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Length: 2.43 m
Width: 0.35 m
Height: 1.98 m
Weight: 215.56 kg
Speed: 52.12 km/h
Habitat: Variable. Preference for extra-arid, unusually warm climates.
Anatomical Features: Bipedal reptilian. Shortened forelegs. Exceptionally powerful and efficient hind legs.
Hollow, large, forward horned structures typically not used for defense.
Feeding Habits: Carnivore with preference for desiccated flesh.
Etaniok Runners are, physically, the reptilian near-doppelganger of the warm-blooded Tashiri. The powerful hind legs offer them remarkable bursts of speed and their cold blooded bodies thrive during the searing days in the open desert. As night falls, the bubbling magma corridors surrounding A’raf (Erebos’ stronghold) draws them in like moths to a flame, making them natural patrol steeds for the Muties.
Unlike the (arguably) intellectual Tashiri (which exhibit an astonishing preferential streak in the selection of its rider) the Etaniok does not appear to “bond” in any way to anyone, or even one another. They are highly food motivated and will happily perform for anyone who will provide water, heat and jerky-like flesh of any animal. The large horn structures on either side of its head are not used as weapons in all but the direst circumstances. They are, in fact, honeycombed, offering a surprising rigidity for very little weight, and angled in such a way as to channel vibrations directly to its auditory nerve centers. Essentially, they are the mammalian equivalents of giant, external ear drums. The Etaniok is able to selectively tap into this extra-sensory hearing or shunt it (neurologically speaking) so as to not be overwhelmed by surrounding noise. In the still of the desert night, it is all but impossible to land an arrow effectively within 20 meters of an Etaniok, which will have dodged at least that far away from the projectile.
Most Muties, being of the shrill sort, do not make for good Etaniok handlers. Indeed, many of the most effective riders tend to be the mute. Whether they were made thus through combat injuries or at Erebos’ decree is purely speculation.
The best way to avoid problems with the Etaniok is to not be anywhere near where they might be found…especially if being directed by a Mutie. Such a picture probably means you’ve roamed too close to A’raf. Barring that, possessing more dried meats as bait for a trap or misdirection is advised. Etanioks do not like being surrounded by constant loud noise and are thankfully ill suited to large scale combat. Their physical abilities are impressive. This aversion to noise can be used as a deterrent on an individual or small pack basis.