Aren Bestiary: Of The WargAren Bestiary: Of The Warg3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"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 BehemothAren Bestiary: Of The Behemoth11 months 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 Oulurse10 months 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
YGO OC -- Rosalinde BowerYGO OC -- Rosalinde Bower3 years ago in Profiles More Like This
Full name: Rosalinde Bower
Birthday: March 1st
Star zodiac: Pisces
Weight: 220 lbs / 99 kg
Height: 5'8'' ft / 173 cm
Hair Color: Bronze
Eye Color: Blue-Green
Skin tone: Pale, Rosie-Cheeked, and Faint Red Undertone.
Ethnicity: German, French, and Native American.
Distinguishing marks: Beauty mark to the left of her nose. Sporadic freckles all over body.
Voice: Dramatic Soprano. Heavy in tone. Dreamy, Serious, and Calming. Reaches extremely high pitches when nervous. Growly and hissing when upset.
Typical clothing: Highly fashionable, Contemporary, Color Coordinated, Form Fitting. Follows current styles in the fashion industry. Generally wears dresses, skirts, & tunics with leggings. Wears pants in the event of work or physical activity. Wears boots and wedges often.
Jewelry: Two surgical steel studs in her ear lobes. Various stainless steel ring
Aren Bestiary: Of The SimurghAren Bestiary: Of The Simurgh11 months ago in Settings More Like This
Azaios is the first to mention the mighty simurgh in his writings detailing his ideas of evolution and his classification system: "The zhyammarugh, which the natives of South Erdasia call camictlahaw, is a most unusual beast. Like the ostrich and the griffon-kin, it is one of the few creatures that have feathers though they do not fly. Indeed it seems most like the latter. If reports of its size are true, it must be the only feathered creature too heavy to fly, and thus its plumage must have another meaning."
These musings eventually lead Azaios to the theory explaining bird flight and the evolution of gryphids. It is worth noting that Azaios mentions the Ataluc name for the animal, which translates to 'the lord of death', which is reflected in the Madjastian name 'Zhyammarugh', which cannot be understood unless one knows that the supreme judge, the Master of Justice, next in power to the Dazmar Emperor himself, was known as 'Zhyammarandji', while 'rugh' means murder or manslaugh
Aren Bestiary: Goblin Races - An IntroductionAren Bestiary: Goblin Races - An Introduction3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"To the northwest of Sal-Asrin, it is told, dwells a race of savage beast-men. They grow not larger than children but have the fierce strength of grown men. Their skin is a shade of grey with a hint of yellow or even a sickly green. Terrible fangs or tusks like those of a boar grow out their mouth, and they feed on all kinds of flesh, eating it raw like beasts of prey. Their ways are uncivilized and crude, and their tools and weapons are made of stone or wood. Their stench is said to be nigh unbearable."
-- Izmar Ban-Sadarin on goblins in Of People and Beasts of the Land.
Goblins are species of primitive sapients counted among the human genus, although they were originally thought more close to the wudas. Cases of interbreeding between human and goblin races prove the validity of this classification beyond any doubt, even though such "goblin-men" are always sterile. The history of goblins is poorly known and sketchy at best. The earliest accounts of goblins come from Velaneic ch
Aren Bestiary: Of The GlatisantAren Bestiary: Of The Glatisant9 months 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 MammothAren Bestiary: Of The Mammoth9 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The oldest surviving description of a mammoth that directly influenced later bestiary authors can be found in "The Nature of Animals" written by the ancient Madjasti scholar Deirhestres:
Besides the bison, the lands of Urusea north of Alaam produces mahammodhs, that are like the oliphammodh but covered in dark wool that grows very long in the winter. The mahammodh is very large, second in size only to the behammodh. Its tusks are greater than those of oliphammodhs of any land, and they curve upwards until they begin to coil; the male mahammodh has greater tusks than the female. Because it is so large, only the dragon and the khargadan can harm a mahammodh when it is adult, but the young may be killed by the king bear or the lynghez or the Urusean lewon that hunts in packs. The female mahammodh can only give birth to one child and the period of gestation is two years[...]
This text reveals that the Madjasti of the Second Dazmar Empire were surprisingly knowledgeable about the mammoths o
Aren Bestiary: Of The TarasqueAren Bestiary: Of The Tarasque3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"The beast Tlalascua is found in South Erdasia. It is said to be as tall as a man and just as wide, thirty feet long in all. From head to tail it is covered with scaly armor that no spear can pierce, and its rotund body is covered with sharp spikes which are longest on its flanks. Two horns grow out of its head and at the tip of its tail it has two spikes, longer than those on its body, which are curved like the horns of a bull. Its legs are short and wide, and whatever it tramples underfoot is crushed."
-- Deirhestres of Alzarath, The Nature of Beasts
It is remarkable that Deirhestres in the above text uses a word that is evidently lifted straight out of Ataluc, without the attempt to translate it to Madjastian. This could be because he, as most North Erdasians at the time, considered everything pertaining to the Atal people of the south as primitive and unworthy of study, and thus was unable to provide a translation. This is supported by the fact that he used a Madjastian name
Cryptids of the Amazon region Amazonian "duckbills": Allegedly hadrosaur-like animals reported from the Amazon region. More information would be appreciated.Cryptids of the Amazon region2 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Amazonian "Iguanodon": Allegedly an Iguanodon-like creature sighted from time to time in the Amazon Rainforest. Possibly the same as the Mesquita "Camptosaur".
Amazonian ridge-backed dolphin: A river dolphin mentioned in tribal lore with a continuous row of small, triangular ridges down it's back, like several small dorsal fins next to each other. Possibly related to the cryptid Altamaha-ha of North America.
Arboreal giant anteater: An alleged new species reported by Zoologist Marc van Roosmalen. Roosmalen has named and described several new species in the past.
Brazilian little people: Very short people seen sporadically in the Amazon rainforest. Probably just a race of extremely short native people, similar to African "pygmies".
Black giant otter: A new species of otter reported by Marc van Roos
Aren Bestiary: Of The Big CatsAren Bestiary: Of The Big Cats10 months ago in Settings More Like This
Deirhestres of Alzarath is the first author to mention big cats in "The Nature of Beasts", which he collectively calls by the word 'daigor' which appears to be a loan from Qwaraanmian in which it means 'tiger'. He also describes specifically the tiger, although the animal did not have an established name in Madjastian: "The daigor is a beast shaped like a cat, but many times larger and very fierce. It can run at a very high speed. It has stripes in its fur like the cat, but never spots like some cats may have." From this description it is very clear that tigers were probably known to the Madjasti a lot better than other big cats, which Deirhestres also describes:
"There are also other kinds of daigor. One of them is called the pard, which has a mottled fur. It is the fastest of all beasts in the land, even faster than the common daigor; it can outrun a flying swallow. Another is the lewon, which has a golden fur and the male has a great mane on its neck. It is the greatest of the hunti
Aren Bestiary: Of The LeviathanAren Bestiary: Of The Leviathan11 months ago in Settings More Like This
The waters boil and churn,
Hell's horns roar their call,
And up rises Leviathan.
-- An Arbaysian sailor song (excerpt)
"You should know, that there are things in the sea that grow as long as they live, and some things in the deep will not die of old age."
-- The Spider (Xiphean) in Kherastenai.
In the ancient days, before the lands of Khai turned into desert, when Dazmar cities there were still full of life, the Dazmar mythology included three primordial beasts, each of which ruled over one element. Bahammodh ruled the land, Zhimmodh ruled the sky and Dhiammodh the sea. This myth became obscured and intertwined with the Madjasti mythology by the end of the First Dazmar Empire in Erdasia. The Dazmar cities of Ardasea were now gone, but some of the names of mythical beasts survived in the languages of neighboring peoples, such as the Masharans, and later evolved into the forms "behemoth", "simurgh" and "tiamat". What is remarkable though, is that based on ancient Dazmar art
DraconomorphaDraconomorpha is a clade of avemetatarsalian archosaurs that includes Dragons and their close relatives. Most are carnivorus, and some species are venomous. As true dragons will be dealt with elsewhere, this article will deal primarily with more basal draconomorphs.Draconomorpha10 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Draconomorphs are typically large, fast-moving quadrapeds with elongated necks, small heads with narrow jaws, and long tails.
Draconomorphs have primarily scaly skin often combined with hair-like filaments, osteoderms, and quill-like structures. Whether or not these integumentary structures are homologous with dinosaurian feathers is uncertain.
Species of basal draconomorphs include:
The Sta: (Feliserpen nilus) A delta-running predator of small prey, indigenous to north Aphrikus.
The Questing Beast: (latratutherium arturi) A forest-dweller indigenous to Albion.
The Peluda: (Hirsututherium potamus) A large, quilled, semiaquat
Aren Bestiary: Of Goblins and OrcsAren Bestiary: Of Goblins and Orcs3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Although often separated into two races, goblins and orcs, also known as huorcs or hijashi, belong to the same race, and are so close they can't even be considered subraces. Urusean orcs are considerably more robust, somewhat taller and appear to be more intelligent than their Thalannean and Ordosian relatives, known as goblins, but most differences are negligible and seem to be due to culture, lifestyle and diet. Common to them all is a varying level of animosity towards human races, which they simultaneously fear and consider inferior.
At least on the surface goblin culture reveres raw physical strength above other qualities, although it is rarely those merely strongest in body that end up having most influence in the goblin tribe. Similarily the goblins may dismiss the use of magic as something for the weak and lame, but at the same time fear and revere the powers of their shamans, who tend to be among the most intelligent of goblinkind.
Ever since the appearance of humans in northe
Aren Bestiary: Of HobgoblinsAren Bestiary: Of Hobgoblins2 years ago in Settings More Like This
The western lands of Baernil and Tarasia, as well as southwestern Ordosia, are home to a race known as hobgoblins. They are considered the most advanced of all goblin races by those that subscribe to the notion of Azaian evolution. This is based on both their appearance and culture. Unlike the savage northwestern goblins, the hobgoblins live in permanent settlements farming land and keeping domesticated animals such as pigs and sheep. It is believed by many that they learned these practices from humans, but there is no real reason to doubt that they could have developed either by themselves. Their ways are considered more civilized and amicable than those of other goblins, although they have warred with Ordosian peoples several times in the past. Hobgoblins are not known to eat the flesh of other humanoid races, even wudas or ogres, considering it taboo. They also trade with baenrians in goods as well as magics. Hobgoblins are considered the most accomplished magic users among all gobl
Cryptids of Northern Canada and AlaskaKodiak "Dinosaur": A large unidentified sea creature detected with sonar surveillance equipment near Kodiak, Alaska. Described as "an enormous 'creature,' between 150 and 180 feet long, with two pairs of flippers, an extended tapering tail, and a long, slender neck capped by a rather snub-nosed head!" The basic description of the creature matches a plesiosaur, but it is unlikely that plesiosaurs survived to modern times, let alone in a cold climate like Alaska. Has also been identified with the prehistoric whale Basilosaurus.Cryptids of Northern Canada and Alaska2 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Lake Illiamna "monsters": Giant sturgeon-like fish sighted in Lake Illiamna in Alaska.
Partridge Creek Monster: A giant dinosaur-like animal with a horn on it's nose reportedly from Alaska, Northern Canada and Siberia. Said to be 50 feet long, and covered in "bristles" (Proto-feathers?). Reportedly seen preying on caribou. Often identified with Ceratosaurus, due to similar appearance, but more likely a tyrannosaurid if anything.
Cryptids of New GuineaArtrellia: Allegedly a 20 foot long tree-dwelling lizard found in Papua New Guinea. Probably some form of monitor.Cryptids of New Guinea2 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Gazeka: A large tapir-like animal reported to live in the Owen Stanley mountains of Papua New Guinea. Name means "pig devil". Despite the superficial similarity, there are allegedly several key differences between the Gazeka and tapirs: The Gazeka is said to possess a horse-like tail, claws on it's feet, and the ability to rear up on it's hind legs. May be a relict population of the marsupial Palorchestes.
Giant amphibious monitor: An alleged giant monitor species from eastern New Guinea that is said to be semiaquatic.
Large furry lizards: Large lizards - or lizard-like animals that have been seen near the Aikora River which were covered in a coat of fur. These could be mammals which look reptilian in basic body shape, thus giving the impression of being "lizards", or reptiles that evolved a hair-like integument indep
The GunniThe Gunni9 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Gunni (Turpis maialis) is a species of diprotodontian marsupial indigenous to south-eastern Oz.
The Gunni is a 3-4 foot long, superficially wombat-like animal with dark brown or grey fur covering much of it's body, yellow fur on the underbelly, and yellow stripes on the lower back. The most distinctive feature of the Gunni are the male's "antlers", similar to those found in deer, but not seasonal.
Gunnis generally tend to be solitary, but during the rutting season, they will gather in numbers to spar and mate. They are herbivores, feeding primarily on low-lying vegetation.
Distribution and habitat
The Gunni is rare creature, but can occasionally be found in woodland areas of south-eastern Oz.
Aren Bestiary: Of The CatAren Bestiary: Of The Cat10 months ago in Settings More Like This
Cats have been kept as pets for so long, it is no longer known for certain where they were domesticated. There are many species of wild cats living in different parts of Aren, but some of these may have either crossbred with domestic cats or in fact be domesticated cats gone feral. A mural in the temple of King Sejathma of Quilian dating back to before the Dragon Wars depicts two cats: the other is killing a rat and the other sits in the lap of the queen. They were also highly regarded by the Dazmars of Ardasea, as is evidenced by cat statues found in the "Cities of Sand" such as Zokkur, which was abandoned at least 10 000 years ago.
It appears that cats were domesticated by the elder races when they begun farming the land and storing their harvest in granaries, lured in by rats and mice, which means cats may have been living alongside human races for many thousands of years before the first written record. The most likely scenario is that the cat was domesticated in the ancient kingdo
Aren Bestiary Appendix: Oulurse FolkloreAren Bestiary Appendix: Oulurse Folklore10 months ago in Settings More Like This
Due to lack of direct observations from encounters with living or even dead oulurses, Arenian naturalists have had to seek information through less direct means. Mostly this has meant gathering local legends and accounts from supposed eyewitnesses from areas where the oulurse is supposed to still live, in order to build a more complete image of the mysterious beast that still avoids capture. While its existence continues to be a subject of debate, the information available thusfar seems to support the existence of one or more species of oulurse in Erdasia.
According to some tribes living in the Great Middle Erdasian Rainforest or Dardjagul the bear-owl or jugumarutuqua is a very large animal that can be up to 8 feet tall when it stands fully upright. Usually it walks in a horizontal pose with its long arms almost touching the forest floor, and it never uses them to walk. The feathered arms end in three large curved claws that are dull ivory in colour, as is the beak of th
Aren Bestiary: Of The SalamanderAren Bestiary: Of The Salamander11 months 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
The HydrusThe Hydrus9 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The Hydrus (Hydrus nilus) is a species of ichneumon (Herpestidae) indigenous to north Aphrikus.
The Hydrus is 4 feet long from nose to tail, with brown fur, and a long, black-tipped tail. Due to it's semi-aquatic habits and sinuous shape, it is often mistaken for an otter or snake.
Agile on land and in water, the Hydrus is a ferocious predator of reptiles, particularly snakes, but also larger reptiles like dragons and crocodiles. Snakes are killed in the usual method employed by members of the ichneumon family. Larger reptiles, on the other hand, are dealt with in a much more gruesome fashion, with the Hydrus crawling or swimming down their throats to tear at their insides, causing them to die from internal bleeding. Sometimes the Hydrus will even eat it's way right though the unfortunate reptile's belly.
One peculiar behaviour of the Hydrus is it's habit of covering it's body with mud. This serves many purposes, allowing the a
Cryptids of RussiaBergman's bear: Stan Bergman killed an enormous black bear in Siberia that exceeded all bears in size. There is a folkloric history of these bears amongst the local Siberians, and Russian hunters have claimed to have killed them before. Possibly a relict short-faced bear.Cryptids of Russia2 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Brosnie: A creature reported from Lake Brosno 250 miles north west of Moscow. Mentioned in local folklore dating back to at least 1854, Brosnie is considered as an iridescent lake dragon. A photo of the beast shows a panoramic view of the lake with a shining iridescent object near the front. One witness drew a sketch of what she saw, showing a big snake-like head with an eye on the side.
Chuchunaa: Also known as Mulen, or Siberian "Snowman". A hairy hominid reported from Siberia. Said to possess near-human level of intelligence. Sometimes seen using stone-age tools and wearing primitive clothing. May be a relict population of Homo heidelbergensis
Irkuiem: A giant