Aquatic and Amphibious Creatures
A species of flightless bird endemic to the southeastern polar coastline of Utlus in Orienisia, with established breeding colonies on the rocky, remote Bingnala and Cholongnala islands. When not breeding, they spent their time foraging in the waters of the Southern Antinnetic, ranging as far north as Coriyea and to the west, along the coastlines of Bhatkalia, the Rugsworth Isles, and the Eskiway fjords. Alkefugi reached a height of 75 to 85 centimetres (30 to 33 inches) tall and weighed about 5 kilograms (11 pounds).
It is a powerful swimmer, a trait that is used in hunting its favorite meal; the Antinnetic Sokana. The Alkefugi was an important part of many Native Utlusic cultures, both as a food source and as a symbolic item. One burial discovered included someone covered by more than 200 Alkefugi beaks, which are presumed to be the remnants of a cloak made of Alkefugi skins. When scientists soon began realizing that the Alkefugi was disappearing, it became the beneficiary of many medieval environmental laws.
Cetotheria is a species of dwarf whale endemic to the Taal Megalake, an epicontinental sea stretching along most of the western Eckhardt interior isolated from the Mittlesea by the formation of the Elborz mountains and the Riraski alps. Growing to upwards of 3 meters in length, Cetotheria is the smallest species of whale alive in the modern day. The whale's feeding behavior has been observed to use suction-feeding, its skull is far too narrow and small for the presence of a throat pouch for gulp feeding. Cetotheria uses its head as a spade to dig through the sediment on the bottom of the Taal Megalake to feed on its crustacean prey.
The neo-glacial age triggered by the nuclear winter that ensued after the Third War of Armageddon caused a severe drying of the Taal Megalake; increasing salinity levels and lowering oxygen content have made the Cetotheria critically endangered. Ongoing conservation efforts to save the species include introducing breeding pairs into the Orienisian Great Lakes.
The Naligogi is a formidable maritime predator with a worldwide range, its genus is present in all of the world's major oceans. The adults of these formidable sharks can grow up to 8 meters in length, making them one of the biggest aquatic predators on Orienisia. With a deep skull for many muscle attachments and a jaw with large serrated teeth, Naligogi has evolved a powerful 16,000 lb biteforce to help prey on small baleen whales; although there have been recorded instances of Naligogi packs attacking larger whale species these events are exceptionally rare.
Okaei are a genus of giant freshwater stingray native to the murky freshwater rivers and brackish marshes of the northern Aconcagua rainforest basin. They can reach lengths of up to 5 meters in diameter, and reach weights of 800 kilograms. Calling the muddy bottom of the Cagua river system its home, Okaei is an elusive bottom-dwelling species important for the native Hatalog cultures that inhabit the area, who use its barbs and toxin were used for weaponry. 1 miligram of Okaei is said to be capable of killing fifty-three people and kills within minutes, making it one of the most poisonous creatures on Erudia.
Sakana is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish, the Sokana inhabits the tributaries of the southern Antinnetic and the Xijuren Ocean, the fish has been introduced into many non-native bodies of water due to its popularity with fisheries. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they hatched to spawn. Meanwhile, the Giant Sakana is a coastal macro predatory fish native to the Bay of Coriyea, growing up to three to four meters in length. It was considered a highly prized and sought-after sport fish, in part thanks to its impressive half-ton weight and raw power making it a challenge to catch, before environmental laws forbade the hunting of the endangered species in 45 B.A.Y.
Within the depths of frosty, fast-moving rivers, and high-altitude lakes of the Wonthaggi rift valley in the polar Utlusian North exists a species of giant amphibious predatory tetrapods called the Skayamandra (Geodaehandolo in Coriyean). The largest known adult specimen of Skayamandra captured in modern history was caught in 11 B.A.Y by Anton Smirinova. Smirinova's specimen recorded at 4 to 5 meters in length and weighed in at a mass of 600 kilograms, making it the record-holder for the largest amphibian ever caught. Juvenile Geondaehandolos with a length of three meters is more than enough to actively prey on the herbivorous Ribra hexapods it is known to co-exist with, or in rarer cases still, native Utlusian villagers fishing or camping by the water's edge. Its species is defined by a wide, rounded head and tabular horns projecting from the backside of the skull.
Utlusian folk legends of the Noyokhotnik describe a creature disturbingly similar to the Skayamandra, with the same four-legged body plan and wide rounded head. The Noyokhotnik was said to be a spirit guardian of the lake, coming out to devour those who disturbed the peace. Such mythologies were likely passed down throughout the generations as a general warning to never fool around bodies of water, lest children or thrill-seeking adults risk getting ambushed by these apex predators and dragged to a watery grave.
Wihaego are a species of archosauriform native to the Shuruian continent. Known for their large, pronounced rostral crest at the end of its snout. Wihaego are immensely powerful with very deep jaws and heterodontous teeth, with large tusks at the anterior of the mouth for impaling prey and more blade-like teeth for slicing flesh closer to the back of the mouth. Adults usually reach a size of nine meters but the largest Wihaego in history measured 12 meters in length. Their opportunistic feeding behavior and large size makes them exceptionally hazardous to river-going ships and riverside human settlements on Shuruia. It was believed that the Wihaego had gone extinct two thousand years ago after millenia of hunting. However, in 151 B.A.Y, the Juwanese Explorer Doi Tsuyoshi discovered an isolated population of Wihaego around Lake Tumba at the heart of the continent. After its rediscovery, Wihaego was extensively farmed for its valuable scutey hide.
Zeribra is another example of a typically oceanic species found within the brackish shores of the Taal Megalake. They are a medium green in color and inhabit the microbialite reefs forming within its calmer waters. Having a head and neck suggestive of a Ribra, Zeribra also feature segmented bony armour, an upright posture and a curled prehensile tail. Since they are poor swimmers, they are most likely to be found resting with their prehensile tail wound around a stationary object. They have long snouts, which they use to suck up food, and their eyes can move independently of each other like those of a chameleon.
Terrestrial and Avian Creatures
Known adult individuals of the Boltat have skulls about 90 cm (3 ft) long and are about 1.77 m (5.8 ft) tall at the shoulders. They are an opportunistic macro-predator occupying a broad niche across the flood plains of Orienisia to the grassland steppes of Eckhardt. Boltat are a hooved and highly opportunistic omnivores, Boltat are also known to forage for nuts, roots and vegetables but they don't shy away from eating carrion should they come across it. Wild Bolt numbers has thinned over the course of history with the Orienisian subspecies going extinct twelve thousand years ago. Only Eckhardt Boltat remains, domesticated by Eurabic horse nomads over the centuries to be used as riding mounts.
Native to the Umingmak circle and the Cholongnala islands, the Kili are noted for their thick coats, prehensile trunk and a strong odor emitted by males during the seasonal rut, from which its name derives. This musky odor has the effect of attracting females during mating season. Growing up to lengths of 3 meters and a shoulder height of 1.6 meters, the Kili are herbivores who use their trunk to eat grasses, Umingmak willows, woody plants, lichens, and mosses. Co-existing for thousands of years with Utlusic culture, they have succeeded in taming the herbivorous Kili, using them as pack animals in mountainous and snowy areas to this day or to make cheese out of their milk.
Kuh are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores found in Orienisia and Eckhardt. Adult females are referred to as Kurs and adult males are referred to as Kulls. They are commonly raised as livestock for meat, for milk, and for hides, which are used to make leather. They are used as riding animals and draft animals to pull carts, plows and other implements. Another product of cattle is their dung, which can be used to create manure or fuel. In some regions, such as parts of Vechoor, cattle have significant religious significance. The medicinal property of the Kuh milk have been documented traditionally by the Ayurveda people of Vechoor, and recent scientific studies have substantiated this. The protein component of the Vechur cow's milk has an improved antimicrobial property.
Kumiho are a medium-sized, six-legged and omnivorous mammal with flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail (or brush). They have a ubiquitous distribution throughout Aconcagua, Orienisia and Shuruia— present in four out of the five Erudian continents— where they are hunted as pests or furbearers. In Coriyean folklore, it can freely transform, among other things, into a beautiful woman often set out to seduce both men and women, and eat their liver or heart (depending on the legend).
The Inyula is a species of large parrot found in the forested and alpine regions of the insular continent of Yiuquth. About 48 cm (19 in) long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orange under its wings and has a large, narrow, curved, grey-brown upper beak. Its omnivorous diet includes carrion, but consists mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar, and insects. The Inyula nests in burrows or crevices among the roots of trees. Inyula are known for their intelligence and curiosity, both vital to their survival in a harsh mountain environment. Inyula can solve logical puzzles, such as pushing and pulling things in a certain order to get to food and will work together to achieve a certain objective. In more recent times, they have been studied to prepare and use tools.
Ralsihn are a species of meat-eating mammalian macropredator endemic to the continent of Shuruia with individuals ranging up to around 90 cm high at the shoulder and about 180 cm from head to tail. Measurements taken from a number of specimens show they average 128–164 kg (282–362 lb). The animal is extremely robust with powerfully built jaws and very strong forelimbs. It possesses retractable claws, a unique trait among Ralsihn. This allows the claws to remain sharp by protecting them from being worn down on hard surfaces. The claws were well-suited to securing prey and for climbing trees. The first digits ("thumbs") on each hand were semi-opposable and bore an enlarged claw. They are used to grapple its intended prey, as well as providing it with a sure footing on tree trunks and branches. The hind feet had four functional toes, the first digit being much reduced in size, but possessing a roughened pad, assisting with climbing.
Ribra is a species of hexapod hooved herbivores with a circumpolar distribution, native to native to arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Eckhardt, Eastern Eckhardt, and Umingmak circle of Orienisia. They prefer lichen-rich mature forests and mainly live in marshes, bogs, lakes and river regions. They are extremely sensitive to both natural (such as forest fires) and human disturbance, and to habitat damage and fragmentation brought about by resource exploration, road building, and other human activity. The Ribra's dazzling stripes make them among the most recognisable mammals. They have been featured in art and stories in Orienisia and beyond. Historically, they have been highly sought after by exotic animal collectors, but unlike Kurs and Kili, Ribras have never been truly domesticated.
Shuturamurgs are large flightless birds of Shuruia who lay the largest eggs of any living land animal. With the ability to run at 70 km/h (43.5 mph), they are the fastest birds on land. They are farmed worldwide, particularly for their feathers as they are used as decoration and feather dusters. Their skin is also used for leather products. The Shuturamurg are notable for being the tallest and heaviest living birds, standing 3.2 meters from head to toe reaching weights of up to 180 kg.
Erudia's Five Continents
Aconcagua, formerly North Orienisia, is a subcontinent of a single continent known as Orienisia, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Southern Hemisphere. Aconcagua is bordered on the west by the North Antinnetic Ocean and on the east by the Xijuren Ocean; Orienisia and the Coriyean Sea lie to the southeast. The continent historically included seven sovereign states: Alaxias, Cuyaó, Duracedes, Hatalogay, Lita, Ramitas, and Sur Vigo.
Aconcagua has an area of 13,740,000 square kilometers. The geography of eastern Aconcagua is dominated by the Desan mountains and temperate climates; in contrast, the western part is a known fertile crescent which contains Mediterranean climates where rivers such as the Zonama, Nocori, and Anapara flow. Most of the continent lies in the middle altitudes, except for a large part of the Northern Cone located in the northern latitudes; noted for its cold deserts and oceanic climates.
South Orienisia occupies the southern portion of the landmass also known as the Orienisias, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere; connected to Aconcagua by the Koryeo Isthmus. South Orienisia is bordered on the west by the Southern Antinnetic Ocean, the Coriyean Sea on the north, the Xijuren Ocean to the east and the Umingmak Circle to the south. The continent throughout history was partitioned between the Coriyeans, Guatzunese and the Utlusian Empires.
Orienisia has an area of 47,360,000 square kilometers. The geography of Orienisia can be split into five distinct geographic regions; the Hapyeo mountains on the east coast boasting a sunny Mediterranean climate all year round, the elevated boreal plateaus of the Utlusian shield containing the Wothaggi Rift Valley, the semiarid prairies of the Great Plains stretching from the Sea of Coriyea to the Utlusian Umingmak, to the subtropical coastal plains along the Antinnetic seaboard including the humid, sub-tropical Coriyean peninsula.