Casium (working title)
The Zarani are a race of giant lizards that the goblins of the Charredlands ride as mounts and herd as cattle. They are indigenous to the underground portion of the Charredlands, but have been seen on the surface on occasion because of their masters.
Zarani are very similar in appearance to a large Komodo Dragon on Earth. They are approximately seven to eight feet long from the tip of their face to the base of their tail, and their tail extends about the same length as the rest of the body. Zarani have very slim and sleek bodies with no spikes or frills like many other lizards in Casium have. They tend to slide on their bellies when moving at a leisurely pace, but lift themselves up high enough that rocks and such move under them when they run. All Zarani are also capable of walking on any rocky surface at any angle, even those that are straight up and down, or even upside-down.
They have long, forked tongues used in the same way most other reptiles use their tongues—to taste the air. All Zarani have sharp, carnivorous teeth used for tearing meat and eating, and their saliva has deadly toxins in it that is used to weaken their foes by digesting their muscles and flesh into a smooth slurry.
Due to sticky hairs on zarani feet, they can climb and walk on any rock-like surface at any angle, even upside down. If moving straight up or straight down, they move at only half their normal speed, and if upside-down they only move at about one-fourth their normal speed. Zarani cannot cling to any non-rock surface nor anything that is too hard or too small for their claws to catch on to.
Zarani saliva consists of powerful enzymes that break up fleshy materials. The saliva has to enter the blood stream to take effect, and once it does it causes all muscle—and eventually fleshy—matter in the victim’s body to begin to decompose. Within just a few days without treatment the victim will lose all muscle mass and die; one day after the skin of the creature will begin to decompose as well. The remaining slurry is very nutritious to the zarani and they prefer to wait to eat their prey a day or two after infecting them with their saliva so that their prey’s meat will be tender. Any non-zarani who attempts to eat the decomposing meat will be infected with the enzymes and begin decomposing at a somewhat slower rate (about one to two days slower). Only the goblins know the secret to creating an antidote to the zarani’s saliva, which they tend to have to use often since they are just as susceptible to the enzymes as everyone else.
Zarani have about the same intellect as a horse would. They may be trained for riding, for combat or for both.