Diet: Leaves, woody shrubs
Lifespan: 255 years
Habitat: Thorn Forest
Activity Cycle: Diurnal
“I think they enjoy being miserable.” -Oolod Voss, dragon expert
Bloated with poison and seething with malice, few things are worse to find pushing through thorny bushes than a squalate. Their tough, leathery skin is pockmarked with infectious boils, causing constant pain that drives the creature’s vicious temper. The vibrantly pink fluid in these boils is violently infectious, causing the skin of any creature it touches to swell up in the same painful welts that plague the squalate. These are not fatal, but react to the slightest touch with agony until they fade after a few weeks. Their fluid will also spread more welts if they happen to burst before they fade, a not-uncommon occurrence given the thorny bushes the creatures enjoy.
Squalate are territorial and irritable, and treat nearly any creature that enters their eyesight as a threat. Their thumb spikes are their preferred weapon, capable of leaving fatal wounds on their own but also used to inject more of the creature’s pink pus into the bodies of foes, something much more lethal than an external exposure as the pustules continue to burst and spread, causing internal breathing. Their breath weapon can do the same, a pink gas that grows pustules on any flesh it touches, including in the lungs if breathed in. This is the most lethal form of the squalate’s poison, but it is reluctant to spend this weapon carelessly.
Squalate are, like most dragons, rare creatures, each staking out a territory of their own in what are called thorn forests, dry places with thorny shrubs and scattered trees. They are unbothered by thorns and happily eat the spiniest of branches, and even make their nests from ripped-up shrubs, the spinier and more uncomfortable the better. They will add sharp rocks whenever they find them, and hide their treasure under these layers of painful defense. They have a particular fondness for sharp objects and especially torture devices, which they will often toy with, invariably injuring themselves.
If two members of the species meet, they will always fight, wrestling and attempting to strike the other with their thumb spike. The first to be struck will retreat immediately back to their nest. Like any other creature, they develop more boils where they were stabbed, but within them are developing infants. After less than a week of development, they will stab their way out. When first born, they are small, quadrupedal, and only equipped with their nose horn. They are begrudgingly tolerated by their parent until they reach 20 years of age and are large enough to live on their own. In the absence of a mate, a squalate can stab themselves to create offspring alone.