Gamebook store

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Some fauna of Abraxas

Today we look at a few of the most dangerous creatures of the continent.


A carnivore with a long proboscis, triangular membranous wings and strong kangaroo-like hind legs. The munigant lopes across the plains dragging its wings, which are fringed with long bristles like primitive plumage. Spying prey, it leaps aloft and snaps its wings out to the side, gliding forward at great speed while bringing its legs forward and extending its claws. If the prey fails to dodge it is seized with the wing-hooks while the strong clawed legs inflict a lethal wound. The munigant then injects a chemical that softens the bones and proceeds to suck them out, leaving only the skin to dry in the sun. (Abraxaens have a superstition that a person slain by a munigant becomes a ghost-skin that will slither under the door at night to wrap itself around the living.)


Arboreal creatures with very powerful hind legs and smaller forelimbs used for grasping branches. The derophyr's torso slopes downwards from the hips to its heavily plated head, the forequarters being counterbalanced by a short flattened tail. The overall height of the creature (when standing, measured from feet to pelvis) is about four feet. Its distinctive rattling call - braap, braap, braap - which echoes for miles through the forest, is created by rapidly vibrating the face plate while blowing through the mouth and nose.

A derophyr's legs propel it vigorously through the trees. On the ground it has an ungainly gait, hopping and strutting awkwardly. During the mating season it is not uncommon to encounter derophyrs out of the trees, disorientated by a midair collision of heads which is the ritual of male competition for females.

Derophyrs subsist on a diet of leaves, berries, insects and small game. They are dangerous to humans not because they would normally tackle prey as large as a man, but because when gazing down from the trees they can mistake humans for smaller animals. Additional danger occurs in the mating season, when dazed male derophyrs will leap at and headbutt anything on two legs.


Creatures of primordial but earthly origin, elytrums are solitary hunters whose intelligence is not definable in human terms. They display forward-planning and a high degree of vicious cunning, but appear to have no ability to develop language or speculative thought.

Elytrums consist of a central soft body sac covered with globular eyes. From this extend many thin multiple-jointed limbs of varying lengths, resulting in a creature something like a spider.

The elytrum can hang in cover (above a door, in trees, etc) waiting to drop on prey that passes below. More commonly it forms its limbs into a framework structure, pumping them with fluid to hold the shape, and then weaves a thin waxy integument around this framework. The wax can be different colors, allowing the elytrum to impersonate inanimate objects, other creatures - even humans. They can also mimic sounds or simple phrases, making the disguise complete.

Two tell-tale signs may give warning of an elytrum in disguise. The creature cannot increase its weight, and at only 30 kilograms or so it is far lighter than a real adult human. Also, the waxy integument does not perspire, and over time is liable to harden and crack.

No comments:

Post a Comment