Reptile hounds are vicious pack predators native to eastern Immoren. They are excellent at tracking prey by scent. Since the skorne invasion of western Immoren, some reptile hounds escaped their handlers and became feral. They bred quickly, leading to packs of roaming reptile hounds in the Bloodstone Marches and throughout the greater Bloodstone Desert.
The reptile hound is short, stocky, with bands of darker stripes mottling its scales which help the creature blend in with desert terrain. Reptile hounds' tightly muscled legs end in a wide paw with long, curved claws used to strip the flesh off prey. The large, slavering mouth is filled with broad teeth shaped like arrowheads. A reptile hound’s eyes are set back from its mouth and have a clear, nictitating membrane to protect them when the beast feeds. A male reptile hound has three prominent rows of horns growing from its head: one down each side of its lower jaw, and one straight down the top of its skull.
Although their strength is noteworthy, reptile hounds are also quite fast, particularly over short distances. The beast’s eyesight and hearing are average, but its keen nose makes it an excellent tracker. The scent of blood can send a reptile hound into a frenzy during which it abandons all caution in its urgency to feast.
Several varieties of reptile hounds have been spotted, and all such breeds are equally vicious and dangerous.
Reptile hounds roam the wastes in groups of six to twenty, of which typically more than half is female. One alpha male leads the females and a handful of subservient males. Only the alpha mates with the females, which it does once each year. If the alpha is injured or ageing, the other males converge upon and kill him, then fight for dominance until all but one have been killed or driven off; the remaining male becomes the new alpha. Rogue males typically wander alone but occasionally join in smaller, all-male packs for survival.
While hunting, a pack might split into several smaller hunting parties to cover more ground. When faced with a larger foe, however, the entire pack attacks together. If other prey is scarce, they'll resort to hunting other reptile hound packs, even turning on their pack mates if pressed far enough.
The reptile hound’s ferocity makes it popular among skorne rulers, who keep them as pets and for blood sport. Many tyrants serving the Army of the Western Reaches bring along reptile hounds to serve as both symbols of status and deadly tools of war, and often pitting them against one another for sport. They are trained to attack on command and are sometimes used to intimidate or punish subordinates. Large groups of trained hounds often accompany skorne armies and are employed as advance attackers.