Izkul

Physical Description

Few who have seen the Izkul are even believed when they describe these nightmares. Covered in slightly reflective skin, ranging from ash grey to snow white in color, these terrifying beings look something out of your worst nightmares. Spines nearly as thick as their neck line their entire body from head to tail. They boast fangs so long and sharp that they cannot fully close their own mouths for fear of impaling their skin. Milky white-pink eyes stare mindlessly into other's; even the pupils are white, signalling their near blindness. Icicle-like horns sprout from their heads, covered in the same skin their body is.

Their claws resemble their teeth in length; sharp and spear-like, they could skewer many creatures in Threa with one stab. Despite their terrifying looks, these monsters are the second smallest kul in the world; they only reach 1.6 meters at the shoulder.

The only thing keeping these beasts alive in the freezing north is a special anti-freeze agent in their blood that preserves their organs and the blood itself in the subzero temperatures of the north. They lack many temperature-sensing nerve endings in their skin to avoid the feeling of being cold, as they always really are; their entire bodies are programmed to work with temperatures nothing else can live in.

The Izkul look alien and outlandish compared to the rest of the world. Their entire bodies are thin to the point of showcasing their bones through their skin, making them look skeletal and constantly emaciated. Their neck is freakishly long compared to their body; it's about as long or 1.5x as long as the body itself, made to reach out over icy waters and plunge in to snag wriggling fish in their spear-like fangs. Their tails are nubby and rather useless in comparison, only existing as a sort of extra energy storage.

Each paw has four digits on it, with the forepaws boasting a thumb, which is rather useless to them in their environment. Each digit is tipped with a long claw meant to spear fish straight through and yank them from the water. Hindclaws are slightly shorter than fores to assist in walking.

On their back are two tiny spines, connected to their bodies with a thin membrane that light can easily shine through. These are left over from the large frills on the backs of their ancestors, which were dropped to conserve energy and precious body mass.

As suggested by their milky eyes, these beasts are almost completely blind. They cannot see color very clearly and rely on movement to spot anything. After all, movement is all they need to notice and spear fish. There's nothing else to see in the far north - snow expanses are far as any eye can see. Their sense of touch is also rather numbed, only letting them really feel pressure if they are to bump into something. Pain has almost been utterly forgotten, along with a sense of temperature. Hearing is keen enough to listen for the roar and splash of the ocean waves, or to listen for cracking ice that may threaten the kul's life. Smell, too, remains sharp to pinpoint the salty scent of the ocean.

Behavior

Izkul don't have much behavior to speak of. Anything not a fish and not the opposite sex is not of interest to them and so they avoid it. Food, they attempt to catch and mindlessly eat. After living in the north for so many years, they have lost a lot of the original intelligence that the kul further south have. They only have the faintest concept of self-awareness and they put that towards their own survival over anything else.

Social

The Izkul don't really 'do' social interactions. The most social interaction they get between adults is mating for a minute before parting ways. Mothers care for their young, but not enough to jump into the sea to save one that falls in. They seem rather heartless.

Reproduction and Development

Not much is to be said here; if a male and female bump into each other, they mate, and part ways.

Izkul are birthed live ready to fend on their own and eat full food much like some snakes. One or two are born at once, as this is all the mother Izkul can care for; the young ones are given scraps of fish she catches from the ocean. They feed until they are large enough to stand on the ice and fish on their own, whence they go off on their own, leaving the mother for good.

As an Izkul matures, it will only care for sustaining itself on the meager fish of the far north. It expends all of its energy on just fishing and refilling said energy or wandering for better spots to fish. If they bump into another Izkul, they will scent each other to determine sex. If two of the same sex meet, they will part ways to find fishing grounds far apart; if the opposite sex meets, they generally will mate before parting ways again.

Izkul don't live too long compared to other kul. Their lives end after one or two hundred years naturally. In this span, they may only find ten or so other Izkul wandering the arctic; they are very few and far between.

Ecology

There's very, very little to be said of the northern wastelands that these monstrocities live in; it's bleak, cold, white, and more cold. Food is non-existant on land, leaving the sea the only source of food.

Habitat

Living in the arctic wastelands, the Izkul have to deal with a lot of natural pressures: absolutely freezing temperatures, harsh blizzards, and haphazard weather. During the winter, the days grow so short that the sun may only be present for an hour or less. In the summer, the sun never sets. The ground is constantly covered in at least a meter of snow further inland, the only respite being the thick ice that covers the ocean that collects less snow.

Diet

Izkul are purely piscivores and spend their life on the icy shorelines, grabbing fish that swim near enough to the surface.

Competition and Predators

The only competition the Izkul have is with their own body's ability to live in such harsh conditions. Whales that move into the north during the summer may prove a threat if they spot a fishing Izkul, but many just avoid them; far too little meat for all their effort.