The Kaa are the second largest and most ferocious predators on Vokhtah, second only to the Vokh.
The iVokh call them the Red Daemons because their red-on-red colouring allows them to drop out of a clear orange sky with virtually no warning.
In build the Kaa come closest to resembling earth birds of prey with deep chests, very powerful flight muscles and true feathers which give them exceptional flying power and maneuverability in the dense air and lighter gravity of Vokhtah .
Unlike terran birds however the Kaa have four limbs and their heads are not at all bird-like. Kaa have large, forward facing eyes topped by bony brow ridges that protect the eyes beneath from all but the most accurate attack. Scales cover every fingerwidth of their faces right down to the tips of their narrow snouts and huge flaring nostrils. Below the snout the lower jaw juts out slightly beyond the upper jaw, both of which are equipped with rows of razor-sharp teeth. These teeth scissor backwards and forwards and can cut through flesh, bone and gristle with equal ease [much like to’pak].
When it comes to straight flight the Kaa are better flyers than most Vokh however they lack the jetting and hovering ability of the Vokh and this is why the average Vokh will always defeat the average Kaa. The Matriarchs amongst the Kaa are a different matter however. They are permanently female and are bigger and stronger than the males. When they have nestlings the Matriarchs become so protective and so ferocious that even the highest ranking Vokh think twice about attacking them. Only the Nine can defeat them with ease.
On the ground however even the Matriarchs are at a disadvantage as their short powerful legs are designed for lifting off the ground not running. Their long, powerful talons also become a liability on the ground, sinking deep into soft ground and providing little purchase on rock.
This vulnerability is why the Kaa usually scavenge in flights of two or more. Each flight is lead by a Matriarch and can include up to four of the smaller males. The size of the flight depends upon the age and strength of the Matriarch as she is the one who must keep her mates from fighting amongst each other.
Once a Matriarch has nestlings she hunts alone and relies on the camoflage of her colouring, speed and her great cunning to catch live prey for her offspring. Teaching her nestlings to kill and eat live prey is the first step in teaching them to hunt for themselves.
The cunning and ferocity of Matriarchs is legend amongst the Vokh and the iVokh however most still think of the Kaa as simple beasts. Only a very few of either race have ever considered the possibility that the Kaa might actually be more intelligent than ordinary predators.
This short extract provides an insight into the behaviour of these unusual beasts :
‘High above the two iVokh the Kaa Matriarch dropped down out of the orange disk of Takhti like a silent red shadow.
She had been searching for the killer of her nestlings ever since she had returned to the nest to find them both gone.
When she had finally found their bodies they had been covered in the stench of the creature that had killed them, yet the smell had not been that of the hated Black One and so she had followed the scent trail from the spot where her offspring had been killed to the shore of the big water and from there up almost as high as the place of killer winds where the trail had disappeared.
Since then she had been criss-crossing the grasslands hoping to pick up the trace again and now she knew she was very close.’
June 16th, 2012 at 11:00 am
It’s funny, even as a really little kid she had the capacity to make her pictures come alive and we’ve always encouraged her to make the most of her talent. I can do a copy of something – say a vase or a chair or whatever but I rarely do because it’s well, lifeless? Btw stick figures can have a lot of life to them so keep going!
June 15th, 2012 at 6:22 pm
More! more! I wouldn’t like to be the one who messed with that mumma! Please congratulate the daughter again too 🙂
June 15th, 2012 at 9:29 pm
Thank you, I will. I think she’s quietly chuffed.
June 15th, 2012 at 9:45 pm
She should be, I wish I could draw that well. I’m still mainly restricted to stick figures, although I’m trying! Landscapes are easier, people and creatures are REALLY hard!
June 15th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Your bestiary is really coming along. Obviously you are a very talented artist ( gifted in so many directions) or have access to one. You leave me green with envy.
Obviously the life of the Kaa very much reflects here where females also provide teaching for the pack and guidance, and would go after anyone who hurt their chick. I imagine in the future the iVokh will come to recognise their intelligence ?
June 15th, 2012 at 5:20 pm
lmao – that’s a spoiler! Let’s just say that one of the iVokh in that extract does.
June 15th, 2012 at 2:00 pm
You’re developing a very detailed gang of creatures!
Love the sample and the scent trail. Nothing like a ‘mother hen’ of any species when her offspring has been killed. No other hunter is as determined or as fearless.
June 15th, 2012 at 2:24 pm
lol – would you believe I’ve got a whole huge file of world facts? This egg has been a long time in the laying. 😉
And yes, as a mother hen the Matriarch is unstoppable.
I once sat down and thought about the question of whether I could ever kill anyone. The answer was no… unless someone hurt or threatened my daughter. I had no trouble imagining myself doing something truly horrible to anyone who threatened my chick so I had no trouble imagining that scene.