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|World||First of the Sun|
|Featured In||Sixth of the Dusk|
”How do you escape them? You don't draw their attention in the first place!— Sixth reflects on his uncle's training
”It looked like a bird — in the same way that a wolf looked like a lapdog
Nightmaws are bipedal quadrupeds, standing on powerful back legs that bear most of their weight; they look somewhat similar to feathered dinosaurs or giant birds. They have long necks and would be as tall as a tree if they stood upright, but they instead they lean forward in a predatory posture. Despite their large size, the nightmaws are also very fast. A nightmaw's two clawed forelegs hanging low, tearing up the ground when they move. They have a gruesome head with a razor sharp beak that is as tall as a door. A nightmaw's skin is leathery and bumpy, like a plucked bird.
Behavior and Abilities
Nightmaws are nocturnal. Many of a nightmaw's normal senses are relatively dull, as they are almost completely deaf and blind; however, their sense of smell is incredible, and they have the ability to track minds by detecting the Cognitive Aspects of their prey. This makes them deadly predators. They are also clever, for beasts; in fact, some think nightmaws have begun to realize that humans make use of the mind-shielding Aviar and can only be tracked by scent.
When out at night, a trapper's only options are to avoid them or die. Nightmaws' thick skin is nearly impervious to regular bladed weapons, although it is vulnerable to larger gunpowder-based weapons such as Vathi's spear cannon. The nightmaw's skill at hunting makes it the apex predator on at least Patji, although it is uncertain if they exist on any of the other islands of the Pantheon.
Nightmaws call out with a horrible screech when they detect prey or are attempting to scare their prey. One of their chief prey are herds of krell, which often sleep beneath Aviar nests to keep their minds hidden from the nightmaws. A nightmaw's screech can scare away the nesting Aviar, revealing the locations of the sleeping krell. A dying nightmaw may also screech in a different way, quieter but more horrible and chilling, which may call other nearby nightmaws.
When Vathi and Sixth of the Dusk crossed Patji at night to prevent employees of the Northern Interests Trading Company from engaging the machine from the Ones Above, a nightmaw came across their trail. It followed them, bursting out of the trees and surprising them. However, Vathi shot it with her spear cannon, mortally wounding it. In its death throes, its call attracted other nightmaws from across the island. Dusk and Vathi fled up the canyon to Patji's Eye, pursued by the other nightmaws. Trapped in the pool, Vathi and Sixth lashed one of the blooming flowers from Patji's Fingers to a spear and fired it from the gun. As the flowers mimic a Cognitive aspect, the nightmaws were distracted by the flower and followed it away, allowing Dusk and Vathi to escape.
|Sixth of the Dusk (First of the Sun)|
|Characters||Sixth of the Dusk · Vathi · First of the Sky|
|Places||Pantheon (Patji · Sori) · Eelakin Islands · Mainland|
|Magic||Patji · Aviar (Sak · Kokerlii) · Patji's Eye|
|Groups||Northern Interests Trading Company · Ones Above|