From the Book, The Southern Reaches - of Savages and Silver, a travel log by Admiral (ret.) Saveth, noted Naturalist.
“One of the most interesting discoveries we made during our visit with the Hanaset was the odd looking, but very useful beast they called the Ralu. ”
This glowing fungus has been known both to save lives, and to ruin them as well.
The crests of Compall Fowle are reputed to have potent healing powers, but little else is known of the vicious birds.
This unique animal is sought after by many a hunter and lord. Many knights have sought to gain fame by capturing this elusive, graceful animal for whom calling it a beast is a crime.
An ancient yew tree, touched by Death himself and chosen to be his witness throughout time.
Lutazum is an immense (32’ at the top of it’s shell) tortoise which walks on huge 2’ thick legs. It is dark green with speckles and looks about with suprising intelligance. On top of its shell are strapped leather containers of all description.
Demontrumpets, as illuded to by the name, are not normal plants, but are plants who hold their origin in the Abyss. Perhaps brought by summoned demons, perhaps created by a dark god for some purpose, perhaps simple plants mutated by an artifact of great evil.
The Great Black Stag of the Southern Forests, Donnerwunsch has drunken deeply of the rivers of the Desert of Divine Despair.
Brendan stared at the creature in the pale moonlight, transfixed by the silvery petals that glistened beneath that perfect purity. It was not until his final breath that he gathered his wits enough to scream after the thing had descended on him, all muscle and thorns and hard, barklike skin. It was too impossible, even the crimson blossoms that shone in the light of the moon.
There! Did you see it that time? I swear someone is following us. I keep seeing torchlight through the damn trees. I'm telling you, something is following us.
Thom, your either seeing things or drinking to much. There is no one following us. See look . . . wait, they look . . . they look like spiders but they are on fire!
- Last words of Micha, Traveller and Explorer.
As we viewed the island from afar, I knew we would be forced to land there. Our hull was breached and we are taking on water rapidly. My hope of us making the island is grim, but I keep a face up for the crew. The rumors every sailor has heard of this dreadful place makes even the stoutest sailer make water. We shall see.
-Captain Edver Brakuars, Second to Last Journal Entry.
Out of the three giants I am hunting the jotun have been the most aloof. It seems like they stay out of my sight for a reason. Who knows. I will track them down as i have the others to gain their knowledge. Damn, even the surtur were not this hard. Wait, I hear a noise, a drum perhaps… I will follow to see if I can find the jotun.
-Aergais, Sage, Traveler, Historian. His last entry.
Proof that some times truth is stranger than fiction. (Sometimes)
The Unique Life cycle of the Grex. A forest Decomposer.
Not all the beasts that threaten humans are large.There are those who despite watching out for dragons, bears, giant spiders and the like, have underestimated this downright nasty little ant and paid for it with their lives.
To see an Alerion, is to be blessed. The lords of the sky are a sign of good offering and an omen of well being. Welcome the feeling into your heart and let the warmth cascade into your soul. You will be a better person if you do.
- Daeser, Scholar and Wiseman.
A beautiful creature with a deceptive nature, and a very, very odd method of caring for it’s young…
“Had I known then about these vile monsters I would never have ventured into those woods, let alone declare war against them”
—-Unnamed veteran of the Wyrarth Offensive
Something of a new take on the traditional forest guardian. Like a dryad or a tree nymph but at the same time something completely different.
Seemingly lit from within, autumn foliage blazes with color in the late-afternoon sun. Yet, is is spring.
Trodways Known by Ericus Huntcrafter pub 1185 p. 245
The Poison Eaters Tribe dwells deep in the jungle glades of the Ushaika, in the lowest reaches of the undergrowth where no sunlight pierces through the leaves, and where the marshy ground wells up with tea-colored water at the lightest step.
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.