Design Blog: Crate Turtle - Slow, Resilient, Massive


Name: Crate Turtle (Terrapene Craterabus)


Typical Height: 5’9” (1.75 meters)

Typical Length: 8’5” (2.57 meters)

Typical Weight: 5.2 Metric Tons


Physical Description: The Crate Turtle is a magical evolution of the common Box Turtle. Long exposure to innate magical energy caused these amphibians’ shells to harden and grow in size, attaching rock and sandstone to the keratin, making a strange compound that is resilient and resistant to being punctured, while still being lightweight enough for the creature to move around. In addition, the creature itself has grown to fit its new shell. Small tendrils dangle from the turtle’s chin, and its eyes became larger, but somewhat more angled. The creature’s coloration shifted to a more muted yellow as to blend into the surroundings of the sandy beaches.


Diet: An omnivorous creature, the Crate Turtle will eat just about anything it can get its mouth on. Berries, small sand dwelling creatures, and even humanoids are not safe from the jaws of this incredible creature.


Behavior: Crate Turtles live their simple lives basking on the beaches of Cape Cod, scouring for foodstuffs and suitable places to sleep wherever they roam. Much too heavy to swim due to their now massive shells, these creatures march upon the bottom of the ocean floor, eating any creatures that venture too deep into the ocean. In shallower waters, some creatures use the Crate Turtle’s block-like shell of sandstone as a platform of sorts, allowing them to pass over water too deep for them to handle by standing upon it.


Ecology: Few creatures are capable of penetrating the Crate Turtle’s shell, so natural predators are few and far between. However, more intelligent predators are capable of utilizing the creature’s primary weakness: its exposed, and fleshy underbelly. By flipping the Crate Turtle on its back or side, it exposes its rather tender undersides to attack. However, moving this incredibly heavy creature is a task not suited for most of the natural creatures surrounding the Dunes.


Lifecycle: Despite its massive size and protection, Crate Turtles do not live an incredibly long time. The normal lifespan of one of these large shelled creatures is approximately 15 years, and mating is rather difficult for them. While the shell they are gifted with is light enough for them to move, mating with others of their species is rather difficult, if done too early or too late at their ages. They must build up strength their entire lives, and have a short three year window to find a mate, lay eggs, and proliferate their species.


Human Relations: Normally docile, the Crate Turtle disregards most humanoid beings unless provoked, or if food is scarce. Many denizens of the more coastal areas of Cape Cod have learned how to tame these strange monsters, riding upon their rocky, almost cubic shells for transportation, and fitting various objects to them, making them mobile bases of operation. Fishing nets, ammunition racks, and much more have been affixed to Crate Turtles before by their human trainers.


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