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Helxen-Finn's Guide to Beasts and Monsters, also known as Helxen-Finn's Bestiary, is a compendium authored by famed Klaxxa hunter Helxen-Finn retelling his encounters with a number of well-known creatures during his travels across Koldenwelt. Written in 12 NA, it has since become well known across the world, serving as a survival guide for adventurers and travelers.

Classic BestiaryEdit

Intelligent-folk of InterestEdit

Koldenwelti Centaur

Do you think they cook their hay before eating it?

  • Encountered at: Tartarion
  • Danger level: ✲✲

Tartarion is a fairly unpleasant place, filled with brutes and savages. Among these are the centaurs, or "Caonima" as they fancy calling themselves.

A centaur resembles a human from the waist up and a horse from the waist down. I have to wonder why the human half happens to be human instead of elven or orcish, but that's not too important. They are fragmented into various tribes, with some apparently worshipping the sun while others worship the moons; the sun-loving centaurs are particularly violent, while the moon-loving ones are relatively benign in comparison, but both react aggressively to the presence of outsiders like the troglodytes they are.

The centaur possesses no supernatural abilities, but they are a hardy and strong people by nature, which isn't too surprising when you remember they're half-horse. The sun-loving ones possess primitive knowledge over weaponry, and they spend their time marauding and raiding other, more functional civilizations to steal from them, because they're clearly too idiotic and lazy to do things themselves. While they claim to have a strong code of honour, it's largely relevant only to themselves. As for the moon-loving ones, I hear they spend all of their time inside monasteries, making them even lazier than the others.

I would discourage communicating with the savages, as they are more likely to attack you than anything else. There's very little to gain from interacting with centaurs, and since I have no interest in hunting "intelligent" creatures like them, they serve no use to me or my hunting posse.

Hald-Sleac Kraasteg

The females' are bigger.

  • Encountered at: Worldwide
  • Danger level:

Did you know hyena females have a third leg? Hideous creatures, I hate them.

Gnolls are humanoid hyena people native to Qliphoth, the same place that brings you a whole plethora of not-so-nice things such as giant poison-breathing dragons and insects the size of a building. However, in terms of "can kill you with its bare hands", the gnoll is essentially at the bottom. They share the land with dwarves better equipped than them, and minotaurs thrice bigger and angrier than them. They live in the shadows of the other races unless they decide to leave that blasted wasteland behind and venture into more fertile grounds... where they usually still live in the shadows of other races.

The gnoll is, physically, not too impressive compared to the average human; around the same size and strength, but with added claws and fangs many aren't shy of using, after all, they tend to fight dirty. They tend to live in gangs where the female is the bigger and meaner of the lot, kinda like actual hyenas, and live off from harassing poor folks in the roads. Now, I'm not saying all gnolls are criminals, but a significant number of them happened to give the others a bad reputation and generally smell really bad.

Of course, you shouldn't be hunting gnolls, since they're intelligent beastfolk... unless you were hired by the local guard to shoot a couple of them who recently ransacked a small village, in which case, shoot the bastard bandits dead. ... Not that I'm saying all gnolls are criminals, I'm not racist or anything.

Kamehebi

I feel like I'm missing a joke here.

  • Encountered at: Kame Isles
  • Danger level:

Perhaps the only really good part of my visit to the Kame Isles was getting to meet the Kamehebi, who are sometimes also called kappa.

The Kamehebi is a humanoid turtle creature with a hole on its head. Not a wound or anything of the sort, but an actual hole upon their apparently hollow skulls, decorated with verdant green leaves, which they fill with fresh water. According to themselves, leaving this hole devoid of water causes the Kamehebi to become rapidly dehydrated, eventually leading to death, but in turn, they have no need to drink water for sustenance as long as this hole is filled. Because of how frozen everything in the damned Isles is, I can understand such an adaptation appearing, but they claim to have possessed this even before the Isles were hit by their supposed eternal winter.

The Lagosi get mad at you if you try and research on the history of the Kamehebi, and that's because they came in into their ancestral home and basically took over without remorse for the peaceful turtle people. I knew there was something vile behind the fluffiness of their cheeks! The Kamehebi live their lives as second-class citizens, which is frankly baffling as I find them much more interesting than the big-eared mammals who call themselves owners of the archipelago. Some I spoke with claim there are Kamehebi outside of the Isles, but I've never seen or heard anything of the sort before.

Even if they weren't intelligent creatures (and quite wise one at that), I wouldn't hunt the Kamehebi for they fascinate me too much. I hope they eventually get their comeuppance against their furried oppressors... and I hope they never read this, come to think of it.

Ordnung

Artist's rendition.

  • Encountered at: ???
  • Danger level: ???

The so-called kobold is the one mythic beast who continues to elude me. As of the publication of this compendium, the conclusion is that no such creature exists in our world.

In the event I encounter one, I shall update this bestiary after confirming how many shots it takes to kill it.

Southern Merrow

It's a mammal and a fish combined, I don't quite see the appeal.

  • Encountered at: Southeastern coast
  • Danger level:

There are many sorts of merpeople in our world, but for the purposes of this compendium, I shall speak of the merrow of the southeastern coast.

The southern merrow are an all-female race of half-humanoid, half-fish creature who can more easily be found at the great peninsula at the southeast of the Tropical Lands, where the Khargrim Greatholds, Freelanders and the tropical colonies of the Merovar are situated. The creature's humanoid half resembles a light-skinned elf with fins for ears comparable in size of a Hikameran, while the fish tail can grow to impressive lengths. They're almost always devoid of clothing, apparently due to primitiveness rather than any malice, and because seashell bras are apparently far more uncomfortable than fairy tales would tell you.

The merrow are content to spend their time near the coast, wooing sailors. Humanoid sailors, that is, they're apparently uninterested in beast races and dragons (can't discuss taste, eh?). If they strike their fancy enough, the merrow will bed said sailor, presumably underwater in order to have little merrow babies with them. It sounds like something with severe logistical difficulties, but to my knowledges, most sailors who sleep with the fishes claim to want to do it again. Mammals, I'll never understand them.

The merrow are tribal and live in underwater villagers, where the elders lead the younglings in whatever it is fish-women do in their spare time. I hear they do possess some sort of queen, apparently a mermaid large enough to rival the size of a cargo ship, but I've never heard of anyone who's ever met her. I think I prefer my Klaxxa Matriarchs, who are just as big and actually attractive, thank you.

Overall, the merrow are a promiscuous but harmless folk. But do take caution in case your assistant tries to jump into the water to meet them, like how it happened to me. Damnit, Lendreth.

Oevrumine

Do you think minotaur cheese tastes any good?

  • Encountered at: Qliphoth
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲

Moooving on to the next entry, we have the udderly terrifying minotaurs, or Oevrumine as they call themselves. I should probably stop with the cow jokes before I get one of them mad at me.

The Oevrumine are the dominant race of Qliphoth, as in that one place where everything is poisonous and bad. They thrive there. That means they must be a tough lot, which they manage to not disappoint. The adult Oevrumine may reach three meters in height and be broad and muscular enough to resemble a wall with horns, and they are very well known for their strength; an Oevrumine could probably snap me in half without any effort, and probably snap a Bharloron in half with "some but definitely doable" effort. My attempts to pit an Oevrumine against a Bharloron have so far gone nowhere, as they're presumably all illegal.

The Oevrumine fights with a ferocity rivalled by very few across this earth. Not only are they incredibly strong and resilient, they are also one of the handful of races who damper magic with their sheer presence; weak magic will simply dissipate near the presence of an Oevrumine, and you'll need a lot of it to hurt one. Just being close to a mage makes them uncomfortable, though not many stay close to an Oevrumine at all and stay comfortable, who knows when that thing will jump at you.

The Oevrumine use the catoblepas as livestock, and make use of a special type of steel native to their homelands which is even better than the normal thing, which makes their weapons and armor much more efficient. They're very clingy with the stuff, presumably because that's about the only thing that can kill them without a great deal of effort.

The Oevrumine are something which should be avoided. They're dangerous, unpredictable and too hard to kill for something of their size.

Gryphosphinx

My attempts to ride one have so far been unsuccessful.

The desert! Oh, the Sea of Sand! Its like home out of home! And I'll be damned if I didn't include the might Gryphosphinxes into this compendium.

The creatures call themselves Tertanoi, but most refer to the common name of Gryphosphinx. They resemble a cross between a griffon and a centaur (it's like four mythical beasts in one, amazing), they can reach great sizes, with some going to over three and a half meters tall and four meters long. Out of the denizens who joined forces with the Merovar, they're one of the more physical-focused, though to my knowledge they're also well versed in manipulating the Source.

Woe is me, however, because as said, they are, in fact, intelligent creatures. Some quite so, actually. This essentially means hunting them would get me in a Merovar jail, and that would be quite embarrassing to my family (especially my wife, the sweet thing's heart would be shattered!). Instead, all I can note is that their culture is... hedonistic in an odd way. The bird-faced sphinxes of the Sea of Sand value pleasure above all else, which would include autruism and coercion in equal measures.

So they're as likely as help you to feel good about themselves as they are to peck you in the head to satisfy their weird, twisted sadism. A bipolar people, if I've ever seen one.... Heh. Bipolar. Half griffon half centaur... That being said, despite my insistence, none have accepted my suggestion of allowing me to ride upon their backs. Aren't you supposed to be half-altruistic? I know I'd find that quite fun.

Undine

Very pretty for a walking pile of water.

  • Encountered at: Southern ocean
  • Danger level:

I'd never shoot one of those. They're too precious. Also that'd get me in jail.

The Undine is a type of greater water elemental found across the southern ocean. All-female, they're not usually found on land, since their nation is all the way in the ocean, but they sometimes pop up to trade, make diplomatic agreements or just plain travel around. The undine is comparable in size to an Aithrena elf woman, and has about the same proportions, other than the little fact that they're made of water. Not as in wet blob of blue water, but a physical, humanoid shape which isn't quite ice but is clearly damp and wet to the touch (note: don't touch undine unless invited to, they don't appreciate it).

The undine is, predictably, attuned to hydromancy and can use it to great effect. Their kind is also well known for their curses; the undine can curse those who wrong her, leading to severe lung problems which are rarely solvable. But while they possess this power, they are in fact a very timid people who only fight in self-defense. Many would tell me, "Helxen! They're nymphs! Surely they lure sailors into the water so they can have weird water elemental sex with them!" Well, you're confusing the undine with the mermaid, which's a few pages back, so it's time to get educated with some facts.

The undine is a creature whose soul is dampened by a curse (starting to see a theme here). According to legend, they were a hedonistic and generally very unpleasant folk who went as far as challenge the Hound Unyielding, and that didn't go well for them at all, because he proceeded to sever a chunk of their souls from their bodies and basically said "you're not getting this back until you prove you're not poppycock on two legs". The average undine is quiet, pessimistic, self-deprecating and overall just sad to look at, and the only way they can get their full souls back is by developing strong bonds with another person. So the next time you see an undine and you think they're mopey, it's more that they don't really have a choice unless they find true, innocent love... or unending hatred for someone else, I hear that also works. But don't do that.

Unlike the rest of my posse (they're mostly non-Klaxxa), I don't find the undine visually appearing. I do, however, find them extremely pitiable. I'm a hunter and yet I find myself inclined to protect their smiles... well, at least that'd mean shooting people who wrong them. That could be fun.

Beasts of Hybrid NatureEdit

Basilisk

Watch for its cock comb!

  • Encountered at: Ar-Klith
  • Danger level:

Ah, the wonders of home. Ar-Klith - the mountains of steel, smoke, zeppelins... and strange snake-chicken hybrids.

Vile little creatures, they are. Basilisks are snakes which we're quite sure weren't always a thing that slithered in the outskirts of the Sky Empire, but now they do, and that can't be quite ignored since they have a rather nasty venom in them. I've heard peasants say they can kill a man just by looking at them, but I know from experience that's a bunch of poppycock spouted by cowardly commoners who can't tell the difference between a brick and a bar of soap.

Basilisks can be easily distinguished from other serpents by the comb on their heads. Combs like those of a chicken or rooster. Males have bigger combs than females. Its purpose isn't quite understood other than make us intellectuals believe they aren't a work of nature, but the product of some sick bastard mashing a snake and a chicken together. They grow up to three and a half meters long and live an average of ten years. They seem to possess the ability of controlling the other, slightly more boring types of snakes with some sort of hypnotic power, obviously as a mean to gain control over the local population and become the apex predators themselves.

Dear me, I nearly forgot to speak of the venom itself. The basilisk's body possesses potent earth magic in it, and those inflicted by its venom are petrified in an average of five minutes, or at least that's how long it takes for a Bharloron to turn into stone - not like anyone's gonna miss them. Despite popular claim, the basilisk is unable to spit its venom like a desert cobra can, and we have the Earth-Prince to thank for that. Those with power over earth magic appear to resist the venom of the basilisk, but if you are bitten by one of these insidious creatures, your best bet is divine light healing. Curiously, the common weasel appears to be immune to the basilisk's venom, and in fact, the sight of the mammal sends the serpent into a terrified state.

While dangerous, the basilisk is not particularly deadly to a prepared hunter; it can safely be engaged from a distance, and despite all that geomancy running through their veins, they're as vulnerable to a bullet to the head as any other snake. I wouldn't recommend going to Ar-Klith without heavy boots, though, unless you're a Klaxxa like me, in which case just fly over them! The wonders of wings. Basilisk fangs are quite requested among alchemists; I've personally made quite the coin with them during my travels, for no armless, legless, cock-headed reptile stands a chance against the superior skill of Helxen-Finn and his shotgun!

  • Encountered at: Qliphoth
  • Danger level:

During my travels to Qliphoth, I expected to find poison-breathing dragons, not the bovine equivalent of the platypus.

The place has no normal cows to speak of, but it is home to the catoblepas, a strange beast resembling a wildebeest, save its head which resembles that of a wild boar. They're used as livestock by the locals of the region, apparently because normal cows are too wimpy for Qliphoth, though they can also be found in fairly large herds in the wilderness as well.

The average catoblepas is about one and a half times the size of a cow, with bulls being nearly twice the size. The females are fairly docile and will usually flee from potential danger despite their size, but males are temperamental and may not appreciate strangers in their presence. Overall, the catoblepas is essentially a very big cow, though it does possess the notorious characteristic of being poisonous; they can breathe a blast of poison from their mouths as a form of combat, typically reserved for self-defense, which grows more potent as the creature grows older. It is believed they acquire this power due to their diet, which is primarily made up of poisonous plants.

Because of their poisonous properties, catoblepones are fairly resistant to poison, and according to the locals, their blood grants increased resistance to poisonous materials when ingested, but I'm not about to drink buffalo-pig blood to find out, I'm not a savage. I can, however, confirm their meat is quite delicious when cooked, so it's no wonder you have minotaurs and dwarves using these as cattle. Hm, I wonder if the minotaurs ever feel weird about it.

The catoblepas is as dangerous as a cow, which to an experienced hunter equals not dangerous at all. Keep your distance to evade the horns and poison breath, and shoot them in the head, preferably with a big gun like mine. A campfire for a subsequent barbeque is encouraged, though make sure to do something about the smell. The catoblepas is one of the stinkiest beasts to walk the earth.

Chimaera

When in doubt, shoot all three heads equally.

I shall never forget my first encounter with the chimera (or chimaera, if you will). It remains, to this day, one of my favorite great beasts of this earth.

The chimera is one of the few mish-mash creatures we are completely certain aren't a natural occurrence, but are rather man-made beasts (or elf-made, or dwarf-made, the possibilities are endless) created for Earth Prince knows what purpose who have long gone wild and spread across the east, fitting itself in the food chain along the way. It has the head and front half of a lion, the rear half a goat - with a goat head upon its back -, and a large serpent for a tail. Female chimeras possess no manes upon their lion heads, while the horns of the goat head are significant shorter in size. Each head is capable of independent thought, but the monster is clearly able to work as one as its front and rear halves are typically very coordinated.

The average adult chimera is about one and a half times larger than a normal eastern lion, and considerably more dangerous to boot! The lion half of the beast possesses impressive physical might and mighty jaws, and the hooves of the goat half are no joke either if it decides to kick you. The snake tail will lunge itself at anything close to the chimera and attempt to dig its fangs at the prey, injecting a powerful venom which causes severe damage to muscle tissue, and when enraged, the serpent has even been seen spitting it out as a short-ranged breath weapon in the form of dark green jet.

Most would look at the chimera and be intimidated by the lion and the snake, but the goat is definitely the most insidious of the three; it is magical, able to manipulate arcane energies from its mouth in order to cast potent spells, such as rays of magical lightning, blasts of energy and healing mists in order to close the wounds inflicted upon its "companions". In comparison, however, the goat half as a whole is highly vulnerable to blunt trauma, making the head and hind legs attractive weakspots in the mighty chimera.

The snake head, if killed or severed from the rest of the body, will deal a great amount of pain to the chimera, but will otherwise not affect its motor skills; it appears the serpent's contributions to the monster's movement are wholly restricted to the tail. Should either the lion or goat die, however, all control over the body will be given to the surviving head; killing the lion will typically cause the goat to panic and be overcome with terror, while killing the goat will lead the lion to be sent into a confused, maddened frenzy. If left to its own devices, the lion will normally be able to survive, while the goat may not only live, but use its magical power to bring its dead heads back to life.

When hunting chimeras, normally the serpent head is dealt with first, before a choice opens up; either kill the lion to terrify the goat into submission, or kill the goat to deprive the beast of its magic, at the cost of dealing with a rampaging lion. I'm personally a fan of the latter, as the thrill of an enraged lion makes the hunt much more entertaining, even if my Erylian assistant Lendreth - wonderful boy, that one - insists it'll get us killed. Hunting chimeras is particularly profitable as they possess many choices for trophies; the goat's horns, or the serpent's fangs, or the lion's coat and claws! I will never get tired of killing these beasts!

Cockatrice

Note: don't actually taste like chicken.

  • Encountered at: Ar-Klith
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲

Ah, Ar-Klith! How I love you! But at the same time, how I loathe your strange fascination with chicken abominations!

When I begun my hunts, I thought the basilisk insidious enough. And I still do, believe me. But the Cockatrice is the basilisk's much larger and much more unlikable cousin, an abominable mishap of rooster and reptile which have appeared out of nowhere and plagued the skies of my homeland for centuries since. Wicked monsters, the lot of them!

When born, the cockatrice is the size of an actual chick, but can be easily told apart from one due to being covered in scales, having fangs on its beak and possessing a long, serpentine tail. They spend the first years of their lives at around the size of chickens, but at the age of five, they grow an additional pair of legs out of their chests and begin growing at a frightening rate, with their oldest reaching nearly seven meters long from head to tail and four meters tall from head to the ground. Their rooster-like heads, necks and wings are covered in feathers, with females possessing thicker plumage than males, who in turn have larger combs upon their grotesque heads.

Much like the basilisk, peasantry tales say the cockatrice can turn you into stone with its gaze. But guess what? Poppycock again. It turns you into stone with its venom, which it can transmit through its talons and teeth, though more often than not, they'll just use their greatest weapon to kill prey: a petrifying breath attack which can cover a significant area, depending of the cockatrice's age. Much like the basilisk's venom, earth magic and divine light healing are all that can save you from exposure to the toxic petrification of the cockatrice, with those affected by it becoming stone within the timespan of about five minutes - it was difficult to find Bharloron willing to follow me after the basilisk testing, but the promise of a "giant turkey feast" was enough to convince them otherwise. Note: they taste nothing like turkey. More like meat after dropping it in a pile of dirt. But it's not like petrified Bharloron can taste anything anymore.

The common weasel once again proves itself a fascinating animal, for the sight of it affects the cockatrice as it does the basilisk. However, unlike fleeing in terror, the adult cockatrice is instead sent into a fit of rage, likely ending in the poor weasel's demise. Cockatrice chicks, however, are a favorite prey of the mustelid, who shrugs off its venom completely. Perhaps the most baffling fact about the cockatrice, however, is that presenting it its own reflection in a mirror for about ten uninterrupted seconds will cause the creature to petrify itself! My Erylian assistant Lendreth - wonderful boy, that one - found that out by accident while using a pocket mirror to adjust his hair while a cockatrice was chasing after us. I've sincerely no idea what's the reason for all of this, all I know is I've a new cockatrice statue in my backyard and it looks great as a trophy.

A cockatrice infant should pose no threat to anyone with any amount of self-awareness, unless they are young and unaware of what they're dealing with. The average adult can easily kick their heads out. An adult one, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs unless preparations are done to confront it. Takes about three bullets to the brain to kill one of the monsters, which is annoyingly more than I'm normally willing to waste on roosters. Good thing my gun shoots more than one bullet at once, then! The marvels of gunpowder.

Constarnach

Unfortunately, the males don't have a mane of feathers.

Eagles are, in my opinion, extremely overrated birds. Lions can be interesting at first but after a while they too get stale, after all it's just a really hairy cat. But when you combine the two... then things get interesting.

The true griffon of the east is well known across the world for its majesty, and with good reason. With the front half (plus wings) of a great eagle and the hind half of a lion, it is a formidable predator who easily reaches twice the size of an actual lion when adult, sometimes thrice. Evidence shows that, unlike other mish-mashes like the chimera and cockatrice, the griffon is in fact naturally occurring and happens to share biomes with both eagles and lions. I wonder if they ever feel weird about it. Other types of griffon live at the far west, but they lack the power of the Eastern true variant.

With immense talons in its front feet, the griffon primarily hunts by diving down from the air and striking at the prey from above, where it will then stomp on it, digging said talons into its flesh while ripping clunks of it out with its vaguely hooked beak. Their favorite prey are wild horses, sometimes going for other equine animals like the zebra, and that sometimes leads to griffon attacks on domestic horses who are far more vulnerable and easy to find than their wild counterparts. While formidable in physical terms, the griffon is not magical unlike most hybrid beasts and possesses no supernatural means of offense or defense, allowing one to kill it with two to three shotgun blows to the skull.

The griffon does, in fact, lactate to feed its young much like a lion would, which still perplexes me. After all, beaks aren't exactly the nicest things to bite you with. This does, however, open the potential of making cheese out of griffon milk, which I'm pretty sure is possible but so far hasn't been achieved to my knowledge. I want royalties if anyone does it after I publish this compendium.

Koldenwelt Manticore

Doot.

Again I come to the conundrum: why is it always a human part and not an elf or orc's? A dwarf-faced manticore would probably be pretty funny.

The Manticore is an evil hybrid monster native to the Great Eastern Wall. Superficially, they resemble a lion with the facial features of a human, with large bat wings which grant them flight, three rows of sharpened teeth and a large tail resembling that of a scorpion, complete with a venomous stinger. The average adult manticore can be one and a half times the size of an actual lion and live some eighty years. As expected, females don't have the lion's mane, though they tend to be just as ugly and wrinkly. Perhaps their strangest attribute is that they can emit sounds like those of a trumpet, for reasons which still confuse me.

The manticore is an intelligent beast, with comparable intellect to an actual human's (read: less than a Klaxxa's), and fight with brutal efficiency. Their bites are as potent as that of a shark, their strength is great when combined with their sharpened claws and the venom they deliver with their stings causes extreme agony to every nerve in one's body. Additionally, the tail is covered in sharp quills which the manticore can launch as a form of ranged combat. While they have functional wings, the manticore is a clumsy flier and normally only uses them to move around the environment rather than for hunting.

Malevolent as it is, it does not surprise scholars to know manticores are highly affiliated with dark magic. While they are unable to manipulate the magic itself, they need to feed on umbramantic sources on a regular basis, otherwise they suffer from some sort of withdraw which makes them deathly ill, most often leading to their deaths. Because of this, the manticore often pledges itself to practitioners of dark arts, so that they may feed upon the energies of their masters.

I consider the manticore less deadly than the chimera, for it lacks the sheer bulk and despite its abilities, it can be easily killed with one bullet to the head. I don't particularly consider them intelligent enough to exclude from my hunts, and as such I have a few manticore pelts in my office. No skinning the face, though, that makes me uncomfortable because it looks like a human.

Kirin

A glorified unicorn with a bad temper.

Never did I see elves get so angry over the death of a horse. But they shut up after I showed them my hunter's license. In your face, you knife-eared hippies!

The kirin is a rare and mysterious beast who prowls the woodlands of the Western Forests. At first glance one would confuse them with an unicorn, but closer identification will show they resemble a cross between equine and dragon (not like we Klaxxa, but of the wingless serpentine bearded variety), with bodies covered in scales rather than skin. Scholars solidly put the kirin in the draconic category, but it's horse-like enough that I don't feel super bad about killing one.

The most distinct attribute of the kirin, however, is the fact it manipulates lightning. Using its horn as a conduit, it can surround itself in an aura of electricity and launch powerful lightning bolts at its enemies. As expected from something with such abilities, the kirin is an an extremely fast runner, easily able to outpace even the fastest cheetah. Using its powers, the kirin can in fact move itself across the landscape by turning into a bolt of lightning, re-emerging into view wherever the strike hits - it's like a short-ranged teleportation, which makes the beast very easily missed!

The kirin is a mighty beast, but all of its abilities require a great deal of energy, meaning extended pressure will eventually lead it to run out of stamina. Breaking the kirin's horn will also cause it to lose its magical powers, but only a fool would even consider such an act; their horns are one of the most valuable trophies to be found in the west! It's equivalent to launching a bag of gold coins into a magma forge!

I joked about elves earlier but they have reasons to be angry, for the kirin is in fact critically endangered. I swear that horn was the only one I needed for my collection. Refrain from killing kirin unless you're actually tasked to do so by the locals.

The Bigger They Are: Giant MonstersEdit

KoldenweltCyclops

Evolved from elephants?

There's more than one creature in Koldenwelt who fits the "one-eyed giant" description, but for the purpose of this compendium, I'll focus on the cyclopes found in the Eastern Plains.

The cyclops is, wait for it, a giant distinct for its single staring eye in the middle of its forehead. It reaches about six meters tall and weights nearly five tons when adults, making it very large, as well as very fat. A pair of very large tusks grow out of its mouth, and the beast's skin in general very much resembles that of an eastern elephant, putting in question whether the two species are somehow connected. Luckily, the cyclops possesses no grabby trunk, for its hands are big and grabby enough.

The cyclops is, essentially, a lumbering, massive simpleton. The monster lives a solitary life, spending a majority of its spare time resting near trees or playing with rocks or other unfortunate smaller creatures it can get its hands into, and going into hunts when hungry; it is omnivorous, feeding on leaves, branches, fruit and animals like gazelles, wildebeests and zebras. The creature is intelligent enough to use rudimentary clothing - namely leather undergarments, and rarely some leather armor - and tools, normally ripping trees out of the ground in order to turn them into clubs.

Cyclopes are territorial and react aggressively to the presence of other intelligent beings in its vicinity. While slow-moving, it is formidably strong and a swing of its club can easily smash an armored knight into a pulp, and its elephant-like hide helps it resist damage done by small weapons. However, the monster possesses one very predictable weakspot: the eye. A blow to its single eye will cause immense pain to the cyclops and send it into a rage, but a skilled hunter should be able to move out of the way of its sluggish blows in order to keep tearing into its head through the eye.

Cyclops eyes and tusks are especially valuable trophies and materials used by some magical orders. While I am normally against the hunt of intelligent creatures, the cyclops barely qualifies as such, and there's just something very gratifying about bullying the buffoons with blows to the eye.

Koldenwelt Hydra

Jumping on its back doesn't really help much.

There are many kinds of hydras across Koldenwelt, but for the purposes of this compendium, I shall speak of the marsh hydras of the Razewater Swamp, at the northeastern reaches of the Western Forests.

The hydra is a well known beast, after all not every creature you encounter has more than two heads at most. These can have up to seven! Vaguely draconic in appearance, the hydra has seven independent heads, each with their own brains, eyes and rows of sharpened fangs which it uses to feed on anything that crosses it as it swims across the murky waters of its swamp. Where it goes, it tends to terrorize all out of its territory but the largest alligators, which it tends to tolerate enough to not attack. The largest adults are believed to grow up to four and a half meters from the tallest head to the ground, and some twelve meters long from torso to tail.

Like a dragon (represent), the hydra has tough scales and powerful jaws. The fact it can bite you potentially seven times in quick succession means very little manages to escape it once it manages to take hold of its prey. It has no special offensive attributes other than an impressive and expected physical prowess as well as the ability to traverse swamp and marsh water with little difficulty, but the creature is known for possessing much greater regenerative abilities compared to nearly all other animals; wounds may close in minutes, and a head severed from its body will quickly die, but a new one will grow out of the stump in a matter of an hour of rest.

The hydra is not invincible, however, for its strengths may also serve as weaknesses. Severing a head won't kill it, but it'll definitely feel an incredible amount of agony, so cut enough heads and it'll eventually pass out from pain or die of blood loss. Additionally, its regenerative abilities are considerably dampened when it's facing a significant amount of stress, so keeping the beast pressured will cause it to heal itself more slowly. And of course, you could just aim at the body and take out its organs instead of aiming for the heads; provided you get past the toughened scales, a shot to the heart will kill the hydra on the spot.

Besides the obvious seven skull trophies, hydra blood is very valuable, especially to alchemists. I do, however, recommend not trying to tackle the beast alone, even if you're experienced like myself. The multiple heads can easily throw one off.

Supernatural Dangers of the RoadsEdit

Hellhound

Don't try to pet it. Just don't.

  • Encountered at: Duskwoods
  • Danger level: ✲✲

The Duskwoods are the place you go to unleash your personal Alhassan. Which I hope to the Earth Prince you don't actually have, because Alhassans are horrid people. It's also the one place in the world where you're paid to kill undead! And sometimes hellhounds.

The hellhound is a probably-demonic black dog native to the forever night forest of the Duskwoods, where it stalks the deeper regions of the woodland, occasionally coming close to the local human province to cause trouble. It is roughly the size of the average gray wolf and likewise hunts in fairly large packs led by an alpha male, but unlike wolves, the hellhound is highly magical and hunts prey much more savagely.

In my list of poppycock facts, the human peasants claim the gaze of the hellhound can kill a man. While obviously untrue, it can in fact breathe jets of fire from its mouth, which can kill a man fairly quickly indeed! Normally, the pack sends one beast to chase the prey until it's isolated from any aid, before the rest flank it and launch flame at it for a quick death. Despite spewing fire in a daily basis, apparently forest fires caused by hellhounds are unheard of, clearly because the place is so cursed even the trees are sided with the fire-breathing demon dog over you. Tales say a mysterious race of orc, with purple skin and glaring shining eyes, has domesticated the hellhound, to which I say "I'm good, thank you".

Hellhound fur can sell for a good coin in most places (the farther away from the Duskwoods, the better), so that's one reason you'd want to hunt them. Another is, the humans there plain don't like them and want them dead. Just make sure to bring a hydromancer or some sort of fire-proof defense when you do it.

Salamander

Amphibians aren't meant to survive without water!

  • Encountered at: Worldwide
  • Danger level: ✲✲

There's a fine line which divides lizards from salamanders: the latter lives in water like a frog does and begins its life as a tadpole, also like a frog. These ones, however, have nothing to do with frogs at all, making me think the name is stupid. Or perhaps that was their plan all along, confuse people so they can eat them.

The blazing salamander (or just salamander) is a type of lesser fire elemental found worldwide, generally in wetlands where you'd expect to find actual salamanders. They are far larger than any amphibian, with some reaching the size of dogs and others even larger, and are distinct by their bright red skin and yellow-orange markings resembling flames (they really wanted to get the point across).

The blazing salamander is a lazy and somewhat benign creature. It has equivalent to actual salamander intellect, meaning it spends most of its time eating bugs and fish while sometimes rolling around the mud and licking their own eyes with their massive tongues. However, when sufficiently provoked, the beast will show its true colors as an actual elemental; an irate blazing salamander will set itself ablaze, causing jets of fire to erupt from its gills as it breathes out a stream of flame from its mouth. The creature's adaptation as a fire elemental who can live in water confounds scholars to this day, and I can understand why.

Curiously, the blazing salamander typically only uses its fire magic in self-defense, being content to use normal ambushing tactics to find prey. Theories claim these creatures were once normal amphibians who were tampered with by wizards, but no one can really say anything at this point. One fact, however, is that blazing salamander leather can be used to create nigh-incombustible clothing, making it a popular choice for pyromancers.

Whether they deserve to be called salamanders isn't really for me to say. What matters is they're not really a threat to a Klaxxa (or a man) as long as one doesn't provoke them. They're just as squishy as an actual amphibian, so a shot to the head is all it takes to get rid of one.

Saiteir

Possibly demons. Keep your eyes and ears sharp.

  • Encountered at: Uncertain
  • Danger level: ✲✲

I am unsure of what to think of satyrs, or "Saiteir" if you want to be pedantic. I have not encountered them myself, though I do possess proof that they exist from eye witnesses.

The Saiteir is a humanoid animal person resembling a goat with horns upon its head who is closely related to Harstag, one of the Twelve Devils of the beyond. This automatically puts it in the "probably hates normal members of society like myself" category, but from the records I possess, the Saiteir is more mischievous than actively malevolent. The same records speak of them using shapeshifting magic powers to abuse maidens in the night, however, which makes me believe trusting one is about as good an idea as trusting a Merovar to keep his hands out of your pockets.

Because of its relation with Harstag, the Saiteir is believed to be more often seen in regions where the Devil of the Hunt has influence, which would be around the so-called Arakai Mountains of the north, though I am unfortunately restricted to guesses. I do know, however, that the Saiteir is not particularly dangerous and can be killed with just about anything able to kill a man, which would logically include a bullet to the skull.

I am not interested in hunting intelligent beings, but if you believe their kin count as demonic, then I imagine a few would appreciate if you removed them from this earth. If you're looking for horn trophies, however, just hunt normal mountain goats. Much more easily found and killed than pesky trickster outsiders.

Wendigo2017

Feed them a nice chunk of lead to the mouth.

  • Encountered at: Northwest in general
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲✲

Well, this has been one of the most unsavory hunts I've ever had. The creature fought back far more than I'm normally comfortable with.

According to what the savages locals claim, the Wendigo is the product of some sort of curse or another, which turns men into bizarre jackal-looking monsters with a moose's antlers and a honey badger's disposition. All those by themselves made me think of them as just another strange mish-mash of animals like most other beasts I've hunt through the years, but the wendigo proved itself a difficult critter to deal with.

Despite being as thin as some Aithrena elf women I've seen in my days, the wendigo is surprising resilient, capable of enduring a point-blank shotgun blow to the chest and not being blown to a bloody chunk in the process - which says a lot already! They are also strangely strong for creatures so slim, having been witnessed tearing trees from their foundations with claw swipes - I expected them weak and sickly by their appearance, as their arms are about as thick as a human's own arm, yet they have proven to be in fact as thick as a human's sense of superiority instead. How the creature manages to survive the cold with such little body fat is unknown, but it presumably keeps itself alive via sheer anger alone.

The wendigo is attracted to flesh and appears to have no sense of self-preservation, and will probably most definitely try to eat you no matter what stands between it and you. From what the locals claim, young wendigo see each other as competition and murder their own kind on a common basis, but older individuals possess some degree of self-awareness. I've not encountered an old wendigo to confirm such claims, nor do I really feel like doing, as the young beast proved itself an enough challenge to believe they're not the work of Isiris.

Thankfully, the beast is not without its flaws; idiotic as it is, the wendigo is very vulnerable to traps as it will more than certainly just charge straight at its prey without regard for its environment, and magic proves itself to be an effective weapon. My Erylian assistant Lendreth - wonderful boy, that one - tripped while running away from the beast we were hunting and sent a fireball straight at its head, causing the monster to be set ablaze. I can see the logic of a monster living in cold regions fearing fire, but then again, most things living anywhere fear fire to some extent. Regardless, a wendigo on fire is far easier to blow the brains out with a shotgun blow.

Killing the wendigo will probably make you very respected in the northwest, but would I recommend doing it for sport? Probably not. Too much of a risk, and they smell too bad to make trophies of. Wash yourselves, you damned animals!

Vampires! Why You Should Fear The NightEdit

Nightshade Gargoyle

A vampire made of stone. Stone doesn't even have blood!

At first, I thought: what's the point of hunting animated rock? Then I realized the trophy potential.

The Gargoyle is a fiendish golem made out of stone, created by vampiric artisans and animated by rune magic. Superficially, they are created in the image of Zran Kar, one of the Twelve Devils of the beyond, solidly putting it in the "doesn't belong to this earth" category. Because they're constructs and not normal animals, gargoyles can be of a variety of sizes, but most are built to be between two to three meters tall, continuing to be animated until their runes run out of energy, typically after a hundred years or so. Most stone is immortal, but clearly not this one.

Vampires use gargoyles are bodyguards and sentries. When immobile, the creatures are indistinguishable from actual statues, making telling them apart from inanimate gargoyles nearly impossible to most. They are also able to fly with their wings (despite them being made of literal rock!) which further makes them a threat. Still, I believe the biggest point to make here is that gargoyles equal vampiric presence in an area.

While claws and teeth are clearly the main weapons of the gargoyle, they are also known for being able to breathe magic as a form of combat. What element they breathe depends on the runes used during their construction, and I've seen gargoyles breathe streams of both flame and lightning. The fact the creature happens to made of stone also makes it very difficult to kill, unless you're equipped with something that can punch through solid rock like a warhammer or mace. I despise gargoyles for my bullets can't quite penetrate their hides. I've also heard of elusive gargoyles plated in silver who wield halberds and wear armor, but I've never seen anything of the sort.

Only experienced hunters should go after gargoyles. Those who do will be rewarded with great trophies out of their horns, fangs and tails. You can also sell their runes to Khargrim dwarves since they're into that sort of thing.

Incubus

Hah, they wouldn't stand a chance against a Klaxxa Matriarch. They'd make them their metaphorical female dogs.

Never have I enjoyed killing a person (and I use the term boldly) more than the day I hunted the incubus.

The incubus is a lesser variant of vampire, the bastard offspring of the succubus with a mortal (true male pureblood vampires are a different beast altogether). They are all male and possess a demonic appearance; unlike their 'mothers', the incubus appears much more primal and brutal, like a cross of elf and goat, but easily told apart from a Saiteir by the elongated fangs, tail and large bat wings. Essentially, the incubus is a male vampire who came out wrong but right enough to be alive.

The succubus uses deception and seduction to hunt its prey. The incubus, however, is an outcast of vampire "society" and possesses a much more animalistic demeanor. While capable of shapeshifting much like the succubus, the incubus tends to prefer a more direct approach and disregards the well-being of their prey entirely, attacking and violating them without mercy or remorse. Even among vampires, the incubus is considered a savage and is typically shunned away by true purebloods.

Despite being a lesser vampire, the incubus still is a vampire, making it a very dangerous opponent. They are physically superior to the succubus, often fighting with immense sharpened claws and potent dark magic, nevermind whatever weapon they fancy using. Like all vampires, the incubus may only be killed by destroying the heart, meaning blows to any other part will just serve to slow it down. Granted, they can still feel pain, so you can deliver blows elsewhere to leave the heart vulnerable. But I can just shoot the bastard right in the chest with my big gun.

The incubus is less than an elf or demon. It is vermin unworthy even of harvesting trophies of. May the might of the Earth-Prince crush them all under the earth.

Nightshade Succubus

Heavens above, it really is like college again.

My encounter with the succubus was one of the weirdest of my life. The pair of horns upon my wall makes up for it, however.

The succubus is a particularly insidious type of vampire who stalks the night. Their natural form resembles an Aithrena elf female with bat-like features, but using malevolent shapeshifting magic, they can transform themselves into basically everything not too much larger than their real forms (including, heavens above, Klaxxa). Like all vampires, the succubus has pronounced fangs which she uses to bite the necks of unsuspected prey in order to feed on their blood.

However, most know of the succubus because it's an entire race of harlots! Women of the night! One who sells their own backside for money, all of them! They use their shapeshifting abilities and foul magic to influence other individuals, making them lust for them so they may have forced intercourse with them! And I already know what you're thinking, "Helxen! They can turn into exactly what suits my fancy! Surely this must feel very good!" Well you're wrong, because that's exactly how they kill you. They trick you into bedding them, using you to satisfy their savage needs before disposing of you, draining you of your life and reducing you to a shivered corpse.

The succubus is a dangerous opponent, for she possesses demonic power over umbramancy, and despite dressing scantily, they resist damage far more than your average elf; it needs to be reminded that they're vampires, and vampires are extremely dangerous to the unprepared. Only by destroying the heart can you kill the succubus, which my case, proved to be not too difficult once I managed to subdue the beast. They can't quite resist a shotgun blast to the torso.

Before anyone thinks anything, I did not fall to temptation; I love my wife too much for such. I can't say the same for my Erylian assistant Lendreth, however, since the hunted succubus in question happened to try and hunt him. He's usually a wonderful boy, but not that time, when he was stark naked and had the succubus treating his Johnson with her mouth. For shame!

Kame Isles: Evil Spirits of the Far WestEdit

Gashadokuro2017

It can kill you faster than you can say "it's just a big skeleton, what's the worst that could happen?"

  • Encountered at: Kame Isles
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲✲✲✲

I'm often told; "Helxen, you attract trouble!". To that I have to say, you're probably right! Because I just happened to visit the Kame Isles when a Starving Titan was on the loose.

The beasts of those islands are some of the most outlandish I've encountered, but the Starving Titan... is perhaps the most monstrous beast I've ever faced in my entire life! The locals would tell tales of this "Starving Titan" (or "Gashadokuro" in Tuziketouan tongue), a skeleton of truly humongous size born out of the vengeful souls of people who starved to death through the ages; it would rise from the earth and go on a rampage, devouring everything and everyone in its path while letting out an incessant bell noise which drove people mad. I've encountered enough monsters through my years to know this kind of story needs to have some foundation in reality.

As I had returned from a hunt with my posse, the city guards begun telling everyone to take shelter, while the villagers were screaming in terror, claiming something called a "Crystalbane" had been spotted near the city walls. I, obviously, had no idea what was going on at the time, but that changed when the ground begun to shake violently, and from the distance, a skeleton sprouted out of the earth and let out this horrible, horrible roar. It resembled the skeleton of a Lagosi, except its skull was malformed; it appeared to be the skulls of a Lagosi and a Kamehebi mashed together! And I don't mean a skull with characteristics of both, I mean two faces in a single skull, the face of a rabbit in the right and the face of a turtle in the left.

The Starving Titan lumbered its way into the town, breaking down the walls with a swing of its arm and launching a breath of bone shards from its Kamehebi mouth which tore the guards apart. I would not run; I am Helxen-Finn, Hunter Extraordinaire! I would stay, and fight, and claim a trophy out of that bastard abomination! My gunshots broke through the skull rather easily, but the fact the monster was roughly twenty meters tall meant I missed most of my shots. We held the line for many minutes which felt like hours, until a group of Lagosi mages arrived and cast their magics at the Starving Titan, slowly turning it into ice. The monster fought back, of course, and nearly all of the wizards were wiped out until they encased the monstrosity in a block of ice and then fired a ballista shot at it, causing it to shatter into millions of pieces.

There was no trophy to claim that day, nor do I think I'd take one even if there were. The destruction it caused was... something out of a nightmare. I hope those folks never have to deal with a creature like that ever again.

Kaguyhaasa

Aaah! Too many limbs!

  • Encountered at: Kame Isles
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲

I've heard of wolf spiders, crab spiders and wasp spiders. But I didn't expect a frozen hellscape like the Kame Isles to present me with rabbit spiders.

According to the locals, the creature they call Jorōgumo (or, pardon my language, "Whore Spider") is an evil spirit born out of the soul of a particularly sinful Lagosi woman. Upon death, the woman reincarnates into a massive drider-esque creature, resembling a (allegedly) beautiful Lagosi female from waist up and a Jorō spider from the waist down, with the sole desire of hunting down Lagosi men - or women, if the dead gal was into it, or so I hear - so it can wrap them in silk and devour them.

Occasionally, a Whore Spider appears and starts causing havoc, forcing the folks to hunt her down. It gets its incredibly pleasant name from the fact it attracts its prey by seducing them; the average normal citizen isn't quite attracted to giant hairy spider butt, so the Whore Spider uses dark magic to mask its form with shapeshifting. When it makes sure the prey is unable to escape, the Whore Spider proceeds to paralyze them with a bite, injectig paralyzing venom into the poor schmuck's bloodstream and then taking them to their web so they can eat. This solidly puts the Whore Spider as a threat to civilized society, making me understand why they'd want to get rid of them. Just like actual whores!

A Whore Spider is far mightier than a Lagosi in combat, what with being a lot bigger and having a bunch of extra limbs. The Lagosi half of the creature isn't any less dexterous with equipment, and apparently giant spider women carrying katanas are a common enough occurrence in this damned place. And of course, we can't forget the paralyzing venom and the web it spews everywhere out of its rear. To make matters even harder, the front of the Whore Spider's limbs are shaped in the form of scythes, which it uses as you'd expect scythes implanted directly into your limbs to be used.

The spider half of the monstrosity is resilient, but the Lagosi half is as tough as an actual Lagosi, which is generally not much. Upon my hunt for the Whore Spider, a shot to the breast was enough to send the woman into agonizing screeching (granted, not a lot of women wouldn't react that way), allowing my posse to bring it down and receive quite a lot of praise from the local villagers. For but a moment, I enjoyed the sounds of Lagosi voices. As for trophies, spider fangs fit for a Lagosi's head make an excellent choice.

Apparently there are rumours of Whore Spiders covered in shining deep blue crystal which isn't normal even for creatures like these. I've not seen anything of the sort, however.

UmibozuEncounter2017

Stop staring at me like that.

  • Encountered at: Sea around the Kame Isles
  • Danger level: ✲✲✲✲✲

I've come to the conclusion the Kame Isles are an unpleasant place. Why, you ask? Well, for one, it's bizarrely snowy in there. Second, just venturing into the place makes you subject to things staring at you in the water.

I've heard of the Kame Isles from my Erylian assistant Lendreth - wonderful boy, that one -, who showed my posse all of the mysterious, unique beasts who called it home. Of course, any hunter of respect would see this as a golden opportunity; more things to discover! More things to shoot and make trophies of! A land of opportunity! I don't have to stay in the east and kill cockatrices, I can just go to this new place and kill the things there instead! Well, getting to the Kame Isles proved to be a challenge in itself, for the sea around it is inhabited by beings known as Drowned Souls, or "Umibozu" in Tuziketouan tongue.

According to the locals, the Drowned Souls are named such for they're a manifestation of hundreds of souls who died by drowning in shipwrecks. The sea around the Kame Isles isn't the friendliest, what with the weird weather and the Leviathan sometimes being spotted in the region, so I can see why they'd come to this conclusion. The Drowned Souls resemble great ghastly shades made of seawater, often large enough to rival the size of a cargo ship, pitch black in colouration save for a pair of shining eyes.

I'm usually not afraid of ghosts - I've encountered my share of undead through the ages, after all. But my posse was intimidated when, during our travel, a trio of Drowned Souls emerged from the water and watched us for several hours. Obviously, I took the initiative and shot one right between the eyes... but the thing didn't react in the slightest. I had to listen to the Lagosi captain rant for about seven or eight minutes straight, yelling about how I could've potentially provoked the Drowned Soul into attacking the ship, which I didn't particularly care about until I gave it a closer look; that was when I noticed the monster had shipwrecks flowing through its form, and then I connected the dots.

I've hunted chimeras, manticores, cyclopes and griffons. They felt the agony of a gunshot. But these things? They didn't even care. They had whole ships inside of them, my bullet was like a minor inconvenience at most. They eventually stopped following the ships and disappeared in the mist, but it led me to the conclusion one shouldn't mess with these monsters unless they're some sort of higher luxomancer. The Drowned Soul remains one of the few beasts in my compendium which I've never managed to hunt, and I believe that's going to stay that way.

NotesEdit

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