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  1. Introduction. Content warning: body horror and gross bug and fungus stuff By far, the most dangerous aspect of the Arch-Demon Kahd'Xel Yedapher, is his ability to create numerous and organized monsters that serve under his thrall. These inhuman creations are stitched together from the spoils of his endless hunger, and the victims of his warpath. The monstrosities he produces are officially referred to as the Xelken and can be put into 3 types and 5 categories. The 3 types are insect, fungus, and flesh; while the 5 categories are Wretch, Abomination, Horror, Demon, and possessed. Regardless of type or category however, all Xelken are immune to disease, immune to poison, and resist acid. Due to there being 5 categories and 3 types, there exist 15 subcategories that all servants of Kahd'Xel fall under. Although these 15 subcategories feature wildly different monsters serving wildly different functions, they all operate in complete Eusociality with one another. Numerous Xelken serve as expendable pawns or living food storage, while others exhibit high levels of intelligence and act in Kahd'Xel's stead. The Xelken maintain order through a complex catalogue of identification pheromones and the widespread use of Oldspeak. However, the kind of Oldspeak used by the Xelken is virtually incomprehensible to any non-Xelken listeners. The Xelken are ruthless and sadistic, attacking anything in sight to pillage a settlement's resources and its populace, using both to produce countless monsters and unspeakable horrors. The Kinds of Xelken (note, there are still plenty that remain unknown. 1. Wretches 2. Abominations 3. Horrors 4. Demons 5. Possessed Wretches Wretches compose the backbone of the Xelken war machine. They are best described as rudimentary creatures manufactured in bulk by Kahd'Xel. Their primary purpose is to build and maintain an infrastructure that can support the creation of more powerful Xelken. outside of combat they serve as scouts, harvesters, food stores, builders, repair crew, and transport. For combat, their soldiers mostly serve as abundant fodder and skirmishers, overwhelming the enemy with their sheer numbers and deadly poisons, however, they also fill out a lot of roles that can benefit from their numbers and low maintenance. The smallest wretches are a bit smaller than a common house cat. Eye Nit: A small flying Insect wretch that can survive without food or water for weeks. These small wretches are impressively fast and have remarkable eyesight, which they use to relay vital scouting information to their superiors. Sentry Moss: a small Fungal wretch that relays information on its position to the hive. These wretches are left like bread crumbs as the Xelken travel in search of conquest, they are often well hidden and constantly giving updates to their superiors via the ever growing sentry moss network. Sting Fly: a small flying insect wretch that attacks with it's venomous stinger. The stings from this wretch cause necrosis of flesh and attract more Sting Flies to attack. These wretches only live for 24 hours after hatching, so they are often brought into battle in large egg sacs by Snatch Hawks to maximize their effectiveness. Snatch Hawk: A large flying Insect Wretch roughly the size of an adult human. This Wretch is capable of carrying a fully grown human male and generally serves to capture enemy assets. when the Snatch Hawk grabs a living asset, it insects a long stinger into the victim's body, paralyzing them within seconds. Syringe Wasp: an insect wretch that resembles a very large hornet. Capable of flying at 40 MPH and notable for its large syringe like abdomen, which it can use to inject a disease Derived from Kahd'Xel himself. These are usually lethal or paralytic, but a black syringe means that an injection will turn the victim into a horror. Stitch Worm: a medical marvel that might as well be the foundation of all Xelken armies and forces. This flesh wretch is 15 inches long, pale white, has two large pairs of brown mandibles, and possesses the incredible ability to reshape most organic matter and many kinds of inorganic matter with its saliva. This allows the worm to fashion powerful weapons out of bone, treat any physical injury, and produce ungodly abominations out of assorted body parts. Puppeteer Bug: a somewhat small insect wretch with long spider like legs and glowing white eyes. This wretch is very notable for its ability to control other creatures both living and dead. It does this by injecting a small stinger and gaining control of the victim's soul (or any equivalent) this allows the bug to control everything from humans to trees to golems to ghosts. There also exists a variant that simply hacks the nervous system. Bomb Bulb: a round Fungal wretch about as big as a watermelon. It grows attached to organic or inorganic surfaces until it receives a signal to release. once that signal is received, it drops down and explodes upon impacting the ground, producing a large cloud of toxic fumes/spores/disease. Shriek Arrow: a medium sized flying Flesh wretch filled with a very strong acid. It seeks out a hostile target to explode on and flies extremely fast. These wretches are stored in fortified positions and large Xelken. Grove Hog: a very large insect wretch that carries large quantities of nutrient rich fungal bulbs on its back. These wretches can digest virtually anything and use it to produce edible fungus. Harvester Hawk: a smaller variant of the Snatcher Hawk, this flying insect wretch harvests large quantities of plants and water to feed to the Bulb Cows. Ultra Hawk: a heavy duty variant of the Snatcher Hawk, this giant flying insect wretch is as big as an elephant and through the use of magic, is able to keep up with an unburdened Snatcher Hawk. These Wretches are able to lift upwards of 50 tons alone! Slap Coil: This Fungal Wretch attaches itself to a solid surface (or fellow Xelken) and attacks any nearby enemies with a long bony whip. Stack Worm: 45 inch long cousin of the stitch worm. This flesh Wretch specializes in building large structures, it needs stitch worms to do the fine details, but a couple of these can fortify a position overnight. Spray Bulb: a balloon like flying fungal Wretch that sprays a large variety of toxins and plague over a large area. These wretches are slow and are often carried into battle by unburdened Snatcher and Ultra Hawks. Skeleton Weasel: this Flesh Wretch resembles a small mammal that attempts to attach itself to a living host. once attached, it begins inserting needles into the victim's nervous system and gains control of their body. It then mutates itself into a wire-like exoskeleton over the victim's body, giving them enchanced physical abilities. Over time, the Skeleton Weasel and the victim fuse and become a Flesh Horror. Brain Druid: A Fungal Wretch resembling a humanoid mushroom, its cap/head resembles a human brain. These Wretches exhibit proficient magical abilities that are comparable to that of a Gaianist priest. They wield staffs made of bone and lack any form of armor, but are able to repel attacks through the use of magical wards. They tend to enhance the capabilities of nearby Xelken but will also attack by growing thorny plants, moving earth, and spewing poison. Abominations Abominations account for all instances of the Xelken reanimating corpses. Abominations are meant to bolster Xelken forces during a battle, and are promptly fed to Grove Hogs along with any other bodies after a battle. They are not as numerous in variation as The other categories, but they are definitely in Xelken tactics Lesser Abomination: created by Stitch Worms heavily modifying a victim being controlled by a Puppeteer Bug. These insect abominations are chaotic masses of various limbs and body parts. It usually takes a minute for the Puppeteer Bug to become proficient with the abomination and the Puppeteer cannot control a body bigger than the victim's original body. Multiple Lesser Abominations can be sown together and function as a single Greater Abomination, or with enough, become an Ultra Abomination. Regardless, The bugs controlling the abomination are more than happy to shatter every bone in the Abomination's body to strike powerful blows against their opponents. Fresh Zombie: a kind of Flesh abomination created by infecting an individual with a specific Xelken pathogen, and then killing the carrier. Upon death, the carrier will soon reanimate as a zombie and begin fighting for the Xelken. This Zombie is practically identical to a conventional zombie with the exception being the circumstances and means of its creation. Corpse Wearer: A fungal abomination created by a kind of Fungal Wretch of the same name. This wretch is spread through the air as spores, which dig through soil to seek out decomposing bodies, they then grow on said bodies and convert the corpse into an abomination loyal to the Xelken. Horrors By submitting a living creature to specific mutagenic plagues and curses, Kahd'Xel is able to transform them into Horrors that serve the Xelken. These Horrors retain very little of their previous lives both physically and mentally besides their body shape and their memories. Those memories don't stick around for long however as they are soon torn apart by the Xelken hive mind and scoured for any useful information. These horrors than become viscous and cunning warriors for the Xelken. Their repurposed soul and previous experiences allow them to function as formidable foot soldiers and exhibit greater specialization. Unlike Abominations, Horrors are not harvested for nutrients while they are still alive. Lastly, While the Kahd'Xel's plagues can turn people into horrors rapidly, horrors that are incubated over a period of time in a flesh pod, are often noticeably stronger and more complex. Untrained Horrors are called Skirmishers, trained melee fighters are called Warriors, trained ranged fighters are Rangers, Trained magic users are Mages. Insect Horror: insect Horrors are known for their speed, coordination, and hunter like tactics. Insect horrors tend to fight in pacts and show proficiency in weaponry that was familiar to their past self. All of these horrors are winged and have a hard exoskeleton, they can also sense their surroundings using their antenna. Flesh Horror: Flesh Horrors rarely maintain their original shape. They exhibit the abilities seen in the other two types but are notable for their shape shifting abilities. They are the least intelligent and will blindly charge the enemy, but they will also employ battle tactics to better control the flow of battle. a flesh skirmisher might distract an opponent with constant attacks, or a flesh ranger might contort their body to snipe from a awkward (yet advantageous) position Fungal Horror: Fungal horrors exist in a middle ground between flesh and insect horrors in terms of bulk versus brain. They are notable mostly for their innate magical proficiency, exhibiting Gainistic abilities through the use of wards and spells, as well as being constant producer of toxic spores. They often utilize their bulk and utility to outlast their opponent while pelting them with spells and toxins. a horror created from a single person over a short period of time is a lesser horror, a horror made either over a long period of time or out of multiple people is a greater horror, a horror made over a long period of time using multiple people is an ultra horror. Their power and abilities scale accordingly. Demons The proof that a Xelken colony is well developed is its ability to produce demons. Demons in this context are notably powerful monsters created by the Xelken. They are most similar to Wretches, however unlike Wretches which can be produced instantly from Kahd'Xel's body, Demons require a proper hive to incubate in and represent a large time and resource investment. Demons often exhibit exceptional or otherworldly abilities and formidable combat prowess. Stitch Monger: Basically one step up from a wretch but arguably the most vital for the Xelken, the Stitch Monger is a humanoid Flesh Demon with the appearance of a man made of Stitch Worms. This demon is a master of bio engineering and is needed to guide the formation of all other demons. Sun Hydra: This Flesh Demon has the appearance of a rhinoceros sized lizard with seven long necked heads. Each of these reads can fire powerful beams of poisonous radiation over long distances. Hyper Raptor: This Insect Demon is capable of flying and maneuvering at supersonic speeds and producing acid filled bubbles that it launches as attacks. Though magic, the bubbles home in on targets. Forrest Prophet: This Fungal Demon resembles a large mossy mound covered in mouths, it is capable of casting numerous spells at rapid speeds simultaneously and has a seemingly limitless supply of mana from which to draw on. Possessed Possessed refers to creatures that are controlled by the Xelken either by parasites or by psyonic means. This functions as an inhumane kind of domestication, were useful species are subjugated until the means are developed to replace them with Xelken. or just to control still living creatures without the need of Puppeteer Bugs Mind Eater: a brain eating parasite that embeds itself in the victim's skull to control their mind. lays its eggs in the embryos of the hosts offspring to continue subjugation. Psycho spores: slow acting fungal Wretch that invades the host's brain. symptoms occur over several days as the host begins to hear voices which call for them in the direction of the nearest Xelken hive. Hosts will attempt to journey to the xelken to be eaten or hide itself before expiring. If the host expires, the Fungal wretch will feed off of its body so that it can explode and spread spores to other possible hosts. the infection can be treated and is best treated with early detection.
  2. Taen Compendium II Fauna By Iohmar Lorcain The Taen Compendiums is a series of books created by the Mechanicus Library, dedicated to the research and logging of Taens various contents of interest. These contents are independently researched by members of Mechanicus Library and Hydra's Haven, with no affiliation with other organisations or settlements. All research is peer reviewed by Iohmar Lorcain and other members of the Mechanicus Library. Compendium II will cover the fauna of interest discovered, which have been cataloged by size and further organised by rarity. Size ranging from lesser to titanus. For more information, please contact the Mechanicus Library in Hydra's Haven. Contents Table 1 ~ Lesser 2 ~ Adept 3 ~ Grand 4 ~ Titanus
  3. Map of Rath Lux - as the Island is known to the Locals. FLORA - "Look, we've got moss, evil water moss, a berry bush, shrooms ya can eat, a plant with a funny name and a tree. What more could you possibly want?!" Ambershale Pine - These trees are strangely enough, the only form of trees on the entirety of Rath Lux. Both of its forests are filled to the brim with only this one type of tree, which would indicate that they are somehow special, but they really aren't. Perhaps, a long time ago, there were other forms of trees, but the inhospitable climate combined with the unrelenting sunlight had driven them to extinction. Nevertheless, these hardwood pine trees are named for their ability to produce amber within minutes of being struck, which makes them difficult to cut down and use in woodworking, but also causes them to form a natural coating of amber after being felled, making Ambershale wood possess properties simillar to iron geodes and an indredible durable lumber. All of Rath Lux's settlements use this lumber to create the tall walls sourrounding them as well as some very selective furniture, prefferably not the kind you sit on. If you find yourself alone in a forest, well you'd best forget trying to use this wood to get a fire going unless you've managed to find a large enough pile of especially-dried out lumber. Hunters, scavengers and forestwalkers alike usually work together create such piles of lumber, placing them in places where the sunlight reaches most in order to dry the wood quicker. Marrowcap - As is to be expected within forests of especially hard wood, one may find these purple-capped shrooms growing out of the very amber mentioned before. Marrowcaps are edible mushrooms, though you wouldn't think that at first glance, or even attempt, due to them having evolved a tough outer layer of flesh, much like one would expect from bone. These hardy mushrooms hide their edible bits inside of their long white stalks which needs to be broken through in order to be consumed as the actual stalk itself is not edible unless cooked for more than two days straight. The caps of the mushrooms are edible as well, but are likely to give you indigestion should they be improperly cured prior to cooking. It should be noted that the growth areas of these plants are highly contested by packs of predators, due to the taste of the "marrow" inside being quite simillar to the real deal, if not considerably more gamy. This is why, rather than as a food source, hunters have often used these mushrooms as components to create traps for larger animals, though this is ill advised for newbie hunters due to the dangers of attracting one predator far too many. Wanderberry Bush - Small, green bushes with sparse, but edible fruit that tend to grow alongside roads. It is unknown if these bushes preffer growing next to cobbled stone or well-beaten dirt, but one can find colonies of them at just about every crossing or popular stop alongside the settlement paths. Their fruit is a blood-colored berry that gives a short but very sweet burst of juice when popped and is known to possess a strange, almost relaxing effect when consumed. Some have stated that eating these berries during travel helps them stay more alert and awake, require less sleep and generally feel more energetic than they normally do. However, excessive consumtion can lead to a minor addiction. The berries themselves are often used in local pastries or dilluted into drinks alongside springwater. Domestication of the plant has proven to be nigh impossible, as the berries seem to need the coldest of winter in order to form, if they manage to grow out of planted soil in the first place, which is rare in itself. Some older folk claim that the berries will only grow out of soil that they were spat out on as seedlings, which works well with their popularity with travellers, but this is just an unconfirmed rumor that happened to make sense. Bulgeweed - Despite its rather comical name, this plant is one of the most important parts of Rath Lux's agriculture. It is a form of greenish-brown moss that forms bulbuous, edible pods not that different from potatoes. In fact, you could even call this plant an inverse potato. It is hardy, grows well even when planted in soil of poor quality and does not require much water. Prolonged exposure to darkness seems to kill the plant and any efforts to bring it back to the mainland have proven unsuccessful due to the plants withering suddenly, so the locals have speculated it to require access to the unnatural sunlight that permeates the Island. Bulgeweed is used in just about every aspect of cooking and is the Island's staple crop, but there really isn't much else to say about it. Muckbrain Ferry - A greenish-black type of moss that grows solely on the surface of water. It is often used by wild mages and witches in rituals as the water used during cooking it gains halluciogenic properties. Scarce few patches of this plant actually remain, as the locals detest any form of drug use with rabid fervor and actively work to burn down and exterminate the plant. That said, the criminal element of the Island has managed to create large farms of these on underwater lakes and are currently attempting to create a drug based on it called Iceflake, though it seems they are having some difficulties. Perhaps, that is for the best! Luxian Culv - This is the dark green moss that covers the entire Island. It can grow on stone, has no actual value and just serves to make the place look nicer. Its only notable quality is that, due to their darker coloration, the moss seems to absorb a large amount of sunlight, causing it to be noticably hot to the touch. FAUNA - "There's the good beasties and the bad beasties... though sometimes, me Bessy makes me think otherwise." -Domesticated Animals- Unsurprisingly, the Island's cadre of domestic beasts is pretty much as to be expected: chickens, cows, goats, horses, pigs and sheep. They aren't any different from what can be found elsewhere, except perhaps hardier than most and not quite as populus. This is mainly due to the locals prefference to consume the meat of the wild animals rather than their domestic equivalents. Most think that this is just because the wild variants taste better, but some jaded minds think that there's a darker reason for it all... Runehide Deer - These deer are the most populous animal of the Island and can be found pretty much anywhere. They have coarse hide which grows in strange, circular patterns that the male deer often use to strike poses in order to attract females, which has given birth to more than one rather comical moment, as hunters preying upon these are liable to suddenly lose their composure and start laughing at the unfortunate deer making poses and attempting to look good for the females. Even more so when the females end up being completely disinterested and annoyed at their continous attempts. The bucks should not be underestimated though, as like anything else on the Island, they can be quite deadly as their antlers have evolved to be able to rip apart Ambershale bark, which should be a good indication to what they might be able to do to people caught in their furious charge. Their meat is extremely valuable and delicious, being apparently infused with a form of natural magic and their furs make up the majority of Rath Lux's clothing industry. Pale Bear - What happens when you throw a bear on an Island with preternatual sunlight that never fades? A pale bear. They are nearly completely furless bears with permanent black spots under their eyes and overextended frontal claws. These bears have been denied their need to hibernate and forced to adapt to the environment. These poor creatures eek out a meagre living, being incredibly weaker than regular bears and highly susceptible to disease. This existence of suffering has caused the creatures to be extremely agitated and aggressive, attacking everything and anything on sight. Thankfully, their disease-ridden glistening white skin makes for poor camo. Unlike their cousins on the mainland, these bears hunt in packs that can range anywhere from three to twelve and use hunting tactics simillar to lions in order to isolate and successfuly catch their prey. Their apparent weaknesses should never cause anyone to take them lightly as they are currently the biggest cause of death for everything else on the island, even exceeding the massive criminal underworld with their bloodthirst. Garn - Massive wolves with glistening black fur and that grows both all over their body as well as around their necks much like a lions mane, with the average member being about two meters tall and one and a half meter wide, with jaws that would make a shark ashamed of itself. Nobody knows what exactly caused the Islands native wolves to transform into these dramatic, horrifying beasts but for the average person, one thing is certain; if you see a Garn, its probably already too late. The dangers presented by these monstrous wolves is often forgotten however, as everything they possess is valuable. The meat around their spines is as tender as high quality steak, their bones make delicious soup and can replace traditional iron for toolmaking and their exquisite fur is very popular with the richest of merchants, whom are more than willing to pay a premium. The mane'd heads of these creatures are highly popular as throphies, mounted on walls and the beast themselves are the champions of many local stories, the idols used to make statues and artistic representation in general. A dead garn is valuable indeed, but a living one? Only the most skilled hunter could ever hope to tame such a creature and the secrets of how this can be achieved is hidden well, though those who have tamed a Garn say that the secret should stay a secret for good reason. This has done nothing to stop the bravest of fools in attempting to do so. Winterwing Roc - Large, white-feathered birds of prey that inhabit the mountains of the fjord, preying on the wilder variants of domesticated animals, such as mountain goats, wild hogs and horses. Not much is known about them, but their eggs are often used in omeletts. The breast meat of these animals is a popular and sought after food source for the locals, though outsiders often find the meat to be tasteless or even disgusting. Their feathers are a crucial component in the crafting of dresses, arrows and traditional jewelry. Some aspiring hunters have also tamed the beasts and their high level of intelligence has turned them into the primary "mailmen" of the Island. Despite their meat and feathers being valuable to the locals, killing these creatures is a crime as they are considered sacred, being one of the few wild creatures that are not innately hostile to the people of the island. They can easily reach the height of the average person and can easily carry more than twice their body weight, which has caused some braver people to use them as flying mounts. Wanderstalker Python - Named for their use of the Wanderberry Bushes as hiding spots, these long pearly-scaled snakes are the nightmare manifest for many travelers. Adults can reach over six meters in length and have a poison that sends a shock to the targets brain, rendering them unconscious on bite. Many consider the Pythons to be a form of Island monster, but they are not officially recognized as such due to the fact that they are intelligent enough not to consume people, even when spooked, they aren't actually venomous as their poison seems magical in nature and are popular as pets for the locals. Like all the others animals of the island, their meat is delicious to the locals and abhorrent to any outsider. Their main food supply are rodents, such as mice and rats, but sometimes, the largest among them can hunt bigger prey, such as mountain goats or even the unfortunate Winterwing Roc, whose nests they will often raid for eggs. MONSTERS - "... monsters?... you mean the bloody Garn and Pale Bears AREN'T, considered MONSTERS?!" Trolls - Mean, big, tough, strong, disease ridden and semi-intelligent, these cruel creatures typically live in caves at the bases of the mountains within the fjord. They will raid, despoil, plunder, ravage and burn down everything they can, driven by a senseless, deep-seated jealousy of all other races, even things like insects. Trolls are such a menace to society that even the bandits are respected more. Kill or run on sight, because they can be expected to do exactly that to you. Ettini - Giant, mountain dwelling humanoids, each equipped with the intelligence of a particularily dim-witted child. Unlike what most may think, Ettins are extremely peaceful and may not even attack you on first assault, as they understand that people are afraid of them and its not like a few arrows or cuts will do any actual damage. They will often try to befriend anyone they see and work hard to please them in order to achieve that friendship, much like bullied, outcast children. Many take pity on these poor creatures for it and its not exactly rare for an Ettin to become part of a village or even live within Heavenshire itself, trading its immense capacity for manual labor for food and social interaction. While the abuse of Ettins is not a direct crime, people doing so will find themselves being despised by society, which suits the criminal element rather well, as they turn some of the Ettins into slaves and living siege machines. That said, an Ettin is just as dangerous as one may think. They may have the personalities equivalent to exiled children, but children too can be pushed too far... and the damage that an angry, likely-teary eyed Ettin can do is a terrible wonder all on its own. Hemocraze - The Hemocraze is not one beast or a singular type of monster. Rather, it is a form of disease that causes immense bloodthirst within the individual, whilst also causing them to develop greater strength, agility and nigh-implausible willpower. It is not known how exactly one may contract this "disease", but it has been known to affect pretty much every inhabitant of the Island. A hemocrazed garn will devour its own pack and have its eyes turn crimson, a pale bear will relentlessly carve away at everything before it dies from an overtaxed heart, a normal person's veins will bulge and they will go berserk until those same veins pop and cause death, a troll will grow as large as an ettin and become five times as horrible, runehide deer turn into carnivores with a prefference for human flesh and so on. Some have speculated that this disease comes from the Hemorrhagic Gas released during Emberite mining, but the miners themselves seem unaffected, so this is considered false by most. It should also be noted that the Hemocraze seems to exist solely on Rath Lux, as taking a crazed person away from the Island on time is the only known cure. However, even with the berserk effects gone, that person will forever be changed from the experience, causing many of the afflicted to kill themselves right after regaining their sanity. Dryads - Spirits of the Wild that can take upon many forms, be they animal, plant or even humanoid. Despite what many tales of exotic, often erotic, encounters with these creatures may tell you, they are the entire opposite of what one may actually expect from these creatures. Their forms are too many to be described but one can usually tell that a dryad is in their presence due to the vines and tree roots covering whatever forms they choose to take. Killing a dryad is something permitted only in the most dire circumstances, as their presence infused the land with magical energies, increasing its value in many, many ways. The villagers of Vitas Village, for instance, have several "tamed" dryads that helps them grow their crops in this otherwise impossible climate in exchange for the fulfilment of whatever flights of fancy the dryad may have. They are ancient creatures, often centuries old and the locals tend to view them as respected elders rather than monsters, with a few of the aspiring newfound cults even viewing the enigmatic spirits as living gods. PLAYER INDUCED CHANGE @Frederika Since Frederika introduced three new plants to the island, things have changed. The first plant has been the Arthrostylidium Reflexum, a new kind of bamboo that she introduced to the island. It's a fairly tall, yellow, and thin plant of bamboo, which has big green leaves towards the top of it. It is usually called by the locals with a variety of colorful names: Lemonstalk, Pisstuber and "tall yellow fuckers". Thanks to its properties, it has found a variety of uses. Having a new kind of wood has allowed people to make different things, first of all, been housing. This kind of bamboo is much lighter than Ambershale Wood, but still has a good degree of sturdiness attached to it. The houses made out of bamboo needed different building techniques to build properly, otherwise, such buildings would have been easy targets for thieves. That's why people started to mix both the woods to make new buildings. The houses made out of Arthrostylidium reflexum only are cheaper than the Ambershale Wood, resulting in the least wealthy to slowly move into those, making an even more clear differentiation between the rich and poor, even if it helped the extremely poor to have a roof over their heads. People being people led to some discrimination towards the least wealthy, even between insiders. Arthrostylidium reflexum is also being used to make simple tools, kitchenware, and furniture. The sudden need for more and more bamboo has made woodwork rise, creating new required jobs for the population, some immediately mixing it with the same artistic designs learned by sculpturing marble. The seeds of the Arthrostylidium reflexum, as well as its leaves, are also used to make new foods and beverages, giving the people more culinary variance for day-to-day life. The second plant is much different. It's a modified alga which absorbs the properties of the water it's put in. The alga itself is a red one, with thin branches and semi-transparent, orange leaves. The leaves are edible. The Palmariales, as she calls it, is exclusively used from Frederika to produce a special, light, highly-addictive drug which she sells for a high price, or that she uses to bribe others. The drug itself is similar to marijuana, but a sort of improvement. It makes people high to the same degree and extent but is highly addictive. It is said that while high on the plant, you see life and everything else from a different point of view, much clearer yet at the same time dizzy, some even daring to call it a third eye. It's also said that you can both eat it or smoke it inside a bamboo, which is the preferred way by many. It's unconfirmed if the producer actively makes use of it or not. The drug is known as "Red Belladonna". The last plant has been seen by very few people. The Dandelion is the same plant you can find outside of the island, the only difference being the slightly bigger build. People that have seen them said that they were gathered in small patches of the land, really close one to the other like they couldn't grow properly.
  4. Liquor Wyrm Spider The Liquor Wyrm Spider is a large winged arachnid which ranges in size from house cat to medium sized dog; a rare but dangerous pest the Liquor Wyrm Spider lives mostly in caves and swamps but often infests wine and liquor cellars. Named after it's veracious appetite for liquor and it's ability to breathe fire and fly the Liquor Wyrm Spider can actually ingest any flammable liquid and then convert it inside it's stomach into a highly flammable gas which it expels from glans in it's mouth which it then ignites by slamming it's extra front appendages together creating a spark and continuous stream of flame. It breeds once yearly and lays but a single egg, which hatches within two weeks of being laid - they grow to full size between two and three months after hatching. Due to their single offspring yearly birth cycle and frequent clashes with society they are very rare, and oft killed on sight due both to their economic damage and their ability to kill with relative ease. In their natural habitat they drink methane rich swamp water and eat rotten meat, needing a far larger amount of it to produce less powerful flame, this diet also makes them generally smaller being no larger then a house cat. Those gorged on liquor in their growth years grow much larger and with the more flammable liquor in their system can produce intense streams of flame. It is conceivable that if one was so inclined they could breed a Liquor Wyrm Spider to be larger then even those observed so far.
  5. Guest

    Skuggabjörn

    Name - Skuggabjörn ( Bears of Shadow ) Type -Aberration Stages of growth Cub Stage - At birth Skuggabjörn are tiny and weigh less than a pound. For the first couple of weeks, the cubs are with the mother as she keeps them warm in the cave they are born in. At this stage a small mouth forms on their stomach which is used to eat shadows around them.Thus from birth, they already gorging off the shadows. At this stage, they are defended by there mother and looked after. also during this stage, the mother is teaching them how to hunt and survive in the forest. Cubs will remain on average for eighteen months or until the mother kicks them out so she can mate again. . By the time they have turned one year old, they can weight up to 70 pounds or so. they mostly drink milk from the mother childhood Stage - Skuggabjörn are taught everything they know during the eighteen months they are with their mothers. They learn how to blend in with their environment, learn how to hunt the other animals of the forest. To defend themselves from threats ( both other creatures and themselves ) Adult stage - At this stage after learning everything from their mother. They are kicked out and made to live a solitary life. Location - Alterion, Genesaris Environment - Dark forests of Alterion , Rising West and other forests in Genesaris Organization - For most of the Skuggabjörn adult lives, they live a solitary life. Only coming together to mate during the warmer months before heading out again. During the winter months, the Skuggabjörn go into caves of the forest or tunnels that they have created and spend the winter months with them.feeding off the shadows Size 100 - 150 pounds although this depends on the forest they live in. If they live in a forest filled with other creatures they will weigh a bit more ( In general ) For males, they can range from 120 to 150 pounds, females when not with cubs range from 100 to 110 pounds. while with pregnant and with cubs 150 to 170 pounds They are small but make up for that by being able to climb the trees in the forest. Easily able to adopt to the changing forest they can be found throughout it hunting animals and humanoids. But they also able to feed off the shadows themselves. They are able to do this because of the mouth in the middle of their stomachs that absorbs the shadows. two retractable claws on each of there paws made of black basalt. this allows them to hold onto there pray and also burrow into the ground for defence or for an ambush. Special Qualities/Abilities Skuggabjörn are able to feed off the shadows and darkness itself due to a mouth that grows on there stomach. Alignment: Chaotic Evil Description - They are small but make up for that by being able to climb the trees in the forest. Easily able to adopt to the changing forest they can be found throughout it hunting animals and humanoids. But they also able to feed off the shadows themselves. They are able to do this because of the mouth in the middle of their stomachs that absorbs the shadows. two retractable claws on each of there paws made of black basalt. this allows them to hold onto there pray and also burrow into the ground for defence or for an ambush. Black fur or in some rare cases a very dark brown fur. All Skuggabjörn are marked by a mouth that grows on their stomachs no matter what forest they live in. 4-5 feet when standing upright
  6. Metty

    Beefly

    Information pending...
  7. Before hand: I will be editing this every now and then, going into more description in certain areas instead of being vague/brief and half assed about it. What I have right now was something of a quick description, nothing more. Name: Lycarias Type: Humanoid/Animal Size: Under normal circumstances: Females- 5'6" to 6'0"- 140lbs. to 159lbs. Males- 6'0" to 6'3"- 187lbs. to 215lbs. Location: Near Moonwood, caught between it and the Fracture deep in a valley of raging rivers and jungle-like forests. Taking a small roaring river that leads to a massive cavern. Environment: Jungle/Cave/Ruins Organization: Group/Pack Special Qualities/Abilities: Lycarias are wolf people, so while they have a humanoid body they still retain the traits of regular wolves, such as enhanced hearing and smell. The entire race were more of primordial druids, practicing an ancient Earth Worship alongside a race of Giants. Because of their worship they used earth magic and bindings. The race as a whole are quite experienced with weapons, masters at hand to hand with claws and gauntlets, a secondary mastery is of weapons however nothing can compare to their stealth. As for individual powers, save Druidry, each of the tribes spammed the globe at one point. This diversity in certain environments allowed them powers/abilities pending on their area: say an Arctic tribe, they would generally have a thicker coat but in turn they would be weak to fire magic, capable of using Frost Magic and contacting ice elementals. The particular tribe Rain Dark is part of, the Cave tribe, were able to utilize camouflage (most of them), shadow and darkness manipulation, and were able to influence their physical prowess pending on how "in touch" they were woth said powers. They were also capable of summoning spirits, contacting the dead, and speaking with Earthly elementals. Alignment: True Neutral Description: Lycarias are humanoid wolf people, having more a human appearance whilst retaining fur, strong hind legs, tails, ears, and an almost wolfish head (think of a werewolf on this). Generally a Lycarian are a tribe of people who's growth turned into a kingdom, while still active during the day, they are well known for hunting predators and prey at night. The Lycarias range in different colors from white, to grey, to black, and to brown. Their eyes are a pitch black but their pupils (Iris) stand out by glowing any given color. Colors are used as a form of ranking, most Lycarias while warm colors like red and orange make them hunters, scavengers, and gatherers; brown and yellow are marked as warrior and guard. Yellow and white are deemed as higher ranking members (sages), while cooler colors like green are marked as scouts. Blue would be marked as a prophet and holy leaders, while purple or magenta are marked as pack Alphas. Those who have a grey or silver Iris are deemed as a war chieftain. As for their build in muscles and intelligence. Starting from the feet up, there two different types of legs that diverge this particular tribe, half having hind legs much like a wolves (bear that the legs have the same density as a humans albeit thicker in muscle) where the "feet" are more like back paws, however more accommodated to the races walking in evolution; they are particularly faster but can't turn too quick while running due to different joints in the ankles. The other half are what one would expect of humans legs, the defining difference are there are hair covering the legs (and entire body, much like any animals) and there are tough pads on the feet much like a canines. The only difference with Lycarias is they've grown a tail. The rest of the body is almost human. Below is a primary example of how they look male/female:
  8. SAURUS INDEX I. BIOLOGY/ECOLOGY. IA. OVERVIEW IB. INNATE TRAITS IC. SPAWNING ID. CASTES II. CULTURE III. ORIGINS VI. CODEX SHEET I. COLD BLOODED IA. OVERVIEW The Saurus are beings shrouded in mysticism and conjecute; among academics, there are those that believe they are not a race - but a collection of intelligent, bipedal reptillian beastmen inhabiting Taen's deserts and jungles. In some way, this thought holds merit. A great dichotomy exists between the cadres of beasts that constitute the Saurus race as a whole, such creatures come in many varying shapes, sizes and temperments. As a whole, the Saurus are a collection of bipedal reptilian humanoids. Yet they are all of a singular, shared biological origin. From the smallest of Quetzlings, to the largest of the Huitzigors, they are beings one in the same. Of this race, there are two staple castes; the most common and prevelant of their engimatic species. Quetzlings the skitterish, dimunitive stratum of Saurus bred for their intelligence and dexterity. Small and agile, they are the in largest number of the Saurian population. Among their rank and file, Quetzlings hold the greatest level of political and economic authority of the Saurus race. From priests to craftsmen, scouts to skirmishers, Quetzlings are responsible for the running of the Lizardmen's empire as a whole; without them, their society would fall apart. Huitzigors are the monstrous, hulking warrior-caste of the Saurus race. Predatory savagery perfected, they are without weakness. Or mercy. Half-feral berserkers, theirs is a purer, simpler purpose compared to that of their cousins. Standing at eight foot on average, their dense forms are packed with coils of rippling musculature beneath a coat of interlocking armoured scales. Other variations do exist; namely a more feral, animalistic breed of Saurus. These beasts come in a motley collection of appearances and purposes. Some brutes are clad in layers of thick scales, used as beasts of burden to pull great blocks of granite in the construction of their Temple-Cities, others are voracious carnivores, used in war as mounts or unleashed on enemies to wreak havoc and destruction. IB. INNATE TRAITS Bipedal, reptillian humanoids - though greatly mutable in presence and personality, all of their kind share similar, innate biological quirks signature to their species. The most evident is their ectothermy. Reliant on the heat of the sun to regulate their bodyheat and metabolisms, Saurus possess an inherent adversion towards colder climates. Resulting of their cold-blooded nature, the Lizardfolk can appear to be sluggish or lax when deprived of external warmth. It's quite the spectacle, to see a horde of Saurus sunbathing and catching the rays of early morn. Many an explorer has noted that Saurus are remarkably fond of endothermic races, namely humans, for their ability to control their own bodyheat; countless pioneers have been subject to hours of smothering by packs of heat-greedy Huitzigors in what can only be described as cuddling. They maintain a remarkable amount of control over their metabolisms as well. A Saurian can subsist for several months without a meal - survivg off their fat reserves and tissue. However, they are naturally voracious and gluttonous as a race and eat whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself. Saurian senses are exceptionally keen. Eyesight is more refined on the Quetzlings than on Huitzigors. What their sharp, perceptive eyes may miss their ability to see sensitive pores along their snouts allow them to detect trace thermal radiance on their prey. A long, forked tongue will flick and taste minute chemicals in the air or on surfaces. A Huitzigor hunting party can track a bleeding creature for several miles with pinpoint accuracy. With a naturally affinity for the aquatic, Saurians make for skilled inhabitants of any body of water. Quetzlings are much more agile when in the water, their webbed feet and long tails propelling them through streams, lagoons and rivers in a blur. Huitzigors, however are slow and deliberate as they wade through the deeps. They prefer a sedentary approach, laying submerged under the water for hours with nothing more than their snouts breaking through to the surface. As well as this, the Lizardfolk have a startling ability to dredge up mounds of dirt and bury themselves in an instant. A lost limb or grevious wound doesn't immediately spell the end for one of the reptillians. With the shedding of their skin, rejuvenation comes to them. The first molt may only seal the wound shut, the second and the lost flesh may show the beginnings of its regeneration. After weeks of constant molting, a lost hand or leg will grow back. Albeit smaller and requiring time to grow again. IC. SPAWNING Beings forged from the shifting skein of magic of Taen's loci - Wyldlight. Their metamorphisis is dictated by the cycles of the realm's Suns and Moon, their bodies moulded like clay by the Arch-Priest Quetzlings who oversee the sacred spawning rite within their towering pyramids. Forged from biomancy, changed and mutated at the whims of the celestial bodies that loom overheard, the winds of the Loci that permiate their lands are guided and manipulated by the esoteric rituals of their clerics. In these cauldrons, cast from marble, a clutch is placed into the bubbling, viscous reservoir and fretted over by the Priest's attendants. Saurus females of every caste are invariably larger and much more tempermental than their male counterparts. When a female is ready to breed, the strongest of their race is elected to fertilize the clutch, to ensure the strongest of the race's genepool sires the next generation. Though the selection of the apex of their race is a twofold deliberation; females during their mating-rut become extremely aggressive, and it isn't unheard of for a bachelor to be wounded or killed during the ritual. Afterwards, the male plays no part further, as they make for poor parents. Aspect of the Sun - From which, the warrior castes are created. Biomagic is weaved into hymns and chants whilst a great portal carved into the chamber's ceiling allows daggers of celestial light to shine down upon the calcified shapes of the eggs. They swell and grow to an immense size and before long, a Huitzigor will rupture from the pool, roaring defiance to the world they have been brought into. The warrior-brood is quickly skirted off, as to prevent him to consuming any of his kindred whilst they lay dormant and awaiting their own emergence. Huitzigors are not the only cadre spawned during this cycle. The Sun shapes their forms into beings created for battle and the more feral predatory kith of the Saurians are spawned during this time as well. Aspect of the Moon - During the waning of the Sun and the slow arc of the Moon across the twilight skies, Quetzlings are birthed in great number. The shape of the moon will dictate the exact subspecies of Quetzling that will be born to the world. A crescent brings about a crested Quetzling, whilst a full, gibbous moon will see the spawning of the more common of their kindred. Great, hulking herbivores are created under the moon as well- living battering rams which their cousins quickly put to use. Aspect of the Eclipse - The Eclipse is met with celebration from their species, as it brings with it the creation of another wave of females. During the event, their temples are closely guarded and any outsiders are cast out without explanation. It is rare for more than a handfull of females to be born, however and so each one is a carefully guarded, prized resource by the males. ID. CASTES Queztlings "We're being watched. Watched as we fall to fever and the predators of this land. Glowing eyes cutting through the ocean of green around us. They've been stalking us since we arrived, speaking in their strange, chirped language. It sounds like laughter." 'Extract from failed expedition journal of Quadrant IV, Taen Book of Beasts, Chapter VII; Saurians' Hidden by the veil of the jungle, masked by the sands of the Sierra Ossa badlands, the Quetzlings stalk. Dexterous, agile and cunning they glide through the lands they inhabit without presence or detection. Their chirps and whistles call out to one another. Telling their comrades of prey and intruders. Quetzlings are the minds and spirit of Saurian society. Intelligent compared to their larger cousins, their responsibilities lie in the administration, construction, guidance and planning of their civilization. Social creatures, they are seldom seen alone and prefer the security offered by numbers. Exceptionally organised, they are perfect for the day-to-day running of the great, sprawling Temple-Cities they inhabit. Their communication is a series of subtle hue changes of their hides or a chorus of high-pitched trills and warbles. Without the presence of these creatures, Saurian society as a whole would collapse instantly. They are the craftsmen and priests that keep their species alive. Standing slighly below human height, they do not cast an imposing figure. Nontheless Quetzlings can be formidable foes when cornered or compelled to fight. Skirmishes and ambushers, they litter foes they have stalked with darts and bolas before closing in with spears and javelins. Their skin is fully capable of changing colour to match their environment, making them exceptionally difficult to see. With the Huitzigors they share a special bond; their larger kin find it easy to listen to the commands of their smaller kith and in return the Warrior-Caste recieve food, weapons and scratches for their efforts. A noted quirk of Quetzlings if their complete infatuation with the whistling of other races. Should one find themselves before a group of Quetzlings, whistling will usually be the best way to make a good first impression with them; and the sight of a dozen little Lizardmen bobbing their heads in delight is quite the sight. Crested Quetzlings are much rarer and intelligent than their more common brothers. They fill the ranks of the holy priesthood as leadership and diplomatic roles within their culture, as well as being the only members of their race capable of practising magic. Huitzigors "Rest easy, men! Do not think to run from these simple beasts. Their vision is poor, based on tracking the swift movements of their prey like most cold-blooded predators!" 'Supposed final words of Terran explorer Havri Gostlant, WTA 590' Three meters of hulking, inhuman musculature marches to the leather wardrums of his host. The warrior-breed, shaped by the Arch-Priests to be the personification of primal ferocity. Beyond conflict, their lives have no greater purpose; the rank and file of the Huitzigors are driven by their desire to fight and serve their kingdom to such a degree that they lack a sense of individuality. Without weakness or thoughts of retreat. Driven by predatory instinct and rage, the sight of a charging wall of muscle-bound giant reptiles is enough to make most forces route almost immediately. Huitzigors grow quickly, when pulled from their birthing pool. Then, they are picked by a prospecting pack of their brothers to be raised among their rank, trained in perfecting the art of war and battle. Hardly wanting in this aspect, a warrior will become proficient in the use of Macuahuitl, spear, shield and maul. Though the Quetzlings who command these warriors are hardly afraid to use them, peace (as adverse to the concept as Huitzigors are) must find some other purpose during times of relative tranquility. Many assist their smaller brothers in the construction of their settlements, whilst others put their great strength to use farming or as mercenaries for the various factions of Taen. For this they're well liked, seeing as they don't ask for much beyond food in regards to payment for their services. Though undeniably terrifying to look upon, Huitzigors are surprisingly calm and gregarious to strangers. Mostly because very few things can actively be percieved as a threat by the big brutes. They are rather fond of the body-heat that warm-bloods produce and will pin any unfortunate into a strange sort of embrace to get as much of it as they can. Despite their supposed lack of intelligence, the beasts are surprisingly witty; one wouldn't be incorrect in calling them laconic in manner and humour. The constitution of a Huiztigor is startling. A number of redundant organs, backed by an extreme pain threshold and wrapped in a layer of thick, hardened scales means that their kind are exceptionally hard to fell. Venom is produced by a gland located in their cheeks, which is paralytic and perfect for capturing prisoners for sacrifice or later consumption. Should a Huitzigor survive many battles and be allowed to grow to his full size, he will take on the role of a leader for his brothers. These larger Huitzigors are quite intelligent, compared to their kin and can convey complex thoughts and strategies, as well as learn and understand the myriad of languages outsiders speak. II. CULTURE "We were delivered to the peak of their tallest structure, a vast pyramid that stood in the center of the commune, and within waited a menagerie of the Reptiles. Unlike the tall, broad warrior-lizards that had felled my best men within seconds, these were small, diminutive creatures - reptilian humanoids with large, flared crests atop their heads. I had seen some scampering along our column and within the city, but the ones before me were certainly their elders - each was adorned with grim fetishes and trinkets, sharpened volcanic glass and engraved gold necklaces to mark their status. They conversed in clicks and chittering noises, the flaring of their crests implying a level of depth to their communication, but it was incomprehensible nonetheless. Though I know not of their deliberations, it was the dead of night when they finally deigned to see us. My clothing and stature had understandably presented me as the leader, and one of the hulking warrior-beasts brought me forth to the elders, who surveyed me with keen interest - chirping and chittering amongst themselves as I awaited a grim fate." 'Survivor's testimonial of the Quadrant IV Expedition, WTA 598' Saurian culture is ill understood to this day, the only glimpses of the day-to-day life of the reptiles coming from traumatized survivors, expeditions and convoys that had been unlucky enough to intercede on the path of a Huitzigor hunting party. Those who encounter the Saurians usually do not live to tell the tale, though in rare occasions they have taken prisoners - escorting them through the deeps of the jungle for days until they finally arrive at their communes. Even rarer still is the return of said prisoners, deposited on well-known roads and paths; Battered, malnourished, but generally alive - and oddly enough, adorned with trinkets and fetishes, as if they were an honored guest. The most well known aspect of the reptiles' culture is their worship, which is centered around the Twins - The Sun, and the Moon. The Sun embodies the 'strength' and 'warmth' of the Saurian (the word sharing the same meanings), and is correlates to the birth or 'spawning' of the more aggressive forms common to the Saurian - Huitzigors, and their carnivorous, feral counterparts are those marked by The Sun. At midday, or Sun's Apex, is when the Saurian favor combat - marching out to hunt or defend, considering themselves blessed and imbued by the Sun's vigor, a fact which isn't far from the truth. The Sun's brother, The Moon, is viewed in a subservient position between the Twins, giving counsel to his brother's temper, and keeping watch over the world as it rests. Though less aggressive, The Moon embodies the intelligence and cunning of the numerically greater Quetzlings - aspects of an elusive predator and a patient hunter - One who masters themselves before the hunt. Rare as it may be, Huitzigors take to worshipping the Moon as well as the Sun - times when the brothers are both seen in the sky are considered to be favorable - the watch and protection of both their deities emboldening both Quetzling and Huitzigor alike. The social Hierarchy of the Saurian is simple, largely predetermined by birth, with the race divided into two social strata - Rulers and Followers. The Rulers of the lizardmen are beings quite simply 'born' into their position - a rare spawning, for instance, might produce a single viable egg out of dozens, the lone survivor baring distinctive markings and physical differences from their lesser kin. Whether it be a Quetzling or Huitzigor, those born from such spawnings are considered to be marked for greatness, and as they mature, the aptitude and position they take is quickly determined. Crested Quetzlings, for instance, can often produce a rare spawning marked by a comet across the night sky - a clutch of dozens being reduced to one, or even two to three eggs - the already distinctive leaders of their kindred being born as priests - treated with reverence at the very moment of their birth, and jealously guarded from outsiders, these Priests act as the leaders of the Saurian as a whole. In contrast, a Ruler among the aggressive, bestial Huitzigors will produce an individual who will distinctly take 'command' of the brothers he spawned alongside, growing in height, stature, and displaying an intellect far beyond that the average Huitzigor possesses. What determines the birth of ruling individuals is largely unknown, though some scholars suggest that it is an artificial process, rather than an arbitrary occurrence of nature - the Saurian have never seemed to want for leadership, and yet never possess too many rulers. Saurian economy is a simple matter of give-and-take - Quetzling artisans produce goods, such as masonry, weaponry, tablets for record-keeping - and in return, gain services and supplies needed to continue their work - continued protection, a guaranteed share of food from the hunters, and any materials or ingredients that a Saurian cohort might come across. Money is a new concept to Quetzlings, with gold coins pilfered from warm-blooded interlopers often being melted down into larger, engraved tablets - used to represent a debt that cannot be paid in full immediately, and as such, a sort of 'record' of the transaction, detailing the worth and requisites for its completion. Relations with the other sentient races inhabiting Taen are tenuous, the average encounter one might have with the reptiles would be from a distance - stalked by a Quetzling patrol as the individual in question skirts cold-blooded territory, or the unfortunate encounter with a hunting pack of Huitzigors and their feral kith. Given their language, a combination of clicks, whistles, and body language (depending on the species), communication with the Saurian has been next to impossible; Only the Mork'Outh have successfully engaged in conversation with Saurian, and even then, such conversation is terse and often hostile in nature. What has been shared from the Mork'Outh is largely transcribed here, the Lizardmen having a grudging acceptance for the natives' dominion over the realm - conflict has been incredibly rare, only represented by a mutual conflict of interests, as the Saurian are often stubborn in nature, and incredibly unyielding in their approach. Humans and other warm-bloods are viewed with a detached sort of curiosity - they are equally as intriguing as they are delicious, and the occasional happening upon a group of warm-bloods is usually taken with fervor - for either food, or to sate the curiosities of their Priest-rulers. The Mork'Outh attest that the only species that has met the full ire of the Saurian are the Xer'Orians themselves, the genocidal xenoforms often coming to blows with Saurian war-parties, fighting with a determination that is not seen in any other of their activites. Huitzigors battle the Innumerable Soldier-forms of the Xer'Orian, displaying a single-minded purpose to kill that rivals their enemies'. It has been known for a hunting party to divert at the first sign of a Xer'Orian incursion or raid, abandoning all but the most sacred of duties to counter the hated foe - fighting to the last in either victory or defeat. III. ORIGINS Since the worldrifts carried the first Xel'Orians to Taen, the Mork'Outh have said that the Saurians 'followed soon after', through another rift leading to another time, and the hostilities between the two races became readily apparent. Though the Xel'Orians are naturally xenocidal, the Saurus, displaying some level of basic intellect, had reacted to their presence as if they had encountered a hated foe - the intensity and vigor of their skirmishes implying some depth, a shared history of bloodshed, perhaps. Terran scholars have wondered if the appearance of the Saurians into Taen was a mere coincidence - as far as coincidences go in this dimensionally unstable realm - or if they were interlopers themselves, coming to seek the presence of the Hive and root it out. Whatever the case, they were clearly unsuccessful - The Xel'Orian presence in Taen is quite strong, and though the Saurians engage them at every possible turn, it is clear they are fighting a Pyrrhic war. Their actions are blind, impulsive - the Quetzling priests rule based on prophecy and prediction, but even they alone cannot direct the whole of the race into unity, further cementing the radical theory that the Saurians are not a race, but a weapon, fighting a war they already lost. IV. CODEX SHEET The Saurus The Saurus are an aloof, mysterious race of reptilian huamnoids who physiology and culture are defined and shaped by the cyclical states of Taen's celestial bodies. Though undeniably predatory in nature, the Saurus are largely disinterested in the lives of other races, testimonials of Saurus War-Hosts defending villages and towns from aggressors and invaders have made them a welcome, albeit feared, part of Taen. Physiology A Saurus' physical attributes are divined by the positions of the sun and moon and shaped by the otherworldly magics of the Wildlight. These shapes and sizes range from dimunitive, tiny lizard-folk to towering carnivores barely possessing sentience. Society Saurus society operates as a theocracy, where the governing conclave is comprised of the race's ruling priesthood. Central to their society is the reverence and worship of the Sun and Moon. The dichotomy of the race's biological makeup results in a caste system, wherein members of the Saurus are bred for a specific purpose. The most abundant of these beings are the Quetzlings; who do everything from ruling to farming. Hulking, musclebound killing machines known as Huitzigors are solely bred for war, though in times of peace they are known to take up other professions. Culture & Technology Saurus technology is primitive, yet effective. The signature of their settlements are their temple-cities, with their floating altars. Enhanced by magic, Huitzigor warriors typically wield heavy weapons forged from bronze. As a species, they are remarkably adept at astrology and astronomy. To call the Saurus aloof would be an understatement; they view the other prospective races of their newfound home with a general disinterest. Though a certain curiousity may overtake them from time to time. It is well documented of Saurus brutally slaughtering interlopers and invaders to their lands, and decidedly less known of their general acceptance and even protection of those who seek guidance through the territories they own. Territory Their territory comprises of both Quadrant I and Quadrant IV, though in the latter their numbers are more abundant. A preference for warmer climates means that the beasts rarely, if ever venture outside of these lands. Only during times of war will a Saurus be seen outside of their desert and jungle homes.
  9. Wyrmsong "-- He'll blacken the sky on wings, so high, Bite and burn, he'll chop and slice Drag you back to a pile of gold, And eat you up whole." '- Wyrmsong, ancient folk-poem' “... And though the beasts do have undeniably imprinted themselves upon our culture throughout the ages. Even their name, ‘dragon’ means ‘child of the sun’ in the old tongue.” “It doesn’t. It means death. Fire and death.” ‘Excerpt from Draconids, An Insight; conversation between two Knights-Errant’ "I do not loathe these beasts, no more than I loathe the evils of the world. It is a pitiful existence, to be bound by your most base instincts, coveting wealth and dominion without falter. But make no mistake, these beasts deserve no pity - they are ruthless and cunning without peer, and their continued existence to this day is proof of their enduring nature." 'A Dragonslayer's Memoirs, penned by Taendall Swiftwing, retired Dragon-Slayer.' Table of Contents I - The Innate II - The Biological III - The Nature IV - The Arcane 'O, Dreaded Moloch.' Famous painting of Moloch The End-Wyrm, Beast of the Witch-King Zengi devastating the Blue Hills - 557 BG' I. As taken from the Bestiary Terrennica: Wrym. Fire-Made-Flesh. Dragon. Theirs is a presence that has been felt and told of, the earliest of their stories recorded by Terrans dabbed onto ancient walls of stone in caves millennia past. Beings before the enlightenment of Gaia, watched as Zengi carved a bloody swathe through Terrenus and beyond. Woven, elaborate tapestries depicting Knights in Rhodium-gelded armour doing battle with the monsters to win the hand of a maiden fair are a cultural icon in certain regions of Terrenus, even now. Be it a song or a canvas whose strokes render the gargantuan, scaled form of the beasts - all share the universal sense that the beasts inspire in the hearts and minds of those they cross; dread. Such beings of immense, unimaginable power were heralded as gods in the earliest days of Terran civilization, then to monsters deserving of nothing but fear and destruction and to that of mythical beasts; aspects of the Loci made flesh. They are the push and pull of nature’s intent; the rise and fall of a kingdom, the death and destruction of a race. Elemental, unfettered wrath made manifest. Heralds of the changing tide; bringers of the beginning and end. II. More of Fire than Blood A towering mass of lamellar-like scale, interlocking plates like tenfold rows of a phalanx. Claws like spears and teeth like swords. Such creatures are the stuff of nightmares. Unkillable titans whose path carves a bloody trail of destruction and carnage. A thousand men have claimed a thousand different quirks and descriptions of the beasts, all of them true in their own way. Some would believe that Dragons have a spot under their throat, just short enough for a gallant warrior to ram his sword through and pierce their heart. Others may say that the beasts possess gills, or that they are hermaphrodites, or immortal. The most agreed upon definition of a Dragon is a scaled, element-breathing beast possessing gargantuan size and strength, with an innate control over the magical. At their core, Dragons uphold the biological laws of nature. They are not reptiles; they possess warm blood whose heat they can regulate at will. Should some manner of enchanted or bewitched blade rend through their hide, from the wound a deluge of molten, bubbling ichor will flood from it, melting all it makes contact with. What wounds are made by the creatures quickly knit themselves shut. Shattered bones fold in on themselves, mending and becoming whole again. This process is not instantaneous; and often takes months or even years of rest if the damage sustained is significant. Even still, without their regenerative abilities, Dragons are extremely difficult to fell; half in part to their scales and to their powerful constitutions. Though their forebears did not possess the wings they have now, ‘modern’ Dragons are six-limbed creatures capable of sustained flight. Leathery, giant wings are their signature, beyond their breath weapon and capricious nature. When a dragon flies, it is said that their shadow cast itself over entire cities, such is the length of their wingspan. A common mistake made about their ilk is the nature of both their colour, and their breath weapon. The iridescent, beautiful hue of their scales is not a representation of the beast’s environment, nor its nature - it is more a ‘heraldry’. Dragons are exceptionally proud and boastful of their colouration, holding it like a pedigree or a family name. Some even claim that from this, the original knights of Terrenus created the concept of Heraldic Coats of Arms. Dragons have spectacular low-light vision and other senses. They can pick out a droplet of blood or a sheen of sweat against skin for miles. Their capacity to slumber for decades, even centuries, is legendary. There are testaments of Wyrms sleeping through entire eras; this topor grows longer and longer the older a Dragon becomes. A wyrmling might sleep for only thirty to fifty years, whilst an ancient would be content in a lethargy of centuries, biding their time and sleeping away the ages. IIb. Dragonfire Living fire. Crawling incalescence; that which spews from the gaping maw of a Wyrm in glowing plumes of enchanting, smoldering of fire is feared throughout the realm. Nothing burns like Dragonfire, as many a physicist and bar-patron will be happy to explain. It lives. They'll say - it walks and lives and breathes unlike any other flame that exists. Seeking out fuel, stone and flesh and melting it away without difficulty. Only time or a lack of kindling will properly snuff out a flame belched from one of their gullets for good. A Dragon's flames will only truly die when all around it has as well. Such things are myth, of course. Fire is their signature, yet depending on the creatures lineage, they may spew acid, smoke or a even a paralytic haze of poison. Others, lightning or ice. The source of this power is magical, owing to the Loci and its primary concept. A Veluryiam Dragon for instance, would spew a corrosive bile, owing to the territory it inhabits exuding a dominant biogenic influence. Though subsumed Loci may persist within the form of the Dragon's breath. There have been instances of Wryms from Taen unleashing elements beyond that of acid. III. Capricious, hateful and dominating To call a Dragon a slave is a sure way to invite death to onself and everyone they care for. Theirs is an existence of vanity and pride, to control and dominate. It is said that a Dragon rules all that they set their eyes upon, and they believe it. Yet, one would hardly be wrong in calling them enslaved. Enslaved to their natures, their instincts. Where entire armies have been rendered to naught but ash and cinders in a moment by a wronged Wyrm, countless more have been saved by the silvered, flattering words of a smart diplomat. Hackled scales prick themselves high when their titles and deeds are recounted for all to hear. To tell them how much they are feared and adored - a Dragon will insist on hearing it for hours and days and longer, until their flatterer dies of exhaustion, or poorly placed words. Intelligent, beyond even the most learned of academics, certainly, but they are defined by their core traits, and may be manipulated, or slighted as such. Greed. They covet all that they see, hear and taste. Rhodium, Platinum and Gold, the holy metals of their culture, their beliefs. The more of it one has, the greater they are. But it goes beyond a simple social obligation to reave and take. They are drawn to it. Using their blessed intellects to recount and memorize every coin, every jewel and ornament they sleep upon. Woe to the fool who thinks even a single pinched coin from a Dragon's hoard will go unremembered, unmourned and unavenged. It isn't unheard of for Dragons to become mercenaries, seeking out fortune in exchange for their services. Such a nature is how they came to ally themselves with countless tyrants and dictators - and how they quickly destroyed them when a greater bid was placed on their employ. Power. What is to be admired, beyond power? Dragons see little else of worth in an individual beyond their influence, their strength. A desire to control and dominate coarses through their veins. A want to destroy and burn. Flying iconoclasts, the ruins of Kings and their Gods is the greatest sport that their kind partake in. IV. Wyldspawn Dragons are beings woven by magic; aspects of the elements and creatures who shift the skein of the arcane to their will. Theirs is a primal control over the skein of reality - where other magics seek to weave and shape the Loci to its will, Dragons rip and tear out portions of it, forcing it to become what they desire. In a way, their magics reflect their cruel, selfish natures; Rather than give their own force away, they take from the very world around them - drawing energy from the air, the sun, the earth, and in the most extreme cases, other living beings. Their presence in the Arcanosphere is a great, turbulent change, where the waxing and waning eddies, weak and strong, bend inwards to themselves. Such energy is not consumed, but merely shaped, moulded by their own will, and primal languages so old that not even men existed when they were first uttered. It is through this dominion of the world around them that they invoke magic, simple spells that lack the flair and complexity of man’s own creations, but none of the raw potency. VIb. Their Laws Though their control over the skein of the Loci is much more primal and brutal than that of others, Dragons uphold two of the schools of Magic within Terrenus, that of Method and Exchange. Their understanding of method is remarkably simple, yet potent. A faint flicking of a wrist and a rasping whisper from a ember-spewing mouth will bring about a storm of fire cascading down upon an 'irritant'. The method's technique is however not innately known by the beasts and must be passed on, from Ancient to Wyrmling. As such, certain Dragons might specialize in certain elemental schools of magic. Its said that their kind even taught this method of magic to the earliest Terrans, as well as the Witch-King. Exchange, however, is difficult for their kind. What do Dragons value, beyond their hoard? The sacrifice of gemstones and precious metals to gain primordial, eldritch power is something to give even a Dragon pause. To diminish one's treasures is madness, yet the power gained is immense, even by their standards. VIc. Polymorphism Their youth see the ability to meld and mould one’s form to whatever apparition they desire as pointless. Why would they lower themselves, degrade their perfected forms to the likeness of the lesser races? An everpresent, eroding venom sets. The predator unseen cannot have his designs meddled with. Ancient Dragons utilize this ability with a horrific effiecency. For as long as Terrenus and her people have sought to maintain some level of control through politics and infastructure, they have sank their fangs and claws in. Pulling strings and manipulating for their own gain. Others have genuinely benefitted from their 'rule' and 'interference', whilst others swear they are nothing more than a cancer that eats away at cities and towns and people, leaving them as nothing more than ruined husks. When a Wyrmling does decide to transmute their form into that of one of the mortal races, the most common appearance they take on is that of a feline. The two creatures share similar natures and outlooks, and many a young Dragon has enjoyed exploiting the charity a coat of fluff and a derisivive, disinterested demeanor can bring in the lesser races.
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