Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ordinary Magical Animals

The Aberdeen Bestiary

(This is all inspired by Arnold's secrets of mundane animals, and fueled by wanting to replace my empty complaints on how boring the MM appendix is with actual content. Also Wikipedia's unusual articles index.)

Ape - Capable of creating simple gods of their own. Tend to imitate human behavior, but the amount of understanding of these things varies dramatically. They've got politics down pat, though.

Awakened Tree - Lovers of gossip, the trees are constantly after news from abroad. Being immobile (and tree-to-tree communication being incredibly slow), they will recruit birds, beasts, bees and men to pass on messages, usually offering magical flowers or fruit in exchange

Barnacle Goose -  Grey, flightless, armored, foul-tempered, and stinking of sea salt - this is the barnacle goose. They make for excellent guard animals, if one can train them.

Bishop Fish -  A rare piscene genus, of which all members are ordained priests. Occasional specimens may be found in a cathedral-aquarium, or delivering sermons to beachgoers.

Boar - Pigs that eat the flesh of man will become more man-like, inheriting everything foul in human nature and nothing of the good.

Bobbit Worm - Popular familiar with wizards who like outward displays of hostility. There are rumors of a tapeworm variant.

Bonnacon - A species of cow with a horse's mane and ram's horns, capable of launching high-velocity burning feces across an acre or two.

Borometz - Vegetable lambs, connected to their parent trees by a rootlike umbilical. Used and sold by wizards for lawn care.

Camel -  Occasionally carry water nymphs in their humps. Intense study has revealed that camels give the fewest fucks of all animals.

Cat - Can see ghosts, walk through shadows, and can walk among even the most monstrous of Folk as equals.

Crocodile - Engage in ritualistic wrestling for territory and hunting grounds, complete with individualized techniques.

Death-Watch -  A sort of pocket-watch on insect legs. It buries into the walls of a house and makes a faint ticking noise there

Dog - Actually a god.

Dolphin - Apocalyptic sex cults.
Elephant - Will bless or curse a human according to their actions, lasting long past the death of both parties.

Frog- As a means of preserving an emergency heir, royal bastards may sometimes find themselves polymorphed into frogs and hidden away until needed.

Giant Spider - The canniest of arachnids have embraced the silk-weaving industry with all eight limbs, trading fine goods for blood sacrifice. A pig or cow is fine, but they are quite fond of human meat. If you're offering.

Globster - Primordial oozes from the deep ocean that occasionally wash ashore. Their corpses are filled with all manner of benthic treasures and are greatly valued by fleshcrafters.

Goat - The natural enemy of trolls. Absolutely know more than they're letting on.

Hippopotamus - A great and terrible demon, feared even in Hell.

Hydra - The kind that look like trees with no leaves, made of jelly. In good, clean water, they can grow ten to twenty feet in height and will not die on their own.

Lion - Befitting their station as the first estate of Kingdom Animalia, they require a writ of causus belli before going to war.

Manta - Capable of launching itself out of the water at such speeds that it takes to flight like a great bird.

Moon Tree - Grown from seeds taken to the moon and back. Silver-white trunks and fleshy leaves of pink and ulfire.

Octopus - Comes in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 100 tentacle variants. Often domesticated by wizards as familiars and assistants.

Owl - Omens and spells can be read from their pellets. Canopic breeds have corkscrew heads that can be safely removed, and spell components stored inside.

Phoenix - A small, sunset-orange bird similar to a pigeon or dove, with the unfortunate habit of spontaneously combusting. Their feathers are, among other properties, fireproof.

Pelican - Pelican blood is a valuable alchemical reagent, known to provide energy and sustenance to those who drink of it.

Rhinoceros - When ground up, the horn creates a gritty powder that tastes of fingernails and provides absolutely no benefit to anyone.

Seahorse - Believed by many to detect poisons on contact, grant potency if dried and eaten, stave off seasickness if worn around the neck, and determine the direction of incoming storms. All entirely true, but they cannot breathe underwater. No one is sure how they survive.

Tiger - Becomes a manticore if it eats 100 men. A man that eats 100 tigers becomes something far more horrible.

Warhorse - Carries a sword in its mouth and canters in marching time.

Wasp - Requires an exorcism to truly kill: poisons and fire will only do half the job.

Whale, Exploding - They throw themselves up onto the shore and explode with mighty force

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