Survey Team 4 the Search for the Sundered Realm
Scenario 1/Setting/Fauna, the Plane of Earth
Fauna, The Plane of Earth
E1 dendilli or ‘chitin dogs’- A warm blooded animal native to the Veldt of the endless caverns. These large pack hunting beasts are frequently domesticated by the Vassa, and are equally useful as pack animals, as mounts, or for hunting big game. They are roughly equivalent to the giant hyena, having four powerful limbs, and standing 160-180 cm tall at the shoulder. The resemblance ends there; as the animal is totally enclosed in a chitinous shell of tough interlocking plates. Colors vary between greys and black browns, with lobster red near the snout, the deep set eyes, and belly. The claws and teeth are horny and the beast is brutally strong, swift and fearless. They root in caves and excel at digging many chambered burrows in which they dwell.
E2 gynelotrum- These large, primitive reptilian scavenger birds have been roosting at Vassa for millennia, and are found wild throughout the endless caverns. Closely resembling the mighty pterodactyl, the bird has large, leathery bats wings, a long aerodynamic skull tapering down to a sharp beak, and short legs ending in powerful feet with ragged talons. This variety has specialized in locating prey through acute hearing. Domesticated in Vassa by dedicated specialists, newly hatched birds are hand reared to act as scouts and lead the hunt. Each new year in the harvest season of the Festival of the Corn Fairy, a line is ceremonially crossed by the random sacrifice of a participant, snatched by pterodactyl’s nesting in the crags of the Sacred Place. This occurs at the most sacred moment, when attendees are high under the influence of myconid vapors; inducing group telepathy with all beings in the immediate area. Thus, everyone is eaten by and eats the sacrificial victim.
E5 rakox- These large, warm blooded ruminants closely resemble the slow and powerful water oxen. Native to the greater estuary and lower Veldt areas, they are widely domesticated in Vassa and elsewhere. The animal sports a partial carapace surmounted by eight long horns. An opponent gored by the rakox will typically come away with one or more as they are adapted to break off, freeing the animal to make its escape. Stupid and skittish, they are never the less highly desirable as draft or pack animals.
E6 snok-trux or ‘hogs’- A passive member of the termite service caste, these docile and amiable neuters cheerfully feed and groom their keepers. Indiscriminate and of limited intelligence, they are widely kept as livestock. They are found in use or domesticated throughout the Sunless Sea area. Like a pig, they are able to convert rough biomass to finished sustenance, with high caloric content. Regurgitating the highly nutritious, high protein pap, they are useful to travelers, expeditions, and so on. They are dark in color, having six legs and two small grooming mandibles. They have a soft segmented shell, and large eye clusters fringed by spiny lashes. At Vassa and other locations, the fermented palp is made into a strong drink used at festival time.
E7 termights- Of the Five (sentient) Species of the Great Forest (along with the Tigerfly, Late Arboreal Man, the Plantants, and the Flymen) only the steady and industrious termite has founded a stabile society approximating civilization. At home in all layers of the forest, from tips to roots; they make their colonies in the traditional way. Cellulose and mud is mixed with resin epoxies in the gullet of the worker caste; this is excreted to form passages, storerooms, and larva chambers. Burrows in soft material, such as soil and rotten wood are also common. Society is hierarchical, with warriors and mates tending a queen caste. Unlike the tiny insects they evolved from, the Termights are intelligent and have co-opted other species into their society, effectively forming other rungs in the caste structure. As a group, they’re generally not hostile, tending to avoid trouble and intent on the work at hand. They have been known to tolerate or even assist Late Arboreal Man. They and the Traversers are the great builders of the last age.