Bahar Species in Saleh'Alire | World Anvil


The Favored Mount of the Chisisi

Saleh'Alire » Fauna Organic Mundane Crustacean

In their language, this bony creature is called the Bahar. Sensing the vibrations of movement, it is hostile to approachers- particularly during mating season. But one should beware its quick temper particularly as it first wakens, as they have no eyes and only primitive ears with which to perceive the world at first; should you find yourself on the bad side of a Bahar, patience is a virtue- awaiting just the right moment to strike at its soft underbelly. Should it curl into a ball, however, hope for a swift kill is lost.
Flora and Fauna of the Greater Chisisi Region
  Based on significant data discovered in the Tolaran fossil records, Bahar are potentially one of the oldest native species on the continent. Two species in the family have so far been identified by Explorers and Biologists- both of which are found almost exclusively in the Chisisi Desert o Tolara; the first, Common Bahar, are found in the sandy regions of the Chisisi Desert, and as far north and east as Rasha-Ui. The second, however, is strongly issolated to the Gahiji Mountains in the south of the region.   Since their inhabitation of the region, both types of Bahar have been extensively domesticated by the Ilerian and Enethian Humans, who use them as their preferred terrestrial mounts due to their size and speed. Despite their extensive domestication by these groups, however, wild Bahar are still plentiful throughout their native regions- encouraging desert dwellers to develop traditions that include capturing and taming one as one of many rites of passage.

Anatomy & Appearance

  Bahar have seven pairs of jointed legs sittuated along a semi-flat body, with a bony hammer shaped head, and a long, barbed tail-like spine at its end.   Their body is a basic segmented dorsoventral body type (being longer than they are tall). The body plan consists of a head, and an eight segmented thorax covered covered with a barbed, plated exoskeleton made of Chiton; these overlapping, articulated plates provide Bahar with moderate protection- similar to other Isopods types found throughout Saleh'Alire; their under abdomen has six segments instead, and the plating is much thinner and more flexible, making it far more susceptible to attacks.   As a segmented insectoid related to Woodlice, they are capable of rolling into a ball when disturbed, attacked, or frightened. When rolling into a ball in this manner, a Bahar leaves no gap between the bony external plates that coat the exterior of its body; this is a defence mechanism meant to protect themselves, and their soft, unarmored underbelly, from predators- though they have few in the wild.   The Bahar must progressively shed this exoskeletal plating as it grows- moulting in stages, with the back half of its exoskeleton shed first, followed a week later by the front half. While moulting could go on indefinitely, suggesting that Bahar could technically be immortal (or close to it), the process is so energy intensive that many Bahar eventually break down and weaken- typically reaching a length of 8 feet (244 cm), and a height averaging 4 to 6 feet (122 to 183 cm) before their death.  

Coloration & Markings

  Being desert creatures, Bahar are typically sandy in oclor- ranging from a tawny or taupe, to deep oranges, browns, and reds. Typically the most common type of Bahar may be slightly speckled, but otherwise have no markings. A second type issolated to the Gahiji Mountains, however, occasionally has colored banding- allowing it to blend in better with the striped rock in their region.
Semi-Domesticated   Conservation Status
Stable, uncommon   Classification
Isopod   Related to
  • Woodlice
  • Pill Bugs
  Geographic Distribution
Average Lifespan
50 to 100 years

Average Height
4 to 6 ft
122 to 183 cm   Average Length
7 to 9 ft
213 to 275 cm   Average Weight
500 to 800 lb
227 to 400 kg

Ecology & Diet

Why do I prefer them? Because right trained, they're better than a Wyvern in a fight- and only half as flighty.
Irani Pradvesi, Fire Genasi Homesteader
  Found in the scrublands and deserts of Tolara, Bahar are well suited to harsh, arid environments with little rain.   Domesticated variants are trained to be diurnal in nature. In the wild, however, they typically prefer a nocturnal schedule- burrowing into the hot sand to wait out the heat, and browsing for food near Oases and rocky outcroppings throughout the night.
  They're typically detritivorous browsers- feeding on the sparse desert fungi, Oasis algaes, and any decaying material that can be found among the sand. They are technically omnivorous in nature, however, and are capable of eating everything from insects to rocks; some Bahar have likewise been known to eat other desert creatures when necessary- up to and including others of their kind.  

Society & Reproduction

  Though they can often be found in large groups due to the limited browsing opportunities in their native deserts, Bahar are ultimately individualistic and solitary in nature; they browse together throughout the night, frequently squabbling over food- but once the sun begins to shine on the horizon, they retire to their own burrows far away from one another.
  The only time Bahar can be found with one another over long periods of time, is during mating; occuring during the monsoon season in the Chisisi Desert, large quantities of Bahar will flock to the closest Oasis in order to find themselves a mate- a process which can sometimes take the full rainy season.   As they need moisture to survive, but are incapable of living fully submerged in water, after successfully mating females will stay together in collonies at the Oasis. Here thay live in small but highly aggressive and territorial groups, using the cool clear waters as a protective spot to incubate their developing young.
They can't keep together like that, or problems they get- and problem with Bahar don't you want; They single pen hundred or greater feet apart, or meaner get they with long times- and mean Bahar are always. They only single because large compound need. Too much. Carry Bahar many things, though, so worth it for this one.
Enis Reizan, Enethian Merchant
  Once the offspring have successfully moulted a few times, they take up residence on the underside of their mother, and begin their lives in the desert proper. After several more moults, when their chitonous plating can withstand the heat of the desert sun, they leave the safety of their mother's underbelly and split off on their own.   This entire process can take up to a year to complete. However, Bahar eggs are capable of hibernating for long periods of time- a useful feature during dry seasons; this allows Bahar to hibernate until a sufficient rainy season appears, ensuring increased survival rates during the early stages of their life when they're most susceptible to predation and heat exhaustion. Likewise, abnormally heavy rainfall around Bahar eggs can accelerate their gestation, causing them to hatch sooner than expected.  

Abilities & Senses


Custom Homebrew


Medium beast (insectoid), any
Armor Class: 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 9d8+36
Speed: 40 ft , burrow: 40 ft


15 +2


10 +0


19 +4


3 -4


11 +0


13 +1

Senses: Passive Perception (10); Tremorsense (60 ft)

Eyeless. NAMES are immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on eyesight.


Charge: If the NAME moves at least 20 ft. in a straight line before hitting the target with a Headbutt Attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 2d6 damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone in addition to the Headbutt's knockback effect.   Headbutt. Melee Weapon Attack: 1d20+2 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 2d6+4 bludgeoning damage. The victim is knocked back 5 feet on a successful hit.   Shriek. Once per day; All creatures other than those immune to sound-based attacks within a 100 foot radius must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save they are deafened and stunned for 1 minute. On a failed save they take 3d6 psychic damage and are frightened until the end of their next turn.

Bahar were inspired by World Of Warcraft creatures of the same name- as well as Graboids from the Tremors Franchise. Real world information about Isopods has been used to fill in gaps in information in order to round out the creature and adapt them specifically to the Saleh'Alire setting. The 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons Bahar statblock however, has been homebrewed by Anna Boyett and may be used with proper credit to the author (Anna Boyett) and setting (Saleh'Alire).
  Having seven segmented legs and being native to the deserts of Tolara, Bahar are one of the fastest fully terrestrial creatures in the area. And while Bahar from the Gahiji Mountains cannot burrow and instead spend their times in caves, the Common Bahar is an adept burrowers, and can move quickly underground through the sand. For obvious reasons, however, it has been all but impossible to directly observe them while underground. Limited surface observation, however, show that the sand above a Bahar's route is sometimes humped- consistent with a writhing or flexing mode of travel close to the surface.   Regardless of their type or native region, all Bahar possess Tremorsense- allowing them to accurately sense the location of other creatures. This includes burrowing creatures and any others in contact with the ground; this sense does not allow them to detect creatures in flight, however, making the Wyvern one of their largest known predators.   Without eyes, Bahar are also immune to conditions which could charm them, and also cannot see illusions. They are aware of their surroundings, however, having a set of primitive ears located just behind the side barbs of their hammer shaped heads. These primitive ears allow Bahar to communicate with one another both underground and above through a series of low clicking noises and rumbles.  

Domestication Uses & Benefits

Bahar sensitive little thing. Dumb but spooks easy, and mean... You must sneak up on them like Sand Spider- slow, light, and steady. 'Tis why Tabaxi are better Bahar catchers; Khenra too loud, Human too heavy. Only Tabaxi is just right every time!
Shadow of Clouds, Tabaxi Nomad (Mud River Clan)
  Bahar are typically kept by inhabitants of the Chisisi Desert and its surrounding regions as a terrestrial mount, due to its size, weight, and speed.   Lacking any significant intelligence, they're easy to capture and train- and though breeding has so far been unsuccessful in captivity, their plentiful nature means there's no short supply of them in the wilds; despite their unintelligent nature, however, Bahar are territorial and aggressive by nature, with those in the Gahiji Mountains being far more so than the Common Bahar found elsewhere.
  Today only the Wyvern is prefered over the Bahar, but they're less common due to their more aggressive nature, and higher difficulty to capture and train; most Ilerians and Enethians have at least one in their possession, used for trade and travel similar to horses in other regions. But the Ileri and Enethi were initially taught to domesticate them by the native Khenra, who also taught the desert dwelling Tabaxi and Fire Genasi when they moved into the region.

Cover image: Animal Fur by Tim Foster


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially different, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misused a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal English" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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Dec 19, 2020 06:50

Excellent flavor texts. Nice article and description of wild and domestic.

Dec 19, 2020 07:15 by Anna Katherina

Thank you, love <3 Glad you enjoyed!

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Jan 2, 2021 01:36 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love these guys! I want one! I have a soft spot for isopods... even giant ones. I like that you describe both the behaviour of wild bahar and also their domestication. I enjoy the image of a giant ball of spooked bahar more than I should.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 2, 2021 01:46 by Anna Katherina

One of my players said they wanted me to write about fish, the other wanted something lizardy. My brain went "graboids from tremors" and "the Krolusks from WoW" for some reason... And these cuties are the result.   my players have taken to calling them "Himbo Bugs" because I once described them as being "cute but dumb as rocks". I regret my choices, lol. But I'm glad you love them!

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Jan 2, 2021 02:07 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Himbo bugs!! Ha, I love it.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet