“Big, this one is. Strong, fast and smart to boot. It may start telling YOU how to plow properly instead of the other way around.”
not at all dissimilar to the horses of Old Terra, the Equiux is the primary mode of transportation for the majority of people on New Terra. The Equiux stands slightly taller than the average Old Terra horse, perhaps by an entire head. They have cloven hoofs, and larger eyes, with a fur that is notably more shaggy and thick, almost resembling that of a mountain goat. They are fairly easy to domesticate, even tempered animals, with a friendly disposition to humans who rewards them and treat them well. That being said, they are also trainable to make for war animals. Certain breeds of the Equiux are more suited to this than others, war equiux standing even taller and even more muscular than the average Equiux. While the Equiux no longer serves as a mount for Knights on Greatland (Knights have not ridden on horseback since the advent of Powered Armor – they are simply too heavy) the warrior castes of Alutremur and the Orient still use the beasts excessively and to deadly effect. While the Equiux no longer are used exclusively by knights (cavalry contingents are still widely used, just not by the nobility) they still carry the air of nobility, and represent the military elite. The symbol for “Knight” in New Terran literature still is the mounted Knight on the back of a fearsome Equiux steed.
“Aghamemnon is more than a mount - he is my guard, my companion and above all, my friend.”
-Adonis ex Allejandria, of the Sultan’s Immortal Order
Sand lions, not truly mammals at all, are actually lizards. They have a furry hide and a feline snout curiously lacking a big wet nose. They sport a thick mane and slitted eyes, as well as a gaping wide maw of razor sharp teeth, some of which are the size of short swords. They weight about the same as a true adult lion might, but the fact remains that they are hatched from eggs and they need several hours of basking time every day to keep their blood warm. Sand lions are incredibly intelligent, so much so that they are widely believed to be able to understand human thoughts by a rudimentary form of psionics. As such, they are valuable allies, and if caught early on in life, fantastically domesticated animals. They begin life as an egg which hatches into a small, fur-less creature of vibrantly bright color, ranging from bright fuchsia to a deep sapphire blue or forest green. Eventually, after a few weeks, Gold, brown, or white hair emerges from beneath the tender scales, and grows rapidly. The growth cycle from then on is highly accelerated, reaching full adult size in a little over a year. They are believed to be hermaphroditic, with no visible reproductive organs and laying eggs every couple years without the coupling of a mate. These creatures, equipped with knife like claws and a crushing jaw make a fearsome mount, and the Immortals of Alutremur ride them into battle exclusively.
"I saw it, by the God. It grabbed Nasir by the shoulders and tore him in half, like a piece of parchment... Nasir... poor Nasir."
Raja Cyrus melBhaka
Xarxeri are quite possibly the most menacing of the horrid menagerie of perils that await any who venture into the many jungle regions of southern Sahar. They are hulking behemoths, eight to ten feet in size, with cords of muscles as thick as small wine casks lining their four arms and barrel chests. They are roughly apelike in their features, shaggy dark fur (or on occasion, stark white) with black skin. Their eyes are blood red, and males have pronounced tusks that jut out several inches from their lips. They are omnivorous, eating the fruits that fall on the ground, and whatever prey lands in their hands. They do not, however, eat dead meat. They are rarely alone, as a single, over-sized male leads a harem of females. Occasionally male offspring will venture out to find a harem of their own, or even rarer, establish a "gang" of all males. This tendency to form a gang is believed to have a sexual component, and gangs are highly irregular in their tendency to manifest. They are highly territorial and aggressive. Encounters between two males are always to the death, and the creatures do not seem to have a grasp on the concept of retreat. No matter the odds, the males always fight, even if there is no hope of victory. That being said, a battle against a Xarxeri is fearsome to simply look upon, as all four muscular arms can swing at high speeds and deliver crushing blows, ones that could easily pulverize an unarmored man into little more than a bloody pulp. In most cases, it has been found that running is the most effective option, since male Xarxeri will rarely stray far from the harem.
“I’d wrestle an entire pack of sharks under a hundred feet of water before I would even contemplate getting in the way of a lone landshark with an army at my back.”
Found mostly around the coast, Landsharks are amphibious creatures which have the bullet shaped body of a shark, and four stubby appendages that end in clawed webbed feet. They are highly unintelligent, aggressive and have zero regard for their own well being. Commonly thought that the brain of the creature is located somewhere within it's bowels, stopping one in the middle of it's rampage can be a tiring event, and a potentially deadly one. One the land, it's speed is substantial and, if one has never experienced an encounter with one, outright shocking. Though it may look like an unwieldy walker, it can speed along at running speeds like that of a bear. When in a bloodlust, it will charge the nearest alone target, or the smallest group. Multiple arbalest wounds, gunshot wounds and melee wounds later, the creature might die, or turn tail and flee when it realizes itself having no chance of getting a meal. The animal seems highly damage resistant, if not impervious to pain. It's legs are the only bony structures in it's body, the rest of the skeletal system being made of flexible cartilage – making it even more resistant to blunt force trauma. This is exaggerated by how fast it's wounds seal, and only a wound of the most critical damage will fell the beast (Such as cutting off it's head. No easy feat.) The regenerative properties of landsharks are an interest of most natural scientists, and those regenerative properties are multiplied when it submerges itself in salt water. There have been accounts of landshark corpses being carried off by the tide days after death, and then magically, then reanimating when it is far out to sea.
"Ugh. Stirges. As if my day couldn't get any worse."
-Maximil Gold, former Captain of the Gold Company
A Stirge is little more than an irritant for most people. They are small birds, about the size of an average sparrow, with a fuzzy body and no discernible eyes. It has a long syringe-like beak tipped in a slight barb, slightly curved and two fleshy, bat-like wings which it can flap at phenomenal speeds. Using it's rapidly beating wings, it can seemingly hover in one place as might a bee or fly. It's beak is tipped with a mild irritant which causes blurred vision, or in heavy doses, paralysis, though a lone stirge rarely is able to inflict enough damage to paralyze an enemy. The issue however is when a swarm of Stirges happens upon a person or persons. Two or three hundred stirges make a swarm, and swarms are highly territorial. Usually found in bogs or marshlands, a Stirge territory can be several acres large, and traveling across any part of it is liable to upset the swarm. Stirges communicate with high-pitched squeals, which is presumably also some sort of echo-location. Their method of attack is fairly simple, and brutally effective; they fling themselves like darts at their targets, their beaks sticking into their prey and lodging there, hoping to poison their aggressor enough to send him into paralytic shock. Once their target falls, the tip of the beak breaks off, and the stirge is free, at which time the swarm continues patrolling around their territory. The beak regrows in several days. The victim is now hapless and helpless to defend itself, and waits the unfortunate coup. The stirges, however, do not do the killing. After their targets have succumbed to paralysis, they usually meet an untimely end by drowning in bog-moss, swamp waters, or at the jaws of some creature. If the paralysis is severe, it might halt the lungs from functioning leading to death by asphyxiation.
"...head so thick, it would dull a sharp sword."
Skutaceph Lizards are undesirable for a number of reasons, the first of which being the very nature of the beast. It is a particularly aggressive creature, usually brown or grey in coloration, with a knobby hide of tough, leathery scales. It has two powerful rear legs which can propel the beast at upwards of twenty miles an hour, and two small front mounted arms that are equipped with four bony claws perfectly adept at tearing flesh in close quarters. It's also equipped with a gaping hole smack in the center of it's face which opens wide to reveal rings of teeth that extend downwards into the creature's gullet. But these would all be trivial compared to the two things that make the Skutaceph lizard truly terrifying; one is it's ability to deploy an umbrella of bony appendages from the upper neck to form an impressive "Shield" from which the creature gets it's name. The bony shield protects the most vulnerable area on it's body from attack; it's soft neck. To add to this, the creature has an already incredibly thick skull, which reportedly rebounds most slashing or stabbing weapons that aren't of the highest quality. Perhaps it's most fearsome attribute however, is it's ability to project highly acidic digestive enzyme from it's gullet onto a potential target. This enzyme burns straight through light armors literally in seconds and slowly eats it's way through tougher armors such as carapace plates or shields. One Skutaceph lizard is not a particularly dangerous threat, considering that solitary members tend to retreat when faced with just one enemy. However, Skutacephs travel in "tribes" of fifty to a hundred members, and have been known to rampage through small hamlets hoping to score several kill which they can drag off and consume. Such attacks are sophisticated and seemingly coordinated by series of high pitched screeches and whoops emitted from two organs at the top of the back (which also seem to be a vulnerable area) and suggests that the creatures have some sort of method of communication and are at least somewhat intelligent.
"Quiet boy! Never utter that name on a ship... we don't want one of the bloody things to hear you."
A leviathan is a twisted abomination of nature, a cross somewhere between a massive sperm whale and a kraken. It's body is a long cylinder, ending in a squarish head and a maw that's nearly as wide as a battleship is long. The beast has a gunmetal coloration, four eyes (two on each side of it's block-shaped head) and two massive, muscular fines on the sides of it's body and a powerful caudal fin capable of smashing all but the hardiest ships into splinters. What makes the beast truly fearsome is it's four to eight massive tentacles that protrude from the middle and lower parts of it's spine. They are prehensile, and lined with writhing muscle. Two, dubbed the "arms" are spotted with suction-cup-like apparatus which it can use to grasp onto sheer surfaces, such as the sides of a boat. The other fins are very good at manipulation, picking up objects as small as a dog with striking dexterity and ease, despite their massive size. They are highly aggressive, hyper territorial and all around bad tempered. They aren't too bright though, and often times manage to beach or impale themselves on rocky crags or beaches stalking after passenger ships. Leviathans may follow potential prey for hours or even days to catch it unawares, but it's strikes are vicious and long lasting, since they have a curious way of "playing" with their food. They throw them around, smash them into the water, bite tiny limbs off and so on. When they aren't stalking ships, they go after the Giant Sea turtle schools that ride the warm ocean currents, which are their primary prey.
"That...is a big nest."
"And THAT is a big bird!"
-The Brothers Gremm
Rocs are colossal birds of prey, vaguely eagle-like in appearance, with some distinct differences. The males are usually a vivid, shimmering snow-white and their torso can be twenty five feet across, and approach a hundred feet long. They have an ivory beak of enamel, and two large, sensitive black eyes. Females, slightly smaller, are a woodsy brown, but in all other respects, look like males. Like all "Dire" animals, they are not only incredibly strong, but also incredibly intelligent and aware. They have a wingspan of well over two hundred feet, and a fully grown adult can pick up prey as large as an equiux in each talon and carry it off easily. Gusts of wind created by a fly-over by a Roc have been known to tear houses from the ground, and flatten wooden barns or granaries. They generally hunt the overgrown mountain boars that roam the hills and valleys of Val Torens, but do on occasion near human lands to carry off a farm animal or two. Though humans, sheep or pigs tend to be a little small for their appetites, Rocs have been known to carry off a handful if the pickings are particularly scarce. The Valykians say that seeing a Roc is a rare and benevolent omen; though any shepherd living around the mountains will see them fairly regularly, flying high in the clouds above.
Hemoflora (Bloodpetal or Vampire Flower)
"Ugh...They call them Vampire flowers... Gives me the creeps."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Hemoflora, belonging to a species of plants known as Necroherba, is both curiously beautiful but terribly disgusting at the same time. Hemoflora, sprouts over the beaten, destroyed landscapes of massive field engagements, where hundreds have died, usually a week or so after the battle. Since Greatlanders in particular have no true concept of funeral rights, and leave their dead on the field to rot, this plant is particularly common across Greatland. It has a thick, thorny stalk, and a lush white or red flower, and stands just a little shorter than the average sunflower. Like a sunflower, it's head turns to face the suns as they pass overhead. However, the flower, after it's luscious red coloring has few redeemable attributes. Firstly, it stinks of decay. Instead of covering up the pungent odor of hundreds of dead bodies, the fields of hemoflora seem to amplify it. The reason for this is what gives Necroherba it's name; they prey off of the decaying flesh of fallen animals. Hemoflora in particular, thrives on blood - old blood or new blood matters little. The plant seed starts it's life once the progenitor plant runs out of blood - usually this results in droves and droves of these flowers systematically dying. The seeds are shot into the air, and with luck, landing in the feathers of crows, vultures or other scavengers lingering nearby. The seed lies dormant until it senses blood, usually when the scavenger birds touch down to feast on corpses. The flowers take root somewhere near the bodies, growing rapidly, inserting roots into open wounds or slowly wedging into soft tissue. The flower sprouts nearly clear, and as it matures it becomes and opaque white. However, as the flower begins to leech the remaining blood into it's system, the millions of tiny capillaries on the petals of the flowers fill with blood and are exposed to the warmth of the sun, turning the flower a brilliant red. Once the hosts are drained, the seeds are ejected and the process starts over again. Needless to say, the cycle is rapid and as vile smelling as a field of Hemoflora is, it's still a sight to behold.
"There's nothing like it. Everything becomes clearer, sounds become more distinct. The fear... it just melts away. Once you dose, you can't fight without it."
- Sir Eddin Brune, of the Stormguard
Frenzyflower has sapphire blue petals, a bright green stalk and smells sweeter than honey. It grows only in warm, tropical climates and only in the most perfect soil. Needless to say, those who grow Frenzyflower guard it with the utmost vigilance - and not just because they will win any awards for being beautiful horticulture. The true redeeming quality of Frenzyflower is it's potency as a combat stimulant. When the petals are crushed, heated and distilled into a liquid syrup, it can be absorbed into the blood, usually by an adhesive patch placed over a muscular region, or in some cases where it needs to be especially potent, a spinal injection. Once "Dosed" the user experiences what can only be defined as a combat high - complete mastery and awareness of the immediate battlefield. Fear seems to disappear, only to be replaced with an amazing cognizance. While it does manage to help clear the mind so that one can focus just on the battle, it does have some adverse long and short term effects. Short term effects are usually a crash after the combat is over, which can range from incessant screaming for no reason, to depression, to exhaustion, and/or a physical crash (the drug allows a person to operate under circumstances that would normally incapacitate a person, such as heat stroke, or dehydration.) Long term effects are numerous, number one being impotence, as many long term users are well aware (sometimes called "Frenzy Eunuchs".) Other long term effects are epilepsy, and even brain damage, should one ignore physiological problems that occur while under the influence of the drug.
"The old maids talk of a tree that grabs you while you walk the forest at night, strings you up like a spiders prey, and drains away your very soul."
-Eryk Jgarlson, of the Gold Company
Death Willows resemble very old, barren weeping willow trees, perfect for sitting down next to, reading a book, and taking a nice,long nap. They belong to the family of plants know as Necroherba, and are a carnivorous plant. They do not, as the myths might suggest, eat live prey, but rather, they prefer aged corpses which they slowly drain of all their nutrients. They are still however, quite murderous. It's roots produce an earthy fungus that looks very similar to an apple in shape, size and consistency, tied to the root by several sticky sinews that break easily when picked up. The apple-like-fungus that the root produces is highly toxic, and is usually strong enough to kill a full grown man or woman, and easily venomous enough to kill a child. It does do one kindness, of lulling the victim to a final sleep filled with happy dreams before the heart stops beating. Once the body has sat for either a few days or a few weeks, the prehensile vines of the tree lift up the corpse, wrap around it so that it looks like some over-sized human cocoon, and sprout needle-like thorns that act as pumps. These thorns suck the nutrients from the corpse until there is nothing left but a dried out husk. The husk is dropped, the tree uproots itself slightly, and brushes the husk beneath it, where it will presumably never be found. Rumor has it, that these trees have the ability to slowly relocate should food become scarce in one area. It is also known that the tree will use it's dendrites to either defend itself from woodsmen, or attempt to strangle prey that seems to be small enough. The dendrites are strong enough to snap a small child's neck, though not strong enough to resist a sharp knife or strong arm from tearing it asunder.
"One second it was in front of us, the next it was behind us! Grabbed Joachim, bit him - he screamed, and then he disappeared. Dunno where he went... scariest moment of my life. We left a day later... sent a bird to the Arbiters... we weren't equipped to deal with s**t like that."
-Sergeant Hanson of the Vetterlund Militia
Scarhoppers were, at one time, normal fauna, probably related to Skutaceph lizards. However, when a giant Ethereal rift burst open in their homeland, the lizards were exposed to massive amounts of Ethereal corruption, which twisted and changed them; gave them terrifying abilities. They resembled a skutaceph lizard - bipedal, with two small arms, an enlarged head and a gaping maw. They have no discernible eyes or nose, and their coloration is normally a discomforting aqua blue-green. Lacing the natural armor of it's one time cousin the Scarhopper lizard would seem, with it's ridiculous coloration, to be bait to any would be predator. But, it can do something no ordinary creature can do. Seemingly at a whim, it can simply blink out of vision, only to appear meters from it's foe, or steps behind it's target. Whats more, is that it can do this wherever or whenever it wants, and rapidly too, providing it can see it's destination. It can also take small or medium sized prey with it, providing it's touching what it wants to "Blink" away with. In it's wake, it leaves "Scars;" temporary rifts in the fabric of space time - not to be confused with voids or rifts, which lead to the Ethereal plane. The scars close moments after use, but a crafty mage or trained arbiter can, with the right training, hop through these scars to effectively chase the creature. Though one never knows where a scarhopper might run to, possibly right into the maw of danger.
Fetishes (Animus Minoris Neutralis)
"A skull? That's where this specter has been hiding all along? Some skull? Well lets crush it and be over with it."
-Last words of Sir Breccan Moore
A fetish is an ethereal spirit of some power that lives within a mundane object, taking shape of the object at the time of it's first occupancy. Usually, the object has to be inanimate, or dead. Fetishes often house themselves within a body of a freshly dead corpse; usually one who has died remotely or far away from civilization. The Fetish assumes the immediate visage of the body and all the wounds or physical characteristics of the figure, and stays that way indefinitely, remaining a perfect picture of the body long after the body rots away. All that is required for the fetish to stay in the material plane is some part of the body, be it a bone or a tooth to remain in tact. When the last of the remains is found and shattered, the fetish loses it's tie to the corporeal realm, and is sucked back through the closest ethereal rift. While in the corporeal realm, the fetish may do a number of things. Ethereal spirits are notoriously unpredictable, and highly varied. They are as likely to be malevolent as they are to be benevolent. That is to say, a spirit who assumed the body of a girl murdered by bandits might guide more unwary travelers into the hands of the bandits simply for sick pleasure, or might try and use it's frightening, ghostly visage to scare travelers away from the bandit's road. While tethered to it's "Totem" a fetish can interact with the corporeal world with some limitations; it can manipulate inanimate objects, but cannot touch or directly cause harm to animate beings. A fetish touch may cause one to feel cold, or if one is especially sensitive to ether, perhaps even sick, but that is at worst. It can, however, with limitless strength, pick up trees or boulders and heave it at a person, or set a vicious trap for a victim. It also has the ability to manipulate ether, should there be enough in the surrounding area, and even cast spells. Considering the fact that fetishes are prevalent in the periphery of rift zones, this is a highly probable scenario.
Strange (Ourgos Archpotentas Sinistra)
"They say just looking at a Strange makes a man lose his sanity."
-Arbiter Delios of the Circle
Sometimes, for reasons unknown, an incomplete demigod is exposed to the material plane by floating through a rift. While the gestation cycle of Ethereal Beings is unknown, it is assumed that these fetal demigods can simply develop outside of the "Body" of the parent while in the ethereal plane, just as any human child would develop within the confines of the womb. However, when these fetal gods are brought either, on purpose (as an abortion, so to speak) or by accident, to the material plane, their bodies warp and distort. They are most often likened to massive, skeletal figures, wrapped in leaking, opaque goo. They lack any developed eyes or mouths, their hands are twisted and gnarled, and their bodies dis proportioned and unevenly stretched by massive clumps of musculature. Their head is enlarged and slightly elongated, and it hovers above the ground usually curled into a floating fetal position when not actively pursuing something, giving the Strange the image of some sick, twisted stillborn. This twisted being is known as a Strange. Stranges are anathema to the demigods of the Ether, and are not allowed to enter back through the rift, being mercilessly hunted down if, or when, they do transgress back into their homeland. This rejection makes them not only physically twisted, but mentally unstable. They have no place and no parents. What they do wield is the power of the gods, which makes them fierce opponents. They have a particular disdain for humans, whom they will actively pursue on sight. They tend to "play" with human prey, experimenting with them, often times tearing them apart limb by limb just to see what they will do. They wield frightening power and are able to sling potent spells expertly and rapidly , in a manner that would strike dead the most powerful wizard at the tip of a long, wide brimmed hat. Luckily, a Strange, is usually only found near the origin of a massive ethereal rift, where it can suck it's power directly from the Ether. Rifts large enough to channel this divine power must be massive in size, and thankfully, such large rifts are rare, and where they exist, they tend to be isolated. Even so, the very mention of a Strange can send a shiver down the spine of fully grown men, hundreds upon hundreds of leagues away.
Echo (Animus Minoris Maleval)
"The Echo - a common poltergeist gone angry."
Echos are a more severe manifestation of the troublesome Charm phenomenon; commonly known as poltergeists. While Charms simply tend to cause general mischief without risk of serious bodily injury, Echos are hell-bent, so to speak, on making sure someone gets hurt. Being malevolent Ethereal spirits, they are prone to serious emotional provocation. They usually manifest themselves by climbing through the rift temporarily torn open by a spell, usually a powerful one. Once free, they need to ties to the ether, but do not possess extreme powers, other than being invisible, inaudible and mostly undetectable. That being said, those qualities make an Echo fearsome enough. They are able to manifest a semicorporeal form - being physically present, and subject to physical harm - but not physical death. There have been accusations of unprovoked rapes, murders and beatings by mysterious, invisible entities. They tend to stalk targets around a specific area, usually in down trodden parts of cities, small rural villages or in places with little to no contact with wizards. Without the intervention of the Arbiters, Echos may rampage and terrorize the locals unhindered. Once found however, disposing of an Echo is fairly easy; tearing a temporary rift open will suck the spirit back to the ethereal plane (killing Ethereal entities is physically impossible on the material plane) where it will be forced to stay until another rift of sufficient size opens nearby.
Prophet (Archanimus Symbiotis Majorit Neutralis)
"And in the middle of the battlefield, he ripped open the sky and reigned down fire from the heavens. The earth was scorched and castle walls melted beneath the inferno."
Every so often, Ethereal spirits take an interest in the affairs of mortals on the material plane. Usually, they target one mortal, but they may also take interest in a political party, social group or other conglomeration of people. They find their way into the material plane, usually by manifesting a rift of their own volition, and occupy the body of a target, usually an individual the spirit finds likable, amiable and generally agreeing with it's point of view. This target is usually unharmed in the process. The spirit attaches itself to the soul of the target, which serves as a mobile tether to the Ethereal plane (souls are in fact what tethers every human to the "heavens.") This spirit, known as a prophet lies dormant, or at least quiet, in the host, simply listening and observing. The host is usually young, as the spirit wants a hale body to work with. Eventually, the host will start to gain immense powers, starting usually with the ability to cast simple spells seemingly from thin air. Eventually, these spells become more and more potent and the host becomes a Sorcerer, or a wizard who can cast spells without the need for a Nexus or an Ethereal Rift. At the heart of any Sorcerer is the prophet, who feeds him his power. Sorcerer and Prophet are consciously aware of each other, sharing thoughts, emotions and an intellect, and forming a strong bond over time, eventually resulting in the permanent bond of Sorcerer and Prophet. Thus, the Sorcerer speaks with the voice of the Prophet and the prophet need not speak. The Prophet will, from time to time, take over the host and speak with it's own voice. At times like this, the host's mind becomes dormant, his skin cracks and glows like prismatic magma. It is important to note however, that often times Sorcerers come into contact with Prophets of conflicting interests. It is on the Material plane that the battles of Prophets play out. Entire nations, alliances and armies have gathered around groups of powerful Prophets and their Sorcerers. Sorcerers with likeminded prophets often times form enclaves, and sorcerers can also be found in the Circle. Sorcerers are highly sought after in all kingdoms, by all nobles and all manners of people.
Puzzle (Animus Minoris Neutralis)
"Did that statue....just ask me a riddle?"
Puzzles are spirits that are usually accidentally released from the matrix of a Nexus. They are most commonly found outside prominent mage circles or in the mage quarters of big cities. They are fairly harmless minor versions of a more severe phenomena known as Sphynx. They tend to inhabit inanimate statues, but they will go so far as to inhabit trees or small animals. They speak always in rhyme and usually will stop any passerbys to tell them a riddle. They offer them a reward for a correct answer. Unlike the Sphynx abberation, there is no penalty for a wrong or skipped answer. Still, answering a puzzle can be a boon, because they tend to overhear all manners of gossip, secrets and local news. They tend to barter information, and a successful answer will often yield interesting tidbits of knowledge. A refusal to answer or a wrong answer will usually evoke a disappointed reaction, or maybe an outright disdainful one depending on the personality of the individual spirit.
Minion (Animus Symbiotis Minoris Servus)
"Oh Qwarog? Don't mind him. He hasn't really mastered how to walk yet - falls down quite a bit. The poor thing isn't accustomed to having a corporeal body. Raising a Homunculus is truly a tedious endeavor. It's almost like raising a child... though a child at least instinctively knows when to eat and s**t. Try explaining that to something that never had a metabolism before."
-Goemus Tallhat, Wizard of the Circle
Minions are Ethereal spirits bonded to some sort of constructed body by Convocation. Usually, this body is made of something natural; clay for example. The body is usually very complex in it's structure. To function it needs to have certain mechanical elements that will properly imitate a true living organism; things like lungs, a circulatory system and even a brain need to be created from gene cultures and inserted into the Minion's shell. Usually musculature and nerves are created from Kellerhadrin plants, and a very small Altera crystal functions as a heart (Minions normally need to be heated by the fire, or bask in the sun to be functional.) The skeletal parts are usually forged from galvanized metals. When all the elements come together, it forms the body and all it's systems. The body can take many shapes and sizes, from the smallest "Haemunculus" to the largest "Archgolem"; the possibilities are endless (though the larger and more complex the body, the harder it is to A) find a cooperative spirit and B) bond the spirit to the body.) Once that has been done, the spirit is summoned and, if it is willing to enter the Material plane, it is bonded to the body. The spirit effectively animates the body, jump starting the heart upon it's entrance into the body. The spirit and body now effectively are tied together, and nominally the Minion is subject to it's master's will (as any convoked spirit is.) There are all sorts of uses for a minion; as a guardian, as an aide, as a spy or as a menial household helper. There have been, however, reports of mutinous Minions; wily spirits who have been bonded to a body and rebelled against there masters. While a Minion is obedient as a general rule, they are still Ethereal spirits at heart, and prone to logic that may not make sense in the minds of men. Thus they must always be carefully watched.
Phage(Cruxus Majorit Sinistra)
"Something terrible happened here... terrible enough to warrant the attention of a Phage."
-Garibaldo, Tutor of Augustus
The site of particularly heinous crimes, gruesome battles, and horrible deaths often time attract a phage. They tend to inhabit the bones of the dead, being strong enough to fully reanimate themselves within the skeleton and walk around amongst the living. Phages often find a simple garment to cover themselves, usually a black sheet, and for extra effect arm themselves with the crudest, most horrific looking weapons - scythes, in particular are a favorite. The Phage has, due to it's deathlike appearance, earned itself the nickname of "The Reaper" for where it goes, only death can follow. It chooses to hunt at night, and needs only to touch bone to skin to leave a target stone cold dead. It is truly impossible to kill a phage, even in it's physical form. It feels no pain, can magically mend any damage, and it shrugs off most magical attacks with the greatest of ease. As with most Ethereal phenomenon, it has no brain, so Psionics proves to be yet another dead end. Only truly powerful magics can be used to destroy the phage's physical body, and send it's spirit back to the ether. Not only is a powerful spell necessary, but a Phage requires a large rift to be torn open - which can open the material plane to a host of new troubles. There is, however, an alternative. Phages are a type of Spirit that is bonded to the Material Plane by a strong deathwish for vengeance - also known as a Cruxus, or Curse. The body of the Phage is usually made up of the remains of a victim of a crime, or the collected remains of many victims of tragic deaths. Bringing the Phage the blood of the murderers (usually some of the descendants blood) can spirit away the phage, leaving only the inanimate bones behind. This can prove to be difficult, as phages often appear years, decades or generations after the initial crime, and finding the blood of the perpetrator or his relatives can be a hassle, especially when the quantities need to be...significant.
Prism (Animus Minoris Benevolenta)
"Martella...why are you glowing?"
-Karl Hagardson of the Gold Company
Paramour (Archanimus Symbiotis Majorit Emisarius)
"An Eidolar... why here?"
-Avowed Renault of St. Archambaud's Monastery