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 Salamander [Fire]

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Join date : 2015-05-06

PostSubject: Salamander [Fire]   Sat May 28, 2016 2:17 am

Name: Salamander [Fire]
Location: Earth
Average Life Space: 300-600 years
History: Long before the rise of the earliest empires and civilizations; the Age of Beasts brought forth all manner of exotic and wondrous creatures. Wave after wave of evolution saw the rise of fish, amphibians, mammalian-reptiles, dinosaurs, and eventually the true mammals that would lead to humanity. It was during the buffer between the time of the amphibians and the mammalian-reptiles that the fire salamanders appeared in the world.

Almost a bridge between the animal classes, they retain much of their amphibian heritage; however evolution has graced them with many of the traits and strengths of the better adapted reptiles. Of course, the most obvious difference between them and other creatures is their affinity with the element of fire. Their earliest ancestors where simple salamanders that where born, lived, and died in pools and volcanic lakes near the end of the amphibian age, which grew and adapted to the harsh environments over many generations. Over time, they gained the ability to stay upon land for longer periods of time; developing somewhat reptilian features to compensate. It was this taint of the reptiles that allowed them to survive the extinction event that wiped out most of their amphibian cousins and the world they had once known.

The world was now a mess of volcanic poisons and heat; which they readily adapted to fully. As the air cleared and the lands where cleansed of the volcanic poisons; the evolved salamanders appeared from the volcanic wastelands; the very volcanic fires that had once destroyed the world running through their veins. They had left the waters of their ancient home behind entirely and find a new place in the glorious heat of the fires; they where born from the embers of the fire, lived in the heat of the flames, and returned to ashes when they died.

A new world had dawned, one ruled by the descendants of the reptiles, dinosaurs. Creatures of immense diversity and the undisputed rules of the planet for hundreds of millions of years. However, even in this time of savage beasts and giant monsters, the Salamanders where safe. They where just to large for most hunters to handle; and their physiology made them impossible to eat. Most dinosaurs learned quickly to avoid the large, fire breathing, burning beasts from the mountains.

It was during this time of monsters and beasts that the first sparks of light appeared in the minds of the salamanders; they had always been intelligent, large size and larger brains made them so; but in this world even the least appetizing prey had to be smart to survive if they didn't want to join the biological size race. It would be impossible for them to grow larger; they fed on wood and coal and tar and anything flammable in large quantities; to grow bigger would doom the ecosystem and themselves.

Instead, they grew smarter; the hand-like paws they had always had where perfect for holding and fashioning tools. First sharp rocks to cut away vegetation; then vines used as ropes to make long handled primitive saws and shovels; eventually they began to evolve the ability to rear up onto their hind legs to augment their early tools. From here, the sky was the limit; they began to gather and store supplies in the volcanic caves they called home; which allowed them to spend less time foraging and more time together. Simple, clan-centric societies began to develop; passing down new ideas and new tools; eventually trade of ideas and goods; and after several million years of work and learning and adaptation; they had formed one of the earliest racial civilizations ever seen. It was still crude; in tools and language and knowledge; but it was theirs, and it kept them safer and alive.

Three ages of dinosaurs came and went; with each the monsters grew larger and the salamanders grew smarter. It was slow, but it was stable; metallurgy came naturally to creatures of fire and earth, and they did not need to burn material for their fires; they used the earth itself, or their own internal fire. They developed iron and steel together; crafting bigger and better tools for harvests; the knowledge of cultivating their own forests as food sources to compliment the minerals of the earth.

And then; the end of dinosaurs; a hammer shot from the sky that reawakened racial memories written millions of years before. The lands became hellish wastelands; no food, no more giant beasts walking the earth. The salamanders retreated into their caves; growing smaller as they fed on their stores of food for as long as they could. When the stores ran out; they began to hibernate, falling into the rivers and pools of magma that would keep them alive while they waited for the world to restore itself.

When they emerged; the beasts of old had died away and left the world a blank slate. Forests had grown again, and the new masters of the world where small, furry little creatures that chattered ceaselessly. This was a world more like what they had originally evolved in; slightly cooler and far more wet; however, they where no longer of that type; they needed dry and hot and lots of food to survive. The dinosaurs left a legacy; the coil and oil and tar that formed from their remains where a perfect and abundant food source that covered much of the globe.

Slowly, they reformed their old ties; sniffed out other survivors, and reformed their safety net. In this new world; smaller was better, easier. They shrank further; having once been larger then houses, they where now more akin to the larger land predators of this new world; 18 feet nose to tip of tail, 6 feet at the shoulders. This would be their final size; a comfortable balance that they retained to this day.

It was in this early time as well that they underwent their final burst of evolutionary reworking. Something they had noticed in other races that shared the spark of sentience and culture; the ability to change shape. Bipedal seemed to be the shape of choice in this new world; and given they had long ago learned to stand on hind legs for extended periods; evolution had an easy time adapting them to new forms. However, there was a trade off; in these newer, secondary forms the salamander grew small and weak compared to their natural forms; retaining their natural fires in exchange for their armor like skins and dense bones. To a modern eye they appear almost human in these forms; however one could argue that humans are the copycats here; this form of the salamanders, much as many 'humanoid' creatures, pre-dates humanity by millions of years. Simply put, evolution follows the easiest templates over and over again.

In modern times; the salamanders generally live far away from humans and other races; mostly out of safety and concern for others. Their internal fires make them dangerous to cities that are giant tinderboxes; and their odd forms cause many humans to call them monster or beast. A few still choose to walk among the rest of the peoples of the world; but they do so quietly, ever in hiding, lest they be the next victim of humanity's fearful nature.
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