Hydra

Summary: A dragon-like creature hailing from the underworld, hydra are typically born with three heads and gain them throughout their lifetime, depending on whether or not their heads get lobbed off. Hydra tend to try and avoid this, as growing too many heads can be very detrimental for their mental health. They are an intelligent species and use serpent-speak, which things like dragons can understand telepathically. 

Diet: Hydra are naturally a carnivorous species that primarily dine upon the fauna of the underworld. Their dentition is similar to that of a boa constrictor, as sometimes they will use their heads to suffocate their prey to death. However, unlike a snake, they do not swallow their food whole. Rather, they continuously rip off chunks off their prey and swallow it, much like a komodo dragon on Earth. 

Hydra that live in the many rivers of the underworld prefer fish, as expected. Those that somehow get trapped on the Earth or Fae realm will sometimes go after mermaids. These deep see hydra are known as ‘Scylla’. 

Immune System & Aging: Hydra live for roughly a few centuries and are prone to various psychological issues due to their many heads. Some hydra share the same brain network, memory, and thoughts among all their heads, however other still have an individual mind per head, including if they grow new ones. 

The complexities here sometimes lead to a hydra’s self-destruction, but most of them avoid conflict where their heads get cut off to be regrown again. In rare cases, a hydra will opt to have the stems of their necks cauterized, in which a new head cannot grow. 

Notable Features: Hydra have sharp scales that, if loosened, can cut into flesh. Generally they’re roughly the size of a blue whale, though this can vary. Their thick heads sit utop very long necks with strong snake-like muscles that allow them a variety of flexibility and movements. Their scale colors tend to be much darker, which helps them blend into the cavern-like realm of the underworld. 

Hydra snouts are long, quite like that of a crocodile, with strong jaws that have a much easier time clamping down than opening. Some hydra do have wings, though this is a rare trait among the species. All hydra have dangerous non-retractable claws that are great for ripping into flesh. 

The center head of which they are born with controls the bodily movements should the hydra heads have different minds.

Magical Proficiency: Some hydra, like dragons, can breathe fire. While hydra have the capability and intellect to learn more advanced underworld magic, most do not. Being seclutionist in general, these creatures tend to rely on their brute strength and savagery to defend their territory as opposed to magic. 

Human myth was correct in that cutting off a hydra head means two more grow in its place. However, more ichor and food is required to maintain more and more heads, and the process is highly painful. 

Common Misconceptions: 

1. Hydras prefer you don’t hail them, actually, they just want to be left alone.

2. Hydras aren’t usually that lonely, as they can hold conversations with themselves all the time.

3. Hydra often get confused with dragons, however they are an entirely different species.

4. It’s unwise to pick the side of one hydra head that is arguing with another, either way it won’t go well.