Species: Animetal

Name: animetal [ANN-ih-MEH-tul]

Homeworld: Ryarna

Size: Animetals vary widely in size. While some animetals have been made on a smaller-than-life scale - a large hunting cat weighing only ten pounds, for example - most animetals are 1:1 or set to a larger scale. Typical animetal shells are made on a 2:1 scale, while custom/display-only/rider shells are often made on a 3:1, 4:1, or 5:1 scale. There is a restriction against making an animetal who stands taller than 55 feet, but small-species spirits can be placed into 10:1 shells, so long as the shell doesn't top 55 feet. Flying animetals also have a restriction on wingspan - it cannot exceed 100 feet. Similarly, the length of an animetal cannot exceed 120 feet.

Physical Description: Animetals are mechanical animals, comprised of a spirit (usually a ghost from a creature not ready to die, typically from the First World) and a shell (designed and made by rarran engineers and inventors). The spirit and shell are fused via rarran bardic magic, so that the spirit powers the shell and 'dies' when the shell dies. Though they are clearly robots and possess no feathers, fur, scales, or hide (or anything simulating those), animetals behave and live as animals, even enacting desires to hunt and find mates, though eating and breeding are physically impossible (and unnecessary). Animetals can be varying sizes, colors/patterns, and animal types.

Senses/Capabilities: Typically, the senses of an individual animetal reflect a heightened version of the spirit's original senses. However, for Rider animetals and for many custom shells, senses are as keen as possibly with current rarran technology. Many animetal shells have added sensory perceptions, including echolocation, sonar, electromagnetic sensors, and infrared sensors.

Coloration: Animetals are colored quite specifically. Red and blue are reserved for the Riders, rarran law enforcement; red is often paired with black, while blue is usually paired with white, both in very striking and eye-catching patterns. Some custom/unique animetal shell designs, especially prototypes, are colored in "false" colors (red, blue, purple, and green - colors not usually seen in natural animal fur/hide/scales); most often, designs that make heavy use of false colors also design the patterns to be less natural and more technological, forsaking spots or stripes in favor of coloring individual components of the shell. However, the typical animetal shell is naturally colored, reflecting its spirit's original colors and markings.

Types: Animetals come in a vast array of different types. Since their shells reflect all the different animal families of the First World, including such creatures as other worlds regard to be mere myth, as well as the occasional spirit of other creatures from other worlds, animetals show a stunning diversity in their forms. Some of the most common are avian, feline, canine/lupine/vulpine, ursine, equine, serpentine, draconic, cetacean, ungulate, arachnid, primate, etc. The most short-lived, smallest, and/or least intelligent creatures on First World rarely have spirits strong enough to make it to Ryarna to be fused to an animetal shell - but it has happened before.

Language: Animetals are incapable of audible speech. Some of the most sophisticated models have text displays in rarran, and in theory, the animetal could use that display to communicate, but no evidence of such initiative has ever been observed. All the same, animetals do communicate via body language and mechanical-bestial noises - it's very primitive, but it works to coordinate groups of feral animetals, as well as to somewhat communicate with a pilot or rider.

Technology: Animetals are made of and born via technology. They are, in essence, technological metal shells powered by an animal ghost from another world; the shell and the spirit are fused together via rarran bardic magic. When the shell is destroyed, the spirit's second life ends and it is extinguished/freed to go on to an afterlife. (Opinion varies.) Animetals are designed to never need actual maintenance, using the fused spirits to keep the shell in working order; heavy damage requires rarran mechanics to repair, however. (There are theories that, given enough time, a spirit can repair even considerable damage to its shell. However, that is a feral attribute and not one easily observed by rarra.) Animetals are also often equipped with a variety of sensors and weaponry and armor; for typical animetals, the weaponry is melee-based - teeth, claws, horns, and/or hooves. For some animetals, however, guns, cannons, grenade launchers, crossbows, and missile-launchers are mounted onto the shells; these are generally used as Riders or custom shells for display only.

Magic: Very few animetals can use magic, aside from the obvious necessity of their spirits powering their shells as inexhaustible 'fuel'. Those animetals that do manage to use magic do so in the form of magical weaponry loaded onto their shells, after extensive testing and training - these include flamethrowers, ice cannons, arcane grenade launchers, and magical shields.

Social Groups: Animetals largely form social groups or remain as loners based upon their spirits' own instincts. Most animetals seem to be social to some extent; even though animetals cannot mate, the urge to seek out companionship remains, and breeding is replaced with simple kinship. Some animetals are willing to accept the companionship of a rarran pilot/rider in lieu of their own kind, especially if the animetal is trainable or fused with a custom shell. Feral packs of animetals can be quite dangerous to lone animetals or an animetal and its pilot; especially if a hunting instinct is still present within the pack.

Interaction w/ Other Species: Animetals vary greatly on how they interact with other animetals and "fleshies." Most animetals have the same regard for other creatures (both animetal and fleshie) as their spirits did in their first lives, regarding some as prey, some as threat, some as competition, etc. Animetals can also grow bitter or hostile towards all fleshies, including rarra and sentient offworlder visitors. However, many animetals are quite gentle and even friendly towards fleshies and other likeminded animetals. Overall, the spirit carries over its instincts and behaviors from its life as a fleshie into its animetal shell, largely determining its temperament until sufficient experience/training can have an impact, for good or for nill.

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