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THE BEASTIARY | A Compendium of Monsters & Beasts

on Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:10 pm
Because I don't feel the need to recreate the wheel, and appreciate the work of those far greater than I at concepting monsters and beasts, I'm taking much and more from the minds behind the popular game / book franchise The Witcher. In terms of monsters, beasts, and all the other foul things we may run into during SoF, I felt like the monsters from The Witcher compliment this world quite well.

As such, I'll include many of the beasts we'll likely run into during our travels, some of their traits, and under what type of beast they are organized into. Naturally, not everything will translate exactly between our world in SoF, and the world of The Witcher, so be sure to ask the GMs any questions you may have regarding any of these.

((WIP))


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DRAGONS & DRACONIDS

•  Wyrm - Smallish, Lizardlike, Instinctual, Dog-sized Draconids. Alone, these can easily be frightened by people, however in packs as they like to travel, they may become bolder and attack all at once. Seen as a great nuisance to those living outside city walls, such as farmers and ranchers. Wyrms do not fly, but rather glide—very able climbers. Wyrms are incredibly adaptable, and will nest in most types of climates, the exception being highly arid deserts.

•  Wyvern - Man-sized draconids that peasants easily can mistake for a fully-fledged dragon. Wyverns tend to hunt in smaller groups, and are both territorial and aggressive—can easily snatch a person as well as a sheep to bring back to their nests for feeding. If hunted, it's best to do so in groups. Wyverns can be found in all types of climates, though prefer temperate, mountainous terrain.

•  Silverback - A variant of the Wyvern, though typically larger. The Silverback are rare to find unless delving deep into Wyvern territory, these beasts often make up the Alpha of the Wyvern nest. Highly instinctual, cunning, and aggressive, it is best to steer clear of these Draconids, unless you are a highly gifted hunter.

•  Basilisk - The basilisk is a creature out of living nightmare; a winged scaled beast often mistaken for a dragon, however only seen by night and shadow. The basilisk prefers cool, damp, and dark places to nest—such as caves, abandoned cellars, or even sewers. Due to their preference of the dark, their night vision is incredibly acute. Beyond their whip-like tails, and their hooked talons, their teeth are coated in an acid strong enough to burn through skin and bone. Although solitary creatures, it's best to give a wide berth to these monsters and their territory.

•  Hydra - A 9-headed draconid that is, nowadays, considered fable or myth. It has been centuries since a living specimen has been sighted, and those older records are considered dubious at best. Nevertheless, although a living Hydra has yet to be found, there is no proof that they don't exist either.

•  Lesser Dragon - Lesser Dragons are said to have evolved from Wyverns, a millennia ago. Unlike their cousins, however, lesser dragons can grow at least three times the size of the largest Silverback, and are thus three times more dangerous. Not purely instinctual and aggressive, these dragons are cunning and calculated in their actions, typically hunting their prey at the most opportune moment, and in packs of four or five. Like most dragons, they steer clear of large human settlements, preferring the wilderness and the hunt of wild prey. Lesser dragons can easily live in any form of terrain.

•  Greater Dragon - Greater Dragons are the larger and more powerful counterparts to their lesser brothers and sisters. These dragons have lived well past one hundred years, and have grown to be at least twice the size of a Lesser Dragon with an appetite to match. Their fire can easily burn a village to embers, their ice can destroy acres of crops and freeze bodies of salt water. Although they don't actively stray toward large human populations, there are several incidents reported every year of lone wanderers, farmers, ranchers, or curious and naive humans being attacked and devoured by these beasts. Conventional weapons likely won't effect a Greater Dragon, and will likely only enrage the beast. Attempt to hunt at the cost of your own, and your party's lives.

These dragons, along with their Lesser counterparts, may live in all terrains. Many, however, tend to live in colder climates, with large populations nesting in both of depths of the Northern and Southern Reaches.

•  Elder Dragon - Elder Dragons are the Kings and Queens of the draconic world. These beasts are the hight of apex predators, and may be as large as a galleon or large house. Incredibly rare to find in the wild, these dragons may be considered suicidal to attempt to hunt. An Elder Dragon has likely lived for between three hundred to five hundred years or more, and has the experience of the hunt to back up its higher position among dragons and draconids. These beasts are incredibly dangerous and intelligent, and will use the terrain, the sky, and all of their might to the utmost advantage.


NECROPHAGES

•  Ghoul - Foul incarnations that bear uncanny resemblance to human features, however twisted and grotesque. Despite any hint of similarity however, Ghouls are utterly inhuman, and act only on their instincts and drive to eat flesh. Unfortunately common after battle, Ghouls will gather to feast on the lying dead or the uncared for wounded. Typically found in groups, any unwitting souls can easily be surrounded any overwhelmed by these monstrosities.

•  Rotfiend - Being necrophages, Rotfiends thrive in damp terrain, and gather in battlefields of plague/famine-striken areas to feed on carrion and corpses. They are best dealt with by burning any bodies (as these beasts are avid diggers), as without a food source, they will roam for another feeding ground. Rotfiends are agile and difficult to fight unless skilled—extra care must be taken when hunting these abominations, as upon death, it's body will explode, giving off noxious flammable fumes.

•  Foglet - Mainly found in swamps, forests, the mountains, or along the shore Foglets will appear within a thick fog, easily able to take wary travelers unaware. As magical beasts, these necrophages are able to manipulate the fog, using it as their own camouflage when on the hunt. Initially seen as a dim light within the fog, it is easy for a traveler to become complacent and feel the urge to walk toward its illusion, being lured to their own peril. Their main weapons are their long, pointed claws.

•  Drowner - Thought by peasants to be the risen dead of those drowned, these necrophages are simply beasts who inhabit the wet areas of the world, feasting as all of its kind do, on the deceased or nearly dead. Despite its humanoid characteristics, these beasts are scaled and bear a dorsal fin—lending to their reputation as excellent swimmers. Drowners inhabit areas close to human habitation (as their primary food source), however are generally cowardly unless in greater numbers. Beyond a good blade and use of a toxic necrophage oil, fire is equally as effective at combatting these beasts.


SPECTERS

•  Noonwraith - These wraiths appear in open, cultivated fields or meadows, and only make their presence known when the sun is at its highest. They dance in circles of light—crops sway around them on a windless day, and they draw farmers and unwitting travelers to join in their revelry. Those that draw near enough, stepping into the wraith's circle, will likely meet their end—such is why many peasant farmers will return home or seek shelter in the shade at noon, to avoid this wraith's illusion. Noonwraiths use the sun's light to attack their prey, blinding them.

•  Nightwraith - Like noonwraiths, these specters appear in rural areas; cultivated fields and meadows. When the sun sets, and the moon rises in the night sky, these foul wraiths call these fields their domains—drawing power from the moon itself, nightwraiths are bathed in a silvery glow, beckoning travelers and peasants into their grasp.

•  Wraith - Wraiths are specters that appear as wandering souls, hooded and cloaked, holding a glowing lantern in one hand as if looking to find their way through the dark. They only appear at night, or in the darkest of places, and are naturally tied to locations of tragedy or their personal suffering—such as battlefields, abandoned homes, crumbling castles, or forgotten ruins. Wraiths suffer endless, indescribable pain. Filled with anger and a sense of having been wronged, they both envy the living and brim with overwhelming hatred for them. Because they are immaterial, Wraiths may not be damaged by conventional means, such as fire, poisons, or blades intended for the living.

•  Phantom - Phantoms appear in desolate places, such as battlefields—places of great tragedy—to prowl in the dark and attack the living. Their form, like wraiths, is typically immaterial, and thus may only be exorcised when certain conditions are met. Phantoms, as vengeful spirits, had their lives cut short, and harbor only emotions of wrath, loathing, resentment, and loneliness.

•  Banshee - Appearing only at night, a Banshee appears as a gaunt female spirit, wailing a warning to those who will die. Not necessarily a malicious spirit, it is nevertheless considered a grave omen to come across a Banshee in your travels. More likely than not, these specters will attempt to escape, summoning friendly spirits to distract the intruder and allow her escape. They may also use their screams to disorientate and disable their attackers.

•  Shade - A Shade is a formless demon that has been summoned from the Great Beyond by an untrained sorcerer, only to kill their host. With no other purpose than to murder the living, Shades will search out for those who are alone, hiding within their own shadow as they slowly sap the life from their body. Typically, by the time someone has learned they are being haunted, it is far too late. Shades, being demons, may also possess the living, forcing their new host to do their bidding—whatever evil things it desires.


RELICTS

•  Fiend - A three-eyed ungulate beast with a crown of antlers, Fiends inhabit the forested mountainous regions of the world. When possible they avoid civilization, but when not possible, they kill, and without much difficulty. Beyond their ferocious size and strength, Fiends will also use a form of hypnosis with their third eye, plunging their would-be attacker into darkness, with only a single burning eye visible—likely the last thing one will see before their life is extinguished. Though sensitive to loud noises, it is not recommended to attempt to hunt these beasts.

•  Leshen - Also known as a 'Leshy' or 'Spriggan', Leshens are spirits of the dense forests who live only to kill those who enter their domains. Possessing a deer skull as a head and tree-like limbs, a leshen can call for aid from crows or a pack of wolves. Typically bound to a forest familiar, a Leshen may only be destroyed upon killing its host, as well as the Leshen's warding totems, which aid to spread its presence throughout the forest.

•  Imp - A type of Doppler, which may take on the form of any person or animal it wishes. An imp, when not in any disguised form, appears as a small, malformed, apparently wretched creature. Despite any appearances, however, Imps and Dopplers try to avoid conflict when possible, and would sooner use their changeling abilities to escape confrontation.

•  Chort - Similar to Fiends, although a bit smaller in stature, these relicts are nevertheless incredibly dangerous all the same. Chorts inhabit the oldest of woodlands and forests, but are known to attack rural homesteads and villages when the opportunity presents itself. These beasts use their brute force to attack, ramming and knocking attackers to the ground with a horned head, and then their teeth or claw-tipped paws to strike a final blow. Chorts, like Fiends, also possess incredibly quick regenerative powers, allowing their wounds to heal quickly.

•  Shaelmaar - These large, armored, relict beasts are avid burrowers, creating vast systems of tunnels, which they call home. Shaelmaar are blind, and thus use echolocation to find their way. It's exceedingly rare to find this beast above ground, though if they did arise from the earth, it is likely their damage would be horrific to civilization.


ELEMENTALS

•  Djinn
•  Earth Elemental
•  Fire Elemental
•  Ice Elemental
•  Wind Elemental
•  Mountain Golem


VAMPIRES

•  Alp
•  Ekimmara
•  Katakan


INSECTOIDS

•  Arachnomorph
•  Endrega
•  Kikimore
•  Giant Centipede


COMMON BEASTS

•  Wolves / Timber Wolves
•  Bears
•  Rabid Dogs
•  Panthers / Pumas
•  Crocodiles / Aligators
etc.
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