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. The beasts of Halatali were used as training for gladiators and as part of spectacle fights in the arenas.
Capabilities: The basilisks of Halatali were able to unleash the baleful energy of their ‘cold gaze’ in order to freeze and petrify the bodies of their prey.
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Wolf)
Description: Fearsome pack creatures that roam the forests of Eorzea, wolves such as these were previously more or less harmless towards the spoken races and their holdings. With the cataclysmic aetheric changes of the Seventh Umbral Calamity, however, they have become increasingly aggressive.
Taxonomy: Cloudkin (Bat)
Description: Bats reside within the dark places of the world, roosting in caves and other secluded locales. It is common knowledge that they are nocturnal creatures, but more dedicated research by the scholars of the realm has uncovered that they are capable of feats of extremely keen hearing and a technique called echolocation. Although most bats feed on insects and fruit, folklore has long held that some of them instead feed on blood.
Capabilities: Much to the chagrin of this author, it was discovered by the research team that these particular bats are fully capable of the blood-draining abilities ascribed to them by folklore.
Taxonomy: Soulkin (Mammet)
Description: Mammets were creations of goldsmiths, composed of a fusion of masterful goldsmithing and cunning alchemy, forming an artificial creature of wood and metal. These creatures are not, usually, as intelligent as a true spoken, but many can speak the common tongue to varying degrees of proficiency. Two varieties were kept in Halatali, the supporter #022s model, which seemed capable of tossing ignited flammable powder and the heckler #022H model, which seemed to specialize in tossing small stones in order to harry and harm those gladiators that faced them. The final variety was a mammet attached to Pyracmon, named the admirers, who could produce aetheric bubbles to protect the gladiators against the cyclops’ strength, as an added aspect of complexity to the fight.
Capabilities: While the heckler mammets were mostly restricted to tossing ‘pebbles’, the supporters were able to toss ‘fire powder’ and perform a ‘scission thrust’, which roughly means a ‘cutting thrust’.
Taxonomy: Spoken (Cyclops)
Description: Beastfolk native to the mountains of Abalathia’s Spine, known for their dim wit and ease with which they may be manipulated, cyclops are nonetheless fiercely physically powerful. This particular example seems to have been plated in extremely heavy armor, and given a large axe in order to provide an adequate challenge for the gladiators of the complex.
Capabilities: Pyracmon is able to concentrate aether within its eyeball and emit it in a harmful beam named the ‘eye of the beholder’ named, tongue-in-cheekedly, for the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ Similarly, it was able to emit a ‘piercing glower’. The cyclops’ strength is predictably prodigious, and it was able to unleash blows hyperbolically referred to as having the strength of a ‘100 and 1000 tonze’ blow.
Etymology Notes: Pyracmon is named for one of the three great cyclops smiths of Hephaestus, and thus his armour becomes a two-tiered reference, both to the heavily armoured Crupellarii, seeing as he inhabits the Hall of the Crupellarii, and the smiths of Hephaestus who forged armour.
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 Eorzea via smuggling, which explains how so many came into the hands of the coliseum foundation. The primary coeurls in Halatali were pit coeurls and their pups, as well as a fearsome breed known as the torama.
Capabilities: According to those that slew the torama, it was as capable as any coeurl at channeling lightning aether through its appendages, a technique we will name ‘charged whisker’. The pit coeurls were able to unleash energy from their whiskers in a ‘blaster’ technique.
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. The torama were named for a conjunction of ‘tora’ or tiger and ‘ma’ or demon, a name that was coined by the franchise early on, likely to avoid copyright issues with Vogt, although in this context it likely merely signifies that the creatures are more fearsome than their cousins.
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 (Vulture)
Description: Vultures are commonly symbols of impurity in cultures due to their reliance on carrion to survive, although they are also fully capable of hunting down a target with their bladed talons and claws.
Capabilities: The fearsome vultures were fully capable of marshalling wind aether and using their wings to stimulate it in a kind of ‘wing cutter’ that rent the flesh.
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Bear)
Description: Typically solitary, peaceful creatures, bears such as these are native to Coerthas, and can be roused into extreme aggression by hunger or provocation, which is likely what has happened to those captive in Halatali. Many a young knight of Ishgard has perished trying to prove themselves by facing a bear.
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Catoblepas)
Description: Often conceived of as a bizzare fusion of boar, buffalo, peiste and ahriman, these odd creatures are in truth neither myth nor chimera, but are beasts that funneled into Eorzea from an unknown source in the wake of the Calamity, using their eyes of collect and focus aether, employing it as a weapon.
Capabilities: This dread beast was able to use many offensive abilities employing its eye as a focus for aether, including a ‘cold stare’ that froze ones limbs, or a ‘demon eye’ that turned flesh to stone. It was even able to summon an autonomous construct of aether which closely resembled an eye and was nicknamed the ‘tainted eye’ by those that fought it.
Etymology Notes: A catoblepas was a cryptid described by ancient Rome as originating in Ethiopia and being capable of slaying with a glance. This is clearly referenced in the beast’s abilities in FFXIV. The creature’s ability, jettatura, is named for the Italian term for the ‘evil eye’, referencing both the ocular focus of the ability and the Roman origin of the creature.
The Lesser Champions of Halatali
Taxonomy: Spoken (Various)
Description: There were a number of gladiators present in Halatali during the time of the match, each a champion of the arena in their own right. These included lancers dressed up in imitation of Ishgardian knights, likely for the entertainment of the crowd, as well as gladiators, conjurers, marauders and archers.
The Greater Champions of Halatali
Taxonomy: Spoken (Various)
Description: The Coliseum Foundation put four eminently skilled combatants, each a gladiator, up against the adventuring party just before the final fight. This included Silent Moss, a hellsguard roegadyn conjurer known for her firm, dour countenance, Langloisiert the Lionheart, a former noxius- a form of gladiator that is indentured into the service of the coliseum, since freed. A duskwight lancer, Langloisiert was a criminal in the Shroud before running afoul of the Brass Blades in Thanalan and becoming an enslaved fighter in exchange for his freedom. U’linbho, the Sand Devil, is a famed Keeper of the Sun archer known for her ferocity was also found here, as well as Franz the Fair, easily one of the most popular gladiators in Ul’dah, with a reputation for flamboyance and grandeur, as well as the leader of this team. The team were embroiled in some conflict not long passed, involving attacks on Franz by jealous competitors outside of the coliseum, apparently only saved by the intervention of a particularly industrious postal service worker.
Mumuepo the Beholder
Taxonomy: Spoken (Lalafell)
Description: Mumuepo was once the high priest of the Order of Nald’thal and the guildmaster of the Thaumaturges guild before finding himself imprisoned on a shocking amount of corruption charges, becoming a noxius of the coliseum in order to earn his freedom and pay back those debts incurred by his unscrupulous conduct.
Capabilities: Mumuepo, a seasoned thaumaturge and priest of Nald’thal, was able to manifest a stake of solid aether known as ‘Thal’s scepter’ which he used to pin an individual in place.
Taxonomy: Beastkin (Manticore)
Description: Colossal, ferocious beasts, manticores dwell in the mountains of Aldenard, from which they hunt and slay their prey, including other manticores. Should food grow truly scarce they will emerge from their habitat and wreak havoc upon the spoken races homes. This particular beast is bound to Mumuepo via ancient Belah’dian magics discovered by the mage in recovered tome.
Etymology Notes: Narasimah is named for the avatar of Vishnu in Hindu myth by the same name, a demon slayer who has become an icon of justified rebellion, resistance and the destruction of evil. This creature may have earned this name from Belah’dian folklore, seeing as his bindings originate from that civilization, or from the myths of Nald’thal, seeing as Mumuepo presides over the creature.