This work is my crowning achievement. Now that my bones are old and weary, I will trade my sword and light for quill and parchment. These are the things I have found in all my years as a Kaia. There are few places in the known world I have not seen, from the cursed Surface above to the Far Deep beneath our feet. For all I've seen, there are countless sights I will never see. New Kaia walk paths even I fear to tread. It is to them I write this tome of creatures great and small. May you find it useful.The alien ecology of Araea house many creatures, ranging from the mighty Mahu'ca to the ravenous Chiwara. Below are some of the less grand but no less important creatures that make their home in the world of Araea.
These small spiders are a most common sight in both Inner and Outer Shell. I expect most of my readers to be familiar with their taste, which goes particularly well when seasoned with Sozu.Paśu spiders are small spiders that live in great, swarming communities. They grow at most the size of a human hand, making them one of the least dangerous spiders in the Inner Shell. Withr harmless venom which does little more than cause swelling and itching and a communal nature, the Paśu are the most commonly ranched spider found and are a staple meal across the caves.
Never stick anything in the beak of a Quar that you aren't willing to lose.Quar Newts are small reptiles, typically found in the dryer and warmer caves in the Outer Shell. Their most notable feature is their powerful beaks, easily capable of breaking a finger or causing nasty cuts. They eat insects and the eggs of other reptiles or amphibians, as well as any scavange that they might happen upon. Vicious creatures, Quar Newts first reaction when faced with humans is not to flee but at first attack.
Finally, proof that Araea does indeed hold life which does not seem specifically out to get you - unless you have a particularly sensitive nose.These rat-sized pillbugs are clad in a black shell with metallic tones that covers it completely. They slowly crawl around on the cavern floors, surviving on lichen, moss and tiny mushrooms. When startled, they flatten down to prevent predators flipping them over and reaching their soft underbelly, then release a foul-smelling secretion. Mudarie pillbugs are sometimes infected by a codycept fungal parasite, eventually turning the bug into little more than a spore-releasing spire. They are most commonly found in the Outer Shell.
If there are gods, they must be cruel or crazed to make something like the Tyrant Leech. It is often said that you must be careful if you eat one, least you swallow their eggs whole and grow a Tyrant Leech in your stomach. I'm pretty sure it is not true.. But why risk it?Meter-long annelids, the Tyrant Leeches make their home in shallow waters and radioactive marshes. A deep red to black color, the Leech can flatten themselves against the bottom of waters or hide themselves in surprisingly small spaces before striking at prey. They possess four bony spurs along their maw which they use to latch onto prey to drain their blood. They carry their young in clumped together cocoons inside their bodies and can be seen bulging out of their abdomen. Sometimes caught and roasted for food.
This red blooming algae is a common for many beasts of the surface. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to do much for us humans.Red algae grow on the cold and the ice on the Surface world. They feed on sunlight and to a lesser extent on Blight, which make them largely inedible and toxic for humans. For the creatures of the Surface, accustomed to such hardship, the red algae are one of the few reliable sources of food. Blooming algae can encase entire boulders, leaving it looking splattered with blood once they wilt.
Araea At A GlanceThe world of Araea is roughly divided into four parts. While each have a multitude of lands within them, across the spectrum of climate and temperature, some truths are universal along these divisions. The Surface is an irradiated wasteland, of barren deserts and frozen tundras. The things that live here have adapted to some of the harshest environments in the world and made it their strength. Some feed on Blight or sunlight, while feast on whatever they can get their talons on.
The Outer Shell are the caves and tunnels just below the Surface. These tend to be less expansive than the ones found deeper down and many lack life altogether, with mile-long stretches of barren rock. The only real generality is that creatures from the outer shell tend to be smaller and less alien then those found either above or below.
Below that lies the Inner Shell. Many miles separate these caverns from sunlight and the things here have adapted to the dark and hostile environment. The larger and more fecund caves support creatures of greater size and ferocity than those in the Outer Shell.
At the very bottom of the known world lies the The Far Deep. These caves are vast and the creatures that live here terrible and alien. Only a fraction of the Far Deep has been explore but the further down ones goes, the stranger things become.