Taxonomy: Beastkin (Hippogryph)
Description: Hippogryphs are fierce beastkin of the mountains and hills. Their vestigial wings are incapable of flight, but can propel them along the ground as they sprint. They must have retreated from the hills of Coerthas, slinking into the Darkhold. This may have been the source for their ‘reclusive’ name.
Etymology Notes: A hippogryph, or hippogriff, is a half-eagle, half-horse creature from European folklore, ridden by figures of legend.
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Mole)
Description: Moles are tunneling creatures which dwell beneath the earth and hunt out the insects they feed upon. Their tunnels commonly damage forests by disrupting tree roots, and certain species grow large spikes on their backs for protection.
Taxonomy: Ashkin (Ghost)
Description: Despite folklore to the contrary, ghosts are actually fully corporeal creatures, solid to the touch. They are typically said to be bound to the mortal world due to an unfinished purpose of some form. These creatures were the spoken of the Darkhold, perhaps those Ishgardians slain by the Voidsent and Garleans during the attack on the fortification. There were two kinds of ghost catalogued within the Darkhold by those that reclaimed it, the betrayed and the forsaken. The betrayal, then, would be the attack by fellow spoken even as they strove to defend against the vile creatures of the void. The forsaken may be so because their kin had not yet reclaimed the Darkhold and put them to rest.
Taxonomy: Wavekin (Orobon)
Description: Previously considered myth due to the only reports of their existence coming from fishermen catching sight of something in their deepest fishing nets, the orobon has since become an uncomfortable reality. They, like the sahagin and so many other aquatic creatures, have been driven to the surface by the Seventh Umbral Calamity.
Capabilities: According to the records of those Ishgardian scholars that have explored the caves of their home, these creatures are capable of controlling water aether and spitting forth a ‘seaspray’ of water to harm their foes, which also seems to weaken the physicality of their foes.
Etymology Notes: The orobon, or orabau, is named for a cryptid of Brazil reported by the priest Andre Thevet in the 14th century. Most noted for being foul-tasting, the orobon was almost certainly a misidentified reptile but the name serves to reinforce the pseudo-mythical status of the orobon in Eorzea pre-calamity. The Alps are a mountain range in central europe, though alp has become a word that can apply to any mountain, and grot is sort for grotto, a synonym for cave. This, then, is an orobon who lives in a cave within a mountain.
The All-seeing Eye
Taxonomy: Voidsent (Ahriman)
Description: Fourth and fifth ranked voidsent, Ahriman are powerful creatures with a prodigious ability for manipulating aether both for propulsion and as a means of attack. Voidsent access our mortal plane by possessing the eyes of animals. This particular creature is one of the voidsent that flowed forth from the rift deep within the Darkhold.
Capabilities: The adventurers that cleansed the Darkhold testified to the terrifying abilities of the ahriman, capable of channeling aether through its eye in ‘dread and cursed gazes’. These abilities can have terrible consequences for those before them, including paralytic effects and mind-befuddling amnesiac ones. The beast was also capable of loosing wide arrays of voidal energies upon their foes, and it bore mighty aetheric wards which could rebuff even well-aimed arrows and blades without interference from the effects of the crystals.
Etymology Notes: The all-seeing eye is a symbol found across many cultures, which typically represents the gaze of a deity. Perhaps this, then, was named in some pseudo-blasphemy by an Ishgardian survivor of the Darkhold as some avenger of Halone, or perhaps it watches for one of the grand rulers of the Void.
Taxonomy: Wavekin (Gigantoad)
Description: Colossal toads coated in slippery mucous and with a gaze capable of shaking even the most steadfast of warriors, gigantoads are fearsome beasts. The ones found within the Darkhold were likely natives of Coerthas’ underground streams. Their pale flesh may be the reason for their name.
Capabilities: These amphibians were apparently capable of using their considerable bulk to bludgeon their foes in a ‘labored leap’ as well as using adhesive tongues to capture them.
Etymology Notes: Nix, also known as neck or nixies are german water spirits that drown humans. This likely speaks to the dangers of these creatures in Eorzea.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Drake)
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. They may have been named ‘lava drakes’ for their habit of living underground, perhaps nearby to sources of lava.
Capabilities: Drakes are commonly capable of issuing forth ‘burning cyclones’ of firey breath.
Taxonomy: Voidsent (Ogre)
Description: Ogres are immensely strong and similarly immensely stupid voidsent that occupy the ninth rank of the voidal hierarchy. They are often enslaved by more powerful voidsent, or even by talented void mages because of this low intelligence. The ogres of the Deephold were led by a mighty example of their own kind, Taulurd, while the lesser members that served it were named ‘deepvoid slaves’ by their fel companions.
Capabilities: According to those who fought it Taulurd was an impressively capable hand-to-hand combatant, throwing out ‘straight punches, elbow drops and double smashes’. Its subordinates were able to summon fire aspected aether to them and employ it by exhaling orbs of it, nicknamed ‘firewater’ by the adventurers, presumably because it stings like the beverage. They were also capable of throwing sizeable boulders.
Etymology Notes: Taulurd is a reference to Authurian legend. He was a giant who ravaged the lands of an Earl Fergus and nearly slew one of the Knights of the Round Table, Ser Morholt. Morholt then lured Taulurd in a bog, and after the giant became stuck, stoned him to death along with the Earl’s men. He had a brother, Taulas, which is referenced in how he calls his fellow ogres to his aid in this fight. Overall, his Authurian nature is likely a reference to the knightly culture of Ishgard, the city-state he is in conflict with.
Taxonomy: Ashkin (Wight)
Description: Dangerous creatures typically believed animated by dark sorcery, wights are skeletal undead spoken possessed by an enduring hatred of the living. These wights were likely the knights of House Dzemael and their vassals.
Capabilities: Wights are commonly capable of marshalling the dark aethers possessing their wretched forms and imbuing it into their blades for a strike commonly named the ‘hell slash’ by terrified peasantry. This is in reference to a common myth that the wights are ruled by some grand entity of the Seven Hells, a supposition that has no theological basis.
Taxonomy: Voidsent (Gargoyle)
Description: Gargoyles are voidsent that occupy the seventh and sixth ranks on the voidal hierarchy. They manifest by possessing rock, and when their essence is banished to the void this rock will often retain its fel shape, leading to comparisons with the gargoyles so often found on ornate buildings and thus their name. Scholarly findings indicate that Batraal likely occupies an elevated position amongst its kin due to its size and the mighty blades it carries.
Capabilities: Batraal was, according to those that fought him, a fearsome and versatile opponent. He was capable of mustering voidal power to him and loosing it in large beams of ‘desolation’. He was also capable of sending his foes to a ‘grim fate’ with his massive blades, nicknamed the ‘grim cleavers’ by those who fought him. He was also capable of sweeping the blades in a large ‘halo’ shape. He was also capable of communing with the corrupted crystals of the Darkhold and using their essence to shield himself from harm. Finally, the beast was capable of summoning areas of ‘void pitch’ pure voidal essence that is immense harmful to a denizen of the Source that comes into contact with it.
Etymology Notes: Batraal boasts a rather esoteric name, as his namesake was a minor high-ranking Grigori, a group of fallen angels in certain fringe christian texts typically only accepted in Ethiopia. This is doubtless in reference to the demonic analogies rife within the Voidsent.