Taxonomy: Beastkin (Opo-opo)
Description: Opo-opo are communal creatures that gather underneath a single dominant member, they are famed for their agility and dexterousness. These small beastkin are capable of thriving both on the ground and in the trees, and have become a common farming pest, picking fields clean when they grow hungry.
Taxonomy: Cloudkin (Colibri)
Description: Colibri do not actually eat meat, despite their extreme aggression, instead sipping on nectar using their curved beaks. They are proficient mimics of various forms of sound, and have a latent obsession with shiny objects such as gems or gil, which they instinctually try to swallow on sight.
Taxonomy: Seedkin (Ochu)
Description: Ochu originate in Aldenard, the continent on which Eorzea exists, and are some of the landmass’ foremost predatory plants. Their favored prey is small animals and insects, which they bludgeon after luring them in with sweet scents. The ochu will then digest the living yet comatose creatures over a number of hours.
Capabilities: The ochu are capable of emitting a worrying haze of acidic vapor, nicknamed ‘acid mist’ by the adventurers that cleared the Longstop.
Etymology Notes: The word ravel means to untangle, likely a reference to the tendrils of this particular ochu and the ‘raincatcher’ part of its name almost certainly refers to the plant gathering water in its maw when it rains, in lieu of roots.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Ziz)
Description: Speedy creatures, the ziz is not capable of flight but can cover ground at a rapid pace with its powerful legs and sharp claws. They are also often capable of exhaling poison. The area of the Longstop has a few native species of ziz, the great yellow pelican and the violet, blue and sable backs. The great yellow pelican is famously fearsome, and frankly enormous according to local sources, while their lesser coloured kin are more diminutive.
Capabilities: The great yellow pelican was reportedly capable of a number of rather impressive feats of battle, including bludgeoning its foes as if it had a ‘hammer beak’ and exuding a slightly toxic ‘numbing breath’ that diminishes sensation within the target and thus weakens their combat ability.
The Drakes and Biasts
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Drake/Biast)
Description: Drakes are ferocious predatory creatures with powerful tracking abilities and the ability to exhale gouts of fire. They are perhaps most famous as domesticated beasts of the Amalj’aa. A biast, however, is a subspecies that exhales lightning instead of fire. One will find both of these species in the jungles around the Longstop, namely with mud biasts, tempest biasts ashdrakes and inferno drakes. Ashdrakes are named for their lesser nature when compared to the greater inferno drakes, while mud biasts are likely named as such due to their habitat and the tempest biasts due to their lightning aspected breath. Although these creatures are assuredly native to the Longstop, they may be gathered here in such concentration due to the tendency of scalekin to fall in line with the whims of nearby dragons.
Capabilities: The biasts in the longstop were capable of emitting the typical ‘levinshower’ lighting breaths, while the drakes issued forth ‘burning cyclones’ of firey breath.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Dragonfly)
Description: Known for their resemblance to dragons, despite having no relation, dragonflies have nevertheless gained a name in reference to true dragons. Dragonflies are perhaps most famous for serving the Dravanian Horde in great numbers, particularly as vanguard and scout forces. The speed that allows them to function in such a role likely gave these creatures their name, as beings so fast they are capable of chasing comets. This is, of course, hyperbolic.
Capabilities: These creatures, when encountered by the team’s guards, proved capable of emitting emissions of compressed wind aether as an assault, nicknamed ‘forebursts’ by the team thaumaturge.
Taxonomy: Wavekin (Salamanders)
Description: Riverine hunters, salamanders wait patiently for their prey to approach before lunging and devouring them, often using lightning-aspected aether generated by special organs in their maws to stun their prey. The majority of the salamanders within the Longstop are lesser creatures known as surf efts, while the statements of the adventurers that slew the dragon within the Longstop imply a greater beast that stood above them, apparently nicknamed ‘Hellbender’ for its frightening appearance.
Capabilities: The salamanders of the Longstop seem to favor manipulation of water aether over the classic lightning aether attacks of their species, with the creatures spitting forth great gouts of ‘stagnant spray’ from their maws. The hellbender was apparently capable of manipulating water aether further, spitting forth ‘bog bubbles’ of filthy swamp-water as an attack, as well as gathering its own foul ‘effluvium’ and shrouding the foe in it, trapping them. The beast was also apparently capable of emitting a sinister, malignant aether in the form of a ‘peculiar light’, weakening their foe’s resistance to further aetheric assault.
Etymology Notes: An eft is an archaic term for a newt, which are amphibian creatures like salamanders, and the hellbender is a very real species of salamander found in the United States, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, named for its odd appearance.
Taxonomy: Wavekin (Pugil)
Description: Bizzare wavekin that propel themselves in a primitive form of flight using a wind-aspected gas filled bladder within their body, pugil are famed for their voracious appetite and single-minded attitude towards food.
Etymology Notes: Pugil means fist, or boxer, in latin, which may refer to the aggressive outlook of the pugil in Eorzea.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Basilisk)
Description: Natives of Aldenard, basilisks are fiercely territorial creatures that have a particularly dark place in Eorzean culture, where they often represent evil.
Capabilities: These basilisks used both their formidable mass to ‘body slam’ their foes, as well as emitting harmful aether to paralyze their foes in the ‘cold gaze’ typical of their species.
Deep Jungle Coeurl
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Coeurl)
Description: Coeurl are beastkin native to the Near East, and are famed for both their savagery and ability to channel lightning-aspected aether through the long appendages attached to their face. They have made their way to Vylbrand via smuggling, which explains how one might escape inland and find its home within the Longstop.
Capabilities: According to the adventurers that slew the beast, it was as capable as any coeurl at channeling lightning aether through its appendages, a technique we will name ‘charged whisker’.
Etymology Notes: Coeurl have an interesting etymology, actually being named for a fictional alien race from various pieces of fiction written by A. E. van Vogt. This race has gone on to adopted by the Final Fantasy series, as well as others such as Dungeons & Dragons with their displacer beasts, and Guild Wars with their colocals.
Taxonomy: Scalekin/Spoken (Dragon)
Description: A mainline, unspecialized dragon. These beings are immensely powerful, wise as the ages and capable of elemental aether manipulation, particularly through their breath attacks. The perception of the dragon differs from place-to-place, with most people regarding them as pseudo-mythical figures of legend and romanticized adventures, but with the inhabitants of Ishgard boasting a considerably more complex perception, due to their history with the Dravanian Horde. Aiatar is a member of the aforementioned Horde, before being wounded by a dragoon of Ishgard and coming to land on Vylbrand in order to recover, choosing to slumber in the caves that would later become the depths of the Longstop. Feeding on the toxic plantlife of the area allowed her to breath a toxic breath upon her foes, including the goblins who interrupted her healing rest.
Capabilities: According to the adventurers who emerged sickly and bruised from Aiatar’s den after slaying her, Aiatar’s typical ‘dragon breath’ was tainted with the poision of Vylbrand’s fauna. Similarly, her bites were envenomed by these toxins, and the adventurers semi-affectionately named her bite the ‘salivous snap’. Finally, she was capable of disgorging large quantities of the raw toxin she ingested in a kin of ‘toxic vomit’, which apparently restored some of her vitality when she came into contact with it. Gruesome.
Etymology Notes: Aiatar is named after Ajatar, a nature spirit of Northern European myth that resided in the Baltics and took the form of a serpent, which would inflict disease upon the innocents it came across. The parallels to the poison-breathing Aiatar of Eorzea are obvious, and although the true nature of the Dravanian conflict is more complex than the true evil of the mythical Ajatar, she certainly must have seemed evil to those goblins who interrupted her rest.