What is a Zhuard?
(taken from the FAQ on my tumblr blog)
In brief, zhuards are a semi-polymorphic entity that is able to change its form in given circumstances or situations. They were created by a higher being that implemented such an ability for (possibly**) militant reasons a long time ago. Zhuards have base forms (Pharaoh, terrestrial, Ka'nar) in which they can fluidly move to and change their appearance. However learning to change into something outside of those base forms can take years to learn. Zhuards are not mammals, even if terrestrial form looks like it. They are not dragons even if pharaoh form reminds you of one. They have distinct behavior and anatomy.
**I also predict they were used for travel or just a general show of strength
Fun facts from the (obsessively) long essay:
-zhuards can ingest rocks and material containing metal in order to provide minerals to their skeletal structure (and for developing pups). However certain rocks cause gastrointestinal issues.
-Numeric age has no real impact on actual growth past adulthood.
-Zhuards live in fission-fusion clans...but group hunting is rarely done
-Due to the low male to female birth ratio, females were made to be simultaneous hermaphrodites to 'fix' that and some have a higher predisposition for "masculine" behavior
-Zhuards chirp..and make a bunch of weird sounds (I'm reviewing the sound files I created-so hopefully you'll be able to hear these soon)
-Zhuards were made to manipulate one energy in their (new/host) world- Domruku ('energy of illusions, often into physicality') and were designed with Shirkra (a specific metal) intentionally. However, they are not metal beings, or energy beings...they are a mix
-The double olecranon in Terrestrial phase is an arbitrary mutation, some individuals have it, some do not..
-Zhuard pups are cute. /
*Excuse the 'shody'/rough pharaoh phase drawings...the actual ref is getting an update.