The kul are the mightiest collection of species in all of Threa. Widely varied but all stemming from one common ancestor, these beasts have miraculous abilities unknown to any other species; they can breathe fire, breathe in poisonous gases, spit acid, are venomous, or can stand temperatures so cold that water freezes before it hits the ground. Ranging in size from a meager up to 1.5 m (~4.9 ft) tall furred snowdweller to an utterly massive 16 m (~52.5 ft) long sea monster, the kul cover the entirety of Threa with variety and mastery.
In total, there are nine types of kul. In order from largest to smallest, these are the Azkul, Hozkul, Blazkul, Trezkul, Aezkul, Sozkul, Rizkul, Izkul, and then Truzkul. All share a common ancestor; the ancient Azkul, which remain virtually unchanged from modern Azkul beyond a few select things. Millions of years ago, a branch of ancient Azkul, known as the Genkul, stepped onto land, having gills and sporting more vaguely feet for treading the land. From here, the ancient kul split into three big branches.
Three kul species stayed close to or in the water and share the most genetic code with their ancient ancestor. These are the modern-day Sozkul, Izkul, and Azkul. The closest of the three are the Azkul, who stayed in the ocean, moving far out to sea instead of heading inland. Those that stayed close to the coast became smaller and more colorful than their blue deep-sea cousin, while some dove deeper and deeper into the sea before they finally stopped surfacing, evolving to live in the darkness of the deepest abyss. These races of Azkul are the best visual homage to their ancestor.
The second closest related are the Izkul. These weird beings came about from the Genkul that stepped onto land in the freezing arctic. Initially semi-aquatic, these beings slowly became more land-based than sea-worthy. They, first, developed an anti-freeze in their blood to even allow them to live outside of the water entirely. Separated from their need to constantly feed to fuel blubber, these beasts became land-based, only hunting fish that stray too close to the surface. These are the ancient Izkul; not as gaunt and ugly as the ones alive today and still with rather large fin-like appendages on their back. Natural selection forced these fins on their backs to slowly devolve as developing them and feeding them blood and oxygen only wasted energy so precious in the north. Scales followed as there was no pressure to defend the beasts against predators in such a barren wasteland. Developing and maintaining this covering was a waste of energy, leading to the alien-like Izkul we have today.
Lastly are the Sozkul. These are the most populous of all the Genkul descendants, emerging onto land on all the sandy or craggy beaches of Threa. Living on the shoreline, they developed a semi-aquatic fishing lifestyle. The ancient Sozkul, referred to as Slikul, descended directly from the Genkul, evolving lungs to live on land properly. With little use for cumbersome back-frills, these limbs evolved into primitive wings that were vaguely useful for soaring short distances and hops. The Slikul were the ancestors of all the other kul in Threa, laying a basis for how they look today. The descending Sozkul changed only slightly from these ancient kul, developing tail-frills and fleshing out their wings. They kept a short, rotund, and muscular look, with power packed into every joint. However, they were far better suited to their environment due to these changes, leading to the extinction of the Slikul soon after genetic distinction was made.
Some Slikul did not stay on the coast after developing wings and lungs; those that ventured into the forests of Threa became the basis for the forest branch - the Tarekul. In this new environment, the Tarekul started developing a weak venom to help them hunt while their legs and wings were still developing into proper appendages. Over time, this branch conquered the temperate forests of the continent, with some moving north into the cooler taigas/tundras and others moving south into the hotter rainforest.
Those that stayed within the temperate forest developed into Trezkul, greatly improving their venom capacity and potency over years of natural selection and selective breeding. Their wings became more aligned for soaring above the treetops to find new hunting territories and they grew large to compete with the deadly predators that venture their lands.
Tarekul that moved south into the rainforest repurposed their venom into something far deadlier to combat their own challenges; an acid shot from the mouth that melts away nearly anything it touches, highly corrosive the instant it hits the air. With such a dangerous ranged weapon, these new-and-improved jungle dwellers did not have to develop the immense size of the Trezkul, but instead kept low to the ground, using stealth to their advantage. Their wings stayed small to aid gliding between the giant jungle trees. These are now known as the Rizkul.
Finally, the Tarekul that ventured into the cold north found it harsh and unforgiving, easily dwindling in numbers but finding no way to go back; territory was sparse and the only way out was north. Over the years, the Tarekul adapted to their environment, pushing the boundaries and moving further and further north. They developed a thick fur coat instead of easily cold-compromised scale, shrinking in size to save energy. They also developed more complex ears that can pick up the tiniest of prey sounds, all aiding to their eventual success as the Truzkul.
Nowadays, Tarekul are nowhere to be found, having been hunted to extinction many years before the modern day.
The Slikul that moved inland into the deserts were a rather crazy lot, driven by curiosity and the need for new hunting grounds. However, the desert was extremely unforgiving and, much like the ancient Tarekul in the tundras, the Slikul found it nearly impossible to live. However, natural selection and many generations later, the Exkul were born. These beasts were hardy monsters of muscle and power, ready to tackle the tremendous predators the desert had to offer. The Exkul were the first kul to ever evolve any sort of heat resistance and a very primitive fire breath for warmth during the nights and self-defense.
Many Exkul found themselves moving deeper into the deserts, becoming hardier with each generation, but slightly smaller. They perfected their fiery breath into deadly blasts of flame. However, in exchange, the Exkul lost the powerful wings they had previously developed to make more room for the organs required for firemaking. Since the desert was so full of thermals, however, this didn't prove to be a problem. These deadly Exkul became the Blazkul.
Some Exkul did not find satisfaction in the desert, though; food was still extremely scarce and predators were deadly even to them. They moved north into the mountains instead, climbing the peaks and finding game and water within the lush valleys. Transportation became key in this environment and so the Exkul became smaller overall, but grew massive wing muscles and wings, launching from peak to peak and dominating the largest mountain range of Threa. Their fire stayed with them, but remained weak and undeveloped. These masters of the sky are now the Aezkul.
Before the final development and color change into Aezkul, however, some of the more flight-developed Exkul moved back into the desert. These Exkul rejoined with their larger ancestors, evolving alongside them into the Blazkul, but retaining developments in the wing and chest area. They still have better fire breath and worse flight than modern Aezkul, but retained some of the improved wing and wing muscles. These are the Flamewing race of Blazkul.
Finally, the most extreme race of Exkul were those that moved into the mountains, but into the caves instead. They delved deep into the earth, using a mix of flame and claw to dig away caverns big enough for their massive size. Even these shrunk down slightly to be able to live in the earth, but most of the shrinkage was actually not in the body mass. Despite having perfectly capable wings, these Exkul did not need them and they proved an issue within the caverns. Over time, the wings became smaller and smaller before devolving entirely, leaving nothing but a few bones hidden within the mass of the Exkul's shoulders. The fire organs, now proving an issue as smoking out a cavern can be deadly, were repurposed to filter bad air into usable and breathable gasses, allowing them to delve even deeper. With scales becoming plate-like and thick as stone, these Exkul finally became the venerable Hozkul of today.
Races - Not To Scale (Top to Bottom):
Monsters of the deep, the mysterious hunters of the seas... very little is known about the Azkul. These monsters of nature's creation dwell in the ocean, topping the food chain in every portion of the ocean's wide reaches. Bioluminescent hunters lurk in the abyssal plains. Colorful clan-based aquatics roam the coasts. And absolutely massive monsters dominate the open waters, swallowing most sea life in one or two bites of their massive jaws.
Most Azkul will feature countershading on their fish-scaled skin. Countershading helps them blend into their environment and avoid detection, though their massive forms usually give them away anyway. These beasts, though they normally patrol slowly through the ocean, can use their powerful tail and clawed fins to propel themselves swiftly through the water. The pair of large fins on their back can help them make tighter turns and may also help them rise up through the ocean vertically if 'flapped' in a downwards motion. They are not hugely mobile and can only move a bit on a vertical axis, however.
Their diet is basically anything they can get their jaws around. Adventurous Sozkul who brave the deeper ocean are a special treat, able to be swallowed in a single or two bites by the largest of the open ocean dwellers. Otherwise, they swallow sharks and large fish whole, entire schools passing down their gullet.
Fear the ocean, for it does not fear you.
Races/Wing Types (Left to Right):
Aezser, Lan Wings
Aezkiel, Kra Wings
Aezrik, Zier Wings
The Aezkul are the masters of Threa's skies. With their varying wing shapes and blue-and-white coloring, they prove over and over again that they alone can assert rightful dominance over the airspace of the world. Depicted here is but one of the three wing shapes; it is the least common but most memorable simply for its sheer size and proportions. Known as the 'Zier' wing shape, its shape allows the kul to zip over landscapes at speeds unmatched by any other in the world. The other wing shapes - Kra and Lan - cater to maneuverability and soaring respectively, with the latter being the most common.
The patterning and colors of the Aezkul vary wildly on race, of which they have three. The least common, but also most iconic, race is that of the Aezser, shown here. Their markings contrast the most with their scales since their base color takes up the darkest hues of blue. The Aezkiel are the middle tier of colors while the Aezrik are the lightest. Each race has its own specific marking that defines them, as well; this marking adorns their tailtip, paws, and the trailing edge of their wing membrane. The other markings, however, vary depending on the individual.
Biologically, not much else is notable on the Aezkul beyond their ability to breathe fire. They are only one of two species on Threa that are able to breathe a flame, and therefore also are one of the few to have flame resistant scales. Many thousands of years ago, the Aezkul split off from the Blazkul. They evolved to what we see today, but retained part of that fire-breathing ability the Blazkul are known for. However, most of the original space in their chest for this fire has been replaced by wing muscle, leaving them with much smaller fire capability.
Unlike any previously visited species of kul, the Aezkul are very societally and somewhat technologically advanced. They live under a republic style of government in the Aezrikka Zule, a mountain range that borders the desert. Nine dragons lead these kul in a council with many hundreds of underlings that lead cities and towns. They are experts in medicine and know the treatment for a wide range of ailments as well as complex forms of first aid. They also are renowned historians, having collected many hundreds, if not thousands, of years of written history. In fact, they invented the written language. However, these kul lack in most other areas of technology; they cannot figure out how to smith metals higher than bronze and are hopeless at more complex forms of agriculture. Most cities have large amounts of Aezkul assigned to hunting and providing food for the town. Some cities have learned how to keep and breed basic herds of livestock as well as grow a few herbs, but large-scale agriculture is out of their reach.
Due in part to the lack of agriculture, the Aezkul population is rather low. Only the Izkul and possibly the Truzkul have a lower population than the Aezkul does. More notably, two thousand years ago, a war broke out between the original three Aezkul kingdoms that spanned the mountains. It raged on for a thousand years and utterly decimated a large part of the population; assaulting fortified mountain caves was not the best for holding back casualties. Thankfully, their current cooperation and medicinal knowledge is helping their population boom once more.
The only thing stunting this population is the initiation rites that the Aezkul must pass in order to live in society. At age four, the kul hatchlings jump off cliffsides for their first flight. If they fall, they fail - and likely die. Thankfully, wings are usually developed by this age. Secondly, any Aezkul wishing to become an adult must pass another rite at eight, which requires the kul to make a new discovery useful to the Aezrikka Zule and return with proof.
Races (Left to Right, Top to Bottom):
The mighty Blazkul are likely the most feared dragons across Threa. Then again, those who have met the Blazkul generally don't survive for too long, so not many have a story to tell of them. These behemoths of the kul kind live in the deserts of the world, finding the scorching heat comfortable. Their body and scales are tempered by the constant hot sun and blazing heat of the Sacred Lands, allowing them to become completely fireproof against all sources. This wonder of biology is completely unexplained, but the Blazkul have their own ideas as to why. However, they do not look like alien creatures due to this perk; they look rather similar to the Aezkul in body structure, in fact. Their legs are still longer, though, and their wings are nowhere near as developed; there is only one shape and that is meant for soaring. It is enough for the deserts and its thermals, allowing them to be as agile as any Aezkul within its borders. However, beyond that, they lose the upper edge.
Blazkul scales' main shades vary in shade from deep blacks to fiery reds and oranges to cold blue-blacks like ash. Their general markings are usually stripes, splotches, or vague strikings that resemble flames and are colored in their secondary color, the only other color on their body beyond their claws and (possibly) their chestplates. Secondaries may only be in the same range as the main shade, but generally contrast with the main shade they are paired with. These kul also have race-specific markings depending on which of the five they come from - there are five races overall, each making up their own nation in the desert along the long rivers that cut through it, known to them as the Arms of Life. The Emberspikes, largest of all Blazkul, have large spines that line their backs from head to tail instead of the fins other races have that are colored in their secondary. Fireclaws have thicker and more muscular legs as well as larger claws with bigger paws. Their paws are always colored in their secondary color, but this race is the only one to possibly have the trait of being one full color, as well. Blazewhips have separately colored tails and also very, very long tails, able to be cracked like a whip. Flamewings have larger wings shaped better for speed and soaring rather than just soaring and are the best fliers of all Blazkul. Their wings are colored in their secondary. Finally, the Firehorns have exotic horn shapes compared to the Blazkul. Their horns are, as expected, colored in their secondary.
Blazkul are the only other species of kul able to breathe fire and they are the masters of it. They can breathe a flame that's barely flickering or one that can melt straight through solid rock, although the latter takes up far more of their fire-making capacity. Immune to their own flame, it is generally pointed towards practical use or non-Blazkul enemies. It is their pride and joy and is possibly the most deadly weapon across Threa.
The deadliness of these kul is lifted up even further by the fact that they have learned to smith steel, the most advanced of all metals on Threa. It is the main component in all of their armor, weapons, and even in their buildings in cities. They are masters of warfare and strategic cunning, having been hardened by centuries of it between their own kind. To fight a Blazkul is to resign oneself to death. These kul are also very organised, having created a system of lords and councils to rule over themselves.
There is only one reason the Blazkul have yet to take over the world; they are too busy fighting each other. The five races have separated themselves into five Hightribes, each with their own varying culture and wishes. Every few centuries a huge war breaks out between them after many years of skirmishes and cold war. This huge conflict between the five powers decimates the Blazkul population by nearly eighty percent every time. Once dwindling in numbers, the war ends and the rebuilding and preparation for a new one begins. There is no time for outward conquest and no reason for it; too much effort for too little gain.
Also dragged into their endless cycle of warfare are the Blazlin, who live and work alongside Blazkul. Their primary job is agriculture and animal husbandry, allowing the Blazkul population to flourish in an otherwise inhospitable biome.
Currently, the Blazkul numbers are rising. Populations are hitting the cap and tensions are at their boiling point... who will fall, who will win, no one knows. What is known is that the desert will be scarlet with blood and flame before the end of the century.
The Hozkul are unique creatures, being one of the only three species of kul to have no wings. Many millenia ago, the ancient Blazkul settled in the desert. Splinter factions found their way to the mountains in the north, both above and below them. The Blazkul that chose underground as their home slowly evolved to lack wings, having no use for them since they can no longer frequent the surface anyway; even moonlight hurts these kul's sensitive eyes.
While they come from the Blazkul, the Hozkul do not breathe fire. Their fire-producing glands have been altered to filter air instead, ripping oxygen out of airborne compounds normally poisonous to other species. Their eyes have adjusted to have large circular pupils that barely dilate in different lighting conditions, but can take in visual detail in even near perfect darkness.
These hulking beasts are also the largest of all kul, despite living in what would normally be the tightest living conditions; their metabolisms are usually very, very slow, lending them a slow and plodding lifestyle as they move through their daily lives. Only when their lives are threatened do these beasts become fast to move, which, despite their huge size and thick plates for scales, actually happens quite a lot. The underground world is very, very different from the aboveground with much more deadly creatures. Surface dwellers fear the underworld and refuse to set foot in most deep caves; in effect, the Hozkul to gain a lot of respect for living their entire lives down there.
Diets of these kul are rather similar to the rest; meat, primarily, harvested from cave creatures, some vegetables or fruits imported from the surface, and some types of subterranean plant matter. Since their metabolisms are usually quite slow, they do not need to eat much to keep up their muscled bodies, and so they spend most of their time dedicating themselves to learning the history and knowledge available in the world rather than fighting for survival.
Both females and males are extremely thickly muscled; they can shatter bones with a single blow of their mighty paws and easily knock smaller kul a few meters back with a swing of their head. These beasts are not to be trifled with. They not only need this powerful strength to help them cut down enemies and defend themselves in the horrifying reality of the underground, but also to help them carve out new tunnels in the rocky world they call home. Most of their homeland is natural, but a lot of it is also artificially carved out of solid rock. Using their blunt but very solid claws, they tear away at rock and dirt to create new passageways over time. No one is sure how they can break the bedrock under the ground, but it is theorized that they may use rapid heating and cooling to help weaken the rock.
Even though they are horrifyingly tough, the Hozkul are not very aggressive. They are very isolationist and prefer not to associate with aboveground species, sticking to themselves and observing from a distance. The only species aboveground they speak to on a regular basis is the Aezkul, who they share a lot of common ground on; isolationism, condemnation of war, interest in history and sciences, etc. Despite being two completely opposite species physically, it is possible that the two kinds of kul exemplify the most cooperative inter-species relation.
The Izkul look much like your worst nightmare. With devilishly long teeth, gaunt faces, overly long necks, a huge lack of muscle mass, and spines almost as long as the body is thick, this creature seems to be a force no one wishes to rekon with. However, no one even has to rekon with it; this lone monster inhabits the far, far northern floes of Threa, untouched by even the furred Truzkul. These creatures and sightings of them have been passed into legend over the years with many civilizations believing them to be naught but stories. These wicked creatures do, indeed, exist, despite the protests of more southern species.
While other species evolved from ancient variations of the Sozkul we know today, the Izkul evolved straight from the ancient Azkul who crawled from the ocean onto the frozen shores. They never evolved scales or any sort of covering; nothing can outwardly protect these kul from the bitter cold of the north. Instead, they have evolved a variation of anti-freeze in their blood. This was present in even the Azkul, especially those in the deeper seas, but more as an agent that prevents blood from frosting rather than outright freezing solid. The Izkul expanded this anti-ice solvent into a formidable antifreeze that allows them to easily patrol the frozen north without so much as a shiver. Without the worry of the water in their blood freezing and bursting their blood vessels, temperature means little to these beasts. Their bodies have evolved to function fully in subzero temperatures, although at a very, very basic level.
Despite their horrid look, these kul are piscivores. Their wicked teeth are meant for snapping onto swift-moving fish, their necks able to reach down deep into the frozen waters from the shoreline. Their jaws are otherwise far, far too weak to bite into anything with protection beyond fish scale and their mortifying fangs would be more likely to break off than tear and rend. Furthermore, these kul are actually rather small. Most legendary depictions claim them larger than even the largest Blazkul, rivaling the Azkul of the deep sea. In truth, they are hardly larger than the Truzkul and barely break one and a half meters at the shoulder. Anything larger would be too hard to sustain on a diet of arctic fish.
The gaunt look of these beings comes from just how little there is to eat in the far north. Arctic fish are not very common, so food is few and far between. Most Izkul are very lacking in musculature, giving them an emaciated look. This look is hardly as worrying as it may seem, though; the Izkul are meant to live off of the smallest amounts of energy for the longest time. Since they have no internal heating to worry about nor any sort of predator, they can dedicate all of their hard-earned calories to powering their basic functions. Muscles are not very necessary to an animal that lays beside a shore with its neck out. In fact, the necks of these beings are the only muscular parts of their body. While you may still see their spine, the neck is still rounded and clearly more muscular than the rest of the animal.
As one may expect, the Izkul are extremely solitary. They have the least population of every kul species on Threa. The only time one may see more than one Izkul at a time is during the mating season, presumably, but no living kul has ever confirmed this.
The best way to avoid these beasts of nightmare is, of course, to never venture into the deep arctic. Another way is that if one spots you, do not move. Their eyesight is very poor; who needs to see when all there is is an expanse of white snow and blue water? Their vision is very blurry and heavily based on motion. Stay still and they might not think you are a fish. Hope they do not see you as a fish.
The Mazkul are the bane of Threa's fisherlin. Small, but extremely powerful, these freshwater predators are able to drag down creatures up to the size of young Trezkul under the murky waters of Threa's inland lakes and rivers. Evolved to be the perfect ambush predators, Mazkul lie in wait at the bottom of fresh bodies of water for unsuspecting prey to take a drink or a swim. Once prey is within sight, the Mazkul will burst up from the bottom with their powerful tails and webbed claws, lunging at their quarry and biting for its neck or any appendage within each. Once it successfully has hold of its victim, it's game over; with one of the most powerful bite forces in Threa and massive teeth, this master of ambush can snap necks or crush bones before its victim even notices it is grabbed.
To blend in with their habitat, Mazkul tend to be shades of brackish blue, murky brown, and swamp green. Their markings, meant to replicate the ripples of sunlight dancing on the bottom of bodies of water, are usually bright shades of gold, silver, or copper. In the dark, such as at night, these markings disappear entirely into their scales, which shift into a deep black. Only their bright eyes are noticable during the night, providing them the ability to hunt in both day and night with ease.
While being winged, these kul cannot fly. They use their vestigial appendages to propel themselves in the water or to soak up extra sunlight during the day.
Even though the Mazkul are a massive cause of death for all kinds of lin that live near the fresh water bodies of Threa, some have found ways to make use of them. With promise of jewels, these gold-infatuated beasts can be coaxed out of their natural habitat and trained as guard dogs for especially rich lin who has riches to guard. While intelligent enough to have their own gutteral language, these Mazkul still have no concept of loyalty and thus prove to be mercenaries with a very unreliable upkeep. No food and no reflective items means a Mazkul who may find you as his next meal.
Gender (Left to Right):
The Rizkul are among the most lizard-like species of kul, their legs spread off to the side with their chests lower to the muddy earth of the rainforests of Threa. They have yet to fully gain lizardy hips and so their gait is long and requires large movements of the chest and hips. Do not underestimate these beasts, however; they have more than a few tricks in their scale and even with their strange gait, they are quicker than most predators of the rainforests. They dash forward in bursts, moving one leg far forward and tilting their body one way while their hinds move the other. Their heads stay entirely still, necks bending behind them this way and that, their piercing eyes locked on their prey. You can't run and you can't hide from these beasts of the jungle.
You can fly, though. Rizkul wings are nearly useless for flight; they are far too stubby to ever lift them into the air. Instead, these kul use them for gliding from massive tree to tree, their claws easily digging into the bark and latching them there. This sort of soaring-based stubby wing shape excels at avoiding tree trunks while still providing enough surface area for a good glide. The shadowy figure of a snake-looking beast with wings zipping overhead strikes fear even into the hearts of the Blazkul, for you never hear these stalkers coming. Their scales are crocodilian, protecting the Rizkul from the bugs, sticks, and mud of the forest while also minimizing any rasping sound overlapping scales may make. The texture blends in near flawlessly with the bark of trees while their colors meld into the deep greens of the canopy. Their weird, but very tough and muscular, legs can hold the body weight of the Rizkul up for hours in the canopy, even upside-down. Their bright eyes with large pupils cut through the muddled daylight as easily as they slice through the pitch blackness of a jungle at night.
What one must fear most from these creatures is none of the above. They may be stealthy, quick, and have very keen eyesight in the dark, but they are also small and easily overpowered in one-on-one combat. That is, if they dared to get close. Rizkul teeth are sharp but short; they do not need to close in on their kill and overpower it. A small tube protrudes from the top of their mouths, a feature alien from all other species of kul. From this tube, these beasts spit corrosive acid that easily melds its way through scale and flesh if left to fester. It even can leave dents and divots into Blazkul steel. It eats bronze and devours plantlife; it is not something to mess with. Rizkul hunt by accurately spitting this horrid mix across multiple meters, far further than they are long. Enough can be spat at once to melt through the flesh and skin of most prey, causing intense pain and, in some cases, immobilization or death. To other kul, this acid is horrifyingly painful, but the thicker bodies and tough scale of most kul is enough to resist the worst of it. If spat into the eyes, it blinds almost instantly. If ingested, it can wreak havoc on internal organs and cause death through internal bleeding.
Apart from their death spit, Rizkul are rather defenseless. As mentioned earlier, they are small and can be overpowered. They also have little hope of civilizing into big nations like those of the Blaz- and Aezkul due to the amount of infighting and the closeness to nature their mindset is. They are, however, intelligent to try to make up for this. Sentient and capable like all other kul, they know to use their stealth and surprise attacks to their advantage. They fight off intruders under the cover of the darkness of canopies, raining acid from the sky and striking fear into the hearts of kul. Most kul are terrified to go into the jungle for good reason.. especially since the Rizkul are not the most deadly thing prowling those trees.
These kul live in clans with the Rizlin, who protect and pamper the Rizkul as part of their religion. Only they can get close enough to see the unique nature of these beasts. Rizkul live in matriarchal clans, many scores of males flocking and serving one large female who outsizes them by nearly half their height. Differentiated by a bright blue stripe down her flanks, the female lives in a state of near constant heat and pregnancy, her breeding season never ending. Her males fight for mating rights, eager to come out on top and have a chance to expand their gene pool.
The Sozkul are not the most impressive beasts to watch over. Their days mostly consist of downing fish after fish before lazing on the coasts of Threa, sunning their grey scales on the rocky shorelines. Due to the sheer abundance of food in their natural habitat, there's not much left for a Sozkul to worry about in its daily life beyond whether or not they can get the best sunning spot. They tend to be simple-minded and rather dense, living in clans that have a sort of cooperation amongst each other on the shoreline.
Since they are piscivores and live near the ocean, the Sozkul have developed to be rather suited to their life on the shores. They have webbed feet to kick and push water around with their very strong and muscular legs. Their body has become rather rotund and squat to hold the creatures closer to the water and avoid any excess body mass for swimming. Their tails are thick, muscular, and made for being used as a rudder or propulsion; their tail frill can act like a flipper when moved in an side-to-side motion underwater, or a rudder. The frill on their heads and neck also help with direction while swimming, but also function as a display for courtship. Males flash bright and gaudy colors with the webbing in these frills during mating season, otherwise looking identical to females.
This aquatic lifestyle has led them to bear wings that are not very impressive under normal conditions. They can fly, albeit haphazardly, but it is extremely difficult without the help of ocean winds and updrafts. Usually, Sozkul use their gift of flight to track down bigger aquatic prey from above before diving down.
Scales on these beasts are extremely tiny and feel much like shark skin. This sort of rough sandpapery hide makes them a bit more streamlined in the water and also wards off smaller nuisances such as pesky shorebirds that pick at one's catch; a smack from a very thick tail will teach any shorebird right without causing any harm to the kul. Their teeth are shaped conically to best pierce and hold onto fish and other slippery prey. Usually, they swallow this prey whole.
The eyes of Sozkul face forward and generally have oval or circular pupils. They have a nictitating membrane that helps keep the salt water from their eyes as they swim and hunt for prey.
Most civilized kul see Sozkul as lazy and primitive. Despite this, they are as capable of speech and overall comprehension as any other species; they just have had no environmental pressures to cause them to advance as much as the others have. The only challenge they face in life are from the Sozlin, the bipedal challengers for control of the fish and shoreline.
The Trezkul are an interesting mix of beliefs, values, and societal levels. Depending on where one may be on Threa, the Trezkul could be living in magnificent kingdoms alongside lin with thousands of citizens all working together peacefully for a common goal, or living as individuals that refuse to share territory. Despite this, the Trezkul have no variation in race or anything of the sort; they all are general shades of green and brown, with various striped and banded markings across their bodies to help them blend into their forest environment.
Most important on the Trezkul are their sharp fangs. In fact, these are not just canine teeth; they are actual fangs that can inject actual venom. Unlike their nearest neighbor, the Rizkul, the Trezkul have short, powerful jaws and long necks to best snatch up fleeing or fighting prey and envenomate them the quickest they can. Their tails are of average length and are used to help them balance when weaving through the thick trees of their territories at high speeds. Their horns are medium length as to avoid catching on tree branches, while the spines and fins of their ancient ancestors recessed into nothing but slight ridges on their backs, providing protection from any airborne predators or potential rivals. Their wings also were shaped by their forested environment - they have wings based best on a mix of maneuverability and soaring to try to flit through the treetops the best they can, or soar over the plains and clearings of their home. Primarily, however, they are ground-based predators that are meant to slink in the bush and snap prey up with their long reach.
The venomous nature of the Trezkul means that they make fearsome enemies if one manages to cross a tribe or kingdom. Thankfully, these kul do not like to waste their venom as it can take a while for the venom glands (hidden within their snouts, presumably) to regenerate fully. However, enough of the venom can easily take out a full-sized Blazkul in less than a day. There is no known antidote for the venom but, thankfully for the Trezkul, the venom itself is only injected if certain pressure points above the fangs are pushed on. A small tendon and bit of flesh within the snout works like a lever, opening and closing a valve that blocks off the connection between fang and glands. This allows them to deliver warning bites without wasting precious venom before going in for the truly deadly blow.
Behaviourally, the Trezkul very widely depending on what system they live in. Trezkul that live alone are rather aggressive to unknown kul, rather territorial, contrasting with the Trezkul that live within the Sokan Empire, who are trained to be more social and tolerant of fellow kul. Of course, the Sokan kul do not hesitate to protect the small 'territory' they feel they have.
Race/Coats/Gender (Left to Right):
Tundra OR Taiga, Winter Coat, Female
Taiga, Summer Coat, Male
Tundra, Summer Coat, Male
The Truzkul are furred wanderers of the north, descendants of the ancient Trezkul of the more southern forests. They dominate the tundra and taiga, their black skin and black-patterned fur keeping them warm in the cold ranges of the planet. They developed these black patches and black skin to absorb the heat of the sun more easily and further improve their warming abilities. Their wings have evolved to be completely black, absorbing the heat of the sun, and covered by a layer of short fur. The underside remains furless and is purely skin, allowing the Truzkul to vent heat by lifting their wings upwards and exposing the blood-filled vessels of their wings to the cold air around them. The only marking on their body unrelated to keeping warm is the black eye patch, which helps reduce the effects of the sunlight's harsh reflections off of their snowy homeland and silvery fur. The fur on their paws greatly increases their surface area, along with the vestigial webs in their digits remaining from their aquatic ancestry. This surface area helps them tread on top of snow, even freshly fallen, and provides traction on the icy shores. Their forepaws do have thumbs, but they are rather hidden in fur during the winter.
While the Truzkul in the northern tundra are white and black all year round, the larger taiga Truzkul have evolved to be shades of green and brown during the summer months to better blend in with their foresty environment. Despite these color differences during the summer, both taiga and tundra Truzkul become white or silvery during the winter to best blend in with their snowy environment.
Living only in family clans and packs, the Truzkul are not as sophisticated as other species of Threa. However, they are capable of the same intelligence and should not be underestimated. Their harsh environment has forced them to be resourceful and clever. Unfortunately, their harsh environment has also made them vulnerable; their fur and skin layout provides the issue of protection compared to other species and they are very small compared to other species in an attempt to conserve resources.
Only males possess large antlers; females have smaller ones with a few nubs on the edges. Males shed these antlers every year to grow more elaborate ones the next, eventually causing the head to become rather heavy to hold up. The oldest Truzkul prefer to stunt their own horns to relax the strain on their neck.
Truzkul are believed to be opportunistic omnivores. Their jaws are short, but strong, and can latch onto prey with an iron grip. The rear of their mouths also possess very small molars for chewing. Despite their mammalian look, they do not produce milk and have no teats.
Not many civilized Kul have ever met a Truzkul in person. They much prefer to keep to themselves and their cold north. Only during the summer can they dare venture south in their lighter coats, but even then they could easily perish of heat exhaustion in the jungles and deserts of the south. Even the forest can prove too harsh to some individuals.