Minor Bestiary

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.  
— Talavāra, Kaia - the opening part of the 'Creatures of Araea' tome
    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.      

Fauna

     

Paśu Spiders

 
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.  
— Talavāra, Kaia
  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.

 

Quar Newt

 
Never stick anything in the beak of a Quar that you aren't willing to lose.  
— Talavāra, Kaia
  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.

 

Mudarie Pillbug

 
Finally, proof that Araea does indeed hold life which does not seem specifically out to get you - unless you have a particularly sensitive nose.  
— Talavāra, Kaia
  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.

Tyrant Leech

 
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?  
— Talavāra, Kaia
  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.

       

Flora

 

Red Algae

 
This red blooming algae is a common for many beasts of the surface. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to do much for us humans.  
— Talavāra, Kaia
  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 Glance

  The 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.  

Comments

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7 Dec, 2018 10:46

This is a super neat article! I love the notes and the quotes throughout it and the solid glance it gives into the world!   Pasu creep me out. and Mudarie are bug skunks. XD   Most readers are familiar with the taste, but what is the taste?! Also, does the fungal parasite like people?

11 Dec, 2018 07:39

<3   Deliciously crunchy... :D But I might make a meal article out of them. I'm glad you liked it! I decided to make a smaller summary article like this instead of individual articles. Glad to hear it is working out :D   The Bug-Skunk Parasites do not like people, but there's others (like the Heza plague-eaters) that definitely do :D

7 Dec, 2018 13:41

How small, exactly, are the Quar newts? You claim them to be small reptiles, and that their jaws are sharp and capable of breaking finger. Are they larger than most real-world newts, or are they able to unhinge their jaws like a snake? It might make for an excellent addition to compare it to something else in size. I realize this is a minor bestiary, so each of these is briefly detailed, but a touch more in this case might clear some things up.

7 Dec, 2018 14:11

They're about rat to skunk sized. "Small" being relative. :D I'll add something about that.

7 Dec, 2018 15:21

Nice touch adding how the spiders are ranched for food. I love bestiaries. Critters in a world give it so much life, pun intended. The spiders are my favorite and i look forward to any additions you may make in the future. Im curious about the quotes. Who is the author and what is the authors significance? Is it just the book or something more?

7 Dec, 2018 15:23

Read the first quote :)

7 Dec, 2018 15:33

Oh wait lemme rephrase. I mean the characters effects on the world and culture. She compiled all this information. So is it considered the end all be all of critters, if it's an older text were there any entries that had info that have since been proven wrong. Is the character more significant, major life events thst kinda stuff. Sorry me wanting to not give blocks of text for comments kinda ruined it lol but that's what i mean. She says its her crowning achievement but this it true and why? Totally my fault haha sorry, i need to clarify from now on

7 Dec, 2018 15:48

For the most part, it's just flavor. It is the truth according to one explorer, and while he's been in a lot of places and seen a lot of things, it's only a fraction of what exists down there. :)   For the most part, it's just a framing device to give some flavor and context, though. There's probably some stuff he writes that is wrong (and I might play with that, having the quote contradicted by the text), because Araea is in many ways a world of unknowns. :)   The character isn't really important beyond being that framing device, at least not right now :D   <3

7 Dec, 2018 15:51

Oh nothing wrong with that at all lol just wondered and was trying to get at things others didn't mention and the like. But thankssss