Diet: Omnivore, special fondness for hard foods like eggs, tough bugs, and nuts
Lifespan: 50 years
Activity Cycle: Nocturnal
It is a universal fact that night is the time of thieves, and no creature embraces this fact more than the umbraraptor. During the day they sleep tight in dens under the sand, emerging at night to seek out both food and treasure. Umbraraptors are consummate omnivores, capable of eating nearly anything they come across, and their beaks are powerful enough to crush tough nuts and crack egg shells, some of their favorite meals. Most of their time, however, is spent seeking shadows to steal.
All dragons crave treasure, and an umbraraptor’s horde is made up of stolen shadows. Their claws can sever the connection a shadow has to its owner, allowing them to spirit the shadow away. Victims of this process become unnerving to others, their faces “flattened” by the loss of shadows. They also become listless and dull, seemingly lacking in personality. This lasts until the umbraraptor either uses the shadow up or it is retrieved, or until the victim dies, which will usually happen within a few weeks as they simply wither away.
For the most part, an umbraraptor simply sleeps on its collection of shadows, using them to pad its lair. However, it can make use of them when it so desires. By “wearing” a shadow, the umbraraptor can take the shape of its originator, copying their appearance at the time it was stolen down to their clothing. They gain the surface memories that the shadow carries and can copy the original’s personality to an extent. They enjoy using these guises to interact with sapient beings, delighting in playing at lives that are not theirs. Despite their usual predatory nature, they are often highly altruistic in these forms, doing random good deeds in the night. These disguises last a single night, from sunset to sunrise, at which time the disguise melts away in the sun and the revealed umbraraptor scurries back to its den in full view of the confused onlookers.
Umbraraptors prefer to avoid direct combat, and if startled, will use their breath attack as an escape tool. Their breath is a rapidly-expanding cloud of inky darkness, half shadow and half proper substance. It sticks in the air for several minutes before dissipating, forming a pitch black cloud that makes a visible mark in the desert till it fades.