Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Great Discape: Bestiary 1-of-3

 (Need a refresher? look at Part 1 and 2)
And all the hosts of angels cried out "Doot doot doot."

The City in the Center / The City Above

Locals: Splendorous and brilliant, luminous and ecstatic.
Wrestler: Keeper of the Secrets – Has a signature move called the SUSHAI SLAM.
  1. Minor godling – The gods are constantly sub-creating their own short-lived spawn, birthing them from the eggs embedded in their backs. They possess only a fraction of their parent’s power, but still might be potent.
  2. Messenger Servitor – Direct communication with the divine is rare, and so these flame-feathered intermediaries will flit back and forth between the City and the rest of the Discape. Messengers traditionally identify what god they serve by means of an elaborate hat, and the advertisement they shout.
  3. Censor Tortoise – Their hollow shells are pure gold, and constantly letting out sweet-smelling smoke. They will bestow good favor on those who feed them.
  4. An Eye or Ear of Death – The 108 Deaths have their own servants to keep watch over the life threads of the Discape. Being in the service of the inevitable, they are fond of gambling and games, as fate is just as dead as the rest in their line of work.
  5. Ascended Pilgrim - Many of the pilgrims that manage to reach the City never leave. Surrendering their former lives and identities, they stroll the streets of the City praising the gods they adore forever more.
  6. Choir Engine – A shambling automaton built of angels and pipe organs, leading processions of pilgrims and priests through the City.
  7. Reformed Sinner – Of a different caste than the pilgrims who stayed, sinners are those who were taken up by the gods for their transgressions and repented, whether they wanted to or not.
  8. Rosary Bird – They weave nests atop of prayer-wheels out of strings of beads. They are a plain dun in coloration but will avidly and ferociously seek out brightly colored beads for their homes.
  9. Ambrosia Beast – Constantly exudes a delicious honey-like substance. Often used in fountain displays.
  10. Prayer-Eater – Excess prayers (the foolish, shortsighted, unneeded, or unheard) have more than once caused upheaval in the City (prayer inflation is a major issue in the divine economy) – thus the Prayer-eaters were created. Red-gold, potbellied things like crocodiles, they sit on the outer walls of the City and snap up any incoming prayers that aren’t worth the gods’ time.
You can, in fact, see your house from here.

Locals: Sharp-eyed and sharp-edged, harsh and unforgiving.
Wrestler: The Avalanche – Crowd favorite, refers to self in third person.
  1. Nightgaunt – Faceless guards of the mountain, they might carry a pilgrim as steed, push him off the path only to catch him below, taunt and tickle him, or simply watch.
  2. Ice giant – Big, blue, boisterous men who sling boulders at each other from their towers and kick down avalanches on paths in jest. If one hears laughter like thunder, it is best to be cautious.
  3. Cliff Clinger – Something akin to a hairless grey-blue ape, with arms thrice as long as the rest of its body. They feast on bird eggs plucked from their nests, and hate the Nightgaunts.
  4. Snow Maid – A woman-shaped space plastered with snow. Two eyes of glacier blue. Believed by some to be the female form of the ice giants.
  5. Vüngeleagle – Giant four-winged eagles that never come to rest on the ground. Their eggs are heavily cushioned and reinforced at the bottom, to survive impact with the nest.
  6. A very clever goat – It got up here before me. And now it is laughing.
  7. Immortal Ascetic of Emptiness – Removal of the soul is a common path to enlightenment. Such pilgrims will never finish their journey to the summit, and many who come across them will find themselves in the same.
  8. Snowflake Painter – One in a billion flakes bears the marks of this cloud-dwelling creature. A single painting, if recovered without it melting, is worth a kingdom in the Lands-in-Balance.
  9. Rockbugs – These pillbeetles are the most consistent source of food on the mountainside.
  10. Disciple of the Drum – Many pilgrims climb not to reach the City Above, but to sit at the feet of Skarl and drum with him. They might be known by their hide drums, painted in great detail with the sign of the Heart.
"Ankh-Morpork", by Jameli
The City Below the Center

Locals: Of all types. Colorful, loud, poor.
Wrestler: Dorinoples, the announcer. Incredibly enthusiastic.
  1. Teratomic Gang Enforcer – The Low Arcs of the city are rife with poverty and disease, ever growing in new, horrid metastatic forms. The inhabitants of these districts bear the brunt of it all in body and soul.
  2. Gutter Urchin – Their ragged purple spines secrete a toxin that swiftly induces violent spasms, followed by muscle rigor and paralysis.
  3. Eaves Dropper Crow – These bulb-skulled birds have taken to falling from on high atop the heads of the unsuspecting, so as to startle them into dropping whatever street food or shiny baubles they might have in their hands.
  4. Purse Cutter – The tip of its prehensile trunk bears a thin bone razor, which is typically only used for dominance displays and trimming its fur. Thieves love the little creatures, as they are both cuddly and easily trained.
  5. Reticulated Anklebiter – Waging an eternal turf war against packs of feral cats and the swarms of giant rats. Personal punting record: 17 yards.
  6. Pigeonherd – The enterprising poor will always find a niche in the City Below. These grey-cowled folk tend to vast flocks of clipped-wing pigeons, fattened on whatever they might find. Feed on a bird, sir? Tuppence a bag.
  7. Garbashlop Vendor – Street food is a traditional standby in the City Below. It has the added bonus of making sure the population is inoculated against most diseases before they can handle solid food. The homunculi that tend the vats are often seasoned surgeons and barbers, hand washing optional.
  8. Fatcat – Tomcats in the City Below are the meanest on the Discape, and the worst of the tomcats are the ones who are mean enough to get other cats to do their dirty work. Like patriarchal dons, the scarred blobs rule over their backalley domains, rolled about by their harem.
  9. Laboratory Runoff – Fluorescent oozes bubble and fizz in the alleys, gutters, and canals. Magically toxic, stink of ozone, bear an octarine sheen.
  10. Chaosicratic Firebrand – There are those that follow a certain creed; if the City Above is the place of Law, the City Below must be the home of Chaos. These rebels (often identified by the burning hair and smell of gunpowder) seek to overthrow the Arcarchs and institute a ravening, unbound democracy.
The blood is the life, you know.
Sanguine Savanna

Locals: Tall, dark red, bald, yellow markings.
Wrestler: The Bloody Tear – A Byronic hero, seeking his lost love. Good dancer.
  1. Balloonbeast – Docile gasbags that roam the savannah sky in herds. If domesticated, one can carry a rider and a mule’s-worth of supplies. A surprisingly gentle ride.
  2. Lightningling – These electric sprites can be lured down from the clouds by means of elaborate glass bottles and copper rods. They don’t appreciate it, but are willing to bargain.
  3. Russeceroses – A dish-shaped horn on their head collects rainwater. The songbirds that bathe there will tell the russecerose stories of all the places it has seen, which the beast dutifully remembers.
  4. Rosemane Tiger – The petal-fur around its neck will close when sleeping or sneaking. Its red-and-black fur is highly valued, despite (or more likely because of) the curse placed on killers of the creature.
  5. Ourobouric Giraffe – To escape predators, it can fold its legs around its body and roll away at high speeds. It will die if it stops biting its tail, reason unknown.
  6. Bloodpyre Bullnewt – They emerge from their hibernation with the coming of the rains. They are large, foul tempered, and wear crowns of fire and blood they won from their wars against the Rustoads.
  7. Blimp-Drinkers – Cigar-shaped balloonbeasts with coiled proboscises. After feeding, their translucent-silver bodies will take on a fresh pink coloration.
  8. Devil-Clouds – A roiling, bruise-purple mass of horned and fanged faces – laughing, jeering, screaming, spitting brimstone, eating each other and being eaten. Will sometimes sweep across the grass, devouring anything in its path so long as the wind will carry it.
  9. CRIMSON BABOON – An important lesson: It is not naturally red.
  10. Thunderhead Heavyheart – Whose head is a thundercloud, whose voice is thunder, and who holds in his hands a heart.
Author's interpretation of the sun challenging +Mike Evans for dominance.
Choleric Desert

Locals: Mummified, acrid, voices as biting whispers.
Wrestler: Gundercrusp, the other announcer. Bitter, vindictive asshole.
  1. Saltflat Centipede – They do not ever seem to stop growing: hatchlings are the length of a forearm, the largest are claimed to devour caravan trains without stopping to chew. Their dirty-white carapace and red legs form the crest of many a desert warband.
  2. Ammoniac Pool-back – These blind giants drag themselves across the land with a single muscular arm: the other three limbs have shrunk to nothing. The pattern of scars on their backs is unique to the individual, and one might occasionally find fragments of meteoric iron embedded at the bottom of those stinking, alkaline pools.
  3. Anti-Shark – Apex predator of anti-water deposits. A creature of hard angles and jagged lines of vantablack. Their bites do not bleed: flesh simply vanishes.
  4. Spite Elemental – Those who die in the desert are often survived by the hate they had in life. Spite-sprites may last for centuries, as the desert polishes hate to a diamond sheen.
  5. Gritwhip – Predatory plants that lurk underground, springing a trap of flailing tendrils meant to cpature or concuss prey, so that it might be brought to the pitcher-mouth. Edible, reminiscent of an over-salted potato.
  6. Mirage Hydra – Those pools of water seen in the distance might well be the reflective frills of a buried hydra. Proceed with greatest caution.
  7. Salt Harvester – A chitinous mass on ten tower legs, scooping up and sifting through the crust with paddle-like arms. Docile and sturdy, they are occasionally used as mobile villages.
  8. Fossilized Ostracoderm – Different from Anti-fish, they are the last remnants of the ancient oceans that once filled these basins. They are trapped in undeath, their small, fishy minds long gone mad from isolation beneath the rock – so mad that they have begin to violate physics all of their own accord, swimming through bedrock as if they were back home.
  9. Waterpot Ant – The only reliable source of water in the region. Their abdomens are a bright, faintly luminescent blue. A form of currency along the border.
  10. Mummified Dagron – A magnificent creature, killed in and desiccated in an instant by a blast of dehydrating heat. Not to be confused with a dragon or any relative thereof.
There is definitely nothing hidden in this picture.
Phlegmatic Forest

Locals: Hidden, sleek, small of stature, silky hair.
Wrestler: The Moonwatcher – Wise master of secret arts.
  1. Droplet Catcher – It has ten slender arms and a hundred slender fingers, and swings through the trees like an acrobat. I do not know what it does with the rain it catches upon its fingertips, for when all are full it shakes them all free in a shower and continues its counting again.
  2. Mossbeard – The forests are filled with old, weatherworn stones and outcroppings, left behind when the glaciers of Vüngelbraeskilnük retreated. These stone sages have taken the faces of men and are wise beyond all knowing. The locals hold them in greater reverence than the gods themselves, and permit no one from outside to speak with them.
  3. Roostmoose – Its antlers were full of a dazzling array of birds: sparrows, cardinals, orioles, finches, jays, doves, swallows, magpies, wrens, even a red-tailed hawk and a rather confused-looking duck. Such an outrageous racket they made that I presumed (correctly, I was informed later) that they were a parliament discussing policy
  4. Treehugger – A ruddy-furred ape with arms four times as long as its body. It will cling to a tree with a mighty hug and shimmy up the trunk to feast on honeycombs or birds’ eggs.
  5. The Babbage Squirrels – The species is a language. The patterns in which they scurry, holding nuts or nothing, the storage and cataloguing of the nuts in the mindsap-drenched chambers of their homes, all of this is a code by which the trees communicate with each other. The squirrels are unaware of their greater purpose, and I was unable to make any advances upon breaking their cipher.
  6. Mistblower – A stunningly silly creature: a furry sphere of a body atop four thin, knobbly-kneed legs like that of a chicken, with a hairless head possessing gawping goggle-eyes and a rigid trunk like a flute. It spews mist out from its mouth as a means of hiding from predators and to confuse the very same as it scrambles away to safety.
  7. Jabberwock Ape - A nonsense beast of children's rhymes, meaning it is potentially the most real thing upon the Discape.
  8. Escaped Cacophanoi – When a shaman loses his sound in the forest, he must go on a quest to capture it. This is often a long work, as cacophanoi tend to rest in the strangest of places; my host spoke of how his grand-uncle had spent seven months trying to wrest his noise out of its hiding place (A fallen tree with no one around to see it) and back into its jar.
  9. Soulbandit – They are said to steal the dreamself of a man while he sleeps, leaving him in an amnesiac daze in his waking hours until he or a skilled shaman is able to pull him back. I heard only scraps of its dream-appearance: leopard spots, half-man and half-woman, four legs and two arms.
  10. Summerglider – A tawny little critter, capable of gliding through the air by means of the skin-flaps between its limbs. A golden glow might be found in their pouches; this is a fragment of the summer sun, which they stole long ago.
by Adam Paquette, for MtG
Melancholic Bog

Locals: Shriveled, clammy, hunchbacked, constantly oozing.
Wrestler: Mopey Earl – Self explanatory.
  1. Bog Mummies – The old kings were buried with their warriors, who wielded swords of celestial bronze. This was so that they might protect their liege from demons in the afterlife.  The loss of the metal supplies led to a swift collapse of that people, on account of their kings having their souls regularly ripped out of their bodies.
  2. Ventworms – They are nutritious, if one can get past the smoke and resist the heat, and taste like muddy red velvet cake – a delicacy, by bogfolk standards. Wormcutting is traditionally carried out by families of the lowest caste (for the task is deadly), who are also the wealthiest (for the rewards are lucrative).
  3. Giant Mutant Catfish – Easily capable of devouring a man, and of chasing him across land should the initial ambush fail. Feared by all, and a feast for the village if it can be caught.
  4. Smoke Gliders – They circle about the vents like black kites, feeding on the ventworms and bogcrabs below.  Will dive-bomb trespassers on their territory while screeching in a voice reminiscent of a human infant.
  5. Snapping Snake – I can never remember the rhyme for these beaked little buggers. “Red, white and green, dead ‘fore I’m seen; red, green and pink, a safe one I think; Brown with the stripes, its venom is tripe; black, blue and orange, go fuck off?”
  6. Venomous Googolpede – The hairlike legs are a rippling curtain heaving the body aloft. The poison will liquify nerves and clot blood.
  7. Corpse-Mud – In some areas the mud is so thick and the bog so bottomless that even ghosts are trapped there. The dead congregate in these pits, attempting to claw up to the surface so that thy might properly decompose.
  8. Whirligator – A small alligator, perhaps four feet long, whose tail bifurcates into two paddles, which it might use as a primitive propeller system. This adaptation is mostly to hunt fish from above, as local species are well equipped with armored bellies to avoid the threats below.
  9. Mosquito Man – The desiccated skin of an unfortunate traveler, animated and held aloft by thousands of biting insects. A variant species of vampire, no doubt.
  10. Monolith Slug – A house-sized mollusk whose black hide bears rubbery bas-reliefs of some ancient, abyssal deities.


  1. In which, Dan demonstrates the fun that can be had with Wikipedia commons and GIMP.

  2. Dan, this is great stuff!

    Though I don't remember the wrestlers being mentioned before? I'm all for interplanar wrestling, don't get me wrong, I just don't recall the context.

    1. That was Arnold's doing. He suggested there should be a table for wrestlers back in the thread for part 2, and so there was.

      The final version will probably have a mention of how the in-universe author (whom I have imagined as "what if Rincewind was a traveling naturalist")being a huge fan of the Discape Wrestling Guild.