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Danger Level: High
Likes: Cliffs, small fauna, clumsy creatures
Dislikes: Large fauna, ranged weaponry
Attack Method: Wounds with beak and claws, before attempting to separate the victim from the ground.
A large birdlike creature, the jhator has a skull-like face, mantid eyes, and buff-colored feathery tufts on its body arranged in aesthetically displeasing clumps. A jhator's legs, barring sparse bristles, are bare, and the claws three-toed foot is poorly suited for any task other than puncturing and tearing flesh. Its four wings are translucent and move in complex rotational motions to keep the jhator aloft.
Jhator are solitary hunters for most of their lifespan, scouting out prey on the wing. They dive-bomb their target repeatedly until landing a cut, scratch, or scrape with claws or beak. They then attempt to separate their prey from the ground - for smaller creatures, the jhator will simply try to lift it away; larger animals are harassed off the nearest cliff.
As soon as the prey leaves the ground, a near-immediate putrefaction will spread from the wound through the creature's entire body, leaving a rotten mass of meat for the jhator to consume at its leisure.
In the final year of its life, the jhator will become more aggressive as it seeks out more food to grow in body mass. In its final season, it will secure a partner and a food-rich territory such as a well-frequented cliffside path. The jhator will allow its partner to bite it, instantly rendering all the jhator's flesh rotten.
Two to four fully formed, miniature jhator emerge from the corpse and take flight after devouring the corpse, the larger the parent, the more offspring will spawn. The partner provides food for the young until they grow large enough to hunt for themselves.
Rotclaw: Wounds created by a jhator's beak or claws will cause fatal, near-instantaneous full-body necrosis if the victim is rendered airborne, by the jhator or otherwise. This condition is also seen, albeit to a limited extent, in soft inorganic materials such as plastics. The effect persists until all wounds, including those incurred afterwards from sources other than the jhator, have naturally healed over.
• Predation by the jhator is considered a key cause of the libraille developing their merging ability. By merging, an individual too large for a solitary jhator to lift was created and able to drive off the predator.
• Despite a mostly avian appearance, jhator are insectoid in evolutionary origin. Each raptorial leg is in fact composed of three insect limbs, with femurs and tibias fused and the tarsii kept separate.
• While jhator are historically solitary or pair-bonded hunters, populations introduced to other planets have been observed developing pack-hunting behaviors. As this increases their capacity to lift or push prey, this makes them far more deadly.
No art currently, maybe you can help.