A zaratan's shell could easily measure hundreds of feet in diameter.
Under most circumstances a zaratan woken from its slumber would immediately withdraw into its giant shell just like a regular turtle. They would remain withdrawn for up to a decade.
If wounded or pestered enough, a zaratan would attack with all of its awesome fury.
Due to their slow metabolism, these creatures had incredibly long lives, often measured by millenia. They were often confused with small islands because of the vegetation and sediment that would settle on their shells.
A zaratan spent nearly all of its time sleeping. They slept with their mouths open and reflexively swallowed any man-sized creatures (or smaller) that ventured too close. As they aged, zaratani would sleep for longer periods of time.
Zaratani that happened to bump into each other while floating around in slumber would mate if they were of the opposite sex. A single mating session could last up to one year.
Older zaratani were comfortable supporting small villages so long as the inhabitants did not disturb their slumber. A few corsairs even used them as hidden bases. The most famous of these was Jayani al-Jasir.
The inhabitants of zaratan islands were often incredibly superstitious, believing their island to be a deity whose wrath would be terrible if disturbed. This lead them to sacrifice large quantities of fish, and even visitors, to please their zaratan.
Rumors & Legends
- Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Jon Pickens, John Terra and Scott Davis (1991). Arms and Equipment Guide. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 88–89. ISBN 1-56076-109-1.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 201. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, Jeff Quick, and James Wyatt (March 2003). Arms and Equipment Guide 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7869-2649-7.
- Wolfgang Baur, Steve Kurtz (1992). Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix. (TSR, Inc). ISBN l-56076-370-1.