A small, flying, intelligent dragon-like creature, posessed of telepathic abilities and a poisonous bite. Capable of serving as the familiar for human witches. Frequently brown or brown-gold, they inhabit the jungles of the land and are generally considered carrion eaters.

Alternatively, the name of the Imperial House that generally manages all illicit activities within the Empire of Dragaera.

All of this is detailed in the excellent novels by Steven Brust, whose main character is Vlad Taltos, from whom, incidently, I draw my web name.

The jhereg is a small, flying, intelligent snake-like dragon that was altered by the Jenoine to have human caliber intelligence. The Jenoine were the race that modified the genetic stock of the Dragaera and played with raw chaos.

The jhereg come in two forms the 'small' and the 'giant'. The small jhereg (of which Loiosh is one) have a poisonous bite. The giant jhereg live near Deathgate Falls and Barrit's Tomb and are non-poisonous. Both animals are carrion eaters.

Without going through noding all 17 animals of The Cycle, a brief description shall follow. The descriptions themselves are paraphrased from Dzurlord, a Crossroads Adventure Book by Brust.

Phoenix sinks into decay
The decadence of the Phoenix occurs when the Emperor fails to relinquish the throne when the cycle is over. This is the 'death' part of the Phoenix cycle. There are very few members of the phoenix house - little can be said about them.
Haughty dragon yearns to slay.
A large reptile (not fire breathing). The dragon has tentacles to pick up psychic impressions. Representing war, the members of the House Dragon are military oriented with a blood lust.
Lyorn growls and lowers horn
The Lyorn is best thought of a cross between a great dane and a unicorn. The members of House Lyorn are book keepers and historians which represent Tradition.
Tiassa dreams and plots are born.
A large panther with bat-like wings representing inspiration. Oracles are frequently from House Tiassa.
Hawk looks down from lofty flight
The hawk is still a hawk. Members of House Hawk (called Hawk-lords) are skilled (and powerful) sorcerers and psyonicts that are very curious.
Dzur stalks and blends with night.
A large black tiger representing heroism. The House Dzur is known for its heros. It is possible for someone from any house to become a member of House Dzur by fighting (and beating) 17 Dzur heros - this is not an easy task. Dzurs will typically forgo intelligence and rational thought when something heroic is to be done. This is best demonstrated when Vlad Taltos makes the joke "Tiassa think walking, Dragons think standing, Lyorns think sitting, Dzur think afterward."
Issola strikes from courtly bow
A stork-like bird with a sharp beak. Representing courtliness and surprise, members of House Issola are often wandering minstrels or receptionists - knowing exactly the right thing to say or song to sing.
Tsalmoth maintains though none knows how.
The Tsalmoth are described something between a bear and a large tree-dwelling turtle. Its primary characteristics are unpredictability and tenacity.
Vallista rends and then rebuilds
The vallista are an amphibious creature that live around ponds. The members of House Vallista are best described as construction workers and demolition experts.
Jhereg feeds on others' kills.
The animal jhereg is well described above. Representing corruption, the House Jhereg are the mafia and organized crime of the world.
Quiet iorich won't forget
A large, slow moving river dwelling reptile - picture a reptilian hippopotamus with the memory of an elephant that will eventually track something that bit them down and kill it. These creatures represent justice and retribution.
Sly chreotha weaves his net.
A large fox-like creature that uses saliva to build a strong web that can ensnare a dzur - or a dragon. These creatures represent traps. The members of House Chreotha frequent gambling halls and such.
Yendi coils and strikes, unseen
A sand-snake with a subtle bite and poison. Often the prey doesn't realize for a few minutes that they have been bitten until they collapse.
Q: How many Yendi does it take to sharpen a sword?
A: Three - One to sharpen the sword and one to confuse the issue.
The House Yendi is often involved in many schemes and represents subtlety and misdirection.
Orca circles, hard and lean.
The orca is a killer whale (much as in our world). The House Orca are naval experts and bankers.
Frightened teckla hides in grass
A small hopping mouse/rabbit like creature that represents cowardice and fertility. The members House Teckla are cowards and will run or spill their guts. Along with the Chreotha, members of this house are the primary customers of gambling halls. Teckla are also conscripted into battles between members of House Dragon.
Jhegaala shifts as moments pass.
Initially an egg, later a moth, and lastly a large toad (with a few other stages between) these animals represent metamorphosis.
Athyra rules minds' interplay
An owl-like bird. These animals emit psychic signals to draw prey to it, or cause fear in predators. The House Athyra represents magic.
Phoenix rise from ashes, gray.
The rebirth of the Phoenix which starts the cycle all over again.

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