Author's Note: I made this as a kinda Wikipedia style biological summary of Fatalis with speculative features and explanations for its abilities. It is all labelled so you can skip to specific parts like fire breathing or flight if you want.
- Size and appearance
Fatalis is a large formerly cosmopolitan species of Elder Dragon (Hexapoda). Adults (but not fully mature) Fatalises grow up to 41.1m long, half of which is tail, and weigh up to four tons with a dark purple colouration on the upper half with a beige underbelly. The edges of the wing membranes are similarly beige.
The Fatalis is overall morphologically similar to all other Elder Dragons. For example, they possess six limbs, four of which are short and stout, with a splayed posture indicative of more basal species, each for terrestrial locomotion while the remaining pair situated above and partially anterior to the first pair of walking limbs and developed into large membranous wings. The core of their scales is ossified, creating osteoderms which act as armour. A single line of tall jagged blade-like osteoderms run from the neck down the back and to two-thirds of the tail. The tail takes up half of the body length and is highly flexible, with 50 caudal vertebrae. Large caudofemoralis muscles attach from the thigh to the tail and the tail itself has strong, quick-twitch muscles running down its length, letting it lash out like a whip.
- Skull and Bite Force
The skull is deep and broad, though not to the extent of Teostra, Lunastra or Shagaru Magala. This allows it to withstand greater force and torsion from all directions, partially laterally. However, the skull has an antorbital fenestra (opening), and two temporal fenestrae which lighten the structure and provide muscle attachment site in the case of the latter. The mouths are filled with 32 pointed conical teeth. Large jaw muscles attach through the temporal and supertemporal fenestra, connecting to the jaw, almost identically to the theropod dinosaurs of Earth. The bite pressure of a Fatalis has been estimated at 8000 PSI. Two pairs of large boney structures, with air-filled honeycomb cores, project from the postorbital bones, arcing around the large jaw-closing muscles. These structures support dark purple keratin sheaths that create large recurved horns used for display purposes.
- Wings and Flight:
Fatalis has a wingspan of up to 40m. The wings are made of a leathery membrane stretched across lengthened fingers and connecting to the body just above the hip. The wings are broad, arbitrarily similar to the wings of eagles. The wing membrane contains a thin layer of muscle and fibrous tissue, allowing it to adjust the slackness and camber. The wings are powered by large pectoral muscles attached to the keeled sternum, arcing over the smaller pair of pectoral muscles controlling the anterior legs. The wings’ shoulders are also attached to several other pairs of muscles to shift and roll them, allowing for full wings beats. The bones of Fatalis are mostly hollow with honeycomb structures, reducing weight. While not masters of acrobatics, Fatalis is able to take off and fly at a top speed of 120 kmh though, when airborne, they prefer to glide at around 90 kmh.
- Respiration and Fire Breathing
All Elder Dragons have a bird-like respiratory system consisting of un-inflatable lungs and four pairs of air sacs: Cervical (Neck), Anterior thoracic (Chest), Posterior thoracic (Waist), Abdominal (Abdomen). Air moves through the lungs air sac, nourishing the lungs with fresh oxygenated air with every inhalation and exhalation and unburdening them of stagnant air (Best explanation:
). This system of air sacs (which also convergently evolved in flying wyverns) feeds Elder Dragons the oxygen intake needed for its metabolism and activities such as flight and reduces overall weight.
Fatalis has specialized gut bacteria that produce vast quantities of hydrogen and methane gas when processing food. This gas then floats up through a connecting sphincter between the stomach and abdominal air sacs. In Fatalis, these air sacs have been modified so that their connection with the rest of the respiratory system could be closed, which slightly reduces their respiratory efficiency but allows them to store the hydrogen and methane gas. These gasses are lighter than air which generates some extra lift and lessening the load on the wings.
These modified air sacs also act as flame sacs as hydrogen and methane are highly flammable. When needed, Fatalis can open up the juncture between these flame sacs and the rest of the respiratory system, which is coated in flame-retardant gel and exhale, breathing out a stream of highly flammable gasses through the tracheal opening in its mouth, also flame-retardant. Electric generating organs lining its neck then create a spark to light the gas and create a gargantuan flamethrower, greater than that of any other creature. The braincase is surrounded by air chambers and insulating gel-like materials to protect the brain from the heat. Fatalis must be conservative with its use of this attack so as to not deprive itself of hydrogen and methane and send itself crashing to the ground.
The Stomach also has a subchamber where swallowed magnesium is contained and ground down by the incredibly strong stomach muscles and rough surface to create flammable small chunks and shavings of magnesium which is held in a lipid oil. This mixture could be squeezed through the oesophagus during a fire breath to give the flame a sticking effect and increase the temperature.
- Dragon organ and dragonveins
Located just below the heart is a large dragon organ that produces the mysterious dragon element when fed with nutrients from the blood, through the use of symbiotic bacteria. This organ then pumps the dragon energy-filled bacteria (basically dragon red blood cells) through a special liquid through its own circulatory system, referred to as dragonveins. This dragon element is fed to muscles, vastly increasing their power and speed. They can also be added directly to the bloodstream, improving the efficiency of transfer and intensifying this effect tenfold at the cost of exhaustion and pain although Fatalis has a higher tolerance for the dragon element than all other monsters. They also have specialized offshoots of the dragonveins returning depleted dragon bacteria back to the dragon organ that wraps around the blood vessels feeding into the brain to reabsorb some of the dragon energy, to which the brain can be very sensitive. This reduces the impact of excessive dragon element on the brain (as seen in monsters like the Savage Deviljho) when dosing the bloodstream with it and the moderate amount that reaches the brain does work to increase its speed and sharpness.
- Feeding and diet
Fatalis has a highly specialized method of hunting. They tend to start large wildfires and feed on the resulting dead and dying. Their strong robust skull let them shake preys to pieces and consume large chunks and also crack open bones with their conical teeth to consume the bone marrow. After a mass feeding, they tend to remain dormant for a while and most if not all surviving creatures would’ve fled the area by then. They can eat practically anything and will occasionally actively target larger prey. This mainly happens when they prey on lesser Elder Dragons to consume their dragon energy and dragon bacteria.
Fatalis are incredibly intelligent monsters, perhaps on a similar level to humans. They can problem-solve and can take pleasures in their activities, which is mostly murdering everything and everyone. They also hold grudges, as evident with the Fatalis that razed Castle Schrade. Despite their intelligence, Fatalis are solitary creatures and will often kill other Fatalises in territorial disputes.
- Reproduction and life cycle
No one knows precisely how Fatalis reproduce or what their eggs and babies look like but their courtship rituals involve display flames and elaborate dances as well as ritualistic battles between the males (essentially a mix of earthly birds and mammals).
Fatalities continually grow larger throughout their centuries-long life though they slow down considerably once they get older. As they grow, they moult their scales which leave them somewhat vulnerable (though still incredibly dangerous) for a short period before their new scales harden and ossify. This happens quickly during their adolescence, at a rate of about once a month but decelerates to once a decade once they’re mature.
A few Fatalises that grow to be extremely old, past a millennium, seem to undergo a bizarre metamorphosis. They start to lose melanin with each moult, becoming more dull and grey in colour until they appear smokey and then almost ghostly pale. The sphincter connecting their flame sacs and their lungs also loosen and they produce less fire while the electrical organ grows considerably and extend down the back towards the pelvis. The dragon organ also grows to several times its normal size within the span of half a decade. In fact, most Fatalities succumb to old age due to an overdose of dragon element. The few that survive would undergo one final moult, unveiling shimmering white scales and fur-like filaments that run down its back, replacing the line of osteoderm, and cover its chin, giving it a regal appearance. The top pair of horns also split into two branches, almost like deer antlers. Internally, the dragon organ is massive and hyperactive, constantly bleeding dragon element directly into the bloodstream. Most of this energy is then fed to the electric organ, giving the generated lightning a draconic crimson hue. They can then shoot this lightning out through channels of air ionized by the draconic energy and even exudes this power into the ambient atmosphere, creating draconic lightning charged thunderstorm and summoning bolts of red lightning from the heavens. By this point, Their flame sacs have reverted to regular air sacs as there was no need for their fire breath and the loss in buoyancy was compensated for by the larger wings powered by draconic fueled muscles.
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