Leyfish Species in Istralar | World Anvil


Oscillating in hypnotising shades of dancing silver light... I could watch them spin forever
— observer
  In the deepest depths of the Sea of Souls, these fish-shaped creatures swim in the lifeblood of the world and her magic - the leylines. They do not seem to make any sense to an observer used to strict rules of biology and understanding - nor to magical zoologists, who are certainly used to more bizarre creatures. Leyfish swim through solid terrain as if they were ethereal, yet visibly breathe air and leave imprints on the world. Their scales can, on occasion, be found caught on rocks, but the fish themselves have never been caught.   Their discovery drastically altered what was known of leylines. For centuries, it was assumed that the world's magical veins, so to speak, were intangible and accessible only by powerful spellcasters. The recent discovery of leyfish implies that creatures are in fact capable of living within the leylines, and that there is some greater importance and manifestation of them that could one day be accessed.   Studying the leyfish has improved relatively impossible. Aside from refusing to be caught, the fish are often so well-hidden that spotting them is challenging. So far, they have only been located in the lowest levels of the Sea of Souls and its adjoining cave networks - an area that is already incredibly dangerous to access for most.   They also bear an inherent threat: if a leyfish passes through a living being like it does other terrain, the individual is not likely to survive. The amount of magic within the fish is fatal in the worst way to mortals, who cannot handle a direct influx of leyline magic.

Basic Information


I'm not sure I've ever seen a bestiary list an fish as entirely amorphous . Did the authors confuse it for an ooze?
— baffled reader

Leyfish in the Sea of Souls by Hanhula (via Midjourney)

  There is no sane method of describing or depicting a leyfish. Like a number of extant creatures - the comparison to mimics inevitably springs to mind - they rapidly shift in form, never quite remaining static.   They are best represented by taking any form of ink or dye and letting a single drop fall into a container of water, and then watching the resulting colour blossom and twist in the waters. The way the ink shifts and spreads is not unlike how the leyfish move, according to the few who have seen them.   Leyfish do seem to have at least one eye at all times, regularly evolving to have multiple extra eyes. They do not have eyeballs like most fish; instead, their eye sockets are hollow, yet oddly aware. Their forms are covered in an odd silvery carapace and/or scales (these facts, too, shift with the fish).   Indeed, the label of 'fish' is largely guesswork based on their general appearance; the lack of ability to biopsy them or even study them in any close quarters remains frustrating when it comes to determining any facts about the leyfish.

Dietary Needs and Habits

It is suspected that the leyfish consumes magic through the leylines to survive, as it seems to have little other interaction with its ecosystem. Leyfish swim through the darkest depths without worry of dangerous interaction with other fish, and have no known predators or prey despite the teeth they occasionally show.   If this is the case, then the same theories go on to explain that it is likely that leyfish have an impact on the cycle of magic and life in Istralar - potentially providing some method of filtration for corrupt magic touching the leylines. Should this prove true, it is possible that corruption of magic might influence the leyfish - or that the opposite is true.   The Starsear is located some ways to the south of the Sea of Souls, and has had marked influence on the area; it is possible that the leyfish appeared in response to it, and are a method the planet uses to actively fight the corruption.
Leyfish in the Sea of Souls by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Conservation Status
Unknown; limited area
Geographic Distribution

Avatars and Leyfish

Due to their existence being innately tied to leylines as well, it is assumed that avatars and leyfish have some sort of close relation - that perhaps the former created the latter.   However, avatars are incredibly rare to find any information on and are assumed largely to be a myth. These hypotheses remain in the realm of fiction to those without knowledge of their unseen guardians.   Why an avatar would create and continue to maintain the leyfish is unknown. The corruption theory is just one possibility; there may well be others. Avatars are not known for making their intent clear.

Cover image: Leyfish Cover by


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Feb 7, 2024 19:18 by spleen

:O shapeshifting magic fish

Have a wonderful day!