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Southern Winds Weyr

Author Topic: Whers  (Read 5168 times)

Offline Southern Records

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« on: January 25, 2014, 04:16:10 PM »

This is the watch wher basics for Southern Winds.

Art by Christina Weinman, commissioned for use on SWW only.
The Basics
Watch-whers were modified from fire lizards, just as the dragons were, so they share many of the same basic characteristics.  They have six limbs, four legs and two wings.  They also have smooth skin, and the same colors as fire lizards.  They are able to eat Thread, a fire lizard ability that dragons don't have, but are unable to chew firestone.  They have tridactyl claws, like the original fire lizards, though their feet are reversed, with two articulated toes in front of one fixed claw.

Beyond that, there isn't much resemblance.  Their head knobs are so short as to be barely noticeable.  They are short and hunched, and weigh 600-800lb.  Their skin seems too tight against their bulging muscles.  Their feet each have only a single pad, yet they can move somewhat fast.

Watch-whers are nocturnal, to the point that they can't even go outside during the day.  Their wings are so small they're useless for the wher's bulk, so they cannot fly.  Their eyes are large and see mostly in the infrared range.  Wind Blossom had attempted to give them simple eyes, and partially succeeded, but the lenses remained faceted.  This caused all light to be focused on the fovea, which made it extremely painful for them to be out during the day.  Nuella asked the Smithcrafthall to create sunglasses so watch-whers could fly Thread during the day, but the first ones made were only dark enough to work as the sun was setting.  Their hearing and smell are also excellent.

They are also well-suited to their secondary job as guards.  They can recognize everyone in their hold, and are territorial enough to attack anyone who isn't introduced to them by their handler.  They are also commonly used in mines.  They can smell explosive gas or stale air long before it can kill a human.  They are also strong enough to carry loads twice their own weight, which makes them very good at digging out trapped miners after a cave-in.

--- Naming
Wher names will always end in an -sk. Their actual name is indicative of the bond they have with their handler. The closer the name is to their handler's name, the stronger the bond. For those whers that are inherited, or have had a previous handler, they may change their name or they may retain the old one. It largely depends on how close the wher is to their handler.

--- Sizing
Gold whers are 4-5 meters long, Bronze are 3.5 - 4.5 meters long, Brown are 3-4 meters long, Blue are 3-3.5 meters long, and Green are 2.5-3 meters long. Whers, as a general rule, are 1/3 tall as their length.

--- Abilities
Watch-whers are more empathic than telepathic, but they can still communicate telepathically with images.  The only time they "speak" is when they communicate their names with their handlers, and even then it's somewhat less clear than when dragons speak telepathically, and some handlers may think the name is their own idea.

They are also able to go between, but it is not an instinctive reaction.  While dragons and fire lizards will go between if restrained or to avoid a collision, watch-whers will not go between unless trained to do so by their handlers.  Since they see in a different visual range than humans, it is difficult for humans to visualize their destination in the same way the watch-whers see it.

Watch-whers' bonds are more like fire lizards' Impression than dragons'.  If they do not bond with a human after hatching, or their handler dies, they will not go between.  In fact, they can bond with a second handler if their first dies, or even switch handlers without their first one dying.  "Wild" watch-whers who have never bonded with a human are able to bond regardless of age.  Aleesa theorized that queen watch-whers needed a human handler, and would go between if unable to bond immediately after hatching or the death of their current handler.

Watch-whers are not known to have ever used telekinesis, but according to AIVAS, any creature that is capable of telepathy and teleportation should be capable of telekinesis.

--- Reproduction
Wher Run dates are listed here. Watch-wher mating Runs have a similar effect on humans to those of dragon Flights, but to a lesser degree. Regardless of color, whers only Run once a turn, and only Golds produce eggs. Once a Gold has had her Run, she will lay her eggs in about four months; two months after that, the eggs will hatch.

Watch-wher eggs are smaller than dragon eggs.  They are also wrinkled, rather than smooth.  Occasionally, an egg will have a ringlike fold around one end.  This is believed by wherhandlers to be a good sign, though some see it only as a superstition.

Unlike dragons, where the hatchlings choose the rider, it is the queen watch-wher that chooses who can take her eggs.  Anyone who wants a watch-wher egg must attempt to approach the queen, and if she allows them, they can take an egg.

--- Captivity
There are no wild whers on Fort Island. These beasties were never able to travel, and so, all the whers on the Island have been tamed and bred within captivity. Should one be released to the wild, for whatever reason, the odds they will be able to survive the Hunters is highly unlikely.

All watchwher art in this thread was made using this template by balustriad of DeviantArt. They were colored for use on SWW.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 03:45:19 PM by Southern Records »
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