Thursday, January 15, 2015

City of Curses: Crux Fauna 1

Blurrets: Native to northern Ith and southern Ainesia, the Blurret is a native member of the mustelids- related to ferrets and polecats, Blurrets do differ in a couple of ways.  Most Blurrets have blue to purple fur, with eyes that glow white.  All Blurrets possess a natural form of sorcery, allowing them to become invisible for minutes at a time.

Blurrets also possess thumbs and are capable of some tool-use.  As such, most are seen as pests- they easily bypass most animal locks and can't be found without some sorcerous ability to perceive them.  Some are kept as pets, but most domesticated Blurrets are kept to help detect air elementals, invisible stalkers and invisible small fauna for their masters.  Some also claim that Blurret fur's invisible qualities can be transferred, but most modern arcanists refute this.

Ursyklon druids have long been able to interbreed Blurrets with Ferrets imported from Ainesia and Othebea.  Often only the thumbs are passed on as a trait.  Feyborn Blurrets and Feyborn Ferrets on the other hand, claim that such hybrids possess more ambition than others of their kind.  Within Feyborn Ferret society, they seem to garner a mix of revulsion and passionate excitement.

More than one hybrid breeder has also claimed that the hybrids are larger than either Blurret or Ferret.  Rumors persist of other, stranger breeding projects that Blurrets often are part of.  Giantsblood and other occult pieces are added, creating man-sized ever-invisible Blurrets that some on the Storm Coast hunt children.  But such things are stories, and no one has yet encountered a Blurret or a cousin Ferret mutated into such a gigantic specimen.

Aspects: An Unseen Dooking Sound; No Such Thing As Too Narrow

Squil or Penguin-Squid: Unique to the Maru Sea, Penguin-Squids are best known as the favored pets of sea witches and Cecaelia. Their top halves are identical to penguins, like those found in Northernmost Ainesia and distant Kainen.  Playful and enamored of most fish, Penguin-Squids also are easily domesticated.  Penguin-Squids are favored by fishing crews, who trained the strange creatures to herd and drive fish into their nets.

Penguin-Squids also are trained for all forms of various forms of hunting.  Gathering pearls, collecting crab, and even salvage work.

Cecaelia claim that Penguin-Squids (or Squils as they call them) were born from the fusing of fire and moonlight, an arcane spirit's wonder made real.  The Ursyklon claim they were a byproduct of some foul Abolethi creation, innocent of their creator's foulness but still something made in violation of nature.  Arcanists of the Esoterium Machina theorize that Penquin-Squids might've been borne of some Summoner during the reign of the Tomasi Empire, breeding true and growing wild after that Summoner had long gone.

Feyborn Penguin-Squids are rare.  Ursyklons dislike them, much like they dislike Owlbears.  Some do learn to like them, but never enough to have allowed the number of Awakened Squil needed to create Feyborn communities in the Maru Sea.  The Squil also are a favored meal among the poor of Crux and the Maliphi, being served along with Cat, Dog and Rat stalls.

Aspects: Mischevious Fisherdog; Where the Squil Dance

Whisper Sparrow: Native to the caves of the Skullmount and the rest of Crux, the Whisper Sparrow is a tiny grey-red bird no bigger than any of the common songbirds of Ainesia or Ith.  The Whisper Sparrow is best known for its song, which sound like whispers.  They often whisper in ancient tongues, something particular to what particular family of sparrow they descend from.

Each whisper contains a ancient secret- so the stories go.  In truth, Whisper Sparrows seem to speak gibberish.  But at specific times of night, dusk or dawn, Whisper Sparrows sing phrases that form spellcraft.  Indeed, the tiny birds can cast spells, but only do so at very specific times.  The Whisper Sparrows create a sort of charm effect, causing predators that would otherwise eat them to instead leave them alone.

That isn't the only spell they've been known to whisper, but it is the most common.  Some research the songs of the Whisper Sparrows, especially Medama Vampires.  The Medama swear there is a deeper truth the Whisper Sparrows know in pieces.  But finding the right pieces and putting them together, the Medama believe it is possible to uncover a secret from the civilizations that existed before the Ursyklon.  Others suggest that the Whisper Sparrows are descended from a species native to the Aether- that their magical abilities are just an atrophied trait.

Whisper Sparrows also are caught and eaten throughout the city, considered a delicacy by the Tengu.  Those who follow the Singer of the Song hold Whisper Sparrows sacred, that each song is a forgotten story.  To eat one is to kill a story, or so the Bards say.  There is a tiny group of Feyborn Whisper Sparrows, three of them in the entire city of Crux.  All three are believed to be Clerics of the Singer of the Song, but that remains unconfirmed.

Aspect: A Forgotten Whisper; Where the Whisper Sparrows Fly

Definitions For the Uninitiated. 
Crux: City of Curses, at the center of the World.  Also the name of the setting, which is set in a early industrial era (think dark fantasy Napoleonic and you get most of the way there).
Feyborn: Animals born of generations of Awakened spells.  Born awakened, they are a result of Druidic magic by the Ursyklon.
Ursyklon: A feral alternative on Halflings, but in their case, Halfling is a dirty racist slur.