The massive lizards known as hydras are creatures that were unknown to humans before the expeditions to the lower caverns of Exile where the vahnatai live. After that, several have been spotted on the surface. They are easily identifiable from their many heads on long necks and fierce, snapping jaws.
All types of hydras share certain characteristics that help identify them. They typically have muscular bodies, topped by five swerving heads on long, maneuverable necks.
There are three main varieties of hydras.
- Common hydras are the most common. Their colour is green. Its sharp teeth and thick hide protect a body that vahnatai treasure as a delicacy when roasted. Its hide can be used for shields and armor. However, hydras are extremely cunning beasts, and they will often lure humans or vahnatai into traps.
- Pyro hydras are extremely dangerous, although far less bright. Their hides are hued red. Two of a pyro hydra's heads can breathe fire, making them a threat from both long range and up close. They are the slow-witted cousins to the regular hydra, and they are more likely to be led into a trap than any other hydras are. Their hides are prized for armor and shields because of their innate fire-resistance.
- Cryo hydras are the most dangerous variety of hydra. These hydras have a blue tint to their thick skins. In hydra dens, a cryo hydra is typically the leader. They breathe ice through mechanisms not fully understood, and their hide is the thickest to provide protection in extremely cold environments. Cryo hydras are the most intelligent of the hydras, and they are seldom found alone.
Hydras are considered native to the lower caverns of Exile where the vahnatai reside. However, they have been spotted in isolation on the surface. Whether they escaped or were brought is debatable, but the fact that they were there is confirmed.
They typically nest together in large families. They are very protective of their young, and a child never strays far from its parents. Hydra dens often have several areas for different families to nest.
The cool climate of the caves seems ideal for the hydras. They nest close to a water source, and it is not believed that they can swim. On the surface, they have only been spotted in caves in the hills, rarely venturing down except to hunt.
All attempts by humans at domesticating hydras have resulted in either a dead trainer or a dead hydra. A few undocumented cases of human parents raising a baby hydra are said to exist, but cannot be proven. However, giants and ogres have sometimes been known to keep hydras as pets or companions. It is not known how they control the beasts.
Many historians and researchers believe that hydras, along with chitrachs, were originally domesticated by the vahnatai and taken into the caves with them. But when the vahnatai were Resting, their bestial instincts kicked in, and the hydras had to fend for themselves. When the vahnatai were awakened, they found that the hydras and chitrachs had carved out part of their land for themselves, and a lot of vahnatai energy was spent securing safe areas for rebuilding their cities.