Nature of the Empire: Flora, Fauna, and Monsters

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Nature of the Empire: Flora, Fauna, and Monsters

The Eternal Empire
The Imperial Codex
Alicia listened quietly as the questions came in from two soldiers and the three adventurers. All five of them were people who had been brought in for the assignment from other regions, so she wasn't surprised by some of them, as they were things she hadn't thought to explain, as she had grown up in the region. When the last question was asked, she nodded and looked at the Caduouri who had spoken first. "First, as to how the crystals are made, it's a very long and complicated process that we do not have the time explain here, though the Imperial Arcane Academy can likely indulge your curiosity on the matter afterwards. As to protection, given our limited knowledge on the magma beast, our current plan is to adjust defenses as needed, but with a baseline of five infantry soldiers strictly assigned to their defense. As for siege tactics, if we can take a defensible spot from which to deal with the magma beast, then we'll build up for it, but as we don't know for certain where it lairs, we'll deal with that as it comes."

Next she turned to the young woman in sailor's garb. "There are several issues with bringing more of the crystals. First, each individual crystal has a high ether cost to maintain. Each of the crystals we're bringing with us takes three mages in order to keep it running for the duration of this mission. Second, each crystal weighs about forty pounds, a bit much to carry and fight at the same time. That's why each crystal has a designated carrier. As for their range, they each have a range of 100 feet, and the fields they project will be visible, a transparent blue dome. Don't worry, you won't have any trouble seeing where you're safe. As to maps, those will be handed out shortly." she said. "Oh, as to why only three of them, each of those crystals takes about a cycle to make, and we can't make more than one of them at a time. Plus these portable crystals are a recent invention, less than twenty arcs. We simply haven't made many of them yet and we aren't betting everything on this mission in case it fails." she said, her tone calm.

Then she turned towards the next person to speak, a soldier that had a foreign look to him. "We appreciate the offer to help with navigation. Keep that map handy, in case of emergency." he said, smiling slightly. "As for the signs we saw, it burrows through the magma, causing breaks in the surface. It essentially cracks the surface of the magma when it moves, makes it look there's ridges running through the lava. Of course, this also causes it to spurt out little magma plumes, so they aren't exactly safe. Be careful around the cracks." she said, her tone calm. When he gave his experience, she gave him a considering look, then nodded. "In case something goes wrong, be prepared to help maintain a crystal. Other than, I do not know your training, so I cannot tell you how best to use your abilities." she said, her tone calm.

Next was a man with a prominent moustache and a cloaked golem. She'd wondered at the attempt to disguise the necromancy construct, but she supposed less civilized places still had hang-ups about magic, not to mention that war with Ellasin in Rharne that had happened recently. "If you can tame, you can keep it. I don't advise trying though." she said, her tone calm. Next was another soldier, this one from the mage branch. "We have tracked the beast back from where it hit, it's a sort of plateau formed by several of the lava flows connecting. That's the area we'll be investigating today. " she said, her tone calm.

When all the questions had been answered, she pointed at bridge that connected the platform they were on to the volcanic rock plain they would be traversing. "Crystal teams, form up in front of the bridge, seperated." she said, her tone one of clear command. The crystal carriers, the three mages assigned to each carrier, and the five infantry assigned to protect them all formed into three groups of nine people each. "Local units, on your assigned crystal." she ordered, causing each of the pre-existing groups to form up on their crystals. This led to three groups with an even mix of infantry, archers, and mages. "For those of you who volunteered from other regions for this mission, pick a group. Once everyone's in a group, maps will be handed out and we'll get underway." she said, her tone calm.
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Nature of the Empire: Flora, Fauna, and Monsters

Barghest

Name: Barghest
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Quick Facts: Massive, reptilian hounds. Both wild and domestic, wild ones are pack animals
Height: 36-40 inches at the shoulder
Width: 16-18 inches
Length: 48-52 inches
Weight: 150-180 pounds (180 pound Barghest is really fat)
Native to: Originally from the Central Imperial Region
Locations: Domestic Barghests can be found all over the empire and where Imperial soldiers are located, occasionally in other cities, but rare. Wild ones can be found in the Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.


Appearance: Barghests are large, scaly reptiles that closely resemble a large dog in appearance, but with some key differences. They have spiky backs and hard sides. Sharp talons and fangs give them a nasty offensive arsenal, but a soft underbelly gives them a noticeable vulnerability. With such small eyes, they rely more on scent and hearing to navigate.

Habitat: Barghests prefer rocky fields and forests to live in in the wild, but they're an adaptable species and can adjust quite well to urban or sub-urban environments if they're domesticated.

Lifespan and Development: Barghests are hatched from solid eggs and take two Arcs to fully mature. They can live for up to twelve Arcs before dying of old age.

Diet: Barghests are obligate carnivores. They can eat fruit and vegetables, but they don't gain any real nutritional value from, and have to consume meat regularly. They have a particular fondness for deer and elk meat.

Temperament: Barghests can be pretty calm and relaxed, even the wild ones don't get violent just because someone crossed their path. But they are territorial, if they feel like their home or pack/family has been threatened, they will do their very best to tear the offender to shreds. They can also be trained as war beasts, and it's not uncommon to see them fighting alongside the legions, akin to the wolves of the scouts, but far less intelligent.

Abilities: Barghest hides are incredibly tough, barring the softer underbellies. Lighter blades and spears will be unable to penetrate their scales, and even heavier weapons and blows don't do as much damage as they might. For this reason, the scales of dead Barghests are sometimes worked into a light armor.

Credit: Write-up: Basilisk
Image: Found by Uiyaejn

Ragdila

Name: Ragdila
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Quick Facts: Massive, tortoise-like creatures. Domestic pack animals. Very smart for an animal.
Height: 96-104 inches at the top of the shell.
Width: 48-54 inches
Length: 120-128 inches from snout to tail.
Weight: 500-600 pounds (600 pound Ragdila is really fat)
Native to: The Sacred Forest of the Eternal Empire
Locations: Found all over the Eternal Empire, and occasionally in Rharne, Yaralon, and Volanta.


Appearance: Ragdila's are huge creatures that resemble tortoises on the surface, looking much like a common tortoise but for their immense size. The biggest difference, besides the obvious size difference, is the eyes. Ragdila's are remarkably clever animals, with some claiming that they understand speech, and it shows in their eyes, which are far more alert than a regular tortoise.

Habitat: Ragdila's are most naturally found in the Sacred Forest of the Eternal Empire, with some saying they were a gift to Raskalarn from the guardian of the Sacred Forest, Maguon. They have since spread over the entirety of the Eternal Empire, with some making it to it's neighboring regions of Rharne, Volanta, and Yaralon. They dislike desert travel, however, and they are to big to ship across the ocean, so they have not spread to the Hotlands or Athart.

Lifespan and Development: Ragdila's can live for up to 200 Arcs, and they mature rapidly, being full grown in a mere 1 Arc. They hatch from soft-shell eggs the size of man's head.

Diet: Like regular tortoises, Ragdila's are herbivores, except that they eat nearly five times the food of a regular tortoise.

Temperament: Ragdila's are extremely calm, to the point where it is claimed that they are impossible to anger. This isn't quite true, as they have bitten people who abuse them in the past, but this rare. For the most part, they are docile, sweet-natured animals, to the point of being good with children.

Abilities: Aside from their size, Ragdila's are incredibly intelligent animals. While no one is entirely positive that they can, in fact, understand speech, it has been proven that they never go astray when carrying a load, meaning its entirely possible, if unwise due to robbers, to leave them unsupervised with a load of goods. It's unknown if this is due to intelligence or some ability that lets them always find their destination, however.

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