A member of the Cynopterid race
Despite his great power, this mage desperately wishes that he was just average, so people would stop trying to plant axes in his back.
The Sea is My Home, and Like All Homes I Will Defend it to My Dying Breath -Benedicte De La Courcel
He is a beast and a paladin; a monster and a hero. He is a companion to heroes; a walker of the roads. He is not what you expect when you think of as a Hero or Heroic Companion, but he has saved a number of worlds.
He is also one of the largest dogs you will ever meet.
Real World: some Indians in the Amazon treat their eyes with a traditional potion applied with palm leaves. Brutally painful, the drug alters vision, giving the jungle's dense green walls greater texture and dimension. You could adapt this to desert or swamps, or other hard to navigate regions.