- Physical: Ettins are hulking beasts almost tall enough to be classified as giants. Their frame is distinctly humanoid, standing upright on two legs with two arms, with the core difference in their body structure being the fact that they have two heads. These monsters can also reach up to a height of twelve feet. They are essentially huge, dumb sacks of muscle with two heads. They usually carry around blunt things as weapons, and they are especially fond of tree logs and conveniently shaped boulders.
- Behavior: These beasts are extremely aggressive, basically attacking anything that moves. They are relatively slow in both wits and physical speed, but their ironically one-track mind leads them to hunt prey relentlessly. Despite their preference for weapons and their physical similarities to humans, though, ettins could hardly be described as sentient creatures, as their critical thinking ability is miniscule compared even to other mammals. They are solitary creatures, only leaving the confines of their cave to either get food or find a mate. Young ettin stay in their mother’s cave, being brought food until they are old enough to venture off and find their own cave.
- Communication: Ettins don’t really communicate very well. At best they have deep grunts, but they have no reason to speak to others. They have better noses than humans, but their eyes are about on par. They can’t hear very well, but this is mostly due to the fact that their own clumsiness leads them to miss small noises.
- Ecology: Their preferred habitat is mountains and caves. They like the shelter that caves provide, and things in the mountains are generally easy to spot and therefore catch. Typically they live in the southern mountains of Torreth, killing and eating anything they can get their hands on, such as birds and small animals, with the occasional sprite if an ettin can get its hands on it. They are also easily susceptible to the hunting of galeworms, since they love caves and the worms make cave-like tunnels.
- Physical: Thundering behemoths that inhabit self-made tunnels in the mountains and subterrania of Torreth. They can reach dozens of feet long, and are about five feet tall and wide.They’ve got several rows of teeth in an enormous, gaping maw, and can reach a speed of about 10 mph. They have dozens of holes trailing down their body, and the air moving through them imitates the sound of a blizzard (or simply rushing winds), making potential prey believe they are approaching a cave or tunnel entrance, when in reality they are stumbling right into the beast. Their skin ranges from an off-white to dark grey, with slight leniency favoring their particular environment. Like most worms, galeworms have no eyes.
- Behavior: Galeworms are not aggressive and do not hunt. Like many spiders, they rely on prey to draw near of their own volition before ensnaring it. These worms burrow a network of large tunnels with many openings, with the intent of luring animals in. They are also quite sensitive to both auditory and physical vibrations, so they are keenly aware of approaching prey. Galeworms also never leave the comfort of the underground world, as thousands of years of evolution to reinforce otherwise has left them quite susceptible to the outside world and its dangers, not the least of which is the sun. It is also the best (and most common practice) to kill one.
- Communication: This type of creature isn’t the kind to communicate with others of its species, so the sole focus of its five senses is its interaction with food (as there are also no predators of this thing). It senses vibrations well, but has no eyes, ears, or nose. It has receptors that can vaguely detect light in a general sense, and also has a sense of taste. Mostly, though, the most important sense it has is its capability to sense vibrations.
- Ecology: The galeworms inhabit the subterranean levels of Torreth, especially the southern reaches under the Autlan Empire. They prey on just about anything that strays into their caves, which is most often creatures that like to live in caves, such as bears and ettins. Galeworms aren’t very common creatures, mostly due to their size, but their being on the top of the food chain allows them easy access of basically any unsuspecting prey.
Great Wolf –
- Physical: Great wolves are most simply described as huge wolves. The average adult male stands at about 4.5 feet to the shoulder (whereas normal grey wolves average 2.8). They weigh a good 400 lbs, and can reach speeds of up to 50 mph where its habitat permits. Typically their fur takes a distinctly red tinge to a wolf’s normal grayish pelt.
- Behavior: Generally speaking, most great wolves are relatively tame (unlike dire wolves of common fantasy mythology). They don’t attack humans unless they are starving, but the two parties don’t see themselves often because these wolves try to shy away from civilization. In contrast to other wolves, as well, great wolves hunt alone. They may bring food back to their mate and young, but they don’t rely on a pack to catch prey. When their young begin to grow up, the male teaches their pups to hunt by bringing them along one at a time, until they are old enough to hunt for themselves, at which point they go off on their own.
- Communication: The contact between great wolves is much the same for typical wolves. They have extremely keen senses, and communicate to each other through howling. Great wolves typically howl in regards to territory, however, and not hunting, since as stated before great wolves hunt alone. They are territorial, however, so they can be aggressive towards each other of one encroaches where it should not.
- Ecology: Great wolves span a wide variety of habitats on Torreth, as their physiology is pretty flexible to adapt for forests, mountains, plains, and everything in between. Much of their behavior remains consistent regardless of their location on Torreth. Their diet consists of a number of various things, from things as small as hares, to jungle tortoises, to mammoths (though the wolves in Aluvalia couldn’t take down a mammoth alone, and the wolves in this region are typically scavengers, picking off from the kills of wyverns. They are generally smart enough to be able to avoid wyverns, and wyverns don’t pay them much attention as they wouldn’t provide very much food. To the south they may have to compete with ettins for food, but typically they don’t prey on each other. In many cases, too, great wolves must also compete with humans for food.
Jungle Tortoise –
- Physical: Large tortoises that inhabit the jungles. Their shells are about two feet long, and their necks can reach three feet in length. Their legs lift them from the ground so that they can maneuver over the dense roots of the forests.
- Behavior: Tortoises are independent creatures, and they diet mostly on rabbits, which is what they need their long necks for.
- Communication: They are slow creatures, and their diet doesn’t require much actual sensing on their part. They are not at the top of the food chain, so when danger approaches they try to find a defensible spot before hiding in its shell. They make no auditory communication.
- Ecology: Jungle tortoises mainly inhabit the forests of southern Torreth. They are omnivores, and most of their diet consists of the rabbits they can find hiding out in their holes. They must be wary of great wolves and the occasional ettin, but for the most part humans leave them alone.
- Physical: These beasts are large, pitch black beasts about the same shape and size of an ox. Their legs extremely thick and hooved, and are very low to the ground, and their stomachs almost graze the floor as they trudge along. They have piercing, almost glowing white eyes, which is about the only thing one can distinguish about them, as they feast on the light itself, giving the beast a very darkening cloak of shadows around it. These things are large and slow, almost never stopping, in search of light to eat.
- Behavior: The kirlex is a strange beast, since it is somewhat independent of the food web. It wanders around the landscape, devouring its light, venturing out at night, since daylight is too much for it to handle. Instead of hunting per se, it is perpetually searching for an optimal amount of darkness: these things thrive in the twilight. They don’t have a mating season, but it isn’t uncommon for them to find each other in the same area due to their wanderings. Young kirlex follow their mothers, often hitching a ride on their backs until they are too heavy, at which point they go off on their own.
- Communication: Kirlex have extremely keen eyes. Their receptors are almost exclusively rods, and can detect light better than any other creature on Torreth, but they don’t have very many cones and can’t perceive color very well. When seeking nearby mates, they are capable of emitting guttural, almost rumbling growls. It sounds a lot like a fire without the sound of snapping wood. Their noses are about average for mammals: more acute than humans, but since they don’t use it to hunt or hide their sense of smell isn’t as good as that of wolves or bears.
- Ecology: Kirlex live over most of the northern half of Torreth. They adapt quite well to most environments due to their food source being something that naturally occurs literally everywhere. They can be found in any magic region of Torreth, but seeing one in Ketha is rare, due to the difficulty their hooves have traversing through vast deserts. They do find themselves prey to huge creatures, such as wyverns in the mountains. They are also hunted by humans when they are seen, but most of the time they remain elusive because they emanate an aura of darkness around them. It’s impossible to see one from a long distance, but can be taken down by a small group of mages. Their hide is an extremely valuable commodity, due to it’s light absorbing properties. (They don’t absorb light after the kirlex is dead, but their hide is still pitch black.)
- Physical: The rah-shiin are distant cousins of Aluvalia’s wyverns. They are most simply described as jungle cats with distinctly reptilian properties, or a sort of “dragon panther”, if you will. The rah-shiin look a lot like panthers, with dark scales and lithe grace, but their snout is far more draconic and their forelegs are actually vestigial wings, with most of their function built into lean muscle. They range from about 2.5 to 3 feet at the shoulder, and can maneuver through Vasrand’s jungle and rough terrain with ease.
- Behavior: The rah-shiin are extremely clever. They hunt alone technically speaking, but they help each other catch prey, sort of like trading favors. They don’t rely on others of its kind to catch food, but they recognize opportunities for efficiency and use it to their advantage. They are also capable of using air magic like wyverns, but instead of creating blizzards, the rah-shiin alter their prey’s visual, auditory, or olfactory senses. These alterations can be very slight, but can be all the edge the panther needs to get in close enough to catch its prey. Rah-shiin hatchlings keep to the safety of the cave (or whatever the shelter may be), being fed by its mother until it is old enough to hunt on its own. At this point, it catches prey for its mother to pay its “debt”, then goes off on its own.
- Communication: The senses of the rah-shiin are quite adapted to the jungles and entropy of Vasrand. Through the use of air magic, they can enhance their senses, which they use to track prey from afar. When teaming up with another of its kind, they communicate through reptilian growls and snorts, using air magic to keep their prey out of earshot.
- Ecology: Vasrand is home to the rah-shiin. They adapt well to the tumultuous environment, and do prey on anything they can get their hands on. Like wyverns, they pose a significant threat to the humans inhabiting the region, and they hardly even need to deafen their senses to catch them, as they are already so useless. Humans being some of the largest prey in the area, they do attack any chance they have to get one alone.
(To be expanded on.)
- The Sellisten, or mountain snails, are hulking sea dwelling creatures that are so massive, their shells can grow hundreds and even thousands of feet tall. They live on the seafloor, and their size is determined by the law of gigantism. They can grow to unimaginable sizes, and their shells are large enough to house fully developed cities in, as the Maw Deter do. They rarely move to shallow enough ocean for their shells to peak out, but it is not unheard of. These beasts are near even more mythical than the nymphs sailors sometimes comment about, especially since all the shells these creatures would leave behind are far too heavy to be deposited anywhere other than the bottom of the ocean floor.
- The Sellestin are simple creatures. They have virtually no brain capacity, and do not have any sort of function other than to eat. They graze the seafloor for algae and plankton, and though they require vast amounts of the stuff, it is all they really do.
- Physical: Small creatures about the size of small children, nearly as pitch black as the kirlex. Also like the kirlex, they have glowing eyes. Sprites aren’t quite bound by gravity, as they are seen floating around, mostly formless with no legs. They appear almost completely incorporeal, but are actually tangible just like anything else. They typically go in packs of a few dozen, but their swarms can reach over a hundred in size.
- Behavior: Sprites are mischievous little things that love to harass the world around them, especially the humans. They are mostly harmless, but are quite a nuisance, putting out torches, scaring horses, and tickling the back of your legs as you walk at night. They only come out at night, and, if the opportunity arises, will follow a kirlex around almost like a parent, since they create darkness, and therefore shelter, that sprites can use. Sprites aren’t usually found with a kirlex, since they are far more rare, but no kirlex is ever seen without sprites.
- Communication: Sprites operate mostly through the use of their visual and auditory senses, not having or needing a sense of smell. they don’t really communicate to other sprites other than vague body gestures which they seem to understand quite well. They also have what sounds like a high-pitched chuckle when messing with the things around them.
- Ecology: Sprites are prevalent everywhere humans walk the planet. They have no apparent diet, and don’t seem to even require any sort of sustenance beyond the annoyance of humans. They, therefore, are not a part of the food chain. Anything that preys on them has a hard time getting through their overwhelming numbers. One may be taken down, but it is virtually impossible to kill a whole pack, since they flee when they see a situation is too dangerous to remain in.
- Furthermore, since sprites don’t seem to need any sort of sustenance, it has been theorized that old sprites age into a kirlex, or that a bunch of them can fusion together into one, but neither of these are true. While the kirlex is a real beast, sprites are actually a byproduct of the Al’Tarian curse that was placed on the humans in the First Era. They are, in a way, the magical souls of the humans, held to the world by the Al’Tarian Source, the moon, and given form by the Fide Torren Source, the stars. The sprites are the reason that the curse still exists, despite the supposed “extinction” of the Al’Tari at the start of the Second Era. Destroying all of the sprites would lift the curse and allow all humans to use magic freely, without the need of the seven individual Sources of the seven specific stars.
Steelweb Spider –
- Physical: Also known as Dusklights prior to Illaris in the Third Era, the Steelwebs are enormous spiders that weave thick, strong webs that are literally stronger (and lighter) than steel. These spiders are huge, their legs as large as a human thigh, and their abdomen alone is over five feet across. They are not venomous, but their fangs are so large they are capable of crushing a human skull. They are most often grey in appearance, but can also be almost black or dark brown.
- Behavior: Steelweb spiders are predatory, territorial creatures. In the forests where they are abundant, the trees are encased with their webs, and their webs can span for miles. In these parts, it is treacherous for any living thing, as the webs can immediately trap you, all but sucking you in and forcing you to wait for the spider to come along and bundle you into a sac to be eaten later. Steelweb eggs can reach the size of a watermelon, and even spiderlings can pose a threat due to the sheer psi their fangs can produce.
- Communication: These spiders are equipped with four sets of eyes like most of their kind, but their primary sense for hunting is their acute ability to feel prey struggle against its web from nearly a mile away. They don’t communicate with others of its kind, but will attack each other if one gets too close to the other’s territory.
- Ecology: The steelweb spiders reside in the far reaches of the Veritian forests. They eat anything and everything that finds its way into the webbing. Their biggest competitors are each other: eggs hatch in the hundreds, but there is only so much space for these spiders, and they don’t spread their webs very much, so they mostly fight each other for territory, usually to the death.
- Furthermore, the webs of these spiders are quite resistant to fire. The adhesive material coating the webbing shrugs flames off without much trouble. These webs can also be woven into a material referred to as steelweave, a cloth that, like the silk it’s made from, is stronger than steel, yet only about a fourth its density, making steelweave both the strongest and lightest substance in Nacre Then. This isn’t knowledge that even the Preservers have access to, especially since steelweb spiders became an endangered species when the Rupture happened, as the explosion also wiped out most of the forests they inhabited.
- Physical: Striders are beings so impossibly large and powerful that it would be difficult to associate them less with normal creatures and more with forces of nature. They are the embodiments of earth magic itself, so tightly condensed that the raw power has taken physical form and reached a peculiar sentience. They are formed through the combination of dozens (sometimes even hundreds) of wild elementals in the land of Rinla Bulvia during a Weave. They are hundreds of feet tall and the earth trembles with their step. Striders are also shapeshifters. They can take virtually any form of living thing, but their colossal size must be embodied in the shape that they take. They are timeless, and see the world as far more trivial and futile than the mortal world.
- Behavior: Striders are sentient creatures. They can take the form of humans, but wouldn’t quite be mistaken as human, because there is always something so inhuman about them, though what that thing is depends on the strider. They do not hunt and do not often interact with others of their kind. Striders being so big, there are less than two dozen on the entire planet, and they do not reproduce.
- Communication: Striders have the senses of their true form, so when they condense into something so small, they have superb eyesight, hearing, etc. Striders, do not, however, have vocal capabilities in their normal form, for multiple reasons. As a result of this they may have a hard time using human speech when speaking to others.
- Ecology: Striders are so immense, ecological biomes don’t mean much to them. They are, however, so rarely seen in their true form and so far between that they are mythical creatures–only told in folk tales and nobody really believes they exist. They require no sustenance, because the source of this magic is the very planet itself.
- Furthermore: The most prevalent strider involved in the affairs of the humans is one that goes by the nickname “Sevv”, and abbreviation of his true name which is fittingly far larger than the one people know him by. Only a handful of the people that know him ever find out about the literal force of nature he really is.
- Physical: Timberhorns are tamable, huge lizards with a symbiotic tree that grows upon their heads. They are the most common beasts of burden in Torreth. These horns grow asymmetrically, but can be shaved and shaped to grow how humans want them to. They can be used for siege, beasts of burden, or transportation, and are large enough to be used as mounts. They average about twelve feet long, and their horns grow about three to four feet high or long, depending on how they are shaped. They are fairly adaptable, being able to to easily traverse through forests, deserts, and can even walk on shear surfaces like geckos. They have very large feet in comparison to their bodies.
- Behavior: Timberhorns are quite amiable, but aren’t typically treated as anything other than property like livestock or oxen. They don’t hunt, because while they can eat insects and small animals, their diet is primarily composed of flora. Timberhorns don’t grow their horns until they reach adulthood, but their whole species is born with the symbiote inside them.
- Communication: Their senses are pretty dull, but mostly because they don’t really need them to be keen as they are cared for by humans. Their best sense is their sight and their tongue can ‘smell’ things nearby. They communicate with other timberhorns through low growls that sound almost like purrs.
- Ecology: Timberhorns originally inhabited the [Cedrian Forest]. They were officially tamed at the beginning of the Second Era, after the Fide Torru drove out the Al’Tari. They were primarily used for trade and commerce, and could traverse across the desert more easily than other beasts of burden before them. Most timberhorns are bred to be either pack animals or mounts, the difference being how their horns are grown. Mounts’ horns grow forwards to be used as battering rams, pack animals’ horns are grown upwards so that ropes can be tied around them so that more goods can be placed on them. Another one of their benefits is their capability to eat virtually anything from leaves, to insects, to fruit.
- Physical: Enormous dragons that rule the mountains of northern Torreth. Their wingspan is nearly thirty feet across, and their entire body is covered with thick feathers to shield off the cold of the Aluvalian heights. Their wings are also their forearms, and the wings fold up into them so they can walk or climb with four limbs. They also have a single horn atop their snout, and these are considered valuable trophies amongst the Aluvalian people.
- Behavior: Wyverns are quite intelligent for beasts. Their main prey is the mammoth, whose herds are common in these mountains. Wyverns band together and use air magic to cause perpetual blizzards and using these blizzards to ‘herd’ the mammoths to where they can be more easily hunted and taken down. Juvenile wyverns often learn to hunt very quickly, joining the raids on mammoth herds at a young age, though only adult wyverns have any control over air magic.
- Communication: The senses of a wyvern are honed to overpower the force of blizzards. They can see quite well through snowstorms, and they can hear the calls of mammoths, humans, or especially other wyverns over the howling gale. Wyverns call to each other through the use of booming roars, mostly just to indicate their location so that other wyverns can either stay away or more efficiently help in a mammoth hunt.
- Ecology: Wyverns live in the mountains of Aluvalia, and can be occasionally spotted in the higher reaches of Zephira. They prey on mammoths, and love to hunt humans whenever they can catch one out of the safety of their underground cities. They are arrogant and fearless, so they don’t back down even when attacked by dozens of humans, which most often leads to several casualties before one can be brought down. They aren’t territorial and have no hierarchy. They help each other hunt when they need to, because mammoths provide a lot of sustenance.