The Leupak Primer
An Introduction To The Children of the Mirajin
"I... I don't know what they are, I don't know where they came from.
I don't know why they incessantly plague me, why they claw at my windows, beat upon my doors, and stare in at me with eyes that seem to know what lurks within my most secret dreams-- know and understand far better than I could ever hope to."
"I don't know what they are, Bast," Nefirian whispered, his ears back flat, his teeth gritted tight, "but I'm responsible for them somehow, and they want something of me, and I'm afraid to find out what that is."
Depending upon who you ask, Leupaks are the children of the Dreamwaker, the Fatis Mirajin, or both.
They are born from the imagination in much the same way as the legendary phoenix is born of the flame, brought to life and shaped by the same mental spark that paints our dreams as we sleep.
No one knows quite how or why for certain, but leupaks are always and without exception lizard-like beasts, though that may be one of very few common features that relates the members of the species to one another.
Even among family, leupaks are widely variable; only with much deliberation or luck may two resemble each other, and still never quite perfectly.
This primer will explain the characteristics and habits of leupaks to the novice, and may even surprise the learned leupologist.
Finally, the last chapter will include a few insights in the realm of leupak breeding and creation-- provided one has a hold of a dreamshard, a willing leupak, or both.
Chapter I - Defining The Leupak
There are two types of true leupak; the Shardborne and the Venomborne.
Shardborne leupaks were either created by the Fatis Mirajin or a dreamshard, or are the offspring of a Shardborne leupak. These have facets, typically on the forehead (obvious or disguised) but more rarely found elsewhere on the body.
In contrast, Venomborne leupaks are former humanoids that were mutated by a leupak's venom (miratoxin). Venomborne leupaks have no facet, and are typically smaller, more slender, and have more expressive features than shardborne leupaks.
In addition to true leupaks, Pseudoleupaks are beasts that have been mutated by leupak venom.
They superficially resemble crosses between their former species and a leupak, but typically die off quickly due to fatal mutations.
See Anatomy for more information...
Chapter II - The Leupak Diet
As mentioned above, leupaks are omnivores -- but this is a bare explanation of leupaks' dietary habits, at best.
Leupaks can and often will eat anything they might find palatable, vegetable, animal, raw or prepared.
They have a fondness for meat-- preferrably still kicking, but some are pickier than others-- and sweets, but are not typically prone to turning down a meal opportunity of any kind.
Between their mammoth appetites and disproportionate holding capacity, some leupaks have been known to attempt to devour creatures larger than themselves (and succeed, in some cases)!
In addition, most natural toxins simply do not affect them, rendering leupaks a poor choice for poison-testing.
This aside, leupaks also occasionally seek blood meals. Where creatures such as vampires will (comparatively) daintily suck from the arteries, leupaks take a much more direct approach-- plunging the tongueclaw into its prey and forcefully vaccuuming out the bodily fluids, earning them their scientific name of Leuu vaccuuminus.
When meals are involved, leupaks are not particularly discreet.
Chapter III - Venom
Leupak venom, or Miratoxin (and sometimes leupslime, colloquially), is a supernatural toxin, being mostly comprised of miraplasm-- the same sticky, highly mutagenic substance that forms where the objects from the realm of dreams meet the waking world.
Instead of causing the unpredictable, chaotic mutations of pure miraplasm, however, miratoxin has several effects depending upon dosage, from pain relief to transformation into a venomborne leupak or pseudoleupak.
See Miratoxin for more information...
Chapter IV - Leupak Reproduction
Described in the most non-frightening terms possible, all leupaks produce fertile but incomplete eggs, which are then preserved for later insertion into host creatures.
The leupak egg is parasitic; it develops quickly once within a host, copying pieces of its genetic material to develop new mutations for itself before hatching and leaving the host.
(Yes, painfully, and often messily.)
Leupaks seeking to produce hatchlings will always utilize sapient hosts, unless they are for some reason desperate or prone to experimentation.
As though naturally intended to terrorize other creatures, leupak eggs are best suited to being placed within non-leupak, typically humanoid creatures. Non-sapient beast hosts result in inferior offspring, while some creatures -- such as dragons-- simply destroy leupak eggs before they have a chance to develop and hatch.
Some particularly monstrous leupaks enjoy using their eggs as a method of attack or instruments of terror.
See Eggs for more information...
Chapter V - A House, Not A Home
Leupak Houses are large social groups spanning several-- sometimes many-- generations of leupaks with some specific common theme, trait, function or interest amongst them.
Some houses may be descendants of a single founding leupak, while others may permit interested leupaks to join (and subsequently be physically altered in some way as a token of membership).
Some houses may seek specific types of host-- or even choose leupak hosts-- to breed or retain mutations seen as desirable.
House leupaks are obligated to put the goals of the entire House before the self; in addition to reflecting this in their behavior, individuals in most houses take on the House's name as a surname of sorts, always placed before the first name (for example, Felld of House Sagarthay is referred to as Sagarthay Felld).
Occasional houses may waive this rule in favor of allowing its members to take on normal surnames as they wish, such as the leupaks of House Skindog.
A few sample leupak houses:
Next Section: Leupak Creation Guidesheet
Part of a Series On
Basic InformationLeupak (Bestiary Entry) | The Leupak Primer | The Fatis Mirajin and Dreamshards | Leupology | Anatomy | Facet | Miratoxin | Gig | House
Creating a LeupakLeupak Creation Guidesheet | Facet Types | Facet Powers | Mutations Master List