Sons of Tyranny
Aprig – These small pig like creatures have hard shells that provide them with protection from the elements and predators. Aprigs vary in color from gray to reddish brown. They have round faces and flat snouts that are good for snuffling through piles of vegetation. They have keen senses of smell and hearing, but are very shortsighted. Aprigs need little care and can eat almost any form plant life, even scraps. A herd consists of one boar (the leader), several sows, and some young As a domesticated farm animal, Aprigs are meat with a faint nutty flavor. Sows can be milked but the milk is not good quality. The shells of Aprigs can be used as bowls for carrying water or grain, or to make rudimentary greaves, but cannot be worked in any way. Full-grown Aprigs are worth about 50 cp live or 20 cp as a carcass. The shell is worth as much as 10 cp if it is undamaged
Carru – Carru resemble Brahman cattle because of the large humps immediately behind their heads. These humps are fluid storage sacs, but don’t inflate and deflate Carru are a drab gray color and have a soft hide. Their heads are covered with a tougher hide to protect the skull. Carru have two brown eyes set in the front of their heads for good forward vision. They have poor peripheral vision and a poor sense of smell. On adult males, two horns curve out from the forehead and sweep forward to in front of the eyes. Females have much shorter horns that project straight forward from the skull. Carru are herd animals. The largest male is the leader of the herd. Carru are domesticated creatures, not used to the wild. Carru may be used as beasts of burden, dragging ploughs or turning water wheels on the farm. They tend to stay close to the farmhouse and graze on whatever they can find. They can eat grains if grass is scarce, but this is expensive and seldom cost-effective. Carru females bear only one calf a year and suckle it for the first few weeks of its life. Suckling calves have no attack capability. A herd consists of one or more adult males, at least three adults. Adult male Carru are worth as much as 1Cp on the open market for a healthy animal. Females are rarely sold live, but can bring as much as 3Cp if they are sold. Carru carcasses fetch half the price of live males
Critic – Multi-colored, spiny-backed lizards, critics are frequently reluctant houseguests in Athas. They are innately psionic and tune themselves to their feeders. Some say critics are the prettiest lizards on Athas. Often mottled in brightly colored hues, they change color each year when they molt. Critics average 12" to 17" in length and weigh from 2 1/2 to 5 pounds. Critics use rudimentary body language to communicate with others of their species. Communication via magical or other means is possible; however, the creature often reacts / answers in a paranoid or anxious manner.
Harrum – These brightly colored beetles are highly prized for the pleasant humming sounds they produce. Better trading houses have at least one. The hurrum have a brightly colored, opalescent, chitinous shell that varies from cobalt blue to coppergreen. Convex and oval in shape, the shell protects four pair of small, vestigial wings. With a smallish head, stubby antennae, and four very short legs, the beetle appears comical. Hurrum beat their wings rapidly back and forth, gently striking the underside of their carapace, which creates the vibration and noise for which these creatures are best known. The sound is also used as a simple form of communication between hurrum beetles.
Jankx – These furred mammals live in burrow communities in the desert. Although they represent a possible prime source of food or clothing, most people think they are too dangerous to bother. Standing about 1í tall on their hind legs, jankx have a small, pointy head and internal cheek pouches that allow them to carry food or water when they run. Jankx have long, sleek bodies and four short, muscular legs. Golden in color, their pelts are highly prized for trade. Jankx communicate in a series of ultrasonic squeaks and barks that are inaudible to humanoid ears.
Kip – The kip is a shy, six-legged, armored creature that digs and eats roots of plants and trees. Their supple, armor like covering makes excellent durable leather goods. The leathered kip grows from 2í-4í in length. Kips are covered with a horny armor that is segmented into nine separate plates. They have elongated, pointed snouts and very small, beady eyes located on each side of their snouts. A glass-like covering that protects them while digging protects the eyes. The sharp, strong fore claws enable the creature to dig. Their short, stubby, hind legs only allow them to amble around slowly. Kips communicate via a series of low grunts.
Mulworm – The Athasian mulworm is an off-white colored caterpillar with no eyes. It has two feelers in the front of its head that are used as sensors. Its mouth makes up the rest of its bullet-shaped head. The body is segmented, tapering to a point at the rear. Adult mulworms are about 8 inches long and as much as 1 inch thick. Athasian mulworms are content to live in berry trees and at leaves. They can be farmed as long as the caterpillar stage is not disturbed. The poison they secrete is food to the tree, enabling new leaf growth at an accelerated rate. In this manner, the mulworms ensure food for future generations of their voracious species. The Athasian mulworm lives for 10 days as a caterpillar in huge numbers whatever the local tree population can sustain. It then pupates for 12 days before emerging into the sun for a brief life as a butterfly. In the pupal stage, the cocoon can be carefully unwound to obtain a very fine, strong thread. It is possible to place the pupae in a container of soft material to allow it to complete its life cycle, or the silk farmer may simply dispose of the pupae and leave some cocoons on the tree to ensure a new generation of worms. The pupal stage has no poison in it. The worm has no natural enemies, but any creature, even a drake, which eats one will probably die in agony.
Ock’m – Ock’m appear as small, spiral-shelled snails. When they move, they leave a slime trail composed of an amber-like liquid that has many household uses. Nautiloid in shape, this small snail seldom reaches 1î in length. Ock’m shells are almost always light in hue, but vary in color and striping.
Renk – This small gastropod has developed a symbiotic relationship with humanoid creatures in the desert. A harmless, tasteless slug, it stores water and is sometimes consumed raw on long desert trips. Varied in color, renk have a 2-3î elongated, tapered body. A sucker mouth can be found below a short pair of antennae used to detect vibration.
Sygra – Sygra are cloven-hoofed quadrupeds with short, hairy coats and sensitive noses. They can be any mixture of black, brown, and white. Their heads sport two horns and resemble that of a horse with horns. Males have larger horns than females. They have beady black eyes set behind and above the nose, which give them good peripheral vision. Sygra are wild animals that have been semi-domesticated by some farmers. If well fed (they eat almost anything) and not mistreated, a flock will stay around a farm rather than trying to find their own food. Flocks that live on or around a farm are not truly domesticated. A flock is about one-quarter adult males, one-half adult females, and one-quarter young. Wild flocks run away from any bipedal creatures. Offers of food might overcome their initial inclination to flee, but might also frighten the flock more. Several of the males keep watch through the night for predators. Sygra are very light sleepers and have excellent hearing, so they are hard to surprise. Sygra are toward the bottom of the food chain. Their meat is palatable and their milk quite tasty. They also eat most things, including offal, making them excellent disposal units. Sygra skins are durable and make good clothing or they can be made into low grade leather. Sygra carcasses bring 1 cp per three pounds of meat, plus as much as 5 cp for the hide. Although sygra are omnivorous, they prefer vegetable matter or offal to fresh meat. They do not kill for food and do not eat an opponent they have killed unless they are very hungry.
Yellow-plumed Rhoss – A yellow feathered bird from the Crescent Forest that can be trained to mimic human speech.
Red and Green Kvale – Two related varieties of song birds from the crescent forest capable of repeating songs. These birds are highly valued as a status symbol among courtiers and nobles in city states outside of Gulg.