|Number of Limbs||
Sentient; Volcanic skin; Hive-mind; Projectile metallic claws
|Behind the scenes|
The Familiar (hallucination)
Howlers or Crayak's Children are the alien shock troops of the nearly-omnipotent Crayak.
Howlers have cracked, black skin that resembles hardened lava; beneath the black, in the cracks and creases of the flesh, are bright, red lines. Humanoid in appearance, their bodies are split in two at the waist, and the two halves tethered together by elastic skin; this bearing allows them to turn their upper body all the way around and keep themselves in the fight permanently, even when thrown away. They have two arms with humanoid hands, with retractable claws attached to the wrists and huge heads with large, expressionless, robin's-egg blue eyes, which have the ability to make out major organs within their prey.
Their most fearsome weapon is the howl that gives them their name. The howl is modulated to affect the complex, intelligent brains of sentient beings, and will almost instantly disorient and cripple those who hear it. Howlers are very fast, extremely resilient, and highly talented at combat. In The Attack, a single Howler was capable of holding back and crippling all six of the Animorphs in their primary battle morphs. Their super-fast regenerative abilities allow them to quickly overcome even the worst physical damage. The Howlers operate as a hive-mind; the experiences of any one Howler are shared amongst all of them, so that every single one may become the best possible combatant.
Behavior and EvolutionEdit
Being the tools of Crayak, this race's sole purpose is to travel through the universe and destroy peaceful civilizations. But while Howlers may seem brutal in their killings, the Animorphs discover that they are not a race of purely-evil beings (a philosophical point of K. A. Applegate's), for they are in fact unaware of the severity of their actions; they seem to be unaware that the people they are killing are actually real, sentient beings capable of feeling emotions or pain. The Howler mind is, in fact, similar to the mind of a dolphin in its playfulness. The Howler collective memory means that any experiences of victorious combat are shared throughout the race; but it will also share any experience of defeat among them, something Crayak cannot allow, which is why no Howler has memory of ever having lost a battle; Crayak does not allow those memories to poison the collective pool. The species is manufactured, and a Howler lives for only three years of its childhood before dying. This makes sure that the Howlers never stop thinking it's a game because they are always children and have never been adults.
The Howlers are responsible for the extinction of several species of aliens including the Pemalites, Gaffon's Children and Folk to name a few. They were created by Crayak to be his shock troopers for that purpose, but inspite of this the Howlers were on good terms with the Iskoorts for quite some time, (particularry because of the Iskoort's interest in the Howler's memories) and likewise the Iskoort seemed to be one of the few species that the Howlers seemed to be aware of as being "Alive". After sending memories into the Howler's Collective Memory the Howlers became aware of the severity of their actions and have sense become far more peaceful. They were aware of the Chee's existance, While they are the one who wiped out the Pemalites, both species are noted for wanting nothing more than to have fun. Prior to absorbing the Emotion of Love into their collective memory, the Howlers served as the shock troopers to Crayak, but are now useless to him.
Collective Mind & IndividualityEdit
The Howlers have a collective memory, meaning that the memory of one Howler is shared by the rest. However, the weakness is that any form of emotion that the Howlers may experience may be uploaded to the Collective Memory, and thus infect the entire race. To stop this, a Howler must be destroyed before the memory can be uploaded.
The Howler's mind is similar to a dolphin's in its playfulness, and it sees the destruction of other species as a "Game" of sorts, and were unnaware of the severity of what they were doing, until the memory of Cassie and Jake kissing was uploaded, giving them emotions.
All Howlers are very childlike, and have realitively short lifespans, this is done so as to continue the "Game", but it also gives the Howlers a few childish flaws, yet at the same time it gives them the learning capasity of a child, in particular in terms of language (toddlers don't need textbooks to learn how to talk).
Despite all of this and everything else, the Howlers are not a hive-minded species as one would assume, but rather they retain a portion of individuality, and are very capable of understanding any emotion that is entered into the Collective Memory.
Howlers in AnimorphsEdit
The Howlers are first mentioned in the Book #10: The Android, when the Chee Erek King explains that it was the Howlers who destroyed the Chee's creators, the ancient, dog-like race, the Pemalites. They made their appearence in Book 26: The Attack, when Crayak and the Ellimist have a contest between seven of the species and the Animorphs, along with Erek. In the fight, the Animorphs manage to download their own memories into a Howler---causing the Howler to realize that humans and other species are, in fact, sentient beings with feelings and emotions. Crayak quickly destroyed the infected Howlers, to keep this information from reaching the collective memory. However, a single memory ended up getting through---a memory of Cassie kissing Jake, who was in a Howler morph. The Ellimist informs the Animorphs that this, in effect, destroys the Howlers as a threat, as a memory of love makes them useless to Crayak. For Jake's role in this, Crayak has great hatred of him, and has worked harder to destroy him than the other Animorphs. At some point in history, the now friendly Howlers greet the Sharf Den by kissing them.
The Howlers are known to have wiped out several species, including the Nostnavay, Graffen's Children and most notably, the Pemalites. They can, in effect, be seen as the opposite of the Pemalites---who were created by the Ellimist to spread life---though both species, interestingly, are noted for wanting nothing more than to have fun.
Howler's final appearances were re-enactments of the events of The Android, in both The Next Passage (an Elimist revisit in an alternate timeline) and a hallucination of the falling Howler in The Familiar.