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Author Topic: Eshal beastiary  (Read 2902 times)

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Offline Maggot

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Eshal beastiary
« on: September 11, 2005, 09:58:23 AM »
There a small group of aquatic beasts which the Eshal raise in order to sustain the twin demands of war and farming. On the humble backs of these animals,lie the fortunes of the empire of the brave People
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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The Great Serpents
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 09:58:58 AM »
The Great Serpents are the primary form of riding transportation for the Eshal. These massive, venomous creatures are one of the primary reasons that the Eshal were so successful in running roughshod over the cities of the Mer-folk. There are only two races who have learned to tame these beasts- the Eshal, and the mysterious Snake-Riders, men from the east of Tarrod who have recently begun to raid the Eshal while riding Great Serpents.
Great Serpents are, on average, about 13 feet (about 4 meters) from snout to tip of the tail. Their bodies, save their underbellies, are lined with tiny, brightly-colored scales; there is a ridge of large, plate-like scales down the center. The head is reminiscent of a snake's, with horned ridges over the eyes and jawline. Like a land-borne snake, they smell with an organ in their tongue. They have short, triangular razor-sharp teeth, which they use to great effect; the edges of these teeth secrete a powerful venom.
Great Serpents can travel very, very fast, faster than any land-horse, and are strong enough to crush the rider's enemies in the coils of its tail. They travel by undulating their bodies in a rapid fashion, and thus, riders of Great Serpents must either have a harness-bar (in the case of Eshal) or a harness-saddle (in the case of Snake-Riders).
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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Ranchowen
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 10:00:36 AM »
Ranchowen
Ranchowen are aquatic beasts that are ridden by high ranking Eshal warriors. A lot more comfortable to ride than Great Serpents and infinitely more docile,they are highly prized live stock that are bred and reared in special hatcheries by skilled Eshal animal trainers and herders.

The Rachowen is a large but fast beast,which can travel quicky in both water and land. It has a large but sleek body that normally measures 15 feet from the large head that resembles a lizard's,to it's trailing,prehensile tail that is ridged with small bony protrusions,used to spear small fish and has 6 strong legs that end in webbed feet.With strong,fast strides of it's legs, it can cut through water easily. On land it can lope fast on those same legs,although it won't be as anywhere as fast as is in water. The most distinguishing thing about it however,is the large,colorfully patterned carapace that covers it's back. Resembling an over sized turtle shell,it is a wide,oval surface on which even a large Eshal warrior can rest his rear comfortably.. The rest of it's body is covered with a tough grey hide.

They are a number of advantages the Ranchowen enjoys over the Great Serpents. It has remarkable endurance and though not as fast as a Great Serpent,it can run or swim for far longer without tiring. In addition,unlike Great Serpents that are know for their foul tempers,Ranchowen are intelligent,good natured things that are easily trained,only snapping in self defence when attacked. The one disadvantage is that they reach sexual maturity slowly and are thus hard to breed.
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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The Groll
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 10:02:29 AM »
A vast,ray like thing with a ''wing-span'' of 25 feet,the Groll appears intimidating to someone who has never seen it before. In truth,it is just a big,aquatic cow/pack horse that spends most of it's time placidly grazing on sea weed and algae. Eshal peasants rear them for their flesh and the secretions of the male Groll,which is fermented to brew an intoxicating drink.

The warriors use them to transport large burdens over long distances. Their strength and ability to glide easily with their ''wings'',make them the best animals for the purpose of luggage carrying. They are however,very timid and are sent into fits of terror if they catch the whiff of a Great Serpent or Ranchowen
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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The Dunkleoustous
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 10:03:08 AM »
The Dunkleoustous is a 30 foot long armoured fish with bony ridges in it's huge jaws that serve as teeth, and a two foot long mouth. The first three feet of it's body are covered in natural armour plating that is almost impossible to penetrate with a weapon. These highly fierce fish are very good at breaking down the morale of an opposing army and are used as the spearhead of a charge. An Eshal sits on a saddle mounted on the head.

Having said this, they are very labour intensive to feed and have to be trained from when they are very small. And there is a danger that they could end up panicking and fleeing through their own lines, in which case they have to be killed with a blade thrust by their driver through an eye to reach the brain.

They are the aquatic equivilant of elephants in a battle situation-very dangerous, but no army can afford to have large numbers of them.
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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The Great Crabs
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 10:03:51 AM »
Standing 14 feet tall and possessing a huge,broad carapace,this vast crustacean makes a terrifying sight,especially when it clacks lethal looking pincers that can lift a Lurdi clean off the ground. Surprisingly,it is only next to the Ranchowen when it comes to obeying commands given to it. Due perhaps to the fact that it is a scavenger rather than predator,it is not as aggressive as a Great Serpent or a Giant Squid. As long as it is amply rewarded with rotting meat for correctly carrying out a command given to it. Add a high spawning rate and you have an excellent battle beast.

In battle,an Eshal warrior mounted on its back,will order it to shred enemy fighters to bits. As its hard carapace is invulnerable,slaying one can only be accomplished by ripping open it's soft underbelly. Not a very easy thing to do,with it's massive pincers swooping down .Their purpose is to ride with the Dunkleoustous riders and help them clear the way for the rest of the army,making it easier for them to penetrate enemies ranks.

Surprisingly,Great Crabs are also reared of their flesh which is said to be sweet and juicy. The meat is often served during feasts and village festivals,especially among the warriors and priests who order them in large numbers.
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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Offline Maggot

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The Giant Squid
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2005, 10:05:29 AM »
Giant Squid
Taming these many armed nightmares, is seen by the Eshal as an ultimate test of a warrior's courage perseverance and courage. The Giant Squid are regarded as the ferocious spawn of certain water sprites. Hence,capturing one and forcing it to obey you,is seen as an act of great courage.Young warriors who accomplish this are immediately promoted by their superiors,though more often that not,the young warrior ends up being Squid lunch.Vicious and murderous in the extreme,the Giant Squid has to be starved and prodded with a spear for days before it submits to being trained.Even then,the rider must have a spear at the ready,lest it's hunger gets the better of it. Ironically,the very same hunger makes it a fearsome weapon once it is has been trained to see enemies such as Anura and Lurdi fighters as its prey,instead of the Eshal warrior who rides it. It was a squad of elite Giant Squid riders that slew the dread Black Uuluun.
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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