These vicious creatures dwell far to the south, in the same regions as temple cats. The native people call them desert dogs, for that is where they make their home. Their dusky skin blends in with the sandy land, save for the orange crystal and bright horn that warn other animals of their presence. These bright orange horns serve as a caveat to beasts who would attack. Shaa canines possess the unique power of harnessing the energy of the sun. They store the heat in the jewels that decorate them, and if angered, can release these rays, literally burning their enemies alive. This has given these canines quite a reputation, and they are widely feared. Though not as honored as felines in the south, they are looked upon with respect and allowed free movement, particularly ashen shaa, who are known to be aggressive.
A small, gem bedecked tail is peeking through a hole in this grey egg.
When born, a unique thing occurs to these little ones. The orange horn that decorated their shell becomes part of their flesh, burnt into them. These gems trap the energy of the sun, and are what make the shaa invaluable to magi. When young, hatchlings are as small and playful as puppies, though they grow rapidly. They are able to feed themselves at a young age, killing and eating small animals and birds. A magi must be careful to tame ashen shaa, as they can quickly become hostile even to their human companions.
As an ashen shaa grows into adulthood, so too does its powers. Due to their great speed and stamina, they were used by the dessert people as messengers and guards for dark magi, though not as tameable as the vanil. Their ability to survive for weeks without water was also considered very unique. Instead of the gem of the vanil, ashen shaas boast wickedly sharp orange horns, which are considered to be more powerful. These creatures have never been known to either hunt or live in packs, as they constantly fight in each others presence. Their young stay with them for a few short months, before being left to their own devices. It is uncommon for vanil hatchlings not to survive on their own, given their powerful sense of hearing and awareness. Even in the harsh desert, these canines survive with ease. During cold desert nights, they burrow underground and use their magical powers to stay warm.