Bestiary

Bestiary

Balukha – A type of flightless bird, with merely a useless claw on each side of its body where the wings would be. The balukha’s long beak is used for attack and defence purposes; the strong olfactory appendage is wielded by the balukha like a sword, swiping away opponents attacks, and thrusting out at weak, exposed areas of flesh. Once their prey is dead, the balukha will rend the flesh from the bones with its two rows of small, sharp teeth; it must wait for its prey to die before attempting this as it would otherwise lose its only means of attack and defence, putting the balukha at a disadvantage. The eggs of the nocturnal sub-species known as the dusk balukha have black yolks.

Blind Pygmy – Perhaps one of the most lethal and disturbing creatures in Himaera, the blind pygmy is nothing more than a bipedal creature which scarcely reaches the height of an adult human’s knee. It has smooth, pink, bulbous skin and no discernible eyes or other facial features, nor hair or nails. It usually preys on creatures while they sleep, secreting a thick, acidic, anaesthetising liquid from the pores on its head and hands. The blind pygmy then dips its head into its sleeping prey’s liquefying flesh, soaking it up like a sponge, killing their victim easily and painlessly. The secretion also makes the blind pygmy unsavoury, serving to ward off potential predators.

Bloatworm – If unknowingly consumed, the bloatworm becomes a parasite that thrives in the stomachs of animals, feeding off the gastric juices. It is possible for a creature to be infested with hundreds of bloatworms at once. As it grows larger, the bloatworm leaves the stomach and enters the intestinal tract where it can grow so large it gets stuck. If left untreated, the bloatworm will swell to such a size that it has to eat its way out of the host body, at which point it crawls away to lay its eggs and promptly die. Bloatworm was once an epidemic in some regions of the Vorinsian Arkh, but the parasite has since become very uncommon.

Brookbug – An aquatic bottom-feeder. Despite its name, the brookbug is not a bug, but a fish. It is so named because it closely resembles a spotted slug, albeit one with feathery fins and a head covered with whiskers.

Cravant – Cravants are primate pack-hunters, although occasionally one may break away from the pack. They are on average shorter than humans, have greenish-black leathery skin, dark body hair, a jutting lower jaw, and two sets of eyes (the second, smaller, set closer to the sides of a cravant’s head). Some have small wings that are of little practical use except to allow them a few seconds in the air, helpful in breaking their falls when leaping from a height. Cravants are not usually dangerous, known for their cowardice when alone or in small numbers, but will occasionally get brave against humans, especially if the cravant is aggravated by someone it sizes up to be weaker than itself.

Dawnhawk – A small bird of prey common to Himaera and the lands of the Arkh, mostly seen prior to and following the first rays of dawn. It can also occasionally be spotted at dusk.

Fenhawk – A type of small bird related to the dawnhawk. Sometimes called the Vur fenhawk, as it is mostly active during the Vur season.

Heath-Hopper – A name for certain types of grasshopper found in moorlands, heathlands and marshes. Mostly nocturnal, heath-hoppers fill the night with their hypnotic chirring caused by rubbing their legs together.

The First Mother – A massive lifeform, part mineral, part marine plant and part creature, which resides in the bowels of a colossal mountain in the depths of the Echilan Ocean. The First Mother is the progenitor of the Mother which was responsible for the blight of Lachyla, which leaves one to wonder if there are any other such spawned lifeforms elsewhere across Verragos.

Lyakyn – Humanoid monsters with long, vertically-opening jaws filled with needle teeth.. Lyakyn usually prefer higher altitudes, and as such are found in the most mountainous areas of Sosarra, although rarer breeds exist in smaller numbers in the hilly lowlands.

The Mother – An entity described by King Mallak as a queen, responsible for spawning hundreds of deadstones – her clones – and turning the dead and the living of Lachyla into her vessels. The Mother is part marine plant, part mineral and part animal. Being an anomaly upon Verragos, it is known only that the Mother’s progenitor is the First Mother, a similar but more powerful entity that lies somewhere beneath the Echilan Ocean.

Nargut – Usually peaceful, narguts are large mammals whose torsos and forelegs are reminiscent of those of a bear, and whose hindquarters and heads are more similar to those of a rabbit or hare. Narguts live in warrens, either alone or with a mate, their young leaving home as soon as they are able. Occasionally, narguts may take advantage of caves or derelict man-made places such as cellars or burial vaults to extend their warrens into. When on all fours an adult nargut can reach the height of a small human child, but if provoked they may rise onto their hind legs for a few seconds, at which time their sharp foreclaws are capable of reaching the faces adult humans.

Stone Dancer – Stone Dancers are large arachnids that infest the Ghalendi Flatlands. Their bodies and legs are covered in carapaces, making them difficult to kill. When standing on all eight legs, an adult Stone Dancer is typically three feet in height.

Sunfish – A tiny fish, often seen swimming in rocky coastal shallows. Its body emanates a bright glow, hence its name. When asleep in a rockpool, the sunfish has often been mistaken for a small piece of gleaming treasure, but a gold-hunter who dares to snatch one into his hand will quickly release it when they feel the sunfish’s sting.