Creatures of Irollan 09/16/2014 | 995 comments
Hello again! So I see the Elves were the chosen ones, mmm? And they were voted by a large margin, I hear. I thought maybe some of you would be interested to hear more about the wonderful creatures that the Sylvan ones bring to war. What say you?
1. PixiesA Pixie is a spirit of nature born among flowers whose scent will remain with it throughout its life. The type of flower will determine the aspect, personality and powers of the Pixie.
Pixies manifest as miniature, childish humanoids, no more than one foot in size. They have oddly coloured skin, hair and eyes, and they sport wings that look like a butterfly’s but are in fact leaves or petals from their associated flower. These wings allow them to fly with great velocity and skill.
It is important to distinguish between Pixies born from wildflowers and those from gardens. The former are rough and solitary and tend to die quickly if they are captured or domesticated. The latter, however, are accustomed to other species and can even become pets and “familiars”, especially to the Elven Druids.
2. Root SnakesTo the naked eye, nothing distinguishes a Root Snake from a fallen branch, a piece of deadwood lying inconspicuously in the middle of a path, or a vine dangling from a nearby tree. Only when its prey comes into range does the Root Snake spring to life. With startling speed, it grabs its prey with his teeth, then constricts it until death. The Root Snake’s bite is rather painful and they rarely attack creatures too big to swallow, although their bodies are sometimes covered with poisonous thorns making them potentially dangerous. Before it can be caught, the Root Snake quickly burrows itself, allowing it to escape the scene undetected.
Elves have long learnt to charm Root Snakes, keeping them as pets and using them as sentries to guard the secret paths leading into the heart of Irollan. Root Snakes are also known to cause travelers to trip and fall, apparently just out of malice…
3. DryadsUpon dying, an Elf can request to be entombed inside the living trunk of a Treant. It goes without saying that close ties must exist between the Elf and his chosen vessel to make this unusual funeral ceremony possible. The living heart of the tree cradles the Elf’s remains, curled in a fetal position. The trunk of the Treant forms a matrix and its sap embalms the body, transforming it over a period of months. The spirit of the Elf then returns to Ashan as a forest spirit known as a Dryad.
Dryads take on the image of the Treant that gave them birth. They are attached body and spirit to their progenitors. Both creatures will protect and support each other until their deaths.
Dryads can sing trees into shape to create tools, weapons and even buildings for their Elven relatives.
4. Emerald KnightsNot really a creature per se, but the first to encounter these warriors and survived to tell the tale used to describe humanoid birds or drakes, until the truth was discovered. Nicknamed “Emerald Knights” by Humans, they are an elite caste within the Elven military. Devoted to guarding the four capital cities and major religious sites of Irollan with their spears and shields, they are instantly recognizable on the battlefield thanks to their flamboyant armour, themed after the various magical beasts found in the Elven forests, especially birds, wyverns and dragons.
Of course, the fact the Holy Empire calls these warriors “Knights” only highlights its profound misunderstanding of the Elves’ very different conception of warfare. Emerald Knights use their speed and vivacity to strike at the enemy before instantly disappearing into the surrounding vegetation. If cornered, their shields and light armour allow them to stand their own in a fight, although it is not their forte.
5. Twilight StagsAmong the strangest and most wonderful beasts found in the Forest Maze, the Moon Does and Sun Deers are actually part of the same species, called Twilight Stags. As it turns out, the females of this species are nocturnal, and while they don’t burst into flame when they are touched by sunlight (contrary to what the old nursery rhyme says), they prefer to come out at night, especially when Asha’s Moon is high in the sky. These Moon Does are sweet, peaceful creatures – but they are more than able to defend themselves if something or someone threatens their fawns. More than one poacher met a nasty end, trampled to death by vengeful Moon Does.
The males, on the other end, are diurnal creatures, taking their powers from sunlight. Sun Deers often sport spectacular antlers that always take shapes reminiscent of the sun or stars. Both males and females are magnificent creatures, radiating an appeasing and soothing aura. Needless to say, mating is a rather complicated affair for Twilight Stags, as the males and females can only meet during the short periods when both sun and moon are in the sky!
6. Green DragonsAvatars of the Elemental Gods, Dragons come in all shapes and sizes. While I have heard stories of smaller Green Dragons capable of flying, the larger ones are usually wingless. A young Green Dragon’s scales look like sharp stones that often get covered with moss as time goes by, sometimes even vegetation. As it grows older, the Dragon’s scales slowly turn into emeralds, until it dies – or rather, until the Dragon’s essence is returned to the Spirit World, leaving only its emerald husk on Ashan. Many treasure hunters and Raiders have tried to enter Irollan looking for these precious shells, never to return…
Because Green Dragons have a rocky hide covered with moss and plants, it’s no surprise that a resting Dragon can easily be mistaken for a mere mound or hill – it’s usually the heavy, gravelly breathing that tips off the unsuspecting traveller! Fortunately, like their progenitor Sylanna, Green Dragons are among the most patient and deliberate types of Dragons, rather unlikely to dissolve interlopers with their corrosive breath unless provoked. That said, Green Dragons are also the Guardians of Earth and Nature, and will defend the forest with all their might when the Elven war horns start singing among the trees.