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A bestiary is a tome of knowledge that details the various lifeforms that exist in tandem with the civilized races of Edriel. Some of these beasts, though described as monsters, are placid and exist harmoniously in nature, whereas others maliciously infringe upon the civilizations of the world. This page compiles an alphabetical list of Astra's most well-known creatures. Most noteworthy in the current age are goblins, trolls, gnoll, centaur and the haskara. The most trusted and recognized bestiary publisher is the Wyrmhart Adventuring Company, a group of veteran adventurers and scholars situated in Vynmark. The bestiary is something constantly updated with new information, discovered creatures and illustrations.
In the different bestiaries of Astra, there is a universal method of categorizing monsters and animals. There are nine different categories, each with their own stipulations and definitions that determine the beasts belonging to it. These categories are often a point of contention among publishers and scholars, as the line between the categories can sometimes be blurred by technicality or personal opinion. However, the most recognized and accurate publisher of bestiaries belongs to the Wyrmhart Adventuring Company, who sets the precedent for many other lesser known bestiaries. Any good adventurer is familiar with the nine categories.
Bestia is a category used to refer to a majority of the wildlife that resides on the surface, skies and in the waters of Astra, They are, for the most part, harmless in their existence, and can coexist with their environments without any required intervention. Many beasts are simple creatures who, if left alone, wont bother ordinary folk. However, many can still be dangerous should they be provoked. Common beasts found in both the West, East and Vynland are bears, wolves, falcons and a variety of fish.
- Examples: dogs, lions, falcons
Animus are a categorization of naturally and artificially occurring entities sometimes referred to as constructs or elementals. They are versatile in appearance and origins, though there are a few distinctions that allow them to be easily labelled. An animus is always some sort of creature composed of the universe's primal materials and elements. Beings composed wholly of fire that singe everything in their path, or large, hulking figures composed entirely of stone. When in nature, they are usually the byproduct of latent magical energies giving basic life to what would otherwise be a complete mundane component of the natural world. Every object in the world, living or not, contains mana within it. The animus are the nonliving parts of the natural world animated into thinking, walking lifeforms.
The constructs beneath the animus category are rare regardless of them being formed naturally or artificially.
- Examples: elementals, golems, monoliths
Draconids are elusive winged beasts who exist in nature as predators to both animals and man alike. Since the beginning of time, the races of Astra have hunted down the various draconid species to near extinction. Draconids can be defined by their reptilian appearance, large wings and scale-covered bodies. They have become a rare sight in modern day, but the bipedal, humanoid relatives of them, the dragonkin, exist as a mysterious race on the border of the Askrae Desert. Otherwise, many of the draconids species have become nothing but old folk myths or dangerous, rare occurrences in nature.
- Examples: dragons, wyverns, dragonkin
The cognitia category is a point of contention for many scholars. As it's recognized by modern standards, the cognitia are all physically similar, albeit ancestrally unrelated creatures defined by their uniqueness in physique, behavior and intelligence. They are separate from the bestia or ogrum because of their keen wit and unique bodies. The roster of species belonging to the cognitia is short, and is recognized to be exclusively humans, elves, dwarves and goblins. Goblins, like the category itself, are also a topic of debate, but are listed as a member of the cognitia by the Wyrmhart Adventuring Company. These four species are all known for their ability to construct, talk and behave in a way that's distinct from any other species.
- Examples: humans, elves, dwarves
creatures that are wholly unnatural or profane in occurrence and do not fit into any other category.
- Examples: vampyres, abyssals, lycans
the haskara, arachnids, worms
The ogrum are a loose method of defining the simpler, less intelligent humanoid species that exist on Astra. They usually resemble humans to some degree, though are almost always large, brutish and dumb. This, however, does not exclude them from being social beings. Most ogrum fail to meet the critera for the cognitia category because of their irrational behavior, low intelligence or inability to cooperate with anything beyond their own species.
Ogrum can be found all across Astra, typically as lone, self-serving individuals. The only exception to this are the tuskers, who live in medium sized family-based tribes and work together with mutual interest. The ogrum are almost always hostile, territorial creatures who have no interest in mingling with strangers unless it's to kill them or demand some kind of tribute.
- Examples: trolls, giants, orcs
powerful primal beings
- Examples: gods, demons
wholly organic, plant-like life forms of varying intelligence