Koda are large, aggressive synapsids that originate from the Zazane homeworld of Vollix, once only native in the Southern and Northern regions. Koda are valuable and powerful assets to Zazane infantry and can be considered heavy units. They are also used in gladiatorial matches and entertainment, with their bones often worn by experienced Koda slayers. Some Zazane prefer to keep tamed Koda as a symbol of strength and pride, with most Zazane having to tame these Koda themselves from birth.
Koda are featured frequently in Zazane culture as manifestations of strength and endurance, as well as often regarded as one of the most difficult animals to hunt as their senses are rather sensitive. Koda come in a variety of subspecies although each one is regarded as especially hard to kill due to a wide variety of traits and adaptations a Koda can gain, as they are as adaptable as Zazane.
Koda were first discovered inhabiting the Southern-most and Northern-most continents of Vollix, known as Minetar and Urir respectively. The Minetar Koda were found by Zazane warbands who had travelled from the neighbouring continent of Tasmanthar, the home continent of the Zazane race as a whole. The Koda were considered incredibly dangerous and were one of the causes for the Zazane staying away from Minetar's desert lands for several centuries, as this was where the Minetar Koda would often be found living, with the odd one travelling outside of the desert lands and straying into small settlements which would become the sites of massacres.
The Urir Koda were discovered during a more urban age of the Zazane, when they had developed basic armour and weaponry. The Koda in Minetar had been considered monsters and were added into the Zazane's mythology as punishers and collectors of damned souls, so they were not completely surprised to find Koda living in the hellish, arctic conditions of Urir. These Koda had grown fur to help keep them warm, as well as hide them effectively amongst the snow. By this point, the Zazane had concluded that Koda were indeed creatures that thrived in hellish environments and would make worthy hunting prey due to their immensely destructive capabilities.
A thousand or so years after the discovery of the Urir Koda, the Zazane began using Koda for entertainment purposes in arena matches and gladiatorial battles, often pitching groups of Zazane against chained Koda. These battles became popular and inspired Zazane to build settlements further within Minetar and Urir to try and capture more Koda for such purposes. Eventually, they would become more than entertainment when one Zazane champion, Kiyal Vosale, managed to beat a Minetar Koda bull and spared its life, thus gaining its trust and respect. The bull would later come to be known as Zikantaar and made itself prominent in Zazane myths and legends through its incredible feats, such as tales of it and Kiyal storming against much larger Zazane warbands by themselves without the need of an army and winning. From this point, Zikantaar was known as the Phantom Storm, as it was said to charge across the most heated battlefields while devouring soldiers and corpses from both opposing armies in a mighty rage.
Koda eventually left their reclusive homes and spread across more of Urir and Minetar, as well as being shipped and bred across other continents as well such as Tasmanthar and Sahrothrel. To this day, Koda are still used in gladiatorial matches and have also become bodyguards, steeds and domestic pets for high-ranking Zazane officials, who have either raised them from birth or tamed them in battle. Koda meat is also highly prized and considered a rare delicacy within Zazane culture, due to how uncommon it is to see Koda in the modern day.
The body of a Koda is entirely encased in thick scales that are coated with a layer of naturally-occuring solid Shidium material, which is designed to reinforce the scales and reduce damage reception to the skin beneath. The scales vary in colour while the Shidium layer is transparent, the colour of the scales vary in environment, gender and age and can range from greens to more bright and exotic colours such as blues and purples. It is not unheard of for monochromatic Koda to exist on some worlds, although they tend to be rather rare in domestic environments. There are also certain Koda subspecies that can actively change the colour of their scales to camouflage themselves into the environment.
Koda usually walk on two powerful legs filled with compact muscle, although if needed to run they are capable of using their arms to assist them, with their speed reaching into the 100mph mark. To support this, Koda possess an organ which is capable of acting as a secondary heart which pumps their blood faster and more effectively, alongside large lungs to take in air. Koda are capable of consuming large proportions of food and storing it over the course of a week in case they cannot find prey to satisfy their immense hunger during this time period, although starvation usually leads to Koda having to commit to cannibalism of their partner or their young in desperate measures. Koda possesses eyelids capable of keeping out sand and snow in desert and arctic environments, which is where most Koda originate. Koda of both genders possess strong tusks constructed of natural solid Shidium, although those of male Koda tend to grow longer and larger. Their are portrusions across the backs of Koda which are usually used to indicate attract prey while a Koda is dormant, as they often sleep while hidden amongst their environment and become incredibly active a short amount of time after waking up. Koda meat is highly nutritional and rather soft, making their meat more desirable amongst Zazane and other races.
The Koda's senses are as powerful as its physical strength. Koda possess a lense within the space between their eyelid and their eyeball which comes into play when in arctic environments; it can see in thermal vision, which gives it a big advantage when hunting in arctic temperatures and environments. In other environments, Koda are capable of detecting heartbeats in other creatures. Koda ears are able to distinguish each individual sound it hears and can memorize many sounds throughout their lives, so they can also identify prey through the sounds they make. Their noses are also capable of something similar, with Koda being able to memorize smells and scents. The only scent that they do not rely on is touch as they have next-to-no sensitive areas upon their body, usually only found inside their mouths and the flesh beneath their scales which acts as an effective armour.
Koda, like Zazane, carry eggs within their bodies during pregnancy, often with a maximum of three eggs at one time. The reason for such a low number is due to the size of infant Koda, which are born at around the same size as pre-teen humans. Pregnancies last for an entire year and are often one of the most stressful times of a Koda's life, due to having to find food and carry a large amount of weight inside of themselves, along with the birthing itself which involves releasing the infant as well as the egg shell, which is incredibly hard to break and is capable of cutting a Koda's sensitive area. Koda are known to only go through so few pregnancies in their entire lives.
Koda are capable of producing an acidic and venomous saliva which they use to bring down stronger prey. This saliva is capable of stopping a Zazane's regeneration process and forcing the wound and injured flesh to be completely removed, although most Zazane do not survive as the venomous properties of the saliva is rather potent and can completely shutdown organs within less than an hour. Their jaws are also capable of making crushing equipment look obsolete and their jaw power is strong enough to bite through even thick solid Shidium layers and constructs without injury to themselves. Their immense, serrated jaws are specifically evolved to wrench away and tear flesh.
A Koda's temper is legendary and they are famous through Zazane territories for their high level of aggression and intolerance. Koda generally do not require much sleep as they have adrenaline within their blood to keep them active for long periods of time, as well as making them prepared for most situations that either involve hunting or conflict. Younger Koda are often abandoned by their mothers from an early age and are forced to fend for themselves with basic hunting skills, although it is not unheard of for young Koda to wind up in small hunting groups to support one another, although they will often split up in their later years due to internal conflict as it is in the nature of Koda to be aggressive with other members of their own kind. Koda are by no means incapable of performing on their own, in fact they tend to perform better as they will have no allies to worry about when they go on a rampage, which often ends in highly destructive results.
Koda have no regard for their young and will only look after them for the first year at most before abandoning them to learn by themselves, as food is more of a priority for a Koda. Female Koda will not actively search for mates and most pregnancies occur from a violent conflict for domination between a male and a female, with males indicating that they have defeated the female through forceful and unwilling intercourse. Koda are aggressive to other Koda and nearly all other living beings, although Koda can be tamed if found at the earliest possible age or is defeated by a sapient being who has spared it. Domesticated Koda are often a lot stronger than those found in the wild and are much more adept at organized fighting, which incorporates their natural instinct into teachings with their owners. Koda are protective of their owners and will often go into violent rampages against those who actively seek to harm them.
Koda are almost incapable of feeling fear and will fight with just about anything it encounters, with the sole purpose of killing them and consuming them. Koda will often attack with intense and powerful strikes from their claws which can collapse entire buildings, although other strategies include attempting to devour the prey whole or crush them either beneath their feet or their own body.
- - Jerkon
“Gimme one of these and I'll make a rodeo with it.”
- - Koluap
“Well...we did not have these back at Kryptka.”
“Not exactly ideal for a food supply, but they are certainly powerful war machines. No question about that”
“Not great for my style of hunting but certainly surpass my war Krann. I wonder how easy it will be to keep a few of them?”