Aren Bestiary: Of The Warg
"In the north there is a beast called the whyrg that feeds solely on human flesh. It is the size of a bear but shaped like a wolf with the chest of a lion and the maned neck of a horse. It is said to have a human voice, and often it imitates the cry of a child to lure the mother into the woods, where it will kill her. It is said that this beast is born of human parents but changes its shape from human to whyrg and devours its mother."
-- Deirhestres of Alzarath, The Nature of Beasts
Numerous sources dating back to the Second Dazmar Empire mention a great wolf-like predator living in the northern lands that is associated with humans either by being born in the shape of a human or being able to imitate the voice of a human. They were also known as man-eaters. While such creatures must have appeared mythical to Erdasian scholars, Ordosians and Noderlenners were more than familiar with the beasts. While sightings were sporadic, King Valdarik of Isernalt had a cloak made of the skin of a wa
Aren Bestiary: Of The CatoblepasAren Bestiary: Of The Catoblepas3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"In Southeast Erdasia lives an animal the size of a cow covered in hard scales, with a head and wide horns disproportionate to it's body. It always walks looking down, but those that meet it's gaze it will kill. Those that dare to hunt it by ambush claim that its spit is a potent poison, for it eats poisonous plants."
-- Deirhestres of Alzarath, The Nature of Beasts
The concise description above appears in the only complete copy of "The Nature of Beasts" that survived both the persecution of Madjasti scholars during the Khadon dynasty and the burning of Dar-Isnar by invading Debarians. Unfortunately the name of the animal was never mentioned, perhaps due to an error made by the scribe, and as Erdasia grew increasingly isolated, the beast became obscure. We know that Azaios knew of it, mentioning it in his "The Classification of Animals" as the Erdasian scaly bull, which he classed within Ktorgaisha or 'scaly beast kin' (not to be confused with Azaios' reptiles, which
Aren Bestiary: Of The GlatisantAren Bestiary: Of The Glatisant1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
While most bestiaries built upon the work of Erdasian and Ardasean scholars of old, not every creature in them originated from such sources. As bestiaries rose into popularity in Ordosia, their writers and compilers would sometimes try to out-do each other by including animals no-one else had yet described. This lead to some creatures of highly questionable veracity appearing in the later bestiaries and - in part - contributed to the desire and need to start appyling skepticism to these works, one of the early steps in the Ordosian scientific renessaince.
While many of the creatures inserted in the later bestiary era were from local legends or misunderstood versions of previously known and described species, one had very peculiar roots indeed, going deep into ancient Velanneic literature. This was the barking beast, or as it became known in Middle Ordosia after several translations, the glatisant. First included in the Tulsanne Bestiary, believed to be written by Nowertes of Velogne, t
Aren Bestiary: Of The LeucrotAren Bestiary: Of The Leucrot3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Or the Vorg
The ancient text by Deirhestres of Alzarath names a Tarasian creature called the leuchrocodh. It is described as hooved beast the size of a donkey, with the body of a bull, the tail of a lion and the head of a giant wolf with a mouth that spreads from ear to ear. He identified it as the crossbreed of a yina and a lion. Azaios later berated Deirhestres for his inability to tell legends from the truth, as he proved that animals of two separate species do not crossbreed. Later the mythical yina, the beast with a human voice that eats bones, was recognized as the hyena, which had already become extinct in Ardasea at the time of Deirhestres. But even the noted naturalist Azaios was unable to identify the leuchrocodh, and with no proof of such a beast in Tarasia, decided it did not exist.
Later a similiar description of an animal called leucrot appeared in the book "Of People and Beasts of the Lands" by Izmar Ban-Sadarin. He claimed that the beast's teeth
Aren Bestiary: Of The SalamanderAren Bestiary: Of The Salamander1 year ago in Settings More Like This
From ancient times the people of Erdasia were familiar with a small animal they called the stylio. Deirhestres of Alzarath writes about it thus: "The stylio is an animal the size of an ichneumon that walks like a lizard but has dark fur that is brightly spotted. It can be found in the hot barren lands of Erdasia, because its coat of fur does not let heat onto its skin. Therefore it is always cold, and will seek all sources of heat, sometimes sleeping so close to a fire that it should catch fire itself, but the fire does not harm it, for its fur is such that it protects it from burning. From its mouth it expels a milky liquid that is a fatal poison; should any of it touch the human body it will cause hair to fall off and skin to break in a rash. Alicorn cannot be used to neutralise such a poison."
The barren lands Deirhestres mentions are a volcanic region in northeastern Erdasia, known as Gahaggan or "ashlands", where much of the land is covered in volcanic ash, and there are several a
Aren Bestiary: Of The BehemothAren Bestiary: Of The Behemoth1 year ago in Settings More Like This
The first mention of the animal called behemoth in the Erdasian writings is by Deirhestres of Alzarath: "The behammodh is the mightiest among beasts, and its bellow strikes fear in all the animals. It walks proudly, for it fears no living thing but the dragon, which is its mortal enemy. When it walks the land trembles and all things break under its feet. It lives in the shades of cedars, which it leaves only to drink; so great is the bahammodh that it must kneel to drink. Only in this position it is possible to slay a behemoth, for the longest spear cannot reach its snout if it lifts its head aloft. The behammodh can swim great distances, and it is said that it carries oxen on its back over the raging stream."
Azaios obviously knew things Deirhestres does not mention about the behemoth, because he writes in "The Classification of Animals": "The behammodh is unlike any other plant-eating beast, except for its feet that are cloven in three, like those of the khargadan. [...] Therefore th
Aren Bestiary: Of The OulurseAren Bestiary: Of The Oulurse1 year ago in Settings More Like This
"There is also an animal that the natives of the southern lands call an owl-bear or bear-owl, for its appearance resembles both while being neither. Unlike the owl it does not avoid the light of day, nor does it hide during the winter like the bear. It is described as ugly and ill-natured with a rapacious beak and grasping claws, and there is a foul stench about it. Like a bear it's strength is in the forelimbs which it uses to crush its prey. The owl-bear feeds on carrion but kills without intention to eat. It moves about on four legs but rears up on two, thus growing taller than a man."
This paragraph written by Sardun of Fahistar in "Of Animals" was for long presumed to be the oldest description of the animal that became known as oulurse in Ordosia. He mentions it while describing animals from Erdasia, but no works of Erdasian scholars translated to Debarian mention it at all. For this reason it was assumed that he had a separate source of information. Some even assumed that the oul