Beyond the Stars
The Rasa Ngeri is a medium-sized flightless, carnivorous saurian/avian species native to Oraia. The early scouting teams nicknamed it the “Nightmare Bird” due to its aggressive hunting behavoir, lack of fear, dark black feathering and razor sharp teeth and toe claws. Though not an apex predator on the (relatively) larger continents, on some of the smaller islands the Rasa Ngeri is at the ecosystem’s apex. Despite not being an “apex” predator on the larger islands, it is one of the most effective and deadly animals on all of Oraia.
The Rasa Ngeri is a nocturnal hunter, taking advantage of its dark coloration. It withstands the heat of the day by finding shady, cooler places to sleep. Its feathers also help to vent off excess heat. When night falls, the Rasa Ngeri hunts in packs of two—a mother and a child. These packs communicate verbally with each other, coordinating a quick ambush. When the opportunity presents itself, the Rasa Ngeri swiftly attack, first taking fast, deep claw strikes against their target. With small prey, this is often enough. For larger prey, this opening attack weakens the creature. The Rasa Ngeri will follow this opening attack with additional hit-and-run claw strikes until they finish with a pouncing strike designed to knock their prey down and eviscerate it while biting at its prey’s face and neck.
The Rasa Ngeri has no direct analogue in current earth-descended creatures. In terms of extinct species, it is closest to a “missing link” between ancient dinosaurs and current avians. It has vestigial forelimbs and reptillian eyes, but heavy feathering. It exhibits bird-like behavior with its raising of young. Rasa Ngeri are hermaphroditic, which serves them well as their total numbers are (thankfully) small. Rasa Ngeri that are unrelated only remain in each other’s territory long enough to mate. An unpaired Rasa Ngeri is first “male”, and after mating becomes “female”. The “female” Rasa Ngeri lays a single egg and attends to it vigilantly, often losing considerable weight as it has far less hunting opportunities. When the young, featherless Rasa Ngeri is born, the mother continues to watch over it and feeds it fresh kills. Rasa Ngeris take up to three years to grow to full height, and during this time the mother teaches the young how to hunt. The mother/child pair then remain together until the death of the mother or the child. If the child dies first, the Rasa Ngeri reverts to mating behavior. When the mother dies first, the child undergoes puberty and starts exhibiting mating behavior.
Only unpaired Rasa Ngeri exhibit mating behavior. Otherwise, Rasa Ngeri are fiercely territorial of their “family” space.
Native to: Oraia
Type: Pouncing Carnivore (Flightless Avian)
Average size: 4’ Tall; 104 pounds standard g (Oraia gravity: 80 pounds)
Limbs: 4; two legs, two mostly-vestigial arms
Metabolism: Partial regulation
Growth Style: Continuous Growth
Reproduction: Hermaphroditic; Egg-laying; Strong K-strategy; 1 per brood.
Herd Behavior: Pair bond (mother/child)