Derhii1 are giant aerial apes who served the ancient Shory Empire as troops and guardians for their enormous flying cities. They were no mere slave race, however, but served as valued allies. They fought in many wars for the Shory, and in turn gradually were honed into better troops, learning how to use weapons and aerial combat tactics. This past is long behind them, and rather than flying cities they roost in tree tops and cliffs.2
The derhii look like their land-bound cousin, the gorilla, except on their back sprout a pair of huge black-grey wings that look like they belong on either a buzzard or vulture. They stand taller than a human reaching between eight and nine feet tall and weighing around 400 pounds. Their arms are long when compared with their torso, and their faces show more signs of intelligence than their gorilla cousins.2
Habitat and ecology
The derhii live in warm forests and mountains south of the Mwangi Expanse. There they prefer to inhabit either the tops of trees or cliff-side caves that are high of the ground,2 but can sometimes be found in overgrown ruins hidden deep in the forest. They often demand tribute from surrounding groups of apes who share their habitat, or ally themselves with more powerful flying creatures such as dragons or dragonnes. They generally gather in small groupings called troops that consist of a single adult male, along with several females and their offspring. Sometimes multiple troops will gather under a single powerful chieftain. Occasionally small, single-gender groups will form for a specific purpose such as hunting, raiding, or making war. Such groups generally break up after they have fulfilled their objectives.3
Derhii are carnivorous, but when meat is scarce they can survive on fruits and roots. They can communicate over long distances using drums, as well as their deep, booming voices. In the time of the ancient Shory Empire, derhii could also be summoned via ape bells, but these have been lost to modern civilization.2
When engaging in a fight, the derhii prefer to fight from the air. They generally try to soften up their foes with thrown javelins before charging in to finish them off. Their aerial charges are ferocious, and their attacks are capable of knocking their opponents prone. If ancient texts are to be believed (primarily the book Kings of the Flying Apes), they learned these tactics from the ancient Shory.4
In the Great Beyond
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