Janishbu Species in Nideon | World Anvil
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Janishbu (d͡ʒaˈniʃbu)

The janishbu were a large winged animal native to the island of Zenxon. They are depicted in some old writings and in many Sprite children's tales.
There's no way they were predators. They would have decimated the island and had nothing left to eat.

Why do you think they died out?
— sprites arguing about janishbu
Though no one is positive what they looked like, janishbu are typically depicted as large, gray, and leathery, with a short, flat tail and round, rippling wings. They had flat heads with four eyes and wide flat mouths with hundreds of sharp teeth. There is a lot of debate as to whether they were carnivores or herbivores. The carnivore theory states that the janishbu were the apex predator at the time they were alive and ate anything smaller than it--which was everything, including the sprites. The herbivore theory simply points out that animals as large as the janishbu are rarely carnivores.
The size of janishbu also varies source to source, with conservative estimates describing them as 20-30 feet from nose to tail tip, and a similar wingspan. Other sources record them as being much bigger, with some sources claiming they reached upwards of 100 feet in length.
It is unclear how the junishbu died out. The Herbivore Theory states that they were hunted to extinction by sprites, who ate them as food. The Carnivore Theory argues that they consumed so many of the animals on the island that they ran out of food and starved to death. A different version states that they tried to feed on sprites, who killed the animals out of self-defense. This theory seems to the best supported by the Oath of the Forest, which alludes to the janishbu being buried after the Great Destruction, an unknown event which is mentioned in many of the early sprite texts. This might explain the lack of bones found on the island, which has led some to argue the creatures were entirely mythical to begin with.
Everything that mentions the Great Destruction mentions the janishbu. We don't doubt the Great Destruction happened, do we? Then why say the janishbu didn't exist?
— Zenxonian sprite

Janishbu in Literature

A shadow fell over Clover. She looked up to see a janishbu, big enough to block out the sun!
— sprite children's story
The janishbu are common figures in sprite literature, especially children's stories, and much of the modern conceptions of the animals stem from these stories. They are most often depicted as large, violent monsters whom the protagonists must fight or flee from. In some cases, the janishbu are friendly and offer help and protection to the heroes, but these are much less common. Many of these stories take place in Nideon's early days or are set in modern day, in which young protagonists discover janishbu hiding deep within the forest.

Janishbu Riders

There appear to be some references in old texts to Janishbu riders. These texts rarely use the word for sprites, and sometimes use the term Jadinth. It's unclear if this was an earlier term for sprites or possibly an animal that was known to ride attach to the janishbu, similar to how remora fish attach themselves to larger ocean animals. Regardless, this has inspired a subset of fiction about janishbu riders. In these stories, the protagonists train and ride junishbu. In these stories, riders are often able to communicate with their mounts, usually through speech or telepathy. Janishbu can also be found in the role-playing game Echoes and Descent, as both monsters and mounts.
CW: harm to animals, animal death   common picture of a janishbu, as seen on the sign of the Janishbu Man


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