy. Its main body can weigh upwards of 3,500lbs, and its legs, due to their length, can weigh in similarly. Males never weigh more than a few ounces.

    The females can live up to a few centuries, but are normally preyed upon by Kh'ulkal prior to this. The males generally live as long as their host, due to their fairly low-maintenance biology.

    Large, and the blades on their main bodies are quite sharp and can move quite quickly. Males are fairly hardy.

    Not particularly fast, or smart. Females are vulnerable to ocean currents; a light "breeze" can cause them to topple, causing injury or death.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  2. TriReef

    TriReef treef Staff Member Community Monitor Diamond Donator

    Jun 26, 2017
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    Girlboss Strider

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