The Valule (Literally translating as Harbinger of the Black Forest), also known as Sand Drakes and Timerbacks to humans, are a massive race native to Keerat. They vaguely resemble moles native to Earth. Rivaling skyscrapers in terms of sheer size, the Valule are arguably the largest land-based creatures in the known galaxy. They are also one of the most dangerous, and can strip large areas of resources in a matter of weeks or even days if left unchecked. utilizing this, they are occassionally used as a form of biological warfare by the Taik.
Valule are towering creatures, and can reach heights of up to 2500 feet. As a result, they tend to move at incredibly slow speeds. Their hides can be up to a meter in thickness, and their bones are practicaly indestructible. This legendary resiliance has led to them becoming one of the sturdiest forms of life in recorded history.
The Valule are also the oldest species in recorded history, beating even the almighy Omorra. A healthy Valule can expect to live to be nearly 1000. As they age, vegatation will literally begin to grow on their backs. The oldest living Valule commonly have full-blown forests, which has led to the human nickname "Timberbacks".
One interesting trait is that they are virtually immune to disease. This is most likely due to their incredible size; viruses simply cannot overpower them before being killed off by their immune systems.
Their immense size has led to many traits centered around conservation of energy.? They have no eyes, as the act of something as simple as blinking uses up too much energy for practical use.? Similarly, they don't have lungs, noses, or mouths.? Again, this is due to the energy required for moving such structures.? Air is simply absorbed by their skin, and oxygen is transfered directly to the bloodstream.?
Valule have a unique method of gaining energy. Due to their large size, simply injesting other living things is entirely impractical. Instead, the Valule will burry themselves underground for months at a time and extract minerals and nutrients directly from the ground. Over time, this will kill off any and all plant life in the general area, and once one location has been cleared they use all the energy they have mustered to travel to another.? Waste material, as well as any toxins from poisonous plants, are dispersed into the ground before leaving, meaning that plant life will not return until the area is decontaminated (through strictly natural processes, this can take decades).? On Keerat, this has led to the cycles of life and death.? When a pack of Valule have finished feeding on one area, they leave behind a rotting wasteland tinted black due to their waste material (hence the name Harbinger of the Black Forest).? After roughly 5 years, the plant life returns and flourishes, only to be killed off after another 5-or-so years.
Strictly speaking, any part of the skin can absorb nutrients. Even the act of walking can kill off vegation via sheer starvation.
Use by the TaikEdit
Largely due to their method of feeding, the Taik have recently begun using them as a frighteningly efficient method of biological warfare. There are currently four "Combat Valule" at the ready. They are most commonly used later on in battles, and all four are used at once. They are placed on an enemy planet, where they begin to ravage entire countries of their resources. Plant life is killed off very quickly, and carnivorous life follows soon afterwards. This makes them very, very dangerous when used. They are typically labelled priority targets, though more often than not this only gives the Taik an opportunity to strike in full force while their opponents focus on the single target.
As another method, they are also used as tanks, in which case their already impressive defenses are further reinforced with armor. Widely known as "Titans", these living tanks are nigh impossible to destroy, can literally stomp cities into rubble, and are often outfitted with a plethora of heavy weaponry. One such Titan was used during the Human-Taik War. Dubbed "Earth's Bane", the biological weapon of mass destruction slowly turned forests into wastelands while the on-board Taik destroyed anything that tried to stop it. For eight of the ten years that the way dragged on it remained largely unstoppable, and was not killed until the invention of the Drill Round.
The Taik widely recognize the fear of a Valule invasion, and will not hesitate to use this as a form of blackmail. The mere threat of sending a Valule to a home planet is usually enough to gain dominance over another race.
Valule that aren't used in combat are carefully watched and guarded by the Taik, who have a deep respect for the species. There are currently just three-dozen Valule alive, though the Taik themselves are not concerned by this. The Valule have never had strong numbers, instead relying on their size and defensive capabilities for survival.
Over hundreds of thousands of years, the art of hunting a Valule has become a life-long trade, and is a practice that garners almost as much respect as joining the militar. Groups of twelve-or-so hunters will band together and attempt to swarm a single Valule. Quite often all the hunters are killed in the process. Nevertheless, a successful kill is an enormous event.
Taik armor and melee weapons are made largely out of Valule irvory, albeit suplimented with more malleable materials.