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Danger Level: Medium
Likes: Swimming, Grooming, Shellfish
Dislikes: Being restrained, Hunger, Watermelon
Attack Method: Retreat if alone, followed by leading into an ambush.
Scholar otters are a long, furry creature that grows to about five feet long. They have six limbs, the front four of which are suited to manipulate objects, and a long tail. They have thick, water repellent fur, suited for swimming, with a longer tuft at the front resembling a beard. Around each of the eyes is a thin ring of darker fur, resembling spectacles, and around the nose are long and thin whiskers used to detect underwater prey.
Scholar otters, as this article describes them, are an advanced form of a more common and mundane fauna. It used to be that they were just a bottom of the barrel capture creature, usually only taken for their cute appearance or because there wasn't anything else better. They were mainly used to scavenge for materials underwater, and weren’t of much use otherwise due to their reliance on water. It wasn’t until recently that they developed intelligence, and have rapidly evolved to become more capable of terrestrial living, which has enabled them to become much better hunters.
Scholar otters are very devious and cruel predators. At some point in their history, the scholar otters learned about the intelligence amplifying effects of consuming braiab brain fluid, and they will go to great lengths to hunt them down, a difficult task considering how rare they are outside of a notails care. Ideally, an otter will simply take a braiab from the yard of a notail while they are away, since many allow their pets to free roam while they are gone. The real challenge is when they have to resort to attacking crab labs or transport trucks with notail guards. The true test of their intellect is their ability to observe and adapt to the notail efforts to keep them out. They've been known to use stealth, sabotage, traps, deception, and, in one notable case, arson.
Hunting, however, can only work on a small scale. Larger scholar otter colonies learned that over-hunting can lead to scarcity, and have turned to rudimentary "crab farms” to in order to get as much brain fluid as possible. After locating a braiab, scholar otters are known to incapacitate it in some way, be it through crippling its limbs, makeshift cages or nets, or disorienting it via psychic overload, and then drag it back to the colony. There it will be imprisoned, restrained, and consumed over the course of several weeks, giving time for the cerebral fluid to heal and replenish itself so that more members of the colony may drink. Thanks to this method, each otter only needs roughly ten braiabs over the course of its life to reach its full potential.
It should be noted that, due to the over-consumption of braiab fluids, the scholar otters have developed a psychic connection, mostly manifesting as a strong telepathic link between other members of the species. This allows them to be devastating as a pack hunter, with every assault occurring with perfect precision. This tactic is remarkably similar to the swarming abilities of the E-Class. It is thought that they learned to do this by observing notails in the forest, as they weren’t always known to for this. Regardless, scholar otters have become a sought after capture creature for E-Class’s, as they are able to integrate themselves into swarms with relative ease, though actually taming one can be rather difficult. Even experienced notails have trouble reigning in their mischievous and malicious nature.
Pack Tactics: Using their telepathy, scholar otters are able to communicate with other telepathic creatures, though mostly with just members of their own species. This can be used as a warning system, a way of coordinating attacks, or simply overwhelming other telepathic species with a barrage of signals.
• As a side effect of their psychic connection, scholar otters have developed what can be described as a sort of "psychic ping" which they can use to remotly locate other telepathic creatures, with a strong preferance towards braiabs. This is how they always seem to find crab labs, despite their efforts to hide them.
• It should be noted that a scholar otter deprived of braiabs still retains some of its psychic ability and intelligence, however, they will underperform considerably compared to one that is well-fed. It may be wise to do this intentionally to one's own capture creature, as it will drastically reduce misbehavior. A diet rich in shellfish is also suggested to reduce moodiness.
• They are smart enough to understand that too many of their own kind can dwindle their food supply, and in times of overpopulation (or braiab underpopulation) they are known to drive out certain members of their own. In some cases, two competing packs will fight over hunting grounds. It is a very perplexing site, as each pack can “hear” the other pack telepathically. Each side is an evershifting wave of units, constantly adapting tactics to counter the other side.
• While it should theoretically possible to telepathically communicate with a scholar otter, there have been no recorded cases of this happening. Whether this is because they are unable to or simply that they refuse to do so is unknown.
No art currently, maybe you can help.