Aren Bestiary: Of The Simurgh
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: Of The Behemoth
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 Wyvern
While the wyvern, or at least the living beast now known by the name, is not native to Aren, there is reason to describe it here. Its story starts in middle Ordosia, in the kingdom of Felangia whose notable chalk deposits were mined for at least a millennium before the Imperial times. The Thelquamian scholar Evann the younger wrote a treatise on geology, "On minerals", where he mentions that among the bones of goblins, kobolds and bears, the miners often find bones of the "whiddwerm". Evann describes the creature as a serpentine animal with a long tail and neck, membraneous wings, one pair of somewhat birdlike legs and long jaws lined with sharp teeth. The name of the creature came from the old Galanic words "whidd" which means both white and chalk, and "werm", meaning serpent. What Evann was in fact describing was a common fossil in Felangian chalk: the well preserved remains of an ancient flying animal that had become extinct tens of millions of years ago.
SPEC FAIL: Arctic Psycho
How a peaceful walrooster poult turns into a killer
Walroosters are known for their unusual sociability and co-operation in defense against predators such as polar draks and arctic seawolves. Their hooked beak, supported by strong jaw muscles, is a truly formidable weapon, but they seem to almost never turn it against each other, while intaspecific fights seem to be an almost daily occurrance in the penguin colonies of the Antarctic. This peaceful and almost altruistically helpful nature of the walrooster has been attributed to the helplessness of these giant seaguins on land and the harshness of the environment they must survive in. Contrasting to this, few observed cases of infanticide, followed by cannibalism, have seemed all the more baffling, and remained an enigma until scientists began a long period observation on the growth and development of walrooster poults.
Like in many other seaguin species, the poult remains on land, protected by the colony, until its gre
Aren Bestiary: Of The Salamander
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 Leviathan
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
On the Nature of InfinitaIf you seek knowledge about the dimension of Infinita, then there is one thing you must know above all: doom and destruction await all who try to travel there or summon anything from there to our plane of being. You may have read tales of sorcerers and warlocks of old who could do such feats unharmed, but the age of wonders is long gone and such things are now impossible. Shun Infinita, young reader, avoid it at all costs. What is known of Infinita shall be discussed here merely to fulfill curiosity that could otherwise have the gravest of consequences.
When the Ancients discovered Infinita, they found it to be filled with a strange magic abundant everywhere but not concentrated anywhere in particular. This magic, inherent in all thing Infinitan, did not follow the laws that they knew, and they found themselves alarmingly helpless while inside this dimension. But they kept watch, as there was a world there, right beyond the portal, apparently the twin of Eternia, inhabited by a race of
The Prophecy of EldorIn the twenty-second year of King He-Ro's rule, on the fifteeth day of the third month, I was, among a select others including king He-Ro himself, called to the private quarters of Eldor the Wise. My master had remained bedfast for many months now, and had insisted us know that this was his deathbed. But this morning Eldor was sitting up on the bed, pallid yet overcome by a burning inner fire, and he had uncovered his head, showing the scars of his shame that he commonly chose to conceal from the world.
At first Eldor spoke to us all, explaining that the moment of his passing was at hand, and it was of the utmost importance that we, who had been summoned, were present. Then my master addressed me, and advised me to take out my writing equipment, so that I could record all that he said. When I let him know I was ready, Eldor said:
"Till this day I've feared the coming of my death. Not because I dread the end, you see, but because of what I must witness in my last moments. I could only p