Latest revision: 15 June 2004
The following creatures were planned for inclusion in Anaxial’s Roster, but ended up being cut due to space constraints.
Their complete write-ups are available here:
Creatures of Above: Dende (Boatbird), Korenthe (Choralinthor Crane), Owls
Domesticated Animals: Gaur (Hump-backed Cow), Water Buffalo, Yak
Wild Predators: Vuskarasas (Elurae, Fox-Woman)
Creatures of Below: “The Spawn of Sokazub,” Giant Tick, Insect Swarm, Sen Bardi (Nightflyer), Stingworm
Unnatural Creatures: Chaos Snakes (Spit Snake, Stake Snake, Stone Snake, Weapon Snake)
Embodied Spirits: Limnade, Limoniad
Aquatic Creatures: Dolphins (Common Dolphin, Porpoise), Hippocampus, Murthoi, Narwhal, Orca, Seals (Hooded Seal, Leopard Seal, Tholaina’s Seal), Snagarl (Sea-wolf)
The aquatic creatures listed here are previews of Triolina’s Children, the Oceans Bestiary, which is currently in the writing stage.
Creatures of Above
Dende (Boatbird, Giant Loon, Oslira Boatbird)
Ages: Green, Golden, Historical (rare).
Distribution: Oslira River (Peloria).
Habitat: Rivers, lakes.
Dende are huge aquatic birds, similar to loons or mergansers, but unable to fly or walk. They have broad bodies, long necks, stubby wings used as paddles, and short legs at the rear of their bodies to propel them forward. Their tails are stumpy. Their feathers are a dark blue that shines in the sunlight when they are dry, and nearly all are comparatively short for their body size. They feed mostly on floating vegetable matter and weeds in shallow water, but supplement their diet with small fish and crustaceans.
Uniquely among birds, the young of dende are born live. The newborn young quickly clamber onto their mother’s back, where they remain until their swimming ability has improved enough for them to venture further afield. They are quite adroit upon or within the waters, and can dive for long periods of time.
Few wild dende live on the Oslira River, for the Dendeninni people use most of them as boats; no one else has the knack of working with the huge birds. An adult dende is large enough to carry several people, a horse and a couple of people, or a pile of cargo, hence their common name.
Before the Dawn, the Dendeninni people made a pact with the goddess Dende, who was famous as the only creature to conquer the Black Eel that otherwise kept all creatures out of its waters. They were prominent at the Dawn upon the rivers. Over the centuries, however, their rivers have been walled up to make paddies and their mating beds ravaged for tubers, and now they are scorned as just another of the many “weeder peoples” of the Oslira.
Weapons and Armor: Bite 12^1, Feathers ^2.
Significant Abilities: Forage 15, Large 2w, Stay Underwater 18, Strong 15, Swim 10w.
Tactics: Dende swim away from most predators. When panicked, they dive and wait until their attacker has left.
Korenthe (Choralinthor Crane, Giant Crane)
Grus choralinthae. Ages: Storm, Historical. Distribution: Maniria. Habitat: Marsh.
Much of the six foot height of these giant cranes is due to their long legs and necks. They are gray, with black legs, heads, and necks, and a patch of bright red feathers on their foreheads. Like other cranes they mate for life and make loud, trumpet-like calls, especially when threatened by intruders. Each pair of cranes builds a platform-nest in shallow water and jealously guards the surrounding wetland area. Barring accidents, they can live for more than sixty years. They usually eat small- to medium-sized mammals, amphibians, fish, and the like, but will eat almost anything. Their favorite prey is the huge frogs of Frog Island, in the Choralinthor Bay.
Korenthe are most noted for their association with the folk of the Rightarm Islands of Kethaela, who summon them to protect their fishing villages from pirates or other raiders. They call their goddess Korenth the Great Rebel, but she has kept her origins a secret from her worshippers. She was a demigoddess who fled from the north during the Storm Age. She made pacts with the local gods to survive, and mated with the deity Choralinthor to produce her children.
Weapons and Armor: Peck 15^1.
Significant Abilities: Forage 18, Intimidate With Loud Calls 18 (+18 AP/flock member), Resist Magic 2w, Swim 15.
Tactics: Although individual Korenthe are not much of a threat, great flocks of them may descend upon small groups of attackers. When this happens, their Intimidation ability can be used to great effect, with one bird using the AP of its fellows in the contest.
Tyto alba and others
Ages: Darkness, Historical.
Habitat: Any, except ocean or glacier.
Owls are found throughout Glorantha. They avoid only the harshest of habitats and the open sea, but most species prefer forests. Where eagles and their relatives hunt through the day, owls hunt at night. They catch prey with their feet, then kill it with a few bites, swallow it whole; they later regurgitate the bones and other inedible parts. Most owls nest in holes in trees or cliffs, but there are exceptions: Pentan owls inhabit old gopher holes, for example. Outside of the breeding season, owls are solitary.
Orable is the Greater Pelorian Owl. When the world got dark, then bad, the bats swept far and wide, pillaging, sucking blood, and taking souls wherever they wanted. Vrimak called his most courageous warrior to him, and blessed the god Orable to fight this scourge. Ever since then, the bats and owls have been dire foes. A small tribe of Fronelan hsunchen worships Flar, the Black Owl Spirit, and is infamous for its nocturnal raids. They practice the Korgatsu Tradition like all hsunchen, and say that they are humans who turn into birds.
Greater Pelorian Owl
Weapons and Armor: None significant.
Significant Abilities: Acute Hearing 5w, Aerobatics 18, Fly Fast 12, Fly Silently 18, Pounce 2w, See at Night 10w, Small 12.
Tactics: Owls hide on a suitable perch, then swoop down silently on prey passing beneath. They grab the creature with their claws and dispatch it with a few sharp pecks before swallowing it whole. Attacks for normal-sized owls are too insignificant to humans to bother listing.
Domesticated Animals – Cattle
Gaur (Hump-backed Cow)
Bos gaurus. Ages: Historical. Distribution: Verenela. Habitat: Jungle, Domestic. Distinct Abilities: None.
These dark, hump-backed cattle are native to Fethlon, and serve the Teshnans in much the same way as typical cows do elsewhere. Gaur is the Good Cow made long ago by Elesha, the Teshnan Mother of Animals, to serve humankind.
Bubalus arnee Ages: Golden, Historical. Distribution: Kralorela. Habitat: Marsh, domestic.
Weapons and Armor: Thick Skin ^2.
Distinct Abilities: Large 10w, Wade Through Mud 16.
Found wild near tropical rivers, domestic water buffalo are used throughout Kralorela because they are particularly suited to wading through waterlogged rice paddies. Fonmaleshan, the Kralori Mother of Animals, made water buffaloes long ago. In the reign of Emperor HeenMaroun, Mr. Good Paddy Worker, a son of Aptanace the Sage, tamed them. Out past the paddies the wild ones are threatening and aggressive to humans, eager to avenge their enslaved kin.
Bos mutus. Ages: Green, Golden, Storm, Historical. Distribution: Northern Pent, Shanshan Mountains. Habitat: Mountains.
Weapons and Armor: Thick Skin and Hair ^2.
Distinct Abilities: Climb Rocky Slope 15, Large 10w, Resist Cold 2w.
These bulky, shaggy cattle live in large herds in Pent, and in small clans in the upper Shanshan. They thrive in terrain too inhospitable for most other animals. Because many are hsunchen, yaks are not considered to be either domestic or wild. Lofak was one of many beings who lived peacefully until the cold and the Uz came. Lofak covered his people with warm cloaks, gave them sharp horns to fight the Uz, and taught them to lick ice to survive.
Vuskarasas (Elura, Fox-woman, Raccoon Dog)
Nyctereutes elurae. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical (rare). Distribution: Dragon Pass, Kralorela. Habitat: Forest.
Vuskarasa are magical shape-changers native to Kralorela. A small group lives in Dragon Pass (where they are known as elurae), and are associated with the beast-men of Beast Valley. They spend most of their time in their animal form, which resembles a fluffy, raccoon-like canine often mistaken for a fox. They are omnivorous, and mainly eat fruit and insects. In addition to their growling speech, vuskarasa communicate by leaving scent marks in favored locations. These marks are sophisticated; they can express a form of poetry, which all vuskarasas take pride in their ability to compose.
Occasionally, a vuskarasas changes into her human form, which has exotic (vulpine) features. In this form, she hunts larger prey and interacts with nymphs, ‘beast-men,’ and, when necessary, humans. Vuskarasa are legendary for their beauty and lust, and often seduce lone human males, although children never result from such matings. Most vuskarasa can assume intermediate forms, and some are very whimsical about their shape, often appearing as a human with an animal head, an animal with a human head, or a form that combines features of both animal and human. Some have been known to transform into their vixen form during sex with human males, as a cruel joke. No matter how they transform, however, they always retain their tail, and so are easily discovered by one who suspects them.
All vuskarasa are female; they reproduce by mating with satyrs, beast-men, or similar entities. They live in communal dens, which are too small for them to enter except in animal form. The toughest among them is the leader, and bullies the others into submission, until one becomes strong enough to challenge her for the position. Unlike foxes they hibernate through Dark Season, and place powerful wards on their dens to wake them if danger threatens.
Vuskarasa was a daimon who desired to marry a master of draconic lore. She used many tricks and wiles, and mated with many men, but in the end was only a creature scurrying through garbage and eating rats. Although the humans of Dragon Pass dismiss them as just another form of beast-man, in truth the vuskarasas have little to do with the other inhabitants of Beast Valley except during their mating season. They are theists, not animists, and are not members of the Beast Valley Tradition.
Vuskarasas – Animal Form
Weapons and Armor: Claw and Bite 12^0. Significant Abilities: Cautious 15, Dig 12, Dodge Attack 15, Elurae Customs 16, Forage 18, Hide in Cover 2w, Initiate of Vuskarasa 16, Know Local Area 18, Night Vision 18, Poetry 12, Read Scent Marks 5w, Run Fast 15, Scent Food 18, Small 12, Sneak 5w. Tactics: In animal form, a vuskarasas will flee from humans, nimbly dodging if attacked. If cornered, she lashes out with her bite and claws, and flees as soon as possible.
Vuskarasas – Human Form
Weapons and Armor: Bow ^3, Claws ^0, Knife ^1. Significant Abilities: Acute Sense of Smell 12, Beautiful 2w, Cautious 15, Climb Tree 15, Close Combat 12, Initiate of Vuskarasa 16, Elurae Customs 16, Hide in Cover 2w, Know Local Area 18, Night Vision 18, Ranged Combat 18, Read Scent Marks 18, Run Fast 15, Seduce Male 16, Sneak 18. Tactics: The natural instinct of a vuskarasas is to flee and hide. If necessary, she will try to distract pursuers using her magic. If cornered, she lashes out with a hunting knife or her clawed hands, and flees as soon as possible. If she meets a lone human male that she finds attractive, she may attempt to seduce him, or at least distract him with her flirting until she can take animal shape and flee.
Creatures of Below
The Spawn of Sokazub
An Uz Genealogy
Darkness was the first power to form from the Void, although others followed. These powers formed the Shadow Council and fashioned new things, which were often shared out among the world. These creations were given to the Darkness first; this is why the Dark has so many secrets, for some were never passed on, kept hidden in the Underworld. Subere is the name given by Uz to those hidden secrets.
One of the first new creations was the Beast Rune. Nakala, Primal Darkness, enfolded it before allowing it to pass into the world, and where it had rested in Wonderhome a dark child lay, called Sokazub. Depending on who tells the story, she either spawned many children; or only one, who also spawned a single daughter, and so forth. In all versions, however, the first of her spawned was Molakka, born in the primordial waters.
Molakka is the Mother of Mollusks, whose great bulk sprouted innumerable tentacles to grasp any who dared violate her realm. Like all of the earliest entities, her body had a spirit part and a mortal part. From her mortal part sprouted a host of creatures to fill the dark waters. Her spawn include the mighty octopus and squid, the sea slugs and other soft-bodied creatures whom the Uz so love to eat, and the clams, oysters, and snails, who have hard protective shells to deter predators.
At the same time, the spirit part of Molakka gave rise to a new child, who took the form of a great segmented worm. This was Swems, who crawled across the bottom of the black seas and consumed the detritus there. From her mortal part wriggled a great profusion of worms of all types: lugworms and ragworms, leeches and slime-worms.
Eventually, the dark waters gave rise to something new. A tiny speck of dry matter arose and grew to become a rock, then an island, and then a continent. Some of the spawn of Sokazub crawled onto the land and made their homes there, which is why there are land snails and earth worms. More important was the child born from the spirit part of Swems. This was Kropa, the Mother of Many, who had an armored body, sharp claws, and biting mouthparts to ensure her survival in this new and dangerous realm.
Like her ancestresses, Kropa had a spirit part and a mortal part. From her mortal part were born centipedes, millipedes, and other strange creatures, many of which are no longer known today. But more important are the children of Kropa’s spirit. Although her spawn are many, only a few are well known.
Kropa’s first child was Orani, whose mortal spawn are the spiders, and whose other children are vast spirits unknown even to the Uz. Orani was born in the Age of Creation when the world was young and the Enemy still a child. She inherited a vast mystical nature that she has kept, even into Time. Even humans recognize this. Of all Sokazub’s spawn, only Orani has ever looked past her next meal, at the secrets bound into the Web of the Cosmos.
Kropa’s next children were Borukug and Frestakels, who traveled back to the waters from whence their mother had come. Their mortal parts spawned the crabs and the shrimp, respectively, but their spirit parts were too small to generate further creatures. Thus did the expansion of even the darkness falter in that time of endless growth.
Gorakiki is the most prolific of Kropa’s spawn. She was born during the Endless Eating Time, when the Uz lived in blissful Uzhome. Like everything else in that time she thrived, and her children spread throughout creation. So many mortal spawn did she have that her spirit part was used up completely. She is now only a name, worshipped through her descendants.
Gorakiki’s first spawn remained underground with her, and still shelter in the dark; we call them bristletails, springtails, and earwigs. Her second spawn swam in the waters, and are dragonflies, mayflies, and water beetles. Her most numerous spawn crawled in and upon the earth; these are bugs, beetles, cockroaches, flies, and hundreds of other insects. When the wicked surface gods made animals of their own, some of Gorakiki’s spawn fed upon them; these are the fleas, lice, and bloodgnats.
Last-born of Kropa’s children was Krolar. He was spawned during the Great Darkness, within the light of the Enemy, in the ashes of Wonderhome called Death Hell. He was born to be the guardian of the remaining powers of Darkness, and so he alone of Kropa’s spawn knows Subere. As befits one born in that age of violence, Krolar is strong and deadly, strengthened by Zugorteg and armed with Death by Zorak Zoran. He proved a worthy defender of Hell, and met defeat only once. He was originally two spirits, but his twin was devoured by the Chaos thing that he named Bagog, which means ‘traitor.’ That creature gained kinship to Krolar and the Darkness thereby, and now only it and Krolar are known.
Various. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Worldwide. Habitat: Any except arctic and sea.
Individual insects are irrelevant to heroes. However, many normal-sized stinging insects (such as bees, wasps, hornets, or army ants) form swarms that can be dangerous to humans. The entire swarm acts as a single foe, and may attack any number of heroes without suffering a multiple opponent penalty. Such swarms are generally only enraged if their nest is disturbed. The size of the swarm determines its venom potency and Sting ability rating, but 18 for both is typical of a wasp nest or a small beehive.
The first swarm of biting insects came from Odbarum, an evil giant that was destroying the Vingkotlings. Vingkot slew him and burned the body. He threw the ashes to the winds, but they turned into the many kinds of stinging insects.
Weapons and Armor: Sting 2w^0. Significant Abilities: None. Poison: Instant, Painful, Potency 18. Tactics: The swarm will continue stinging until the attackers are driven off. Heroes can resist the Sting with abilities such as Tough, or with a burning brand or similar defense. Armor has little effect, and can give a handicap of no more than ^-1 to the swarm when it attacks. Heavy clothing is equally effective, but magic is usually more useful. In most cases, insect venom is painful and incapacitating, but not deadly.
Sen Bardi (Nightflyer)
Myotoides tenebra. Ages: Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Blue Moon Plateau (Peloria), southern Kralorela, Verenela. Habitat: Jungle, forest.
Sen bardi are dark, nocturnal, humanoid creatures about the size of enlo, but with leathery wings instead of arms. These wings have two free, opposable fingers, and sen bardi are surprisingly dexterous when the wings are folded. They have weak, spindly legs, but are able to hop about on the ground. Sen bardi prey upon lizards, small mammals, and large insects, and eat carrion as well. Their habit of stealing shiny objects and food has made them notorious among jungle travelers.
Sen bardi are completely blind, lacking any eyes, but avoid the sunlight because it weakens their natural Darksense ability (apply a -3 handicap to Bite and Darksense while in bright light). They are semi-intelligent, and the rare tamed sen bardi can even learn simple spells. Among themselves, they do not speak a true language, but captured sen bardi are taught to obey commands in the Teshnan or Kralori tongue.
Sen bardi descend from the Uz, although the absence of Uz in Verenela would seem to suggest otherwise. However, the Kralori say that all of the local Uz devolved into sen bardi as a result of their particular brand of ignorance. The Teshnans say that the sen bardi accompanied the Uz to the surface from Hell. The amazons of Trowjang claim that the sen bardi came from the south with the loper people. A few sen bardi live on the Blue Moon Plateau, which could support any of these beliefs.
Weapons and Armor: Bite 18^1. Significant Abilities: Cunning 5w, Curious 15, Detect Prey with Darksense 2w, Dexterous 18, Dodge Attack 18. Tactics: A sen bardi normally swoops down from above, uses its Dexterous ability to steal something, and flies off before the target can react. Their claws can even undo buckles and knots. If presented with a more serious threat they flee, but if cornered will nip at an attacker with their sharp teeth.
Carabus venefix and others. Ages: Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Uzko lands. Habitat: Forest, rough terrain.
The larvae of several giant insects are collectively referred to as ‘stingworms’. Stingworms resemble caterpillars, but with longer legs better adapted for fast movement. Both land- and water-dwelling forms exist. The creatures repeatedly molt throughout their life, increasing in size each time. The abilities below are for a stingworm that has completed the last pre-adult molt, and is about to pupate. This stage is the longest, and some species actually spend longer as larvae than they do as pupae or adults.
Weapons and Armor: Bite or Sting 15^2, Chitin ^2. Significant Abilities: Ambush 2w, Large 15, Strong 15. Poison: Debilitating, Painful, Potency 2w. Tactics: Stingworms lie in wait for prey, often concealed beneath mud, stones, or other debris, or in the water if aquatic. When a suitable target passes by, they lash out suddenly, grab it with their sharp mandibles, and inject their venom with bite or sting, depending on the species.
Dermacentor gigans. Ages: Darkness, Historical (rare). Distribution: Uzko lands, Chaos nests. Habitat: Forest, jungle, scrubland.
Giant ticks are a foot or so across, with a rounded body and eight legs, that feed on the blood of large mammals and reptiles, including humans. They spend most of their time hidden beneath bushes or in the branches of trees, waiting for a suitable animal to pass by. They only need to feed once a week or so. Ticks lay eggs in the soil, which hatch into small, wriggling larvae. Although ticks are solitary in the wild, they usually wait near each other, so a victim might be attacked by several at once.
The first ticks dropped off the bloated body of Malia. Malia’s worshippers sometimes breed giant ticks, which they then possess with disease spirits. The tick itself is immune to the disease, but infects any creature that it bites. Many ticks carry disease even if found in the wild (typically with an ability rating of 15).
Weapons and Armor: Bite 2w^0, Chitin ^1. Significant Abilities: Drain Blood 15, Climb 2w, Hear Prey 15, Hide in Cover 5w, Small 12, Tough 18. Poison: Debilitating, Paralyzing, Potency 12. Tactics: A tick rushes to attack when it detects prey. It bites with its hooked mouthparts, injecting Paralyzing venom. If the tick is victorious in its initial attack it remains attached, and begins a new contest to Drain Blood from the victim. At the narrator’s option, the tick’s venom and Drain Blood attack can be run as a single contest with multiple attackers. The tick will remain attached until it reduces the victim’s AP to 0 or below, then will drop off and scuttle away to digest its meal.
Waknath (Chaos Snake)
The base stats for Waknath are found in Anaxial’s Roster, page 185.
Weapons and Armor: Spit 15^0; substances other than acid have Potency 5w. When attacking or alarmed, a spit snake rears up like a cobra and spits at a target up to twenty feet away. In most cases they spit acid, but some spit an acrid oil that overcomes the causes nausea (the odor remains for up to a week), a sticky glue that immobilizes the target, or some other substance. The acid spit acts as a normal ranged attack, but in all other cases, the victim must defend against the potency of the substance.
Weapons and Armor: Butt 15^2, Strike 15^0. Distinct Abilities: Leap 18. Named for the sharp horn on their foreheads, stake snakes spring through the air and butt opponents. They can leap up to ten feet, and may augment their Butt attack with their Leap ability if they attack from surprise. If the initial assault fails, a stake snake will slither back and try again. If unable to spring (such as in a confined space), stake snakes bite like other snakes.
Distinct Abilities: Ambush 18, Dig 5w. Innate Chaos Features: Dig through Stone 18. Unlike other Chaos snakes, all stone snakes are a uniform slate gray. They can burrow even through solid stone. They attack from a concealed burrow, and may augment their first attack with their Ambush ability.
Weapons and Armor: Strike 15^0, Tail 15^3. Poison: None. Weapon snakes have sharp, bony protuberances on their tails, which sometimes resemble scimitars or maces. They lash out with these at opponents, but can also strike in the fashion of normal, non-venomous, snakes.
Limnade (Fuath, Lake Nymph, Marsh Nymph, Swamp Nymph, Vough)
Ages: All. Distribution: Worldwide (except the Wastes, Pent, and the Nargan Desert). Habitat: Lakes, marsh.
Limnades are associated with still fresh water, such as lakes and swamps. The type of water that a limnade inhabits has a great effect on her personality. Where the water is clear and fresh, such as in mountain lakes, a limnade appears as an alluring, naked young woman; she is generally neutral to mortals. Limnades prefer seclusion, but only become hostile if threatened. A limnade will avoid harming people or animals that visit her lake, unless they are obviously hostile. She might rescue someone who is drowning, and may be worshipped as part of a local animist tradition.
A limnade may change over time if her lake loses its inflow, is choked with weeds and silt, or becomes tainted with saltwater. As her home water changes into marsh, the limnade’s personality becomes progressively darker, until she becomes a vough. Vough take the form of blue-, green-, or black-faced old women, with metal claws and dripping wet robes (formed from their bodies). In exceptionally large swamps, each vough might inhabit a particular pool of fetid water. Otherwise, they inhabit the whole body of water, and wax and wane with its fortunes.
A vough is malevolent towards most land-dwellers, and will usually lure to his doom a mortal who trespasses on her domain. Vough usually refrain from attacking those that hurl her a sacrifice (usually a goat or pig, but a human makes a nice treat). Followers of water gods (such as the Weeders of the Oslira River) may know other ways to appease or foil a nearby vough. Vough detest most life in general, even intelligent aquatic life such as Triolini. Some vough mate with captured mortals or less savory entities, and spawn shapeless, slimy swamp creatures called brollachan.
Limnades can control any non-sentient creature born in their body of water, and can magically sense events occurring anywhere in their domain. Most have other magical talents as well.
A limnade’s or vough’s talents can take several forms when embodied. Most often, they embody their talents in water, and so form watery tentacles, but talents can also be embodied in a patch of mist or a will-o-wisp (a floating ball of cold fire). Limnades favor will-o-wisps for their Entice Mortal ability. Vough often embody a talent into a whip braided from their hair.
Typical Might: 5w.
Weapons and Armor: None.
Significant Abilities: Dodge Attack 5w, Lithe 15, Knowledge 12w2, Swim Fast 15.
Innate Magical Abilities: Alluring 2w (limnade)/Terrifyingly Ugly 2w (vough), Command Natural Creatures Born in Home Lake/Swamp 8w2, Perceive Events in Home Body of Water 5w.
Typical Talents: Bind Movement, Cause Weakness, Entice Mortal, Extinguish Fire, Healing, Mimic Voices, Raise Mist, Resist Magic, Stop Breath.
Tactics: If she senses an intruder, a limnade will attempt to entice them to their doom beneath the water. They might use will-o-wisps, create illusions of distant voices, or do whatever else is needed to lure the victim into a patch of quicksand or mud. Alternately, they can appear in human form, and use their beauty to drive the victim mad so that he leaps into the water to be with them. They may augment their Entice ability with their Alluring beauty, although the victim will receive a bonus to resist of at least +5 based on his natural fear of drowning.
If more a more direct confrontation is required, the limnade will use talents such as Cause Weakness or Stop Breath harm the target. If all else fails, they will embody as many talents as possible and seek to flee into the water under their cover.
Vough use the same tactics as more benevolent limnades, but are much more hostile. If a direct confrontation is required, the vough will embody an appropriate talent as a whip and attack her foes. If all else fails, she will embody as many talents as possible and attack, but will flee into the water and dissolve her body if she begins to lose the fight.
Limoniad (Meadow Nymph)
Ages: Green, Golden, Storm, Historical. Distribution: Worldwide. Habitat: Highland meadows.
Limoniads are rare nymphs associated with highland meadows. They resemble pre-pubescent girls with brightly colored eyes, often with flowers growing in their hair, and only form their bodies when their flowers are in bloom. Thus, they appear with the first snowdrops of spring, and remain until the last flower withers in autumn. As collective spirits, they start out weak, grow stronger, and then slowly fade in power as their meadow dies. When the meadow blooms again the following spring it develops a new limoniad, with no memories of a previous existence. Thus, a limoniads is eternally innocent, being born, living, and dying as part of their meadow’s natural cycle.
Limoniads can control any non-sentient creature born in their meadow, and can magically sense events that occur there. Most have other magical talents as well.
Typical Might: 5w. Weapons and Armor: None. Significant Abilities: Climb 12w, Hide in Cover 12w, Jump 10w, Lithe 18, Knowledge 12w2. Innate Magical Abilities: Alluring 2w, Command Natural Creatures born in Home Meadow 5w2, Perceive Events in Home Meadow 5w. Typical Talents: Fast Running, Heal Mind, Healing, Make Flowers Bloom, Remove Violent Tendencies, Summon Butterflies, Visions of Childhood (creates a distracting vision of a true childhood memory in the subject). Tactics: A limoniad cannot engage in combat, even if her meadow is threatened. She can use her magic in defense, although the nature of her talents usually makes such a defense ineffectual. If the meadow is destroyed she will become a mournful ghost and weep constantly. If any mortals pass by she will beseech their aid in piteous tones. After a few weeks, she will fade forever (although if the meadow grows back it may develop a new limoniad).
These were a preview of Triolina’s Children – the Oceans Bestiary by Jamie Revell and Greg Stafford. The supplement was never published.
Delphinus delphis. Ages: Storm, Historical. Distribution: All seas except the Hudaro Ocean, Neliomi Sea, and Keniryan Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters.
Dolphins are friendly sea mammals. They usually eat fish living near the surface, such as herring and anchovies, but occasionally dive into deeper waters. They live in schools of at least ten, and sometimes several hundred, individuals. They are energetic and exuberant, and often leap into the air, slap the water with their tails and even perform spontaneous acrobatics.
Common Dolphin (Alfinus)
Alfinus, or common dolphins, have variable coloration, including streaks of yellow and black down the flanks, with a dark back and white underside. They live throughout the seas, avoiding only colder climes, but prefer to remain at a distance from shore. They are often associated with ludoch, sometimes cooperating on hunts, but are not domesticated Alfinus was a child of Tholaina. He and his kin served as scouts in the Sea Gods’ struggle against Orlanth.
Weapons and Armor: Bite 12^1, Blubber ^1. Significant Abilities: Acrobatics 18, Cunning 15, Dive 18, Hunt by Sonar 2w, Inquisitive 15, Leap 15, Swim Fast 2w. Tactics: Dolphins generally do not threaten humans or mermen, and so are dangerous only to fish. Some ludoch train dolphins to fight against malasps and other dangerous aquatic creatures, which they will bite.
Phocoena phocoena. Ages: Storm, Historical. Distribution: Kahar Sea, Rozgali Sea, Solkathi Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters.
Porpoises live in pods of two to five individuals. They are friendly to the ludoch, and serve those mermen in much the same way that dogs aid humans in hunting and guarding. Unlike dolphins, they rarely leap out of the water. Because they are not children of Tholaina, porpoises are included among the ‘false whales.’
The Deregia were originally human beings. They were good and kind, and so all other peoples victimized them terribly during the Gods War. They retreated to an isolated island and lived in peace until it began sinking beneath a raging flood. They prayed to their god Deregos for help, and he turned them all into porpoises. They avoid humans, whom they still distrust.
Distinct Abilities: Cunning 2w, Leap 10.
Hippocampus (Sea Horse)
Ichthyequus vulgarise. Ages: Storm, Historical. Distribution: Sshorg Sea, Kahar Sea, Rozgali Sea, Solkathi Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters.
Hippocampi swim in the seas around Genertela and Vormain, except in the coldest waters. They have the forequarters, head, and forelimbs of horses, but the hindquarters and tails of dolphins. They lack hooves; their two feet end in flexible flippers that aid swimming. They have as wide a range of colors as horses, with the tail having the same color as the remainder of the body.
Hippocampi are peaceful herbivores, and usually graze on seaweed. Many ludoch domesticate them as beasts of burden; noble ludoch often ride “chariots” drawn by pairs of hippocampi. In the wild, hippocampi travel in herds of up to a dozen individuals. They are mammals, and must breath air at least once an hour.
Once Hereva, a triton, sought to bring shame to the rebellious Dry Gods by seducing one of their goddesses. She took the form of a horse to avoid him, but he caught her anyways. The goddess later sent her children to their father, and they were the first hippocampi. Hereva defended them against the crusade of Dababa, the Orca, who was created to cleanse the seas of such False Whales. The race swore allegiance to the sea gods exclusively, but Hereva and Dababa are still angry.
Weapons and Armor: Blubber and Hide ^2, Tail Slap 12^0. Significant Abilities: Hear Noise 15, Large 5w, Leap From Water 18, Strong 2w, Swim Fast 2w. Tactics: Hippocampi usually flee from combat, but will slap at a target with their tail if cornered or the threat appears minor. A particularly enraged hippocampus might bite or kick with its flippers.
Murthoi (Blue Elf)
Murthalgus spp. Ages: Green, Golden, Storm, Historical. Distribution: All coastal seas except Keniryan. Habitat: Coastal waters, rivers, lakes, deep sea.
Also known as blue elves, murthoi are small (four foot long) magenta beings with webbed fingers, long kelp-like hair, and an eel-like tail instead of hind legs. There are three species of true murthoi, plus a smaller related semi-intelligent species known as murthlings. They dry out quickly above water, and so any contact with land creatures is difficult. One species lives in fresh water, primarily in large lakes, although sometimes also in wide rivers and coastal (salt) waters.
Like true elves, murthoi are sentient and mobile plants, and have an instinctive understanding of the great seaweed forests they tend. This Elfsense takes a -5 penalty when used on a land plant instead of a sea plant. Murthoi cooperate with land elves when the two races meet, but such occasions are rare, for murthoi suffocate if taken from the water. Murthoi speak their own tongue, which is very close to the language spoken by land elves.
All species of murthoi have a surprisingly complex society. In two of the species there are four ‘sexes,’ each of which has different social roles. One of the two saltwater species is hermaphroditic, and uses unknown means to determine the roles of its individual members. Humans find it difficult to tell the different species apart.
The murthoi have grown in Glorantha’s seas and shallows since the first land rose. They are the descendants of Murthdrya, Sramake, and Sharthu, the “Stirring Warmth.”
Typical Murthoi Plant Tender
Innate Abilities: Dehydrate Easily 15, Elfsense 14, Hide in Cover 18, Nimble 12, Small 12, Speak Aldryami 10, Swim Fast 18, Swim without Trace 14.
Typical Abilities: Close Combat 15, Command Murthlings 17, Dodge Attack 1w, Elfsense 2w, Hide in Cover 1w, Know Local Area 17, Know Local Sealife 13, Know Sea Plants 5w, Murthdrya Tradition Knowledge 17, Murthoi Culture 13, Nimble 18, Ranged Combat 13, Swim without Trace 17, Tend Sea Plants 5w.
Typical Weapons and Armor: Fish-hide Armor ^1, Lancet ^3, Sea-dart ^1.
Tactics: Blue elves attack from cover, darting out to attack and then q uickly darting back. They specialize in healing and avoidance magic, and use these frequently in combat. Their favored weapons are long two-handed lancets made from a bamboo-like water plant and small, spiny darts that they fling at intruders from the safety of the weeds.
Narwhal (Campchurch, Erengus, Sea Unicorn)
Monodon monoceros. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Outer Ocean, Hudaro Ocean, Neliomi Sea. Habitat: Open seas.
Narwhals are mottled gray and white whales about the size horses. The spiral ‘horn’ projecting through their upper lip easily identifies males and females both. As creatures that regularly travel into the Outer World, they are inherently magical, and have several innate magical abilities that act like spells. Except for those abilities that defend the narwhal itself, all of the magical abilities are focused through the narwhal’s horn, and require that it touch the target with its horn to work. Some humans us narwhal horns as magical charms. Narwhals only occasionally travel as far south as Ygg’s Islands.
Narwhals, like unicorns, often possess additional magical abilities. A narwhal’s Narwhal Law ability works identically to the similar ability possessed by a unicorn (see page 77 of Anaxial’s Roster). Sample effects appear below.
In the Storm Age, Dolanala the Great Fish approached Sorza the Monoceros, for she needed help to resist her foes. Sorza stirred the sea with its horn and out from the whirlpool swam Erengus, the Narwhal. With its magic it helped reassert a balance in the sea. Interestingly, the orca do not consider narwhals to be ‘false swimmers,’ despite their origin.
Weapons and Armor: Blubber ^5, Fencing 15^3. Significant Abilities: Dive 18, Hunt by Sonar 1w, Inquisitive 15, Large 15w, Leap 15, Strong 10w, Swim Fast 12. Innate Magical Abilities: Resist Cold 8w, Resist Magic 2w. Sample Narwhal Effects: Control Waves, Create Whirlpool, Flickering Horn, Heal Narwhal, Neutralize Animist Magic, Neutralize Theist Magic, Summon Undine, Swim Unseen.
Tactics: Narwhals are not violent, and seek to avoid combat unless an opponent is obviously unnatural or chaotic or attacks them first. Although they can fence with their long horns, and often do so playfully amongst themselves, they prefer to engage true foes magically. Often, one narwhal creates a barrier of swirling waves to protect valuable healers or the young. Then, others rush forward and augment their fencing attacks, neutralize any magic used by the opposition, or use their own effects to attack from a distance.
Orca (Dababa, Killer Whale)
Orcinus orca. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: All seas, most common in Neliomi Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters, open sea.
Orca, with their distinctive black and white markings, patrol all the seas of the Inner World, but are most common close to Valind’s Glacier and in the Neliomi Sea. They will eat almost any large sea-life, such as fish, squid, seals, and dolphins, but normally avoid humans or mermen. A few orca aid the ludoch in warfare, and will attack almost any enemy at which their allies direct them. Orca live in pods of between three and two dozen individuals, including calves.
Dababa is a son of Tholaina, born to protect the seas from Orlanth and to destroy the ‘False Swimmers.’ He and his sons assaulted Orlanth’s forward camp at the Descending Air Pocket and drove the storm gods out of the sea world. He and his sons hunt the False Swimmers through the oceans, to the extent that they have almost completely cleared them from the Neliomi Sea, Dababa’s personal home.
Weapons and Armor: Bite ^3, Blubber ^6. Significant Abilities: Close Combat 12w, Dive 18, Hunt by Sonar 18, Inquisitive 15, Large 2w2, Leap 15, Strong 15w, Swim Fast 18.
Tactics: Orca are as intelligent as mermen, often learn magic from them, but they have nothing that approximates a culture. Pods hunt cooperatively, with the pod leader adding his fellows’ AP to his own. When alone, an orca will bite at its foe’s soft parts, and will augment its physical attacks with any magic it knows.
Hooded Seal (Jarran Seal)
Cystophera cristata. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Kahar Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters, coastal.
Hooded seals are a typical species of seal. They have dark gray bodies with black markings, and live in the northern waters of Kahar’s Sea. They eat bottom dwelling and shallow water fish, and are less hostile than many seals. The sea-faring Uz of Koromandol sometimes hunt them for meat.
Jarra was a kinsman of the sea god Sarono, and he invaded the land to help his sister. When the Sarono became an inland sea, Jarra developed a close friendship with the sentient beings nearby. He has maintained those ties, and is worshipped by eastern peoples who seek a guide in the oceanic Spirit World.
Weapons and Armor: Bite 2w^2, Blubber ^3. Significant Abilities: Dive 15, Large 2w, Strong 18, Swim Fast 12. Tactics: Seals usually only hunt underwater. Because they are awkward on land, seals attacked there will attempt to escape to water, although they will bite their tormentors if they can. When threatened, a male hooded seal inflates its nose into a large balloon-like hood to startle its opponent.
Leopard Seal (Follun Seal)
Hydrurga leptonyx. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Keniryan Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters, pack ice.
Leopard seals hunt fish and smaller seals from the ice floes in the Keniryan Sea. Their name comes from the spotted pattern of their hide. Once a year, they congregate on isolated islands and the edge of Valind’s Glacier to mate and to give birth to the young conceived in the previous year. The pups are fluffy, but the adults’ ferociousness ensures that few will hunt them.
Leopard seals were originally fully aquatic. They fielded one of the great armies in the Second Submarine War, but were so decimated in the Third that their ancestress Folla turned them into seals so they could escape onto the floating ice. Their range was much greater in the Gods War, but they were exterminated everywhere except in the Keniryan Sea.
Base stats: See Hooded Seal above. Weapons and Armor: Bite 5w^2, Blubber ^3.Distinct Abilities: Pounce 15. Tactics: Like all seals, leopard seals hunt mostly underwater. However, they will leap out at their prey from beneath the water, catching them by surprise. When attacked on land, they flee to water.
Erignathus tholaina. Ages: Storm, Darkness, Historical. Distribution: Hudaro Ocean, Neliomi Sea, Kahar Sea. Habitat: Coastal waters, pack ice.
Tholaina seals live in the Hudaro and Neliomi Sea along the entire western edge of the Glacier. They have bluish pelts that are especially bright in the pups, and which are highly valued in Loskalm. Fortunately, the Ygg’s Islanders consider them sacred and ouori warriors protect their breeding grounds, so approach by hunting bands is difficult.
In the Gods War, the Sea Gods tried to bear children who could invade the land. Most attempts failed, but Tholaina suggested this one, and bore it with the proper parents to ensure success. Although it failed as an invading animal, it did have the powers to survive the Ice Age.
Base stats: See Hooded Seal above. Innate Magical Abilities: Endure Cold 2w, Resist Magic 18.
Snagarl (Sea Wolf)
Ichthylupus levipellus. Ages: Storm, Historical. Distribution: All coastal seas. Habitat: Coastal waters.
Snagarl are vicious carnivores with the forequarters of wolves and the hindquarters of sharks. Unlike land wolves, they are solitary hunters, although they sometimes hunt in packs of up to four individuals. They display considerable cunning, avoiding clearly superior foes unless desperately hungry. They eat a variety of fish, and swim in most Gloranthan oceans, although they are more common in the east. Snagarl must breathe air at least once per hour.
Snagarl are often tamed by malasps, some groups of which have even have created special breeds. Such breeds specialize in a particular attribute, such as greater strength. The malasps generally use snagarl as hunting or war beasts; where malasps are common, snagarl are far more likely to be encountered with them than on their own.
The snagarl were born in the Darkness when a pack of wolves fought a school of sharks in an atmosphere that was equally wet and dry. The losers agreed to bear the children of the winners, and these animals were the result.
Weapons and Armor: Claw and Bite 18^1, Fur and Tough Hide ^1. Significant Abilities: Agile 15, Ambush 15, Scent Prey Above Water 2w, Track by Taste 18. Tactics: Snagarl pounce on their targets from ambush, augmenting their Bite attack with their Ambush ability. They sometimes leap from the water to grab a seal sunning itself on a rock, grabbing the animal in their jaws and dragging them underwater. Note that they cannot use their Scent Prey ability underwater. Snagarl attack with a bite to the fins, tail, or other exposed parts of an animal, attempting to cripple it so that they can close for the kill. Although they will use their claws in defense, they rarely attack prey or foes with them.