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Eirani Bestiary

 
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Xar
Pantheon AllFather

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Eirani Bestiary Reply with quote

Eirani Bestiary

This is meant to be a compendium of the creatures who live on the world of Eiran. Creatures old and new, from this or previous Ages, are detailed here; where applicable, the original creator of the creature is given due credit.

Please comment on the creatures in the Comments thread. Creatures listed here are official creatures of Eiran; additional creatures are added whenever new races are created, or contests are held.

The original idea behind this bestiary stemmed from a contest suggestion offered by Murrin.

Mind Maggot, by Tarnished Sword


Last edited by Xar on Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Xar
Pantheon AllFather

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 22 Jan 2004
Posts: 3330

Thanks: 1
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Watching over the Pantheon...
White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP 3362

User Items:
1 Mists of Eiran1 Sentinel Ravens1 Adventurers


PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Created by Tarnished Sword

The Mind Maggot
Second Age

Tarnished Sword wrote:
Upon a small fishing vessel in the Blood Sea, two fishermen were having a slow day. The two, Windle and Selp were jabbering on about folklore of the world. Their discussions covered a wide variety of things, but their most interesting one is about to be uncovered here.

Windle checks his line half-heartedly, not expecting so much as a nibble from the slack line. Pulling it in, he gives a disgruntled sigh as it comes up empty. Both he and Selp had pulled their lines in to see them empty so many times over the course of the day. He cast it back in to the waters, giving a very dramatic sigh as he turned to his lounging friend. Selp lay on the floor of the two man vessel with his hat drawn over his face. He had given up checking the line for he figured today was a lost cause and any fish that did manage to get hooked would only be a waste of time.
Windle sits back down on the small bench on the boat, his eyes casting from the sea back down to his lethargic friend. He gave him a slight nudge with his foot in hopes of stirring his comrade in hopes of more stories.

Windle: Come on, Selp. Lemme here another. One about something in this world that I would dread to come across. That last story, the one of the Jackalope was so boring, I nearly fell asleep and in to the wet embrace of the sea!

Selp reached from the brim of his hat, tilting it up slightly so that he could get a one-eyed glimpse of his friend. Grinning slightly at the sight of Windle continually shifting his sights from Selp to the horizon, he could tell that he was growing to accept that they would not catch anything. Sitting up, he adjusted his hat so that it would continue to block the sun.

Selp: So ye want ta here of another creature o the world? One that ye wouldn't dare ta come across? Okay, Windle, I think I got sumthin more ta yer likin. Ya ever heard o the Mind Maggot?

The word maggot sent a cringe down Windle's spin. Maggots were never a good thing to come across, because they usually meant something was dead or dying and death was never a laughing matter to men of the water. Selp could see his friend visually shutter at the mere mention of maggots and this made his smile all the wider as he leaned forward.

Selp: I’ll be takin yer silence as a no. Well, the Mind Maggot is a native ta swamps an marshes. It ain’t like yer normal kinda maggot either, that is ta say that it don’t change in ta a fly. No, these maggots are more like a slug or some other kinda creepy crawly. Also, they don’t feed on dead thing either. This kind is somethin special. Rumor has it, that they dig in ta yer brain.

Another visual cringe was given by Windle. His automatic reaction was to clean out his ears, how else would something enter one’s brain? Again, this made Selp smile to see that he was getting under his friend’s skin with the tale. Windle managed to stammer something out after swallowing hard.

Windle: S-so they dig in to your brain? … How do they do that?

He was a bit apprehensive about asking the question, but it surely was a story that got his attention right away.

Selp: Well, when yer swimmin in the water o the swamp or what have ya, they say they just swim straight through yer ear. Others say that if ya lay down near their habitat, tha little buggers crawl in. Either way, tha way they get ya is through tha ear.

He continued the story as he saw his friend cleaning out his ears again.

Selp: When they enter tha brain, tha maggots burrow right ta the area that controls yer common sense and make ya act like ya lost yer mind. People who have em act like they lost their minds and start doin all sorts o crazy things.

Windle’s expression changed from that of eager fright to one of skepticism.

Windle: You actually expect me to buy something as preposterous as that? I mean, to think that a little bug could make you lose your mind is even possible. That’s even less likely than the stupid Jackalope!

Turning towards his line again, Windle checked it once more to find out the same thing that he had not long ago. Selp, seeing his friend turn, grinned, digging his hands within the folds of his clothes. He found what he was looking for, but kept it tucked within his hand. Finally Windle turned back towards his friend, giving another overdramatic sigh. Before he could say anything though, Selp held out his hand that contained a small vial. Inside this vile was a wriggling one and a half centimeter bug. The bug was mostly an olive green color, but it had a small pink serrated stripe running from end to end. It sure did look like a maggot, except for the coloring, but it did keep Windle silent for many minutes.

Windle: Is that…

Selp: What ya think it is? Yar. That it be, laddie. This is a Mind Maggot.

Windle held his breath as he stared at the small little worm. He didn’t know what to make of it. All his intuitions told him that it was impossible for such a thing to exist, but here it was apparently. He was shaking his head before too long.

Windle: That can’t be real. I don’t know what you are trying to pull, but that can’t be right. If it was real, you would need two in order for them to be alive.

Selp: Ya see, boy. That’s one o the more sickenin things about tha Mind Maggot. They can reproduce without needin a female or male. Another thing I forgot ta tell ya about how they can get ta ya, if agitated, the little things release a special thing in ta the air that gives people hallucinations. They are valuable on any kind o underground market fer this little ability.

Windle: So what are you planning to do with that one?

He gulped. Selp turned an evil glare his way as he gave the bottle a little shake. The maggot began to writhe and squirm, lifting what appeared to be its hind quarters in to the air. Windle began sweating nervously as he looked around, but could see nothing but water. Panic had started to set in when Selp grasped the cork on the vial looming the open part towards Windle. He pulled the cork off and and all Windle could do was close his eyes and back away as far as he could. Opening his eyes mere moments later to the uproarious laughter of his “friend”, he could not feel anything but anger.

Windle: You sir are a snake and a low-life. You scared me nearly half to death!

Selp: Aye lad, you be a fidgety one at that. I picked up this little thing from a peddler back in town who claimed it ta be so. How would a peddler get a hold o somethin as crazy as that?

Shaking his head, the younger of the two pulled in his line for the last time. He grabbed the two oars, shoving one at Selp.

Selp: I suppose it be time ta head back, we ain’t catchin nothin anyway. Now, start rowin ta that big steak over there.

Windle: Yeah, I know the way home. Past the steak, towards the apple core hill, then we arrive at the talking leopard. I know, I know.

The two began rowing out to sea, towards what they believed was the correct way home.




Appearance: A mind maggot resembles a small maggot, olive green in color, save for a serrated pink stripe on its back.

Habitat/Society: Mind maggots are usually found in swamps and other dank environments. However, due to their particular abilities, they are often purchased and exchanged in the black market, and as such, more than a few mind maggots have accidentally been freed in cities or other areas. A mind maggot, however, needs water and humidity to survive. Mind maggots are no more sentient than normal maggots; they live a solitary existence in the wild, but they spawn wildly while within a host.

Ecology: Mind maggots are strange predators. In the wild, they usually infest animals, but given a choice between an animal and a sentient being, they unerringly choose sentient beings, making them particularly dangerous for explorers. Mind maggots feed off the host's mind: once they are in contact with the host, they burrow into his brain (usually entering from the ear or the nose, but some large mind maggots have been known to burrow through the host's flesh and bone in order to get to the brain), where they attach themselves to the brain and begin draining the victim's mind. The process may take years to complete, but in the meantime the victim spirals into an ever deeper madness, even as the maggot begins to multiply within his head. By the time the victim dies - very often simply due to actions brought about by his own madness, but sometimes due to the fact that the maggots have devoured his mind completely - a small swarm of mind maggots emerges from his nose, ears and mouth, and scuttle away in search of fresh food. Mind maggots are hermaphrodites: a single mind maggot can spawn others without the need to interact with another mind maggot - a useful adaptation for parasites such as the mind maggot.
Mind maggots are also known because, if agitated, they emit an odorless substance which causes creatures nearby to hallucinate; because of this ability, they are prized by assassins and thieves - even though the risks are great. Scholars suggest that a cloth mask covering one's nose and mouth, and soaked in vinegar, may protect from the hallucinations.
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Xar
Pantheon AllFather

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 22 Jan 2004
Posts: 3330

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Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Watching over the Pantheon...
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Created by Stonemaybe

The Iksphikix
First Age

Stonemaybe wrote:

‘The Iksphikix, a History', by Suf-j, Masterharper of Thellarr.

The Iksphikix were extinct as a society by the time of the First Divine Wars between the Gods. Individuals were rumoured to have survived until that time, in the more remote corners of the oceans, shunning contact with other races. Occasional encounters with merfolk, usually in the form of assistance offered to those in extremity, fed these rumours. Only a handful of such encounters, and none reliably reported, occurred in over five hundred years, but these nevertheless kept the Iksphikix alive in the folklore of the marine races, and the reports were even recorded by a select few land-based bestiarists.

Hence a detailed history of Iksphikix society involves a substantial amount of guesswork. This scholar has studied the oldest records of the merfolk of Mer Solus, where the memory of the Iksphikix is held in highest regard, and excavated certain ruins on remote islands, and feels that the following treatise, though far from complete, is as succinct an account as is possible in this day and age. It can only be hoped that with the recent Great Necromance, confirmation may be obtained from undead Iksphikix in the near future.

The Iksphikix were a crustacean race, in appearance similar to a giant sized crab. About the height of a normal human in their ‘shells’, they were probably about ten times as massive, measuring a metre from front to back, and almost twice that from side to side. However, from early in their history, they seem to have been able to dispense with their shells, although they still utilized them as humans do clothes, armour, weapons, and tools. I say armour and tools, but the Iksphikix were overwhelmingly a peaceful society. Martial pursuits were generally limited to driving off vicious marine monsters.

Like all crustaceans, Iksphikix were a long-lived race. An agricultural, pastoral society, and generally of a benign disposition, they were in a unique position among the intelligent races in that they could cultivate both beneath the waves and on land. In general, their land-based activities were limited to remote, otherwise uninhabited islands, where their presence did not intrude on the more war-like societies of Eiran.

However, their isolation did not protect their society. Their success in agriculture and the riches it provided, proved to be their downfall. As the other races of Eiran evolved, they called forth gods to be worshipped and to protect them. These were the gods of the dawn of civilization. The Iksphikix had never been theologically inclined, and as the only marine society of the time, found themselves disadvantaged. No God of the Sea arose to protect their interests, yet a Pantheon of land-based gods saw the Iksphikix’s advanced society as an opportunity for their own advancement, and sent prophets and priests to convert them.

The Iksphikix innocently rejected these overtures, and soon suffered the consequences. Their settlements on land were wiped out and their marine towns came under attack from the followers of the new gods.

Although individually physically powerful, the Iksphikix had no tradition of collective warfare. Their innate ‘magical’ abilities were based on agriculture and communication rather than aggression. Within a few years, every major Iksphikix settlement was destroyed or abandoned.

Initially in this turbulent time, the more confrontational members of the Iksphikix rose to positions of importance. Powerful war-shells were developed and utilized in skirmishes with the persecuting religious cults. Successful in the short-term, they nevertheless backfired on the Iksphikix, attracting the divine retribution of the new gods. The confrontational leaders were soon deposed.

The Iksphikix culture had all but disappeared by this stage of history. Only a few hundred remained. Fearing more attacks should they found more settlements, individuals remained apart, concentrating their efforts on stealth and establishing hidden refuges. A language was developed so that they could communicate over vast underwater distances, without coming into physical proximity. Their birthrate, never high, fell to zero.

Gradually, as they became less visible to the outside world, their perceived importance to the gods and their followers diminished.

As the Iksphikix communication system grew stronger, and the threat to their existence receded, Iksphikix magical abilities developed, mainly in the spheres of stealth, subterfuge, and guerilla politics. Perhaps their most important innovation derived from mother-of-pearl. A coating was developed for their shells, utilizing a ‘negative’ of mother-of-pearl, which hid the Iksphikix from the sight of the gods. This enabled the Iksphikix to take a much more aggressive posture towards their culture’s destroyers. Having learnt their lesson regarding direct confrontation, the Iksphikix now began to meddle in the relationships between the gods. Able to act invisibly to the gods, and to communicate instantaneously over any distance, they were hugely successful in stirring up trouble between gods with opposing viewpoints. Wars inevitably followed, small at first but growing until all Eiran was involved, and inevitably the gods themselves went to war, with disastrous consequences. Most of Eiran and her peoples were destroyed.

The Iksphikix had gained their revenge. However, as a basically benevolent race, most of the Iksphikix survivors were dismayed at the results of their meddling. They devoted their attention to helping the survivors of Eiran, teaching marine agriculture and how to live off the bounty of the sea. Foreseeing that in time more gods would arise, this welfare had another importance to the Iksphikix. The individuals and communities so helped were ‘encouraged’ to evolve, and became the marine races of today, the merfolk, the niaids, the undines, the kelpies, the sirens, the tritons, the limmiad, the nix and the oceanids. Populating the seas with intelligent races, the Iksphikix theorized that when new gods arose, the marine races would raise their own god to protect them. And thus it proved, with first Solus and now Undine holding court over the underwater world.

Thus the importance in history of the Iksphikix cannot be overstated. Fragments of their shells have been raised to the surface of the seas by Undine, to limit divine vision into the depths in certain parts of Eiran, and so in a way they continue to be involved in the current affairs of Eiran. The Great Necromance may prove to have many unexpected benefits to the living inhabitants of Eiran, and not least among them would be returning the Iksphikix to our world.




Appearance: The Iksphikix resembled great crabs, about as tall as a man, one meter long and two meters wide, though they could shed their shells and move about unimpeded if need be. Towards the last period of their existence, these shells were made of a mother-of-pearl-like substance that could allegedly hide them to the sight of the gods themselves. Males displayed a pattern of six to ten rows of green dots running in two lines on their shell: these dots grew lighter with age, until they became undistinguishable from the rest of the shell, usually marking the end of the male's fertility.

Habitat / Society: The Iksphikix lived on the bottom of the sea, though they were able to exist on dry land and performed a large part of their agricolture there. The Iksphikix were a social and benevolent race which saw itself as the shepherders of the marine races, and had a large part in their evolution. They were a shy race, not theologically inclined, that kept itself apart from the squabbles of gods during the First Age, but nonetheless ended up suffering because of the deities, which ultimately led to their extinction. Towards the last period of their existence, the Iksphikix had become adept at guerrilla politics, defense, and long-range communication, and their society had dissolved, turning the few remaining Iksphikix into hermits.

Ecology: The Iksphikix were omnivores, though they favored vegetables over meat, and gave rise to an agricoltural society both beneath the waves and on dry islands. Their reproductive habits were slightly different from standard crustaceans: females - slightly smaller than males, but otherwise undistinguishable by other races - would lay clusters of eggs in specially designated underwater caves known as "nests" or "birth caves", where males would fertilize them. The eggs were rather susceptible to temperature changes, so the caves were constantly guarded by Iksphikix who would also take care that no predators approached them. Though the Iksphikix could live on land, egg-laying always happened underwater, as the eggs would shrivel in dry environments. Egg incubation would take a whole year, before hatchlings would emerge, still soft and shell-less; the newborns would take over fifty years to reach their full adult size, though they reached mental maturity around age 30. A healthy Iksphikix could live up to 3-400 years, with females living slightly longer than males.
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