After 1000 years of dwelling in apocalyptic shelters, some brave souls have begun exploring the surface. (This is how Rhydars were discovered and documented, by the way.) Among the first things these 'Vanguard' folk have discovered are Drakit, odd creatures evolved from cats in the harsh surface conditions (between the biological and chemical weaponry, radiation, and magical energy there, mutation is a given).
Drakit possess horns (position and design vary between individuals), a spinal ridge (of spines), hairless areas covered in scales (all Drakit have scaled undersides, but individuals may have scaled patches or body parts), and barb-tipped tails with razor-sharp claws and fangs. They are also curious, mischievous, and intelligent enough to understand human body language and obey simple commands, while also being capable of bonding with humans. In other words, they've been highly domesticated after their discovery and so we thought we knew them. We didn't.
As Vanguard members have ventured further out, shocking reports have come in of larger, stronger Drakit, about the size of a mountain lion, which isn't so surprising. What is surprising is their humanoid characteristics. They stand on two legs, make and use tools, and appear about as intelligent as ancient Neanderthals, being self-aware. They also seem to live in male-female pairs, but seem to form groups every so often-they're not exactly social, but they will interact with others of their kind and cooperate to aid each other in hunting or gathering salvage (like their juvenile form, they are drawn to shiny things and hoard metal objects), showing they are capable of altruism and critical thinking patterns.
This begs the question; why the sharp difference? How is it that Drakit get from being felines with intelligence like and equal to a primate's to bipedal, tool-wielding psuedo-hominids? Or in other words, what is behind this odd metamorphosis?
- It can't be humans. We've haven't been back long enough to trigger such a change.
- This is a natural part of the Drakit life cycle; a sort of metamorphosis. Vanguard members have reported their Drakit becoming more like Drakonomi (that's what we call the adult form) over time, from starting to walk bipedally to suddenly taking, hoarding, and crafting items with resources. These changes occur parallel to an increase in intelligence and a change in the paws, which become more suited for grasping and manipulating objects in older Drakit.
- Drakonomi aren't exactly social; they do live in pairs, they do interact if they encounter other Drakonomi, they can and do cooperate to bring down prey or gather resources, but they are aloof, and when they do form groups, they basically just do their own thing. This strongly suggests that social behavior was and is not the precursor to their higher intelligence.
- Drakit exhibit some small magical abilities, being able to shoot fireballs or streams of obscuring darkness to burn or blind prey or predators. Drakonomi can do much the same, even better with their high intelligence, and they have good natural weaponry, so they don't seem to need intelligence.
Any insight on this strange phenomenon would be greatly appreciated, thank you Monster Researchers!