Greater North American Wasteland
FO - deathclaw
The deathclaws were originally created before the Great War by the government to replace humans during close-combat search-and-destroy missions. They were derived from mixed animal stock and then refined using genetic manipulation. The resulting creature is almost unbelievably fast and powerful.
Around 2161, deathclaws were still mysterious and legendary creatures to many inhabitants of southern California. They could only be found in the Boneyard at the Warehouse, with a mother living there, one in a former deathclaw’s nest and around the Hub, sometimes attacking caravans or travelers. Later, as the deathclaw population grew and really spread across the continent, the deathclaws stopped being perceived as legendary beasts, and started to be seen just as another dangerous creature.
Deathclaws have a hunchbacked, bipedal reptilian build with long humanoid arms. They stand roughly nine to ten feet tall, with a thick and resilient hide, powerful muscles, and twelve-inch-long, razor-sharp claws that can kill almost any other creature in only a few swipes; hence their name. They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, though their eyesight is poor. Their build gives them incredible speed, agility and strength in close combat, making them an extreme threat. Though they were originally mutated chameleons, they have lost the ability to camouflage themselves.
Deathclaws are very aggressive, territorial, and carnivorous. They typically live in small packs of around eight to twenty members led by an alpha male, who is the only one allowed to mate with the females. Deathclaws are oviparous, with the eggs typically laid in dark, sheltered locations and fiercely guarded by their mother. Young deathclaws reach maturity under the care of their parents, following them closely until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Although they do not have vocal cords, they can growl and shout, and some seem to be able to mimic human speech much the same as a parrot does. However, normal deathclaws aren’t intelligent enough to be capable of real speech.
Interestingly, deathclaws do not sharpen their claws on nearby objects, instead preferring their own nails to do the sharpening.