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Madlash: Misc

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Traveller

Up to date as of February 05, 2010

From Traveller Wiki - Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far future

The Madlash is a prairie-dwelling grazer native to Argol, an arid world noted for its large herivores. The species, long considered a nuisance by Argol's farmers, has recently received legal protection from the Argol Council of Nobles. Business interests have established erds on several other planets because the creature's oily hide makes an excellent leather.

A muscular tail with a row of horny spikes running along either side is the madlash's most prominent feature. It is a thick-set, warm-blooded quadruped with a beaked face, sensitive ears, and a short temper.

There are two genders. Madlashes mate with several partners each breeding system. During this time, coloration chages from a tawny brown to slate gray. Herds migrate to rockier nursery grounds, where females battle for a limited number of nursery pits. These spectacular battles, in which females madly lash at one another with their tails, are the origin of the beasts' name. A female will bear one to four young. Lactating mothers will care for any calves that happens to be nearby, not just their own.

Madlashes secrete an oily mucus from their eyes, nostrils, and throat to remove the fine dust the permates Argol's atmosphere. When they aren't eating they spend most of their time cleaning each other with their long tongues. When the herd is threatened, adults encircle the calves with tails facing outward. Few of Argol's predators will brave this deadly ring. In addition to self-defense and mating functions, the powerful tail is used to dig shallow pists where herd members huddle to gether for warmth at night. Madlashes also dig for salt and for minerals necessary to grow stout tail spikes.

Madlashes will go to great lengths to keep warm. They sometimes bed down for the night with other herbivore species who tolerate them because thri digging exposes edible roots, grubs, minerals, and, occasionally, water. Madlash giddings become bonds during the brief rainy season which also attract other species.

Unfortunately, the qualities that make the madlash an attractive companion for other animals lead to humorous and dangerous interactions with human colonists. In addition to destroying crops, madlashes have been know to cuddle up to the warm vehicle and prairie dwellings with disastrous results. One widely circulated story tells of a scout who chased a warmth-seeking madlash from his campsite. When he returned from prospecting late in the day, the scout discovered that the offeded madlash had sneaked back to the unguarded camp and demolished his ATV.

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises and by permission of the author.
Challenge No. 41 - Kevin Shriver
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This article uses material from the "Madlash" article on the Traveller wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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