Dankoms are covered in scales ranging from goldenrod to brown, some almost black, while their arms are always pitch-black. They’re usually quite short—some are upwards of two meters tall, but some are only about half a meter tall, some appearing squashed while others just look shrunken. Their flat heads have a pointed snout at the end with no nostrils and two spikes in the back pointed up like ears. Their small, glassy eyes range from green to yellow and red, and some of them have glowing eyes.
They’re usually rather thin and knobbly, and their long, pointed feet have two big toes. They have webbed claws for hands and their thin arms are multi-jointed. These arms twitch rapidly when they move almost like bad stop-motion animation, allowing them to do things before anyone notices. Their scales can slough off if damage is taken and will grow back, with an average of one layer a week.
Dankoms are kind of a biological mystery. Dankoms thought dead have come back. Chunks of lost body have grown back, legs have grown back, though it can take a long time. There seems to be no innards—their insides are just solid, as if formed from a mold. They’ve been seen to eat anything, even generally inedible substances like metal and plastic, with no ill effects, and they don’t seem to reproduce—dankom children are never seen.
History and Culture
Quite frankly, some cleeple believe dankoms are lost demons integrated into society! A silly idea, say most, but still…
The label isn’t unwarranted. Dankoms come in two types. Those who live out in the wild forests outside of big cities are silly, lighthearted tricksters, often engaging in pranks but rarely with malice and rarely harmful. They never mean any true harm, instead just joking with cleeple, and some are considered parts of communities, though they do get annoying. For most of Zhop’s history this is how dankoms have been.
However, those who move into big cities like New Zhopolis change over time until they’re nasty, vile, and mean. They trick and harm cleeple for no reason other than to see pain, and they rob and steal with malice intended. Some have started to form gangs, often employing large rodents as nasty pets and accomplices, and they can be loud and rude and crass and angry and are looked down by most everyone else as hoodlums. Schalindras are seen as evil monsters; dankoms as nothing but a pesky nuisance.