Chupacabra
Hircum potator
Family:Reptilian
Classification:Semi-sapient
Manifestation: Corporeal
Pronunciation: CHŪ-pe-CA-bruh

The chupacabra (CHŪ-pe-CA-bruh) (also known as “Goat Sucker”) is a large reptile inhabiting a wide territory of the Americas, though it prefers warmer climes, especially near Central America and the southwestern United States. The name comes from the creature’s habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. It has also been known to attack satyrs and fauns. In a single reported case, a swarm of chupacabra took down a full-grown wampus cat.

It is a heavy creature, easily the size of a small bear, with a row of spines descending from the neck to the base of the tail. It has a smooth light green skin with darker spots, and large, black eyes. The chupacabra has a venomous bite which can cause death in a human being.

Chupacabra exist in the wild, but following the Magma Wars of the 1800s, their numbers were extremely reduced. They are only recently beginning to rebound in the wild. They thrive in domestication with some chupacabra ranches reaching over 3,000 head. Chupacabra are highly aggressive and are not kept as family pets or familiars; however, they can be trained as guard creatures, or to attack on command. Chupacabra are used to guard the Avernus prison in the Yellowstone Caldera. These chupacabra are trained by Hudson Unlimited and are also used for the creation of regulation wands and combat gear for the marshal service. A sub-breed of chupacabra was developed by Ottilie Avila, promptly named the Cruz Chupacabra and is considered the most desirable breed. They have more strength, greater muscle mass and more venom per bite than other breeds of domestic Chupacabra; that said, wild chupacabra are consistently larger, and with a greater venom output, than their domesticated cousins.

The chupacabra is a quite intelligent animal, able to solve simple problems, be trained, and even mimic human speech as parrots do (a form of echolalia). Because of this, there is a push in the magical community to change their classification to para-sapient, though they have shown no signs of having a sense of self or ability to act on anything but instinctual, animalistic behavior. They are still officially considered semi-sapient by the Bureau of Cryptozoological Resources as of the Edict of Classification of Creatures.

A juvenile chupacabra is called a hatchling. Female chupacabra usually lay 5-7 eggs at a time. The collective noun for a group of chupacabra is a swarm.

Chupacabra Sapience

A chupacabra hatchling.
Chupacabra were rounded up after the Magma Wars, domesticated and magically enhanced, and are now a major source of revenue for Magimundi ranchers. A few wild chupacabra remain, which are noticeably larger than their domestic counterparts, and -- with the exception of those chupacabra which guard the Avernus prison -- tend to be much more vicious. Several Magimundi families, such as Cruz and Castellaw, among others, breed and sell chupacabra for various purposes. Cruz Chupacabra has the contract to provide chupacabra for Avernus Prison, and they hold a patent on their particular breed.

Other ranchers breed chupacabra to be harvested for magical components since their spines may be used as wands and their teeth, eyes, and internal organs may be used for potions, charms, and fetishes. Still others cater to the tastes of the rich and famous, who prize chupacabra meat as a delicacy. These practices have been rampant in the Magimundi for nearly 200 years. Recently, however, some cryptozoologists have, through their research, determined that chupacabra are, in fact, sapient creatures, even though they do not possess language.

As sapient creatures, such treatment as being bred in facilities, forced to guard prisoners, being mutilated or executed for parts would be an abomination. As soon as this research was published, powerful lobbies in the the ranching industry sought to discredit it and those researchers have now gone into hiding. But the information spawned a Chupacabra Sapience movement, particularly in Thunderbird Province, and today there are a growing number of mages and Wizards who are advocating for an official change of status for the chupacabra to be a sapient creature. Their efforts have been bolstered by the fact that Lewis & Clark recently allowed a chupacabra to enter its school, using the services of a telepathic mage who claims to interpret for the creature. Most mages view this as preposterous, but the cause of Chupacabra Sapience appears to be growing.

Habitat

Chupacabra used to thrive in Baja Province but were culled during the Magma Wars. The wild chupacabra is on the rebound now.

Biology

Chupacabra are lizards with sharp claws, pointed teeth and a venomous bite. Repeated exposure to chupacabra venom is alleged to permanently diminish the victim's ability to cast spells, as well as having noted affects on the victim's sanity (though if this is due to the venom, itself or a side effect of the loss of magical ability is up for debate). They walk upright. They are carnivorous, preferring small to medium livestock such as goats and sheep. Adult chupacabra have been known to prey on cattle as well, leading to rumors among mundane ranchers of cattle mutilators from outer space. (REDACTED)

Magical Uses

Chupacabra spines may be used as wands. Their teeth, eyes, and internal organs may be used for potions, charms, and fetishes. Their venom is quite toxic, and although an anti-venom has been developed, like all anti-venoms it requires fresh venom to create. (REDACTED) Chupacabra meat is edible and is considered a gourmet treat. It has a slightly fishy taste but with the consistency of chicken.

Defense

By the Edict of Avernus Security, defense against chupacabra is considered to be privileged information, and has been redacted.

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