Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/bestiary.asp
This bestiary catalogues the known monsters in Dereth. Each description is accompanied by a relative measurement of how great a threat the monster poses, ordered as such:
Be warned that this catalog is almost certainly incomplete. New monsters are constantly being drawn to Dereth through portals from other worlds.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEarmoradillo.asp
The Armoredillo is a curious creature, covered in a hard shell bristling with bony, foot-long blades. They are solitary hunters, ranging in size from three to six-feet long. Different breeds dwell in deserts, plains, mountains, and shallow water. They attack with their beaked jaws and their spine blades. Their spinning attack is particularly devastating. It is rumored that skilled artisans can shape Armoredillo blades into wicked weapons.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEbanderlings.asp
Banderlings are the larger cousins of Drudges, Mosswarts and Tumeroks. They are even less intelligent than other humanoids, but make up for this with sheer brutality. They prefer to fight in small packs, using heavy weapons or their sharp claws. On average, they stand seven feet tall, though their chiefs are even larger. Forest-dwellers by nature, they can also be found in Tumerok strongholds and dungeons near the Aluvian lands.
Dangerous (leaders: Deadly)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEcattle.asp
Cattle in Dereth come in two varieties: the common domesticated Cow and the large Auroch. Cows tend to be found near human establishments and are non-aggressive. Aurochs, recognizable by their shaggy coats and log horns, roam the grasslands; they do not attack on sight, but will defend their herd of it is threatened. Tales speak of even deadlier types of Auroch who dwell on the plains north of the Gharu'ndim lands.
Cows: Weak; Aurochs: Dangerous
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEconstructs.asp
Appearing during the autumn season, these manikins of sticks and straw seemed benign enough. . . at first. Believed to have come through the same portals that draw the Isparians to Dereth, many took these Scarecrows for a touching reminder of home.
Until, that is, suspicion grew about these pumpkin-headed figures. Were they indeed drawn from the world of Ispar, or simply Virindi-crafted puppets?
Many claimed these were less some form of Snow Golem and more strange creatures drawn from Ispar into Dereth (as with the Scarecrows). Appearing during the winter months, many Snowmen added a festive spirit to the season; in fact, it was rumored that one hidden Snowman vendor even sold unique and frosty food.
Other Snowmen, however, proved less than jolly, demonstrating just how much damage a hurled ball of ice could cause.
Found only in the training halls, Targets are principally fashioned from straw or oak. Built to provide new arrivals to Dereth a chance to hone their melee skills, none of these Targets has ever fought back. Yet.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEdrudges.asp
Drudges are by far the weakest of the humanoid races, and are often kept by their stronger cousins as slaves or grunt warriors. They often scavenge on the fringes of human lands, preying on the weak and defenseless, and also lurk in shallow dungeons. Most of them stand about four feet tall, and fight with their claws; some employ crude weapons like knives and clubs. In combat, they attack in packs, and with little discipline. Be warned: there are a few varieties of Drudges that are more dangerous than the norm
Feeble to Weak, with the exceptional noted
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEelementals.asp
Walking embodiments of pure natural force, both Fire and Electrical Elementals have been so far encountered in the world. It may be that Elementals are spawned by the very turbulent nature of Dereth itself; after all, they seem to appear where nature occurs at its most violent (consider volcanic Aerlinthe Isle). Or, perhaps Elementals are the result of ancient Empyrean magic -- mystic creations, like the Golems. If true, the Empyrean are no longer here to confirm this theory. And the Elementals refuse to say.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEfragments.asp
The trap used by the Empyrean to contain Bael'Zharon took the form of a spinning array of six crystals. In the act of containing him, this array was fractured into its component pieces. These "Soul Crystals" were sealed away, later to be encountered by human adventurers in the form of the Great Work of Frore; the Nexus Crystal; the Fenmalain, Shendolain, and Caulnalain Crystals; and the Shard of the Herald found under the Ithaenc Cathedral.
As the Soul Crystals were destroyed, Isparians encountered increasing numbers of Crystal Fragments wandering the face of Dereth. It would seem that the magic used to create the Soul Crystals was powerful enough to survive their shattering. These Fragments continue to wander the world, and judging by their persistent appearances, are somehow self-replicating.
Fragments are multi-faceted, humming crystals that levitate above the ground. Although they are encountered sporadically, these relics of potent magic force should never be regarded lightly. Fragment material is a powerful resource once one is subdued -- a vital component of Isparian Shadowhunter Armor.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEgelidites.asp
While not technically a separate species, the Gelidite undead deserve special mention.
The Gelidites were once living Empyreans from Gelid, a frigid plateau in the north of the ancient necromantic Kingdom of Dericost. Defeated and placed on reservations by Asheron's people, the Gelidites later escaped to the Lost Wish Mountain Range of Dereth. Returning to the forbidden arts of their ancestors, they sought to meet their own apocalyptic prophesies in undeath, and so carved the "Lost City" of Frore out of the cold granite of the mountains.
In the bowels of the mountains, the Gelidites discovered one of the Soul Crystals in which the soul of Bael'Zharon, the dread Hopeslayer, lay imprisoned. This Crystal, and its subsequent use, became their "Great Work" -- draining Dereth of heat and plunging all into a sudden season of winter.
When Isparians destroyed the Great Work to restore warmth to the world, most of the Gelidite sect was destroyed. Their leaders Ferundi, Fenngar, Frisander, and Frisirth were slain. Only a few Gelidites now remain, voluntarily entombed in their frigid, empty city, waiting for the end of time.
For more information on the Gelidites, copies of their texts "The Book of Minesh" and "Our Great Work" may be purchased from the scribes of Hebian-to and Zaikhal, respectively.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEgolems.asp
Golems are said to be remnants of Empyrean magic, left behind as guardians for their strongholds, both above and below ground. Now that the Empyrean have vanished, however, they have become mindless automatons, attacking anything that comes near. They stand seven to eight feet tall, and are made of many materials, including earth, wood, water, ice, stone and metal. They bash with their club-like limbs, and some also attack with magic.
Dangerous to Lethal, depending on material
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEgrievvers.asp
The scholars of the Zaikhal Arcanum originally titled the Grievvers "Gria'venir," after a race of spider-daemons in Gharu'ndim mythology. This was quickly slurred into something more pronounceable and appropriate; all too often, those who have encountered a Grievver have been found reeling beside a lifestone, bemoaning the loss of irreplaceable equipment.
These spindly, agile creatures appear fragile, due to their thin limbs and slender profile. However, they are quite resistant to magic and are vicious in melee combat. A few varieties can even cast powerful magic themselves, and reports state that some spit acid, while others, through some unknown ability, produce lightning.
Grievvers have only recently begun to appear in the company of Shadows. Prevailing theory holds that they were once Olthoi, or, more likely, some other species of creature from the magicless insect world. It is believed that the forces of Bael'Zharon, seeking to exploit their natural resistance to the arcane arts, twisted them to serve as warriors in the Shadow army.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEgromnies.asp
The Gromnie is a ferocious, draconian predator. Breeds of different colors dwell in deserts, mountains, forests, glaciers and swamps, and some have also found their way underground. They stand from three to five feet tall at the shoulder. They are extremely aggressive and vicious, ravaging their victims with tooth and claw. In addition, they are known to spit various breath weapons -- fire, ice, lightning or acid, depending on their breed.
Dangerous to Deadly, depending on breed
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEhollowminions.asp
A collective shudder of terror went through Dereth's mages when the Lugians discovered an ore with "anti-magic" properties. Imbued with deep resistance to magical power, this ore, known as chorizite, was quickly stolen by human adventurers and crafted into powerful weapons that could punch through magical protection spells as if they'd never been cast.
As if that were not enough, somehow the Virindi managed to acquire their own supplies of chorizite. With them, they constructed a new breed of servitors: Hollow Minions, embodying the very nature of hollow magic. No enchanted armor could withstand their attacks, no mage-invoked protection could block their strikes.
Powerful guardians, the Hollow Minions remain a bane to all who normally crouch behind the shield of magical defense.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEidols.asp
When explorers first came upon the shores of the Vesayen Isles they knew little of just what dangers lay ahead; for there, under the final isle, rested the imprisoned form of Bael'Zharon, the dread Hopeslayer.
Although confine to his crystalline prison, no doubt some of Bael'Zharon's presence leaked into the surrounding lands, tainting the isles with his evil.
In proof, many of the isles' Idols, strange totemic figures carven to resemble Dereth's creatures, seemed to possess a secret, hidden life-force of their own. Such Idols felled many an explorer who believed they had overcome all odds to reach a hidden treasure -- only to have one of these towering creations come bursting to life!
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEknathtaed.asp
Knath'taed appear as translucent slabs of crystal. They remained another inexplicable wonder of Dereth until the opening of the Caverns of Laeraa in Harvestgain of Portal Year 11. While the town of Xarabydun was built in the upper levels of the cave complex, adventurers recovered literature from the old Empyrean archive in the lower levels. This revealed that the Knath are actually the result of "slippage"; that is, the mana released into the environment when a mage fizzles a spell. This "spilled" mana seeps into the ground, occasionally animating certain types of crystal.
Knath'taed, once created, are also capable of reproducing themselves. They deposit small, luminous crystalline nodules in well-protected grottoes deep underground. These "eggs" absorb minerals from the earth around them, eventually growing into a new Knath. It is said that the magic power concentrated in Knath eggs can be used to amplify a mage's abilities.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHElugians.asp
Lugians, a race of massive gray giants, were among the first arrivals on Dereth. They are incredibly massive and strong - the average Lugian is eight feet tall and weighs half a ton. They live, for the most part, in the Linvak Mountains in the southernmost reaches of the island; rogues and scouts have been sighted in dungeons elsewhere on the island. They are determined, single-minded fighters, and their massive fists, and even more dangerous weapons, can crush a common human with a single blow.
Lugian society is clannish and structured, employing a rigid caste system and a strict code of honor to enforce order among their ranks. Their five castes, from lowest to highest, are Laigus (commoner), Amploth (artisan), Obeloth (fighter), Lithos (champion) and Gigas (ruler). Ascending from one caste to the next is achieved through a bloody battle to the death. Lugians are severe isolationists: intruders in their steadings are slain swiftly and without mercy.
Dangerous to Deadly, depending on caste
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEmattekars.asp
Mattekars are a strange, fur-bearing variety of reed shark found in the snowfields and mountains of Dereth Island. They are also known, among common folk, as "snow sharks." They are huge -- seven feet or taller at the shoulder -- and are found as lone rogues and small family units: the latter will defend one another to the death. They attack with claws, horns and teeth, and are particularly resistant to damage due to cold.
Dangerous to Deadly, depending on breed
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEmites.asp
Mites are among the more recent arrivals to Dereth, having appeared 20 years after the first humans. These small, furry humanoids have since become a growing nuisance on the island. They stand four to five feet tall, and are very quick, clawing and kicking with startling speed. Having made their lairs in forests and dungeons, they are reportedly breeding at an alarming rate. Sages worry that, unchecked, they could soon run rampant.
Weak to Dangerous (leaders: Deadly)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEmoarsmen.asp
Moarsmen, like Slithis, are a species only encountered among the steaming jungles of the Vesayen Isles. Unlike the Slithis, whose references in ancient lore have vaguely menacing overtones, these finned amphibian bipeds seem to have a gentler history.
A small army of Moarsmen guard the catacombs of Ithaenc Cathedral from trespass. They were present in the tunnels when first opened in Leafcull of P.Y. 11, implying that they have been performing the same role for centuries. From references in the Empyrean archive found under Xarabydun, it would seem that the priestesses of the Adjanite Order made a practice of taming and training the beasts. If true, this would indicate that, like the feral Gromnies, Moarsmen are one of the rare native species to survive the arrival of so many alien species on Dereth.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEmonouga.asp
The three-eyed Monouga are highland dwellers who have also taken to living in derelict dungeons. They are aggressive warriors who fight with crude weapons and have a totemistic fascination with fire. Five to six feet tall at adulthood, they continue to grow as they age. Once they reach a certain size, however, their muscles can no longer support their weight. These frail "giants" are cast out into the wild, easy prey for other creatures. Recently, Monouga of tremendous size and strength threatened towns all over Dereth before bands of warriors and sorcerers slew them. It is not known how they grew to such a size while retaining such incredible strength.
Dangerous to Deadly (outcasts: Weak, tremendous: Deadly)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEmosswarts.asp
Mosswarts are humanoids from the same world as Drudges, Tumeroks and Banderlings. In Dereth, they live in various swamps and marshes, particularly in the Blackmire Swamp between the Sho and Aluvian lands. They have also infested many ruins and damp catacombs. They are small (four to five feet tall), fight with claws, spears, swords and javelins, and are fearless when cornered. Some colonies also have magic-using shamans.
Weak to Dangerous (leaders: Deadly)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEniffis.asp
The eerily floating Niffis cast bizarre shadows across the sands. Strangely beautiful, these creatures are, unfortunately, also aggressive. Their form suggests an affinity for water, yet many of them congregate in deserts, basking in the harsh sun and balancing themselves with their lateral "wings." It is thought the fine-grained Derethian sand may fulfill a function similar to water for the Niffis, a creature obviously saturated with alien and incomprehensible magic. Still, some rare Niffis do appear to seek out water, suggesting these creatures may once have had more humble and ordinary origins.
While Niffis can cast spells, their primary preference appears to be close combat, and their tentacles can cause great damage. Yet, as much as travelers dread seeing a Niffis' form come floating across the dunes, something about this creature has caused more than a few people to stop and stare in awe -- sometimes to their regret.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEolthoi.asp
Olthoi are a scourge upon the land: insectoid engines of death standing from seven to eight feet tall. They are responsible for the Empyrean's flight from the world, and until recently ran rampant across Dereth. Their numbers have diminished since Elysa Strathelar and Thorsten Cragstone overthrew them, but they can still be found deep in their dark, underground hives.
Olthoi are fast, vicious fighters, impaling victims with their huge digging claws and eviscerating them with their smaller, razor-sharp talons. Once they choose a foe they continue to attack until that foe is dead. To them, anything that is not an Olthoi is either prey or a potential slave.
Like ants and bees, Olthoi come in different forms, each suited to a particular role in their society:
Nymphs are immature Olthoi. They are relatively weak and easy to kill, but can still slaughter an entire party of inexperienced adventurers. Deadly
Workers are sterile drones, responsible for digging new tunnels and other menial tasks. They are the most common form of Olthoi. Lethal
Soldiers have but one purpose: to find threats to the hive and destroy them. Their barbed claws can slice through the strongest armor. They can also spit streams of acid. Lethal
Two other forms -- Nobles and Queens -- are now believed to be extinct. There are always rumors, though, that more still dwell far underground, waiting until the time is right to conquer the surface once again.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEwasps.asp
Phyntos Wasps may be brightly colored and beautiful to look at, but they are also a dire pestilence. These flying insects are huge, with wingspans of three to four feet, and are unafraid to attack vastly superior foes with their cruel stingers. They come in different colors, each of which can use a different magical attack and is found in a different environment, from deserts to forests to swamps. Their buzzing can be heard from a great distance.
Weak to Dangerous, depending on color
Known Phyntos Wasps colors:
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHErabbits.asp
Rabbits are small, timid creatures, dangerous only to grass, clover, and the sickly underclass of porters many adventurers in Dereth employ to carry around their hard-earned spoils. It is believed that they are descended from pet hutch rabbits brought over from Ispar, being tame enough that any passer-by can walk up to and pat one if they so choose. Lamentably, recent arrivals more frequently practice their combat skills on them. In light of the wholesale slaughter of these long-eared rodents, particularly near settled areas, it would seem the only thing maintaining Dereth's bountiful rabbit population is the creatures' own penchant for reproducing.
Rabbits can be used to make a number of delicious foods. There are, however, rumors of a mighty albino rabbit that haunts the wilderness, hunting the hunters. . .
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHErats.asp
Rats are as much a fact of life on Dereth as they were on Ispar. The rodents in this world are of unusual size, however, being two or more feet from nose to tail. While most are easy to kill, they can still be daunting when they attack in swarms, and the more dangerous Black and Red Rats can be formidable. They dwell on the fringes of human habitation, and have also overrun many shallow dungeons. They attack with startling speed, leaping to sink their teeth into their victims.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEreedshark.asp
The Reedshark is a peculiar carnivore, a six-foot-long, hairless doglike creature with two forelegs and a single, strong hind leg. It also sports a fin-like crest on its back: the sight of these fins moving through the swamps is what gave this creature its name. They attack in packs, and fight quickly with claw and fang. They can be found nearly anywhere, except for mountains and waterways. Tumeroks are known to keep them as "guard dogs."
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEsclavus.asp
The Sclavus is not a natural monster, but rather a magical crossbreed of serpent and humanoid. It is rumored that they were created ages ago by a degenerate Empyrean cult, in a failed attempt to construct a servant race. Four different subraces exist, ranging in size from four to seven feet tall. Sclavi fight viciously with swords and spears, and are also powerful spellcasters. Swamps, ruins, and deep dungeons are their homes.
Deadly to Lethal, depending on subrace
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEshadows.asp
The tale of the Shadows is long and still unclear in many respects.
Three thousand years ago, an Empyrean named Ilservian Palacost gave himself over in service to an ancient, nameless power of darkness and madness. He became known as Bael'Zharon, the "Slayer of Hope" in the language of Asheron's people. Ilservian's followers were changed into Shadows.
The first Shadows, then, were Empyrean, corrupted by the same force of chaos that empowered Bael'Zharon. These Shadows fought a vicious war against the ancient Empyrean and nearly destroyed them. Only the actions of the Yalain Mage Council and Asheron saved the race from absorption or destruction.
In recent months, the Shadows captured and corrupted many humans into members of their ranks. They took other species as well; some believe Greivvers to be wildly mutated Olthoi, and the Shadow Sprites bear a striking resemblance to the fey Zefir. It is known from historical records that in the last war, the Shadows similarly twisted several Gromnatross -- the adult form of Dereth's Gromnies -- into the Shadow Spires.
There are only three Shadows known by name. Ler Rhan and Black Ferah are "generals" in the service of Bael'Zharon. They are extremely powerful entities that do not seem to fully exist in our world. Instead, they send aspects of themselves into Dereth. Isin Dule was once a fellow Shadow general, but rebelled when his master was freed in P.Y. 11. When Bael'Zharon was defeated, he exiled Dule and his forces from the ranks of the "true" Shadows. The current location and activity of Dule's followers are not known.
There are indications that some Shadows, particularly those of the more powerful Panumbris and Umbris types, predate the conversion of Ilservian into Bael'Zharon. Scholars believe this indicates the force that empowered the Hopeslayer has sought the conquest of Dereth for a far much longer time than is commonly known.
Types of Shadows include:
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEshallowsshark.asp
The Shallows Shark
Shallows Sharks are a mutant breed of Reed Shark found along the shores of lakes and rivers. They look similar to their land-dwelling cousins, but are smaller and even more savage. They often lurk in shallow water, hiding until prey comes near. They do not like to share their territory with other creatures, including land-dwelling Reed Sharks.
Dangerous to Deadly
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEshreth.asp
The Shreth is a relatively new arrival to Dereth, having started to appear only in the past year or two. A squat carnivore with bony spikes jutting from its back, it passes through several growth spurts during its life, growing larger and stronger at every stage. Its natural habitat is not yet known, but some have taken to dwelling in dungeons, where they like to feast on carrion and rats. The Shreth attacks with its spikes, hooves, and savage teeth.
Weak to Deadly, depending on growth stage
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEslithis.asp
No one knows the true form of the Slithis. They are encountered only as a small field of waving tentacles, erupting from soft earth and pools of stagnant water. The main body of the creature lurks somewhere underground, sight unseen.
Based on the recovered journals of the undead general Anadil, it would seem that the Slithis are quite an ancient species, potentially of great importance. He noted that: ". . . the (Undead) believe the tentacled creatures are the spawn of the Great Ones." The mythical "Great Ones" referred to are the gods of the vanished Empyrean Falatacot people, who taught the arts of necromancy to later civilizations.
The implication is that the Slithis, as we know them, are but the young offspring of far more eldritch and powerful creatures who have been absent from the world for many thousands of years. Anadil's journal recounted a description of the Great Ones offered by Aerfalle, the undead Lady of Aerlinthe Island:
They did not see much beyond a great writhing mass of tentacles, "a vast field of them, rising glistening from the mire," she said, "some as thick as larchess trunks." She conjectured that the creature beneath the water might have been the size of the volcano Tenkarrdun. If such is true, the creatures boiling beneath the water and soft earth here must be mere infants.
Slithis are only encountered on the Vesayen Islands, in the southeast of Dereth.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEtumeroks.asp
Tumeroks are a race of warlike humanoids, related to Drudges, Mosswarts and Banderlings. Though they aren't the largest of their kin, standing six feet tall on average, they are by far the most dangerous, as they are the only ones to have developed near-human intelligence.
Tribal warmongers by nature, Tumeroks were rejected as slaves by the Olthoi for being too violent. They fight with weapons, including bows and crossbows, and many can use sorcery. Their priestly caste are particularly adept at wielding magic. Their overlords rival the greatest human heroes.
As a race, Tumeroks prefer to dwell in dry, rocky regions, and they have made the Direlands their home. They have dug their own dungeons, and have built several fortresses, surrounded by wooden palisades. They often use lesser humanoids as slaves and foot soldiers. Being natural conquerors, they sometimes encroach on human settlements, engaging in both quick raids and longer sieges, using numbers to ensure victory. If they ever organize under one leader, they would be a dire threat to any who stood against them.
Dangerous (leaders: Deadly to Lethal)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEtuskers.asp
Tuskers are a race of eight-foot-tall, apelike brutes, named for the large tusks that jut from their lower jaws. They prefer to dwell in forests, although some have been found in the Direlands and elsewhere, as slaves of the mysterious Virindi. They tend to gather in small clans, dominated by a "crimsonback" female and a "goldenback" male. They fight in groups, bashing with their massive fists and kicking with their strong legs.
Dangerous (crimsonback and goldenback: Deadly)
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEundead.asp
A fine sift of mortar trickles from the broken seal on an ancient room, the door opens, and stale, fetid air curls forth. Under the sudden wash of torchlight, the recumbent lines of a corpse resolve out of the gloom, skull turned face-forward. All is still . . . but wait! A red glow kindles deep within each empty eye socket, a shudder passes through the limbs, and the horror lurches from the slab.
Of all the perils of Dereth, few are quite as unnerving as the restless dead. What evil portents of the world to come are suggested by their relentless and indiscriminate hate? Sho tradition holds that magicians who bargained with demons sometimes rose after death (in times when death was permanent), but the occurrence was reportedly rare, and the undead are not unplentiful in Dereth these days. The sorcerer-scribe Ardivan Locke, son of the famous explorer Alatar Locke, claims to have bound a lich and forced it to speak on these matters. Though his interview was not conclusive, he gathers that the undead corpses generally house evil spirits and not human souls at all. He could get no answer as to what these spirits are, nor could he determine how or why they inhabit the bodies of men, but he suspects the work of Bael'Zharon.
Many sorcerers believe the undead derive vitality from a common pool of magic. Ardivan guesses that when Bael'Zharon resurrects his faithful, he siphons some life force from them and sends it to this pool. The scribe has been quick to add, however, that he cannot yet support his ideas with evidence.
Though death is seldom permanent for humans in Dereth, there are nonetheless a growing number of Undead - mostly the risen forms of those who died before discovering the Lifestones. Some evil magic, its source unknown, is touching the slain and raising them to wreak vengeance upon the living.
The notion of the Undead as slow and stupid is only partly true. While the weaker forms cleave to this archetype, their more powerful fellows are often as quick and intelligent as the living - and far more malicious.
The Undead are commonly found in wastelands forsaken by the living, such as barren deserts and fetid swamps, and also in old tombs, ruins and dungeons.
There are many different kinds of undead, including the following:
Skeletons are bare bones, stripped of their flesh. They attack with weapons, or with hands and feet. The most powerful Skeleton Lords also wield magic. Weak (leaders: Dangerous to Lethal)
Zombies are walking corpses. They fight like Skeletons, but are stronger and more apt to use sorcery. Dangerous
Liches and Revenants are the animated bodies of wizards. They are among the most powerful magic-users of all the undead. Deadly to Lethal
Mu-miyahs resemble zombies, but their bodies have been preserved, either by art or accident, and do not rot. All of them can use magic. Dangerous' to Lethal
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEursuin.asp
The Ursuin are stocky, four-legged creatures that travel together in small packs. They stand anywhere from three to seven feet tall at the shoulder, though there are rumored to be even larger species. It is thought that these carnivores pursued some other form of fauna through a portal and ended up in Dereth. The Ursuin are natives of Ispar; however, this does not curb their aggressive tendencies towards other Isparians . . . or anything else for that matter.
In fact, the Ursuin are rather erratic in their behavior, being quite languid in some instances yet driven to murderous rage the next, leading to the expression, "it is best to let a sleeping Ursuin lie." They seem to be adapting to the new terrain quickly, each breed seeking out the regions for which it is best suited. Recently, former natives of Ispar have taken to naming the different breeds of Ursuin by the territories they have migrated to. Only time will tell what impact this carnivore will have on the ecosystem of Dereth.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEvirindi.asp
The Virindi are a mysterious race of levitating beings shrouded by heavy cloaks. Their faces -- if they have faces at all -- are concealed by grotesque, white masks. No one has seen a Virindi without its cloak or mask. Little is known of their intentions, but they are very powerful and capricious, and are potent magic-users. They also wield fearsome sickles, swinging them with unnatural speed. Most reported sightings thus far have been in the Direlands.
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEwisps.asp
Wisps are strange, magical creatures that resemble dancing balls of light. Their origins are unknown: some scholars speculate that they are tied to the vanished Empyrean, or to the forces of magic. They are unpredictable in battle, often relying on magic to harm or hinder opponents, but sometimes darting at a target to inflict electrical damage.
Weaker Wisps tend to be blue in hue, while stronger ones are green or red.
Weak to Deadly, depending on color
Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHE.asp
Zefir are small, winged humanoids that dwell within ruins and subterranean caverns. Unlike the benevolent faerie folk of legend, the Zefir are mean-spirited and destructive, and have no love for humans. They attack in swarms to defend their lairs, scratching with their sharp claws, and can also draw upon a large arsenal of harmful spells. They are particularly fond of fire and lightning, and are resistant to damage from those sources.