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Name: Giant Armoured Walrus

Category: Monsters, Useful

Type: Amphibians

Size: Large to huge

Region: Aquatic, Arctic, Coastal

Rarity: Common

Lifespan: 30 `- 40 years

Appearance

The giant armoured walrus is some 13 to 15 feet in length, with bulls much larger at nearly 20 feet. Buried beneath tons of blubber, their bellies and throats are a pearlescent silver that shimmers under water like the flash of a trout, while the rest of their huge bodies is a dark green-blue colour burdened by thick off-white spines and lichenous growths.

The spiny growths are more prominent around the mouth and forehead; white tusks, ranging from as little as three inches to over one and a half feet in length, curve up and out from the head in a dramatic and intimidating display.

The red eyes, one on either side of the head, peer out from behind lichenous growths and a double row of serrated "teeth" much like eyelashes.

The tail splits in to two long, spindly halves that end in a sharp point, each of which is laden with more spines along the top, and continues the colour scheme with dark blue-green on top and pearlescent silver underneath.

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Behaviour

Giant armoured walruses are quite violent, especially when it comes to protecting their territory and their young, and seeing off rivals. This is probably why they're so heavily armoured, since their horns can be used both offensively as well as defensively, but they're so heavy and hard to maneuvre on land that they prefer to do their fighting -- and most other things -- in the water.

Yet, these enormous creatures are normally spotted on land, sunbathing on the rocks and snow of their arctic habitats. They are usually heard first, however; a colony of walruses, perpetually honking, can be thoroughly deafening.

Diet: Giant armoured walruses hunt trout, salmon and other such fish as are available. They hunt in small groups, working in tandem with the leader diving into a cluster of fish to scatter them, and the rest circling the cluster to snag lone runaways.

Habitat: They live in arctic oceans where there are plenty of small, rocky spaces for them to sunbathe, either on a flotilla of ice bergs or small, tundric islands. They are famous for being one of the inhabitant species on Ceracen?.

Breeding: One male usually has between four and six females in his harem, each of whom birth one pup every spring.

Pups take three years to mature, slowly moulting away their downy fur and accumulating the lichenous growths that will harden and protect them. Only when their horns have grown in do they leave the mother's side and begin to hunt for themselves, by which time they are roughly half her size, and continue growing until they're ten years old.

Special Information

Strengths/Abilities:

  • A single giant armoured walrus can overturn a small fishing boat. A group of them, working together, can sink even a galleon by punching holes into the hull and using their massive weight to rock it.
  • Their tusks are sharp enough to gore and gut a fully grown walrus during battle with rivals.

Weaknesses:

  • Only the back of the walrus is armoured, leaving the soft belly and throat exposed, though these tend to be clamped firmly to the snowy or rocky ground where they sunbathe, and protected by the walrus's speed underwater.
  • On land, the walruses are slow and cumbersome. When a battle looms, they will aim for the nearest water to gain the advantage, but in the interim, they can be killed quite easily -- as long as the tusks and spines are avoided.

Uses:

  • Walrus blubber is used as food and in the manufacture of soap, leather, and even cosmetics.
  • Walrus tusks are used as more natural weapons than steel or iron, specifically in bone daggers and arrow heads.

However, it is fairly rare for Elysians? to hunt them deliberately, since most colonies live well out of the way of the charted seas around the mainland?, instead relying more on accidental encounters -- particularly when Ceracen nears Dardanos?.

With the resource limited by opporunity, walrus products tend to be found solely in coastal settlements where the fishermen who originally "harvested" them live.

Origin: ...

Where did the creature come from? Did it evolve from another species, was it one of Xanth's experiments, or something else?

Other Info: ...

This is a space to include any further information you feel would be of interest.

Creator: Emma?

Creatures Amphibians Aquatic Arctic Coastal Useful Large Huge Extremely Rare