Harrinjiru is a rather small Fanged Beast with a dark brown fur and several lighter shaded stripes. The ringed tail is quite long and fluffy with a round end and no thicker or thinner parts. The rings are alternately a dark and a light brown color. The most remarkable characteristic is the plants which grow in its back. It's a shrub with several stems growing from its back which form can be shaped to the face of a predator. Harrinjiru's feet are broad and the front limbs have shovel-like claws. The head is round with a light brown mask and two round ears. The Fanged Beast possesses a short trunk which is the only thing visible when burrowed in the ground except the shrub on its back. The eyes are rather small.
Habitat and Ecology
|A Fanged Beast with bush on its back which can be aligned to look like a predator's head. Depending on experience and heredity, so the location inhabited, the bush forms a different head in dependance to the top predator there. Harrinjiru is nocturnal catches insects and eats fruits. Because of its hoarding behavior seeing it is believed to be a lucky charm.|
The Fanged Beast is found in different boreal areas as well as regions with soft soil and shrubs growing. Harrinjiru is known to reside the Sagnum Woods, the Dark Hain, the Unseen Boscage, the Dawn Forest and the Moor. The nocturnal monster burrows itself into the ground at day, only the trunk and the shrub visible. The spot, where it's buried, is in the sun, so the shrub on the back is able to perform photosynthesis. Herbivorous monsters which want to feed on the leaves of the shrub are repelled by Harrinjiru.
At night and on rainy days the Fanged Beast behaves differently, as the shrub can't photosynthesize the monster needs to find food and other nutrients to support both organisms. Harrinjiru often devours earth to get minerals for the shrub to grow and survive. This can be done when underground as well. Otherwise it feeds on insects, Neopterons and other small monsters as well as fruits. The sense of smell of the beast is very developed making it possible to find food by scent and also to perceive approaching monsters who could be a threat for the shrub while underground.
Harrinjiru is known to have a territory, which it doesn't defend. It only leaves it when food is scarce or mating season begins. Inside this territory the Fanged Beast has a kind of nest where it hoards shining, mostly valuable objects. Finding the nest is often perceived as a lucky fortune and seeing this monster is a lucky charm to many people living around the forests. Rings, gold and silver jewelry and other precious items are regularly found in their nests.
The shrub is that distinctive that it is a species only found growing on Harrinjiru. The roots actually connect the plant with the blood and neural system of the monster so they can exchange information and nutrients. While oxygen and sugars are shared with the Fanged Beast, the monster shares minerals and other nutrients like phosphor with the plant. This symbiosis seems to be very successful as both organisms are quite numerous in comparison to other monsters.
The shrub on the back of the Fanged Beast can be shaped by muscle contraction and initial growth to an image which is mostly the head of a top predator in the area it lives in. Additionally the stress hormones when encountering a threat trigger a slight temporary color change of the leaves with contrast additionally to the reddish substance secreted from the plant, so the head looks more plastic. Small nuisances are scared off by the size of the shrub alone as the stress hormones are hardly present. Together with a deep roar which is caused by a larynx which is located quite deep in the throat, the illusion is complete. The image displayed is usually inherited by the mother and seems to be partly hormonal nature but something else as well. Yet the simulation can be changed in the life of a monster. It's unknown how it works but the traumatic experience of Harrinjiru can change the image the shrub on its back can display. It seems this strong sentiment and experience for the monster also affects the growth of the shrub.
It is concluded that this change helps Harrinjiru and the shrub to survive as a known predator in the area is more effective in frightening a monster than an unknown. This also implies the survival of an encounter with the monster the shrub later displays. The image a Harrinjiru is born with is usually formed in the time while its blood circulation is connected with the one of the mother.
The symbiosis achieved is helpful for both organisms. Protection and mobility for the shrub, less nutritious needs and the ability to frighten off dangerous enemies for the monster. But this symbiosis is even more complex than it seems at first glance and this can be seen at the mating season the most while it is visible anytime on the body of the monster, revealing a triangle symbiosis at closer observation.
When mating season arrives the hormonal changes not only affect Harrinjirus behavior but directly stimulates the shrub's own reproductive system, developing flowers. The flowers scent and the hormonal discharge awakens the adulty of the third party, the cocoons of caterpillars adhered to the back fur of the monster. As the butterflies hatch from their pupas they stay in the shrub to get ready for their task in the symbiosis. When the monster comes into contact with another individual of different sex, they then mate while the butterflies, had already drunk nectar from the own flowers before, get to the other side bringing pollen and piston together and indulge in their own mating. All of that happens on the female's back as the following procedure is done by her.
While the female now searches for a safe place to bear its youngs, the eggs of the butterflies are adhered to the back of the female. When the offspring is born, the seeds of the shrub are ripe as well as the caterpillars hatched. The mother then shakes the seeds over the backs of the youngs while the caterpillars move over as well. Over time the roots grow into the back, connecting to the neural and blood system what doesn't hurt the young as the back doesn't have pain receptors (like the neck of young dogs and cats). The caterpillars follow the subtle scent of the seeds and feed on dead skin particles and lost hairs. By moistening the seeds with her spit the female Harrinjiru commences the growth of the shrub. This cycle happens every year and the timing is synchronized by now.
When the mother dies or other means stopped the seed from growing on the back, the youngs may still survive, yet become a lot smaller than their relatives with seeds and are more timid and anxious. They often live together in groups unlike the solitary lifestyle of the individuals with symbiosis. The monsters are preyed upon more frequently and have hardly chance to resist the predator. This makes it harder for the seedless to survive, yet the possibility of youngs without seed being born from mothers with symbiosis is high enough to establish their own paraecological system outside the normal one.
Another phenomenon is commonly observed in the Dark Hain where few places with sunshine are available. The population of Harrinjirus gathers at the sunny places yet there is not enough space for all, leaving some individuals out of them. This inevitably leads to fights for the spots in the sun. The losers are at a great disadvantage as the shrub is not able to support the symbiosis. Those individuals are constantly on search for food and sometimes come close to the villages close or inside the Dark Hain, making them a target for quests.
With its monster imitation Harrinjiru has a chance to inflict the fear status on opponents but this depends on the distance. The closer the enemy, the higher the chance. Also how the hunter looks at the monster decides the rate, he/she can get the fear status. When the hunter looks directly to the monster it is lower as when the monster is at the side of the visual field, where it looks more realistic because of the processing of the information in the brain.
Other than that physical attacks are the Fanged Beast's main weapon, especially its claws. It can also use a fluid excretion on the leaves of the shrub the monster takes in and mixes with its saliva. When the resulting substance is spat on an opponent, it inflicts stun. Harrinjiru also uses chunks of earth from its stomach, which it spits on an enemy, inflicting earthblight.
- Claw strike: Harrinjiru stands up to then let itself fall down and strike down with its claws.
- Claw swing: The Fanged Beast takes a swing with one of its claws and swings it from side to side.
- Mud throw: It sticks its claws into the ground, takes a chunk of earth and throws it upwards towards a target, similar to Blangonga.
- Chunk of mud: Similar to the mud throw the monster pricks into the earth but heaves a bigger chunk which gets heaved up and falls over.
- Tail smash: Harrinjiru lifts its tail and looks back when suddenly strikes down on one side, behind it and then on the other side. When someone stands close to the impact zone of one smash, the hunter gets targeted directly.
- Slobber shot: It takes the excretion of the shrub with its trunk and mixes it with its saliva to then shoot it through its nose towards a target.
- Mud bomb: Harrinjiru chokes up a mud chunk and spits it towards an opponent. Can be repeated.
- Mud breath: The Fanged Beast starts to eat mud from the ground and then spits out a mud breath from side to side, which lasts for some seconds.
- Monster imitation: The monster contracts its muscles in the back to shape the shrub in the form of a monster head. The leaves change color and seem to imitate a opening and closing mouth on the monster. It can use this move anytime but also uses it to enter Rage Mode in combination with a surprisingly strong roar.
- Shaking: Harrinjiru shakes its body which causes some of the fluid excreted from the leaves to scatter around, causing stun.
- Shrub bite: It uses its shrub to bite the enemy which also inflicts stun through the excretion but doesn't deal a lot of damage.
- The weakness is fire, then ice.
- In Rage Mode, the leaves turn reddish while the trunk gets darker.
- When exhausted the boughs of the shrub hang down.
- It will search for a Neopteron nest to feed.
- Harrinjiru fails to spit mud.
- The trunk can be wounded as well as the tail, the shrub can be damaged. Both claws can be broken at once.
Harrinjiru Trunk (when wounded), Harrinjiru tail (when wounded), Shrub Leaf (when damaged), Shrub bough (only when damaged), Harrinjiru Pelt, Harrinjiru Hide, Harrinjiru Claw (when broken)
- The idea came from the Japanese mythology of the Tanuki, which is able to transform to other things with help of a leaf on its head.
- The name is also based on the Tanuki, but on the actual Tanuki's (also known as Japanese raccoon dog) scientific name, Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus -> rrin, 変じる (Henjiru, Japanese for "to transform") -> jiru and 葉 (Ha, Japanese for "leaf") -> Ha.