A Shivae is essentially a smaller member of the Acid Whip family that resides on the planet known as Cyantzium. They are descended from Earthen Dinosaurs and other extinct creatures that were commonly referred to as "Dragons" on Earth. Unlike their larger cousins, Shivae lack the proper internal holding chamber for the acid that gives the Acid Whip their name. Unlike their ancestors, Shivae have longer hind legs and forelegs, shorter necks and are in general larger and more deadly if angered.
When Shivae in general are mentioned, it is usually the Common Shivae that is being referred to. There are other varieties, but most differences are in size and appearance.
Female Shivae stand between four and a half feet to five and a half feet tall at the shoulder, while the males average between five and six feet at the shoulder. The long balancing tail is quite flexible for use in keeping the Shivae upright as well as for use in fighting. The tail itself makes up half the length of the Shivae, including the head and neck. The neck itself is strongly muscled and supports a short compact head with a rounded muzzle filled with teeth that are two inches long and serrated for slicing easily through meat. The eyes are usually brown, green or yellow and situated at the sides of the head just beneath a crest of feathers. The ears are hidden behind the feathers and protected by them. Shivae are covered in a coat of short, soft fur (with northern varieties having considerably longer and thicker fur) and lack scales or any type of defensive armor. They rely on their speed as a defense instead.
They are all bipedal creatures with three toes on each foot as well as three 'fingers' on each hand. Weight is impossible to gauge due to a special gravitational affect that the bones of a Shivae manipulate. Their bodies synthesize a special metal that is found throughout their skeletal and muscular systems. It is theorized that this metal when adjusted mentally actually allows the Shivae to lighten its own body weight so that it is capable of flying and leaping longer distances, as well as traveling extremely fast. It's not uncommon for a Shivae to lighten its body when chasing something, leaping into the air and then reverting to its normal weight right before it impacts with its prey. This is one of the reasons Shivae are effective predators. It is also thought that the Shivae's ability to 'slide' from one area to another is made possible by these metals.
This metal also collects into a keel bone in adult Shivae that goes from the base of their neck down, around their internal organs, making it practically impossible to get a vitals shot on an adult Shivae. Thus the only practical method of rapidly subduing / killing a Shivae is via suffocation. Their only natural enemies are Acid Whips and a few larger, easier to evade carnivores.
Their bones are hollow.
In any case, they all have the ability to go through a negative dimension of wherever they are to get to anywhere they need to be unseen by anything but other Shivae, usually referred to by Shivae as 'Going Cold'. The only drawbacks to this ability is that it's freezing cold so they can't travel long distances through it and they can only go to and from areas they've already been or they'll risk becoming lost in darkness and possibly freeze to death before happening upon someplace visible. Shivae can see what's going on around them when they go cold, unless they are passing through solid objects. The real world is usually visible as a black and white shadow world to a Shivae traveling in the negative dimension.
- 'Running Cold' is also a term for any Shivae that is in bad shape, dying, dead, or a ghost/zombie Shivae. Basically, it's frightening and unsettling.
The above is all held in common with each and every Shivae. The following appearances differ from each individual. Shivae appear in many color combinations, some of which are fairly exotic due to living in thick forests with a lot of underbrush and brightly colored plants. The main patterns are two colors together with stripes running along the back and neck down to the tail. Solid colored Shivae can and do exist, but most follow the natural coloration of lighter bellies and darker backs.
Wings are not always present, nor are the killing claws on the hind legs. These retractable claws take the place of a toe usually in the center of the foot or on the inside. In some rare cases, retractable claws will replace both of the outer toes so that a Shivae will have two killing claws on each foot. The most common type is the central toe claw. The dual clawed Shivae don't tend to be able to run as fast and it is very rare for a dual clawed Shivae to not have wings.
The hind legs are used the most frequently followed by the forelegs and tail. If they have wings, they will also use them. When fighting or attacking prey, the Shivae keeps its head back and out of the way unless it can go for an immediate throat or back hold.
They have shorter, rounded pointy teeth that are GREAT for gripping, which is mostly what Shivae and Acid Whips do. In the case of Shivae, they grip with their jaws and slash with claws, thus, pointy serrated teeth are not as useful. They can do a lot more damage with their claws. It also makes the prey they can hunt much more varied in size. They can hunt very small prey or creatures several times their size when working in a pack. They are not specialized hunters.
Shivae also have slightly blunter teeth for chewing vegetable/fruit matter. They shed their front teeth every few years indefinitely. If a tooth is broken or lost, it will grow another one within six months. A damaged nerve will cause the tooth beneath it to grow in faster, although the Shivae will likely end up with a bad toothache for a couple of weeks until the tooth falls out.
There are a few Shivae who excel in camouflage; most of these lack wings and the ability to slide for more than five yards. They are far more sensitive to cold than a normal Shivae due to having a much shorter and finer coat of fur than normal.
There are also Shivae who have adapted to water life, having no fur. They do however possess enough insulating fat that they do not suffer any extra cold when passing through the negative energy plane.
Shivae will regurgitate meat for others, usually gulping it down to soften it for chicks or ill Shivae.
Shivae have a relatively short lifespan, typically living only 60 years (although in the past they lived 80 - 100).
Shivae are highly protective creatures and if threatened will react with violence. They are also nosey and curious, which gets them into a lot of trouble. They can understand by motions and tones of the voice what is wanted of them without knowing the language and can learn to understand languages.
Shivae are highly intelligent creatures but cannot converse with humans and Cyantian through a vocal means as their mouths and voice boxes are simply not built for the language. They can be taught to 'write' with their claws, but lack the ability to use most tools, as they do not have an opposable thumb. They do not have their own organized society other than their pack, which may consist of anywhere from two to twenty members (but rarely exceed ten unless there is a lot of large game to be hunted), very few of which are related.
They are wild animals that choose to be sociable to other intelligent creatures. They tend to be active creatures in both day and night, any time of the year, although they do tend to sleep during the hottest part of the day and the darkest part of night, being primarily active dawn, dusk, and evenings, and spend more than half their time at play. They are such successful hunters that they can afford this. It also helps that they have one of the most efficient digestive systems of any predator. Shivae hunt large animals, such as horses, unicorns, bucks, etc and smaller game that's edible. They also eat a variety of plants, fruits and nuts. They only hunt and kill when they need to eat, and usually fish first. They prefer not to hunt intelligent creatures (those with 'sparks in their eyes'). Likewise, they do not wish to waste a kill, so they don't make a large kill when they're not that hungry.
- Very young Shivae learning to hunt will often do so as a pack and they all play their parts. The ones without wings at their age, while fast and nimble, are better off staying hidden since they're not big enough to attack anything. They make good diversions and send the prey off into the direction of the ones actually waiting for the kill. The winged ones are bolder in their interaction, simply because they have far more mobility. The parent usually does the killing strike.
Take the best qualities of the dolphin, a kitten, a puppy, and a three-to-six-year-old child and that gives you the mentality of a Shivae. Those who are taken as 'pets' are loyal to their masters without fault, just as they would be loyal to their own kind.
Fights between Shivae are rarely lethal, consisting of showing off their power. Both males and females do this, and it is the female that chooses the male she likes, and then the father of the female has to approve. They remain together for life afterwards and sometimes the male may gain more than one female, very rarely but it does occur if the females are sisters, like each other or there is a shortage of males.
When a Shivae wishes to alert others of its presence in a nonthreatening manner it will make a loud purring sound. (Caiden and Koel, strip 8)
Shivae have their own mythology, and pass down tales through stories and learning songs.
They often have their own descriptive names for things. For Example:
- Butterflies are Breezers
- Rainbows are Colored Rain
- Acid Whips are Big Wings
- Miniwhips are Alarms
- Bees are Buzzer Thorns
- Sweet bark is honeycomb
- Fire is Red Tongue, Red Teeth, Golden Claws, Golden Air, Sun's Rain, etc.
- Puffer for a fluffy critter chicks like to chase
- The Immigrant Races are Newcomers
Shivae mark their territory by climbing trees and leaving long scratches down the trunk. If the border trees aren't marked frequently, other Shivae may think the territory is open and intrude. (Caiden and Koel, strip 6)
When it comes to mating, males must impress a female by showing he's a good provider, nurturing and protective,... without offending her. Females stand on equal ground with males and are sometimes a little larger and heavier. They tend to look for a mate that works with them as opposed to orders them around. Females must approve of the male first. Most do. But there are clans in which females are subordinate and clans in which males are subordinate.
Males will need to impress not only the female, but her father as well, before he will approve of the mate as being able to provide for his daughter. A male which mistreats a daughter will be driven off promptly and viciously and most males up to five years of age will not stand up to a mature Shivae.
Most of the time, the father will go the way the daughter wants, but he also acts as an outside observer to make certain that his daughter isn't being led away in a dangerous situation. There are males who make it a practice to eat other Shivae and since Shivae live in groups for the most part, the only way to get your choicest meal away from a group is to single them out and then lure them to where the rest of your pack is waiting.
There are also female packs which keep a single male around just long enough to breed with, then kill him. Males avoid clans which seem to be compromised of females,... unless they're really desperate and think they can impress one. It doesn't always work.
On occasion, clans will take advantage of a male who is seeking a mate and have him help with their hunts, then drive him off immediately afterward.
Males WILL challenge other males if there is more than one vying for the attention of a female and these challenges will start out with screeching displays, then shoving matches and gradually increase in intensity until one is driven off. On occasion, the father will side with one male.
Once a couple is paired, the female will not stand down to another male attempting to claim her from her chosen mate. The paired clan name is taken from both as they become one and is blended (though sometimes follows the mother's side as the clans are strongly matriarchal). A mated pair when asked for further lineage should be able to list quite a few generations back. It helps prevent inbreeding. Primitive as they are, they are aware of problems that occur with accidental pairings of siblings from different clutches with the same parents or 'cousins'.
While in general Shivae are 'good' creatures, there are some particularly nasty ones out there as well that grew up under different clans and different cultures.
In older times males would kill the chicks of an unattached female to bring her into season sooner and force her to accept the closest male. It usually doesn't happen in more recent times, in part because a female would never trust a chick killer and turn on him as soon as she was able. (Vas, strip 367)
Usually a clutch consists of two to six leathery eggs. Both the mother and father will guard their eggs from any outside interference they deem as dangerous. Eggs can be laid at any time of the year and often are. Shivae chicks achieve self-awareness while they are still in the egg. It takes two weeks for a shivae egg to hatch after it's been laid, but they actually spend most of their time growing inside the mother, about six months, where they're safe and attached to the mother with a sort of umbilical cord which not only provides oxygen and nutrients over the duration, but also transmit some of the mother's memories. The eggshells do not harden until AFTER they come into contact with the air. They don't take up the entire space of the shell inside, they're only half as big as the egg when laid and the eggs are slightly oblong and extremely flexible to begin with. When they harden, they're in hard but leathery shells, more like a reptile's eggs than a bird egg. You'll notice that only after 24 hours, the Shivae chicks can communicate VERY well, although I'll note that what they're saying is really the gist of their own language. They're speaking baby talk compared to their parents in much simpler ways. They can talk very well because they were spoken to before they were even born. That's why they know their names and have an identity, because Duske would touch the eggs and speak their name and talk to them. They could feel the warmth and associate it, and figure out things even if they couldn't speak very well to begin with. That's how Shivae, Gryphons, Scythetail and Kessel all treat their young. They talk to them while they're still in the egg and it helps their development. Feasibly, a domesticated Shivae could learn language if treated similarly while young and would be considered 'sentient' if it could communicate, but the older ones are very set in their patterns and lose even the possibility of gaining language and speech patterns.
The babies do not walk immediately after hatching and will remain in the nest for a week before being able to move on their own. It is not until they are about three months of age that markings begin to come in, at which time they've tripled in size and no longer sleep most of the day. They are still completely dependent on their parents at two seasons (6 months) of age, as they are still learning basic skills, such as hunting and flight. They also usually learn an initial fear of heights (from their parents not allowing them too near edges for fear they'll fall) which they overcome as their agility increases.
Shivae teeth replace themselves every ten years, although they lose teeth three times in the first five years of life.
Males leave their family clans at 2 to 3 years of age to go on their own (although they won't achieve full maturity until 4 years of age (females achieve it at age 3)). They would not be expected to fully take care of themselves until they were two years of age, and even then they'd stay with their clutch-brother and probably pack with a few other young males. Females do not leave their family clans, except in very rare cases, and often remain with the clan until a mate is approved by their father, normally by the time they are 4 years old. By this time, they have helped rear another clutch of chicks and have learned everything they need to know from their parents. A young male of about 3 to 4 will often join another clan with a female in it that he is interested in to gain the approval of the father as a good provider by helping. Sometimes, more than one male will be involved. Shivae mate for life.
In primitive times, if the female was killed of a mated pair, the male would often abandon the chicks to their fates. Nowadays, they tend to raise them themselves in such circumstances.
Some Shivae have been domesticated, and are used either as guardians (like a guard-dog), or as riding beasts (primarily among the Fox). These Shivae can be eaten, but they're considered a rare delicacy and not often used for dining due to their value in other ways. It's like how horses are. In some countries, eating horse is common, in ours... it's stared at.
The domestication is not limited to the Immigrant species. Digni have been known to occasionally take and raise Shivae chicks, as well as raising domesticated ones. For this reason Shivae tend to avoid them, especially if they have chicks. They tend not to concern themselves with those that have been domesticated though, for the domesticated ones are dumb and no longer speak. A domesticated one gone wild is also avoided, since they ignore traditions and do such things as take a mate by force. (Cler, strip 214)
Shivae are typically ridden on their shoulders since they have very strong wing muscles, and sitting lower down the back places the riders legs beneath the wings where the Shivae can accidentally crush them.
Shivae have a very FINE coat of fur and it varies depending on the species and location, from no more fur than humans with tufts of annoying furry-feathers on the head and neck, to thick foot-long fur that is prized for making coats out of.
Wild Shivae are quicker in learning to hunt. If with their wild-born parents, they would have had constant experience in hitting and missing prey and humbling experiences as well as appropriate admonishments and support.
- Wild Shivae are in general difficult to find. They are leery of newcomers due to being hunted heavily for their fur, having their chicks stolen, and being killed for eating livestock. They avoid all settlements, though their curiosity can be used against them.
This category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total.
Pages in category "Shivae"
The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total.