Ryxaires were discovered near Ista Weyr. During a period of expansion when trees were being felled in the nearby forests for building supplies, a nest of strange eggs was discovered unharmed in one of the felled trees. Since they were so similar in size and colour to Firelizard eggs they were assumed to be them, and were taken into the weyr.
Roughly flit-size, the ryxaire on the outside resembles a flit, if that flit was the child of a flit and a hunt bird. Ryxaires sport a thick covering of small feathers from neck to rump, leaving bare skin on the face, lower legs and tail. They have long sturdy feathers on their wings and tail, perfect for flight and forest camouflage.
The skin-colour of a Ryxaire is always fairly uniform and is how the colour of the Ryx is classed, the variation in individuals comes from the patterning of the feathers. They are Sexually dimorphic, and as such males generally have brighter feathers and a higher range of variation than females. They have a uniform colour for the sexes, so for example a gold individual may be either male or female, however the male will have some markings of a different colour. A male gold may have red markings for example.
Ryxaires at some point in their evolution lost the ability to between, however they can still project images and convey emotions to their bonded the same way flits do. They are intelligent observant creatures and are more than capable of performing simple tasks as well as, with patience more elaborate tasks.
In the wild they are found in woodland, where the foliage cover makes ideal camouflage for layers of long feathers. When seen from above they simply look like leaves, and they cannot be seen from below due to their canopy-dwelling behavior.
Ryaires live in small pair groups of 1-5 pairs of similar sized individuals, Smaller size individuals (Olive and shale) live in larger pair groups for protection, whereas the larger ryxaires (rose and Golden) are solitary or a single pair. Omnivorous, the size of the Ryx is usually indicative of how balanced their diet will be, the two smaller species eating more plant matter than meat, the larger species eating more meat, and Pieds eating a balance between the two. They can survive on either meat or plant matter, but will not be as healthy as if fed a diet balanced to their colour. Smaller species will often become the prey of the larger species.
Instead of fights or flights, males ‘display’ to attract female attention, showing off their feathers and acrobatics to win her over. Females begin by calling out for males, who will travel miles to engage in courtship displays. This is generally the only time they are seen or heard, as getting to the female becomes more of a priority to the males than their safety. Gold and Rose Ryx have been known to answer the call of a smaller species to take advantage of the glut of easy prey that hapless males will provide.
The general behaviors or the Ryxaire depends on the size. The smaller species are gregarious social creatures, enjoying company and attention. The Larger sizes are somewhat more aggressive and selfish but all Ryxaires are known to be jealous and possessive of their bonded if not properly socialized. They have been known to posses the courage to attempt to fight off considerably larger creatures to defend their bonded. Every Ryxaire is an individual and may not always conform to behaviors patterns observed in wild individuals.
Gold, Rose, and some Piedbald Ryxaires can learn simple words and phrases, and are prone to parroting their owners. Shale and Olive Ryxaires can understand words, but cannot speak themselves.
A human bonded to a Ryxaire will only be able to bond to similar sized individuals, so,for example human may bond with a gold and a rose, but if he attempts to bond to an olive it will be eaten by the larger Ryxaires. Piebald, filling in the mid-range category, can be present in ‘flocks’ of either large or small Ryxaires as they are carrion eaters, not active hunters, and are too large for Gold or Rose to kill safely.
The larger the Ryx, the fewer eggs it will have at a clutch, Golden Ryx only laying 2 or three eggs at a time. Olive Ryx can lay up to ten eggs in a clutch. Eggs can hatch out any gender but have a higher propensity to hatch out the same size baby as the parent. A gold egg fertilized by a rose may hatch a large ryx, or rarely a mid-size. However if the gold egg was fertilized by a mid size pied it may hatch out any size or colour.
Large, pair or solitary, can only breed with large or Mid
Encompasses Golds and Browns. Males commonly have Red of other colour markings.Rose
Large, pair or solitary, can only breed with large Or Mid
Shades of Red. Males commonly have Blue or other colour markings.Piebald
Mid size, can breed with any
Black, white or Black and White. Males may have any colour markings but no grey.Shale
Small, Flock, Can only breed with small Or Mid
Encompasses Blues and Greys. Males commonly have Gold or Green markingsOlive
Small, Flock, Can only breed with small or Mid
Shades of Green. Males commonly have Red or Blue markings.