Maraxes are large, bipedal predators native to the jungles of Castrovel. Generally resembling large, predatory dinosaurs with long, toothy jaws and no forearms—their powerful legs are their only limbs—maraxes combine reptilian characteristics with those of mammals, being covered by a coat of short fur. Their heads, backs, and tails are protected by thick, spiky bony growths, and their tails end in clusters of spines that can inject a potent paralytic toxin.1
Maraxes are highly social animals. They live in large packs dominated by the largest female and her "circle" of other breeding females, which are the primary food providers of the pack. The females compete with each other in mock combat to attract males; if a male responds to a female's overtures, they mate and she attaches their eggs to his belly with a resin that she secretes, after which the father cares for and incubates them until the young hatch sixteen months later. For their first few days, the young are suckled on the chemically complex poison produced by their parents' tail spines.
While primarily predators, maraxes have very broad diets. They typically hunt Castrovel's megafauna during the planet's wet season, but during the dry season and lean times turn to small prey, scavenging, fruit, and, in particularly harsh cases, soil and stone. Many marax packs are migratory, as their ravenous appetites often depopulate their territories of suitable prey. After a successful hunt, the large females eat before their mates.
A peculiarity of maraxes is that they possess a single lung. On other planets, this often leaves the creatures permanently short of breath and, as a result, more irritable than on Castrovel.1
A number of marax varieties exist on Castrovel besides the most common jungle-dwelling kinds. These include the tundrax, a dwarf arctic variety capable of entering hibernation while waiting for prey to pass by, and the bioluminescent ghostback marax, whose females can shape their sticky resin to form webs. A domesticated variety has also been bred by the lashunta, making for loyal and ferocious, if ill-tempered, guardians and companions.1
On other worlds
Thanks to the numerous portals found on their homeworld, maraxes have established populations on other planets in Golarion's solar system. A subspecies is found at Akiton's equator, migrating along with the planet's dust storms. Packs are also known to exist in southern Garund, hunting the local megafauna.1 A few specimens were also collected by a crippled Divinity when replenishing one of its habitat pods with Castrovelian life. After the spaceship crashed into Numeria, the maraxes persisted alongside the preserved forest environment.2
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Thurston Hillman, and Will McCardell. (2015). Bestiary. The Divinity Drive, p. 86–87. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-724-6
- ↑ Crystal Frasier. (2015). The Divinity Drive. The Divinity Drive, p. 17–19. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-724-6