Hozlin

Physical Description

Hozlin are the humanoid brutes of the depths. With a height ranging from 1.7 to 2.0 m (5.6-6.6 ft.) Hozlin are the tallest humanoid around and with their muscular build also the most massive. One has to also keep in consideration that they have a very leaned forward posture, yet they reach such heights. The posture means they can have strong, thickset bodies and still fit into the tunnels of their habitat easily. Hozlin are packed with muscles and their strength is renowned. To balance out their heavy, leaned forward chests Hozlin have equally heavy, thick tails. While they aren't very dexterous appendages, they make for good counterweights, allowing a Hozlin to move around and work without having to worry about falling forward. Female and male Hozlin seem to look almost identical; non-Hozlin will have trouble spotting the fine differences in body shape and facial structure, such as wider hips and less edgy cheeks.

No horns adorn the heads of the Hozlin. The claws on their fingers and toes are short, blunt and gray like the rocks they thread on. Hozlin teeth are sturdy, thick, and thanks to their strong jaws the dwellers of the deep are able to crunch through shells, carapaces, and any kind of tough plants that might grow underground. Their jaws even have a rugged, hard edge, which further assists in cracking open whatever shell covers up the nutritions flesh, be it that of a fruit or that of a creature.

The scales of the Hozlin are tough and their skin is thick. Given the presence of sharp stones everywhere underground and the overall roughness of their habitat and the dangerous creatures they share it with, it is no surprise the Hozlin grew such a durable hide. Insects tend to have a tough time biting their way through the hide. Color-wise their hide is a lot like the rocky world surrounding them - from dark grays bordering on onyx black and light browns everything is available. Hozlin do not have any markings, but their bellies tend to be lighter colored than the rest of their body and in some spots there can be darker splotches of the primary color.

Because they originate from underground where one cannot see far usually and it pretty dark, the eyesight of the Hozlin is horrid. They have trouble seeing further than 30 m (~100 ft.). However, they can see well within that range, even if barely any light is present. Their eyes are almost as good at amplifying light as those of the Hozkul are, but in turn they suffer from the same issue - bright light blinds them temporarily and can, in bad cases, even cause permanent damage to the retina. Hozlin also have thermal pits near their noses, which allow them to see up to 3 m (10 ft.) away, even in total darkness. For people who aren't used to them the eyes of a Hozlin can be a bit terrifying as they are pitch black. The ears and nose of a Hozlin are not worth mentioning, both are rather average.

Hozlin also have a sturdy respiratory system - their lungs are capable of finding even the faintest traces of oxygen in the air of the Underworld. In places other creatures would become light headed because of a lack of fresh air, the Hozlin continue to do heavy labor undisturbed. However, they can't do this for a too long time. Every now and then they have to enter places with better air, thus they always settle in caverns that are relatively close to the surface.

Behavior

While Hozlin may look like they only have brawn and no brain, they do possess average human intelligence. However, their minds are like the rocks they are surrounded by - unwavering and never moving. Most Hozlin are stubborn and not easy to put on a different path and many are rather distrustful towards strangers and things they do not know. Despite that they are also willing to do what they can to survive, thus they have made a few interesting discoveries such as steel, with the help of the Hozkul, out of necessity. To learn about their social behavior, culture, and similar things please refer to the HozReok page and the Kingdom of the Free Caverns in the Nations category.

Reproduction and Development

How a potential partner is picked and wooed is told in the nation pages mentioned above.

One fertility circle takes eight weeks for the Hozlin and only the last three to five days at the end are when the female is actually fertile. A Hozlin female will be pregnant for roughly 70 days after her eggs have been fertilized, then she lays 1-2 eggs. They hatch after an incubation period of 120 days. Hozlin hatchlings know how to crawl after a few minutes. After one year, their air filtering organ becomes active, and half a year later they can properly walk and somewhat properly speak. It takes Hozlin a bit more time than the other lin species to reach sexual maturity; they have to be 15 years old before they can create offspring. Between the age of 18, when they reach their full height, and 120 Hozlin are at their strongest and healthiest, and they can become up to 200 years old, depending on how healthy they lived.

Ecology

Habitat

Hozlin live all over Threa, or rather beneath it. The Underworld is their natural habitat, no matter how dangerous it may be. Their tough hide and strong bodies is well suited to dealing with all dangers, be it rock slides or ferocious monsters. Wherever there is moss, fresh water, and fresh air, the Hozlin will gladly inhabit the area and build fortified cities.

Diet

It matters little to a Hozlin what they eat, they can and will eat anything to stay alive. Be it insects, the meat of monsters, cave mushrooms, or moss, anything that can be safely consumed will be. The Hozlin even cultivate various kinds of mushrooms, roots, and moss, fish the depths for weird looking fish, and gladly hunt even the deadliest monsters (usually alongside the Hozkul) as long as it means some protein enters their diet.

Competition and Predators

Thanks to their size and muscle a Hozlin could likely fistfight a Truzkul and the strongest among them might be able to wrestle a Mazkul. Yet neither of these two species of kul are predators Hozlin have to face during their lives underground. Caverncrawlers and blindseekers are the worst foes Hozlin face in the Underworld and it requires teamwork, steel weapons, and perhaps the help of a Hozkul to easily beat them. Without the Hozkul it turns into a challenge, but not one the Hozlin aren't able to win. Thankfully none of the surface nations care for conquering the Underworld, so they have nothing to fear from them.

Origin

Hozlin derived from ancient lin that moved underground to find shelter from the beasts above ground and the threat the sun posed. Their closest relative are the Sozlin, which is evident in their posture.