Setting:Unified Setting/Bestiary

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The world of the Unified Setting is inhabited by a multitude of creatures. Most are familiar to our world, elephants, carp, and rhesus macaque for example. Others resemble altered versions of these beasts, given greater size, savagery and intellect. More exotic creatures also flourish, resembling creatures from myth, legend and the drug-fueled dreams of fantasy creators.

Then there are the creatures and phenomenon that are unique to the Unified Setting. It is impossible to list them all as much of the world remains unexplored by naturalists. Suffice to say that evolution and the life-shaping magics of the draconians and elves have created a panoply of dread beasts, each more grotesque and dangerous than the last.

Necrostorms[edit]

If there is one thing all the nations of the world can agree upon, it is a mind-numbing dread of necrostorms.

Their origin is unknown, but seems linked to the disaster that destroyed the goblin empire. They are centered on the Sea of Ghosts which contains the drowned ruins of that once-great empire. Some historians claim that necrostorms predate that catastrophe and originated during the civil war that destroyed the draconians. What they are was best described in a travelogue from an unknown writer.

"Stormclouds flow in. A disconcerting feeling of foreboding fills the air. Passersby all note it and look to each other to confirm that they're all feeling the same thing. Hair (and for the appropriate races, fur) stands on end. Skin goosebumps. Snow-like dust blows down from the sky as a member of the city-watch shouts "NECROSTORRRRRRRRRRRRM!!!"

The dust and wind become as fierce as a blizzard as the skeletons of the dead arise from the countryside and the graveyards. Priests scramble to lock up the tombs as the living dead arise to feast upon the living. That, my friend, is a necrostorm."

The Furnshakt area of Solaris is most beset by these terrible phenomenon, but they can strike anywhere in the world. There is a commonly held belief that the practice of necromancy attracts necrostorms. It is not uncommon for the casualties inflicted by a hunt for the "hidden necromancers in our community" to exceed the damage inflicted by the storm itself. Scholars are unsure as to what, if anything, guides their motion.


Creatures[edit]

  • Dirwulfen: Several gods and goddesses have sacred animals. Unwise choice in selection of these occasionally leads to such monstrosities as this: A horrid wolf'-thing the size of a hut, covered in bony blades and eyes full of madness. They flee from the light of the sun. It is clear that (INSERT REGIONAL VARIATION OF MAIN GOD HERE) disapproves of whatever they or their ancestor did, and this is her punishment. One only wishes that it was not so hard on the rest of us. They have a rough cunning, and can mimic voices with uncanny accuracy.
  • Drakor: Superficially draconic, these are actually creations of the elves. They were one of the four races given to the Holy Orders. They have are very agile, and are capable of scaling even near vertical surfaces. They are nearly as vicious as griffins, but respond better to control, and are very resilient.
  • Dullettes: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Sometime in the distant past, sages speak of mighty creatures that endlessly burrowed in a quest for fresh meat. These are all that remain. Heavily plated in armor, they roam the Tatola Plains of Vilous, having lost even the ability to burrow as they once did. They are prominently herded by sergals, who use them to pull siege engines, and slaughter them occasionally for their meat and hides.
  • Fey-Crafted Template: The Corgyn-Bre are not for those with no knowledge of the Rules. Many a traveler has tripped across some incredibly minor rule and never been seen again. It is an established fact that the Gentry have breeding populations of most major species that have been through the Highlands; but of course they can't resist meddling. Fey-Crafted creatures are often brightly colored in odd spots, prone to madness, and tend to have an otherworldly countenance. Whether the examples found in this world are escapees or deliberately placed there for some mad plan is a question left unasked.
  • Gelatinous-Bergs: Ship-sized gelatinous cubes infesting the northern reaches of the Great Ocean and Bastia Sea. They float aimlessly on the icy northern ocean currents. However, when in the presence of prey, human shaped constructs sprout from the cube and do anything in their power to draw it into the cube. When the cube consumes enough heat it begins a reproductive mitosis.
  • The Gibbering: These strange creatures menace the many outposts of the kobolds (all called Home), and are a constant thorn in the side of kobolds everywhere (not that they are usually aware of it.) Upon the fall of night, these strange creatures rise from the earth, ready with small wooden idols. They creep among the kobold camps, stealing children and leaving the idols in their place. Few choose to speculate what is done with the stolen children, and sunrise brings an end to their twisted revelry. They are so named for their apparent inability to speak intelligibly; when surprised, they may lash out with whatever they are holding': be it infant or idol.
  • Glitterblade: Dwarfs have many foes to contend with, and this is one of the stranger ones. Appearing as a kind of praying mantis made of gold and covered in precious jewels, their claws have the strength of steel. Possibly some kind of irate spirit of earth, these creatures have a strange effect on sentients that view them'- an irresistible urge to possess the gems that stud it's carapace, and a strange sound-warping effect that causes anything said by others to sound like demands for said gems. Seeming to have no ability to breed or need to eat or drink, these creatures are found in natural caverns.
  • Godsword: Sometimes, ghosts refuse to let go. Constantly on the run from the celestial authorities, one of their routes of escape involves hiding in a physical object. This abomination is what results from the refusal of a master warrior to pass on. It will grant anyone who wields it a measure of its skill, but as the user relies more and more on the sword, it will infiltrate their mind and eventually take it over, effectively living again. As a cursed object, the only way to destroy it completely is for its erstwhile wielder to defeat it in combat, using a nonmagical blade.
  • Gorca: These creatures are the menace of the northern shipping lanes, and the north in general. Huge greenish whale-things, they think only of combat, and 'challenge' any ship or creature that passes through their territory. The drow have a vested interest in their complete demise, but all of their efforts so far have only served to keep the population down. They make terrible eating; a common hazing ritual on drow longboats is tricking a new member or passenger into eating some of their rancid, mealy flesh.
  • Griffins: Griffins the mounts for the Order of Duren, one of the four Holy Orders of Solaris. The smallest out of the four, Gryphons make up for it with what some call 'Fighting Spirit' and other call 'Berserk Bloodthirst'. Often decked out in full plate barding to keep them at a reasonable speed, they RIP AND TEAR into whatever gets in front of them when the mood strikes. They are alone in that they can fly.
  • Iron Nautilus The transports of the Ithilliad. Massive tentacled things with shells harder than the hulls of ships and massive storage spaces. The shell is helpfully transparent, and allows the operator to navigate. One of the few creatures that can stand both the pressure of the Abyss and normal atmosphere.
  • Juggernaut: Necrostorms rarely cross over Everoc. When they do, the results are terrible to behold. Dwarves have an innate resistance to most magic, but this merely translates into a difficulty removing the black spells of necromancy. An entire fortress of undead dwarves will construct a roving fortress of obsidian, steel, and adamant; full of irate, undead dwarves, it wreaks destruction across the land, adding more dwarves and insane side implements the longer it lasts.
  • Leapers: A species with a utilitarian name, from the Tatola Plains and with a regional variant in the Sailzane Desert. A kind of lizard, they have very strange hind legs that allow them to store kinetic energy and release it in a single mighty push. They will honeycomb an area with tunnels so that a few pitfalls exist. When these pit traps are triggered, the entire warren will sprint to the area and jump from their tunnels, striking the unfortunate victim with the force of a spear thrust. The Sailzane variant skips the elaborate tunnel system, and just waits in ambush around some sort of water source.
  • Man-Catcher: On first glance, this appears to be a simple tree, though the odd leaves and fruit may give the sharp-eyed pause. These sinister plants need blood to grow, and aren't shy about obtaining it. They have many methods of attack, including razored tendrils, bludgeoning with the exsanguinated corpses of former victims, and flinging its sharp fruit at foes. They often exude a sweet scent, both to lure blooded creatures closer, and to cover the rotting smell.
  • Manticore: Manticores are used as mounts by the Order of Asiurtes. They are hardy beasts bred to combat necromancy, these creatures are a sight uglier than the other mounts. They make up for it by being very hard to kill, and resistant to most forms of dark magic. They can eat undead without ill effects. Very carnivorous and foul-tempered. Manticores also exist in the wilds of Tartarus, where they have been allowed to go feral.
  • Nusanion: It seems the great demons of the dwarven pantheon have a sense of humor. These creatures are not officially recognized as existing, but are spoken of in hushed whispers among dwarves nonetheless. They are suggested to be about the size and shape of an elephant, with bauxite skin, additional arms on the sides that resemble those of monkeys, and a face that is a horrid mix of fish, macaque, and elephant. They are purported to be able to climb walls, swim through magma, and cause projects to come to ruin just by their presence. All reports of these creatures are unverified; though every dwarf attributes their existence to the Nidhogr, and most believe that the only way to save a fortress from them involves heavy sacrifices and many fey moods.
  • Rotmotes: These tiny, brightly colored crossbreeds between frogs, butterflies, and fish are perfectly adapted for the marshes in which they live. They possess only a weak poison, and as such are only a danger in large groups. More than one traveler has fallen to them, however, as their constant aura of horrible stench can attest.
  • Sand Castle: Truly, the life-shaping arts of the draconians know no bounds. These giant worms traverse the Lindwurm deserts, searching endlessly for specific imprints of draconic magic which no longer exist. They get their name from their habit of extending half from the ground, pointing straight up; their toothy maws and powdery skin giving the impression of a massive sculpture made of sand.
  • Siren Lizard: These small reptiles have a distinct and irritating natural defense. They can emit a strange tone that paralyzes most who hear it. Except doobies, oddly. Many suppositions have been made as to why this is so, most of which are insulting and not fit for print. Little danger on their own, they become a serious threat when in large groups called swarms, or when accompanied by a larger predator. The usual use of this ability is to immobilize threats so as to beat a hasty retreat. They cannot be domesticated.
  • Spurroc: These monsters are something like gargantuan herons or storks, only with another set of legs, a bloodrage that is terrible to behold, and an absolutely ridiculous tuft of fluffy feathers above their bills. Mating fights center around attempting to remove this from their opponent, usually removing an eye instead. They thankfully rarely relieve themselves over land.
  • Thief of Regrets: This oddly named creature lurks in the caverns of Everoc and the few mountains dotting the Tatolian Plains. Unnaturally attracted to flour and baked goods, it is otherwise content to let intruders roam unmolested. Several dwarven legends say that one can tease choice bits of lore from its chitinous lips if one can hold it off long enough from the lure of baked goods.
  • Twiglings: Elves have a great deal of time to use life-shaping magic, and this is an example of their work. Unhappy with a common variety of garden pest, they used the course of centuries to alter this sort of insect to only eat at the dried husks at the end of broken branches. Now almost a foot long, these insects have a set of markings at one end that resemble an abstract happy face. They are often given to elvish children to teach them about death.
  • Unicorns: Technically, the actual unicorns are nature spirits, tasked with guarding sources of pure water. These elvish creations are elven lifewarping's attempts to recreate that. They were among the four races given to the Holy Orders. They have the ability to pass through vegetation without disturbing it (The vegetation actually bends out of the way) and can thus outmaneuver anything but actual dryads in forests. This power extends to anything the unicorn is carrying, if it is alive, or once was alive.
  • Utinial: These creatures are the laziest carnivores in creation. They refuse to eat a meal unless it is killed in front of them, and usually only kill things by accidentally falling on them. They are, however, the only creatures that will eat doobie meat, which makes them invaluable to nearly everyone else. They appear to be something like a very tall donkey.
  • Walking Hills: Giant crabs, with a shell shaped as such that dirt and moss gathers in it and grows grass. Since they also retain water well, the grass on their backs may remain green long after the surrounding grass has dried. It's about a 50/50 chance whether they're dormant or not, and the gnolls whose lands they live in don't take the chances.