Preternatural Beasts and Otherwise-Unfriendly or Otherworldy Critters
Not every critter that roams the world and poses a threat is one of the legion of the damned. Some are quite natural, or at least, preternatural (born with magic and the ability to use it).
While wolves and lions and bears (oh my!) need no explanation, there are other things that do…
…just as a matter of basic survival, of course.
Occasionally, some creatures that exist in the next world – be it just in the Sands or along the Mount – will slip through and appear in the mortal realm. As they are not inherently evil, they’re listed in this section. But “not inherently evil” doesn’t mean “won’t kill you anyway.”
They are, to their home planes of origin, what humans are to Kora. Creatures born and bred by the direct hand of their Gods, they are as alien to humanity as demons and angels. That doesn’t stop people from trying to control them, of course, but… people are stupid. “Rock” or “Stone” Elementals tend to manifest as hulking, walking boulders, while “Ice” Elementals usually appear as sentient clouds of snow or humanoid-shaped pieces of crystal-clear ice. “Death” Elementals (also known as Reapers), on the other hand, are beings of pure sand – a true, sentient manifestation of the Sands beyond the veil.
Guardians of Tundrala. Nothing escapes their gaze for long, and they will bring the full wrath of the frozen realm down on the heads of any that dare challenge Istalla.
Shit-and-piss soaked creatures, goblins tend to run no taller than two feet high and around fifty to sixty pounds. They are sentient, barely, and you can find occasional outcroppings of them in parts of the Equalin Mountains or in the lands around Matheia.
Disgusting monsters that hide in the Veil. They don’t cross over to the mortal realms, but woe unto any soul that manages to cross over without landing on the edge of the Heavens or the Precipice of the Abyss. Reavers love to make sure that body and soul are separated and never to be rejoined again.
Otherworldly dragons that fly between the Worlds after the World beyond the Veil. They care little for the Gods and less for mortals, and the feeling is mutual.
The ‘defiled’ are mortal/natural creatures that have been exposed to or twisted by Abyssian magic/auras to the point that they have become monsters in their own right. Corpses that have arisen from the dead on their own volition are lumped into this category, as are animals (or even people) that have been corrupted past the point of the Laws of Normality. Creatures, and even inanimate objects, that have been turned pose as much of a threat to the living world as demons… and some demons have been known to start out this way.
The Defiled can also be considered a broad category for various breeds of creatures that can fit on either side of the ‘formerly alive’ and ‘entirely demonic’ spectrum. Wraiths, for example, are often purely the souls of the dearly departed; dogs and wolves, given the right nudging, can grow into Abyssian hounds.
Abyssian Hounds (Giata)
Nothing good can be said about these beasts. They are physically strong, fast, and violent. There is no way to reason with one, although they can be controlled (to an extent) by whomever or whatever summons them into being. They universally have thick black skin and rows of far-too-sharp teeth. They reek of sulfur and slaughter, hunt in packs, and should never be approached without caution. They may have some level of sentience, but nobody’s been able to keep from being eaten by one long enough to try to talk things through.
See: Wraith entry.
Arin-Goliath (Nesting Wraith)
See: Nesting Wraith entry.
Don’t ask. Don’t EVER ask.
In the vast armies of the Abyss, chinikari are often considered the foot-soldiers of the pit. Generally around seven feet tall, they are bipedal walking lizards capable of breathing flame and shredding flesh without need for such trivial things as “weapons.” Someone once said that there are a select few that have ascended in their ranks and gained wings and a greater level of sentience – notably the pair in service to the Arch-Duke Belizal, the Brothers Demented: Solobob Balach and Salabab Boloch.
Giata (Abyssian Hound)
See: Abyssian Hound entry.
Revenants. Damn near impossible to completely put down, these undead are bound to the mortal world by a foci of some kind – be it part of their body from death, or an object they were fond of in life… or an anchor by someone that summons them. Until the foci is destroyed, revenants will keep coming, and coming, and coming.
Nesting Wraiths (Arin-Goliaths)
Spirits that have gained the power to absorb other spirits and latent magic. The more they absorb, the stronger they become. Often mad, and rarely able to control themselves with any sense of individuality, they are not a common sight. When they do manifest, they often evolve out of loose spirits in larger cities where magic and energetic auras are naturally present.
Vile, baby-like creatures that reek of sulfur and rot and bile and worse. These scavenger-demonkin are attracted to places of rot, decay, or mass slaughter. They can sniff out a massacre a hundred miles away, and can zero in on a plague just as easily. Servants of Neph-kor and His minions, they pose little threat.
Lost souls and malevolent spirits. They do not have a truly ‘physical’ form, though the concentration of foul magic and Abyssian energy that allows them to manifest on the mortal plane often allow them to interact with physical objects. Their numbers are legion and their powers varied from spirit to spirit. Some hold power and strength, others are barely shadows that still walk the world. They are the most common of the undead that haunt the living. Typically, they are relatively easy to dispatch, although non-enchanted or otherwise mundane weapons are rarely able to do any damage.
Animated corpses. Through all sorts of twisted magic, bodies are able to rise from their resting places – be it by possession by a wraith, or by the direct actions of a necromancer or demon. At times, zombies will rise on their own if an area has been the site of terrible death and carnage. ‘Zombie’ is a catch-all phrase that includes shambling dead that can barely move to the fully-sentient and magically powerful Litches, or the horribly mutated and physically strong Zenorats. They are the second-most common form of the dead that roam the world.