Many are the creatures both fantastical and mundane that roam across the world of Lyran Tal. To make a complete and exhaustive list of them is a daunting task, and would take many pages as well as limit what others might create. What is catalogued here is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of the diversity of the world, nor necessary knowledge all players must know. It is merely a showcase of some of the creatures unique to Lyran Tal, and listed so that all the players and writers can draw from one another's ideas.
This information is presented in an OOC manner for the use of players, so what is written is fact. Use discretion in what characters may know of these creatures, especially the more magical and mystical... and feel free to insert mistaken beliefs and myths into character perceptions!
Ideas for new creatures must be original to the setting and follow the format of current entries. Work out all details with the Leader for the region(s) in which the plant or animal will reside. New entries must be submitted by the Region Leader to: The Webmaster.
The icon "" indicates that the creature possesses magical properties.
Note: The Badlands has many unique and unusual creatures. Those listed as dwelling in the Silver Moon Empire often inhabit similar climes in The Badlands. For more information, please see The Badlands
Range: Open fields near forest edges in Luminii, Shadokhan, and the lowlands of Cloosidian.
Physical Description: The birds are of a medium size, similar to that of a crow, with a sleek profile and a curved beak reminiscent of a falcon. Brownish gray from the crown of the head down to the rump that grades to a buff color on the breast and under parts, barn shrikes stand out when perched in an open field. The black tail and wings are both marked with white; tiny spots on the outer tail feathers, and large, distinctive squares on the wings, visible only when the wings are extended. The beak is dusky, and stiff, bristly feathers stick out like short whiskers from the sides of the beak back to the corner of the bird's large, dark eyes. These bristles aid the bird in capturing its main prey, moths.
Notes: Common throughout its range, the barn shrike is still not often seen. A nocturnal animal, the shrike begins its 'day' with the setting of the sun, its soft, high-pitched whistle announcing that dusk is at hand. Many are familiar with its numerous calls, ranging from a warning kaakaakaak to the warbling song of the male, frequently heard when the moons are full and shining.
Barn shrikes prefer open fields bordered by forest, especially near humanoid habitations. Their name, in fact, was derived from their tendency to buzz past farmers as they drove their livestock into the barns for the night. The shrikes feast on the insects disturbed by the tromping feet of cattle, horse, and sheep. While it will feed on any sizeable insect as opportunity allows, barn shrikes are especially adept at tracking down the zigzag flight patterns of moths and snapping them out of the air. The birds are adaptable, and will build a nest inside nearly anything resembling a wooden hole. While their coloration does not hide them at dusk, the female blends into nothing when crouched on her nest and surrounded by bark or wood.
As the crow is both hated and revered for being the Harbinger of Death, the barn shrike enjoys its own dubious legends. Sighting a shrike in the daylight is considered a good omen, foretelling the coming of a hero, and a shrike nesting in a barn casts good fortune over all of the livestock within. Conversely, the sound of the shrike's haunting song when the moon is gone from the sky is said to wake the dead, leading the spirits from their world to the land of the living until the sun again lights the sky.
Range: Sturrbith Mountains
Physical Description: A large, magnificent eagle with a four-foot wingspan. The Benae eagle has glistening golden feathers on its head, back, and upper wings. Its underside is a snowy white, with gold specks on neck and breast in a pattern similar to a thrush. A mask of black feathers stretches from black beak to a pointjust behind the black eyes, keeping snow glare to a minimum.
Notes: The Benae eagle is a high altitude animal, living in the upper reaches of mountain ranges where snow is nearly always on the ground. A reclusive species, it tends to avoid humanoids, even though it is capable of preying upon them. The eagles generally take any sort of sizeable creature for food, even the goats that frolic on the sheer mountainsides. They have incredibly keen eyesight, able to spot a snowy hare while soaring high in the clouds.
The Benae eagle is very territorial, and once paired it remains with its mate for life. The elves say that an eagle will often die soon after its mate has vanished. A pair dedicates two years to raising their young. Able to fly before the winter sets in, the one or two fledglings remain dependent on their parents for food. They cannot completely fend for themselves until their second winter, and cannot breed until after their third. During that time frame young Benaes generally roam, finding themselves a home range and mate. While able to breed every spring once mature, Benae eagles only do so if they do not have current offspring to tend.
Physical Description: A bloodbane is a living necromantic curse made out of blood.
Range: Underground rivers and lakes in Arboria.
Physical Description: A long, thin albino fish with a single stretch of webbing from one side of its tail to the other. A pair of black eyes are keen and capable of detecting even the smallest light sources, allowing it to navigate from one point in the darkness to another.
Notes: Despite their keen ability to detect light, cave fish have very little ability to distinguish the outlines of objects. To compensate, they have strong senses of smell, allowing them to detect other animals, such as predators, and separate them from other cavefish.
Range: Rocky scrublands in northern Thermador, wild and domesticated
Physical Description: Gazelle-like, the ciretai is a small, swift antelope. It stands about as tall as a sheep, with short, wiry fur. The overall coloration is a sandy brown, with darker stripes slashing diagonally across the forequarters. They have wide-splayed cloven hooves adapted for both treading on shifting sand, as well as sure-footedness on rocky terrain. Long, oval ears are large and thin-skinned almost like a membrane; the blood vessels are visible through them, and white tufts of hair line the edges of the ears. The ciretai has vertically elongated nostrils, similar to a camel, that can be shut tight against the sand and dust storms that regularly sweep across their domain.
Notes: The ciretai feed primarily on the toxic juniper-sage (see listing), spending most of their time chewing the tough leaves. Drinking water rarely, the ciretai obtain most of their moisture from their food, and in so doing eat vast quantities of leaves. A ciretai needs only a pound or two of leaves per day to satisfy its energy requirements. However, it requires 5-6 pounds to remain hydrated. As a result, their droppings contain an incredible amount of unused nutrients, a fact which has led to the production of cirat (keer-AT)by the Horse Tribes of northern Thermador. The secret formula of cirat, superior to even oats, is closely guarded by the Horse Tribes, but there is no doubt about its effectiveness at producing horses of unquestionable quality.
Range: Northeastern Arboria, typically along rivers or other sources of water; wild
Physical Description: Small songbirds, the coidéans are charcoal grey in plumage, with a dusky white belly, white edges along their primary feathers, and white wing bars on their shoulders. The sharp, conical bill is black, as are the eyes and feet. A black mask covers their heads in a cap and grades down onto the cheeks.
Notes: Highly active, these little birds are always in motion. Small enough to not make much of a meal for anything other than a very desperate snake, they remain in the eastern Selendoria year-round, despite the seasonal changes. Coidéans gather in small flocks during the winter, usually family groups that break apart with the coming of spring. While direct predation is not much of a threat, coidéans must be vigilant in protecting their nests from marauders - aprocess made easier by selecting old cavities in dead trees. A bird always inside makes nest-raiding complicated for the would-be thieves.
The coidéans communicate with an assortment of chattery garbles, often interspersed with the deedeedee for which they are named. Their elvish name translates as 'forest dee-bird' and where it overlaps into human occupation of the Selendoria it is called the Titdee in common. Their sweet three-noted song, see-ree-dee, is one that brings smiles to the faces of those that hear it.
Range: Northeastern Arboria, wild and domesticated
Physical Description: The coreisse is a moth with a wingspan the size of a hand. The antennae are feathery projections, almost like the fronds of a fern, while the body itself is covered in a soft white fur that gleams brightly in Anolinde's light. The wings are the color of pale silk, with silver dustings along the wing veins and a bright eyespot on each hind wing. The eyespot is a startling array of blues and violets. The caterpillars are the green of freshly sprouted leaves, with two tufts of blue hairs sticking out from just behind their heads.
Notes: Since the beginning of trade between elves and men, the unique quality of the delicately soft and tensile elven silk has marked the appearance of elven culture, setting them apart from their human counterparts. This silk, comparable to regular silk but for a certain inherent irridescent sheen, is the main fabric favored by elven nobility, and is produced solely from silk farms within Northeastern Selendoria, the coreisse's native habitat. A few noble families within the Elven Nation boast ownership of these silk farms, where they nurture and grow the coreisse.
The elves have made collecting silk from the cocoons of the coreisse an art, for their patience and love of nature gives them the ability to await the exact moment the pupae inside the silk cocoon is about to emerge, transformed into its adult moth form. Rather than stifling the young moth like human silk farms, the elves painstakingly unwind the cocoon from around the new moth. They then aid the coreisse in drying its wings, and with a puff of air the elves send it into flight. This skill is much sought, for if handled incorrectly the moth dies soon after emerging. The elves carefully guard the secrets of their silk, but even should the coreisse get into human hands, it is doubtful they could ever master the art of removing the silk with the moth still alive.
There are many different breeds of dogs in Lyran Tal. Below is a list of some of those most common to the Empire with a brief explanation about them. Information and availability of each differs. Please read the article, Dogs, before including these animals in your story.
Range: All regions of the Silver Moon Empire and the Badlands
Physical Description: Varies by type. In general, drakes possess a scaled hide, four limbs and a set of wings. Size varies by age and power, but a drake is approximately 30-35 feet tall, and proportionately wide and long. No one has ever really been in a position to measure them. Wyrms are larger.
Notes: Drakes are a magical species of high intelligence, beasts that are also Gifted with magic. Drake types are defined by their particular gift, and they tend to locate themselves territories where their gift is strong. They are deeply connected to the ley lines, and seem to follow the ubiquitous Rule of Seven common to all magic in Lyran Tal, in that there are seven varieties of drakes (see below for details on each type). While the exact number of drakes is unknown, there is one large and powerful drake of each type, called a Wyrm. The Wyrms are ancient and powerful, their magic on par with the most learned and advanced humanoid mages -- and they can shapeshift, a fact that is virtually unknown (unless you are the wyrm or have seen the wyrm shift!). In terms of size, a Wyrm tends to be about a third larger than adult drakes. Their tendency for territoriality goes beyond simple choice, with each tied to the region associated with their magic. The nature of this connection is currently unknown, as is what might happen if a Wyrm leaves its region.
For more information, please read the article, Drakes of Lyran Tal.
Range: Warm coastal waters of Southern Oceanuus
Physical Description: Dark red veins branch across their skin. Within flows a toxin that numbs the body and often causes death in those who feed upon it. A taste is enough to cause shortness of breath and sometimes unconsciousness in predators. Only careful preparation can guard against its hazards.
Range: Primarily in southern Balthazor
Physical Description: Cat-sized or larger, these cave dwellers are carnivorous by nature and feed on all sorts of small rodents and other prey. Rumors, generally told to children to keep them from sneaking out at night, of them reaching lengths of three or four feet are simply that - rumors, but the stories produced the commonly used phrase, "Beware the Renn Wraiths," the term 'wraith' being an exaggeration based on their appearance and habits, which has also fallen into common usage.
Renns come in many shades, ranging from deep brown to pitch black. All renns have a unique color on their chests, which varies in hue from deep reds to sickly yellows. Since the renns have been known to go after some livestock, especially when they hunt in packs, they are actively hunted. In the autumn months they are known to feed in preparation for the lean winter months, so there is a cycle or so in which the people actively hunt the renns and cook them, as they are very tasty!
Range: Thermador, throughout the Quintak
Physical Description: Humanoid elementals with bright skin the color of flame ranging from blue to yellow to green. They range in adult heights from five to seven feet tall and often have very muscular forms. They have pitch black eyes and their exclusively black hair looks feathery and floats like smoke about their heads, although it is stiff and bristly to the touch.
Notes: Few people have actually seen the true appearance of a Glamour. This is because they have the ability to instinctively manipulate light, creating illusions of themselves and changing their appearances with ease. This ability is limited specifically to an aura of light around each Glamour.
Range: Underground areas where precious metals exist, such as mines. Arboria.
Physical Description: Small elementals from 8-12'' tall with dull grey skin, often speckled with tiny bits of precious metal. Their eyes are usually a reflective obsidian black, a polished silver, or a brilliant gold. They have very beast-like forms, with sharp teeth, extended forearms and long, sharp claws, which they use to dig for minerals. Their heads are angular and along either side a pair of sharp, pointed ears extend backwards.
Notes: Gnuums feed primarily on precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver and sometimes bits of these metals can be found in their stomachs and in their stool. They are solitary scroungers, and when found in groups of two or more, it is only as a mated pair. They mate for life and, rarely, form extended family groups. Gnuums navigate via echolocation, clicking their teeth together rapidly while fanning their ears to pick up sounds. Only some of the sounds are audible to humans.
There are many different breeds of horses in Lyran Tal. Below is a list of those most common to the Empire with a brief explanation about them. Information and availability of each differs. Please read the article, Horses, before including these animals in your story.
Range: on the island of Ki Kumodi in Southern Oceanuus
Physical Description: At the time of day when the sun hangs highest and the heat is densest, there is a unique sight on the island of Ki Kumodi. It covers the gray slate of high rock cliffs. When the shadows wane, a dazzling display of local blossoms much like unfolding flower petals erupt in shades of sea-green and deep ocean blue. They catch the strong breezes at the cliff's heights and on the air alight and flutter, either swinging high in the trees where the winds are strongest or floating to flat stone to settle. Blue bodies with mottled accents of green and gold like sunlight filtered through tightly-wrapped canopies bask in the heat of the sun and gather heat during still naps.
The Kumodi drake is an intimidating creature when first viewed. The size of a small child, it moves with a swift, loping four-legged stride with its belly high off the ground much like a caiman. Even with its mouth closed, thick, sharp fangs jut out of its mouth, two at each side of its snout. But when it flies, unhooking strong claws from tree branches to dive and swoop at the shores and seek marine prey when it tires of fruit, it is an unquestionably beautiful sight. Broad, bat-like wings unfold and flap with tremendous strength to bear it aloft. Circling a school of fish, it tucks all four of its unwebbed limbs about its belly and drops like a dart between the waves. It can fly skillfully from the branches of a tree, but it can just as easily slide serpentine through the water and leap forth, immediately taking to the skies.
Range: mountainous areas of mainland Hyathis
Physical Description: Kobolds small, doglike lizard-creatures with colored whiskers poking from their chins and pointy little teeth. They are intelligent and mischievous, quite able to communicate with others (if they so choose), and have the unique ability to walk through rocks. They are rarely seen, and so are subject to much rumor and speculation.
Range: Mount Rashkana, Thermador. Wild.
Physical Description: The adult is long, their size dependent on how much time passes between lavaflows, as lavafish never cease growing. On average, adult lavafish are as long as an arm, and serpentine in shape. The dorsal fins, usually held flat and folded like a fan against the fish, are a hands-width in size and the rays are sharp as quills. The pectoral and ventral fins are small and oval, while the tail fin is shaped like a spade. Coloration of non-breeding lavafish is a rosy red overall, grading to a pale orange on the belly. The fins are striped a muted yellow and grey. Breeding lavafish are brilliant in color, though the patterns remain the sam ewith the addition of a reflective stripe of silver that runs from mouth to tail. Juvenile lavafish resemble non-breeding adults, and the difference can only be told by cutting it open to see the organs. The fry are very small, looking like a pair of orange eyes with a silvertail.
Notes: Of magical nature, the lavafish resides in streams in and around Mount Rashkana, coming and going just as the intermittent waters flow. During eruptions, adult lavafish swim into the lava flows, migrating like salmon into the heart of the volcano where they spawn and die. The first spurt of high heat acts like a catalyst, scorching the adults to their brilliant colors. This phase of the fish is the most sought after,the most expensive-- and the most dangerous to obtain.
The eggs remain dormant within the molten rock, their unique mineral-coated shells holding them in stasis until another eruption sends them out down the volcano side. Finding their way back to streams by luck of the flow, and by being ingested and deposited into streams by the desert herons that dwell near Mount Rashkana, the eggs soften in the cooler waters and development of the fish fry begins. They hatch within two tendays, thriving near the edges of the small streams and growing. After one cycle, the fry reach their juvenile stage, moving deeper into the streams where they remain and grow for at least two years--a minimum of two lava flows must pass over the juvenile fish before they reach adulthood and can make the migration into the volcano itself. The most commonly seen and captured phase is that of the juvenile, called Taenleigh by those that hunt the lavafish.
Range: Meadows in the Talpeasea Mountains of Arboria
Physical Description: Invisible to the casual observer. Once they show themselves, lehti look very much like moths or butterflies; small winged creatures, but with unsegmented, blue eyes.
Notes: The lehti live among colorful flowers, perfect camouflage for their brightness. A field of wildflowers gently nodding in the breeze is really covered in lehti, but the illusion of nothing but flowers is what people see.
Range: Southern Oceanuus
Physical Description: These spiders started making their way north from the Loesan Plateau during the warm cycles after the 1277 Cataclysm. The Liahokare atiti (Moonbeam spider) is white with irridescent blue markings on its abdomen. The legs are very long and delicate; outstretched it will easily cover the palm of your hand. At the right angle, the silk of the web shines with blue sparkles. For a spider, they are quite pretty, but beware of the bite that causes mild hallucinations, a susceptibility to persuasion, and a blue discoloration to the whites of the eyes.
Range: Northern Oceanuus
Physical Description: Called Taiki Uilaja by the Northern Mer, some say they come from the Peril and they were virtually unknown before the Leyline Cataclysm of 1277. They are strange, terrible creatures fifteen feet or longer, with bodies white as pearl; long, broad tails; and long jaws lined with double rows of teeth. They are carnivorous and not terribly choosy about their meals. Leathery skin is covered with small overlapping diamond shaped scales. Keeled scales cover the upper regions of the body and those of the lower regions are covered in smooth scales. The non-reflective keel scales aid in ambushing, approaching, and attacking prey from beneath unnoticed. Their movements are like that of an eel, and they fill the waters with mournful, piping wails fit to wake the dead - unless they are hunting. On the prowl, they are silent and utterly deadly.
Physical Description: Quiths are about the size of a horse and often used as beasts of burden in the manner of camels. They have thick, corded sandy or rust-colored wool to protect them from the sun and broad, thickly-padded feet to enable them to handle whatever terrain the desert throws at them. Like camels, they can bulk up to go for long periods without water, carried largely in fat cells around the torso and in the thighs. A triangle of small, vestigial horns protrude from their skulls, one on each temple and the third at the top of the head. Quiths are strong, stolid, notoriously calm and stoic creatures.
Notes: Quith and camels provide milk and blood for various dishes, and sheep, quith, and camels can all be shorn for their wool/hair.
Range: Most of the former Silver Moon Empire, excluding Oceanuus
Physical Description: Red Cows are a type of wild cattle that can be found in many parts of the former Silver Moon Empire. Considered the largest of all the cattle types, Red Cows stand about the height of the average man at the shoulders (6.5 feet) and weigh approximately 157 stone (2,200 pounds). Red Cows are so named for the shock of blood-red hair that sits between their red-tipped horns and covers their eyes. They are shaggy, ill-tempered, intimidating and unsuitable for farming or draught work.
Range: The inner waters of the Elbonian Sea
Physical Description: Usually 10-12'' long, the fish can reach 16''long. Covered in smooth black scales, a single, backward-swept barbed dorsal fin about four inches tall at its crest runs from the top of its head down its back. This fin is a bright red color in mature males and a dull purple in juveniles. Females' fins are grey and almost translucent, and often held back to seem more spiny than the male's. The pectoral fins of both sexes extend horizontally like leaf-shaped daggers, and are capable of expanding to allow greater flexibility of movement.
Notes: The redfin preys on any sea life smaller than it. Like sharks, redfins are drawn to blood in the water, although they do not exhibit the same feeding frenzy tendencies. There is an odd etiquette in feeding and the fish does not approach meals much larger than itself, even carrion. During courtship, the male flourishes its dorsal fin by bending the forefront spine forward. It then fans its pectoral fins and shimmies around the female to attract her attention.
Range: Underground waterways throughout Arboria
Physical Description: A scaleless red fish that grows up to a foot long, the rockangler has rough skin covered in small bumps. Half of its body mass consists of an enormous, bony skull with a hinged, gaping lower jaw and two rows of needlelike fangs. Atop its head is a high fin that runs down the curve of its skull, and at the front of this fin is a luminescent extension that dangles on a loose organ.
Notes: The rockangler is unique not only in its mode of vision and detection, but also in that it can leave the water for brief periods of time. Using its pectoral fins, the fish can cling to rocks and move from one body of water to another. Although the rockangler has a pair of beady black eyes, they are only capable of rudimentary detection of motion. Most of its "vision" comes from the sensitive light organ, which can actually detect the proximity of edible food. Its belly is capable of stretching in order for the fish to gorge itself, opportunizing food availability.
Physical Description: A rodent native to the desert, the skeergrin is typically 12-15 inches long and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Its tail is short, pointed, and bare. Its fur is reddish colored, and it wears a black mask that extends from its nose to the tips of its tiny, pointed ears. Short, stubby legs have led to the phrase, "lower than a skeergrin's belly."Non-retractable claws are used for digging burrows, which form large underground networks. Skeergrins are omnivorous, and well known for their thievery.