Flora & Fauna

Fauna & Flora of the Western Lands
(List compiled by Gwenmere of Gore)

Blood tiger
Large predatory feline with dark orange pelage punctuated with black stripes. Commonly found in Vex, but some bleeding idiotic Royals try to keep them as pets. Morons.

Bone ants
Social insect found in all Realms at the base of the Fractured Ramparts. This ant is known to completely strip the flesh off bones. Good for cleaning skulls.

Solitary mustelid found in Quell, Peril, and Mar. This weasel can take down prey three times its size by launching itself onto its prey’s back and quickly severing the spinal cord. Horrid little bastards.

Even-toed ungulate originally found in Wrath, but domesticated to be used for riding and driving. Its pelage is usually dark with lighter accents on the belly and face. Large, ridged horns curve backwards and can be used in lieu of reins (but I wouldn’t unless you have to because they don’t like it one bit.)

Dire wolf
Largest canid in the Western Lands, found specifically in Bane. They usually run in small packs of ten individuals, always lead by an alpha male. The dire wolf is an aggressive predator that has been known to crush yersin femurs, so it is entirely possible someone could fit their whole head between its massive jaws.

Duster hare
Large lagomorph found in the foothills of Bane. Its pelage is light brown and as it can remain motionless for hours, it is a master of camouflage. Large ears are used to not only dissipate heat during the day, but also to wrap around the body at night for warmth. Also one of the fastest animals in the foothills and could be faster if it didn’t have such ridiculous ears.

Ubiquitous fish found in almost all freshwater bodies of water in the Western Lands because it is so bloody hard to catch.

Frost hawk
Raptor with grayish, blue feet and found in the western regions of Gore. Females nest in the Khismel and Tattered Mountains, which is inaccessible to all known predators of the chicks.

Large, squat burrowing rodent found in areas south of the Pano River. They live in colonies of around 12 individuals and consume vast quantities of roots and grubs, so much they usually have to move to a different location every quarter. One of the more obsessive-compulsive animals, the grison can’t stand anything to foul its pristine burrows. A latrine is always found at least ten strides away from a colony’s burrows.

Gwick bird
Large, surly ground-nesting bird found in Fray and Ruin. Although they can fly, they refuse to unless you run at them and scream very loudly. Mostly, they stand in the water, eat fish, and have sex. The females lay clutches of up to five very large, vividly chartreuse eggs in pitiful nests constructed out of whatever the male (which is considerably smaller and more harassed-looking than the female) can find without moving around too much. If one Gwick nests too close to another, they will shriek at one another until one gives up and leaves. The victor’s mate typically runs over to the loser’s nest and repeatedly stomps on the eggs. Shrewd businessmen have found that if they can get to the abandoned nest first, they can sell the eggs for consumption by Royals, who prefer exotic foods over those that actually taste good.

Imposter beetle
Arboreal insect found in Gore and Ire, specifically on knot trees. With a twisted body and green-colored exoskeleton, the beetle resembles the leaf of the knot tree.

Small rodent found in most areas south of the Pano River. It is absolutely adorable, with bat-like ears, large springy back legs, and a long tasseled tail. The jird hops around and eats beetles, worms, and seeds. It has been known to venture into grison burrows to defecate. This enrages the uptight grison, who chases out the jird with the gnashing of enormous incisors and vicious snarls. It is thought by some that the jird does this purely out of spite.

Masked jackal
Canid scavenger found in the arid regions of Bane and Wile. Its coat is sandy brown and the dark brown marking around the eyes, which helps reduce the glare when the jackal is active in the daytime, resembles a mask. Compared to the dire wolf, it is a relatively small canid, but should not be underestimated. These jackals scavenge in large packs and can irritate predators so much with their strange bark, with sounds suspiciously similar to a small child repeatedly asking “What?”, a half-consumed prey animal is frequently abandoned in the hopes that the jackals will shut the bloody rot up.

Domesticated flaxen and black-striped feline with markings similar to those of a blood tiger. Merecats are owned only by female members of the House of Mere. Syamere of Mar developed the breed and claimed to have crossed house cats with “wild” cats, but refused to reveal her secret—even on her deathbed.

Plains wolf
Canid found in the plains of Malice and Wile. The tips of its ears and tail, as well as its legs are dark brown, while golden fur covers the rest of its body. Although it is not as large as its cousin, the dire wolf, it can survive in more diverse environments. Plains wolf packs are large and lead by an alpha pair, which call the shots during hunts, mete out punishment to other pack members when rules are violated, and are the only couple allowed to mate. Interestingly, the alpha pair constantly changes and it is unknown what factors determine a wolf being moved into that position.

Bizarre burrowing mammal found in almost all forested areas throughout the Western Lands. Its body is covered in plates composed of fused hairs about the size of a ginger oak leaf and a shockingly garish shade of pink. It is nocturnal and rarely seen during the day, but its shuffling tracks can be found almost everywhere from its endless treks in search of insects. Pluggers avoid coming in contact with each other, but one instance of either mating or fighting has been observed. After much snuffling and snorting, they reared up on their hind legs and while balancing themselves with their tails and wobbled towards one another until their bellies touched. The pair then fell over and rolled about on the ground for a bit. After separating, they ambled away from each other in opposite directions. It has been concluded that pluggers probably don’t like doing anything very much.

Large, blue-hued proboscid found only in the plains of Peril, with a pair of black horns on its elongated snout. It is no longer found in the wild, as it refused to leave once its plains were turned into cropland. To prevent the quattami from digging up and consuming all the vegetables it liked (becchi and leafy greens) and destroying all the vegetables it hated (beets), they were turned into work animals and used to pull heavy loads, such as blocks of quarried limestone. While this seems like a good solution, the quattamus is an animal that takes life at its own pace and does not agree with change. For some reason, it has acquiesced to hauling things about, but once it has decided it is time to take a nap or eat or stare into the distance for an hour or two, nothing will change its mind.

Saw-tooth bear
The largest Ursid in the Western Lands, it is native to the Tattered Mountains. While this bear has not been seen in the wild for over twenty rounds, it is bred in captivity by those too ignorant, greedy, and/or asinine to know better. The majestic bear is now sometimes found at seedy carnivals, where gawking spectators remark how “it don’t look so dangerous when it’s got a leather muzzle and iron leg chains on” or in perilous pubs for drunken customers to wrestle with after stating how “something that fuzzy just can’t rip me limbs off ... can it?” Fortunately, the saw-tooth can shred leather muzzles, burst iron leg chains, and rip off multiple limbs when properly enraged.

Sculptor spider
Small, unassuming-looking brown spider whose venom hardens skin and skeletal muscle tissue. The venom may take several minutes to work, but the victim usually doesn’t travel too far after a bite. When the spider relocates its petrified prey, it crawls inside a convenient orifice and feeds on the fresh juices of the digestive tract. Bites to humans (and presumably other large animals) result in the calcification of localized areas, not the entire body. This is a pity, as I know several Royals who deserve to be turned into statues.

Sky sparrow
This seemingly ridiculously-named songbird is actually named for the color of its feathers. On a bright sunny day, its feathers are a brilliant deep blue. However, when the clouds roll in their feathers will dull to a grayish-blue.

Spiny camel
The only camelid in the Western Lands can be found in the deserts of Peril. Its legs are so long and slender it appears as though it is walking on “spines” from a distance.

Tittering otters
Large mustelid found in most streams and rivers west of Fray in groups of six to eight individuals. The otters mainly communicate with one another using a rapid series of high-pitched chirps, which sound like a group of women who have consumed far too many glasses of wine.

Tosher smoke cat
Found in the rugged Tosher hills of Vex and Rail, this thick-furred feline has a unique style of hunting. Early in the morning when thick mist covers the valleys, the smoke cat hunts for a snail. It does not consume the snail, but uses it for a different purpose. With the snail grasped lightly between its teeth, the cat waits in the grasses for the lemmings to emerge from their burrows. Once the cat hears or smells a rodent, it noiselessly slinks over and spits out the snail. As lemmings love snails, they will immediately run over to the duped mollusk and begin to devour it. Unfortunately, while lemmings have acute hearing, they are extremely near-sighted and fail to notice the smoke cat until it is too late.

Small proboscid found in the grasslands of Raze and Wrath. With its elongated, prehensile snout it quickly and deftly picks tender herbs from amongst the grasses before deer, which usually wait until the grasses are eaten by ox, can get to them.

Enormous herbivore in Gore and Mar, which is thought by some to be domesticated from the wild ox. Others think Onhabar created it when he was very angry. The yersin is priceless as a draft animal, as it can pull loads almost as heavy as quattami can, and does it at a swift pace. But it is extremely foul-tempered and will destroy everything in its path if another animal gets too close to it, if its harness is incorrectly fixed, if it is hungry, if it is cold, or if it is just having a bad day.

Western meadow sparrow
This songbird is found everywhere in the Western lands and the males are known for their beautiful songs. And those songs are its downfall, as they do a fantastic job of attracting female sparrows, but also attract every predator in the area. This leads one to question why there are so many of them.

Ginger oak
Slow-growing tree with reddish bark found in the southwest regions of the Western Lands.

Knot tree
Shrub-like tree found in Gore and Ire, with slender, dark green leaves. For some unknown reason, the leaves grow in a curving pattern, resulting in the formation of a knot.

Copyright 2015 R.A.M. Graham