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On this page you will find information on all of the races and creatures that populate the underground. The races that the players can play as are humanity and the 'civilized races'. All the others are npc races.

Civilized RacesEdit

The civilized races are those who have (relatively) good relations with humanity. They live in the same relatively shallow strata as humans and often depend on the same chemotrophic food chains.

The Church is the one who coined the term and they are quick to give or revoke it should a race of creatures ally with or turn against humanity. There are other races with civilizations deeper in the world or who don’t fall under this heading, but the church likes to make them out as savages or animals.


Shang-GeiEdit

●       Shang-gei look like the crossbreed of a Snake and a Greyhound. Thin and flexible snake-like bodies with long, lithe legs ending axially symmetrical 4 fingered hand. They have long necks, snake-like heads, and move with equal ease on two feet or four. Of particular note are their tongues: they have 6 prehensile, meter long tongues which they can move independently. This octopus of tongues is actually a major sense organ and what they use to navigate in pitch darkness or to manipulate small and delicate things. The combined size of the tongues is so great that they usually remain folded back within the Shang-gei’s throat; when they wish to use them they have to open their mouth extremely wide and almost regurgitate the mass of writhing flesh. In this state they are effectively blind because the top of their head is tilted so far back, so they move forward by touch with their tongues, almost looking like they are being pulled along by the fleshy medusa head in their mouth. The tongues are not very strong and are not used in combat but are used for delicate crafting and manipulation.

●       As a race the Shang-gei monogamous nomads, moving in breeding pairs, occasionally in clusters of couples. Family lines and Blood are seen as bonds that surpass all others; many Shang-gei will allow themselves to starve to death if their partner dies before them.

●       As a species they are carnivorous and hunt in two ways: individuals hunt through ambush, like crocodiles, while pairs use tactics to drive prey towards their mate who then takes it by surprise.

●       Their nomadic ways mean that, while they are advanced in storytelling, art, song and many other artistic or cultural practices, their societies, such as they are, are technologically deficient and mostly reliant on simple stone tools or natural ability.

●       Recently more have taken to living among human society while they search for a mate.

●       About 6-7 feet tall, come in various colors, usually black with an “outline” color around the edge of their scales and in various bands and patterns on their body. Most common is blue, but white, red, and green are also seen.

●       Their faith lacks a god, instead they believe that the universe is a sort of Rube Goldberg machine. All things affect all other things and the universe is an unbelievably vast and complex series of interactions. It's a bit like Karma but they don’t differentiate “Good” and “Bad” on a cosmic level, only a personal level.  If things keep going poorly, they will radically alter their actions, usually to the direct opposite, in order to fix things.  It’s a simple idea in theory but those who follow it strictly can be difficult to predict as a run of bad luck can cause their personalities and habits to radically invert.


EthralEdit

●       Resemble bipedal moths with 4 arms. Covered in soft fur that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Have a rounded, pudgy appearance despite the hard exoskeleton under the fur. Large compound eyes and branching antennae. Have a large abdomen that continues on from behind their legs almost like a fat tail. Their wings are large enough to go from their shoulders till a few inches off the ground and generally hang like a cape or cloak around their body. Their wings are not strong enough to truly fly- though the can get close using convection currents-  but they can glide and easily control any falls. They have, in place of a mouth, a four-part mandible as if the jaw of a human was split vertically as well. The pieces can move individually, allowing the Ethral to properly speak human-understandable languages. 

●       They generally wear silk cloaks and hoods with masks of hugely varying design, each of which is unique to the individual.

●       They are shy, secretive, quiet, and dislike having much attention focused upon them. Vegetarian by nature and not physically strong, they have powerful instincts to survive via remaining unseen.

●       Ethral are intelligent, lovers of books, art, music, culture, and shiny things. They have survived despite their diminutive size (4 to 5 feet tall) and relative weakness by utilizing technology, inventiveness and cunning.

●       They keep detailed histories and records of their own society as well as others on great silk tapestries and scrolls. The central heart of their cities are halls of records.

●       They are very diplomatic, happy to engage in trade and friendship with anyone they can. Some believe they are naive, others think they are just cunning enough to act like they are. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

●       Often take Surnames related to the profession they choose to study and become masters of.

●       Ethral cities are usually built on walls or suspended from cave ceilings to keep them away from dangers on the ground. Somewhat notorious for not having any kind of railings or safety measures on their pathways or ledges. Ethral can glide so a trip and fall is nothing to them, but can be fatal to many others.

●       Pair bond with one mate each season, sometimes the same, sometimes new. Lay eggs, larvae produce silk which they harvest. Larvae are raised communally. Pseudo-communist societies where the individual matters less than the good of the whole. Seems to be a remnant of some sort of herd instinct; Ethral don’t mind it whatsoever, it feels natural to them.

●       If fighting needs to be done, they tend to hire others to do it. Not cowardly in a strict sense, they simply have a highly accurate understanding of their abilities. When forced into conflict, they vastly prefer the use of long range weaponry.

●      The Ethral are not generally very religious, at least not dogmatically so. Their beliefs revolve around what they call “The Light of Knowledge”, an abstract concept of God as ultimate truth. They assert that all beings that are able to, will seek knowledge. They do it for different reasons but still do it all the same.  They believe that God is the source of all things and all  knowledge and to know God, one must know about everything else.  To some this is more a metaphor; that the more one knows, the more they understand the underlying powers and actions at work, and that perfect knowledge would allow them to understand the deepest and most fundamental nature of the universe: God.  Others believe it more literally; that God is a thing not unlike objects in the Plutonic Theory of Forms. God is the source of all things, reality is like its shadow and knowledge lets one peer past the multitude of shadows and reflections and push forward towards the true source.

●      They have fairly accelerated lifespans, average life of about 35 years.  They grow their entire lives so the older they are the larger they are.  Most are going to be between 4-5 feet tall, but if they're very old they might be 6 or 7 feet, more if you include the antennae.   They usually lay between 3-5 eggs which hatch into larva and mature into adults  over about a year.  Moth sex is generally done back to back because their genitals are at the end of the abdomen.  This not to say it is passionless or never done for fun but it is fairly different from human coupling.


Honored DeadEdit

●       The undead are not an uncommon sight in the unsettled parts of the underground, particularly in areas around Antediluvian tombs.

●       They come in a great variety of states of decay and states of consciousness, everything from perfectly fresh to skeletal, and lucid to mindless killing machine.

●       Among these, the Honored Dead are unique. They are always lucid, Always almost perfectly preserved (at least when they wake), always have complete Amnesia of their past lives, and are united by a singular desire: The search for a glorious death.

●       Honored Dead resemble humans, though are almost always of great size, two meters to two and a half high with powerful builds. They are almost all male, though female honored dead have been seen. They wear decorated ceremonial armor, fine cloaks and capes, ivory masks depicting regal, heroic features, golden laurels or crowns, or other similar things. These are  usually in some state of decay or disrepair. Some may also carry ceremonial weapons.

●       The Honored dead are thought to be heroes from the past, risen now for unknown reasons. Indeed they are heroic in nature, utterly, awfully, violently good. They are kind, gentle, friendly, happy, and will decapitate a man without a word. They are simple, but not stupid: There is right and there is wrong. There is punishment to fit the crime. There is forgiveness for those who seek it and fatal redemption for those that don’t. They will not endanger innocents, they will gladly endanger themselves.

●       Each Honored Dead seeks a cause worth dying for, a fight worth staking everything on. They do this because they feel a deep sense of guilt and regret which they cannot pin down. They feel that they made a mistake in their former lives, betrayed someone, failed to keep a promise, abandoned their values. They cannot say why they feel this, but they do. They seek to, in some way, make amends.

●       Honored Dead begin uninjured but never heal. Any wound they take is permanent. They can be crudely stitched back together or given replacements for things they lose, but it will never quite be the same. Honored Dead don’t feel pain and they don’t fear injury, as long as its for a good reason.

●       Honored Dead will finally die for one of two reasons; either their heart or brain is destroyed or removed from their body, or they find peace. An Honored Dead that completes its mission and absolves itself of the guilt that drives it will quietly pass.

●        Honored Dead usually roam the world in war bands along with others of their kind, seeking causes to pledge themselves to or innocents to protect. Sometimes they will move as individuals, either because they cannot find more of their kind or because they seek a personal cause.

●       Though they are often feared and hated by those in power (an Honored Dead will not abide corruption to remain unexposed) they are beloved by common folk.

●       They do not eat or sleep.

●       Though undead and painless, they still move via their muscles; injury can cripple them.

●       Tend to be extremely resistant to bullets and other small puncturing injuries.

●       Prefer to use melee weapons, though will use ranged if they need to.

●       Their Religious beliefs, whatever they are and if they even have any, seem subservient and secondary to their quest of redemption.  They may use the names of gods or holy patrons but it’s just a thin veneer over their true guiding desires.


ShluckEdit

●       A race of amphibious Molluscs.

●       Shlucks resemble something akin to the torso of a man partially ringed in thick, muscular tentacles. They have a human like head, ie a protuberance that is roughly round with a mouth and eyes, though they only have one eye and a beak mouth. They are albino pale, sport both gills and lungs, and are known to be slimy and rather unpleasant by human standards.

●       A cave adapted race, their cities are aquatic and they rarely leave the water unless they have business with other races. They dry out quickly without water or moisture, and as such dislike the settlements of other city making species because they tend to be connected to volcanic areas.

●       When out and around on land, they usually make use of what amounts to an inverse diving suit. These suits come in two varieties: environmental and mechanical. Environmental suit is simple, it’s effectively a full body suit filled with water to keep the Shluck hydrated. It has a tank to circulate the water and vents to keep the water oxygenated. The mechanical suit is the environmental suit but with a humanoid mechanical exoskeleton built onto it. This mechanical exoskeleton is not powered by anything but the Shluck’s own movements through complex clockwork mechanisms acting not unlike pulleys to magnify their strength.

●        The Shluck is only about 2 feet tall, so even when magnified these exoskeletons are no stronger than a man. Still, it enables them to use most human focused equipment and move easily in human machines and structures.

●       Humans and Shlucks have attempted to create scaled up versions of the suit for humans to wear, but it seems to fail at larger sizes, or at least produce exponentially diminishing results. This is a point of much annoyance for both.

●       The Shluck, despite their size and rather unpleasant appearance, are skilled negotiators, traders, merchants, orators and all manner of charismatic and personable careers.

●       Some Shluck are so persuasive at times that it has been suggested, but never proven either way, that they have some manner of passive psychic influence. 

●       Waterways, while not as important as they are above ground, are still major passages underground, meaning Shluck often occupy prime real estate. They work as traders, but also as guides and boat captains facilitating movement on waterways

●       Shluck society is highly regimented and based on land ownership. Those who own the greatest amount of land are considered to be above those that don’t, and those living on the land owned by others must follow the laws that owner has set down. It is not too far off a feudal system, except that the territories of dozens of lords might be clustered together in a single city.

●       Each city is ruled by the landowners, who come together in a council of sorts to consider the use of pooled resources. Not a lot gets done unless there is a clear and present need for it, since the individuals prefer to focus on building enhancements for their own territories. Because of this Shluck cities can be a confused mess of many repetitive buildings. Their laws are often equally confusing because they can be completely different depending on which section of town you’re in.

●       Land ownership is not hereditary, it cannot be passed down. It is fought for once a generation after the old owner passes. Sometimes a landowner may fight and gain the land of others, increasing his territory.

●       They have a reputation of being friendly but ruthless as a species.

●       The Shluck are dedicated agnostics and seem to have little time or interest for faith in the unknown.


Mole-manEdit

●      Mole-men have a name for their species that isn’t Mole-men. They won’t tell it to anyone who isn’t a mole-man. They won’t say why but its thought to be due to superstitions regarding names.

●      Mole-men will give you their name willingly and happily. People have noted that this probably isn’t their real name, just one to give to outsiders.

●      The Mole-men are generally jovial and good natured but also very secretive. They are plenty happy to get out into the world and converse with others but their own burrow cities are notoriously hard to gain entry to. Even their exact location is usually hidden. Those who do get in are often shuttled around by “guides” and kept strictly on track and in certain areas. Because of this, the true size and nature of their cities isn’t known to anyone outside.

●      Molemen, unlike most civilizations, don’t make their cities near geothermal points. Exactly what they eat and how they power any machinery inside is unknown. They are thought, from their exports, to be farmers of fungi and giant worms.

●      Those who leave the burrows are either youngsters who want adventure or criminals who have been exiled. Even those exiled refuse to divulge any secrets.

●      Physically mole-men are about 6 feet tall, usually quite muscular and have a gorilla-like stature with large front limbs and huge paws, but smaller back legs. They usually walk bipedally but run forward using all four limbs. Their fingers end in large digging claws that make doing fine work difficult.

●      Often find work in the military, mercs, construction workers, or other jobs that make good use of their brawn.

●      Their religious beliefs are equally cryptic but they seem to be connected to blood sacrifice. Some moles are known to track the number of sapient beings they kill with self inflicted scars and have been observed using small amounts of their own blood in rituals. There is also a common practice of ritual suicide by exsanguination if they are mortally wounded or about to be captured with no means of escape.

●      Some believe their secrecy may be to conceal the true nature and scale of their religious practices, which are rumored to include the sacrifice of sapient beings and belief in “Hereditary Spirits” or “Bloodline Gods”


CorvenEdit

●       The Corven resemble a humanoid version of a bird. They have a covering of feathers over their entire body except their forearms and hands, from the knees down, and on their beak. Their forelimbs are covered in scales and end in talons.

●       They lack the wings and flight of their more avian counterparts but retain a spryness and agility greater than many others.

●       They have distinctly bird shaped heads, identical to those of normal birds except in size, but their bodies are very similar to humans save for the feathers.

●       The look of the Corven is remarkably varied, coming in all manner of colors, with different shaped and sized beaks, different sorts of plumage and all manner of frills and even faux-tails of long feathers down the back.

●       The Corven are often considered somewhat fragile, due to the fact they still have the “hollow bones” of their avian brothers. This is what also allows them to be so nimble. There is a saying that Corven climb the best and fall the worst.

●       The Corven are often consider hotblooded, vain, and greedy. This is most likely due to the fact that Corven society is a plutocracy where appearances and actions are considered extremely important.

●       In Corven society laws are brought in entirely based on money. The more wide spread or extreme the law, the more it costs to get it on the books. One would think that this would lead to massive corruption but it turns out more balanced than one would believe thanks to the fact that individuals can pool their money to purchase or revoke laws. The system, despite it all, is surprisingly resistant to corruption thanks to the fact that there are very few officials to bribe or corrupt.

●       Those with a great deal of money work tirelessly to keep a positive public image so that their political and personal machinations aren’t shot down out of spite.

●       Individuals often keep up appearances to appear both powerful (rich) while also humble and agreeable. A careful and constant balancing act to be taken seriously while not disliked.

●       Those unfamiliar with the system or its great many unspoken rules often feel it is a society of extreme vanity, greed and falsehood.

●       Those who don’t have money in their society are the lowest of the low, powerless in all ways. They are usually the ones who will leave the Corven societies and venture out into the world to seek their fortune. Those who have money see no reason to leave.

●       Often work as Mercenaries for the Shluck.

● Corven have varying ages since they're technically dozens of breeds under a common name (like how dogs are radically different but all the same species). Most grow to technical adulthood in about a decade, give or take 3 years, and live 50 or so years past that. Certain groups, like the parrot looking ones, can live 100 years past that but they're outliers.[1]

●       The Corven believe in a sort of predestination connected to wealth. Effectively, those who are chosen or favored by God, whose actions are otherwise unknowable, will profit in life.  Those who are rich are rich because they deserve to be rich; not just in the sense that they worked for it or anything, but that they are literally ordained by God to succeed. Divine right to be rich. This belief does little to help those who are the poorest, as they are seen to be ordained to fail for whatever reason.  Oddly, though this belief is common, it does not prevent people from turning against the rich  if they break the complex social masquerade or do things the populace dislikes.

AbominationEdit

●       Not so much a race but a mistake, a thing that should not have been

●       Abominations are members of one of the aforementioned races that have, through accident or intentional meddling, somehow ended up connected to one of the Spheres. It sometimes happens for no reason at all, a random connection made without Diving.

●       The connection warps their bodies horribly, reflecting the sphere they connected too, always one of the spheres of the gray. They may be possessed for a short time or it may simply be a terrible transformation that happens out of nowhere.

●       Abominations are each different; there is no common plan or shape they take. Most can be recognized as being a member of their original race, but horribly distorted. Their mutations are not helpful in the vast majority of cases and are often difficult to conceal.

●       Abominations are pariahs in all societies, hated and feared due to their appearance and superstitions regarding their nature.

●       They are usually cast out or forced out of society, living as beggars. Almost inevitably they find their way into the Tenebrous Church, which is far more accepting of them as an organization than its individual lay members are. The church, with its strong ties to Diving, sees Abominations as injured wayfarers and survivors worth learning from and utilizing.

●       Their connection to the Spheres tends to make them above average divers with a strange connection to the arcane.

●       It is rare to find an abomination that isn’t a dedicated Chthonic


NPC races and creaturesEdit

Great WormsEdit

A species of enormous worms which tunnel through stone like earthworms tunnel through soil. Enormous, monolithic, strangely intelligent but unable to communicate, and seemingly indestructible. Revered in folk myth and superstition, mostly by Tunnel Carvers.


Bell GolemsEdit

Metallic lifeforms of an unknown origin. Their heads are enormous bells with simple faces inscribed upon them. A body, stout in proportion and roughly equal in size to the head, emerges from under the bell, growing off of the tongue/clapper. They are constantly ringing, either slightly while walking or loudly while active. They wield oversized maces and stand 3 meters tall or more. They are considered neutral and will generally leave travelers alone, but may intercede in conflicts.  They are mute and have very limited capacity for communication.  Some may strap additional bells to themselves, forming clanking capes for reasons unknown. Recommendation: Avoidance.

 

Molten SuccubiEdit

Beings made of obsidian and fire, stone moving and acting like flesh so long as the creature is alive.  Glow with internal heat that leaks out of their eyes, open mouths and through thin sections of their bodies. Resemble human females, though in a somewhat general and vague way, like an impressionist statue. Their faces are mostly smooth, with a pleasing head shape and a pair of large eyes but no other visible features. Their bodies have an literal hourglass shape, with a large chest and pelvis and a proportionally tiny waist. Their legs start thick and taper slowly down to needle sharp points instead of feet and their hands look similar to doll joint hands made from simple polygonal shapes. They have no anatomical features, so to speak, but are still considered attractive by most humans, regardless of sex.  When they speak, their face seems to split neatly at a point where their mouth should be; the split moves and changes shape though it doesn’t really seem to correlate to the speech.

The succubi are considered a friendly race, if somewhat dangerous. They offer favors in return for time, literal years off of someone’s life. They seem to have an innate capacity for diving and can fulfil many wishes in return for aging by a varying amount. Why they do it, what they gain by it, no one really knows. They are rare, though not overly so, and enigmatic. They will not drain someone’s life without that person’s agreement, but they are persuasive.  Recommendation: Caution.

 

Magnet ElementalEdit

Magnet elementals are technically invisible and incorporeal, they are only seen and can only interact via their magnetism.  Their bodies are moving clumps of iron powder, rust, small metal objects and ferromagnetic fluid; their heads generally a larger metal piece distinct from the others. Their forms are quite malleable and fluid, changing as they need to. Beyond Diving there is no way to truly kill a Magnet Elemental, as damaging their bodies simply disperses the parts and does not harm the inherent magnetic form beneath them. Magnet elementals are capable of speech through projected text using their body but are otherwise silent save for their interactions with the world.  They are considered neutral and generally go about their own business unless disturbed or interfered with. Recommendation: Avoidance.

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BeetlemenEdit

A race of bipedal beetles with a resemblance to the Rhinoceros Beetle. They are very large, about 3 meters tall and heavily built with a natural carapace armor. They have large wings which allow limited flight and a very humanoid body plan, albeit with some variety in proportion and much more insectoid heads and distorted feet and hands. They seem to lack advanced technology and make due entirely with their own physical prowess and simple tools. Its unknown if they can speak, as they have never attempted to communicate in anything but teeth rattling buzzes or insect shrieks.  They are considered a hostile race, though if they are given a wide berth they will often ignore others; perhaps their aggression is linked to protection of their territory. Little is known about their society, if they truly have one.  However they seem to be in some sort of prolonged conflict with the Mole-men, as they will attack any mole-man on sight. The Mole-men are characteristically tight lipped about their relation to these insectoids.  Recommendation: Avoidance. 

 

NecromancersEdit

The undead are not uncommon underground but the necromancers are something different. They are former humans and other races who have, through Diving, made themselves a form of undead. They are not dissimilar from the Honored Dead in their physical nature though their use of the occult does allow them to reconstruct themselves when harmed. The Necromancers consider themselves a form of undead royalty or nobility, above all others and above the living. They often dramatically modify their own bodies in artistic ways to flaunt their non-reliance on the flesh. Some are ascetic in nature, seeking to transcend life to a higher existence, others are more traditional in their desires to avoid death and gain power. Most command a force of thralled undead, sometimes a small kingdom worth of them.  The church has a complex relationship with the Necromancers, as many of its highest members are rumored to be some form of undead or at least heavily modified and the saints they venerate are effectively intelligent undead in many cases. Still, they stand against the practice of purposefully making yourself undead or intentionally raising the dead in most circumstances.

The personality of the Necromancers varies; most prefer to stay far from civilization in their underground kingdoms but a few wander in more trafficked places. They are as various in motivation and morality as any group of individuals and should be judged on an individual basis. Recommendation: Caution.

 

UndeadEdit

Most of the undead in the underground are not intelligent, they are mindless and directionless creatures. They have been compared to drunk actors; they play out actions which they may have done while alive in clumsy halting ways. A soldier may march about, patrolling back and forth until his legs are worn away.  A farmer may mime the act of digging a furrow, a tunnel carver of swinging a pick, and a mercenary may seek targets to kill. This is no logic to this, no reason to their actions, simply echos of what they once were. Others may simply wander, or stand still, or lay catatonic and almost indistinguishable from a normal corpse.  They are aware to a degree, but not truly cognizant.  They can often be ignored and are only occasionally dangerous, and even those that are hostile are usually not very effective in their efforts. Recommendation : Caution.


Fire singerEdit

Fire singers are a race of blind avian creatures with innate pyrokinetic abilities connected to their songs. They resemble the corven in a way, though while the Corven lean towards a humanoid appearance the Fire singers have large wings instead of arms and resemble birds with minor human traits as opposed to humans with bird traits.  They are eyeless, albino, and seem to have a form of chirping based echolocation that allows them to fly and move about despite their blindness.  They appear to be intelligent, at least to a degree, as they are tool using and will create clothing. However they are ravenous and will attack any creature, including sapient races.  They can whistle and sing points of extreme heat into existence and send them dancing about, burning and exploding as they wish.  They are also capable mimics and will often lure prey using noises like human voices or machinery sounds. If seen, it is best to either attempt to flee with great haste or attack immediately; the less time the fire singer is given to summon up its flames, the better. Recommendation: Hostility.

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Bone MaskEdit

A parasitic beetle creature which has a white shell with black markings that resemble a simple rendering of a skull. The beetle waits for its potential hosts to sleep and then crawls onto their faces, digging its feet into their flesh and bone and securing itself to them before hijacking their nervous system with modified antennae. From this point on it puppets the victim, using it to find and kill food for the beetle to consume. The beetle is not stupid in its actions; it will feed and attempt to maintain its host. In fact it is believed that the beetle, while simple and animalistic on its own, gains the intelligence and knowledge of its host while attached, effectively becoming sapient when riding a sapient being.  Bone Masks are reviled and if seen most will attempt to kill the insect and free any host, though it is difficult to do; the beetle will often take the host hostage and threaten to force it to commit suicide. Even those freed from the mask rarely recover to their former level of functioning.  There are rumors that Bone Masks live in certain frontier societies, hiding their faces living not unlike a normal sapient being. How much of this is true and how much is hysteria and rumor is uncertain. Recommendation: Hostility.

 

Crystal HeartEdit

Believed to be a race of creatures, though they may just be a natural phenomena. Resembles a heart made of red crystal, about the same size as a human heart but not exactly the same shape. Moves slowly through open air, drifting through tunnels and caves. Produces a fair amount of reddish light in audible thumping pulses. How it survives and what it does is unknown, but anything that comes within a radius of about 10 meters of the Heart will be aged. The amount of aging varies depending on proximity with closer resulting in greater aging. Those who touch the heart are said to melt away to bones in a single thump.  However, if the heart is smashed, the crystals and the blood like substance within have potent medical properties. The only issue is that if the heart is damaged, equal damage is inflicted on the thing which caused the damage, be it intentional or not.  Recommendation: Avoidance.

 

Hide-BehindEdit

A rarely seen canine creature which will stalk its prey for long periods before striking when the moment is right. The Hide-behind is known for its tremendous capacity to remain hidden, even in the face of concerted efforts to look for it. Its not known exactly how it manages this as those creatures successfully killed by their would-be prey exhibit no supernatural or even unique physical capacities. They cannot change their skins to blend in or bend light around themselves; they are simply thin, gray furred canines with oversized eyes, mouths and clawed paws. They seem to be able to move without sound, to emit no sounds of breathing, and to be so perfectly balanced and careful as to only rarely leave any mark of their passing. Chalk dust left in a thin layer along your path and then rechecked later is the standard method of detecting a hide-behind, but even this isn’t foolproof; the creatures are often smart enough to scatter the dust in a way that makes it hard to determine if it is a positive or negative indication. Sleeping in shifts and continuous surveillance are the recommended countermeasures. Recommendation: Hostility if seen, caution otherwise.

 

Amber LanternEdit

A species of predatory fungi known for its alluring lights and smell.  Amber Lanterns are actually much larger and more complex than many think; they grow across an entire area like a carpet of thin, interwoven threads before creating their more famous growths; their lantern and their cups. The lantern is a brightly glowing bulb that rises up on a springy stalk of fungus and draws in prey. Around the Lantern are what appear to be mushroom caps with inverted, concave tops filled with an amber sap. This fluid is sweet smelling, sweet tasting, and also an extremely potent drug. In small doses it induces sleep, muscle relaxation, and numbness. In large doses it can easily kill via asphyxiation due to muscle paralysis. The natural predation cycle of the fungus appears to be luring creatures in, causing them to eat its sap and perhaps parts of the mushroom caps before the creature succumbs to the effects and is then slowly digested and eaten by the fungus.  Humans are rarely ensnared by this accidently but some do fall prey to it due to carelessness. The drug, known as Sweet Amber, is used for surgical and medical purposes but also has recreational users because of the vivid lucid dreams it can produce.   Addicts or the curious can seek out the Amber Lantern and accidently overdose on the substance.  Recommendation: Caution.

 

Giant Cave SpiderEdit

The name truly says it all.  Massive, almost invisible in caves thanks to its coloration, known to spin almost perfectly transparent webs across cave passages and then wait in hiding for something to become tangled. Once caught it will pounce, kill with a bite and then dissolve and digest the creature leaving nothing but badly corroded bones behind.  Rarely seen in any instance other than an ambush, it is dangerous even when caught out in the open. Recommendation: Hostility or Hasty Retreat.

 

Wool MaggotEdit

Common domestic animal in the underground, the wool maggot fills many niches. Its hair is sheared and used for textiles, its flesh is used as food, and the oils it produces can be used as lubricants, fuels, and the base for inks. Despite the name, they are actually worms, not the infant phase of a different animal. They resemble maggots, with pale, somewhat soft carapace, long segmented bodies, small limbs on the front of their body and eyeless heads with small pincer mandibles.  They are about a foot or so high and 4-5 feet long, with thick wool in white, brown, and beige. They move slowly with a half walk half crawl but can easily climb walls and ceilings. They are generally kept in enclosed areas to prevent them from crawling away.  Recommendation: Pet.

 

Gemstone PeopleEdit

Extinct race of humanoids who had a rock physiology and resembled gemstones. Built and created by manipulating minerals in an unknown way. Created many races of “golem” to serve them.

Most widely accepted theory is that they went extinct thanks to a combination of some sort of disease and a constant war with another race. Their records and pictograms depict their race under attack from something that looks like a giant starfish. No one has ever found any information about what those creatures are and they've never been sighted so its possible the two races killed each other. [2]

GrubsEdit

Generic name for any number of species of large insect larva. Range in size from a few inches to over a foot. Grown for food usually.


WormsEdit

Thought to perhaps be lesser cousins of Great Worms or perhaps the juvenile form. Varying cool and pinkish colors, range in size between a foot to several meters. Raised for food and materials, as well as waste disposal.



CrawlersEdit

Generic name for any number of centipede, millipede, woodlouse and similar armored crawling things. Can grow quite large. Raised for food and for their thick exoskeleton plates.



Crevice FerretsEdit

Foot long, serpentine mammals known to colonize crevices and cracks. Eat small insects and work in hunting packs to take down larger ones. Raised as pets and sources of meat and fur.



Void RatsEdit

Not actually rats. Six legged, arrow head shaped bodies with long tails, something like a horseshoe crab but more angular. Solid black, come in swarms, make chittering noises, and move in irregular start, stop spurts. Eat fungi and smaller creatures in the wild but can chew and eat many man-made things as well. Considered a pest but their blood has useful properties and their shells are harvested. Flesh is poisonous.



Skin molesEdit

Cow sized blind mole rats known for their excessive and baggy skin. Traditionally raised by Mole society, but now raised by others. Origin and connection to Moles unknown. Harvested for meat and skin for Vellum.



Various beetlesEdit

The adult form of the grubs. Eaten and sometimes used for labor.



Fluff ScarabsEdit

Adult form of the Wool maggot. Also used for its thick fur, but for different reason. Its fur has become something akin to steel wool and has good insulating properties.

Giant AntEdit

Giant Ants that form great colonies. They are blind, apparently relying on other senses such as touch and smell (including pheromones) to sense the world. They seem to have specialized forms, each suited for a different task.[3]

  • Giant Ant Worker: Each is about a meter and a half long with dark reddish-brown carapace and a large, flat, seemingly eyeless head. They are surprisingly quick.
  • Giant Ant Guardian: Its at least five times larger than the ants swarming around the bore and though its body plan is similar to the other ants it isn't identical. Proportionally its body is much skinnier and its legs are longer, but its head is the real difference. The head of the giant ant is grossly enlarged, a meter and a half wide, two meters long, a giant shield of black carapace sporting meter and a half long mandibles. The mandibles are something like a stag's horn; inward curved and bristling with seemingly random spikes.
  1. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=171145.msg7849546#msg7849546
  2. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=171120.msg7796496#msg7796496
  3. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=171120.msg7858256#msg7858256