Wrels are a species of large predatory avians native to the Shadow Lands region of the planet Mitgarth. They have been used as mounts for the Dark Lords of the Bogan for centuries and some amongst the Jenai Order believe they may have been created by the Dark Lords with the Bogan, or Dark Side of the Force.
Four centuries after its discovery in the early years of the Empire, Mitgarth was seemed safe enough to send a second survey team to document the significant archaeological sites. The team found that Wrels were still plentiful in the Shadow Lands and returned to the Empire with a number of specimens for further study. They have since become widely recognized throughout the galaxy.
Wrels are very large creatures, often times exceeding 7 meters in length and sporting a nearly 25 meter wingspan. They have long prehensile necks, giving their wicked mouths full of sharp teeth a wide range. Their skin is gray in color and generally smooth, with the exception of a number of dorsal fins which extend intermittently along their length from head to tail. They have four limbs; two arms, which serve as the creatures' wings, and two taloned feet, which are capable of lifting very heavy loads and inflicting grievous injury.
Despite appearing somewhat reptilian, Wrels are most closely related to birds, as is evidenced by the dorsal fins, which are in actuality modified feathers.
Like their bird relatives, Wrels are warm-blooded and capable of surviving a wide range of weather extremes. Similarly, their skeletons are comprised almost entirely of light-weight hollow bone, though certain bones, such as a number of structurally integral bones found in their wings, are solid in order to bear the stress of flight.
They have keen eyesight, which allows them to spot prey from high up in the sky, and have the ability to fold their wings in close to their bodies and dive at incredible speeds.
A Wrel's wingspan is immense, and as a result, each creature is capable of carrying more than twice its body weight with little difficulty. On their homeworld, this ability was taken advantage of by the Dark Lords of the Bogan, who would at times use them to transport up to twenty Shadow Warriors at a time on one mount.
Wrels are extremely aggressive and territorial. Often times, two males, or bulls, will fight over territory in a vicious battle that may last for hours. It is not uncommon for such an event to result in the deaths of both animals, either from severe injuries or simply from exhaustion.
Wrels in the GalaxyEdit
After Mitgarth's second survey over four hundred years after its initial discovery, several Wrels were among the live specimens brought back to the Empire for further study. Since that time, they have found their way into zoos, exotic animal reserves, and even the hands of private citizens via the black market.