Subject: OX-025 – Wiht-Skal
Threat Level: Minoris
PREFACE: This archived document is a continuation of Inquisitor Zharkov’s prolonged search for information regarding another point of interest, designated OX-024. During his travels on the Feral World of Alvona, he found evidence of another creature on that Feral World which also piqued his interest. The following is his words of finding OX-025, or the “Wiht-Skal”, as the feral worlders have come to term it.
//++BLESSED BE HIS NAME++//
During my journey through the continent via river, I was privy to another story that while not related to my current investigation, proves equally fascinating.
I met with a hunter, traveling in the same craft as I. He told me a story of a creature called the Wiht-Skal, or quite literally White-Scale, or Ghost-Skin. I listened to his tales with mild curiosity, and he went so far to as inform me that he had subdued one of the creatures himself, and would be willing to show it to me.
Fuelled by curiosity (and perhaps a need for diversion) I agreed. Henceforth is my study of the creature.
OX-025 is a man-sized reptilian species that lives exclusively on Alvona, with no known members of the species leaving the world. It is a master of the waterlogged environment in which it resides, being able to navigate both waterways and tree canopies with ease using its long limbs and hooked claws. The creature is known as “Wiht-Skal” for its rather peculiar albino pigmentation on its scales. It is unknown why the creature possesses this singular trait, if indeed there is a reason. Like OX-024, the Wiht-Skal has a strange place of reverence amongst tribals, who seem to honour it in passing when hunting. Typically, most tribes leave it simple offerings of food behind, scraps of meat and such, but I have heard rumour of other tribes even tending to one’s lair and even offering whole kills to a Wiht-Skal in times of plenty. This is perhaps, to offset their violent tendencies, for OX-025 is a very aggressive predator, gladly willing to prey on man as well as other beasts.
OX-025 is not, however, at the top of the food chain. Alvona’s very own chapter of Adeptus Astartes, the White Drakes, often are known to hunt this creature as part of their initiation ritual. A neophyte of this chapter must hunt such a creature alone as part of an event called “The White Trial”. Attempts to contact the White Drakes in order to ask for information regarding this ritual has been met, so far with only silence, although I am told this is sadly typical of them.
OX-025 is a lone hunter. The females are said to be far larger than the males, said to range in sizes exceeding that of a standard draught horse which one may typically see on lower-technology worlds like Alvona. OX-025 is completely wingless and relies on its hooked claws to climb trees and branches rather than any winged appendages. Males of the species are smaller, and often more pack-oriented. Males are known to communicate in growls and hisses with one another, and I have been informed that more than one would-be hunter has been torn to shred by a pack of aggressive males.
This behaviour by the males is temporary however, for when it is time to mate, males aggressively compete with one another, often resulting in combative conclusions. When the male finds a mate, it quickly becomes submissive and dormant, usually guarding the nest of the female, who provides food for the male and its offspring.
OX-025 generally live for about 15-25 Terran years, and during this time they may have as many as 7-12 offspring. However, due to the high mortality rate amongst males, the amount which reach adulthood can change drastically. A Wiht-Skal generally reaches maturity at around about seven Terran months, where it will leave its nest and begin to hunt for itself.
The hunter whom I met with produced a skull of a female Wiht-Skal, which he claimed had been terrorising his tribe for “many moons”. From studying the skull, I deduce it to be very young, possibly no more than nine months due to the skull being smaller than anticipated (at least for a female). The subject in question had around thirty-six needle-like teeth, obviously for eating its prey and four claws on each of its four limbs, for hunting and defence.
Although a fascinating diversion and interesting subject to talk and learn about, OX-025 is not particularly useful to my current investigations. My investigation regarding OX-024 shall continue swiftly onwards as I continue to travel through the lands of Alvona.