Hystracathi are tenacious little creatures living in the Marsh. They make their homes in small woven huts built atop driftwood. Each hut in a prickle, or family group, is woven to the hut next to it, so that they stay together with the rise and fall of the water level. The size of the prickle and the structure of their huts speaks highly to the level of influence that particular Hystracathi prickle has within their community.
During the rainy season, living in a large prickle can be the difference between life and death. Smaller home structures are far more likely to be damaged. This can mean weeks of rebuilding, which leaves its Hystracathi members exposed to the elements. During a rebuild, it is common for members of the prickle to die, either from exposure to the elements or by being swept away by the rushing waters.
When standing, the Hystracathi are close to three feet tall. They have predators both above and below the water. Hystracathi have developed twelve eyes, keeping them in constant awareness of their surroundings. Their webbed hands and feet allow them to easily swim through the waterways inside of the Marsh with their tail steering them along their path. The spiny quills protruding from the Hystracathis’ cheeks keep underwater creatures away from their faces, and their long sharp teeth can quickly penetrate even the toughest of reptilian hides.
Photos by Keith May of May Photo