Vostruo are defined by their most distinctive feature: a large, stretchy maw on the tip of their tail that connects to their digestive system.
An adult Vostruo ranges from six to ten feet in length, and up to 1,000 pounds in average weight - although a Vostruo can weigh dramatically more than this after feeding. Their fur is soft, densely packed and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Most Vostruo have long and fluffy fur, but some are shorthaired. They have three toes on each paw, and retractable claws.
Vostruo have sharp, retractable claws that they use for combat. Additionally, this species has an unusual adaption of ear-like feelers. Their actual ears are ear holes located at the base of their feelers and covered by fur, but their feelers allow them to detect changes in their environment, such as magical energy or changes in temperature. Their eyes have horizontal pupils, with rare exception.
Vostruo possess only a single sex, and a case-by-case concept of individual gender. They reproduce sexually and bear live young.
Vostruo have different breeds depending on the regions they reside in.
The closest descendant of Vostruo ancestors is actually the Southeast Vostruo from Southeast Prova. They have short fur, small bodies, and blunted faces with mouths full of sharp teeth. They don't rely as much on their much smaller claws, and are ready to use their teeth to maul their prey. They were unaffected by the magical mutation that gave Vostruo their tail-mouths, and are a living example of what the original species would have looked like.
Center Vostruo have the largest population and the longest lifespans. They have huge, chunky bodies, with long claws. Center Vostruo are the most intelligent breed; they are capable of sentient thought and can process information on a level approaching a human being.
Southwest Vostruo are long and angular, with legs like stilts. They run the fastest of all Vostruo breeds, necessary to chase their Pufbulo prey. Their tails are much longer and slimmer, necessary to withstand their maximum speeds.
North Vostruo are sedentary hunters, who slowly and leisurely stalk their prey across the frozen tundras. They resemble common Vostruo with short feelers in the summer, but during the winter grow extremely long and luxurious coats - often pale to disguise themselves against the ice.
Vostruo morphs are understood to have varying degrees of rarity, many of them dependent on the environment they grew up in. Here are the ones currently known.
(Quirks are free and can be applied to any MYO slot.)
- Stripes (1 color)
- Short feelers
- Short tail
- Mouthless tail
- Accessories (hats, bandanas)
- 2 feelers
- 1 tail
- Neck ruff
- Head ruff
- Stripes (2-3 colors)
- Unusual pupils
- Complex markings
- 4 feelers
- Feathery wings
- Leathery wings
- More than 6 major colors
- 6 feelers
- Second tail
Vostruo are highly intelligent, gregarious creatures which live in loosely organized prides. They spend a large amount of time daily relaxing, playing, and generally socializing with other members of their group. Vostruo are friendly, and enjoy meeting others of their kind.
Generally, though Vostruo are very social, they prefer to hunt individually. But Vostruo groups, called prides, aren't unheard of; they consist of around a dozen Vostruo who hunt under the guidance of a leading monarch figure. The leader does not hunt, and merely defends their followers and food from other prides.
Additionally, occasionally a group called a kinship can form. Prides are often formed through necessity and always have a clear leader, but kinships are formed through Vostruo forming a strong bond. Members of prides are expected to fend for themselves, but kinships will sacrifice themselves for each other. Kinships are generally much smaller, ranging from 2 to 6 Vostruo at a time.
A Vostruo by default has no powers of its own, but the species is extremely susceptible to magical mutations. Magical Vostruo are commonly turned into "elemental" beings that come in colors relating to whatever magic they specialize in.
They often seem to have no perception of their unusual appearance, but occasionally prides will form around a leader who is decorated in magical sigils.
Vostruo are very opportunistic hunters and will eat almost anything they can catch, including carrion when the opportunity for fresh prey does not present itself.
A notable feature of the Vostruo is their lack of teeth, causing them to rely on their strong claws to take down prey. Without teeth, the Vostruo cannot chew or tear their food and must use their tail-maw to swallow subdued prey whole. Although entirely boneless, the tail possesses extremely powerful and stretchy muscles that can easily pull in and swallow prey almost twice as wide as it. A Vostruo fresh off of a successful hunt is easily be discerned by the large, bloated tail it drags behind itself.
Over the span of a few days, the Vostruo's meal is slowly swallowed through the tail and into the digestive tract proper. Vostruo are capable of going for extraordinarily long periods of time between meals - since the prey is digested whole, Vostruo put on weight very quickly. Despite their efficient eating habits, Vostruo tend to be very gluttonous and will continue to attempt hunting until they are simply too large to catch their prey. Fortunately for the Vostruo, their active lifestyle of play and a naturally speedy metabolism causes them to lose the excess fat quickly, allowing them to hunt again.