The monsters of Eifel are varied, some are more deadly than others, but very few are to be taken lightly.
Animated objects, plural Anima, given a semblance of life by means of magical enchantment. Mages enchant inanimate objects, causing them to take on a pseudo-life. Usually they are incapable of speach, but they can hear and understand even complex commands. Anima are diverse, as any object could become one, from a candelabra to a clock, an ottoman to a teapot. While they are quite obvious when moving, they can be indiscernible from a normal object of its kind while remaining still and masquerading as a simple item.
Wild Anima are usually more malicious, as Rogue Anima are the result of faulty magic and mistakes during the enchanting process. When done properly however, an Anima can be used for a variety of purposes, such as in place of a pet for those who have alergies to the hair of kobolds or the feathers of griffons, or as a servant. Loyal and obedient, these objects can even be sold for quite a lot of ingots. Indeed, living brooms, rags, mops, and knives often find their way into the houses of the wealthy or well-connected, making everyday tasks easier and more bearable.
Sometimes, for reasons only known to the Mage, Anima will be given random facial features. The popular theory on this is that a hopping umbrella is much more intimidating with a mouth full of sharp teeth, a long tongue, and one large, glossy eye. The most common use of "vocal" Anima (that is, Anima with the ability to speak) is that of the animated door knocker or doorbell. This is because they can inform the house owner if the knocker is someone known, a stranger, or sometimes even an enemy.
Riding animals similar to horses, they have hard, three-toed hooves and males have a set of curved horns protruding from their foreheads.
These aquatic creatures seem to be part koi, part fantail, and part Icktheosaur. They are the primary mode of transportation for Undine in their underwater realms.
The aptly named Death Coral is a species of parasitic fungus that originated on a tropical island somewhere in the ocean, and has since spread to the mainland of Eifel. Masquerading as a creature that forms a true symbiotic relationship, Death Coral infests its host inside and out, and in the course of a few days, the afflicted creature forms a sharp, hard exoskeleton of living coral. The fungus also provides a measure of pain tolerance and supernatural endurance, though this is more because the creature’s nervous system is being replaced by coral. As the fungus grows, it leeches away nutrients from the host body, replacing first the extremities and eventually the entire body, culminating in the brain, with a living coral, in effect becoming the creature. When the brain is consumed, the creature is dead, and the Death Coral enters the final stage of its life. First, it attempts to find a suitable location to infest before it hardens too much, for once the host dies the Death Coral begins to die as well. In the end, a thick cloud of spores bursts from the Death Coral, spreading in all directions and infesting those unlucky enough to come into contact with them.
Before the infection has spread too far, a person can have Death Coral removed, and if caught early enough, the person may not lose any of themselves to the horrid thing. Despite the clear dangers of the fungus, people continue to actively use Death Coral to enhance themselves, a mad grab for power that only the desperate or depraved tend to consider.
Diminutive Elemental Spirits that resemble small, chubby toddlers made of their associated element. These beasites are intelligent, and quite tricky to deal with. This is mostly because their daytime alignment is the complete opposite of their night time alignment. Therefor, a Deva that is helpful and friendly in the evening, will become wicked and coniving with the morning sun, and will remain so until the sun sets again. The same goes for those who are helpful during the day. They become terrible little troublemakers at night.The changes are almost like a separate personality altogether, and the Deva doesn't recall such changes when they occur. There is a theory going about that the Devas' elemental type changes if the Deva is moved from it's native element into a foreign one (I.E. a metal element being placed in a forest or a pool of water), but this is mere speculation. The Devas are named in relation to their specific elemental type, and are listed here:
Dire Roaches and Roach QueenEdit
At 4 - 5 feet long, and roughly 3 feet across, Dire Roaches have become the scourge of most major sewer systems in Eifel due to their tendancy to attack in packs of two or three at a time, dismembering their victims with their mandables and eating all but the torso and head, which is brought back to the much larger Roach Queen for her own consumption.
Dire Roaches, while obviously roach like in appearance, and durability (it's said that not even holy magic can banish them), are very much like ants in their behavior and social heirarchy. Food aquisition parties consist of two small carrier Roaches, and two large soldier Roaches. Their jobs are fairly self-explanatory. With the soldiers killing the food and the carriers taking the head and torso back to the queen.
Then there are nurse roaches who take care of the many many many eggs that the Roach Queen expels from her body all day, every day, until she dies from old age or is slain. The only male Roach is the king, who is inevitably the first victim of the queen. She consumes him and is thus fertilized for the rest of her days.
Carrier and Nurse roaches are red, soldiers are black, as is the king. The queen is paler, almost yellow in color. A new queen looking for a nest is in a vulnerable position, because of her yellow-gold color she is easily recognized by adventurers and will often be slain before she has the chance to meet up with a roach king.
Roaches in the wild dig their own nests, but in the city the man-made network of sewer tunnels is just too convenient a home for them to resist, which brings them into conflict with Eiflans often.
Small rabbits with wings for ears.
With delicate beautiful wings tha come in a variety of colors, Flutterswarms appear to be very closely related to butterflies. However in geneology these insects are actually more similar to wasps and hornets. And indeed they even possess powerfull venom filled stingers. While their wings are often bright and colorfull, their bodies are almost always either golden brown or glossy black. They are highly agressive, and while one lone insect is easy enough to deal with, the fact is that they usually travel in groups of up to 50 or even 100, which attack en mass if threatened. Even those number though are only a fraction of the fullterswarms entire colony, which can number upwards of 500 individual workers, plus 20 - 30 males. Males are wingless, and slightly larger than the workers.
Flutterswarms do not build hives as their wasp and bee reletives do. Instead they form colonies on the sides of trees. Extremely large colonies that gather on smaller trees can even make it seem as though their wings form the leaves of the trees, a sight that is beautiful, but dangerous to seek out because their agressive and territorial nature will cause them to attack anyone who comes to close. The wingless males spend their entire lives on the trunks and in the branches of these trees. Unlike Bees and Wasps, the flutterswarm has no head figure or "Queen". Instead, 20 - 30 wingless males patrol the colony, fertalizing the eggs laid by the workers in between pollen gathering forrays.
Since they don't build a hive, flutterswarms build their honey out in the open. The workers collect pollen from flowers, bee-like. Then they transform it into honey, which is then secreted onto the colony's trunk. It is built up over time until it forms a thick sticky layer over a wide area of trunk, much like sap build up from a wounded tree. This honey serves several purposes It feeds the males and the workers alike. It is also the adhesive that the flutterswarm uses to anchor eggs to the trees trunks. When the eggs are first layed, they are translucent golden pearls, and they are injected deep into the flutterswarms honey to ensure that they don't fall to the ground to be eaten by other insects and larger animals. This method isn't foolproof however, as Eiflans have aquired a taste for flutterswarm honey and there are those who don specially created suits in order to collect it. When the collected honey contains newly laid eggs, it's known as the delicacy "Royal Jam", and the well off upper class citizens of Eifel enjoy it on toated bread, crackers, and the occasional muffin or bisquit.
When on the attack, flutterswarms will crowd over the victims body, stinging repeatedly. Their stingers don't detach as bees do, so they can sting multiple times with impunity before their venom pouches are drained and need to take time to regenerate. Along eith their stingers, flutterswarms wings are coated with a fine powder that is also toxic to the touch. So pretators attempting a raid will not only find a nasty sting, but they will be coated in the dust from the wings, which stings the eyes, clogs the airways, and once absorbed will paralize the muscles, leaving the victim helpless against the stinging throngs. The best way to deal with a flutterswarm encounter is with fire, as their delicate wings and insect bodies are extremely vulnerable to it. If no fire is available, they can be temporarilly disabled with a decent spray of water, which will wet them down, preventing both flight, and the spread of their toxic wing dust. This will at the very least allow for a speedy getaway if one does not want to risk staying and attempting to crush them all manually.
An amorphous monster, Gells are notorious for inhabiting dank underground places and exhibiting strange qualities that ecology simply cannot explain. The reason for this is simple, though most do not realize it. The average Gell appears as a mass of viscous material, primarily of one colour, though some exhibit patterning. Some Gells are transparent, or even translucent, though why appears to be simple randomness. The larger the Gell, the older it is, for it cannot help but consume as it lives, driven by an intense hunger that is never quite satisfied. Gell are mindless creatures, acting on instinct alone and therefore cannot be reasoned with, though if suitably injured, a Gell may retreat from combat.
These monsters are formed by toxic magical runoff, coalescing into a solid form and given purpose with the need to consume. Strangely, they seem to draw magical abilities from the very stuff they came into being by, and out of a group, a Gell will single out the most magically apt individual in an attempt to consume them. Gell powers are many and varied, ranging from simple abilities such as changing its colour to match its surroundings, to shooting powerful flaming orbs. Using these abilities depletes a Gell, however, and with each use the creature becomes slightly smaller, and vastly hungrier.
Some Gell have reportedly begun to reproduce. When a Gell becomes large enough, it splits itself entirely down the middle, producing two identical Gells, each with the same powers as the original. These two never attack one-another, seemingly aware that the other Gell is ‘related’. A curious behaviour to note, however, is that two Gells who are strangers to one another will attempt to consume each other, adding the loser’s strength to its own.
All Golems are specially created constructs that differ from traditional Anima in that they have a purpose, and a drive. Golems are considered great advances in scientific technology, and their construction is based on the extremely successfull Automated Prosthetics that have been helping Eiflans regain use of their arms and legs for centuries. While each type of Golem is physically different on the outside, they are all bound together by a few defining traits. First, Golems are mechanical creatures through and through, though some of the wilder looking varieties can appear to be at least in some part magical. Second Golems are all powered by an extremely powerfull crystal energy core. In most cases, it works together with energy crystals placed in other parts of the body to form an energy matrix that both powers the Golem and allows it to function (the exception to this is the Blade Golem, who's entire power matrix is contained within it's well protected body). Golems are known for their toughness, and apparent intelligence. Their intelligence however is little more than what they have been programmed for, and this can be used as a weakness in certain circumstances. Science has yet to be able to program feeling into Golems, so like Anima, they are generally used for protection or menial tasks.
Some cunning and rather unscrupulous individuals however have begun programming Golems with a much higher degree of intelligence, hiring them out in place of a bounty hunter or hunters. These new Golems possess a predatory cunning that allows them to set traps and ambushes, track ‘prey’, and understand the value of fear as a weapon. They can even be programmed with the ability to speak, but more often than not, the words they speak are nothing more than the allowed responses programmed in by their creators.
Like Automated Prosthetics, Golemology seems to date back to ancient times, with some adventurer’s fiercest foes being ancient guardians, examples of a once-proud, now-dated science that resists the erosion of time. Here are some examples of different types of Golems:
Chain Golem – Resembling a roughly humanoid figure of tightly wound metallic chains, numerous hooks and barbs protrude all over the creature, ready to grip, tear, and slash those that it has set its sights on. From the main trunk extend four thick pseudopods, composed of such chains, resembling the limbs of a thick-muscled man. A solid lump on the top of this ‘torso’ is the creature’s head, though beyond general placement, nothing else is discernable. If it has eyes, they are hidden, as are any other sense organs. A Chain Golem’s voice sounds like steel shrieking against steel, as if it is writhing chains within itself to produce these sounds. Chain Golems are one of the Golem types designed specifically for hunting down an assigned target. They employ ambushes, and use fear to ensure that their ‘prey’ slips up. These are only Golems known to engage in torture. When they are not required to bring the target back alive (or at all), they often enfold victims in their sharpened chains, grinding them up to provide a garish lubrication for their bodies. Some of the oldest Chain Golems have begun to rust, though they hardly seem deterred by the wear and tear.
Clockwork Golem - The most common type of Golem, Clockwork Golems are employed in a variety of tasks including heavy lifting and menial labor. They can be made from just about any combination of materials, and thus are a favorite of scientists for working with dangerous chemicals and acids that would be untouchable by the scientists themselves. They can also be employed to guard such labs, much in the way that Anima guard a mages sanctums. Made from intricuitly connected gears and cogs, these can be some of the most beautiful examples of scientific accomplishments. These Golems are the ones least often used for violence, and have some of the most sophisticated programming, due to the need for it to be able to understand complex commands in the lab.
Older Clockwork Golems can seem like guardians of knowledge and history, their ancient encoded memories containing valuable information about ages past. The oldest ones have been guarding specific places for centuries, continuing to carry out their assigned orders with loyalty that has lasted long past the lifespans of their creators. If they can be deactivated, these antique Golems can be quite valuable to both scientists and scholars alike.
Clockwork Golems are incredibly versatile and hard to describe. A Clockwork Golem could look like nothing so much as an ornate children’s toy, while another could appear to be a full sized mechanical woman. They have even been shown to be disguised as giant statues, wihch seem to spring to life upon sensing a tresspasser in their assigned area. Their voices vary greatly in tone and pitch, but have often been described as having a hollow ring to them.
Blade Golem - Blade Golems are the smaller of the two battle intended Golems. They are arachnid in shape, composed of eight fantastically sharp blades connected to supple joints of woven steel. They range in size from squirrel sized to roughly the size of a large cat or small dog. They have a head that is a steel statue resembling a predatory beast, carved out of the ovular ‘body’ that the blade-legs connect to, looking like a terrifyingly grotesque steel spider. Their voices sound like whetstones on steel edges, though they rarely speak at all.
Blade Golems, like Chain Golems, are used to hunt. However where the Chain Golem is ham fisted and obviously violent, the Blade Golem is made for stealth and precision. They will trail a target for days at a time, sometimes even weeks, before choosing the most opportune time to strike. Experts in the use of their bladed legs, these deadly creatures can sometimes attack from above, gathering themselves and springing, bringing all eight blades to bear at once. They are also quite agile, able to leap about with ease. Their true terror though lies in their ability to calculate the most deadly point on the body to attack. Dropping down onto a victims back from above, or leaping from a hidden location, they then use their sharp, precicely positioned blades to deal an instant killing blow, and then dodging away before they can be spotted by potential witnesses.
It's possible that these are merely Juvenile Monoliths, but at those sizes it's hard to say. They do not seem to hibernate for as long as Monoliths do, but it's possible that this is only because they have not reached sexual maturity yet. Great Turtles and Tortoise's are more active than their larger reletives as well. While Turtles baleen feed like their larger cousins, Tortoises can be seen roaming about from time to time, snapping young trees in half to feed their monster appitites.
While powerful, they are very slow, and not very agressive. However, their armored shells and sheer size make them extremely difficult to kill, and their strength is all but unmatched in Eifel. Therefore picking a fight with one of them is not recommended.
Griffons come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all share some common traits. The front half of a griffon is feathered, with a beak, bird like claws, and wing. while the back half is covered in a soft coat of fur, and is generally feline in appearance, including retractable claws on it's hind paws. Aside from these traits, Griffons can be as large as Lions, or a small as housecats. Their beaks can be long and pointed, or extremely short. Even their wings come in different varieties, some of them being so short as to be merely vestigial. Many of the smaller Griffon species are the product of selective breeding, having been domesticated for many thousands of years. Whether in the wild or in the home though, all Griffons are carnivores, and the larger ones, particularly the Lion sized ones that hunt in prides across the vast Grasslands, can be quite dangerous to the unwary traveler. They usuall attack from the sky, diving down onto their targets from above in packs of 2 - 5, on occasion though they've been known to 'change things up a little' and creep silently through the grass, stalking their prey from the ground.
Large Griffons, when part of a Pride, will behave much like one. Since their are no cliffs or mountains in the Grasslands, they build their nests on the ground, and the males guard them while the females are out hunting. While they are formidable, often times Griffon Nests in the Grasslands will fall prey to smaller predetors, such as Kobolds. There are a particularly beautiful and dangerous breed of large Griffon that resides in the Yumel Mountains. It's body is White, but as the feathers fade into fur it adopts black stripes all along it's thick coated hindquarters. This is a solitary Griffon, who only congregates when it is mating season. Remaining in it's own territories at any other time of the year.
One of the most expensive domesticated Griffons had been bred to be pure white, with a long flowing coat and an exceedingly flat, owl-like head. Owners of this particular Griffon (and some other 'high end' breeds), are known to carry (or have a servant carry) a special perch for it that consists of a velvet cushion on the end of a stick. They're said to do well in Griffon agility contests during Griffon shows despite their odd looking heads.
These feathered, beaked animals appear to be a relative of the Kar'tijan, their heads bear small horns similar to the beasts, and their hindquarters are equine in appearance. They even have three clawed toes on each foot. However these animals have sharp beaks and powerful wings, and their tails are those of birds. They travel in small family groups of around 3 - 5 females, usually led by a stallion, or also in groups of 5 - 7 young males, who have yet to begin their own herds. They are omnivores, who will head the fruit from trees or just as easily catch small flying animals to suppliment their diets. As with Kar'tijans, they come in many different coat patterns and colors, but unlike their landbound cousins, Hippogriff's horns do not grow very long or thick, as this would make flight more difficult for them. They have been somewhat domesticated, but not to as much of a degree as Kar'tijans or the more popular airborn transport animals, Leatherwings.
There are several unsavory and usually secret practices employed by Scientists, usually under the banner of "benefiting society". However, while Chimera's are created by frankensteining parts of already existing creatures onto a living body, and Clones are made by copying the genetic code of one individual to make a duplicate of that creature or person, Homunculi are the products of scientific attempts to create an entirely new living genetic entity. Cells and other genetic material are cultivated in Pitri dishes and test tubes, along with inorganic compounds, such as clay or stone. As the organism begins to grow and take shape, it's moved to larger and larger containers. Accelerants are used during these first stages, allowing it to grow according to the predetermined genetic code inputed by the Scientist, which involves a sequence that causes the creature to absorb the material used in its creation to become a sort of 'living' version of that material. The result is a sterile and generally sexless "doll", usually in the shape of an Eiflan.
Scientists of sufficient capability often create one, or several, Homunculi to serve as pets, guardians, and assistants. In this manner, there are no accidental Homunculi, and the only wild ones are those who have lost their Scientist creators, or who have some genetic defect that causes them to "malfunction". No one can say for sure what genetic sequence will cause this, and some outside the scientific community believe that these are simply cases of the beings awakening and gaining souls. This is because it's only through the aquisition of will and self awareness that they can gain the power to rebel against the restrictions placed upon them by their creators.
The lifegiving energy that allows Scientists to create true life, and not simple meat in a tube, comes from what is invariably the Homunculus' left eye. A crystal is imbued with magical energy, and added to the samples at the earliest stages of creation.The right eye is left empty and black, so they cannot pass themselves off as Eiflans. However because of the power contained in the left eye, some legends seem to hint that a truly godlike Homunculus could be created, if only an incredibly rare and likely fictional genetic code could be found and then the genetic material infused with the essence of divinity itself. Most learned scholars and scientists regard this fanciful tale as a drunkard’s hallucination, and while some believe it, most are madmen or worse.
Hydras are large, snakelike predators that dwell in many climates, though the change in conditions often has a change on the animal. The most common is the Grassland Hydra, a sadistic predator that seems to delight in sowing terror among its prey. They are foul-tempered, opportunistic, aggressive beasts that show little concern for anything except their next kill, and they do not lair permanently, preferring a nomadic existence, surveying their territory personally. A common trait all Hydras share is a love of water, though they do not enjoy living in it, they will take pains to be near it, and thus travellers must be careful when approaching watering holes.
A Grassland Hydra is a venomous green colour, with a sandy brown underside. It has a muscular low-slung body, with its torso only inches from the ground at all times. A bestial face looks out from an angular head, its bright eyes brimming with bloodlust. A set of thick arms protrudes from its sides in a vague reference to the human form, ending in three-fingered hands with thick claws. Another set of arms sprouts from the creature’s back, hanging forward, but able to rotate to reach the tail-end of the Hydra. A Hydra’s lower portion is that of a huge snake, ending in a thick stinger that drips a caustic venom when the beast is excited.
They care little for their young, preferring to spend their brutal lives alone save for boisterous coupling with others of their kind. They do not mate for lasting periods of time, and a female will lay her eggs near to the nesting grounds of other creatures before abandoning them, leaving them with the best possible advantage any Hydra can have. The young mature quickly; as they need to be strong and vicious in order to survive the harsh world they are born into.
All Hydras also possess an amazing gift of regeneration, healing even fatal wounds as quickly as they were made. Cutting a Hydra in half usually only results in an angry pair of Hydras. This ability is made possible by the way water nourishes a Hydra, though the only known ways to prevent this from happening is to dehydrate the creature somehow, or burn it
These furry, Rhino like creatures are the main source of meat and milk in Eifel.
Barely the size of the tallest Female Leveret (3'8), these vicious little pack animals have been called snickering demons, because their rudimentary language often sounds like chittering giggles. Or perhaps they really do delight in causing pain to other creatures... They are semi-tribal, but generally retain most of their animalistic tendencies. They are not a Boreal Caste, as they have no psionic abilities and are not intelligent enough to be considered a full fledged race. They do however, use tools such as crudely crafted stone knives, bows, arrows, wooden clubs, and occasionally a spear or an axe if the Kobold is particularly creative.
Kobolds are small, bi-pedal and covered in yellowish fur peppered with black spots. They have large ears for homing in on their quarry, and sharp canine like teeth. Their hands and feet are dark brown or black, and they have a curved, fluffy tail that is yellow like the rest of their coat, then fades into dark brown and black matching their hands and feet. Their muzzles follow the same trend. They have small, beady black eyes. Sometimes they are called Goblin Marus, Mini-rukes, or Gobirukes due to their vague resemblance to Marukes. Kobolds are led by an Alpha male and female, and are nomadic. They will hunt whatever they can catch, but have a long history of hunting Leverets in particular. This is speculated to be the reason they have developed their formidable hand to hand combat skills.
Separately, Kobolds aren't very powerful. Their power lies in their numbers, though there aren't as many of them in a pack as there are Goblin Goblin boreal in a typical Goblin horde. Also, even as a group, they are no match for a seasoned adventurer and usually try to avoid them. The fear of such an adventurer alone though is not enough to keep them from raiding smaller villages and settlements around Eifel in search of food. Both meat and Vegetable. They are omnivorous, and opportunistic. And their digestive system can handle food that has passed the point of being edible for the average Eiflan.
Recently, it's become somewhat of a fad for aristocratic women in Eifel to keep domesticated Kobolds as pets, but as with all things, they can escape if not trained well, resulting in "Stray Kobold" packs running wild through the back alleys and sewer systems of larger cities such as Basque, Liyaan, and Esmyr.
These strange creatures can be found hanging from branches, an adapted head "limb" wraps around thick tree branches and suspends them above the ground, where they wait for unwary passing animals and in some cases Eiflans. The animals (or Eiflans) that mistakenly pass under the land squids find themselves caught in a split second. The creatures tenticles darting down with terrifying precision to latch onto their prey and drag it upward and into their powerful bone-crushing beaked maws. Land Squids are well camoflaged, and possess the ability that all cepholapods have to change the colors and patterns on their skin, which they use both to hide themselves from their prey and other, larger predetors, and to communicate with each other. The land squid, like the Terror Bird, has 3 sets of eyes. two of these are located close to each other on the sides of the monsters head, but the third set is located on either side of it's beak, allowing it to see prey passing under it and spring it's trap more quickly.
In addition to this, there is a second type of Land Squid, which is vastly larger than this tree dwelling version. This second type is atually as large as a tree itself, and disquises itself as such often. Instead of a single apendage atop it's head, the greater land squid has several tendrils that resemble tree branches. They can appear green and leafy, or brown and dry. Like sea flowers, they can also retract the leaf-like protrusions, giving the squid the appearance of a barren, leafless tree. These massive beasts dig large gaves under their beaks, and with their tentacles disguised as roots, they wait for prey to come by. They they scoop it up with a tentacle, or use said tentacles to make a barrier, herding the helpless beast into the dug out cave, where it's beak waits to devour it.These monsters normally camoflage themselves, however at certain times of the year they seek each other out to reproduce. When this happens they display pulsing patterns of light and color in order to communicate with each other and make themselves easier to find. Like the Lion's Manes of the ocean, these displays are quite beautiful to watch and can be seen even from far off towns, so many Eiflan celebrations have been schedualed around the mating habits of a monster that is, in most other times of the year, seen as a danger to any who come too close to it.
Although predetors themselves. Common Land Squids are often hunted by Eiflans as a food source. They retain amazing amounts of moisture in their bodies, which they collect from either living in areas such as jungles, where there is heavy rainfall, or by collecting condensation on their skin every morning. Because of this their meat is much more tender than that of the ocean dwelling squids, and steaks and other dishes made from these are less tough and chewy, and more flavorfull.
Lion’s Manes are a gigantic, voracious species of jellyfish that live in nearly all coastal waters of Eifel. Rarely, if ever, found in deeper oceans, the creatures seem drawn to the noise and crowding of more populated areas, particularly ports, and are an appreciated, useful animal. Capable of reaching massive sizes (a body eight feet across, with tentacles over a hundred feet long), they are potentially very dangerous, though Lion’s Mane-related deaths are far rarer than the complications an infestation presents. These creatures are poisonous, though not fatally so to the average Eiflan, though those of poor constitution may be killed. Some swimmers can become caught in the vast web of their tentacles should they swim carelessly near the jellyfish, receiving painful stings that result in burning, swelling, and hardening of the skin. They do not actively attack or even interact with Eiflans, seemingly more drawn to the pollutants that invariably find their way into the oceans. Scavengers, they can and will consume any toxic or rotting substance they come across, secreting digestive acids that simply liquefy matter drawn into the Lion’s Mane by its tentacles.
These massive invertebrates can come in a wild variety of colours, and, as a curious by-product regarding chemical reactions during digestion, glow brightly in the dark while in the midst of digestion. They reproduce asexually, and no distinction exists in separate Lion’s Manes to suggest males or females of the species. Usually, Eiflans give a particular Lion’s Mane a gender-specific honorific if its colour is one normally associated with the gender, most commonly pink ones being female, and blue Lion’s Manes being male, according to this naming procedure.
As a Lion’s Mane only reproduces once every Eiflan generation, people are careful to only have so many exterminated, as the creatures provide a useful, if unwitting, service. Cities with Lion’s Manes in their waters can safely dump anything they wish disposed of, and it is a sure thing that it will be consumed by a Lion’s Mane. Some places even hold festivals where the creatures are given food all at once to provide a stunning show of lights in the water, to signal the new season, or some other local event.
Typically wild animals, they are a strange combination of wolves and red foxes, owning the build and general shaping of the canine family.
These little things are feathery, chicken-like creatures typically in beige or dark brown, though the males usually have large plumes of peacock colors and shape.
Usually assosiated with the dream Fey. these animals resemble a mixture of Tapir and Anteater, with small spotted bodies and long noses.
Often the size of Islands or Mountains, these behemoths have even been known to collect dirt on their backs while they hibernate, eventually becoming mobile forests with their own wildlife. Though they are huge and powerfull, these beasts are docile, usually hibernating in between their mating seasons. They mate once every 100 years, and their eggs take at least 50 years to incubate and then hatch. Usually a pair will not have more than two. This is all by design of course. Because they grow so large and live for so long, they don't feel the urge to mate as often, and don't produce as many offspring.
Monoliths feed two different ways. Turtles, also called "living Islands" feed the same way whales do, by filtering tiny organisms through their huge mouths. Tortoise's however, feed in a different way. Their front legs excrete a special oil which propogates the growth of moss on it, which the tortoise harvests with it's long, sticky tongue.
Musk Chickens are a breed of fowl that have begun to run rampant across Eifel. If some kind of creature can live there, you can bet that you’ll find Musk Chickens there. Large and flightless, these pesky things are usually the colour of a wheat field in June, with huge green eyes and a stubby, wide beak. They constantly drop an oily dust from their feathers, tracking it over everything they touch, and using it to mark territory. Not content with any amount of territory, however, Musk Chickens bounce around flapping their wings crazily to spray their scent everywhere. Some people say that each Musk Chicken has a distinct smell, but the majority of Eiflans can’t tell the difference between one or the other.
Musk Chickens are also incredibly meaty, providing a chewy but flavourful meat that makes them an extremely popular food source. Their smells make them easy to hunt for most Eiflans, while their prolific breeding habits mean that the odds of running into a Musk Chicken, or a clutch of their eggs, is extremely good. Alas, their territorial nature coupled with that horrid stench has made domesticating the birds all but impossible, though some have theorized that the Goddess never intended the majestic Musk Chicken to do anything more than enjoy life, running through its home and spreading its scent.
8 1/2 to 9ft tall, Ogres have the bodies and builds of massive bears, with short, boxer-like snouts filled with rows and rows of sharp teeth. They are solitary creatures who generally only leave their cave homes when they are hungry, or ready to mate. Ogres come in various shades of black and brown, with the males getting a "silver back" as they age. They have sharp claws on their hands and feet, which they prefer to use over any pre-manufactured weapons.
The entirety of cub rearing is left up to the female, who can have up to 3 Ogre cubs in a litter. Once they are old enough to kill their own food, the Mother will drive them away from her territory, forcing them to make their own way in the world from that point on.
Ogres will eat any meat they can sink their claws into, which includes raiding Eiflan settlements and taking whomever they can find. Being little more than feral beasts, they do not prepare their food, they simply kill, and eat. Not necessarily in that order.
Ogres live in caves that they dig for themselves or find in rocky or heavily forested areas of Eifel. If the cave is hollowed out under a tree, sometimes the Ogre will accumulate dead leaves and twigs during it's long sleeps between meals and reproduction, which can then decompose into compost and become a habitat for moss and various insects and other small creatures. Their thick hides make them a difficult monster to deal with even for seasoned adventurers, so disturbing them in their homes is not recommended.
Large monsters who resemble Rats in appearance, Orcs are violent and extremely dim witted. They live in small tribal communities all around Eifel. While the ones who aren't near Eiflan settlements tend to hunt for their food, Orcs that live near Eiflans have become both aggressive and lazy, choosing to decimate villages and steal their livestock, sometimes even their inhabitants as their primary source of meat rather than hunting for themselves.
Standing at an average of 6'5 - 7' tall, Orcs have fur that can be Brown, Grey, or sometimes even Black. As they age, their fur lightens from it's original color into a pale grey or 'peppered' grey and white, and the oldest, most powerful Orcs have fully white coats of fur. These are usually the Chiefs of their respective tribes. Their tails aren't as long as rats, and are somewhat flattened like a beavers tail, so as to help keep them upright. Their eyes can be black or sometimes pink, and they have one large, spike shaped tooth in the front of their mouths, presumably used for ripping into meat.
Orc Females can be just as tall as the males, and are usually distinguished by their rather unappealing 6 breasts (3 pairs). They can have litters of up to 10 or 12 cubs.
Orc society is based on survival of the fittest. Small, weak, or sickly Orc cubs are killed by their stronger siblings either by aggression or by starvation due to the inability to fight off others for a chance to suckle. The Orcs weapon of choice is a simple yet effective wooden club. The larger the Orc, the larger and heavier the club they use will be. Orcs do not speak Eiflan. They do however have a rudimentary language of sorts based on different grunts and growls.
Orc courtship is just as brutal as the rest of their society, employing the 'bash and grab' method by which the male Orc bludgeons the female over the head with his club and drags her to his homestead, though they can be intercepted by other males en-route and the female isn't guaranteed to end up at the home of the male who initially did the bludgeoning. It's presumed that after the arrival at the males domicile, they are marked in some way to show that they've been spoken for, but this is as much as we know about Orc society at this time.
Four legged, beaked animals with brightly color plumage, Pomkus are mostly at home in the treetops, though some of them can get to be the size of Orangutans or even Gorillas. They're highly intelligent, and known to even be able to mimic Eiflan speech if exposed to it enough. They come in a wide varitey of colors, including Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Yellow, and White. And they can have varying types of head crests and other plumage. Lacking wings, Pomkus cannot fly. Many of them can glide however. This is acomplished with a loose flap of skin stretching from the joints of the front legs to those of the back legs, which are covered on top by a layer of stiff feathers. When they stretch out their arms and legs sideways, it creates pseudo wings used for gliding.
In Greater Pomkus, who are too large and with too dense bones for gliding, their flaps are used for mating and territorial displays (in addition to head crests). Greater Pomkus are roughly the size of Gorillas, and are green, or green and yellow in color. The undersides of their flaps are colored bright red and gold, or purple and blue. They display these by standing on their hind legs and raising their arms out sideways and upward over their heads. This can look quite comical, but is used to attract mates, and to intimidate both rivals or their own kind, and Goliaths who invade their territory and attempt to either take it over, or hunt their eggs and hatchlings.
Pomkus are mostly vegetarians, unlike the predetory Griffons. Their main diet consists of treetop fruits or low growing melons, squashes, and goards. They can crack even very hard fruits with their powerfully curved beaks. And if not that, then they will use their intellgence to find a hard rock and a log to use as an anvil and hammer.
Their social structure can be very complex, though usually there is a dominant male or female depending on the subspecies. Each family grouping has distinct vocalizations that they use within the group, to communicate and to distinquish individuals in said group. It's thought that they could be taught to communicate with Eiflans using hand signals, but due to the fact that they only have two talloned fingers and a thump on each limb, this has proven difficult.
Pomkus are found almost exclusively in the jungles around Levant and the Labyrinth Jungles of Virdeen. However a few types can also be found in the Melva Oasis. When seen in other places, it is most often as domesticated pets or in Wildlife Exhibits. It should be noted though that they don't fare well in cold weather, and so prospective owners should take into account where they live and what climates they'll be traveling in before purchasing a Pomku. Famously, Pomkus are the favored pets of Sea Pirates, who often prefer ones that are scarlet or blue.
Small, chubby mammals that serve as their equivalent of chickens. They're raised for their meat and eggs.
Hunting the herbavores that roam the grasslands, marshlands, and deserts of Eifel are the Rukhs. Rukhs are predetory birds as tall as giraffes. They are fast moving and vicious, using their incredible height and keen vision to spot prey from great distances. When the prey has been spotted, Rukh's will take off at blinding speeds, chasing down their quary and latching onto it's neck with their vice-gripping hooked beaks. Then they use their talloned feet to press down on the beasts back, causing it to fall. They hunt in packs, usually consisting of a mating pair and their 2 offspring. Their nests are made of large mounds of dirt and rocks, padded with their own down that's been preened from their fown bodies. The nests are constructed in such a way that the eggs don't have to fall so far, and the down makes for a padded landing.
When feeding the birds bend their necks down and in a strange kind of twist, so their heads are upside down, flamingo like. The clamp down on strips of flesh, and then twist their flexible necks in a corkscrew motion, ripping the meat from the body. Like Terror Birds, they are oportunistic, and if they can't run down live prey they are just as happy scavenging corpses, which often offer softer, more easily torn meat anyway.
Physically they have an ostrich like apperance, with naked heads and necks. Their bodies come in deep red, black, and dark golden brown. The males have white feathers around the base of their necks and under their wings (which are vestigial). Their tails are fluffy and white, with long tendrills hanging down in back. They can flare these forward, peacock-like. They can use this for mating display, but they'll just as soon use it when chasing down a kill as well. Apparently it's only for shows of excitement. Females are the same colors as the males, but without the white. There are essentially two different kinds. The Marsh/Grassland Rukhs are generally lean. With long, serrated beaks that can easilly clamp down on the meaty necks of wild Karkadans in the Grasslands, or snap up fish and other aquatic animals in the Marshes. The Desert variety however is a bit shorter than this, and more stalky. They hunt giant sand ants and Scorpios, and have beaks that are hooked downward like an eagles. They have a unique adaptation in that their stalky bodies are caused by special water retaining pockets that keep them hydrated so they don't have to take in water for long periods of time.
Sandscreamers are beaked reptiles roughly the size of a collie or labradore retriever. Their bodies are somewhat elongated, and the like to sit on their hind legs in front of their large sand burrows. When they feel threatened or sense a good meal nearby, they will congregate together in groups of about 6 or 7, and unleash a piercing cry that seems to have some rudimentary psionic effect. It causes the victims to fall to the ground, writhing in pain and has been known to drive eiflans insane within a short amount of time, causing mental breakdown and hallucinations often leading to the targets destroying themselves in an attempt to get the visions to stop. The scream is enhanced by their neck frill, which they expand and vibrate, causing a rattling/hissing sound to accompany the scream.
Sand screamers are scaly and reptilian, they have a large frill about their heads which they flare up during mating season and when their using their deadly cry. They come in a few colors, mostly blue, green, and red, with frills that have opposite colors and usually some gold on them.
Also known as "fools gold". These small, hive-minded beetles are bright metalic gold, and can 'fool' unsuspecting Eiflans into thinking they are in fact, gold dabloons piled up in a cave or ruin. Upon touching them however, the scarabs burst into horrifying action, swarming across the body of the victim and devouring them en masse, leaving only pristinely cleaned bones when finished. As stated, scarabs are hive minded, controlled by a Scarab Queen, who is at least 3 times as large as the rest of the swarm when full grown, making her the size of a small rabbit or a softball.
Another subgroup of this is a species of water scarabs called 'cursed sapphires'. These attack unwary swimmers, similar to the way a piranha will attack someone with an injury. The difference between the two however is that water scarabs, and land scarabs as well, do not need any prodding to attack a person or animal. They are actively predatory. They are easily distinguished in the water though because they resemble moving groups of glittering, brilliant blue polished gemstones.
As with the land scarabs though, this can work to their advantage in that a person can easily be distracted by their deceptively beautiful colors and movements. It should be noted though that these two monsters have very specific and generally avoidable habitats. One inhabits primarily caves and ruins, especially catacombs. While the other is a dweller of fresh water rivers and streams. The land scarabs do not often go out in the open, despite having fully functional wings, and water scarabs are never seen in salt water, nor are they present in ponds or lakes.
The large Scarab Queen is a much duller color than her glittering hive or swarm (if in water). On land, she is a dull brass color at her brightest, quickly fading into bronze and nearly brown colors. She's most often mistaken for a rock due to her tendency to hide in creavases and rarely if ever moves. In the case of Water Scarabs, the Queen is Dark Blue fading quickly into Black, also making them appear as a rock on the river bed, especially if they are in an area with a swift current. It's presumed that the swarm or hive, once it's finished feeding, moves back to the queen and regurgitates food for her.
No King scarabs have been found yet, prompting World Renowned Scientist Professor F. Llesnouh to conjecture that Scarab Queens clone themselves, rather than mating. Making the scarabs and entirely female species of monster, and similarly prompting many jokes and snipes, such as "That woman's a real Scarab. You should watch out for her."
Sea Leviathans are a primordial species, a veritable force of nature that rarely surfaces from the lightless depths in which it lives, unless called by magic or lured otherwise. They superficially resemble something that would be a cross between a crab and a scorpion, possessing four huge, grasping claws, and multiple spindly (by comparison) legs that hold it aloft and out of danger. They also possess a stout, segmented tail that can dart and lunge through the water with no real impediment, sinking deep into prey creatures. Thankfully, a Sea Leviathan’s venom is both paralytic and narcotic, that is, it stops prey from thrashing about by stiffening its muscles, and inducing a drug-fueled euphoria, despite the previous terror. Its carapace is often as thick as a horseman’s thigh, and studded not only with sharp protrusions, but blanketed in durable-shelled creatures that feed on the deep sea plantlife that grows on the creature. Mean-tempered and vicious, a Sea Leviathan is a terrible foe that will often hunt out of hunger, or sheer malice, saving the food for later, as it makes no real distinction between a fresh kill or something that has been left to ‘pickle’ in the briny deep.
Sea Leviathans can swim incredibly fast for short periods of time by expelling jets of water with terrible force from their back ends, though it hasn’t ever been witnessed as a defensive manouvre. Instead, the massive creatures lock their claws in front of themselves, and rocket into prey, stunning it with the massive impact, while at the same time locking its huge claws into flesh and shearing through. A Sea Leviathan can kill and consume a whale a day if given the chance, and when confronted with such fertile food sources, will grow by molting out of its shell, emerging soft, but large, though over the next few weeks, the creature’s shell attains normal hardness once more.
Sea Snakes that are twice the length of the average shark, Sea Serpents are large, venomous, and predetory. While they are mostly aquatic, they can come up onto beaches from time to time, and into shallow waters. So swimmers are always cautioned to stay on their guard, no matter how peaceful the day seems to be. The only things keeping them from being a bigger threat to Eifel are the fact that they are salt water reptiles, and so cannot survive in rivers and lakes, and the fact that they cannot spend too much time out of water, or risk dehydration and suffocation. Also, Sea Serpents are solitary creatures, who are very territorial when not in mating season. Like most reptiles, Sea Serpents lay eggs, ususally in clutches of around 16 - 18 at a time. The baby serpents are born fully formed and ready to begin hunting small fish and amphibians.
Terror Birds, also known as a Terror (Or Terrors in plural), is a large, vicious predatory bird. Notoriously temperamental and territorial, these creatures are voracious, and will consume prey and carrion as readily as it is available. Seen in populated areas as annoyances, mercenaries are often hired to hunt down and exterminate roosts of the dangerous animals. Willful and with foul attitudes, Terrors make poor pets, resisting domestication as if they abhor the idea. They have a canny interest in shiny objects, and just about anything that glints in the sun can wind up in their lairs.
Terrors sport plumage that ranges from a dingy grey to a rich brown colour, depending on their habitat, on their topsides, and a very pale blue-white on the bottom, to help hide them from their prey as they roost, or while they fly. They also have a crest of brilliantly coloured feathers that can be of any colour of the visible spectrum, along with six small, similarly coloured eyes, arranged in two rows along each side of the head. Of note are a Terrors’ wickedly sharp beak, which is durable enough to lance through a thick wooden shield. A favourite tactic of a flock of hunting Terrors is to dive out of the sun, driving their killer beaks into prey as an eviscerating instant-kill.
These animals mate freely, with females being much larger than males. Females are capable of laying up to a dozen eggs at a time, and gestate quickly. These eggs hatch within days of being laid, and a fledgling Terrors is capable of flight by the end of its first week of life. Young Terrors look little like their parents, instead appearing as fluffy blue-and-brown chicks, though they quickly mature out of this phase and into their first flying feathers in a couple of days. Because of this, Terrors require plenty of food, and the strongest of the young will often kill and consume their siblings, and many a predator has encountered a nasty surprise when attempting to sneak into a Terrors’ nest, finding the young quite capable of defending themselves.
Trolls are generally reclusive monsters resembling bi-pedal goat men. They prefer cool, damp locations near water, which has led them to a tendency toward nesting under bridges, often bringing them into conflict with Eiflans. Though Trolls are solitary creatures, they do mate for life. Usually a Troll family consists of a male, his mate, and one kid, though twins have been recorded on rare occasions.
Trolls, like Orcs, can be Black, Grey, or a few different shades of brown, usually either tan, red, or chocolate. Males have curling horns on their heads, becoming larger and more impressive as the Troll ages. Females horns have a more subtle curve to them. They can grow to be 6'4 to 6'9, and have lean muscular bodies buried under their hairy coats. While they have hands with rudimentary claws on the tips of the fingers, but their bottom halves are entirely goat like, complete with hoofed feet and short, stubby tails.
Although they look like strange Eiflan-goat hybrids, Trolls mouths are filled mostly with sharp pointed teeth. Their preferred prey are fish, Undines, and other aquatic creatures, which they pierce with long spears and tridents or capture with barbed nets and drag them back to their nests under the bridges for slow and leisurely consumption. However, if they run across Eiflans traveling over their chosen bridge, they aren't above using the same techniques to hunt those as well.
It's unknown how male and female Trolls find each other. It could be that they have a particular gathering place that they meet during 'mating season', or it could just be complete luck that they happen upon each other. Their preferred weapons are Long Spears, Tridents, and Barbed Nets.
Another resident of the Esmyr Grasslands, Wild Karkadans roam together in large herds. They are smaller and leaner than their domesticated counterparts, Wild Karkadans can also be very agressive. Especially if it's a pack of rogue adolescant males who are in Must for the first time. However females can be just as dangerous when they are protecting their young. In cases of great danger, the females of a herd will form a protective circle around their calfs, with their horned heads facing outward to defend against predetors. In this situation, the males will patrol the outside of the ring to actively hunt down and attack the threat, attempting to kill it or at least run it off. Wild Karkadans have less color variation than domestic ones, and come in tan, brown, or brindel, occsionally with black accents.