For much of the last 40 years, a booklet is often found among the hands and in the hearts of many folks of the land. Typically fashioned of a rough paper, printed on a press, bound in a thick cover, and scattered throughout the land, they are nearly ubiquitous. It is certain that at least one member of the party has one, if not all of them.
The book is called The Bestiary. It was written by Shim Sheroo, and although folks keep waiting for him to update it, he hasn’t. Shim is a merchant, and by all accounts one who made his fortune before the book, which he wrote in his retirement.
In the book, he describes many of the creatures and denizens of the world beyond the walls, all of them encountered in his travels, with some tips for dealing with many of them.
We present the most frequently cited entries here for you – isn’t wise to be a first level and not at least have an idea of what you are doing, after all; you’ve heard the stories growing up, and learned the bulk of this from the campfire and town talk of your elders.
While there are some minor differences between what is presented in the Monster Manual, these creatures are found in the world with the same stats as listed there.
|Carrion Crawler||Cloaker||Couatl||Crawling Claw|
There are, of course, regular animals as well, and even some that are larger than what you might typically think.
Once every 100-year period, a God may choose an Avatar from among the people. No one knows how or why thy do so, but the Avatar is a person separate from the God, though filled with the God’s essence and sharing the God’s interests and goals. They are, literally, the Voice of God on Wyrlde. Avatars are essentially Level 25 and up, and can take on a Demon, Deva, Devil, or Angel one on one and still have an advantage – if their God wants them to.
Should an Avatar be killed, it is a hundred years before that God can choose another one. Avatars live as long as they want to and their deity agrees – this may be a short period of only 33 years, or a long period of hundreds of years.
Beholders are the product of Dusit and Pallor getting together with Mystren a very long time ago and creating something new. They are weapons meant to change the course of the war, and they still get mighty upset when folks forget how important they were, sweeping across the land in vast groups of them, and they would have been unstoppable if it wasn’t for the damn Elfs.
In any case, Beholders are around.
Celestials come in two types: Angels and Devas. For the most part, they are equivalent to the Deva and the Planetar descriptions in the MM for stats, but they are servants of the Gods, and they can serve any of them.
Angels are winged humanoids that stand about 8 feet tall in their normal forms. Devas are not winged, but always have an aura around them, and stand around 8 feet tall in their natural forms.
Both serve the interests of their respective patron in a variety of ways, and their true appearance often reveals the nature of the deity they serve.
Angels and Devas do not get along with Devils and Demons, who are essentially the opponents they were created to fight, and to be caught between the two is to invite a lot of hurt and misery into your life.
These creatures of the deep are the Goblins of the Seas, said to be in eternal opposition to the Merfolk.
Demons feed on human suffering, grief, fear, and terror, and like to chase it with a bit of flesh when they can – the younger, the better. They are evil for the sake of being evil.
Devils are interested in corrupting, for they feed on souls, and the more evil a person is, the sweeter the soul is. Evil is in actions, not in what they person thinks – intent is not magical.
The elementals of Wyrlde are far less interesting than those able to cross to other places. Here, they are personifications of their elements, living manifestations of such. They are ruled over as a whole by the Plane of Spirit, but each elemental class has a ruler of its own.
Elementals also have different kinds of Avatars – Djinn, Efreet, etc. They are humanoid, with great powers, and there is always one kind for each of the elements.
Lastly, there are guardians of the world itself, separate from any God or other power, whose sole purpose is to protect the world. They are always people, who are infused with this spirit, and become lost in the memories of all the people they were before, and separated from the regular concerns of mortal people – for people are their enemy far too often.
Fae (Fey & Fell)
The Fae, sometimes called Fairies, are divided into two types: The Fey and The Fell. Fell beasts include the dreaded Displacer Beast, as well as Trolls and assorted other horrific creatures. The Fell are, essentially, grotesque and not able to be mistaken for people. The Fey, on the other hand, can and often are mistaken for them.
The Fae live in two places – the Prime Material Plane and the Feywilde, ruled by, you guessed it, the Fey. The Fey are dangerous, capricious, and prone to all manner of violence and harm against people, because they don’t believe that Wyrlde should have people in it, and that they are little more than overdeveloped animals and savages that might make for halfway decent pets.
The Dragons of Wyrlde are not the many colored splendorous things. They are six limbed, typically grey-brown, and get really annoyed with people. Especially people who steal things. Dragons hat to have things stolen from them.
Dragons of Wyrlde have enormous wings, but are otherwise fairly small – about the size of a large elephant, excluding the wings and tail. Not much more is known about them – they do not seem all that interested in having long conversations that end with people returning to tell the tale.
And they do like to talk. Trust me, I’m a Goddess.
Fungi are everywhere, and fortunately there are not any sentient ones on Wyrlde that anyone knows of. As with most plants, they can be cultivated – and Goblins in particular like them since they have a large enjoyment of them – it is said that the fastest way to distract a horde of goblins is a plate of mushrooms with gravy. As Goblins can eat pretty much anything, even poisonous ones will do.
Of the forms they have bred, the Shrieker is the most dangerous and deadly in any of its several forms.
The Wyrlde Tarrasque is not quite as large as its sibling in other Realms. This makes it significantly less a threat – and far more common.
The God’s War, a thousand years ago, was absolutely devastating to the planet as a whole, not merely to the Ancient Lands. The people had spread far and wide across the lands, and built many places that were special, and even sacred.
Wherever people were, the Gods fought. The Gods tried many things before they turned to creating the young races. The most devastating and fearful of them all were the warmachines.
Warmachines are machines built for the sole purpose of destroying life, and they feed on all things. But they were often left alone, or abandoned, and the places they were made, the vast forges, were not shut down. Some say these forges are still out there, somewhere, still building them, though the materials are rare and there does not appear to be anyone still mining for them, let alone who might know who how to make them or what to make them from.
There are several different kinds of warmachines. Each has vitredure armor around its inner workings, but all are still able to be felled, and vitredure is a very valuable material, as are many of the other parts from these things.
Warmachines are not alive. They have no Soul, but it wouldn’t be something you could tell. They will stalk, hunt, and kill people, and there are rumors of the Goblins even using them.
The advice of the wisest is that when you see a warmachine, you run. You run for all you are worth, and you do not stop until it goes back into sleep.
Mahifamin are tiny sized, hybrid animal (such as cat/fox) creatures that are magical and denizens of the Feywilde who are summoned to Wyrlde. They are also known to escape and venture into the world at large, where they float about and observe things. It is believed they are spies for the Feywilde, who likely have designs on Wyrlde for themselves. There are many different varieties of them, and according to legend they were once actively sought out for arena fighting purposes, since they do reproduce. That was before the God’s War, however, and the manner of capturing them has been lost, except perhaps to Mahishojin.
They do not like Beholders.
These are large animals, blended varieties, such as the Owlbear, that come in a huge diversity and array of types and forms. The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they don’t fit the ecology of the world — or at least don’t seem to. Wolfgators, Landsharks, Skywhales — they are terrors on the scale of a dragon, but not nearly as intelligent.
There is more in Wyrlde that is deadly than just the beasts of the field and stream and sky.
Wyrlde has a large variety of murderous plants, carnivorous flora, and then, of course, the number of plants that are just going to poison, kill, or maim you.
There are remarkably few diseases on Wyrlde. Influenza, Colds, and cancers are about it. Well, not counting the magical ones.
There are forty three known poisons that cannot be easily recovered from without resorting to magic, and then another twenty one that have antidotes developed for them.
Ruins & Tombs
At one point, the entire world was civilized. There were settlements and private sites all over the world. These locations and places have joined the tombs and constructed mausoleums of the powerful or the mighty from ages long past s an ongoing risk to people, because they can make for great Goblin basis or serve as the entrance to Kobold Warrens or just generally attract something scary like a dragon or Beholder.
When a powerful adventurer or other person dies, they often have left behind Remainders – not quite ruins, not quite intentional tombs. Towers, Castles, and more are scattered across the world, and they await new people to claim, reclaim, or discover them.
This is important, for those that are not often become outposts for Goblins or Kobolds, and present real and present dangers to the Bright Lands should they gain true footholds.
Once in a while, someone will desire to risk themselves to try and recover some of the iron and steel that were lost in The Ancient Lands. Less than 1% of those who have tried that effort ever return, but those that have come back have spun wild stories about how the world there is reclaiming the land, but that what has come is twisted and vile and deadly to everything.
The most reliable source is the Sorcerer Amenhast, who described the Ancient lands as being beautiful and deadly, filled with vast ruins overrun by deadly plants, of waterways and rain that are poison, or vast clouds of spores that will choke and swarms of insects that will bleed you dry.
He claimed that there are areas there where magic is dead, that no bird nor beast flies or crawls there, that it is a realm beyond anything imaginable – and that it is trying desperately to grow and expand.
The truth remains unknown, save for two things. The first is that Amenhast died the night after giving this report, and his body erupted with growths and was twisted monstrously before he was burned. The second is that he brought back with him samples.
Water that was like acid, plants that moved on their own, even severed and without soil, and dead insects the size of a hand, six legged and with mandibles that are razor sharp and stingers that leave behind eggs.
Branches of crystal, and soil that nothing natural could grow in and that had to be destroyed.
The sacrifice of Amenhast and the team of fifty others who were not able to return is a key point to remember, for the temptation remains; steel, iron, and artifacts from the God’s War still lie within that realm, untouched and lost for generations unknown.
This list is by no means exhaustive – one man can only encounter so much in his travels or gather only some information through third parties.
But is should give you an idea of what is out there, and what you can look forward to.