Unique Fauna Contest
1st place - Lhyrin
Terminology and etymology: The word Valaanix is a mash-up of Valaane (ie: Hollow’s largest moon) and phoenix, the name typically attributed to fire birds.
Region: The jungles of Selen Island.
Biology and Ecology: When seen from afar, the Valaanix looks like nothing more than a strangely colored phoenix to the uninformed. Upon much closer inspection, however, its feathers take on more of a watery look, with tiny bits of ivy curling off the bottom of each feather, while its beak and eyes are a bright sea-green. Small, brilliant sky blue flowers bloom every so often along the vines, eventually die after a few moments and fall away, only to make room for another to blossom again, and the whole process repeats endlessly for as long as the bird draws breath. The petals of the dead flowers, as well as the water-like substance that makes up the Valaanix’s feathers, are what make up the telltale trail across the sky, like other phoenixes. It is not entirely clear what the Valaanix eats, or if it even needs to feed on anything at all, but there are rumors that it feeds off the light of Valaane itself each night as it sits atop Selen’s ominous-looking pyramid, drinking it in in much the same way a plant photosynthesizes the light from the sun into food. In typical phoenix fashion, its plumage shines more brightly at night, and even moreso during the nights when Valaane is at its fullest.
Culture: It is said that amongst the witches and lycans of Selen Island that Valaanix, the moon phoenix, is the foil to Arh’Nuk’s Gospel, the great serpent that once dwelled upon the red moon, and now makes its home beneath the sea. In an attempt to try to keep things in check with the serpent, the great green-ish white bird has made its home in the dense, humid jungles of Selen Island, to be there to do battle with Gospel should that day ever come.
2nd place (three way tie)
Whisperwinks - Lanlan
They wake with a whisper after the last of forty winks, and then they take their first breath in the hush of a breeze. Scattered glitter and dust, they flee from the fluttering lashes of a waking person and drift. Blind and aimless, practically formless, the breeze carries them; it is their wing, their road, their journey. These tiny, gray, fuzzy squiggle-worms in the peripheral are gone as soon as they appear.
Most are never more than this, until they land on a particular bush: the bush of the blorple bloom, the invisible flower. What many think are dandelion seeds gather up and fall, settling down on the petals like hushed, twinkling snowflakes onto a petalbed of unseen blorple. Its their nest and their nourishment, and without it, the second breath never comes.
But if the breeze does carry them true to float on that invisible bush, the cluster of whisperwinks will roll around in their downy homes until they’ve had enough, and then they fall over, touching the ground with a sigh and vanish.
When they reappear, its almost always a surprise to the mad man, or the different-brained kitten, or the wizard who was looking for something else entirely. And while the mad-man raves about the multitude of grapefruit-sized elephants flying clumsily on hummingbird-wing-ears, the wizard knows better. A hot pink elephant that no one can see, bumbling into walls with nary a whisper, dunking its curly trunk into the bud of an unseen flower to ladle up secret nectar–and oh! they’re everywhere, but gone in a wink. “But can’t you hear the tiny pop-pop of their suction cupped feet?” No, a wizard knows better than to hear such things.
The kitten merely stares at walls.
Byrgwyrms - Iintahquohae
Native to Venturil, specifically the byrgs, Fengoth and Foregengan rivers, and the Silver Forest.
On quiet nights, 'neath Vaalane's light,
It's unwise to leave your home,
For when the byrg walls come to life,
You might meet the singing stones.
Ghastly white as bone they are,
And it's said they're very thin.
With spindly legs and dusty scales,
They tend to blend right in.
They slither like snakes but have a human face,
And are still as any rock
Within the cracks of the walls they wait,
Always in trios do they flock.
Don't look into their eyes, the Elders say,
Or listen to their humming tune.
Just feed them a pebble and be on your way,
Or soon you'll meet your doom.
Some say the byrgwyrms leave their homes
during Vaalane's fullest phase.
To Fengoth or Foregengan they like to slither
For the river washes their dust away.
Then it's Arh'nuk's turn to guide the byrgwyrm,
And within its scarlet gaze,
They molt and reveal a single horn,
Curved skyward, the color of jays.
They dive into Venturil's rivers
Then migrate to their desired wood,
And it's here they feast upon silver leaves
Then nest in dirt and stones.
It's bad luck to touch their gravelly eggs,
But they're said to be a rare treat.
Sought after for their precious blue coloring,
Their shells taste especially sweet.
When Kafzhash shines its brightest,
And the days grow far too long,
The byrgwyrms turn their heads skyward,
And sing their parting song.
It's swift, their death, and with it comes
A very peculiar sight,
Their legs still skitter, even while they wither,
Into the mist and out of sight.
To follow them in their race to death
Is a risk best not to take.
But you might be rewarded if you follow that path,
For the treasures left in their wake.
Their horn is prized more than the scales,
As its brilliant blue color shines.
It thrums with a sound that is difficult to place,
Like a fork's tuning tines.
Papery scales wither away quick,
Revealing most peculiar bones.
A mix of snake with a powder-blue carapace,
And a skull that looks like your own.
Heather Deer - Kanna
One of many magically-imbued creatures of the pixie and fey lands, the heather deer is said in legend to be the creature that united the pixies and the fae together when these lands were discovered. Characteristics typical of the heather deer similar to their non-magical relatives include long, powerful hoofed legs, a diminutive tail used to communicate with one another from a distance, and long ears.
Their coloring and stature have adapted to camouflage within the miles of heather plains that surround the Kingdom of Enchantment; their short coats are often a deep grayish-lavender fallow with white undersides and white spots. On average, their height ranges from 45-55 centimeters at the shoulder, allowing them the perfect height to peer over the moors while being able to hide from predators such as the ebon wolves and feral dragons of the area.
Heather deer are an herbivorous mammal, browsing the moors for fresh grasses, soft twigs, heather fruits, fungi, and lichens. Their bodies seem to possess an incredible toxin resistance, as they are known to consume death caps by the fieldful with no ill effects seen, whereas trace amounts of this fungus will incapacitate a grown giant.
Both the males and females of the heather deer species grow prominent spiked antlers that shed twice a year once they reach maturity, that are bone-white upon the shedding of the soft lavender velvet tissue. These are used to both impress potential mates and to impale ebon wolves and sentients alike that are threatening the herd. It has been observed that different flocks will exhibit differences as to whether antlers are more dominant in one gender over another, leading to the hypothesis that both sexes rear their young equally. The latent mana of the deer are pronounced in said antlers, which will glow with a bright light when the rainy and foggy seasons occur. In the more grim corners of the moor, this also serves as a way to ward off malevolent specters.
It is said that when the pixies and fae were originally looking for a land to call their own, a heather stag appeared before both clans when Vaalane and Arh’Nuk were at their dimmest point. The lights from his antlers served as a beacon in the dark for the lost peoples, until he led them to the Mystical Stream, from which Enchantment was built around. It was said that Hind above sent her child to guide them. In modern day, this is disputed as being taken from an old story and repurposed into legend, as a heather stag will be far more likely to charge at a group of sentients rather than aid them.
While heather deer are magical beings and believed to be sacred in the area, there are still those who would hunt them for their magical antlers and pelts, leading to the hunting of these creatures rightfully being outlawed within the borders of the Kingdom of Enchantment. Those who become lost in the moors and cave into madness make the mistake of thinking that this is a mammal that is safe for consumption. Because of the heather deer's indifference to poisonous plants, those very toxins permeate their livers, which many make the mistake of including in what turns out to be their final meal. Beasts know better and will often drag the liver out with their claws before consuming the safe muscle tissue.
3rd place (tie)
Cenrilian Devil - Kreekitaka
This quadrupedal scavenger has a startling appearance, at first seeming to be something similar to a diseased bird or monkey. Its limbs are long and gaunt, with elongated fingers and thin, leathery skin that secretes a layer of mucus to keep itself safe from parasites and the sun during the day. Its long, thin neck supports a relatively large head with enormous beady eyes and a chattering, serrated beak, and a prehensile tail lashes back and forth behind it like a rat. The creature's natural build makes it seem almost emaciated, but this appearance belies a wiry strength that can surprise the unwary if cornered. Generally, however, the Cenrilian Devil is not called a devil due to the danger it poses--at least, not directly. There have been no documented direct attacks on humanoids that were unprovoked, and it prefers to stay out of sight as much as possible.
What makes the Cenrilian Devil fearsome is the sound it makes. Where most animals make simple, unintelligible sounds most of the time, the Devil's cry is easily-recognizable--a hoarse, high-pitched voice warbling "do it". This wouldn't be awful in itself, but the Devil's nocturnal nature, tendency to stay out of sight and ability to detect stressful situations mean that it's got a knack for sneaking up on scenes that could easily turn into violent crimes. A well-placed "do it!" encouragement has resulted in many a poor soul's demise at the hands of others--especially when the would-be murderer knows from the cry that there's a creature nearby that will eat the body for them.
Cenrilian Devils can live a surprisingly long time--almost fifty years--and they can get larger than one might expect. A young Devil is a tiny creature, roughly the same size as a small songbird, while an old Devil might be large enough to hang between two rooftops over an alley with its limbs outstretched and lower its head all the way to the ground. As they get older, they learn more nuanced phrases from watching people and mimicking their voices. Old Devils have been known to incite violent arguments by throwing insults in the voice of their victims. They operate in small family groups surrounding an older matriarch, who teaches the young ones, and generally stick to urban areas where their food supply is higher. There's at least one crime syndicate that's known to actively provide safe habitat for Devils, and in return the Devils make their job of cleaning crime scenes much easier.
Storm Tiger - Lefty
Few have encountered these elusive, illusive cats, (at least, few who have lived to tell about it).The storm tiger are native to the misty swamps between Gualon and Enchantment. Like their name suggests, they are tigers, with a few notable quirks. First, is their gargantuan size. Some adult storm tigers tower at a shoulder height of four meters, which would be shocking if it weren't for their most notable quirk: their fur, which changes color to blend in with their surroundings, much like a chameleon, combined with their foggy habitat and size makes them formidable apex predators as well as nearly impossible to detect (unless you are being eaten, of course). Their diet consists of alligators, babirusa, and bears, but lost adventurers are an easy snack.
Necrognats - Isok
Location: Vailkrin, anywhere the undead or corpses can be found.
Physical Description: Necrognats are truly a marvel of nature, with their small, black, and bulbous bodies no bigger than a thumbnail but with an impressive array of features. Their exoskeleton, smooth and glossy, glitters like polished obsidian in the light, reflecting hues of midnight blue and violet. Their wings, which are almost transparent, are a delicate lattice of veins that span across the insect's back, allowing them to dart through the air with incredible agility.
Upon closer inspection, one can see that their wings are covered in tiny scales that reflect different colors, making them look like tiny gemstones. The Necrognat's head is striking, triangular in shape, with two large, faceted eyes that glisten like rubies. Their jaws are razor-sharp, designed for ripping and shredding flesh, and their six spindly legs end in sharp, hooked claws that can cling to even the roughest terrain and keep them embedded in whatever flesh they've dug their way into.
Necrognats are tenacious creatures with a remarkable resilience that allows them to survive in even the most inhospitable of environments, making them well-suited for the harsh and unforgiving world of the undead.
Lifecycle: The life cycle of Necrognats is a complex and gruesome process, entirely dependent on their parasitic relationship with the undead. To begin, a female Necrognat will scour the surrounding area in search of a suitable host, preferably one that is a walking undead and decaying, but they are not above making use of a corpse. Once she has located a potential carrier, she will land on the host's flesh and use her sharp jaws to burrow into the rotting flesh, making her way towards the internal organs where she will deposit her eggs.
Over the course of several days, the eggs will hatch into larvae, tiny white grubs that immediately begin to feed on the host's decaying flesh. As they grow, the larvae will molt their skins several times, each time growing larger and more developed. The larvae will continue to feed and grow until they are fully developed, at which point they will emerge from the host, covered in bits of rotting flesh and fluid.
The newly emerged Necrognats will spend some time drying and cleaning themselves, spreading their wings and adjusting to the air around them. Once they are ready, they will fly off in search of new undead hosts, repeating the process of infestation and feeding. This cycle of infestation and emergence can continue for several weeks, with a single host potentially spawning dozens or even hundreds of Necrognats over time.
The life cycle of Necrognats is thus entirely dependent on their parasitic relationship with the undead, making them a unique and dangerous threat to the Kingdom of Vailkrin. As the undead population grows, so too will the population of Necrognats, making it crucial for the citizens of Vailkrin to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions to avoid infestation.
Weaknesses: Necrognats, being insects, are susceptible to various natural predators such as birds, bats, and spiders, as well as larger creatures such as rodents and carnivorous reptiles. They are also vulnerable to extreme cold or heat, which can kill them off in large numbers.
In terms of weaknesses, Necrognats require a steady supply of rotting flesh to feed their larvae, so they are dependent on the presence of undead hosts or cadavers. Without a steady supply of decaying flesh, their population can dwindle and even die off.
While popular insecticides have not been made mainstream, there may be alchemical or herbal remedies that can repel or even kill Necrognats. However, finding and using such remedies may be difficult and expensive, as they may require rare and exotic ingredients or specialized knowledge.
We looked over the survey suggestions and voting and are putting your feedback into action. For the month of May, our next writing contest will be Unique Fauna!
We’re looking for your ideas on unique fauna that might be found only in Lithrydel! A good example of this would be Ernest’s submission in our earlier contest, the Songbird's Requiem. Another example would be like creatures from Avatar: The Last Airbender, like the Turtleduck! This can be as magical or nonmagical as you wish, it just needs to be original and unique to Hollow!
- What is the creature's name?
- What does it look like?
- Where can it be found?
- Any other information you can think of! (Example: What it eats, if there are any legends about it, is it used for crafting/hunting/food?)
You will be allowed 3 entries max and will earn 1,500 gold per entry.
Winners will get 10,000 gold for winning entries. And of course, we will make a wiki page so that we can add it into our lore mix.
Hmails must be submitted to Meri, Kasyr and Valrae by May 19th at 11:59 PM.
Fice Blobs - Lanlan
Elementals are often violent, unpredictable entities. They're also extremely powerful. Ff course some mage tried to harness this power. By bringing together two elementals of opposing types, this wily wizard thought they might temper the their mercurial outbursts while still preserving a great force of energy. They succeeded in one way when they made the fice blob.
Two great and eternal enemies: fire and ice. The wizard combined them both. Needless to say it was against their will, and should've been something completely impossible. Naturally, it would never occur, but wizards spurn nature when they can. The expectation was to create a steam or mist elemental of a much more mild disposition, one that might even be able to be bottled. To do so, he created a massive point of gravity, an attraction so strong, it overcame the elementals repulsion, overcame the burning and frozen essence of their being, and made them combine.
All the energy that should've been released, seemed to be destroyed in that moment, and the wizard was left with little more than a sparkly mound. It was promising enough at first. A plasma core with violent looking tendrils of light lashing out at what seemed to be a flimsy aqueous membrane. It seemed ready to burst with a catastrophe, a tempest in a bubble! To confirm the theory, the wizard (at a safe distance) cast a spark. Results: a slight jiggle. The blob continued amicably in its pointless direction. The wizard clearly underestimated the strength of its smooth and translucent exterior, and summoned black clouds to fill the sky. When they were full of rage and hate, they split the sky with a massive lightning bolt and crashed into the flan…! Same result. Blob rolls unperturbed, perhaps even joyously.
Somehow the blob, an admittedly beautiful looking creature with its gelatinous body and electric soul, seemed to dissipate all the energy.
It was apparently harmless, so the wizard washed his hands of the matter. The blob should probably evaporate or something on its own. It didn't. The energy that it gathered seemed to be used only to clone itself, for the next day, there were two. Now, it's not uncommon to see several of them gathered in the soggy aftermath of a violent storm or on the beach along with the bones of a wrecked ship. They seek these places out, knowing instinctively where a massive energy blast will be released.
It's due to this that they are sometimes wrongfully blamed, as if they caused the storm.
That’s when they are hatefully punctured by a pointed log or spire of stone, and they perish in a shower of mist and sparks, crackling like fireworks. When it happens, they don't resist or even seem to mind. The fice blob is truly a creature without concern, or malice, or vengeance.
Brutus Rex - Lanlan
When nature bites back, earth trembles. A living calamity, a rebellion of nature, only born amid an ecological response to widespread habitat loss. It comes from the egg of its tyrant mother, the ancient dinosaur king. But the egg doesn’t crack, its shell is too strong. It could be a boulder if it didn’t shake so violently in the days leading up to its release. The terrible beast inside only musters up the strength after starving in its dark prison, burgeoning a desperation and rage in its guts and muscles that finally allows it to shatter its stony prison. Already it appears bloodsoaked, crimson, a promise.
It nearly doubles in size week after week for the first few months, testing the limits of what two legs can hold. But the energy it gains from eating is always metabolized too quick, and its hunt for nourishment is never ending. It needs to eat, and it does, plunging teeth first into anything that moves. It grows rapidly, consuming every breathing thing in sight, or ripping chunks if it's too big. If the brute isn’t slaughtered in these early months…It must be. Because after that, nothing will ever be too big again. Then it is a living calamity, and the people that first eroded its mothers home will have theirs crumbling before their eyes.
The last time it attacked one of the byrgs, was the last time that byrg ever existed. The dim and scattered reports paint a picture of its bloodlust and wanton destruction. Slamming its hard, long snout through houses, heaving its massive tail through watchtowers. Leaping nearly to the height of the meadhall and crashing through the roof, only to fall on its face like a klutz. That’s what they thought, anyway, before its massive maw gaped, and it with driving hind legs, it engulfed furniture, flooring, living, and dead, disappearing them into its gullet. When nothing else moved, it knocked over the last standing building and moved on.
Castle walls can’t save people, the brute can leap them, or break them. Spears snap against its rough red hide. Arrows bounce off its wavy spinal ridges. Mightily enchanted swords leave scars that harden into jagged plates. Magic provokes fury, causing its muscles to swell with power and spite. Then it no longer kill to eat, it destroys as much as it can, for being there.
Glass Dragon - Pyde
What is the creature's name? Glass dragon
What does it look like? in normal light looks like clear glass in the form of a dragon, in the dark the dragon glows orange. There is a magical core the moves around in the hot liquid form that pulsates like a heart. Upon closer inspection you can see that there look like veins under the surface of the glass that channel magic. which chnage color based on what the dragong eats
Where can it be found? anywhere magic can be found to keep recharged. also amung pottery shops to since they love to eat different pigments.
Any other information you can think of! Glass Dragons are forever alone. ther love to love, but because their bodies are so hot the burn everything they touch.
Rainbow Elemental - Pyde
What is the creature's name? Rainbow Elemental
What does it look like? A whispy localized rainbow, rather than a bow stretching across the sky.
Where can it be found? It tends to be found in higher places, can be seen traving across the sky but it will come down to ground level out of curiosity.
Any other information you can think of! (The Rainbow Elemental is based off of the real phenomenon known as Sky Fire.) it is made from Fire, water and air elements. Legend has it that good luck will come to those who find one.
Mimic Hive Lord - Pyde
What is the creature's name? Mimic Hive Lord
What does it look like? No one really knows, but this mimic is the size of a mountain.
Where can it be found? not far from cities or towns. it moves around, but slowly.
Any other information you can think of! The Mimic Hive Lord has evolved to filter feed and is intelligent enough to know when something makes good prey. It will lure bandits in looking like either a dungeon or cave system. The bandits will get caught in the traps inside or devoured by lesser mimics that live inside it. Children are safe they don't have as much meat on them and the lesser mimics are afraid the MHL will devour them if they attack safe prey. Legend has it a bandit king from long ago stored his treasure in the MHL but didn't know the nature of the creature. That treasure is still there, but no one has found it yet.
Bushytails - Quintessa
Bushytails are small, curious creatures with long, fluffy tails that they use to balance themselves in high branches. They have four legs, large frontal eyes, and tiny round noses. Their fur is soft and comes in colors as varied as all the birds in Lithyrdel. Despite their large eyes, bushytails have very poor vision, relying on their acute sense of hearing and smell instead.
Bushytails live in underground burrows that they dig themselves called warrens, typically at the base of a large tree so that they can fill them with twigs and leaves. They prefer to live in areas with lots of trees and vegetation for this reason, feeding on fruit, nuts, and insects to survive. Bushytails are impressively widespread creatures, found in Kelay and the Sage Forest, Venturil’s Dead Forest, Enchantment, the Xalious Mountains, Rynvale Island’s Fog Forest, and the swamps of Gaulon.
Short lived and fast breeding, bushytails are highly social animals, often living in groups of 10 to 15. They communicate with each other through a series of chirps, squeaks, and clicks. They are known for their playful behavior and whenever they aren’t chasing each other in the trees or foliage, they can be found singing together high in the branches. Being such social animals they do poorly as solitary pets and need the attention of lots of other bushytails to be happy and healthy.
Rumor has it that Bushytails were created by a powerful forest spirit, perhaps a dryad, who wanted to bring more joy and balance to the forest, imbuing them with magical abilities that allow them to move swiftly and disappear into the forest when threatened. Research has yielded some credence to this theory, as arcane scholars have studied them and found that they indeed have the magical imprint proving they were spliced together, possibly out of squirrels, foxes, and birds given their appearance and disposition to singing.
Chocolate covered nougat golem - Joan
What does it look like? This creature looks like a seven inch chocolate coated nougat golem. It is made of a semi hard chocolate shell like skin, it’s shaped like is humanoid. Basically like a tiny bald statue. IT’s skeleton is made of all peanuts with a creamy nougat inner.
Where can it be found? It can be found deep inside one of Vailkrin’s Black Spire classrooms, as it is in progress of being defined and presented as project.
Is there are any legends about it? This creature was created purely by accident after one night of chocolate craving by Joan Blackheart. The vampire healer was up late having burnt through her normal stash of snacks. The vampire had a hankering for something chocolate-y with some peanuts and creamy nougat covered. Thinking upon her recent golem experience the woman thought it be neat and funny to create a ‘snack golem’, with that in mind she gathered large amounts of chocolate, tons of peanuts and gallons upon gallons of creamy nougat. Set about in one of the empty classrooms available at the Black Spire Joan went about crafting such a snack like golem. Much like one of the magical enchanted gingerbread men, this golem is made to be consumed.
Is used for crafting/hunting/food? It is used for magical food crafting, it can be hunted and totally made to be eaten.
Leporighül - Lhyrin
Terminology and Etymology: ‘Lepori’ is taken from the scientific family name for rabbits (leporidae). ‘Ghül’ is the old Vailkrinian spelling for ghoul.
Region: Deep within Vailkrin and Vhys’ forests.
Biology and Ecology: While it looks like a normal rabbit at first glance, the Leporighül is an evolved creature that is anything but normal. Thanks to Vailkrin’s latent dark magic energies, over time, it has altered many species, including the forest’s resident lagomorphs (ie: rabbits, hares, etc). Notable changes are as follows: a twitchy, rabid-like demeanor; a need to feed on blood and sinew; mange; sharp canine-like teeth, rather than dull herbivore ones; and slowly rotting body parts. Despite these changes, the Leporighül are not classified as undead. They are much more docile around their own kind, which allows for them to reproduce and raise young like normal lagomorphs. It would be wise, however, for forest-dwellers, adventurers, and the like to stay clear of known areas during the times of year that the Leporighül seek out mates, as they become even more aggressive, and may attack as a pair, rather than singularly. Much like regular lagomorphs, males are referred to as bucks, females as does, and the offspring as kits. These names can be entirely misleading for those that don’t know the entirely of the Leporighül’s background.
While their origins began in Vailkrin’s Dark Forest, they have long since found their way to Vhys’ ancient woods as well. Their presence is baffling to those that know of them, but in reality, they were brought there by cultists of Cire. Utilizing traps laced with teleportation runes, the cultists sent them to Rynvale Island, in hopes of starting some subtle, long-termed chaos, with the goal of the Leporighül branching out from Vhys’ own darkened forest and eventually populating the island as a whole.
Culture: Whispers of terrible man-eating rabbits have long since circled Lithrydel’s rumor mill, to which scholars in all parts of academia scoff at. With none having ever been caught and those that try being mauled to death by them, the rumors are hardly ever believed and the deaths blamed on the other predators that roams the Leporighül’s homes.
Glass Goblin - Lhyrin
Terminology and etymology: Typically called by its Common name of Glass Goblin, they are also known in Vhys as “Spiristiclă” which is where the Common form is loosely translated from.
Region: Beneath the streets of Vhys.
Biology and Ecology: Despite the name, glass goblins are not actual goblins. Classified as one of the Unseelie fae, the “goblins”, while sentient creatures, are still more beast than anything else. Their compulsion to steal glass from the Glassworks Foundry in Vhys fuels their one track mind--it’s a wonder the creatures even manage to eat and sleep daily. Each individual goblin is around a foot tall, and adorn themselves with their stolen glass loot, by embedding the glass directly into their flesh. With their thoughts singularly focused on the glass nearly all the time, they seem to feel no pain at all. Or perhaps, they’ve evolved to not feel it, as they all became more and more accustomed to having bits of glass sticking out of their bodies. They are viewed as nothing more than pests, leaving the Glassworks Foundry to employ massive undead house cats and large-sized dogs to prowl around the factory to kill any goblins that might be scurrying about, stealing both regular and stained glass alike. The pest controls’ undead nature allows for them to be unhindered by glass-embedded flailing arms and legs, and the gnashing vicious teeth that fill the glass goblins’ mouths. These creatures have long since made their homes in abandoned warrens and tunnel systems left by Vhys’ fermin, that have taken to living above ground. Unfortunately for the citizens of Vhys, there seems to be no end to the glass goblins and their reign of glass-filled terror.
Culture: There’s not much in the way of myths for the glass goblins, though Vhysian parents do so love to threaten their ill-behaved children with thoughts of glass goblins attacking and eating them in their sleep.
Featherlisks and Yum Oozes - Kreekitaka
Long thought to be a single creature native to the forests north of Venturil, these two species work in perfect symbiosis with each other.
The Featherlisk is a serpentine amphibious creature with six legs, growing up to four feet long. Running all the way down its back are fleshy, feathery-looking protrusions that are all independently prehensile and can be flexed to grip items with surprising tightness. It is an accomplished ambush predator, mimicking the motion of a vine and flaring its back-grippers to appear similar to leaves, waiting for prey to come near before striking with surprising swiftness with its barbed, venomous tongue. The featherlisk injects a paralytic toxin in this way--not enough to do lethal damage to a fully-grown human, but the paralysis effect is fast-acting and lasts for hours. Prey that it catches is hoisted onto its back and secured with its grippers, then carried back to its nest. Featherlisks have extremely poor eyesight and hunt via touch, taste and hearing, their eyes only developed enough to discern light from dark.
The Yum Ooze is a shapeless gelatinous mass, generally a dull yellow-brown in color. Most of the time, it lurks in pits it digs into the ground by digesting the earth beneath it in order to carve a small burrow. It doesn't move particularly quickly and has no visible sense organs, yet somehow is able to find excellent places to position itself to where it's out of direct sunlight and has easy access to prey creatures. It spends most of its time completely immobile, covered in detritus, with tiny pseudopods extending out in all directions. It produces a chemical with a potent, savory scent as a lure to bring additional prey creatures towards it.
Featherlisks make their nests inside of Yum Oozes and their burrows. Their skin is immune to the ooze's digestive fluids, and the ooze makes for an excellent home defense system. The ooze feeds off of any excess prey the featherlisk brings inside and attracts it with its scent, and helps to pre-digest the food so that the featherlisk doesn't have to spend as much energy eating it. Any creature that might attack the ooze would suddenly find itself paralyzed by the bite of the featherlisk. The two creatures make such a potent team that it wasn't until a Yum Ooze was discovered moving by itself that scholars learned it was a separate creature and not some slimy production of the featherlisk itself.
Featherlisks give birth to live young, and Yum Oozes reproduce via simple mitosis when babies are born. The parting of young and parent is completely amicable, as the creatures aren't particularly territorial with each other--though neither are they particularly social. In most cases, one featherlisk and one ooze are all the partnership these creatures need.
Yum Oozes get their name from the fact that people in the Venturil region discovered their aromatic secretions make an excellent ingredient in marinades, sauces and other dishes as a particularly potent flavor enhancer. Ooze ranchers use special poles with nets on the end to temporarily snare the featherlisk, then use corrosion-resistant skimming tools to collect the ooze's least dangerous fluids for refinement. The specific flavor profile of each ooze can be adjusted based on what plant material is nearby and what prey items are fed to it. Due to the creatures' relatively high tolerance for each other despite their lack of sociality, ranching is surprisingly space-efficient and low-drama, though maintaining a desirable habitat for each ooze is a must since no fence can keep a determined ooze inside and the creatures can and do leave bad ranch conditions.
Cloudgrazer - Kreekitaka
An extremely distant relative of the man-o-war, cloudgrazers are widely considered to be pest animals by farmers all throughout their territory. Though beautiful from a distance, with their translucent, iridescent hide shimmering in every color of the rainbow in the sun, waving tentacles drifting below them and moving in slow, hypnotic patterns, the cloudgrazer is a crop-destroying menace that devours any plant life it can reach. Every tendril is lined with innumerable mouths which seem at first glance to contain startlingly human teeth, as well as a myriad of simple eyes. These tentacles hang below a round, oblong body which contains a many-chambered stomach and most other vital organs, all of which is suspended beneath an enormous bladder that contains the methane produced by the creature's digestion process. It uses this as a lift gas, and uses small fin-like protrusions and rowing with its tentacles to carry itself leisurely and silently through the air, having acheived complete neutral buoyancy in the atmosphere--at the cost of a rancid, foul odor that follows it everywhere it goes and permeates the area around it.
The cloudgrazer is a fundamentally lethargic animal and aside from biting with its tentacles has no visible defenses. One might question why farmers find them such a nuisance to deal with in such a case. The answer lies in the fact that large cloudgrazers are notorious for exploding when badly wounded. An internal ignition system detonates the methane supply in the gasbag, and the semi-gelatinous creature proceeds to rain burning, sticky globs all over the surrounding area, ruining whatever crops they hadn't already eaten. However, particularly clever farmers have taken to leaving their beehives in the middle of their fields. Small insect stings aren't enough to make the cloudgrazer detonate, but they are enough of a deterrent that a well-placed series of hives can keep cloudgrazers well away from their crops.
Detonation has another use as well for the cloudgrazer--reproduction. When a cloudgrazer feels its time is up, it rises as high into the air as it can go, shedding its tentacles as unneeded ballast and rising until its gas bladder can no longer take the pressure. With a violent, thunderous explosion, it annihilates itself and spreads hundreds of tiny polyps into the air. These polyps will gradually drift down to the earth, carried by the wind, and begin to feed on any plant life they can find. The young are highly vulnerable, as their explosive nature doesn't develop until later in their life cycle, and so large insects and small birds make easy prey of them. Relatively few make it to adulthood.
As a large flying creature, the cloudgrazer naturally shares an environment with dragons. As most of its body is low in nutritional value and awful-tasting, however, dragons tend to fully ignore them as a potential meal--with one notable exception. The flesh of an adult cloudgrazer is a known remedy for dragons that have fallen ill and lost their fire breath. Other than this, between their horrible stench, insatiable appetite, tendency to violently rupture and horrible bitey tentacles, they see next to no use by intelligent species and are almost universally considered annoying to deal with.
Diamantaire Scorpion - Kanna
A scorpion of a yet unknown taxonomical family that dwells far beneath the Xalious Mountains and below the Kingdom of Craughmoyle, being native to the crystalline caverns that span the length of the mountain range. The diamantaire, most commonly referred to as ‘diamond cutter’ in Common or ‘grethir zlav’ in Dwarvish, gains its name from its diet of crystals and minerals. Its exoskeleton has evolved to withstand most predators, and is believed to be able to withstand as much pressure as a single wyvern’s scale. As it shares the crystalline caverns and dwarven mines with such large creatures like crystal dragons, cave simurghs, and the native gnomes and dwarves, it also has the ability to flatten itself to the height of a copper piece if stepped on.
Similar to how a diamond refracts light in an array of colors, different lights will refract off of the diamantaire’s exoskeleton in an array that differs depending on how many molts it has undergone. A fully mature diamantaire will refract all light in a bright blue-green light, while juveniles that have just grown their first few exoskeletons will refract in reddish hues. Fully matured diamantaires can reach a length of five inches, or thirteen centimeters. A single stinger’s worth of venom is not venomous to dwarves or other medium-sized sentients. Diamantaires will generally only sting sentients if one is too close to a brooding nest or if they are warding off predators.
The diamantaire, contrary to its name, cannot cut through diamond deposits. It does, however, gain the bulk of its nutrition by consuming other ‘softer’ gemstones and minerals by way of its pincers. The crushing points are sharpened into blades thin enough that they can pinpoint and saw through the most brittle spots in a crystalline structure. In the areas that dwarven technology has reached, they are considered a nuisance especially if found in areas with significant apatite or fluorite ore deposits.
The diamantaire shares a symbiotic relationship with the crystal dragons and gem dragons living in these alcoves below the surface. Being too small to be of any substance or care to a dragon, they are just the right size for larger troglobites to seek out for food, which in turn are the just the right size for a growing dragon. As these dragons molt scales as much as any other dragon, diamantaires have been observed exhibiting communal behavior by dragging fallen scales back to a nest for consumption. This also aids their large benefactor by removing traces of their presence towards those who would poach for their scales or horns.
Despite their designation as a pest , several dwarven clans have turned these arachnids into a delicacy and a resource. While a single stinger’s worth of venom is not enough to be fatal, at least one clan has developed a method of condensing the liquid venom from several diamantaires into a concentrated poison for blowgun darts. Another has made a lucrative trade out of creating pigment dyes from the crushed exoskeletons, with the method of crushing such an incredibly durable layer of chitin being a heavily guarded clan secret.
Buniki - Kanna
A creature unique to the Southern Forests, including the Sage Forest, Dark Forest, and Mystic Forest. The buniki falls within the leporine family, with an egg-shaped body, strong hind legs for running and jumping, well-developed musculature, and the iconic long ears. Taking on a more plant-like appearance than other rabbits in their genus, buniki exhibit a unique coloring that allows it to camouflage as a plant when needed, which varies depending on which portions of the Southern Forests they reside. Buniki are primarily herbivorous, though they will eat insects that encroach on their personal space.
Sage Buniki have a soft, tawny brown coat, which tapers into a gradient of a pale grey-green with white protrusions on their ears. When they are not grazing, they are lounging in parts of the forest that have patches of sunlight peeking through to sunbathe, often in piles with their colony. They are docile by nature, and do not consider the native Sage elves of the area to be a threatening presence. In fact, several children of the area are known to informally adopt a colony and have them as their first animal companion. When they hear or smell predators, they run as a last resort, so as not to cause the colony to go into a panic; instead, they press their bodies against tree trunks and raise their ears up. The white protrusions on their ears will open up to reveal a soft violet color resembling aster blossoms, and release a sweet floral scent to mask their natural scent from predators. To someone who is not actively looking for the creature, they will blend into the bark of a tree’s base, with the wildflower-like protrusions decorating the ground around it. Domesticated buniki will also do this in front of their owners as a way to signal that they want attention.
Dark Forest Buniki do not leave the safety of the shadowed mossy underbrush they call home. Their deep gray coats are wiry and curled, allowing them to blend in with the colorless moss that envelops the floor of the Deep Dark Forest. Their wiry coats allow them to pick up bits of moss that assists with their camouflage in both sight and scent.Their undersides are a pure snow white by contrast, which they show by standing on their hind legs when greeting other buniki in their colony. These are a popular pet in Vailkrin due to their eyes’ sensitivity to direct sunlight, making the eternal night of the city a preferable habitat for the domesticated variety.
Mystical Buniki live in the wilds touched by fae and pixie magic in Enchantment. Whereas their relatives are muted colors that blend into their surroundings, the mysticals were made to be seen. Their coats are generally white with mottles in unusual colors, or the inverse of unusual colors with white mottles. Though their plant-like appearance may not be immediately noticeable, the mottles are patterned in a way on their egg-shaped body and small head that resemble the scales on an amanita cap. It is this camouflaging pattern that sees their variety localized in the mushroom-dense areas of Enchantment. Like other herbivorious creatures in Enchantment, mystical buniki have a high tolerance to certain poisons, specifically those of amantia mushrooms. When predators are seen or heard nearby, the reasoning for their coloration comes into play. The largest members of the colony will run into the stalks of mushrooms while smaller buniki huddle underneath and curl into balls, making themselves appear like a furry, fungal cluster that is only distinguishable from the real mushrooms by actively looking for them. Running into the stem shakes the mushroom cap and forces spores to discharge early, both masking the scents of the colony and deterring predators. It is not recommended that mystical buniki attempt to be domesticated without proper training, as they are known to bring wild mushrooms into their enclosure from wherever they can locate them.
Mnemnats - Lefty
As the name suggests these peculiar critters are insects, barely big enough to be seen, but they can certainly be heard with their incessant buzzing. They are often found next to the ear of someone on the verge of forgetting, or having trouble remembering. You see, these interesting buzz-bugs are drawn to oblivion. It was once believed that they fed on it, but that was later disproven when fervent research discovered that the gnats were eating the apples in the researchers' lunchboxes. Despite this lack of evidence, there exists a niche group of dark alchemists that have claimed to be able to extract the liquid forgetfulness from the gnats' gallbladder. Nevertheless, the sonic vibrations of the mnemnat has been key in retaining memory and focus. In fact, certain high-ranking apothecaries swear by it in their medicine, often using it to treat amnesia, dissociative disorders, attention deficits, and glaucoma. Combined with pollen from Lunar Lanium, the wings of a mnemnat can be brewed into a tea that is said to aid in an ancestral shared-memory ritual. Details are limited, due to the secretive nature of the tribes that practice such arts. As for the natural habitat of the insects, no one seems to remember where they saw them....
Cthonids - Lefty
The collective term for an invasive species of elemental commonly confused with those from the Chaos Realm. Being of the elemental nature, their forms are fluid and differ from individual to individual. Despite the innumerable differences, the species is linked by the intrinsic wrongness imbedded in their very existence. Tentacles where there ought not be tentacles, colors that have no business existing, teeth that go in directions that defy the laws of physics. All these factors and more can be used to describe the Cthonid species. The elementals are believed to have entered Lithrydel during one of the Preklek invasions. They appear to feed on spatial energies, and can be found deep underground near decommissioned portals. They have a peculiar language, which should not be learned, replicated, or listened to. Attempting to do so has been known to cause hemorrhaging of ears, mouth, eyes, etc. Seeing them can cause similar effects, so run, maybe?
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