Lore

Bartal’s Bestiary - Mawktopus


Description
The mawktopus is a bipedal creature that stands roughly 9 feet tall and can weigh over a ton. It supports itself on two trunk-like legs and has a thick abdomen, giving it a quasi-humanoid appearance. Its entire body is covered with an incredibly thick hide which ranges in color from grey to brown. Its upper appendages consist of two collections of four tentacle-like mauve-colored limbs. At the end of each tentacle are a series of razor sharp hooks that the creature uses to grasp both its environment and prey. Above the appendages is an eyeless head which is dominated by a hugely disproportionate maw. This maw is filled with rows of serrated teeth which regrow in a manner of days. Moss often appears on its body, adding a level of camouflage to it’s appearance.

Habitat
The natural habitat of mawktopi include both the Battleglen and Shadowmoor swamplands. It has also been rumored that there have been mawktopi sightings in the northern jungle regions as well, but none have been confirmed to date.

Behavior
The mawktopus is an amphibious creature, preferring to spend its time in deep, murky water where it can conserve its energy by allowing the water to support its massive body. From the concealment of the water, it can ambush its prey. With the buoyancy of the water, a mawktopus can swim at an excellent speed, but if provoked onto land its speed lowers significantly. When moving about in the water, the mawktopus uses its tentacles to feel its way along the surface of the water. However when on land, the creature employs its tentacles to grasp any near-by surface in an effort to support its weight.

Although mawktopi are ambush predators, they are extremely aggressive. They are the apex predator of their territories and have a distinct lack of fear. They are capable of tracking by scent and will pursue a target for miles outside of their range. Mawktopi do respect one another’s territory and will avoid one another at all costs outside of mating season.

Adult mawktopi mate once every 4-5 years and once mated, the pair will quickly part ways. The female will then choose a nesting place near the water’s edge where she will lay anywhere from four to six eggs, which she then buries under composting plant matter. She then stands watch over the nest for up to 6 months, eating only what comes within her reach. Once the eggs hatch, the newborn mawktopi weigh roughly ten pounds, and they will remain with their mother for several years.

Diet
Mawktopi are obligatory carnivores and will consume any creature they can catch with their tentacles. This includes all manner of fish, reptiles, mammals, insects, and humans. Though they may inadvertently ingest plant matter with their prey, a mawktopus will never intentionally eat vegetation.

Predation
Adult mawktopi have no natural predators. Young mawktopi that wander from their mother’s protection are often eaten by large swamp predators and other adult mawktopi. There is currently no trade in mawktopi parts, but this may be due to a total lack of supply.

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