(singular, male form is "Lingra") are thought to be the most beautiful and the most dangerous
wild cats in the world of
Caelereth. They are called by many names,
even in tribes that know only of their existence through the tales of traveling
bards or adventurers. The elves of
Santharia know them as Cór’vír, or "black
stripes". The Ylfferhim elves even
call these cats Shimlinwerwyn, which roughly translates
into “feline "f the mystic land". The mountain-dwelling
dwarves of the
Mithral Mountains call them
MarzeShir or "cat of blood". - The Lingradau are known for being both mystical
A single female of the Lingradau by the way is referred to as "Lingress" while a male is called "Lingra". A young is called a "Lingret".
Image description. A majestic nor'sidian Lingradau observing known mainly in Northern Sarvonia its surroundings. Picture by Seeker.
Lingradau exceed all other
in size. The largest Lingra ever measured was about 3.5
peds long, not including a
tail of about 1.5 peds
long. The Lingra was about 3
peds in height at the shoulder. However, on average, Lingradau tend to be a
bit smaller. Males, Lingra, usually reach about 3
peds, not including a 10
palmspan tail. These males
can weight up to about 4.5
pygges. Females, Lingresses, are usually a bit smaller, measuring about 2.7
peds, not including a 9
palmspan tail. The Lingress
is usually about 4.2 pygges
if she isn’t pregnant. These measurements are the average. Depending upon breed
and location, these sizes may differ of course.
The Lingra is a massively built creature with a slightly rounded head set on a slightly elongated neck. Rounded ears on top of its head seem small in comparison it its body. The eyes are small, and look out from either side of a forming snout. The nose is roughly triangle shaped, well defined. On either side of it, cheeks from where strong whisker fibers extend hide a mouth of strong, sharp teeth. The canines of this beautiful beast can be nearly one palmspan in length. The chin is usually covered with whicker-like hairs.
Despite the seemingly bulky body of the Lingra, it is surprisingly fast. The belly tends to run lower than the chest. The withers are slightly more extended than in the body of an oracau. The padded paws are large, giving the Lingra a stable footage. These paws hide massive and dangerous claws that can be about 5 nailsbreadths long. Thee claws are so sharp that it is believed that they can cut through the scales of a dragon!
Lingradau are called Cór’vír by the elves, which means “black stripes”. This is indeed an appropriate name for the animal, as it always has stripes covering its large body, including its face. The marks are usually symmetrical, and are always different. In fact, Lingradau can be identified by how the black stripes and markings are arranged on their face and sides, because they are always varying. There are patches of light hue (usually white, though dark gray in the case of the Nor’sidian Lingra) on the back of the ears. There are three breeds of this large cat, separated by the colour of its coat:
The Nor’sidian Lingradau
Dwelling primarily in Northern Sarvonia, the Nor’sidian Lingradau is almost completely black in colour. The degree of blackness depends upon region. Those farther north tend to have blacker coats than those a bit more south, which are usually a dark gray. Althouth they are black, the Nor’sidian Lingra does not not lack stripes. The stripes are only a bit difficult to see. Like the shingar of Santharia, the distinguishing markings of this large cat can be seen in certain light.
The black Lingra is not completely black, though. The shade of the coat changes as you move down the Lingra's body. The underside of the Lingra is usually a dark gray, as are the insides of the legs and the underside of the head. At times, the gray colour may creep into the face, typically on the bottom portion of the cheeks and the chin. There is typically a region of dark gray right above the Lingra’s eyes, which, in these breed, are usually a bright yellow or gold, though there have been some cases of orangy-red and even light violet.
The Mithrilene Lingradau
Despite the name, this breed of Lingra can also be have a white coat. These cats dwell primarily in the chilly regions of Cyhalloi, though it is rumored that they may dwell on Akdor as well. They’re fur tends to be far thicker than their more southward cousins, helping them shield against the bitter cold of the continent. Their fur comes in shades of white and light silver, which is how this breed received their name.
If the Ligra is completely white, the colour is the same throughout, usually, from the top of the back to the belly to the face. Of those cats that are more silvery, though, there is a slight change in colour. Usually the silvery colour of the coat will become a white on the belly and the insides of the legs, as well as on the lower part of the cheeks and on the chin. It is common for this white colour to be apparent right above the eyes. The slight differences in colour sometimes give the impression like there is a light shining under the cat. These cats almost always have eyes of bright to grayish blue, sometimes muddy purples as well, but rarely any other colour, though there have been cases of dark orange.
The Sunset Lingradau
As might be inferred by the name, this breed of Lingra is typically red, orange, and yellow or tawny. The back and the top of the head is usually a brownish red or orange-red, and this colour lightens as it moves downward. The colour lightened to orange, then to brownish-yellow or tawny, then finally to white on the belly and on the undersides of the legs. They usually have white on the lower cheeks and sides of the face, as well as just above the eyes, which, in the case of the Sunset Lingra, are usually dark yellow, orange, and gold.
There are some Sunset Lingra who are much lighter in colour, though, sometimes being light orange on top and reaching a tawny color higher up on their body. This yields a much softer appearance, usually. They, like the other Sunset Lingradau, have white under their belly, on the inside of their legs, and on their lower cheeks, as well as above the eyes. Usually this breed has lighter, more brownish-hued eyes.
The sunset Lingra lives primarily on the continent of Nybelmar.
Despite the bulk of the Lingra, they are surprisingly fast, though they can only
run for short distances without getting tired. They are not able to climb trees
as other cats are, as they are too heavy, but are known
for their strength and stealth. They hunt effectively during the night, ever to
see in the blackness that would hinder most creatures’ vision. The Lingra has an
effective metabolism that allows them to maintain themselves for as long as a
week if they can find no pray in their territory.
Markings on the back of their ears help them defensively. Often times these markings look like eyes and will hinder a creature from trying to attack them behind. However, it is rare that the Lingra needs to worry about such things. Usually they are the main predator in their habitat. They have sharp claws and teeth, which can easily pierce through skin and, it is often said, even through the scales of a dragon. These cats are also fairly good swimmers and do not mind the water.
Territory. The Lingra exists on most of the continents of Caelereth, including Sarvonia, Cyhalloi and Nybelmar. The Lingradau is not extremely particular about where they live, as long as they have shade, water, and prey, they will be content. They tend to dwell in forests where they can hide in the shadow of the trees. They tend to dislike open areas and avoid fields and planes, unlike the oracau. Unlike many other cats, especially housecats, the Lingra has no fear of water, and in fact greatly enjoys the water, where it can bath and drink. Also, water sources, especially permanent ones, can yield a plethora of prey for the Lingra to feast on. See the individual descriptions of Lingra breeds located in the Appearance section for more details on territory.
Habitat/Behaviour. Lingradau usually live alone, though often time cubs, called Lingrets, will stay with their mothers for at least a year. However, for the most part, these large cats stay solo. Males typically make a territory for themselves where they live and the Lingresses pass through territories as they please, though often times they will chose one male’s territory in which to live. These territories can be anywhere from 5 to 50 square furlays big. Male Lingradau will mark their territory with urine.
Usually all the Ligradau in a territory and in surrounding territories will all be away of each other, and respect the space of each. However if two meet up, they are often very sociable to each other, sometimes rubbing heads before parting ways. This seems strange to many, as the Lingra is often painted as a fierce creature vacant of all compassion.
The Lingra is most active at night or during dawn or dusk. They thus tend to sleep during the day. This is not to say that the Lingradau are completely ruled by their nocturnal tendencies. They can be diurnal as well, if need be. In winter, when many animals are active during the day, they may change their sleeping habits if they can’t get food at night. When it gets more hot, though, many animals seem to be more active at night.
Lingradau love water, and are one of the most aquatic of cats. They are fairly good swimmers in most cases. They also live in areas that, for the most part, are hidden, such as caves. They like to sleep and dwell in shadows where they cannot be seen, for the most part. They also love forests with trees that make them difficult to discover.
The Lingra will usually only attack humans, elves, dwarves, etc. if they are either hungry or provoked. They are rather smart, and can communicate with each other in purrs and growls. They also communicate through roaring, and in some cases their roar can be heard for 3 strals or more.
Diet. It is in the diet of the Lingra that strikes fear into most people, because they will not hesitate to take down and eat a human or an elf, or even a dwarf, if they are hungry enough or if one is in their territory. However, despite the rumors, Lingradau do not often eat such things. They usually like to dine on antlered creatures such as deer and elk. Birds and lizards are safe from Lingradau for the most part, as these big cats like larger prey, They will not hesitate to eat smaller things if they get hungry, and are known for eating fish, frogs, and tree-dwelling mammals.
Lingradau usually hunt at night, stalking through the forest or prowling near streambeds. They like to use the cover of darkness to hide, and will rush at prey in a series of bounds. Claws extending, the beast will clasp the rump or side of the creature to bring it down to the ground where it can easily bring and end to the prey. Once the prey is dead, the carcass is dragged into a place with good cover, usually near a water source. Lingradau don’t often leave the carcass until they have finished it all. It is believed that a Lingra can eat nearly 7 hebs of meat a night. After a meal, the Lingra will take a long drink and nap.
Mating. Lingradau do not mate at one certain time or season, but merely mate when prey is plentiful and there are enough resources that the population can afford to feed more young. Usually when the Lingress feels that it is time to mate she will give off a scent that attracts males to her. She chooses a male that she is impressed with, which is commonly the male in the territory in which she resides. There is a small courtship of some sort, including a lot of rubbing heads and purring. The mating process itself is not long. The male boards the female and will typically bite the back of her neck gently until the process if over. The couple may mate several times with a few days until they part.
The gestation period of the Lingrets is between 100 to 110 days. During this time, the mother will become exceedingly more sluggish, making hunting much harder. Though she and her mate have parted, she will often remain in his territory and he will share his meals with her or leave them for her to finish. When the Lingrets are ready to be born, the mothers will find a secluded place in the territory, for example in a cave or some other place where she and her cubs will not be easily seen. It is here that she will give birth to between 1 and 5 cubs, though 2 or 3 is most common.
Lingrets are helpless at birth and weigh only about 3 ods. Sometimes they have trouble even seeing. They are usually a more grayish form of their parents, and are very fluffy with and soft. Even at this young state, though, the markings that distinguish their species will already be apparent. On stumpy legs with large, awkward paws, they will have trouble moving and will crawl to their mother to get their milk. The mother will, for the most part, stay with them almost nonstop, parting only briefly to get food and drink. The Lingrets are extremely vulnerable at this age, and can easily be killed. In litters of more than 3, most often one or two, at the minimum, will be killed off, either by malnutrition or by sickness. A Lingress may abandon young they don’t have a chance of surviving.
At six weeks, the Lingradau are slowly weaned off their mother’s milk and will begin to eat prey that their mother brings back for them. They will be able to see and move, and, like kittens, will play and scamper all around their den. Even though they are better able to see and move, they are still very vulnerable and need to be watched by their mother to make sure that a predator larger than they are doesn’t kill them. The Lingrets will stay with their mother for at least another year, slowly growing into their adult fur and learning to hunt and live by themselves. The male currently occupying that territory will usually drive off males of the litter. Females will eventually part ways and wander into another’s territory.
Lingradau reach sexual maturity at about 3½ to 4 years old. The Lingra has a lifespan of about 20 years.
Usages. The Lingradau have very few usages alive. This is not to say that captivity has not been tried. There are many records of people who tried to tame these beasts, only to be killed or nearly killed in an attack. Most of these cases were ones in which a person picked up a runt Lingret, one who was sick or starved and thus abandoned by the mother. Up until maturity, the Lingret was very sociable and sweet, but once the Lingra or Lingress was four or more years old, they became dangerous and killed their owner.
The pelt of this creature is highly prized, though. Its beautiful stripes make it very prized in the market. Because of its beauty, it is rarely cut up, but is, instead, used as a rug or wall hanging. The teeth and claws are often used to make certain weapons, as the sharpness of such parks are believed to be able to pierce through dragon scales, and are also prized for their size.
The body of the Lingra has many uses. Though Lingra meat is not favourable in taste, it is used in some medicines. The eyes and many of the internal organs are believed to be very useful in curing aliments. For example, it is believed that eating the heart of a Lingra can heal heart problems, or eating part of the lungs can help in breathing disorders. It is also commonly believed that eating the eyes of a Lingra will make one’s sight better.
Myth/Lore. Lingradau are believed to represent strength and fierceness. Many use the Lingradau as their symbol in battle. Those who are born in the Diory’oleal tribe with the animal guide of a Lingra are destined to become great and brilliant warriors or mages, cunning and stealthy as the grand animal that represents them.
Researchers. There haven’t been many researchers who have dared to get up close and personal with Lingradau, mainly out of fear. However, in the 1.113, a Lingra had been butchering the cattle and sheep of the Kassite men. In the fall of 1.115, it killed a man named Millen Limerin, leaving his daughter, Cassandra Limerin, alone at the age of 17. The people were frightened and angry. A week after the death, the Lingra was found and killed and presented to the whole village as a sign that the terror was over.
Cassandra Limerin, after seeing the pelage of the fantastic beast, grew curious of it and often asked about Lingradau, only to be met with disappointing looks or angry rants and raves. She bought many books on the subject with the money she had inherited but found little information on the beast. Depressed both by the recent death of her father and her inability to find any information on its killer, Cassandra was dragged into a depression. One day, while out collecting water from a stream, she saw a Sunset Lingra stalking through the water. It met her eyes and she, curious and bewildered, sat staring.
It is believed that this interaction is what caused her to become so curious of the animal. She did years and years of study, coming closer to the beast than anyone had ever come before. She recorded appearances and behavior, becoming increasingly interested in reproduction. However, during a night in the winter of 1.144, she came too close to the den of a mother Lingress and was fatally wounded. She made it back to the village long enough to tell the people of the village of her studies and where her notes lay, requesting that they be publicized and printed. It is said that the last words she sported were, “I forgive them.” She wasn’t even 30.
Cassandra’s words and praise of the creature despite its being the murderer or both her and her father sparked the interest of many others, including a boy named Tom Grenfeld of a neighboring Kassite village. He continued her research in 1.150 until his death in 1.208.
The Grey elves of Northern Sarvonia, the Mélad'rhím, have also had a few researchers of the Lingradau. The first recorded researcher was Simerin Downdale. He begun his research in 1.304, first as just writing his observation of different Lingradau as his tribe passed through different territories. After his death in 1.348, his daughter, Melina Downdale, took up his research, getting even closer to the beast, recording behavior and appearance in detail. However, it is said that she was too eager for information, and she provoked a Nor’sidian Lingra to the point he attached and killed her.
There have been very few researchers of the Lingradau. What information is available comes most from the recorders of the previously mentioned researchers as well as journals of travelers and the writings of those that lived in close proximity to a Lingra territory. The beast is known to be extremely dangerous and this encourages researchers to stay away from the creature.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus