Robust Monarch (5e Creature)

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Uktan. Zentaur. Oritaku. Kurajaku. On the distant planet of Kaimere, these names are spoken amongst the native inhabitants with awe, reverence, respect, and terror as identifiers of the most apex predators of their respective realms. Kaimere is defined by dinosaurs: while mammals do compete in some aspects thanks to the Great Portal that brings life from the Prime World to Kaimere, the dominant niches of both herbivores and carnivores are held by dinosaurs. Among theropods who hold much of the latter niches, one of the most common are megaraptorans which kill with giant claws and powerful arms rather than bite force. They use their heads to restrain the animal so their claws can puncture the skin and cause internal damage that causes the animal to bleed to death. The most successful of the megaraptorans are the robust monarchs, of which all the above mentioned species are represented. Despite their success today though, as with any successful species, their origins were much more humble...
From Urchins to Kings. For 70 million years, megaraptorans lived in the shadows of the dominant predators of the Tyrant Dynasty, Kaimere's longest and most recent period of long lasting ecological stability. While in the eastern and northern continent these were tyrannosaurs, the western continent of Arvel featured carcharidontosaurs as the apex predators, but regardless megaraptorans were skittering beneath them. That is, they were until it all came crashing down in the Dynastic Extinction which destroyed the ecosystem that took millions of years to carefully cultivate in a few centuries. Naturally there was a few species to step up and fill in the gaps, but while many were filled in rapid succession, the position of apex predator was a heated contest. On the northern and eastern continents during this time, there were three groups that formed an uneasy but stable ecological truce: abelisaurs took the wetlands; humongous eudromaeosaurs took the forests; and entelodonts adapted to the plains.
But on Arvel, it was one particular group of megaraptorans that dominated: the robust monarchs. While the ancestral megaraptoran was about the size of a brown bear, they had many special adaptations that allowed them to swiftly dominate the role of top order carnivore their descendants hold today. Chief among them are the specializations that double down on their ancestral hunting strategy: unlike other theropods which have generally serrated teeth, robust monarch megaraptorans have conical teeth that are good for gripping prey- including a set of longer, canine-like fangs -and powerfully built arms with unusual hands; unlike the more basal megaraptorans which have three claws, monarchs only have two on the first and second finger, while the third has lost the claw and opposes the others, acting as a pseudo-thumb to more easily pull the claws out of the prey before they plunge them back in. This is a brutally efficient killing method that is even more dangerous when paired with their other characteristics, such as their excellent vision and hearing- comparable to eagles and owls respectively -and their adaptations for both speed and endurance, such as a fused ankle and massive caudofemoralis muscle. Once Arvel came close enough to the Known World for the monarchs to cross the Inland Sea to the other regions, they quickly dominated the apex predator niches in the environments they found themselves in and pushed the remaining survivors of the previous clades into rarity. The robust monarchs are the kings of Kaimere and will remain as such for millions of years to come.

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