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Reluctant OraclesEdit

The shy and solitary rhularhu are among the largest denizens of the Dreamworld. Though they can be found roaming all over, they favor the sprawling foothill plains at the southeastern end of the Sawback Mountain range. No rhularhu has ever been found dead of old age. They are vigilant and wise, but they were not always so. When the Dreamworld was first created, the rhularhu were mindless beasts. How they acquired their virtually oracular knowledge and implacably peaceable demeanor has been forgotten, but their counsel is prized in the land of Dream - when it can be obtained, that is. The rhularhu are famously reticent, and they are quite good at hiding despite their size. There is a tribe in the Dark Lands of Dream that, according to rumor, has learned to tame and ride rhularhu. Though this romantic idea is widely believed, the rhularhu themselves are quick to deny it whenever they can be found and asked.

AppearanceEdit

Rhularhu can grow as long as 55 feet and weigh up to 70 tons at adulthood, They move about on 14 legs, 7 on each side, and have an arching, segmented carapace which often bears colorful markings. Their heads are partially covered by this protective shell and, because their eyes are small and difficult to see, it's sometimes said that they always seem to be gazing downward. This combined with the fact that their enormous antennae move constantly can give the rhularhu the appearance that they are constantly looking for something on the ground, and there are many stories circulating among the wild peoples of the Dreamland that purport to reveal what it is that the rhularhu is always searching for. These creatures quite strongly resemble common woodlice, or pillbugs, found in the waking world.

Life CycleEdit

Very little is understood about the rhularhu. Only two specimens have ever been found dead, and the creatures are so deeply respected that no attempts were made in either case to dissect or study the corpses. All that is known comes from a single rhularhu - the Captain, as it was called - who attempted to relate the history of its kind to Dreamer before it wandered into the woods near the Morass of Shadow and was never seen again. The Captain explained that there is no gender separation among the rhularhu. Young animals are somehow born from Dream itself, and they ride under the carapace of a larger individual for some time before venturing off on their own. The rhularhu eat dead plants, but do not excrete waste. Instead, they regurgitate the matter they consume, alive and green again as sprouts or seeds. Thus, by the Captain's account, rhularhu actually feed on the energy of death and constantly revitalize the Dreamworld. Dreamer found in this strong indications that the rhularhu are an essential part of the fabric of dreams. Certain diseases only afflict rhularhu - diseases of dream that erode the sufferer's very presence. Those that die of these disease simply cease to exist. Dreamer postulated, after his single conversation with the Captain, that the universe consumes weak or imperfect rhularhu and remakes them, regurgitating them alive again in the bodies of the young just as the rhularhu do with dead vegetable matter. This seems to insinuate a deep connection with reality and has, since Dreamer published the Captain's sadly truncated story, brought the rhularhu even more reverence among the people of the Dreamworld.

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