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Danger Level: Low
Likes: Doing absolutely nothing, Filter feeding
Dislikes: Being disturbed
Attack Method: Baudettes, when inactive, never fight back against an attacker and merely look on silently. In their active state, baudettes may kick and buck at those that threaten it.
The baudette, at first glance, does not appear to be a living creature, but instead a motionless wooden carving. Baudettes are what are most commonly thought to be a type of plant life, that grows into the distinct shape of a donkey when fully matured. It stands on four legs, each ending in a sharp point that are firmly planted into the ground. Growing from the top of his head to the end to form a tail are thick, black bristles.
Through extensive research, it's been found that these bristles both act as a mouth and lungs for the baudette, filtering in microbes and small insects as it 'breathes', similar to a whale's baleen. It's texture, aside from the gnarled wood that forms it's legs, resembles a hand crafted wood carving, such as it has clean cuts to form it's snout and cylindrical body. The only feature of the baudette that would give any clue that it is in fact, a living animal, is it's pair of eyes, which unlike it's normally entirely static body, blink occasionally.
Baudettes have some variation between individuals. Their unpolished wooden hides may come in several different varieties of color, often matching the colors and/or materials of their surroundings. In example, a forest of redwood trees may produce a redwood baudette. Other variations come as the baudette's pose and position. While most baudettes will form in the same posture of a down turned head as if it had bent down to graze, about 30% of all baudettes may form with their head upright, turned sideways, or pointing straight upwards towards the sky. There have only been four different recorded instances of a matured baudette in a reared up position, somehow balanced perfectly on it's back legs.
When cut into, one would find that the baudette is entirely wooden all the way through, and lacks any kind of meat or organs.
Behaviors in baudettes are near nonexistent when someone is not directly interacting with one. If never touched, a baudette will spend its entire lifetime never moving, only filter feeding whatever happens to be in the air and blinking thoughtlessly. It's often argued by experts whether the baudette is even a living animal or anomalous object due to it's unnatural appearance.
It is currently unknown as to how baudettes reproduce, as they will often just manifest within places that can sustain them. They start life as most plants would, sprouting from a forest floor or from a wooden plank in four places to form it's legs. The baudette's sprouts bares not leaves, only a few bristles, and as they grow the four sprouts will meet together at the end to form the mass of the baudette's body. It takes as little as a week for a baudette to grow to full size, and if conditions serve right, more will begin to manifest as well if the first isn't uprooted from it's spot.
The true nature of the baudette, and it's most interesting and puzzling behaviors are only revealed once someone attempts to mount the creature. When climbed onto the back of the baudette, it switches to what is referenced as it's 'active' phase. It will begin by purposely uprooting it's limbs from the ground it's grown into, leaving needle sharp points at the ends of it's legs. Until the creature is dismounted, the baudette can be ridden (depending on the level of skill and knowledge the rider has in taming fauna), and ridden until the baudette can no longer ambulate- that being until their legs have broken and splintered, or simply worn down from age. Inexperienced riders may have a harder time attempting to calm their baudette on their first try, as it will attempt to buck and throw off the rider when initially mounted.
Once dismounted, the baudette returns to their 'inactive' phase. If left to its own devices, it may take root again if left in an appropriate environment.
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• The name 'witch's broom' comes from the fact that, when carved into different shapes, the baudette still displays the same active and inactive phases when ridden and dismounted. Baudettes are often disguised as simple wooden brooms, sporting the same black bristle hairs
• Massive colonies of baudettes are rare, but not unheard of. They are often found deep within forests where they are left to multiply in numbers in peace, and numbers of baudettes within these colonies may range anywhere from 90 to 300 individuals.
No art currently, maybe you can help.