Catalyst of Mekk
Two meters at the shoulder, this monstrosity is encased in iron scales. Shaped like a vast bull, it has spear point horns and steel shod cloven hooves. Its eyes are black pits, and steam curls and wisps away from its razored jaws as what passes for saliva stretches down in a gleaming strand.
- Ducking its head, it lows, a belling call that resonates through the savage hissing of a billow of smoke gushing from its jaws.
The true threat of this monster is not truly summarized in its six ton bulk charging with the force of a falling mountain fronted with uncompromising iron horns and trampling with tiller-like hooves. The true threat of this monster comes from its breath, which boils out and blasts everything in a cone in front of it. Where the breath touches flesh, that flesh crackles and creaks into stone.
If your weaponry cannot slay a fully armored knight with a blow, it is not advisable to swing at a Catalyst. It is grumpy and easily offended by the idea of being attacked, however ineffective the attack proves to be. They hold a grudge. They are always angry. All the time.
The few stories from those who claim to have faced one of these and survived tend to emphasize escape, tricking it into running off a cliff, or volcanoes. If you do not have a cliff handy, or a volcano, or you are not an arch-mage, consider the entirely honorable escape possibility.
This creature is truly legendary. Finding evidence of one as simple as a cast of a hoof print is worth considerable sums to scholars. Were some brave souls to capture one of these things, the fortune would be tremendous. This creature would be a link to a lost time. Even dead, its corpse would be worth a king’s ransom.
Legendry and Lore
“Catalyst” of Mekk has a double meaning in Skyva. It echoes “cattle” which refers to the creature’s bull shape, and alchemists know a catalyst is a substance that facilitates change without being changed itself.
According to legend, these were created when Mekk was experimenting with helping farmers by giving them an inexhaustible creature to help with plowing and such. The farmers complained, and Mekk lost interest in the project. Abandoned, the Catalyst became truculent, and the farmers (finding it useless as a stud, or as meat) released them into the wild. This was a mistake.
In later eras with more reliable history, followers of Mekk used these as mounts, or to draw war chariots, racing through clouds of petrifying breath and crushing utterly the statues in the way.
The most recent reliable record of the legendary Catalysst of Mekk was a mount for the Clockwork Knight, about 1,500 years ago. Even that may be a legend concealing a more humble truth.
April 9, 2011