The Adyijas

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THE ADYIJAS
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Shown above: The only remaining page of a traveling biologist's notebook, found within a cave in the northern mountains. The rest of the researcher's notes have been torn apart or disintegrated by an unknown substance. The whereabouts and images of Figures 1 and 2 have been lost.

"For if the stench of rot fills frozen caves,
and if rocks swim under its smoking breath;
The adyijas comes, your death he engraves,
now wait for your rest, a merciless death."
- The Pravdak

There are many names for this horrid beast: the
Adyijas, the Rotswine, the Brood of Taluz. Recognized by those of the Pyrzahali faith as one of the most feared monsters in their legends, this beast is unfortunately all too real, lurking deep within the damp caverns of the mountains. Woe to the naïve traveler, woe to the unprepared: the Adyijas, though rare, easily spells doom for even the most trained warrior.

BIOLOGY: A MACHINE OF DEATH
The Adyijas is nothing short of one of the deadliest creatures one can encounter in the mountain caves of Enarion, with nearly every part of the body capable of being used as a deadly weapon. The adult Adyijas can reach up to 6 and a half feet tall, reaching between 400 to 450 pounds on average. Its skin is thick, yet membranous, with the entirety of the Adyijas covered in a thick, gooey slime, capable of absorbing blunt blows and resisting all sorts of poisons, toxins, and acids. Its lower body is covered in sharp, razor-sharp hairs, which can pierce a target on contact to slow them down. Its entire upper body is covered in a multitude of warts of varying sizes. Each cyst contains a corrosive acid akin to that of a strong hydrochloric acid, which the Adyijas can resist thanks to its mucous: when these cysts burst, whether by enduring an attack or on purpose, it can eat away at iron and flesh alike. The Adyijas has evolved to develop many of these acidic cysts on its swollen and muscular right arm, allowing the monster to not only crush its prey with nearly 1500 pounds of force, but subject them to painful corrosive acid. On its back, one may observe spines. These are not sharp, and are not used as weapons; however, they are used more like antennas, sensing the changes in air pressure to better detect its prey. The tusks of the Adyijas are, similarly, not very good weapons; they are usually used as indications of age amongst their kind, and are too fragile to face real combat. The beady eyes of the Adyijas are also nearly blind, due to them spending most of their lives in caves. In exchange, the sense of smell, hearing, and its unique sixth-sense due to its antenna more than make up for its shortsightedness.

Perhaps the most deadly aspect of the Adyijas is its mouth. The Adyijas is capable of exuding a hot, gaseous neurotoxin from its mouth using its specialized liver. Although the range of the gas is short, with it reaching only about 5 feet away from the face of the creature, it is capable of seriously exhausting and poisoning down its targets. An adult human, elf, or dwarf can suffer exhaustion, numbness, and a sluggishness to their movements and reaction times should they inhale too much of the gas. The gas itself can reach up to 180 degrees Farenheit, though much of the heat is lost with at least 1 foot of distance. The Adyijas is capable of even grappling its targets using its unique tongues, which it has five of. These tongues (as seen in Fig. 3) are barbed, capable of injecting even more neurotoxin into its victims to fully paralyze them. This is rarely used in combat, however, due to the short range of the tongues and the precision required for the Adyijas to use them; instead, they are usually used to fully incapacitate a defeated enemy or prey before consumption.


PASSIVE BEHAVIOR: A LIFE OF VIOLENCE
The lifespan of the Adyijas typically reach between 35 to 45 years, though they can hypothetically continue living until 60 years old. The Adyijas reaches adulthood at 5 years old, but it continues to grow in size and mass throughout its lifespan, as long as it is properly fed. The Adyijas strongly prefers somewhat cold and damper climates; as such, these beasts are typically found deep within mountain caverns, where it can fashion a den thanks to its natural body heat, corrosive cysts, and its hot breath. An Adyijas must spend much of its time tending to and resting in its den, up to 10 hours, or else it could revert back to its dryer state and harm the Adyijas. There are fears of some biologists that some Adyijas could potentially migrate to the swamp, where it might thrive better, but the trek is much too dangerous and far for any Adyijas for it to be of any real risk.


The Adyijas is a highly territorial creature, carving out small yet fiercely defended territories in the maze of caverns within the mountains. Rival adult Adyijas often fight to the death to defend their territories. The only exception is during mating season, which happens during the spring months - a female Adyijas lays its eggs, and a male one fertilizes them. No physical contact usually occurs, out of the risk of accidentally maiming or killing its partner. The female then swallows the small eggs, and starves itself in its den, which it vigorously keeps up. Within 7 months, the Adyijas brood will eat their way out of their mother alive, before turning on each other shortly afterwards. The victorious Adija will then adopt their mother's den as their own, hunting small rodents and bats until they grow enough in size to challenge other Adyijas.

COMBAT BEHAVIOR: A LIVING WEAPON
An Adyijas is slow, but shockingly stealthy in the pitch-black shadows of mountain caverns; its hooves are soft, contrary to their appearance, and do not make much sound in the rocky caverns. It can hear approaching prey thanks to its fantastic sense of smell and pseudo-echolocation, thanks to its spines, and can pursue these targets for up to a week. It typically sneaks up on its prey until it can either corner them or get them in range of its breath, after which the Adyijas has an incredible advantage. If it is caught in an unfavorable position, it will begin to fight in earnest, aiming to kill its opponent with brute force. It will violently swing its large arm, aiming to burst as many of its cysts as possible to create a deadly hazard for the enemy or even outright kill them. The Adyijas is smart enough to know how to intimidate its opponents, frequently releasing a terrifying battle cry; it is a high-pitched, grating noise, as if one has dragged a jagged plate of rusty metal across a chalkboard, magnified and layered over each other a hundred times over, not to mention the noxious gas it releases from its gaping maw. Sometimes, it will even attempt to kick its opponent, aiming to either crush them with its hooves or pierce them with its needles. The Adyijas is also shockingly bulky, able to shrug off attacks that could easily injure or even fell a trained sentient. In the off-chance that it is severely injured enough to risk death, it will attempt to flee, releasing as much acid as it can as well as releasing as many of its needles as possible to deter a pursuer.


WEAKNESSES:
Although the Adyijas may appear to be a daunting foe, which it is, there are a few weaknesses that have been observed.

1. Its membranous skin, though easily able to deflect blunt trauma and resist many acids and toxins, is vulnerable to piercing. A well placed spear could deter the beast... or simply enrage it more.
2. Hot, dry conditions dries up the Adyijas' acid, and severely hinders the production of its gaseous neurotoxin in its liver.
3. Despite the Adyijas' incredible sense of smell, hearing, and unique sixth sense, the creature is still blind and somewhat sensitive to light. Although able to adapt to new light conditions, a sudden change in lighting may surprise it, or throw it into a more frenzied (and less intelligent) rage.

USEFUL MATERIALS:
There are a number of useful materials able to be harvested from an Adyijas: its tongue, its liver, its tusks, and its acid.

1. The tongue of an Adyijas is very strong, and resistant to rot if treated correctly. The sinews of the tongue can be wound into a strong twine. Furthermore, the barbs of the tongue still contain traces of neurotoxin, which can be extracted.
2. The liver of an Adyijas, though incredibly difficult to preserve, also houses the liquid form of the Adyijas' neurotoxin. Although the process by which the Adyijas can turn this into gas is unknown, it is still potent enough to be used in liquid form, albeit in a slightly weaker state. If treated properly, it can be used to numb pain and induce unconsciousness; if used in its raw form, it can cause nervous shock and paralysis.
3. The tusks of the Adyijas are often touted as proof of martial prowess or important family heirlooms, especially in Fyrmáni culture. To have earned a tusk for your family is a great honor. The Adyijas have not been hunted anywhere near extinction, however, due to their incredibly deadly and elusive nature. More often than not, hunting an Adyijas is nothing more than a death wish.
4. The acid of the Adyijas can be harvested from its cysts with great caution. Needless to say, this acid is incredibly potent and deadly.
 
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