They’re named after the Tyrant for good reason. Sovereign over all they see… and one imagines they can see quite far from that height.
– Eod Ka, Luxi Warrior and member of Anhur Company
Also Known as: Gorga, Lux.-Ariki, Vic.-Ormrhi, Muj.-Yang
Habitat: Forests, Jungles, Savanna, Swamps
Hazard Level: Apex
Tyrn are a group of carnivorous bipedal reptiles that are a source of fear among many who travel in the hotter regions of Aeldos. Some stories suggest these creatures are descended from the mythical [Dragon]s due to their enormous size, ferocity, and potential for destruction. Whatever the truth, they are rare but dangerous predators who rule their local ecosystems and can destroy caravans, burgeoning outposts, and even military patrols with distressing ease.
Tyrn can grow up to 15 meters in length, 5 meters tall at the hip, and weigh up to 15 tonnes, making them one of the largest land predators in the world. Fortuitously for the sapient species, their size and correspondingly huge appetite contribute to their rarity as they can only survive in areas with ample megafauna to prey upon. Tyrn mature slowly, reaching full size only after thirty years and can live for up to three centuries naturally. This makes them key features in many regional ecosystems, and legendary figures to the sapients that dwell there.
Tyrn are massive therapods with well muscled bodies and powerful tails. They have two mighty hindlimbs and two short clawed forelimbs and a large head that accomodates an equally large maw filled with dagger sized teeth. The mouth of the Tyrn is so big they are easily able to consume a full grown human in a only a few bites. The species flesh is thick and scaley, with scales bordering on feather like in some breeds, and colouration ranging from pale and sandy to dark reds or green. The most prominent feathering on the Tyrn are the long and often brightly coloured fronds that grow on the tail and spinal ridges.
Tyrn are able to produce a staggeringly loud roar that can carry over several kilometers, an ability they use to ensure other predators remain out of their territory, or to terrify potential prey into panic.
Tyrn senses are mixed, with poor hearing and movement sensitive eyesight. They make up for this by having an exceptionally refined sense of smell and vibration that allows them to track most prey even in darkness.
Though Tyrn are unusually intelligent, their behaviour is driven by the constant hunger for food and desire to mark and secure their territory. Frighteningly, they are able to recognize threats, opportunities, and traps, making them dangerous opponents.
Tyrn’s natural weaponry and resilient hide make them extremely dangerous opponents. Their powerful jaws can crush plate armour in one bite, a swipe of the tail can shatter overturn a wagon, and their mass allows them to crush enemies beneath their feet with ease. It is not difficult for a Tyrn to kill an armoured human or bisect a horse with ease while its thick and scaly flesh turn away arrows and blades raised against it.
The size of the Tyrn necessitates a carnivorous diet consisting almost entirely of megafauna such as Rhinock, Daedon, and Brontlings. They utilize a mixture of hunting techniques, from cover ambushes where they burst from a treeline to drive prey off of cliffs or into dead ends, to endurance hunts where they slowly wear prey down over hours or days, to simply taking the kills from other predators. Some smarter Tyrn have learned to travel in the paths of large herds. Curiously, the species rarely over-hunts its prey, maintaining relative equilibrium despite its enormous appetite. One explanation for this is their ability to enter a torpor in lean times, retreating into caves or burrowing into deep dunes where they can sleep for years at a time, waiting for herds to replenish themselves.
These massive creatures are largely solitary, pairing to breed only once every dozen years and only briefly. Female Tyrn, known as Matrons, lay their eggs in clutches which they guard with zeal while male Tyrn quickly exit the area to avoid becoming a victim of the Matrons defenisveness.
Tyrn seem to prefer hot areas and require ample prey, limiting their potential territory to areas in Nehep, Victra, Mujin, and Lux. There are some rumours of furred variants found in the north, but these are largely believed to be tall tales.
The render of a Tyrn is highly valued, particularly the skull which is considered a royal trophy, and the hide, which can be crafted into sturdy armour. A single Tyrn can produce a half-dozen sets of such armour. As a result, Tyrn hunters are specialists who seek out the species for both the challenge and the reward. The job is dangerous though, with few surviving their encounters, even when prepared.
A handful of juvenile Tyrn have been captured and raised by a few intrepid or insane individuals, and such specimens can respond well to careful domestication… at least initially. The species desire for large territory and tendency to rebel against enclosure are limiting factors and those that do reach adulthood while remaining obedient are rare, as the instincts of the Tyrn drive it to hunt and establish its own sovereign domain.
Ariki: A solitary forest hunter and the largest sub-species of Tyrn, the Ariki stalk the jungles and savannas of Lux. Feared and respected in equal parts, the Luxi consider Ariki tooth blades, scale armour, and skulls as items of great prestige. Ariki remain a prominent threat to the Luxi and more than one would-be settlement has been destroyed by the species.
Ormrhi: A smaller, more social sub-species found in the southern mire of Victra, Ormrhi hunt in triads and use pack tactics to corral prey. Ormrhi are typically more thickly feathered, with mossy and dark green colouration and rarely grow to more than 2.5 meters at the hip, half the size of some other breeds. Ormrhi are the only sub-species known to have a toxic bite, likely a result of the warm, wet, and rancid conditions of their mire domains.
Gorga: A pale coloured and lean sub-species, Gorgatyrn hunt the edges of the badlands, feeding in the greener areas before retreating into domains within the wretched wastes, seemingly immune to the dangers within. The breed is unusually intelligent and some Urangi claim they are actually reincarnations of the spirits of truly prolific killers, set in bodies more appropriate to their true nature.
Horned: This sub-species of Tyrn is named for the horn-like protrusions on its head. Typically smaller than other breeds, the Horned Tyrn is a scavenger which avoids hunting and instead seeks out the kills of others to steal.
Also known as Old Red, Ak’Bar, The Red Devil, and Crimson, this creature is the most notorious Tyrn in Nothern Nehep, this enormous elder beast hunts the foothills of the Illspire’s and the outposts that eke out hard livings in the area. Larger than its kin, Fireback is an incredibly clever and capable hunter and uses its natural abilities to the fullest. According to the stories, Fireback has been the end of many a would-be hunter looking to make a name, and the beasts hide is covered in scars that speak to this history. Fireback’s various names each refer to a particular story, including the time the beast rampaged through a blazing village while itself alight (whether it was the cause of the fire or called by it varies from story to story). Fireback’s unusually thick hide and incredibly robust regenerative faculties are its biggest advantages… next to the gladius sized teeth, powerful tail, and unusual speed.