Among the stranger ruins from the Empire of the Wyrms Friends is the Stitched Ruins in Dragon Pass. You can still see the ruins of corrals and prison cells, and the whole place is haunted by what once happened there. The Third Council sought to bring the Proximate Realm ever closer to our mundane world, and sponsored many projects and ceremonies to do just that. Among these were what is now called “the Remakers”.
The Remakers recreated the ancient Beast Peoples of the God Time (present in many stories and necessarily for many rituals). They did this by somehow combining humans and beasts – we do not know many details such as how (although perhaps there is some connection with some of the strange undead constructs in the Upland Marsh) or who got chosen and why. But we know the results:
- Half-man, half-horse;
- Half-man, half-deer;
- Half-man, half-bird;
- Half-man, half-cow;
- Half-man, half-fox;
And so on. The Wyrms Mind Collective even created such chimera as the man, lion, scorpion things, and other monsters. Some posit the Tusk Riders as being the result of such or similar experiments. Although many of these creations were sterile, some bred true.
What is known is that the inhabitants of the Stitched Zoo hated their servitude – they were prisoners and slaves, laboratory experiments, pets, and specimens. When the dragonewts betrayed the Third Council, they simply opened the cages and corrals where the Beast People were kept, the liberated creatures destroyed their hated creators.
We apply all sorts of labels to the various beast people, but those labels tend to cause us more grief than aid. The Wyrms Mind Collective had several “successful” experiments where they hybrids were able to breed and had fertile offspring. Even within the successes, some were more successful than others. But ultimately all are Beast People.
The only exception to this are the little Duck People, who are famed for their loyalty to the House of Sartar. Although at the time of the resettlement of Dragon Pass, they were just another of the Beast People, the ducks now form their own tribe holding allegiance to the Kingdom of Sartar.
The Remakers are a great example of the wild experimentation that went on the Second Age.
Experimenter: “We need a whole bunch of Gods Age Beast People to dance around during the Grand Ritual in order to cause the great transformation.”
Experimenter: “Hey no problem Dragonlord! We’ll just make Beast People out of people and beasts! We’ll keep them in a zoo until it is time for them to play their part in the Grand Ritual.”
Third Council ruler: “Splendid! Make it so!”
We certainly can see echoes of this in the weird stitched-together undead constructs that haunt the Upland Marsh.
The Beast People themselves do not view themselves as constructs and view themselves as wild and natural peoples. They worship Arachne Solara shamanically and the Lightbringers – after all, Ironhoof the Centaur was the son of Ner-jalari, the Centaur Queen and sister to the Horse Goddess, and Orlanth, King of the Gods in Dragon Pass. They also offer worship to the nymphs of the land and waters. They do not plow the earth or herd livestock.
Numerically, the most common Beast People are the centaurs and the ducks.
So ducks could have been created by the Empire of the Wyrms Friends or did they exist before the experiments? Yes, all of the Beast People have Gods Age antecedents. But none of them have a recorded historical presence in Dragon Pass until the Stitched Zoo. So both are true.