From IvanWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fiction: This page is a work of fiction by squashmonster

You know how dromedaries have one hump and camels have two?

Ommels have eight, in a circular pattern.

They are docile herbivores that live in large herds headed by a single ancient white-haired ommel (informally referred to as "bristlers" by researchers due to the sharp spine-like quality their hair takes on as it turns white). They do not generally react to human presence unless attacked. Ommels are extremely large animals -- calves take up an entire Attnamese Standard Tile, adults take up a 2x2 AST area, and bristlers have been known to take up entire 3x3 AST areas.

The ommel is remarkable in that their physiology seems reversed from almost all other animals. Their diet consists mostly of plants that to most other animals (including humans) are poisonous at best and as a more general rule deadly on contact. While their meat is unsurprisingly vile and poisonous, most of their waste products are high in vitamins that are extremely beneficial other animals (still including humans).

While not exactly domesticated, communities in the far west exist that use ommels as a type of cattle. Ommels shed their coats every year in preparation for the wet season (in fact they are the only animal that does not migrate away from the Yitnur mountains during this season, using their razor-sharp hooves to maintain a purchase on the ground even when the season's peak reaches and nothing is left but water and rock), and their hair is knitted into durable armors. Ommel waste products are carefully collected by handlers and sold for their beneficial properties.

Because the ommel normally barely notices humans, handlers must take great care to not get stepped on and thus killed by the animal's incredibly sharp hooves. While female ommels produce milk, but attempts to milk an ommel invariably results in dismemberment. This has not discouraged entrepreneurs from attempting to find a way to milk these creatures, though it is unlikely that ommel milk is very nutritious to anything other than ommels. Ommels have been successfully used as draft animals, but only when the ommel was already headed in the direction the handlers needed -- ommels do not mind being given extremely heavy loads, apparently not even noticing the extra burden, but attempts to sway the animal to move in a useful direction go equally unnoticed (or result in the ommel becoming enraged).

Once enraged an ommel will either gnaw at its handlers with its powerful jaw muscles and hard, blunt molars, leading to an excruciatingly painful death by crushing, or kick with one of its eight sharp hooves, leading to an amazingly bloody but overall more pleasant death.

The lifespan of an ommel is significantly more than that of a human, to the point of currently being unknown. They do eventually die of old age, and their bones, hooves, and teeth are harvested for their great strength. Ommel bristlers apparently have even greater lifespans than normal ommels, which, along with the fact that a given herd will only have one bristler at a given time and the fact that they do not shed their hair during the winter, makes materials made of their distinctive barbed hair incredibly rare. Currently there are three known suits of ommel bristler armor and six known ommel bristle weapons. The locations of most of these are lost and the only reason they are not assumed destroyed is their incredible durability.