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Image:Scroll2.png "They almost look peaceful from a distance and perhaps this is what makes them so deadly."
- Bayon Thunder-roam, Drykas Watchman
FrequencyCommon in Sea of Grass
Threat levelMedium to High
Major featuresSharp tusks, teeth, quills, and claws
Abilities30 mph plus on flat ground running
Most common inSea of Grass, Cyphrus

The Spearback (pl. Spearback) is a large, mid-ranged, predatory rodent common to the Cyphrus Region and more specifically, the Sea of Grass. These creatures are short-sighted, nocturnal hunters that seldom work together in groups though come mating season, in late spring to midsummer, groups of males can be found fighting for the attention of lone females. [Spearback] are particularly dangerous during this time and should be avoided at all costs.



Spearback, also known to the Drykas as Scout's Bane, are slightly bigger than a large, domesticated pig, standing half a foot higher due to their longer legs. Mature males can weigh upwards of three hundred pounds, while females are a lot lighter, averaging about two hundred fifty pounds. They have five toes on each foot with sharp, black claws strong enough to break tanned Ixam hide.

They have a small stub in place of a tail and a snort, snout like nose they use to turn up the earth with, just like wild boars. Males have large tusks which they use for fighting each other. Their front and hind legs are well suited to digging and during the winter season the burrow down under the earth to hibernate until early spring. Spearback have no ears and instead rely on reading vibrations through special sensors in their feet in order to determine whether or not they are in danger. They can feel a rider on horseback approaching at a gallop, up to half a mile away.

The soft underbelly of the Spearback is coated in thick, waxy hairs and are often collected to craft waterproof vests and horse blankets, while its back, neck, and skull are covered in quills about four to six inches long. These quills can be fired into the Spearback's prey or anyone man, person, or thing that gets too close for comfort. When the Spearback feels threatened, it shoots these barbs into its target which are laced with a quick working numbing agent that leave the target paralysed and unable to move within as little as three minutes. The toxic quills can be removed and victims will recover within five to ten days with the right medical treatment.

Death at the hands of a Spearback is slow and torturous as the creature will wait until its victim is paralysed before stripping the flesh from their limbs with tusk-like teeth. Often hunters who fall victim to the Spearback are mauled and left to bleed out as the Spearbacks diet is only substituted by meat. Bigger predators such as Glassbeaks often share territory with the Spearback and pluck the barbs from their victim before tucking into the remaining meat.

History and Overview

The Spearback is a relatively new species first discovered after the Djed Storm of 512. Believe to have been born of the wild djed still roaming the Sea of Grass, sightings of these animals are becoming more and more frequent as the seasons pass. Hunters are fighting to keep their numbers under control with the Drykas people already finding a number of uses for them.


Spearback are omnivores, eating both plant and animal material, changing their diets with the seasons. In spring, eighty percent of their diet is made up of grass, foraged roots, berries, fruits, and vegetables, with rabbits, birds, and snakes supplementing the other twenty percent of their diet.

During late spring to midsummer, male Spearbacks eat less due to their natural instincts which drive them to find a mate. Subsequently, they have less time to eat and tend to take on bigger, more protein rich diets, hunting deer, wild pigs, cattle, horses, and even Night Lions.

Late summer to mid-fall the Spearbacks diet returns to normal, racing the Drykas to the best foraging spots, they can eat a wide variety of plants, including poisonous shrubs, berries, and venomous animals which help yield enough toxins to produce and replenish the numbing agent stored in their quills, of which the Metallic Asp Snake has always been a favourite. They have been known to prey on hunting dogs and cats, or any animal curious enough to make the mistake of approaching them.

In late fall female Spearbacks are particularly dangerous and will eat just about anything they come across in order to fatten up before winter when they spend most of their time in underground dens, hibernating until early spring when they emerge from their underground homes with their young and the cycle starts all over again.


Spearback are nocturnal and only venture out of their dens once the sun has set. During the night they will spend their time grazing and foraging into the early hours of the morning. At first light they have been spotted scuttling back into the dens and this is often when people, especially hunters, run into trouble with the creatures.

Males make a low-pitched grunting sound while females tend to remain silent, letting off a shrill shriek only during the mating season. Females are very protective of their young and often stamp their feet when they sense danger.


Spearbacks mate in late spring to midsummer and are polygynous. With many males contending for the females attention, only the strongest will be able to mate and often many young Spearback males are killed or severely injured during this time. Spearbacks give birth to up to four young early on in winter, the female excavates a den to give birth and hibernate in. When the young are born they move into a special pouch on her belly and suckle throughout winter, diminishing their mother's fat stores which must be quickly replenish come spring when her young are strong enough to leave the den and graze on grass, roots, and berries.

By mid-spring the young are strong enough to fend for themselves and can produce enough toxins in their quills to paralyse a mature Glassbeak within minutes. While the young are welcome to stay with their mothers until the following winter, most choose to roam the grasslands fattening up on its wealth of food before they're forced to spend their first winter alone. Spearbacks grow quickly are considered sexually mature by their second spring.


The Spearbacks quills are filled with a non-deadly, quick acting neurotoxin that affects the function of healthy nerve tissue which will inhibit movement and completely paralyze any animal it comes into contact with. Twenty barbs are enough to bring down a full grown man, while this quantity would only cause numbing in a larger animal’s limbs, such as a horse. Spearbacks have been known to fire up to two hundred barbs per attack and are covered in as many as seventy thousand quills at any given time.

Spearback neurotoxins have no affect on other Spearbacks. Quills are often collected by the Drykas people to use in place of a local anaesthetic. More recently they have also been fashioned into makeshift darts for blowguns to use while hunting. Spearback toxins are a lot like bee stings, the more a person is exposed to the toxin, the better the immunity they are able to build up. Full blooded Drykas have less trouble recovering from Spearback poisons than others.