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A World of Monsters. (An Encyclopedia on the creatures of the world of Null.)

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Armor and Weapons: V7 'Wolf-Tiger' Powered Armor. [Oros Variant]

TripleMRed

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[The following is a digital page from the 'Armor's and Weapons Catalog, 149th edition'.]

Designation: Version 7, Model 'Wolf-Tiger' Powered Armor, Oros Variant.​
[Sketches depict an advanced set of powered armor, thick armor plates evoking the image of an advanced, futuristic knight. The stock version posses iconography depicting stylized Wolf-Tigers embroidered on the shoulders, forearms, chest and helmet. The helmet is totally enclosed, designed to be protective while have decorative embroidery that evokes the image of a Wolf-Tiger's face. Other sketches show the helmet opens up, revealing a reinforced glass dome under the metal. Sketches also depict the armor in various forms of camouflage, close inspection revealing the iconography to be gone.]

Power Source: Baraq Aleph Series Fulminite Generator. (Good for one month of continuous use before replacement or recharge.)

Undersuit: V-18 tech suit. 10% notable increase to strength, 10% notable increase to top speed. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Plating: V-4 Dragonscale powered plate. Reinforced Mithril Alloy capable of withstanding direct strikes from non-energy coated strikes. Vulnerable to Class 7 penetrating strikes and above. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Additional Features: V-8 Stun-Field generator, integrated, and hard points for armor-planted weapon systems including shoulder mounted launchers and forearm rail-guns.

Summary:​
The latest in the Wolf-Tiger model of Powered Armor, the Version 7 has few major upgrades over its predecessor, it's primary improvements mostly being in hardened system and firmware updates. The most notable major upgrade is the first in a series of anti Hack-Weed countermeasures, in order to prevent empty suits from being hijacked by the plant.

In terms of defense, the Wolf-Tiger V-7 retains an excellent track records against conventional slug and bullet based weaponry, though armor-piercing rounds from Sluggers and railgun weapons are still able to punch through the outer most layers and eventually breach the lower layers. As always, trouble is had with stopping fire from creatures, as thorns, spikes, quills and more continue to retain armor piercing properties as ever before, though the V-7 can deflect indirect fire and glancing blows without issue, only having trouble with direct attacks.

The series' thruster system remains an integrated portion of the armor, granting users excellent mobility in under water and low gravity scenarios. The thrusters can also be used in short, intense bursts to provide increased agility on land and air, though the user's leg power is more than capable of performing evasive maneuvers on their own, thus need for increased thruster capabilities on land is minimal.

Runes capable of being applied remains a feature in this armor set, allowing users to to augment and further amplify the suit's capabilities. Note, however, that as per the Runic Law of Age, the effects of the Runes will not be as powerful now as they will be later, though thankfully a runed V-7's modern capabilities and construction allows it to match older suits of runed armors, even pre-power armor suits.

The most wide-spread and popular modern day armor set in the world, the Wolf-Tiger model continues its service with distinction. Models, as ever, have the option to have the embroidery's removed at the users behest. Whether fighting a Killapede, or surviving an assault from a Spider-Ant Hive, the V-7 is a solid, dependable armor unit that won't let its user down in a variety of environments. Look for its sibling counterparts for more specialized roles, such as adverse weather, underwater, and underground variants, to name a few.
 
Armored Fang.

TripleMRed

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Author
Armored Fang.

[Sketches depict an armored, vaguely feline like desert creature. Red armored plates cover it from head to tail tip and leaves few areas vulnerable. The eyes are golden and with slit pupils, the mouth covered in sharp teeth, the two most notable being a pair of saber-fangs coming from the top jaw. The creature's hard, rocky exterior makes it an excellent ambush predator in the dry, rocky desert it calls home, as the sketches show.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'I used to call them 'tank kitties' when I was a kid. Then I found out they're technically not felines and everything I knew became a lie.']

Scientific Name Translation: Blood Cat.

Average Size: Large-scale creature, 6-7 feet/1.83-2.134 meters at the shoulder on all fours.

Average Weight: 8-9 tons on average.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Males have slightly longer saber-fangs than females..

Habitat Range: Primarily deserts, especially the Red Desert.

Summary:​
Of the many predatory species on Null, the Armored Fang is among the more notable inhabitants of the Red Desert. This desert is notable for having little in the way of sand, the red tinted ground and surroundings being dry, cracked ground. This allows for heavier creatures incapable of swimming through sand like creatures of the Sea of Sand to tread without fear of sinking into the sand. [A note is attached. It reads 'Not that it stops some creatures from managing it though.']

Covered from head to tail-tip in heavy plated armor, the Armored Fang is extremely resilient to damage, allowing it to weather assaults from enemies and defending prey alike. The armor is capable of resisting weapons fire from infantry scale weapons fire that aren't heavy weapons, and even then they are capable of surviving strikes from rockets and missiles to their sides. This heavy armor for its size, of course, makes it comparatively slow, and thus it mostly relies on ambush tactics to catch prey.

Their armor color matches the coloration of the Red Desert, and have a slightly rocky texture. This affords them the ability to blend in to the background by imitating a large rock. Whenever there are rock formations or uneven landscape around, however, the Armored Fang uses its large, padded feet in order to sneak around, looking for a stealthy position to attack from. The heat of the desert sun is mostly absorbed by its armored plating, which is insulated enough to prevent the creature from overheating until the cool of the night comes to help it cool down. On particularly scorching days, however, Armored Fangs will look for a mud pool to cool off in, with the coloration of the mud affecting their plating color until it is washed off or flakes off from drying out. [A note is attached. It depicts cartoon Armored Fangs in various shades of earth coloration's, usually some shade of tannish-red.]

The most notable features aside from their armored plating, however, is the other half of their namesake: Their saber-tooth fangs. These pair of upper canines are long and capable of delivering a deathblow to their prey with a swift bite to the neck. These teeth are also exceptionally reinforced, allowing them to survive direct strikes from weapon impacts both ranged and in melee.

Among their other weapons include a club at the end of their tails, their sharp claws capable of rending metal, their very mass being thrown around as a blunt weapon, and their hidden weapon: A sonic roar. This sonic roar is capable of stunning prey at a close enough proximity as well as rupturing organs and blood vessels, making it a versatile tool in the Armored Fang's arsenal, affording them a secret weapon to use during fights against other hostile life, having an effective range of 30 meters and can be heard up to 5 miles away. [A note is attached. It reads 'What they don't tell you is ancient Fangs could unhinge their jaws to amplify the sound even more. The more you know!']

The primary prey for the Armored Fang is the Desert Oliphant, particularly the Red Desert variant. These creatures are plentiful prey, each one providing a bounty of food when caught. Though Armored Fangs are primarily loners, those stalking prey will gladly enlist the help of other Fangs they encounter in order to catch a meal, as there will be plenty of meat to go around. During lean times, however the Armored Fang typically subsists off of smaller prey it can catch, as well as tough but nutritious rooting plants that also act as useful sources of water in the otherwise arid Red Desert. [A note is attached. It reads 'I mean, what doesn't love Oliphant steak?']

Mating season typically begins at end of summer, when the hottest days are behind them. No real rituals are involved with mated pairs, as males and females will typically engage and stay with the first member of the opposite sex they encounter. Newborns are when the Fangs are at their most vulnerable, as they have yet to grow their armor plating. Indeed, it takes a considerable amount of time in the harsh desert environment for Armored Fangs to fully grow their plates, with adolescents congregating in mud holes in order to remain cool even on comparatively mild days. Once their armor has fully grown, however, these adult Fangs head out to wander the Red Desert for the majority of their lives, in search of food and territory.

Though they primarily remain in only the Red Desert, the Armored Fang is a popular choice when one thinks about a desert dwelling predator. Their impressive fangs, coupled with their resilience against damage makes them, make for a striking image that is difficult to forget about. [A note is attached. It reads 'Eh, when I think 'desert predator', I think Sword-Tails.']
 
Heirophant.

TripleMRed

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Author
Hierophant.

[Sketches depict a massive, mammalian creature that seems to fit the role of elephant in the ecosystems it inhabits. The creature is large on average, with short fur and a buffalo like hump on its back, though the neck is longer and more exposed than that of a buffalo. The head is large with comparatively small, pointed ears on the sides of the head. Instead of tusks, a pair of horns sprout from the back of the head and curve around the sides of the head until they are pointing forwards, giving a tusk like impression. Sketches depict the creature crushing predators attempting to attack the exposed neck between its horns and its hump. A long tail covered in spurs extends from its back side. The tail is prehensile and easily reaches as far as the hump. Lightning seems to dance between the spurs. More sketches depict them wandering plains, sleeping and eating large shrubs whole.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'They call these guys the 'Holy Men of the Grasslands'. I always just called them 'The Big Floofy Giants.']

Scientific Name Translation: Lightning Pontiff.

Average Size: Varies, Very-Large to Giant class creature, maximum known size of 15 meters tall at the hump.

Average Weight: Varies, up to a maximum known weight of 1450 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females have longer horns than males.

Habitat Range: Wide open spaces, particularly savannas and other grassland biomes. Woolly subspecies found in the northern wastes.

Summary:​
Few creatures inspire as much awe due to their power and temperament as the Hierophants. Known as the 'Holy Men of the Grasslands', these large creatures dominate the landscapes they inhabit, their lack of many real predators tempered by their low birthrates, which helps keep the ecosystem in balance. One of the smaller species to hail from the Land of Giants, the Hierophants are nonetheless powerhouses in their own right, with their mystical talent being of particular note due to their diversity and skillful usage.

The most common Hierophants are young adults that are still growing, typically reaching 7 meters at their hump. While this would normally make them vulnerable to predation by larger predators, the Hierophants posses great mystical power. They naturally produce a powerful electric charge rivaling that of Cacklers or the mythical Rohk, with their tails in particular studded in lightning generating spikes. This is not all they posses, however, as they are able to manipulate the weather itself, culminating in a wide variety of weather based phenomena both localized and wide spread.[A note is attached. It reads, 'Back when I still got sent out to help fix things on the field, I got to see a herd of these guys summon rain. It was soooo pretty!']

Their control over the weather is excellent for a ground based species. Summoning rain storms, deadly blade-hail, or lightning strikes, among other effects, the Hierophants are masters at their art. One particular desert dwelling species has even cultivated a sizable spot of rich, lush land in the middle of the North Eastern Desert, making a supersized oasis that many species depend on for survival.

The Hierophant is more than just its magical talent, however. A pair of horns grow from the back of its head, curl downwards past the sides of their faces and end pointing forwards. Hierophants officially enter adulthood with their horns fully growing into place, though it will still take several more decades of growth before they reach their full size. These horns also naturally generate an electrical charge between them, being able to focus a continuous lightning blast from between the horns themselves. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon Hierophant having some spark plugs attached to its horns, being used to start up a hover bike.]

Amplifier organs have been found in all four of the Hierophants large, broad feet. This allows them to perform powerful stomps capable of affecting things in a large radius around them, though they try to avoid using them often in order to not damage their ecosystem and food sources. These blasts can either be focused in a single direction or be released in an omnidirectional blast. Creatures at close enough ranges have been known to burst into clouds of blood while Civilized Races who are too close end up suffering countless ruptured blood vessels and organs, often barely clinging to life. Even beings over a hundred meters away can be negatively effected, with weaker creatures passing out outright from the pressures they are exposed to.

The specific diet of the Hierophant changes over the course of their lives. When young, they dine on large, low growing shrubs, while as they age and their horns begin to grow into place, they begin to consume vegetation that can be easily eaten without getting in the way of their horns, such as small trees. They have indentation that suggests a capacity for omnivorey, meaning this herbivorous nature is a deliberate choice on their part. The Hierophant posses a long, flexible tongue, though they prefer to avoid using these muscles where they can as it is one of the most vulnerable parts of their anatomy that hidden predators have been known to attack and tear off for a quick meal. [A note is attached. It depicts a fairly good sketch of an Hierophant eating from a cartoonishly drawn bowl of fruits and vegetables.

In terms of disposition, the Hierophant is a calm, nonhostile creature. They prefer to scare off their enemies rather than kill them, though they will not hesitate to use lethal force if needed to protect themselves or others of their kind. They particularly have a low tolerance for predators attempting to attack the back of their necks. Hierophants are social creatures that live in large herds ruled by a matriarch, typically the oldest female and likely possessing a familial link to most of the other members of their herd. Rudimentary cultures and customs have been observed being performed by Hierphants, including respect for their own dead and even the dead of other creatures. When encountering a dead body, the Hierophant, whether alone or with others of their kind, will gather around the deceased and perform simple ritualistic behavior. This behavior is the origin of their name and nickname.

When mating season arrives, males will become notable more aggressive and competitive with one another. They will begin to perform ritualized combat and fight one another with a mixture of their magics and use of their horns in front of a female they are trying to impress. There are instances of blood being shed during this, though for the most part, the fighting is largely ritualized. The male that manages to impress the female the most will become her mate, with a courtship ritual ensuing that seems vaguely synonymous with the Civilized Race concept of marriage. [A note is attached. It depicts a pair of cartoon Hierophants getting married, complete with one wearing an oversized tux and the other wearing a wedding dress and veil.]

The Hierophant is a calm beast, not unlike the Springback, making them part of a set of creatures known as the 'Holy Few', due to their peaceful natures. Symbols of the Ambaric Church, the Hierophant is often attributed to the position of Pontiff in the Church's hierarchy. These creatures help inspire awe in the Civilized Races that bare witness to them, their lives and actions being recorded in many wildlife documentaries the continent over.
 
Armor and Weapons: Jetters' V-17 Series Slugger Micro-Missile.

TripleMRed

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Author
[The following is a digital page from the 'Armor's and Weapons Catalog, 149th edition'.]

[Sketches depict a vaguely bullet like micro-missile. They come in a variety of calibers, though the most common is 12.7x60mm. Written across the munitions is a variety of identification script, including make and model, manufacturer, and minor details such as decorative heraldry stamped unto the material.]

V-17 Series Slugger Micro-Missile.

Manufacturer: Jetters Aerospace Engineering, Weapon's Lab 31, Munition's Department C.

Engine: V-18 Solarite Micro-Engine. Capable of maintaining flight across a wide variety of gravities, environments (Including vacuum and underwater), and accurate sustained flight at ranges up to 5 kilometers out. Accuracy drops at further ranges.

Caliber: .50 Cal for most weapon systems, .45 variant for machine pistols and .65 caliber for heavy machine guns.

Warhead: Mass-reactive Det-7 explosive filler-gel for standard models. Onboard computer systems capable of determining friend/foe IDs. Can be switched to a proximity fuse on the fly.

Speed: Mach 5.

Summary:​
The latest series of Slugger micro-missiles, the Jetters' produced V-17 has proven itself an excellent munition for Slugger weaponry, being compatible both with modern weapons as well as older models of Sluggers. The V-17 has been thoroughly tested in all environments on Null, including underwater, vacuum distortions and gravity-distortion rich zones, as well as on every known hostile form of life and armor on the planet. The most common models include:

V-17, Base: The standard model, good against unarmored and lightly armored hostiles, though has trouble penetrating tougher/thicker armors.

V-17, AP, 'Chitin-Cracker': Model up-armored with diamantium tip and reinforcement runes for superior armor penetration.

V-17, Stun, 'Shockcollar': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with a special Fulminite electro gel blend. Specialty rounds, solely detonate on proximity and are meant to stun individuals such as resisting criminals. Mostly used by police forces and capture-teams of Hunters.

V-17, Incendiary 'Thermium': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with Solarite based incendiary gel. Name taken from the Thermium material spewed by some species. Burns at a temperature close to 3027C.

V-17, Cryogenic, 'Frostbane': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with Glacium based gel. Reaches temperatures approaching absolute zero.

V-17, Electric, 'Fulgar': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with a Fulminite based electro gel. Excellent for overloading electrical systems as well as nervous systems.

V-17, Acidic, 'Acid-Bath': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with mutagenic Ferruvore acid. Excellent for eating through non-acid proof materials, flesh or metal.

V-17, Anti-Magic, 'Moon-Light': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with an energized Moonsilver infused core. Counteracts magical effects such as mystical barriers or creatures primarily composed of magic, such as Oculons or Storm Joys.

V-17, Anti-Infernal, 'Sun-Bloom': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with an energized Sungold infused core. Counteracts infernal powers. Predominantly used by the Ambaric Church.

V-17, Anti-Eldritch, 'Star-Bloom': Det-7 filler-gel replaced with an energized Stariron infused core. Counteracts Elder creatures, predominantly used by Magi and the forces of the Mediator.
 
Last edited:
Wolf Tiger.

TripleMRed

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Author
Wolf Tiger.

[Sketches depict a large wolf creature, with a mane covering the neck and chest and with tiger like stripes covering the rest of its furred body. Precise coloration varies on subspecies, but all have the typical slitted pupils Nullian canines have, as well as having long, thick tails with flared ends. Their muscles are powerfully built and dense, allowing for feats of strength impressive for a creature its size.]

[A note is attached. It reads, 'I met a pet Wolf Tiger once when I was a kid. She knocked me over when she ran past, it took my parents as solid minute to pry me out of the bushes I was knocked into. Fun times!']

Scientific Name Translation: Learning Dog.

Average Size: Medium scale creature, average of 8-10 feet/2.438-3.048 meters long.

Average Weight: 875-1280 pounds/396.89-580.6 kilograms.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females have fuller manes around their neck and chest.

Habitat Range: Found in most forested environments.

Summary:​
A wide variety of canines exist in our world. We Oros, in fact, are canines, though our muzzles aren't as long as our feral counterparts nor do we have tails anymore. One particular canid species to be related to us are the Wolf Tigers, one of the larger species of canines to exist on Null. Individually strong and powerful, individual Wolf Tigers are typically solitary creatures, hunting and surviving on their own, though they will make calls to bring help from other Wolf Tigers nearby in times of stress.

Wolf Tigers produce a wide range of vocalizations, as most Nullian canines are capable of. This ranges from typical barks and howls to loud and powerful roars. A sonic component exists, giving their voices enough power to be used as a focused sonic weapon. When this sonic component is active, a Wolf Tiger howl can rupture organs and blood vessels of lesser creatures from a range of as far as 15 meters away. When focused, their sonic roars can be projected in a cone upwards of 50 meters in front of them, with armored individuals who are too close reporting structural and electronic damage to their suits of Power Armor, in addition to the damage to their organic tissue. Needless to say, these powerful vocalizations can be heard from many miles away.

Precise appearance of a Wolf Tiger varies from species to species, though they are uniformly striped to break up their profiles for most of their bodies save their manes. Most posses coloration to their coats to help with camouflage. For example, a Wolf Tiger living in a Crimson Rainforest will have red fur and black stripes, while individuals living near rivers will have bluish coats and brown stripes, to simulate silt filled water. As with their Wolf Hound cousins, the presence of nipples is a good indicator of whether one if a female or not, though females tend to have fuller manes than their male counterparts. The mane of a Wolf Tiger determines their age, health, and even social status. Those with larger manes are typically more successful in attaining a mate, warding off predators and competitors without a fight, and even being given reverential treatment from the usually lackadaisical Wolf Hounds. [A note is attached. It depicts several sketches of a Wolf Tiger, their manes getting progressively larger and fuller to the point where it becomes comedic and impractical. Words follow, reading 'Totally 1000% accurate, swearsies.']

In terms of temperament, the Wolf Tiger is defensive of its territory, and has a lower tolerance for Civilized Races than other canine relatives of theirs. When encountering a lone individual or small group they do not see as much of a threat, the Wolf Tiger will make its presence known and roar at them to leave their territory. When a strong individual, or large group, is detected, the Wolf Tiger will begin stalking behavior to observe their prey and to determine the best course of action to drive them off. If, however, an individual helps or protects the Wolf Tiger, the Wolf Tiger will gain a respect for them and will not attempt to fight them off.

While the majority of creatures on Null are capable of learning from their encounters and mistakes, the Wolf Tiger is notable for learning at an accelerated manner. What would take another creature to determine an action isn't working five tries, the Wolf Tiger determines in two or three before they change their approach. This is most notable for Wolf Tigers that have survived encounters with Hunters and soldiers. When encountering the same individual, the Wolf Tiger will attempt a different approach and set of tactics to deal with the individual in their second encounter. Furthermore, Wolf Tigers have been known to learn from observing other creature's failures, never repeating their same mistakes when they attempt to perform the same task themselves.

When encountering a hostile while another Wolf Tiger is present, they will begin to work together to take down the enemy. Strategy varies from team up to team up, though a common strategy is for one of the Wolf Tigers to act as bait, drawing attention away before the second attacks from behind or above. More seasoned Wolf Tigers, such as mated pairs, will have the one not engaging in combat wait a few moments before striking, to maximize the attention being diverted to their partner.

In terms of combat capability, the Wolf Tiger is extremely strong due to its abundance of dense musculature. A single Wolf Tiger is capable of dragging upwards of 20 tons across several miles without rest or slowing down. Several working together are able to bring down and drag large prey or even dead predators away to be eaten in peace. Their claws are extremely sharp on their own, capable of rending unmodified steel with little issue or resistance. When combined with the mystical ability to cover their claws in a plasma coating, a Wolf Tiger can damage and eventually breach modern day Powered Armor that has been mystically reinforced. Their jaw strength is also quite strong for a canine, capable of bite out plating from a Power Armor unit that gets too close. Combined with their stealth capabilities, intellect, and ranged sonic ability that can be used to disorient an unprepared target as well as damage them from afar, and the Wolf Tiger is an extremely dangerous threat on its own. Their tail-clubs can also crush armor if hitting at the right angles. Caution is advised when dealing with one, and getting into a close range brawl is not recommended save for Warrior Body Type Oros, Cerberi, or a Mortalized Erui Spirit. [A note is attached. It reads 'Wrastling a Wolf Tiger sounds like fun in theory, but I got the chance to try with a K9 unit one. I lost. And then she kept licking me when I was down and drool got in my mouth and bleh.']

Mating season occurs every year at around the end of winter so their pups can be born in spring time. Wolf Tiger pups are more playful than their adult counterparts, and their parents will occasionally tolerate the presence of younger Wolf Hounds to act as playmates for their own pups. When raising their pups, the weaker parent stays behind to guard the pups while the stronger hunts for food, though the mother regardless of she strength stays with them for the first few weeks when they're at their most vulnerable to feed them milk. When encountering an individual of the opposite sex, unmated Wolf Tigers will size the other up up. If one or both individuals find their potential partner lacking, they will dismissively leave them behind to search elsewhere.

The Wolf Tiger is an exceptionally powerful and famous canine. One of the most common modern sets of Powered Armor is named after them, with stylings of the creatures emblazoned on the the armor. Stealthy, strong, tough, and overall dangerous, the creatures have been used in fables, stories, and historical accountings the world over, making them a popular symbol for Hunters and military personnel alike. Since 2000 years ago, there have even been successful attempts at taming Wolf Tigers, with some lines becoming fully domesticated and creating the larger dog species on the market. K9 units always have a few domestic Wolf Tiger on hand in order to wrestle down and pin uncooperative suspects and criminals. [A note is attached. It reads 'I met the MP K9 unit on the base I used to work in. One of the Wolf Tigers they had licked my helmet off my head even though it was strapped on. Fun times!']
 
Pamphlet: Rejoice.

TripleMRed

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[An old, worn pamphlet is on display. On its cover, a single word is printed at the top: 'Rejoice.' An image of armored individuals who appear to be part of an order of knights, unified by by a standardized helmet: A wedged, furnace style knight helmet, with seven horizontal openings to see through. The openings are totally dark, with no way of seeing the individual within, as if light cannot pass through the bars. The armors themselves are fairly uniform, bulky yet paradoxically flexible, with differing colored pieces of cloth hanging from the left shoulder and loins. The Ambaric Cross is on display at the center of their chest pieces.

The next page reveals writing: 'Rejoice, be you parent or otherwise guardian of [The name of the individual seems to be redacted], for your child has been found to hold the power of the Lord within their hands. This birthright given to them allows them entry into the Order of Berserker Paladins, to hunt down and protect the innocent and pure form the wicked and hateful clutches of those wicked of heart and infernal of soul. Do not fear the arrival of the Paladins that have found the child and have approached you for the right to take them in for training. '

Another picture is displayed below this writing: It depicts 'Beserker Paladins' fighting and slaying demonic looking creatures, pushing them back into a dark, fiery pit they seem to have crawled out of. Guns, melee weapons, and their own fists are all in use to drive the evil creatures back.

The page after it continues with more writing: 'With bullet, blade, or fist, it is the duty of the Paladins to hunt down evil that manifests itself unto the physical plane, to cast them out into the darkness from which they came. Through the power of the holy light shining within their hands, all the weapons at their disposal allow them to smite the wicked abominations and permanently bar them from ever returning to the realm of Mortals again, not unlike a priest performing an exorcism.'

Another picture is displayed below this writing: It depicts a sole Paladin with their sword through the neck of a large demon, the individual being pulled away but not before they've notched their free hand into a fist, ready to drive it into the demons face before it can throw them away.

More words follow on the last page: 'The life of a Berserker Paladin is not an easy or safe one, for they are expected and must be ready to lay down their lives in the service of their fellow beings to protect them against the Infernal forces of Hell. Rest assured, however, that the final decision for the child's entry into the Order rests upon you, the guardian of [Once more, the individuals name is redacted] and [Redacted] themselves. It is natural to wish to protect your charge, but please think of the good they can do in their service of the Lord within their most sacred order.

The final image depicts an Oros child in the foreground, their hands haloed with light, while in the background a Paladin that seems to be them fully grown up is shown in the same position.

Printed at the bottom of the back of the pamphlet reads 'Printed by the Ambaric Church in cooperation with our brothers and sisters in the Order of Berserker Paladins. Blessings of the Lord and Am be upon you, reader.'

-

Pamphlets such as these typically given to a guardian of a discovered child when they ask for time to think on the matter. If the guardian and child decide to accept the offer to have the child enter the Order of Berserker Paladins, then the child is taken away to begin their training with the Order. Initiates are allowed to visit their former homes upon completion of the training or to attend a major event such as the death of a loved one.]
 
Burnback.

TripleMRed

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Burnback.

[Sketches depict a Beowulf looking creature. Notable differences are noted, however: The skin lacks the fur the Beowulves have and have pathways resembling volcanic vein running through their bodies when enraged. Their tails are slightly shorter and their backs burst alive with burning flames, giving the appearance of the creature wearing a mantle or cloak of fire on its back. The eyes are typically some form of coloration related to fire, such as red, amber, or orange.]

[A note is attached. It reads, 'The Beowulves arsonist cousins. Burnating the countrysides since forever.']

Scientific Name Translation: Burning Mantle.

Average Size: Large scale creature, average of 12-15 feet/3.66-4.572 meters high on hind legs.

Average Weight: Average of 4-5 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females tend to have longer, more noticeable ears than males.

Habitat Range: Predominately found in the Southern Heat Planes, small but notable population found in the Northern Wastes.

Summary:​
The Beowulf family of creatures is extensive in scale and variety. One notable subspecies is the Burnback, a type of Beowulf species that split off from the main line several hundred thousand years ago and has developed into a notably different creature in the modern day. Their short fur that dot the mainline species' hide not covered in scutes has been replaced by dark, rough flesh, making these draco-ursines closer in appearance to draconic beings than normal. The most notable feature about the Burnback, however, is the presence of pathways along their bodies to produce flames, the largest concentration being along their backs. When activated, the Burnback's namesake erupts into a mantle like projection of fire hot enough to melt lead on contact. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon Burnback standing upright with a burning cape bellowing behind it. Words follow, reading 'I like to call them 'fire capes', which is really freaking cool!']

Creatures adapted to survive in the Southern Heat Planes, Burnbacks take the notable degree of heat resistance found in their normal Beowulf kin and take it to an obscene degree. These creatures routinely swim and rest in lava flows and pools. In the odd occasion where these pools cool down enough to trap the beasts within them, the Burnbacks simply produce their own flames until the ground they are stuck in melts back into lava. Their claws, decent at digging by design, are even better at doing so due to being able to produce a continuous plasma coating around them, allowing them to dig through solid rock and make their own dens in mountain sides given enough time and dedication. [A note is attached. It reads 'They'd make excellent miners if they weren't, you know, animals. I heard some Firebrands tried to teach some Burnbacks to become mining animals, but it didn't turn out well.']

This is in contrast to most other creatures that sheath their claws in plasma coating, as they are able to produce it for a continuous period of time rather than for brief moments to swipe at foes. Their tails are slightly shorter than their mainline cousins, but not less powerful or dangerous. Not unlike their claws, they can sheath the edges in a plasma coating, giving their tails a disturbing amount of cutting power for their width.

The breath weapon of the creature is notable different from that of the regular bioplasma utilized by normal Beowulves. Burnback Bioplasma is a slow burning mixture capable of sticking to and continuously burning a target for a long period of time. With a continuous supply of oxygen to burn with, a single gallon of this bioplasma can burn for up to an hour and 45 minutes. In ancient times, Burnbacks were hunted by Oros of the Firebrand Nation in order to harvest their particular kind of bioplasma to be used for burning oil lamps and be sold to other Nations as flamethrower fuel. This bioplasma does not burn as hot as the substance produced by some creatures known as 'Thermium', but it remains a deadly tool in the Burnback's arsenal.

When surrounded by foes, or after sustaining too much damage, Burnbacks receive a second wind in the form of a enraged state. When enraged, Burnbacks have the burning pathways all over their bodies flare up all at once. This gives them the appearance of creatures with burning lava flows for veins, their eyes ablaze as the localized area around them is consumed by fire. Combined with all the previously mentioned facets of the beasts, soldiers and Hunters without dedicated heat resistant armor are highly discouraged from facing these creatures in combat. [A note is attached. It features a simple math formula: 'Oros+Fire=Burny-Burny Dance of Death.']

Burnbacks are opportunistic omnivores, eating anything they deem palatable. Animal meat, the odd and hardy flora that grows in the Southern Heat Planes, raw minerals, they will subsist on anything they find. Lava flows with a particular noticeable amount of trace rare minerals will be consumed by Burnbacks as well, the creatures literally drinking the molten rock until satisfied. This of course means they are one of the species that will eat the armor right off of the corpse of a fallen soldier or Hunter, subsisting of the processed materials and electronics with relish. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon Burnback eating a hotdog, only the frank is replaced with suit pieces. They are topped with literal relish.]

Despite their predominately fire based power set, Burnbacks are deceptively cool headed and calculating in battle. If they do not have an overwhelming advantage, they will constantly attempt to outflank their opponents while constantly hammering them with flames from a distance in order to try and wear them down. They share this calculating nature when hunting as well, preferring to ambush their targets rather than overwhelm them with force. Even when in their enraged state, they rarely outright charge their opponents, instead performing a slow, but steady advance, protecting themselves from counterattacks while delivering crushing blows of their own.

Mating season is infrequent for Burnbacks. When it occurs, males and females meet near lava pools. Should the two parties take interest in one another, they enter and mate within the lava pools. Females bare litters of anywhere from 2-4 pups at a time, these pups staying close to their parents for several years before moving out on their own. The typically agreed upon sign of adulthood for a Burnback is when they are finally able to produce and maintain their signature burning back mantles, at which point they move on to live a solitary life until mating season eventually comes again.

Burnbacks are a popular creature among the Firebrand Hunting community. Armors made using their materials are seen as symbols of power and skill, with many a story of single Hunters battling their target beasts in battles that shake the earth and scorch the ground into glass. Several hundred years ago, overhunting threatened the Burnback population, but with updates to hunting regulations, the Firebrand portion of the Hunting Guild managed to help prevent the creatures from becoming endangered. While their populations are in excellent numbers in this day and age, the Hunting Guild wisely keeps an eye out for news of overhunting, in order to prevent the ecosystem from being thrown out of alignment due to one too many Firebrand Hunters desiring to make coveted Burnback armor for themselves.
 
Armor and Weapons: V-12 'Oculon' Powered Armor. [Oros Variant]

TripleMRed

Member
Author
[The following is a digital page from the 'Armor's and Weapons Catalog, 149th edition'.]

Designation: Version 12, Model 'Oculon' Powered Armor, Oros Variant.

[Sketches depict an advanced set of powered armor, streamlined and designed with the image of a soldier in mind. The stock version possesses unit identification markings on the chest, pauldrons, and helmet, as well as a stylized image of the armor's namesake, an Oculon, on the back. The helmet posses a single large visor, spread across the eye region as well as 'spreading' down around the muzzle portion of the helmet with a pair of spoke like arms, not unlike a sideways capital 'K'.]

Power Source: Baraq Aleph Series Fulminite Generator. (Good for one month of continuous use before replacement or recharge.)

Undersuit: V-18 tech suit. 10% notable increase to strength, 10% notable increase to top speed. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Plating: V-4 Dragonscale powered plate. Reinforced Mithril Alloy capable of withstanding direct strikes from non-energy coated strikes. Vulnerable to Class 7 penetrating strikes and above. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Additional Features: V-8 Stun-Field generator, integrated, and hard points for armor-planted weapon systems including shoulder mounted launchers and forearm rail-guns.

Summary:​
The most recent edition of the Oculon model of Powered Armor, the V-12 Oculon retains the iconic visor design the series is designed for. This mono-visor is vaguely reminiscent of the Oculon spirit creature, a beast composed of a singular fiery eye surrounded by rocky material that opens and closes not unlike an ocular aperture. This visor is extremely durable, made of a diamantium based polymer. This allows it to be see through without compromising it's durability.

On the defense, the armor is comparable to the newer Wolf-Tiger series in most respects, though the armor's smooth contores and composition provide it with better elemental damage protection than physical contact. This allows it to better survive against energy and elemental blasts from a variety of sources, though physical and kinetic strikes have a likelier chance at damaging the armor than it would the Wolf-Tiger series.

Thruster systems are a relatively recent addition to the series, having been incorporated as part of the design since the V-10 model some centuries prior. Since integration, thruster systems prove to be as efficient as in any other form of Powered Armor with the feature.

Runes capable of being applied remains a feature in this armor set, allowing users to to augment and further amplify the suit's capabilities. Note, however, that as per the Runic Law of Age, the effects of the Runes will not be as powerful now as they will be later, though thankfully a runed V-12's modern capabilities and construction allows it to match older suits of runed armors, even pre-power armor suits.

Before the widespread adoption of the Wolf-Tiger series, the Oculon model of Powered Armor was the most widespread and used series of PA in the world. The reliability and well roundness of the armor for a variety of situations and damage types make it an excellent option in most combat scenarios. Its signature visor has always been known for the its aim assist protocols, which in the V-12 have been improved upon with a V-8 software system. While nowhere near as superb at aim assistance as the Arachnis sniper-specialized PA model, the Oculon offers a reliable means of insuring ones aim is rarely erring on a given target.
 
Farcaller.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Farcaller.

[Sketches depict a large, furred, semi-bipedal creature with elements of mammalian and theropod design schemes, with a hint of orinthropod thrown into the mix. Large, mammalian heads on the front end posses to massive, curled up horns that resemble horns that are blown into to make a sound, the horns leading from the side of the heads and connected behind the creature's nostrils. Sketches depict the creatures using these horns to make long distance calls to alert others of their kind through blizzards.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'I used to have a mini reproduction Farcaller horn that I blew into. It was pretty cool, until it got taken away from one too many noise complaints.']

Scientific Name Translation: North Crier.

Average Size: Large-Scale Creature, Average of 15-18 feet/4.572-5.486 meters high at the top of the horn.

Average Weight: 20-27 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females have larger, fuller manes around their necks compared to males.

Habitat Range: Cold regions, particularly the Northern Wastes.

Summary:​
Out of the many creatures in the Northern Wastes, few posses as memorable a design feature as the Farcaller. Large, herd-dwelling synapsid creatures, the Farcallers are furred behemoths that posses theropod-like qualities when on the move. However, when resting or feeding, their long and powerful forelimbs are used to put them in a quadrupedal stance, allowing them to remain in place for extended period of times. This is most often done during particularly brutal and cold ice storms when their herd huddles together for warmth and energy conservation.

The most notable feature of the Farcaller, and the tools of that give them their name sake, are their large, open horns. Starting with connections behind their nostrils, moving along the sides of their heads, and ending with openings extending upwards behind their scalps, Farcaller horns amplify and release their calls in out into the open. A similar, though distinct, process is found with the humble Apo, who used a fully enclosed system via their crests and release the sound back out through their mouths. The Farcaller's calls are used for long distance communication with others of their kind as well as to alert their near-by herds.

Despite the seemingly open ends of the horns, a closer examination of the interiors reveals a surprisingly complex series of bony structures as well as a wall of flesh at the end to prevent snow and other debris from falling inside. If this flesh is broken for whatever reason, it rapidly regenerates to close off the horn once again. Interestingly, this flesh seems to be a part of the amplification process, as its loss impacts the quality and volume of the horn's calls. [A note is attached. Sketches depicting an eye-patch wearing female Oros blowing into a Farcaller horn are shown, with the woman seemingly having a lot of fun doing so.]

The control at which the Farcaller has over its cries is great. The series of bony structures within the horn shift and alter themselves at will, allowing the horn to produce a variety of different sounding calls for a variety of situations. Local wildlife in the Northern Wastes have come to learn the meanings behind these calls and listen intently to them when they reach their ears. Some calls, such as those used for communication between distant Farcallers, is used to determine a source of fresh frost-plant life to feed upon, while others are used to determine if there is danger in the Farcaller's area. Any predator capable of being a threat to a healthy, adult Farcaller is a threat most other creatures would prefer to avoid at all costs, afterall.

In terms of offensive capabilities, the Farcaller posses a stiff, but powerful tail that it can use to attack its foes. The front limbs are relatively long and, while the claws aren't particularly sharp on their own, can breach unarmored flesh with ease due to the strength behind them. Their digits are also flexible enough to be able to grip unto objects such as rocks. They will grab and use such objects as a tool for their defense. If all else fails, and they face an armored opponents, the Farcaller can grip and yank off armored plating thanks to their great strength. Their back legs aren't the most articulated portions of themselves and are thus best suited for running. If needed, however, they can produce quick swipes and stomps to their sides. The hidden weapon of the Farcaller are their horns, which are able to produce a powerful sonic amplification that can rupture blood vessels and organs of creatures that are too close to them. [A note is attached. A sketch depicting a cartoony Farcaller producing a loud 'honk' in front of an arctic predator, loud enough to blow off the predator's flesh, leaving only the skeleton behind. The skeletonized predator has a speech bubble saying 'can you turn that down?']

Their temperament is on the edge of mercurial. While they do not go out of their way to attack Civilized Races, they are territorial and protective of their herds. As such, they will make threatening displays in order to warn off potential Hunters from getting too close, and are more than willing to gang up on Civilized Races if they refuse to leave peacefully. That being said, they can notice and move to avoid Civilized settlements at a distance, with many Icebreaker towns and cities having regular watch parties to observe the herds of large creatures move in the distance, provided the snow fall on that particular date is not too bad.

During less turbulent times of the year, however, Farcaller herds make long distance journeys in search of their primary food source, frost-tree leaves, though they can and will subsist on a diet of meat and permafrost dwelling lichen if these journeys do not take them to their food sources fast enough. When hungry, any meat they can safely consume is fair game, up to and including cannibalism of fallen Farcallers. This is often avoided where possible, however, as Farcallers are a species susceptible to prion diseases that make cannibalism a dangerous prospect for them, often leading to madness followed by death. Other predators of the region are either not affected by these diseases, or can safely detect and avoid the carcasses.

Being a herd based creature, rearing of young is a communal affair. Young Farcallers, aside from their comparatively small sizes to adults, are marked by a lack of their signature horns, due to them having yet to grow in yet. Young are often kept at the center of the herds for their protection, with older members being on the outside of the herd's composition. This ensures their safety from predators that may target them for an easy meal. As they approach adulthood, the young Farcallers eventually leave their birth herds when they are strong enough, venturing out to find a new herd to become a part of. When found, the new herds adopt the new Farcallers into their midst with relatively little fuss and ceremony.

In terms of relationships with Civilized Races, the Farcallers are a well known totem animal to the Icebreaker Nation of Oros. They are held in high regard due to meat, fur, and tough bones, all of which are still in use to this day. The Hunting Guild of the Northern Wastes has a special contract with the Icebreakers to provide them with Farcaller materials on an annual basis, while also protecting the herds that exist from unlawful poachers. This means that the only way to legally get access to Farcaller materials, whether it be meat or furred clothing, is through the Northern Hunting Guild and the Icebreaker government. If Farcaller material is found that lacks the stamp of approval seared into it, then the material is either counterfeit or unlawfully gained. Anyone who finds such materials can turn them into their local Median governmental office, or directly to the Icebreaker's governmental offices, if they are near by.
 
Spider-Ant.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Spider-Ant.

[Sketches depict a variety of dangerous insectoid beasts. The most common Worker caste possess three main body parts, the large abdomen and moderately sized thorax as well as a large armored head. The 8 legs are long and sharp edged, like blades. The head posses 8 eyes with black coloration, smokey white pupils. Its maw is like the hinged jaws of all Nullian insectoids, but with the addition of a pair of serrated mandibles on either side of the maw. Various other body plans of Castes are shown as well. Soldiers are larger and with dangerous blade like mandibles while Queens are immense barely mobile.]

Scientific Name Translation: Tyrannical Butcher-Bug.

Average Size: Varies on specific caste.

Average Weight: Varies on specific caste.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Most castes are non-reproducing females, while males act as Kings alongside the Queens.

Habitat Range: World-wide save the Heat Planes.

Summary:​
Of the wide variety of arthropodal beasts on the world of Null, few are as successful or as widespread as the Spider-Ant. Only the average, thumb-sized ants and bees are more successful in how widespread they are. This is most striking with the Spider-Ant, however, for there is evidence to suggest that they are not, in fact, native to Null. No fossil or genetic records shows their existence beyond a sudden arrival some fifteen million years ago. This is considered proof among the scientific community that the Spider-Ants are one of several species brought to Null by the mysterious 'Uplfiters', beings known to exist in the shadows of our world collecting specimens from across reality to add to Null's ecosystem. [A note is attached. It depicts a wedge headed cepholopod like creature lurking in the shadows, its tentacles resembling a heavy coat around it.]

Regardless as to their origins, the success of the Spider-Ant has made them a world-wide threat. The Spider-Ant is a vicious, brutally cunning beast, their intellect exceeding any other known arthropod. Their tunnel networks are vast and intricate, full of complex traps the beasts designed and set up to ensnare unwanted guests. This often renders the many wars fought against them dangerous endeavors, for every assault on their nests turns into a siege.

Indeed, the intellect of Spider-Ant makes combat against them not extermination of pests, but full on wars. They utilize traps, as previously mentioned, but worse yet in open combat, they corral and direct other animals to act as war beasts. Whenever a battle is met with the creatures, there is always some manner of other animal that has been direct to fight Civilized Races on behalf of the Spider Ants.

Many volumes can be filled with the complex social and psychological structure of the Spider-Ant. In fact, many such books have already been written. This is because such things cannot be understated, as it is their intellect that makes the Spider-Ant so deadly. Their size or other biological features are but instruments for this intelligence to use in their efforts for supremacy in the world. Furthermore, it is not in trap making where their intellect shines, but in how they make use of the resources of their world. Spider-Ants are one of the only creatures to perform sustainable farming methods, both with fungal growths they feed in the depths of their hives with the corpses of their slain enemies, but also livestock keeping. Namely, with the humble Mofu.

The 'Mofu Farms' are a truly ingenious, but thoroughly gruesome affair that helps show the lack of compassion of these beasts. Mofu are rounded up from the surface and brought into large, multi-decked chambers. Once inside, the work begins. The limbs of the Mofu are torn off and the wounds burnt shut. The now limbless Mofu are then force fed food to make their coats grow at a rapid pace. A cycle of feeding and harvesting begins from this point on, for the rest of the Mofu's life, with only an accident cutting said life short or freedom by a Civilized assault being the only means to end their suffering. [A note is attached. It reads 'I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is beyond janked.']

Ironically, despite their intelligence, they are not very wise. They see the Civilized Races of Null as threats to themselves, a self-fulfilling attitude as their constant attacks and attempts to destroy the Civilized Races has resulted in unending war between the two forces. Thankfully, this lack of wisdom extends to different nests: Rather than work together, they constantly battle one another in order to establish supremacy. Indeed, many surprise assaults on Spider-Ant nests have seen Median Knights and Hunters find a battle already underway between different Spider-Ants. More than one hive has successfully been burnt to cinders thanks to this intercine conflict, sometimes without even needing Civilized intervention to set it ablaze.

Having said all of this, their biological features are also deadly in various regards of combat. Their sharp, blade like forelimbs allow even for the humbles Worker among them to cut through hardened steel with little difficulty, while they are also able to spit out a toxic, caustic material several dozen meters forwards. The 'spider' in their name is not merely a title. As with the actual arachnids, Spider-Ants can create a sticky web. Like with most Nullian spiders, they are also able to shoot out this web from their abdomen in order to capture prey at a short distance. This allows for even a Worker to tangle up Median soldiers and Hunters with little issue, thus requiring proper thought and strategy when confronting the beasts. The various Castes also have their own biological quirks worry about in a fight. Male Drones are winged and capable of sustained flight, while Bombadiers are specially bred creatures designed to act as living suicide bombs. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoonish 'Bombadier' that resembles a cartoon bomb on legs. A single word adorns it: 'boom'.]

Their chitinous armor is durable, capable of surviving constant indirect shots from Slugger and railgun infantry weapons while being able to survive a handful of direct shots from the former weapons. The larger Soldiers are even more durable and the titanic Tanks often require heavy weapons fire to reliably bring down. However, as with many insectoids, their chitin is covered by a waxy material that gives them their trademark sheen. And just with many insectoids, this wax is highly flammable. As a result, no matter what subspecies one is dealing with out in the world, Spider-Ants can reliably be put down by flame based attacks. As a result of this, the one place the Spider-Ants do not have a firm hold over is the Southern Heat Planes, though worrisome reports in recent years indicate a new subspecies with a very high resilience to high temperatures beginning to appear in this region.

The reproductive cycle is as straightforward as insectoids can get: A King and Queen act as the main breeders, creating a nest of non-reproducing young around them. Overwhelming evidence suggests that multiple sets of Kings and Queens work together to form full hives, though in all known assaults, only one pair remains behind to fight Civilized attackers while the others escape. It's highly likely that these are the original founders of the specific hive, and thus, are overwhelmingly territorial over it compared to the others that escape.

The precise means of determining what Caste is made from what larva is hard to discern, though there is evidence to suggest that the usage of some form of 'royal jelly', or perhaps a lack of usage, is what determines the Caste in question. Regardless as to the precise mechanism, numerous Castes have been recorded over the millennia. New breeds are raised over the course of many centuries of selective breeding, or perhaps even outright genetic manipulation through unknown means. All of them dangerous in their own right.

The Spider-Ant is a varied, dangerous threat, possible extraterrestrial or even extra-dimensional in origin. They are incredible hostile and devilishly intelligent, with a cruelty and lack of foresight that holds them back while still making them one of the most successful and dangerous insectoids on the face of Null. There has never been an event of 'pest control' with the Spider-Ant. When conflict between them an the Civilized Races occur, and it will always occur without fail, is war, with all that entails. In this modern day of the Walled Cities, many new and intricate methods have been developed to stop them from attacking from below ground. As a result, they now spend day after day, week after week, assailing the walls without end or success. Only with the complete eradication of this species will there finally, truly be a warless peace on the face of Null. Only time will tell how long they survive in the current era. [A note is attached. It reads: 'We've already brought one kind of monster to extinction. What's one more?']
 
Apo.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Apo.

[Sketches depict a Parasaurolophus like hadrosaurid creature, its crest armored and its upper lip with a brush like plate on the males, similar to an armored mustache. It is large in size, yet very peaceful going by there are no depictions of it in combat. Furthermore, they appear in mixed prey herds, standing on their hind legs to watch over their fellows and giving calls to alert them of danger. Several of the sketches also show them enjoying Null's apple equivalents, the Apas.]

[A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon Apo buried under a mountain of Apas, the head poking out.]

Scientific Name Translation: Watchtower Crest.

Average Size: 2-3 meters/6.56-9.84 feet high, depending on the creature.

Average Weight: 9-13 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females lack the 'mustache' plate males posses, and have flared armor sections on their crests..

Habitat Range: Across all known biomes, with subspecies for more extreme environments.

Summary:​
Only a handful of hadrosaurid species remain alive on Null in this day an age, a far cry from their plentiful nature over the millions of years. The most well known and famous is the humble Apo. A large but gentle creature, Apos are a common sight among large prey herds as well as old style farms, particularly herds whose compositions include Mofu and Oliphants. This trio of creatures makes up the image of a prey heard in the minds of civilized Races the continent over.

The Apo receives its name due to the sheer love of apas they posses. Indeed, one can argue that the creatures are addicted to the taste of wild apas to the point where some predators have learned to stalk around wild apa groves in order to take down wayward Apos seeking them out. Early Civilized Races used the Apos to track down and find these groves of wild apas, fruit that was plentiful and more easily eaten than some of the other more common wild fruits of the world at the time.

The origins of the Apo is one carefully cataloged in the fossil record. Evidence showed the first modern Apo appeared no less than 1.2 million years ago. The precise reasoning for why this is is unknown, but it is believed due to the precise physical similarities between the original Apos and their modern day descendants, it is believed that they were similar in attitude and temperament. Further fossil evidence with Oros ancestors indicates that early Oros precursors lived alongside the creatures, with the earliest known examples of cave paintings showing they were hunted in early times alongside other prey animals of the era. [A note is attached. It depicts a sketch of an Apo nuzzling an ancient Oros hunter who can't bring themselves to kill the creature in question.]

As with all still living hadrosaurids, the Apo possess a distinctive crest over its head, long and curved with additional plating at the front giving it a slightly flared look when looked at from straight forward. The crest for the Apo is hollow, and contains passage ways for air to move through. When this occurs, the Apos can produce a deep, distinctive call that can be heard from miles away. Furthermore, the bone and armor that makes up this crest is fairly durable, allowing it to weather blows during an attack. Should the crest be broken, however, it takes anywhere from several weeks to two months to finish healing back up, the dense bone knitting itself back into place over that prolonged period.

In terms of defenses and offensive capability, the Apo is fairly lacking in most departments. They lack armor plating, their flesh is of average toughness, their limbs, while strong, are not adept at attacking, and they lack claws save blunt ones meant more for digging than attack. Their tails are long and with a strong base, allowing them to theoretically use them as whips against hostile creatures.

In practice, Apos are gentle creatures that avoid conflict when possible, much of the fighting in turn being done by the Oliphants of the herd. That being said, if an Apo sees one of their young in danger, they will unhesitatingly charge in to attack with a headbutt, their tough crests more than built to survive the assault and their necks surprisingly reinforced for such an occasion.

In terms of attitude, the Apo is highly unusual among Null's life forms. It is a non-aggressive creature that is actively peaceful and friendly towards other creatures not attempting to kill them. Wild Apos are even known to nuzzle their heads against Civilized Races that they come across. As a result of their peaceful demeanor, and their actively helpful attempts to protect their mixed prey herds, the Apo was one of the earliest creatures to be domesticated for farming. [A note is attached. It reads 'It's true, I've even seen some nuzzle predators that weren't trying to attack them when they didn't have herds to protect.']

Unlike the Oliphant and Mofu, however, both of which are harvested for their milk and meat and meat-wool respectively, the Apo is not slaughtered for its flesh. Indeed, Apo's are considered one of the 'Holy Few', and as a result are treated like sacred animals. Amidst the remaining conventional farms in the world, they remain the faithful watchmen to their fellow creatures as they had been for millennia, only their unfertilized eggs being taken for consumption. When an Apo is dying of old age, it is tended to until its passing moments, at which point select cuts of flesh are harvested for sacred meals while the rest is ceremonially cremated.

When the mating season occurs, Apo parents raise nesting sites in order to lay and guard clutches of dozens of Hamperball sized eggs. After a gestation period of only a few weeks, the eggs hatch, and young Apos are immediately ready to join their parents' herds as they begin to migrate at the end of the mating season. Due to their relatively small sizes and little built in defenses, young Apos are at the complete mercy of the world and are thus under constant watch and protection from their parents. An unusual trait of their species is that fertilized eggs are marked by yellow rings going around them at regular intervals. Unfertilized eggs posses rings as well, though they are a dull orange instead. Domesticated Apo females semi-regularly produce unfertilized eggs all throughout the year, making a slow but steady supply of these luxury goods, though hardly enough to remove the supply and demand of the Blue Forest Fowl. [A note is attached. It reads 'Hamperball instead of Basketball, Blue Forest Fowl instead of Clucken. Yup, this guy be old.']

A common sight among mixed prey herds, Apos are a well known and beloved sight in the world. Peaceful and calm, actively protecting their fellow prey animals, Apos are a protected species across the various Oros Nations of the Median. This recognition is such that they are one of the creatures selected to be part of the Royal Gardens in the Mediator's Crimson Palace, the creatures of this particular herd being treated like royalty while being adorned with priceless cloths and gems. Few beings on this world are as deserving of such treatment as the humble Apo.
 
Clucken.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Clucken.

[Sketches depict an avian fowl similar to a chicken. Where a Chicken is short and rotund, however, the Clucken is taller and proportionately slimmer, with strong musculature beneath its feathers. Its eyes seem to be in a perpetual glare and its comb and wattle are less like fleshy extensions and more like armored sections for the head and neck respectively. The standard species possesses a distinctive blue coloration to their feathers, making them blend in with the Azura Lowlands they hail from.]

[A note is attached. It depicts a cartoonish depiction of a Clucken, eyes pointing in different directions as it gives a bawk. A speech bubble even says '[Enraged bawk]']

Scientific Name Translation: Rage Fowl.

Average Size: 3-4 feet/0.91-1.2 meters tall.

Average Weight: 20-45 pounds/9.07-20.41 kilograms.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: None, hermaphroditic single-sex species.

Habitat Range: Continent wide, subspecies for extreme environments.

Summary:​
Out of all of the livestock creatures known and kept by the Civilized Races of Null, none match the ferocity and pure, raw rage of the comparatively diminutive Blue Forest Fowl. Not even the gruff and frequently annoyed Oliphant or the viciously brutal Gobbler can match the sheer amount of unrefined fury bound to these creatures' hearts.

Some arguments exist as to the reason for this rage. The most common one that modern science has had some proof to support is that the Clucken, as they are commonly known by today, are of enough intelligence to recognize their lowly place in the food chain and thus feel a vindictive fury as a result. Research shows that Cluckens bred in the wild recognize threats to themselves when they are alone and attempt to avoid conflict, but when a predator is weak or otherwise unable to defend itself, the Clucken moves in to hassle and attack the unfortunate creature in question. Indeed, Clucken completely raised in captivity, while still having a notable attitude, are notably more docile and less violently aggressive towards races they normally show nothing but vindictive vengeance towards. [A note is attached. It shows a sketch of a Clucken pointing a wing towards a Wolf-Hound, the words 'jank him up' coming from her in a speech bubble.]

In terms of natural weaponry, the legs of a Clucken are muscular and powerful, their feet tipped with razor sharp claws and both those and their beaks being hard enough to be comparable to military grade metal. The claws are further made deadlier by a coating of plasma energy, used to better slash through the tough flesh of any prey animals they come across in their roaming flocks. It is said that they posses caustic venom as well, though closer research reveals that this is an uncommon mutation usually only seen in the wilds. They posses limited flight capabilities, though this is usually reserved to reach higher vantage points rather than attempt true flight.

Standing at a maximum of 4 feet tall at the top of the comb, the Clucken are swarming creatures in the wild. The dominant one among them leads the rest of the flock through a combination of superior experience and bullying behavior. While individually rather weak, even compared to similarly sized creatures, the Clucken can be surprisingly coordinated in their swarming tactics, using their superior numbers to bring down larger prey under a hail of slashing, plasma coated claws and pecking beaks. The complex hierarchy of the flock then sees the dominant member and her lieutenants taking their pick of the meat first, before the rest of the flock consumes the rest. The lowest members are often left with little more than scraps and whatever edible foliage there is in the surrounding area to feed from.

While Clucken raised in captivity also display a notable hierarchy, the literal pecking order is known for being more relaxed and discipline and bullying behavior less frequent as a result. This is considered an oddity among researchers as common sense would dictate that such displays would be reversed, as cooperation is vital for continued survival in the wilds for such comparatively weak creatures. Closer inspection of the wild hierarchy reveals it to be much more complex than initially thought, the specifics being evaluated in a variety of books on the subject of the Clucken.

The basics of the flock hierarchy is generally as follows: At the top is the lead hen, the strongest and most experienced of the adult Cluckens. Below her are her lieutenants, mates to her that enforce her rule and are themselves the next strongest in the line. Should the lead hen perish, the surviving lieutenants would regroup to safety along the rest of the flock before fighting amongst themselves for supremacy, the strongest taking over as lead hen and taking on the others as her subordinate mates. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon pair of cluckens wearing boxing gloves fighting each other, words reading 'Battle to bang'.]

Below the lieutenants are their respective children, who follow their mothers for several years before breaking off to search for new flocks to join, either as leaders themselves or bested to become lieutenants. At the bottom of the pecking order are the outsiders, elderly hens who have survived long enough toe be weakened by old age and thus serve at the bottom of the hierarchy. Most are battle scarred to the point of having few feathers left on their faces and torsos, and are used as bait by their fellows for their traps and ambushes against other creatures.

Among those raised in captivity, strength is respected but not the end all of the hierarchy as it is in the wilds. As such, combined with the safer nature of the farming centers, many city-flocks maintain their oldest members as a form of council to take experience from by the current generation through their complex series of bawking and clucking sounds, similar to a proto-language.

There is no set mating season among the wild Cluckens. Unlike most other pure avians, they do not lay eggs when fertilized, but rather spawn small broods of chicks. Eggs are laid in clutches on a semi-frequent basis, but are always unfertilized and are little more than a way to shed excess biomass when food is plentiful. The lead hen mates with her lieutenants, making them the source of the young in their flock, though usually only one or two at a time in order to ensure that there is always several active and dangerous members ready for combat. Bullying behavior to maintain control and dominance increases in a descending order, leading to an exponential increase from lead hen to outsider hens compared to her mates and offspring. [A note is attached showing a cartoon crowd of Cluckens. One of them is standing up, a feathered fist raised and shouting 'Yeah, screw old people!']

In captivity, Cluckens are less pressured to reproduce to keep up their numbers, thus when combined with their regular and plentiful feeding, egg laying is much more common. An average Clucken egg is usually 3-4.5 inches in length and 7 inches in circumference, with a weight of 144 grams, making a handful an excellent source of protein and nourishment.

Cluckens make a staple food source the world over. As is tradition in places that still practice slaughter to get their meat [instead of in-vitro production common in the modern day], when the time for meat harvesting occurs, an Oros with a dagger fights the livestock animal in question to give the man honorable death, and a chance to fight with dignity. Cluckens are special creatures as, to make up or their comparative weakness individually, they attack the Butcher in flocks. Many fully cooked Clucken roasts have a distinctive puncture wound in their sternum directly over their heart, corresponding do the traditional kill blow given to them during these combat sessions. Notably, while all animals killed in this method face their deaths with dignity, the Cluckens seem to accept their fate with an almost grateful fervor when the killing blow is done, perishing in a surprisingly peaceful manner for such a rage filled creature. [A note is attached. It depicts a very well done sketch of a fallen Clucken, the words 'Rest in Peace' over the body.]

These hermaphroditic fowls are a very common sight in portions of the wilds and in the farming community, still having a place even in this age of vat grown meat due to their ability to generate large amounts of eggs at a time. Some of Cluckens with milder dispositions have even been bred to serve as pets in some places, acting as faithful companions much in the same way a dog or Mimic Moth does for most other individuals.
 
Goods in the World of Null, 2.

TripleMRed

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[A brand new holographic poster is shown, depicting an upcoming video game. The game is stored on a small cartridge like device, with small print next to it claiming it carries up to a terabyte of storage space. The game proper appears to be a 16-bit RPG with a turn-based combat system and features anthropomorphic versions of Nullian animals as the player characters in a fantasy adventure. Writing in certain areas of the poster reads as follows: 'Play the exciting conclusion to the Falling Cinder Quadrilogy, featuring over 20 hours of story quests and dozens more of side quests, with the choices you've made in the previous installments coming to a head! Also included are the previous games of the series, for even more exciting adventure for those who have yet to pick it up! Only 45 Dollups!']

-

[A simple conventional poster is on display, depicting a three data-cartridge set for a show called 'Starshine'. It seems to be about the adventures of a crew of Nullian explorers and the various alien peoples and threats they encounter along their journey. The show seems to comprise of three separate series, the original and two sequels, each several seasons long. Words follow on the poster: 'The whole series, now yours to own for only D100.']

-

[An advertisement poster for another video game is on display. It depicts an Oros Magi of the Magi Order in their full armor firing a shotgun towards tentacled horrors trying to grab them on the platform they're on, while a fellow Magi runs towards them in the background, arm outstretched. Words read 'Final Pact, HD Edition. Coming soon.']

-

[A written advertisement follows. 'Chimera wanted for government research. Must be healthy, have mothered at least one set of offspring, be of respectable mental fortitude, and not have any plans for the next two decades. For more information, contact 707-4501-813. Payment starts at D50,000, price negotiable.']

-

[A video PSA follows, depicting a blocky but tough looking cellular device. 'The next upgrade for Comm. Bloks will be available this coming Hamaday. Visit your nearest government office on Hamaday, or at your earliest convenience if you cannot make it at that time, to receive your complementary upgrade. This has been a public service announcement from the Chamber of Public Communications, we will now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.']
 
Armor and Weapons: Maddock Industries V-10 Hammer Slugger Family Line.

TripleMRed

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Author
[The following is a transcript from a pamphlet detailing the latest version of the Maddock Industries V-10 of the Hammer family line of Slugger weapons.]

[Several illustrations of different, but related in design, weapons are shown.

The top most one is an assault-rifle style weapon, approximately 100cm's in length. It is a mostly boxy, dense looking weapon designed to fire 12.7mm Slugger micro-rocket rounds while being a solidly built and dependable weapon for close quarters brawls. The magazine is straight and angled back towards the user, and placed directly in front of the angled trigger guard. It holds 64 rounds in a duel-stacked, two row design holding 15 rounds per stack, leading to 30 rounds in the front and back rows. 4 additional rounds are slotted in the thinner portion of the magazine meant to be inserted and locked into the gun proper, holding two rounds in a single stack and having two rows. The barrel is rounded compared to the blockier and angled top portion, which is rigged to allow for placement of optics and other attachments. The grip is also comparatively rounded and rubberized, for ease of gripping. The stock juts out the back and comparatively small, but adjustable, allowing for a range of users to be comfortable using it. The electronic's suite is a slit at the back of the top portion, above main body assembly, displaying ammunition, range to target, and feeds ballistics information into the user's armor as well as whatever network the user is a part of.

The middle most weapon appears to be a DMR style sniping weapon, being about 95cm's in length. It is boxy like the assault weapon, but is not as dense and has a smoother finish to it's plating. The barrel, which is rounded like the assault rifle's, appears to be meant for firing a larger, 15mm round. The Magazine is straight and staggard stacked, holding 20 of the larger rounds. The stock is thicker and fixed, while a factory issue sight is attached to the main body, an ammo read-out suite located directly under it. The sight seems simple on first observation, but illustrations of looking down it reveals a high tech and data-rich sight that shows trajectory, effects of elements such as wind and gravity, as well as total ammo left and even seems to have a built in feature to show vulnerable sections of the enemy.

The third and final weapon is a heavy pistol design, with the magazine similar in design to the assault rifles: In front of the grip's trigger guard and angled backwards towards the user. It seems to hold approximately 18 .50 cal rounds within it's double-stacked design. Overall, the design elements are similar to the rest of the shown family of weaponry, with an thin but readable info display at the back of the top-barrel shroud and a rounded barrel inbetween boxy and angled plating. The bottom portion seems to have a laser sight built into the electronics held within the plating under the rounded barrel.]

Maddock Industries is proud to present the new V-10 of it's Hammer series weapons line. The Jackhammer Assault Rifle, Sledgehammer Designated Marksman Rifle, and Pinhammer lines have all been updated with new Mithril composites and alloys in their construction, increasing their durability for when one needs to use them in melee. Updates have also been made to the electronics suites as well as the attachment points, allowing for increased options during combat, and the modern version of our tried and true self-maintence systems keeps them operable up to a month on the field without hand-maintence! Order now, and receive a complementary paint-job to your specifications as well as several decals to adorn your weapons as you see fit. Pricing remains the same for these new updated weapons:

Jackhammer-D345

Sledgehammer-D350

Pinhammer-D90

Buy Hammer, and crush the opposition! (Specialist ammunition prices separate, free government issued munitions available at nearest Militia outpost within your area. Store firearms unless needed as per governmental guidelines and follow safety protocols on pain of suspension of usage of firearms. Remember, advanced weaponry is a privilege, not a right.)

[A note is attached to the pamphlet, reading 'Hammer's always made solid guns, literally! Total pain to take apart for monthly maintenance, though.']
 
Killapede.

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Killapede.

[Sketches depict a large, centipede like creature with multiple forms. All the forms have a singular pair of glowing eyes, long sharp mandibles like blades, and segmented chitinous armor that interlocks to protect their segments fro damage. The bigger they are, the rougher and spikier their armor becomes.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'Things that scuttle are creepy. These things have dozens of legs, so that makes them super creepy. It's basic creepy-science.']

Scientific Name Translation: Many-Formed Killer.

Average Size: Ranges from 15-70 feet/4.572-21.336 meters, depending on what stage of the life cycle it is on.

Average Weight: 2.3-35.5 tons, depending on stage of life cycle.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females have bristled antenna while males lack bristles.

Habitat Range: Rain-forests and wet lands.

Summary:​
There are tens of thousands of species of arthropods on our homeworld of Null, across land, air and sea, and many thousands more subspecies and variants therein. Of these, one particular species has come to thrive in the wetlands and rainforests of the continent of Arisa. Long and segmented, with a pair of legs for nearly every segment, the Killapede is a fierce and well armored killing machine. It's deadliness is only compounded, however, by the fact that as it increases it's success in hunting and survives battles, it grows ever larger, eventually changing into a similar but deadlier form. Each form is dubbed with a new title, which goes as follows: Killapede, Murderpede, Butcherpede, and Slaughterpede. Some chuckle at the perceived childishness of such grim names. No one laughs when facing a 70 foot long horror with meter long mandibles and electrified acid spittle.

As previously mentioned, the Killapede line possess multiple forms. The first and most common form is the Killapede itself, a creature that is roughly 15 feet long and who is armed with pair of long, razor sharp mandibles and a toxic, corrosive spit it can launch in a spray for several seconds at a time. It is at the weakest in this form, with its chitin being bullet proof but still susceptible to infantry armor piercing weapons. A well placed shot from an anti-tank rocket is more than enough to cut one of these horrors in half. Its armor covers all of their segments and is interlinking, providing cover for the otherwise armorless intersections between the segments. This interlinking is not, however, flawless: A well placed shove of a spear or a blade can slide in and pierce the flesh below, if one is willing to fight one up close.

The next several forms see an increase in size, durability, and overall deadliness as new abilities are gained. The Murderpede form sees a size increase of twice that of the Killapede, at 30 feet long. They gain the ability to conduct an electric current, which they infuse their corrosive sprays with in order to electrocute prey hardened against both toxins and acid. Butcherpedes increase to roughly 40 feet long and their liquid spray ability is altered to instead fire a sticky, viscous glue like substance that in addition to the previous abilities helps bind and slow down all that is hit by it. The final form, the Slaughterpede, jumps to a 70 foot length and its electrical ability has evolved to be able to be produce an electric field all over its for a limited time, one powerful and accurate enough to effectively act as a point-defense shield, melting both rail slugs and detonating Slugger rounds that attempt to bypass it. By the time they reach this size, it is recommended that field teams do not engage, and instead call in support from Stormcutter Gunships in order to deal with the threat. [A note is attached. It reads 'Giant creepy crawlies that get even more giant. What a world.']

Despite popular myth, Killapedes are not, in fact, the juvenile form of the later stages. Adult Killapedes are naturally 15 feet long, and the advanced forms are the result of some form of mutation that increases their deadliness to unprecedented levels. Unlike other creatures with similar ability, researchers believe this is not the result of radiation induced mutation at some point in the species past, but a mystical genetic fluke that naturally occurred that managed to find its way into the species genepool. The fact that the specimens of later forms remain healthy and potentially live indefinitely as with most life on Null rather than dying sooner or later due to flaws in the changes only compounds the evidence for this being a natural, if horrifically unprecedented, evolution. [A note is attached. It reads 'Nature is reliable like that. Just when you think it's done making horrors on purpose, it one ups itself without trying.']

As arthropods of such sizes, the Killapede line possess fully functional sets of lungs. Several sets, in fact, across its upper segments closer to the head region. This allows them the ability to hold their breath when underwater for extended periods of time. Indeed, they often spend long periods of time swimming through water or crawling along in river beds to get to prey or to bypass predators that would be a threat to them. This makes crossing bodies of water in rainforests and wetlands a hassle, as more than one unit of Hunters or soldiers have literally stumbled into a river-passing Killapede due to not being able to notice them due to brackish waters.

When hunting prey, Killapedes and their variants tend to open up with a sneak attack with their sprays. Those that survive intact and do not run away often are then met by the 'pedes with their elongated and obsidian sharp mandibles, blade like extensions that are upon modified front legs that are capable of, and have indeed in managed to do, duels between themselves and other blade carrying individuals. Butcherpedes and Slaughterpedes that manage to find somewhere large enough to hide in use their new-found goo sprays to store prey for later consumption, often leaving their layers inky goo covered places that can leave those not expecting to walk into a pool of the substance to become stuck.

When mating season occurs, males meet first in places that have in previous years proven excellent locations to call for females. Males then proceed to battle one another, often dueling with their mandibles, for the right to control that particular stretch of territory for the duration of the mating season. The victors then proceed to call out for females and must often fend the location from hostile elements. When a female does arrive, no further actions are needed to commence mating: The male that manages to hold the location until her arrival has proven his capabilities. Parents then share responsibilities in guarding their eggs, often switching roles between guarding the nest and hunting. Interestingly, Butcherpedes and Slaughterpedes rarely if ever engage in reproductive behavior. Given their comparative rarity, it is likely a result of there being too few suitors to mate with than as a change in their instinctive drives, though research is still being done by scientists to determine the truth.

At the end of the day, Killapedes are another monstrous animal that those living in the regions they exist in must learn to live with. Members of the Bughunter Nation take a particular interest in hunting the beasts in their Killapede forms, as they are small enough at this stage that armored cloaks made from their heads and upper segments can be created for their use with ease. This makes the Bughunters the most common, and arguably naturally occurring main predator of, the Killapede line of creatures, keeping their numbers in check lest too many Butcher and Slaughterpedes appear. [A note is attached. It depicts a well done sketch of a Bughunter Oros in Killapede armor hunting and felling another Killapede by piercing it's head with a spear shoved between the armored plates.]
 
Armor and Weapons: V3 'Arachnis' Powered Armor. [Oros Variant]

TripleMRed

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[The following is a digital page from the 'Armor's and Weapons Catalog, 149th edition'.]

Designation: Version 3, Model 'Arachnis' Powered Armor, Oros Variant.

[Sketches depict an advanced set of powered armor, streamlined and designed with what seems to be stealth in mind. The stock version is a sleek armor system with few if any sharp edges, the edges it does have being curved to reduce detection signature. The helmet lacks a visor, instead having 8 dot like camera-eyes, four on each side of the face, two stacks of two side by side eyes on a slanted placement over the bottom set. They are small and beady, almost disappearing in the base armor's black coloration.]

Power Source: Baraq Aleph Series Fulminite Generator. (Good for one month of continuous use before replacement or recharge.)

Undersuit: V-18/s tech suit. 10% notable increase to strength, 10% notable increase to top speed. Shadow-weave threads reduce sensor signature and power draw from stealth systems. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Plating: V-2 Stalker powered plate. Reinforced Mithril-Umbrum Alloy capable of withstanding direct strikes from non-energy coated strikes. Vulnerable to Class 5 penetrating strikes and above. Addition of Umbrum ore in alloy reduces sensor signature and power draw from stealth systems. Optional runic upgrades where available.

Additional Features: V-8 Stun-Field generator, integrated, and hidden hard points for armor-planted weapon systems including shoulder mounted launchers and forearm flamethrower units, as well as a forearm mounted hidden grappling line launcher as standard. Self-repairing Skulker smart-paint layer allows for automatic and passive stealth capability via mimicking the coloration and texture of surrounding environment. Internal hard-point for an Umbra-Bet type active camouflage generator available in base model, but not installed by default.

Summary:​
The newest iteration of the Arachnis Stealth and Recon PA System model line, the V3 has seen many major upgrades over their predecessors, including have a self-repairing Skulker smart-paint layer on the outer coating as standard for the current model, rather than an add on feature as it was in the previous generation. Due to the time and manufacturing costs associated with its production, the Umbra-Bet active camouflage generator continues to be produced on an as needed basis and installed in suits as required.

On the defensive side of things, the Arachnis's stealth oriented nature and the nature of the plating used results in it being less capable in protecting against melee based attacks than other, more direct-combat oriented armor systems. The curved nature of much of the armor, as well as ablative materials used in its construction, provide it with impeccable protection against energy and chemical based attacks. As a once unforeseen consequence of the addition of Umbrum into its alloy make-up, the Arachnis continues to posses excellent protection against ranged weapons fire, be it slugger or even non-armor piercing rail rounds.

Thruster systems are a relatively recent addition to the series, having been incorporated as part of the design since the V-3 prototype several decades ago. Since integration, thruster systems prove to be as efficient as in any other form of Powered Armor with the feature, though the stealth oriented nature of the suit leaves a notable 4.5 milisecond delay compared to the thruster systems of 'battle-ready' suits such as the Devestis or Wolf-Tiger lines.

Runes capable of being applied remains a feature in this armor set, allowing users to to augment and further amplify the suit's capabilities. Note, however, that as per the Runic Law of Age, the effects of the Runes will not be as powerful now as they will be later, though thankfully a runed V-3's modern capabilities and construction allows it to match older suits of runed armors, even pre-power armor suits.

Once a test-bed suit for infantry scale stealth systems, the Arachnis quickly became the world's leading stealth oriented power armor. With nearly every facet of it devoted to maximizing it's stealth capabilities, the addition of a Umbra-Bet active camouflage unit into the armor provides it with complete visual, auditory, and sensory cloaking capabilities that make it impossible to find short of dimensional-piercing sensory capabilities. This, in addition to the armor's extremely advanced and fine tuned helmet systems which provide unparalleled aiming support functions, make it the armor of choice for snipers and stealth focused Hunters across the whole of the Median*.

*Warning, due to the imperfections in consumer grade Umbra-Bet stealth field generator, firing of a weapon such as a Slugger or Rail weapon can disturb the stealth field, causing it to momentarily 'flicker' and potentially reveal the location of the user. Further imperfections also result in the stealth field not being operable for longer than half an hour at a time, following another half hour to recharge. Quick movements such as sprinting, leaping, and rapid melee combat can also briefly destabilize the stealth field. This has been your Median mandated safety warning on the usage of the Arachnist suit and its Umbra-Bet stealth field add on.
 
Jaco Killer.

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Author
Jaco Killer.

[Sketches depict a massive mantis like creature, its upright torso reaching 15 feet high, not including the antenna. Its eyes are like those of other Nullian arthropods, possessing simple eyes with singular pupils. Interestingly, the ones on the Jaco Killer do not glow, leaving only a pair of white iris' on a field of black sclera. The mouth is similar to the jaws of other Nullian arthropods, having an upper and lower jaw, though it is flanked by a pair of dangerous looking mandibles. The creature's forelimbs are covered in many sharp spines, clearly meant to improve gripping while also being sharp enough to cause cuts if yanked when attached to a target. One sketch disturbingly shows a tree whose branches are like with creatures having been run through them. One such branch has a creature being added to it by the Jaco Killer.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'I've always had nightmares of being hung up on a tree by one of these things. Still have them, sometimes.']

Scientific Name Translation: Sadistic Branch Killer.

Average Size: 15 Feet/4.572 Meters in height.

Average Weight: 2.5 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females posses feathered antenna.

Habitat Range: Most heavily forested jungle regions in Royalback territory.

Summary:​
The majority of the Nations of the Oros species have peoples who instinctively dislike insectoid creatures. Why this is so has been argued for centuries, with many pointing to the dangers and brutality of the invasive Spider-Ants as a likely candidate. Some, like the author of this encyclopedia, however, have another theory as to why this is. The likely culprit is a massive mantid super-predator known for its horrific territorial displays an unsightly speed: The Jaco Killer.

The Jaco Killer, originally known as 'Jaco's Killer', was first given its modern name some two thousand years ago by renowned Royalback Hunter and biological researcher, Jaco Shen. He was the first to document the life style and cycle of these infamous insectoids, and it is his findings that I shall share within this book, within my own hand. Contrary to popular belief, the Jaco Killer did not get its name for slaying Jaco himself, it is simply the result of his name being attached to the specimens of his studies, the beasts often being referred to in old times as the 'Branch Killer'. Jaco himself lived a long and fruitful life, dying in recent times following the tragic nuclear terrorist attack on the Royalback Great Walled City of Yang Quartz, which led to its invasion by mutated wildlife. [A note is attached. It reads, 'I'm hearing rumors from the Mil-Net that we've finally found the culprits responsible for that, but we're still trying to nail down their base of operations.']

The Jaco Killer is notable massive by most insectoid standards, looming in at 15 feet tall at the head. It's long lower torso is nearly two dozen feet long and well armored, meaning often one has to target the relatively unarmored upper torso to kill one in battle. Even regular Slugger rounds can be used for this task, but the incredible speed and regenerative capabilities of the Jaco Killer makes it deceptively difficult to kill for good. The source of this great speed, despite their ungainly lower means of mobility, is partially due to a heavy diet rich in Fulgerite, which drastically increases it's capability for movement several times over.[

The Jaco Killer is thus armed with several weapons. It's foremost and most iconically notable ones are its forelimbs, the outer edge being sharp as blades and the inner edge covered in sharp spikes for better gripping. This, combined with their imposing size, grants the Jaco Killer a set of forelimbs that can pick up a fully armored adult individual of the Civilized Races. In addition, the Jaco Killer can electrify portions of its body, forelimbs included, in order to stun prey.

Once its prey is defeated, the Jaco killer takes it and returns to its home tree, a place hung full of its grisly trophies: On each branch is a prey creature, their bodies run through the center mass and left to hang. Most die immediately from shock and blood loss, but some prey are hardy enough to remain alive for relatively long periods of time. One such prey are the Mortal Races. The Jaco Killers, like many beasts, cannot feed upon our flesh, but this does not stop them from taking an Oros soldier it has captured and running them through the torso on a branch, leaving them grasping at the bloody and gruesome wound they now posses in their mid section. The Jaco Killers are very thorough in removing the armor platings that would otherwise prevent this occurrence on their Civilized prey.

Indeed, the intellect of a Jaco Killer is vast, enough that it possesses a notable amount of emotional intelligence. With this great intellect comes a savagely sadistic streak and a great enjoyment in causing suffering and pain. This, more than any other, is the reason why they perform such gruesome acts of skewering their prey from branches. Indeed, while some believe this serves as a way to warn off intruders from their territory, the evidence suggests these beings want intelligent beings to find these places and realize where they are and what will occur to them before the Killer strikes at them. [A note is attached. It reads 'Sooo, this makes them evil, right? Something like this has to be evil, right?']

In terms of diet, the Jaco Killer is a carnivorous creature, feeding heavily from the edible beings it captures and hangs from its tree. Whatever it does not eat, it uses to fertilize the often highly desirable vegetation surrounding its territory that is used to lure in plant eating creatures into the region, where upon it harvests them quickly and brutally, often toying with whatever unfortunate souls were lured into its territory. More than one innocent soul has been lost over the millennia, unwittingly entering this territory in order to seek out sought after fruits and roots for their kin to feed off of.

The Jaco Killer has no set mating season. Whenever a male and female meet, the male offers a portion of its bounty to her to feed off of before they engage in mating. Several weeks later, the female lays eggs which in turn hatch not long afterwards. The young spend several years remaining near their mother's tree, feeding off of whatever excess prey she collected. Once they mature, those that survive predation go off to find their own trees capable of sustaining their newfound size and weights before beginning the cycle of violence once more. [A note is attached. It depicts a tiny Jaco Kilelr presenting a dog head to its parent, staring in a speech bubble 'mother, I have killed'.]

Jaco's Killer is a widely known and fiercely hated creature by the natives of the Royalback Nation. The species has regularly been the target of extermination hunts across the centuries on the orders of various Emprerors and Empresses of the Royalbacks, often falling short of being able to completely render the species extinct. Following a period of calm, the Killers rebuild their numbers and the cycle begins anew as they once again become a threat to local populations. With the advent of the Great Walled Cities, it is becoming less and less common for towns to have enough people seeking wild food to fall prey to the murderous insects. Despite this, however, the hatred for them is so strong among the Royalbacks, that every few decades, another Great Purge is ordered. In recent years, the Royalbacks have begun to seek aid from the Bughunter Nation, who have had run ins with the beasts themselves, making it very likely they'll be rendered extinct by the end of the next two centuries. [A note is attached. It reads, 'And nothing of value was lost!']
 
Flora, Land.

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Flora, Land.

[Sketches depict a wide, wide, wide assortment of plant-life, from trees and grass, to flowers, to strange and monstrous looking lifeforms that exceed classic plant design. The coloration range from classic green foliage, to sanguine hued leaves and mesmerizing arrays of blues and purples. It is exceedingly obvious that the assortment on display in these sketches only scratch the surface of the amount of plant life on Null.]

[A note is attached. It depicts a very well detailed sketch of a single rose that has yet to bloom, its thorns razor sharp and with droplets of blood on them.]

Summary:​
Complex life, no matter how hardy or capable, relies on feeding on more life to survive. Even creatures that feed directly off the magic of the world requires ingestion of at least some minerals and vitamins that cannot be extracted from raw magic without complex spellwork. As a result, the food pyramid, at its base level, requires plants in order to sustain it. The majority of life on Null is omnivorous, but for the most part, prey animals make the most use of plant matter in order to feed themselves. As such, it would be remiss of me to write about the life forms of our homeworld if I did not make at least one entry dedicated to basic and arguably most vital component of the predation pyramid.

Like the plants of our sister Spirit Realm of Lacuna, plant life in the Mortal side of Null has a wide range of coloration for their foliage. The most common color is green, as these plants use the substance chlorophyll to attain energy from sunlight. These types of plants are considered the oldest and most widespread family of plant life, however they are far from the only one. Red colored plants feed on a potent mixture of raw magic in the air as well as blood drained from the ground, with raw sunlight being a supplementary means of gaining energy.

Others have colors that seem to have no real connection to feeding on light, though all can to some sort of affect as a supplement if it is not their primary means of food production. Purple and blue colored plants feed almost exclusively on the very magic of Null, raw Mana produced by the world surrounding them, the colors being the intermingling colors of wild Nullian Mana. Others drain power from elemental stones, or in the case of the Lightning Rod Tree, directly converts lightning into usable energy in stormy parts of the world. [A note is attached. It reads, 'I have friends who live in Lacuna. They tell me the Mana there is either light blue or green, rather than dark purple and dark blue like here. They also says the Mana of our side is 'weird' and 'funky' and that it makes spell casters who aren't born here go a little nuts and become more aggressive. 'Dark Mana', they call it.']

Unlike the plant life of Lacuna, however, many plants of Null are not purely static entities, passively going through life. Indeed, a notable percentage of flora, like the animals around them, are omnivorous in nature. Most not only passively take in nutrients form the ground and light from the sun, they also use a variety of methods to actively take in nutrition from corpses near them, with others still have developed specialized tools to make more corpses when possible.

Most of the 'Shooter' category of plants are actually just specialized roots that have come out of the ground and have been evolved for a deadly purpose. One of the most common types are the 'Repeaters', which are essentially giant flowers that open up to unleash a hail of sharp, metallic thorns with the speed of a bullet. Most Nullian animals are hardy enough to wade through this, but a weak kind of prey animal such as the relatively fragile Flicker-Tongue would be reduced to a pile of bloody shreds and red mist by the amount of thorns being launched at them. [A note is attached. It depicts a sketch drawing of two beings, a Flicker-Tongue and an armored Oros soldier being fired upon by a Repeater. The Flicker-Tongue has exploded into a cloud of blood and fragments, while the Soldier is being knocked back and off their feet by the sheer volume of fire involved.]

Another of the 'Shooter' category of plants is the 'Vampire Thorn'. Where as the Repeater fires a hail of thorns like bullets, the Vampire Thorn is like a missile or cannon. A large spike that is connected to the main body of the plant is fired with enough force to penetrate even most kinds of Nullian animal hides, where upon its serrated edges hold it in place and it starts to suck the bodily fluids from the creature while it still lives. Once completed, it unhooks itself from its prey and resets its spike back into the main body, where it then waits for the next animal to step into its range. A similar but purely melee version of this plant exists, though rather than being used for feeding, it's a purely defensive structure that keeps plant eaters away via a quick and brutal stab.

While not technically a Shooter category plant, the Whip Vine is another mostly defensive ranged option for some types of trees. Rolled into a tight bundle or laying on the ground like a sort of extended minefield, the Whip Vine attacks by unferrling and whipping its target. The force is sufficient to cut a Spirit man wearing old, unaugmented jousting plate armor in half. If it manages to kill something or wraps itself around something particularly weak, the Whip Vine wraps around the target before unleashing thousands of miniature syringe like structures coating its outer layers, allowing it to draw the victims bodily fluids out and feed upon them.

These are but some of the most common structures used by plant life to harvest more nutrients from the very things that feed upon them, rather than waiting for their fermenting corpses to fertilize the ground. Razor grass appears to be normal grass at first, but closer inspection reveals the individual blades to be sharp as razors and rigid as metal. Accidentally walking on it leads to bad things happening to ones feet if said feet aren't tough enough. Sap Mines are a pressure sensitive ground based defensive measures that only trigger when a certain amount of weight is placed on them; the bigger the mine, the more weight is required to set it off, so there are mines for killing medium sized life forms and those designed to drive off Giant and Titan sized monstrosities. Not kill; drive off.

While there is a wider array of defensive and offensive measures plants use, to end off this section so far, there are the 'Blast Fruit'. Resembling fleshy, glowing fruits, these objects are actually large sacks filled with gas. The most common type unleashes a cloud of toxic, caustic gas that is meant to drive away intruders from their territory, though it would reduce weaker creatures to a pile of dissolving matter on exposure. The least common type unleashes a seemingly harmless gas into the air, covering nearly several acres worth of forest in it from a single fruit. This gas, however, is flammable, and their specific fruit has an internal spark maker that lights it after a few moments. That's right; a naturally-occurring fuel air bomb. Worse still, the plants of the Blast Fruit of this type have fire proof bark, meaning that the sections of forest comprised of them remain intact as everything in an over a hundred meter radius is consumed by a hellish firestorm.

Even with these defensive and offensive measures, larger and tougher forms of life have little issue feeding on plant life. The Oliphant and Apo, for example, are unaffected by all but the most destructive means of driving them off, due to their sheer size alone compared to most other animals.

Most plants, however, have long developed alternate ways of interacting with fauna. Any plant with fruits or vegetables, for example, relies on animals to take their seeds to other places in order to spread themselves. The humble Apa is a common example of such fruit, coming in a wide range of flavors and coloration, unified by their caustic juices and single massive seed in their center that is often spat out by Apos due to them finding the high amount of cyanide distasteful. Humorously, many Oros have taken a liking to the almond taste of the cyanide in these seeds and enjoy eating them as a result. [A note is attached. It reads 'I've tried eating Apa-Seeds raw myself, but I can't do it! People say cyanide tastes like almonds, but it just tasted like poison to me! Then again, I am weird, so maybe it's just me?']

Many such plants also are widely used by Civilized Races in farming. Banki plants are curved and their seeds act like a handle that one grabs unto and uses to peel off the skin to eat the plentiful and delectable fruit-flesh beneath, tossing the seed away to become a new Banki plant in due time. The Plumpkin, or Genocide Gourd, gets its nickname due to it ruthlessly and brutally extending its root systems to choke out and kill all other, weaker plant life around it, spreading like a plague through farm fields if left unchecked. Spud-Spuds, also known by their modern name of 'Tatos', are tubers that enjoy a wide range of beloved recipes such as mashed tatos and spud-fries. These are but a handful of many countless types of fruits and vegetables grown and enjoyed the continent over by Civilized Race and wild animals alike, not counting the ones that directly feed off of foliage.

One notable plant that that is difficult to grow but renowned for the flavorful substance within its massive nut is the Paynut plant. Paynuts, as their names implies, requires a form of payment in order to safely remove and enjoy the large seeds they make. Animals with a taste for such a food kill and bring a form of payment to feed the Paynut, whereupon it loosens the seed to be taken away safely and enjoyed. Animals that attempt to take the Paynut without paying for it will find the plant having injected an obscene amount of cyanide into it, ruining the flavor and causing an upset stomach following consumption.

There are simply too many kinds and varieties of plant life to categorize in a book such as this one, though one can find a wide range of tomes that detail the wide, wide world of plant life on Null's land. Regardless of the kind, however, plants are as much living things as any other creature of Null, vital to sustaining the wider ecosystem and many being able and willing to participate in predation as well. For any Oros, they are particularly a vital component of living, as we Oros are truly omnivorous and require at least some of both meat and plant tissues in our diet to survive. Completely deducting one or the other leads to a slow, but eventual decline of health. Theoretically, an Oros can survive purely on one or the other indefinitely without requiring the other, but doing so leads to them becoming far more susceptible to being killed by an outside force, the most common source of death for an Oros on our homeworld. [A note is attached. It reads, 'Once, I got stuck in a mine in my home town after a particularly nasty tunnel collapse while I was helping to fix some equipment. The twenty of us had nothing to eat but wild Bore-Worm meat for 40 days before we were finally rescued. We was so weak by the end, if we weren't found and rescued, we would have all been killed by angry Common Maulwurfs. Well, all of us anyway. Rest in peace, guys.']
 
Ghul.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Ghul

[Sketches depict a 4 limbed, lanky dark armored creature covered from head to toe in black plates. A single, cylopean eye resides at the center of its face, with a snouted maw of four plates, two jaws and two flanking mandibles that are as armored as the rest of its form. Its limbs are long and lanky, and all four end in 5 long, opposable digits that allow it to grip with either its hands or its feet. A long, well muscled tail with almost crocodilian like features sprouts from its armored buttocks, with sketches showing the beast using it for swimming and offensive actions. Other sketches depict the beast feeding on carrion, tearing apart what seem to be undead creatures, and one particular sketch shows on larger and more regal than others of its kind, with a crown of bone extending out from around its head.]

Scientific Name Translation: Death Eater. [A note is attached. It reads 'Stinky cat-monkey things is more like it.']

Average Size: 2.85 meters/9.35 feet at the head at full height.

Average Weight: 1k lbs/ 453.6 kgs.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: None, species is hermaphroditic.

Habitat Range: Any biome, though they tend to stick close to any Corpse-Lands that are in the region.

Summary:​
Scavangers are a vital part of any ecosystem. From the wide family of Geier birds, to Scavanger Beetles, to earth worms, all are vital for clearing the world of rotting flesh and carrion and to keep nature healthy and clean. No scavanger, however, are as fearsome or bold as the menacingly large and intelligent Ghul, a creature with an intimidating appearance and reputation, yet with certain traits and qualities that have brought unto them the attention of one of the Great Spirits of Lacuna and have become something of official, if animalistic, animals of her will.

The average Ghul is creature that stands close to three meters tall when standing at its full height, though most of the time they run on all fours and stay low to the ground, causing them to appear much shorter when they're not standing upright to use their front limbs for attacks. They are covered in a dark, almost black armored shell, that hugs their forms and gives them an appearence almost as though they are wearing suits of chitinous armor. The exception to this covering are several rows of teats lining their chest regions, which actually grown outside of their armored forms and thus do not leave openings into their internal sections. [A note is attached. It reads, 'I don't know about Ghuls, but I know for a fact myself that losing your tits in a fight hurts like hell! And they've got more than one pair, so that's like several times worse! At least they're kinda small and compact when not in use, so I guess it doesn't hurt them as much, probably?']

The Ghul has a resemblance between a cross between a primate, a feline, an insect, and a crocodilian, and that is because they are in fact just that. Genetic and fossil evidence fully supports that at some point within the last 3 million years, the first Ghuls were made during a mystical event that caused the fusion of several members of the previously mentioned species, giving rise to their current form. There is much argument, however, as to the cause of this magical event, with some scientists believing it to have been a natural, if particularly chaotic, magical occurrence, while others believe that a third party was behind their fusion, most likely candidates behind the mysterious Uplifter creatures known to lurk in the shadows of our world.

Regardless of their origins, the armored plates of a Ghul is highly resistant to damage, even capable of deflecting indirect shots from railgun rounds. This armored form, combined with their relatively large sizes and deadly capabilities, gives the Ghul a temperament that defies the stereotype of most scavengers. They actively drive off other predators within their weight category scavenging carrion, their greatest limitation being that they do not operate in large groups but in small packs of a handful of individuals at a time spread across a large area individually.

In terms of armament, their claws lining all their digits are long and sharp enough to rend untempered and unruned steel with little difficulty, their tails are muscular and strong enough to crumple stone pillars to the point of bursting in half, and they can produce and spit out a highly dangerous corrosive bile from their mouths that inflict disease and hallucinogenic attacks upon the victim. This 'Necro-Bile' also has the added affect of driving Geier birds like Rot-Hawks into an attacking frenzy, causing them to swarm the enemy of the Ghul, their own senses of self-preservation erased by a blood-lust untypical of their kind. [A note is attached. It depicts a doodle of a cartoonish Ghul pointing at a Oros soldier in armor, a flock of birds swarming him. A word bubble from the Ghul reads 'git 'im, bois!']

Furthermore, the Ghul is highly intelligent, able and willing to use tools on hand as weapons, or to use tactics to attack those entering their territory. A single large feline like eye resides at the center of their head and can, with great concentration, produce an energy beam of psionic nature capable of slicing through trees and scything through armored vehicles with ease, at the cost of temporarily blinding the individual Ghul in question. Both this eye-beam and the Necro-Bile they spit out are highly radioactive, thus requiring caution in order to avoid severe rad-burns.

The most intriguing element of the Ghul, however, is their complete immunity to necromantic magics. Surviving texts from ancient times revealed than when necromantic rituals performed by demonic beings were performed to raise the dead, any Ghul's brought back would immediately have their bodies retaken by their original souls, their ancient and dead flesh returning to life anew and reknitting back into a whole form, and the newly revived Ghul immediately turning its sights on the destruction of the Necromancer that dared to raise it up. This trait is what caught the attention of the Great Spirit of Night, Dreams, and Death, Luraru. The Great Spirit has since officially adopted the creatures as her personal servants in her campaign to eradicate necromancy, which in essence means these dark, dangerous, and macabre creatures are, technically speaking, holy. [A note is attached. It reads, 'Technically, the best kind of 'nically!']

Despite technically being holy servants to a goddess, Ghuls are still very much dangerous animals in their own right. They are territorial and aggressively drawn to any masses of rotting material to feed upon, and have a wretched odor that follows them like the stink on a Noxigon. Fascinatingly, this smell is actually a sign that the Ghul is clean and free of disease or bacteria on their outer-shells. Despite their nature as carrion eaters, Ghuls meticulously clean themselves with a foul-smelling but highly anti-bacterial formula created by mashing various kinds of fungi and lichen together. As such, aside from an eye-watering assault on the senses, one can safely touch a Ghul without worry of becoming diseased, and even a direct bite carries little risk if it has not eaten or spat up Necro-Bile recently.

The most dangerous and powerful kind of Ghuls are Ghul Queens. These beings are Ghuls that succeeded in findind, and consuming, the rotting flesh of an Elder God, causing them to ascend into a new and dangerous form, noted by a bone-crown forming around their heads. Ghul Queens gain many abilities, including the ability to produce a hyper-deadly airborne toxin capable of killing all life in a near kilometer wide radius, the venom being so potent that nothing will ever grow again in this place. Despite this, life continues, as another ability of the Ghul Queen is to reformat the dead plant-matter of these poisoned lands and breath into them a new life, twisting their forms until they become grotesque, rotten versions of their old selves. A Ghul Queen claims this entire patch of land they poisoned as their personal kingdom, a process that is known as 'Putriforming', so named because of the ungodly putrid smells that these living-death flora produce. [A note is attached. It reads 'I wonder if they have like actual kingdoms. Do Ghul Queens have courts? What does a Ghul Court look like? Does she sit on a throne and wave around a lil' sceptar to bop normal Ghuls on the head with? I have so many questions! Note to self, find book on Ghul Queens.']

In theory, by their nature as chosen agents of the goddess of death as well as their ascension to demi-godhood by consuming the flesh of an Elder God, Ghul Queens theoretically have the ability to raise the dead at their command. None have ever actually displayed this ability. After all, Ghuls don't want undead things. They want rotting corpses to feed upon. Furthermore, the more powerful the undead in question, the blessings of Lacuna results in the Ghul facing it to gain power in direct proportion, in order to see it destroyed. In theory, this has no upper limit, but in practice, the lack of undead gods in the world results in no real titanic clashes between them and these literally blessed eaters of carrion.

As previously mentioned, Ghuls are hermaphroditic in nature, possessing both kinds of sex organs stored within their armored forms. When mating season occurs, Ghul packs hunt to find potential mates. Upon finding one, they each offer the other a sample of their Bile for testing, to see what sorts of carrion the other has eaten. They then inspect one another for cleanliness and, if both find the other suitable, they proceed to mate. Their several pairs of teats come in handy in nursing a whole litter of pups born two months after the mating has taken place, the parents taking turns hunting and feeding their young. Young Ghuls are born without their armor, and thus are highly vulnerable. They are those raised in a dark, secluded, and easily defensible place until the time that their young's armor finally grows in and they can begin teaching them the ways of their kind.

Once the young have grown enough to fend for themselves, they break off from their parents in search of territory to claim as their own. This intermediate period between their guarded youth and their adulthood in a pack of their siblings is where the majority of young Ghuls meet their end. Upn expiry, a Ghul is found by others of their kind and then ritualistically cannibalized for their hearts and livers, before the remains are buried beneath soil to rest eternally.

Ghuls are dark, brutal, and macabre creatures who play a very important role in keeping the world clean of rotten flesh. They cannot feed upon the flesh of Civilized Races but can, with time, be tamed and trained to protect graveyards from unwanted looters. As a direct result, they are respected creatures, albeit ones whose smell and eating habits results in most leaving as soon as they discover their presence rather than giving them a moment's consideration. Ghul's are perfectly fine with this arrangement: As long as they get rotting meat they can feed upon and they are properly taught, they are perfectly fine with sharing territory with Civilized species. As living extensions of Lacuna's will, few can ask for better, if foul smelling, guardians of the dead's rest. [A note is attached. It reads, 'I visited a graveyard that had the bones of one of my ancestors. We still had his ash jar, but she'd been fancy and important enough to have a whole grave for her bones to rest in. I got to meet some of the Guard Ghuls around and whoo, it took me ages to stop smelling whatever gunk they use to keep themselves clean!']
 
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Uplifter.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Uplifter.

[Sketches depict a rather ominous creature, a being that at a glance seems to be donning a cloak while its seemingly eyeless head stares at the viewer. Close inspection sketches reveal this 'cloak' to in fact be numerous tentacles, and close inspection of the head reveals two pairs of eyes on either side of its vaguely wedge shaped head. Its maw is jawed, with for mandibles ending in teeth covering up its otherwise exposed cheek-line, which reveals numerous sharp teeth. It's front-most section is covered up by plating that resembles teeth, interlocking when closed. The flesh is vaguely purplish and two of the many tentacles seem to extend from the main body like primary arms, ending with a pair of sharp hypodermic fangs. Sketches depict such beings using strange and dangerous powers, and observing the sketcher from the shadows.]

[A note is attached. It depicts a highly detailed sketch of a close up of an Uplifter head. It is staring directly at the observer, with a single word written in the corner: 'Creepy'.]

Scientific Name Translation: Maker of Monsters.

Average Size: 4 meters/13.12 feet from head to tentacle-tip.

Average Weight: 1 ton.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: N/A, male identification used though rarely some can be identified using feminine identification.

Habitat Range: All locations.

Summary:​
On a world with life as common and varied as our own, few things stand out as being truly 'unnatural'. Magic saturates our world, and we are very much aware thanks to the 'Book of Origins' that Null itself was crafted on the cosmic plane by the 'Weaver', a younger sibling to our Mediator Media and a being of incalculable power within the omnipresent dimension known as the Aether, a goddess like being known whose very name is shared by our world: Null. This Aether Being preplanned a great many creatures by carefully planning set evolutionary plans while she weaved the world, these plans culminating in certain species being borne into the Mortal realm. This includes all of the Mortal Civilized Races of Null, such as the Oros. However, despite this careful planning, Null had a goal for our world, for it to be a place of danger and death, and as a result she placed a system upon Null that would ensure that it would be populated by the most dangerous creatures imaginable.

This system was in the form of floating, vaguely cepholopodic creatures known in official texts as 'Uplifters'. The role for these artificial beings is a simple, yet horrifying one: They would periodically peer through the veil between worlds, into other realities, and pick and choose dangerous beasts for 'trials'. If these creatures succeed the Trials, then they would be integrated into our world by the Uplifters, who among other things would grant the creatures Sentinel Bacteria in order to avoid them being dissolved by our world's caustic pollutants in our air or be overwhelmed by our higher than garden world standard gravity. One of the most infamous examples of such creatures that they wrought to our world is the Spider-Ant, with evidence in other creatures that they were created into their current forms by Uplifter meddling.

A typical Uplifter is long at over 4 meters in length. Much of this length is their many, many tentacles, which they use for fine manipulation of objects when they do not use telekinetic powers. their main body is relatively short at only 2 and a half meters long, and is mostly a hose for their tentacles. An Uplifter lacks much in the way of organs, mostly existing as a heart and stomach analog more used for close analyzation of materials rather than to gain actual sustenance. A complete skeletal system provides them with some structure, with the skull being the most robust of this system. Of the tentacles present, two are noted for possessing hypodermic fangs at the end, one at the tip of each tentacle. These fangs possess a mutagen with which the Uplifter can use to change a creature in any way they see fit. This mutagen is fast acting and capable of doing anything from evolving a creature to a more advanced state, mutating their forms to a new and monstrous appearance, or simply 'upgrade' the existing body to a more robust form.

As artificially beings crafted and breathed life into by a god-like being, these creatures are virtually unkillable. Even total atomization through mundane means will simply result in the creature reforming elsewhere, though if 'killed', a body will be left behind, a hollow shell devoid of life and useless for anything but as proof of ones ability to fight these beasts in combat, a rare occurrence indeed. There are only three known ways to permanently kill an Uplifter: For it to be slain by a divine being, for them to be denied resurrection by their council of brothers, or to be completely consumed by the Aether. This last one is the most common way for us Mortals to kill them, though a Magi with skill in Aetherworks is required in the deed. Regardless of if they are killed, however, a new Uplifter is created by the rest of their brethren to replace the one that was lost, albeit one whose personality is likely to be wildly different from the original. [A note is attached. It reads 'Immortality almost sounds cool, if it wasn't so painful. Life is painful enough without being unable to die on top of that.]

In terms of offensive and defensive capabilities, a typical Uplifter is a match for most intermediate Magi in terms of skill with Aetherworks. With the power of the Aether in their possession, they can perform virtually anything that can be imagined. Summoning miniature suns into life, calling down the fury of a storm or the blood-freezing chill of a hyper-blizzard, altering the laws of physics such as gravity or outright rewriting what is real or not in a localized area, and much, much more. It is not an exaggeration to say that Uplifters are one of the most dangerous creatures on Null, however this is tempered by their duty to their role. Their wildly different personalities and outlooks can result in their actual danger to people ranging massively, though most will have no ill will to members of the Civilized Races of Null, and none would dare to step out of line with their role to expand and improve the deadliness of Null's ecosystem. Furthermore, when encountering a Civilized Race of Null, they are bound by their restrictions to avoid using outright Aetheric attacks upon them, in order to avoid Aetheric Damage upon them.

[A note is attached. It reads 'I've met people who have lost parts of themselves to Aether Damage, even Oros who lost their limbs! I asked them what it's like to have parts of themselves wiped off the face of Existence. All of them said the same thing: It's extremely painful and the pain never really goes away, you just get used to it being there. The ones who lost the bones where their arms or legs used to be say it's even worse than that and they had to take decades of psychological counseling in order to cope. I have nightmares of suffering Aether Damage. When I wake up, I swear I can feel the pain from my dreams where I'd been hit...']

Though highly illusive, encounters with them in the past has been frequent enough for many to have had their mutagen stores extracted. This mutagen is processed and used for a wide variety of scientific experiments, such as the upliting of animals in a controlled environment to more person-like forms. The largest experiment of such uplifts occurred in the Great Walled City of Yang Quartz, featuring a village's worth of uplifted Flittermice ranging from mice to squirrels in the experiment center. Sadly, following the tragic nuclear attack on Yang Quartz by an as of this edition unknown group that led to the city's fall, this experiment has since been lost, though recent recovery efforts have found evidence of their continued existence within the fallen Great Walled City. Hopefully, through more such experiments leading to the process being perfected, we can create new forms of life that are amicable to ourselves and each other.

That all said, the Uplifters continue to this day to live mostly in the shadows of our world, dutifully plucking examples of dangerous life to integrate into Null's ecosystem. The people of our world are of two minds of this, often at the same time. Many are bitter that our already dangerous world is growing even more dangerous with each passing year and each passed Trial the Uplifters perform, though at the same time, it cannot be denied that our planet's many dangerous have managed to make us into effective fighting machines. Those that glean through the Book of Origins pages know that Null intentionally made our world this way, not for us to suffer, but for us to be prepared for the trials that await us our among the stars.

While it is hard to be thankful, it cannot be denied that this information causes most to feel a sense of unease: Namely, what awaits us out in our universe that requires such a harsh world? Many answers have been given to us by the knowledgeable Spirits of Lacuna and the Magi Order, and all of them are rather troubling. Despite this, however, we cannot give into despair. We must stand together, united, against every danger, whether domestic or foreign. Together, we can stand against anything, no matter how terrible, that awaits us in the dark between the stars. [A note is attached. It depicts a picture of one of the two moons of Null, Senoria Sanguine. It is blue, with seas of glowing blue god-blood, and an aura of menace. Drawn around the moon itself are sketches of tentacles.]
 
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Grimoire: Aether and the Magi.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
[The following is a transcript from a section from the Grimoire of the Magi Order, written by an unknown author.]

Aether and the Magi.

'In the beginning, there was nothing. And then, [GOD/SAJUUK/THE LORD/THE MAKER/CREATOR OF ALL/THE ALMIGHTY] saw fit to begin anew. The first of these creations was a place, [SHEOL/THE AETHER/THE VOID/THE NOTHING OF EVERYTHING]. And from there, Creation began.'
-First passage from the Bible of the Ambaric Faith, the Aetheric Holy Scrolls, and the Book of the Great Spirits.

At the start of time, there were us, Mortals. In the time before time, there were the Elders, the prototypes to Mortal Life as we know it today. And in the time before the time before time, there were the Ancients, the Primordials from which all concepts derive from. The first among these, however, was the Aether, a place of nothingness. For the majority of its History, the Aether was inhabited by only two beings: Lethe, the Devourer, and her husband Eunoe, the Protector. The two are of the Aether and are the Aether, one and the same, or so it is written. Ever since the death of the first Universe was borne into creation, the Aether and the Aether Beings within it had one great purpose: To devour these dead realities to stop their rotting corpses from polluting all of Creation and to make space for new worlds to be borne. Thus, Lethe and Eunoe were known by their titles: 'The Vultures of God'.

However, as the two enacted their great and vital purpose, Great Lethe came to realize something: A terrible hunger existed within her, one that could not be sated but with the act of Eating dead worlds and wiping them from the face of What Is. So maddening was this hunger, that Lethe enacted the First Purge, wherein before she could be stopped, she ravenously Devoured vast swathes of Creation. Stopped by her husband, the first of several changes was enacted in the Pact they had with the Lord: They were not to Consume realities that still yet lived, with only the corpse universes being what they would consume. Lethe, having been humbled and learned to control her Hunger more, became a more compassionate being towards the Mortals she once feasted upon.

And thus, a long stretch of peace was attained. This Peace was briefly overcome when Lethe, in a moment of old weakness, created a race to feed her Hunger by having them strike out against Elders who sought to harm Mortals. They are only known today as the [Sleepers]. The Sleepers, however, grew independent and sought to feed their creator with the blood of Creation once again. Eunoe saw the madness of his wife's newly independent creations and rose a race of his own to combat them. They were the Oros, a people whose design would one day resurface to be used in our creation in this Age. Eventually, the two races fought each other to extinction and a new peace came over Creation.

One day, during the Mortal Age, Lady Lethe and Lord Eunoe had a child, a daughter named Media the Red Lady. With their child grown, Lethe and Eunoe took temporary absence of their duties to explore the afterlife, with Media having four Mortals Ascended to Aether godhood to be her assistants, the first and so far only time such a thing has ever occurred. They were the three sisters, North, South, and Libdas, and the Machine Mind Sora. With them came the first of the Magi, Mortal beings who has been born blessed with the power to manipulate the energies of the Aether.

The Magi were of free will, to do with their abilities as they decided, but they were not originally without a purpose. They were a defense for Mortal life, to stand against the jealousy of the Elders, who cursed the Mortals for the wealth of new universes dedicated to them to inhabit. Even upon the return of Lethe and Eunoe, the Magi continued to be borne among the Mortals, though in time, as restrictions were placed upon the Elders, the need for them decreased and their appearance in the Mortal Realms began to dwindle.

After the return of Lethe and Eunoe, three more daughters were borne to them: Aegia, the Silver Lady of War, Orual the Amber Lady of Knowledge, and Null the Green Lady of Madness. The last to be born between Lethe and Eunoe was a son. He, however, was born asleep and has never since awaken, to the eternal grief of Lethe and Eunoe. Following this, the two became more reclusive and distant from dealings with the rest of Reality outside of their Duty, with their children becoming active and aiding to curb the rising threat of Elder insurrection against those Mortal planes not protected by the Elders' previous restrictions. Of them, Media and Null, the oldest and the youngest of the Aether Sisters respectively, created Mortal Races to do their bidding. Media, the Orberon, and Null, the Oros, reborn using the designs once drafted and used by her father long, long ago.

Null created a world that would one day bare her name in order to perfect the Oros through the trials of a hellish deathworld as their homeworld. Media, who had taken many shortcuts to get the Oberon to the same degree of capability, saw the Oros and found them better suited for her needs. Thus, in the year of approximately 1000 A.A, Media created a mortal shell for her to inhabit and interact with Nullian kind, the Mediator. In the year of 1501, she succeeded in unifying the various Nations of the world of Null under the banner of the Median, with her Pact being a simple one: She would help ease the burden upon the Mortals from the onslaught of daily Nullian life and thus allow us to advance towards the stars, and in exchange, we would hunt down the Elders that stalked the stars.

---

To be a Magi is to be a being with the potential for great power, but with the burden of great danger as well. They become a target for Elders, who fear them becoming predators against their kind anew, a fate that is sealed for their attacks but motivate and embolden Magi into their role.

The Magi Order of Null was founded in years long past, when Aether Shamans united to form a singular institution to train and prepare others of their kind. Thus the first true Magi of Null came into being. Mortal and Spirit alike could be born blessed with the power to perform Aetherworks, the magic of manipulating the Aether, the only form of magic available for most modern Oros who have since become immune to the touch of most other forms of magecraft. It is long, draining work to become a Magi, but once the training is complete, a being of great power takes their steps to aid in the betterment of the world. Magi of the Order hunt down Elder creatures that are a threat to Null, as well as engage in peace talks with those Elders that can be reasoned with. In addition, it is the responsibility of the Order to help hunt and strike down fearsome beasts that threaten the people, and to aid the Order of Berserker Paladins with their God given duty of striking down all things demonic in nature.

Those who are found to be blessed by the Aether are taken to the Order and trained lest they become a danger to themselves or those around them. Once trained to control their powers, they are given the choice to remain with the Order to serve the people of the Median, or they can return to their old life. This is a far cry from the old days where Magi had only the choice to serve within the Order.

The power over the Aether, known as Aetherworks, is highly dangerous. In theory, one can do virtually anything one can imagine with this power, up to and including rewriting reality itself. In practice, however, Magi are limited by training, skill, and natural power, which grows over time as they better learn to use their powers. Numerous schools of training exist, from the Sunbearers and Hydrosingers, to Stormbringers and Frostcallers. The most powerful and dangerous school is that of the Aethermeisters, whom directly call upon the energies of the Aether itself rather than using the Aether to conjure and control the elements the other schools use. This means they can wipe things off the face of Existence, the total cessation of existing, upon Devouring them with their Aetherworks. With this power in hand, even the lowliest Aethermeister is a threat to the mightiest god that does not take them seriously, though in turn the Magi but be careful, for such power is not a plaything and can just as easily turn on them if they treat it as such.

In the Modern day, Magi inhabit all strands of society, with our ultimate goal being to protect our fellow Mortals and to destroy any Elder threats we encounter. We are spread through all career paths and social classes, from humble Hunters, to Median Knights in the military, to leaders of Nations. Time will tell how successful we are in this endeavor, however, to keep our people safe, as even the most powerful and dangerous of us are still Mortal and can overextend ourselves.​
 
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Nightmare.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Nightmare.

[Sketches depict a large, maggot like creature with pale, almost translucent skin and glowing insides. This is the early stage of the creature, however, and its adult form takes on a bipedal, limbed existence. It has a trificated jaw structure, the lower jaw splitting into two upon opening. Black eyes with white pupils stare out of its newly skulled head and the sketches depict it using telepathy and telekinetic abilities.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'You know, if they weren't such jerks, they could probably make a killing with using their powers for street-magic.']

Scientific Name Translation: Fear Maker.

Average Size: 3 meters/9.8 feet tall.

Average Weight: 1 ton.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: N/A.

Habitat Range: Near Civilized Races.

Summary:​
Our homeworld is home to many strange and bizarre creatures, whom posses a wide host of mystical abilities that defy mundane explanations and that feed on a host of mystical items as a result. All of these beasts however, strange as many of them are, are natural. The creature known as the 'Nightmare' is not. What we know as the Nightmare hails from the Spirit Realm of Lacuna. In its home dimension, they take the form of diminutive, squat equines called 'Mares', that sneak into Spirits' homes and feed upon their dreams while they slumber. This is their original true form in the Spirit Realm. What they appear like on the Mortal plane, however, is what gives them their name.

Upon breaching the barriers between our two planes of existence, the Nightmare makes a conscious effort to become a truly terrifying creature. They spawn in the dead of night, starting as small, maggot like creatures, precursors to their full forms. In this state, they perform the same action as they do in Lacuna, sneaking undetected into homes and feeding upon the dreams of those within, eating their good dreams and leaving only nightmares. Oros are immune to direct forms of magic, but this means little to the Mares or their Nightmare forms as they siphon dreams via psionic abilities, allowing them to tap into Oros minds and feed upon their dreams in this manner. [A note is attached. It reads, 'When I was in high-school, we had a biology class that had a captured Nightmare maggot in it. I could feel it trying to probe my mind, but since I was awake, my nervous systems kept changing between one another. It made me woozy, but better than being mind-controlled by a giant nightmare buggo!']

The more psionic energies they steal to feast upon, the larger a Nightmare becomes and the more powerful they grow in tandem with their size. Eventually, this results in the Nightmare undergoing a metamorphosis, resulting in their signature appearance as we think of them today. Tall, limbed maggot-men, the final stage of the Nightmare has its original maggot like body become akin to a massive, tailed brain structure as the rest of their new bodies grow beneath them. At this stage, their abilities have grown to such a degree they no longer need to enter people's homes to feed. Indeed, a single Nightmare can siphon the dreams of whole towns within the territory they lay claim to. It is usually at this stage, wherein mass reports of nightmarish dreams spreading across the populace, that the hunt for the Nightmare takes place.

Their lairs vary wildly, but usually have some common elements, having become full of a silk the Nightmare uses to create its home to its desired form. Nightmare Silk, while having some physical properties, is a mystical construct tied to the Nightmare that makes it. Upon their demise, the Silk begins to degrade rapidly, with whole cave systems once filled with the strands becoming devoid of them within a week after the Nightmare's demise.

As for encountering a Nightmare, the beast is a powerful psionic in this late stage. Their limbs are long and having some power, but are rarely if ever used throughout the duration of the fight, the Nightmare instead making heavy use of telepathic and telekinetic attacks against those that hunt it down. The longer a fight goes on and the more injury is accrued upon the Nightmare, the more powerful its attacks become in direct proportion to its desperation to survive. As this occurs, the aurora like light patterns produced within its body, primarily in the brain housing, begins to rapidly fluctuate in response to this agitation and injury. If a Nightmare is slain when it is in the middle of making heavy use of its powers, a feedback loop will occur and cause the Nightmare to lose control of its powers. They then typically ascend into the air as they lose all control before producing a massive blast of psionic energy with their last breaths, a psychic bomb that explodes the nervous systems of weaker creatures and causes painful headaches to the Civilized Races to be caught in the blast. [A note is attached. It reads, 'It doesn't just affect organic minds, either. It also affects electronics. I've had to fix up more than one drone or vehicle that got caught up in a Nightmare deathsplotsion and let me tell you, EMP hardening means jack-piss for something like that.']

Upon its physical body's death, the Nightmare's physical shell remains in this world, albeit desiccated and with no more connection to the Mare that had inhabited its gnarled form. This shell, ironically, has many positive medicinal concoctions that can be created by using the required body parts to create them, thus making Nightmare hunting a positive net benefit upon the creature's demise. These effects are naturally more pronounced when used on Mortalized Spirits, or normal Spirits back on Lacuna, making a healthy market of trading Mortal produced goods from Nightmare body parts to Lacuna, or the Mortalized Spirit populace on Null.

Due to the nature of their existence, Nightmares lack a biological sex of any kind, and thus do not reproduce. Every new Nightmare is the direct result of a Mare from Lacuna burrowing over to the Mortal realm and taking on this twisted form for its purposes. The closest thing to reproduction Nightmares engage in is mixing their magical abilities with their Psionic ones in order to create temporary astral projection clones to fight alongside them. If there is any interest in the reproductive cycle of the Mare species in their natural form over in Lacuna, this is covered in the book, 'A World of Spirits, An Encylopedia on the Creatures of the Spirit World of Lacuna'.

Nightmares are a recurring hassle that, while rarely directly a threat to Mortals, have long term consequences that cannot be ignored and allowed to occur. Nightmares left to feed off a sleeping populace for too long can result in wide numbers of innocent people lacking sleep and thus becoming more susceptible to attacks by animals during their waking hours. To die is bad enough, but to be killed because you've been lacking sleep for four weeks in a row is even worse; it's downright insulting. As such, whenever a Nightmare is confirmed to be present, a proper hunting team is sent out to deal with the creatures, and allow the populace to sleep soundly in their beds once again. [A note is attached. It reads 'I once played a game with my friends to see how long we could go without sleeping. I lasted a whole month on that dare before my body had enough of my hallucinations causing me trouble and just automatically shut me down for sleep when I got on a couch. Best week long sleep coma ever!']
 
Slinker.

TripleMRed

Member
Author

Slinker.

[Sketches depict a long and highly flexible scaly creature. The beast has four limbs, but the body is long enough that i curl around objects with little issue, the limbs being used to improve its grip on the object. It's face is long and snouted, and completely devoid of eyes, resembling a long, even, and completely smooth crocodilian skull, almost closer to a mask rather than an actual skull, sets of interlocking teeth running along its maw, plated scales running along the lines between its head and its neck like a crown. The sketches show this creature stalking from the shadows, literally entering and exiting from the darkness itself as though leaping into or pulling itself out of a pool of unmoving black water.]

[A note is attached. It reads, 'Lucky lizards. They don't need eyes to see, but if I lose one in a way that it can't regen properly, so sorry Hildra, but you need a Seeing Eyepatch for the rest of your life. What a rip-off!']

Scientific Name Translation: Shadow Stalker.

Average Size: 2.4 meters/7.87 feet long.

Average Weight: ~500 pounds.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females are larger and have red markings across their skulls and backs.

Habitat Range: All Biomes.

Summary:​
Of the various families of creatures on Null, few are as intimidating or as troublesome as the Shadow Beasts, a family of highly varied species that all share one thing in common: Eyeless heads that resemble smoothed bone-masks, and the ability to travel through anywhere that lacks light, hence their name. The least physically durable but most intelligent breed of such beasts is the humble Slinker, a creature known for it's ability to adapt on the fly during a hunt as well as an unusual body structure that allows them many avenues of combat.

The Slinker's most notable physical characteristics, after the facial features that unite the Shadow Beast family, is its long, tube like body. Covered in smooth, iridescent green scales, the Slinker's long body is highly flexible, allowing it to bend in any direction without any real difficulty. Their faces are long snouts, almost crocodilian save that they are perfectly smooth and bone like, like an evenly smoothed bone mask. A total lack of visible eyes and ear holes leaves one to wonder how they can sense things, though extensive research has found that they can see and hear very clearly despite the seeming lack of ways to interpret visual and audio stimulus. Running along the back of its head, in the area where its skull like face and its neck interlock, a set of teardrop shaped plates extend outward. Theories have long stood that these are used as a method of feeding the creature stimulus, though more recent evidence indicates that these plates are in fact related to other senses, mainly electro and mystic sensory in nature. [A note is attached. It depicts a cartoon drawing of a Slinker seeing musical notes. Words follow, reading 'I read a paper once that Slinkers can see sound, taste electrical and magical impulses, and feel depression. It was an interesting read!']

Despite only weight roughly 500 pounds on average, the Slinker's body is very, very strong, due to it mostly being muscle. As a result, it is not uncommon for Slinkers to wrap themselves around an enemy and try to crush them with its body's raw strength. Those observed working together were known to wrap themselves around the limbs of larger prey in order to break or crush the joints of the animals in question. Slinkers, like with most life on Null, cannot feed on the flesh of the Civilized Races, but this does not stop them from using their extreme crushing strength in a fight.

In addition to their own long and flexible bodies, their jaws posses incredible bone crushing capability, able to bite through unaugmented reinforced steel with little issue. Their claws, while affixed to relatively short limbs, are sharp, allowing them to grip onto objects with ease and allow them to climb, or to cause gashes when they are in the middle of attack their prey. Their greatest and most dangerous ability, however, is their ability to 'dive' into darkness, giving them unparalleled mobility in any location with a patch of darkness wide enough to allow their forms to enter. Attempts in the past have been made to shine a light on these 'dives' and attempt to cut the creature in half and stop their escape, but this has proven useless. When a Shadow Beast of any kind is in the middle of a 'Dive', either in or out of a patch of darkness, no amount of light shown can stop the Dive while it is in the middle of occurring. As a direct result of their ability, capturing one without use of special magics to prevent its escape is almost impossible, as even the most minute of temporary power outages will give a Slinker the opportunity to escape whatever holding's it is in. [A note is attached. It reads 'Don't you just hate it when your 8 foot long skull faced shadow monster escapes because you had to change the batteries on your flashlight cage?']

Furthermore, a Slinker is a highly intelligent hunter, one that often will not attack directly unless it has little other choice. It will sneak about, stalk, and otherwise perform its name sake in order to catch their unsuspecting prey by surprise before moving in for the kill. This very intellect, however, is what allows them to be excellent companions. Slinkers, if trained young or through circumstances be forced to trust a member of the Civilized Races, become loyal friends who rarely stray far from their Civilized counterparts. Indeed, 'tamed' Slinkers act much like large canines, though numerous laws and security concerns make it so that Slinkers, tamed or otherwise are not allowed to inhabit the confines of the Great Walled Cities, leaving them to coexist with us on the outskirts of our territory.

When mating season occurs, Slinkers congregate in large numbers to isolated areas. Once there, they divide themselves between male and female exclusive groups, before beginning a great chasing game. The larger and stronger female of the pair chase the weaker male across the width and breadth of the area, until the weaker is finally caught. Once this happens, the two Dive into the shadows where they can mate in peace. After this, the two parents separate, with females tending to their nests, guarding and teaching their young. Young Slinkers are too weak to survive in the shadows for long, and as a result must be raised in normal-space. This leaves them and their parent at their most vulnerable, and as a result Slinkers often make nests in the most defensible positions they can find, though first time Slinker mothers have been known to miscalculate and build nests at ground level in exposed clearings. At about two years of age, a Slinker has grown big and strong enough to be able to survive on their own, as well as begin their first Dives on their own. It is around this time that they separate from their mothers and go off on their own. [A note is attached. It depicts a detailed sketch of a baby Slinker, which is notably smaller and chubbier than their full grown adult form. Words follow, reading, 'Soooo cute!']

The Slinker is a devious and dangerous animal, but one that can be avoided by most Civilized Races by simply not heading into their territory. Often, however, Slinkers hunt livestock for those whose farms have yet to modernize into full agricenters, and as a result conflict between Civilized Races and Slinkers continue to this day. Only time will tell whether this conflict of interests will continue long into the future.
 
Shadow Maw.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Shadow Maw.

[Sketches depict an enormous shadowy beast existing a huge tear of darkness in a well lit area. The creature is massive and with qualities like that of a maggot and a mantoid insect, with a massive, smoothed armored head at the top of its body. The creature's main body is segmented, with many small grub like legs running along the underside of its segments. At the top of the body is a chest like region, with a pair of massive insectoid arms tipped with huge scythe-blades, used to prop the creature upright and for movement and attack. The head is wedge-shaped and utterly smooth and bone-like with a lower jaw and a pair of flanking mandibles. Sketches show the inside of the creature's mouth: It is an endless expanse of teeth, lining the jaws and circling the throat, which is an empty black pit from the perspective of the sketch.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'I know I can't actually get eaten by one of these things, but the insides of their mouths.....One word: teeth.]

Scientific Name Translation: Devouring Shadow.

Average Size: 20-30 meters in height when standing upright..

Average Weight: 3,565 tons.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: N/A.

Habitat Range: All Biomes.

Summary:​
The Shadow Beasts are a troublesome family line of creatures, due to their ability to 'Dive' into the shadows, allowing them to circumvent the barriers of the normal world of matter we inhabit. The various members of this line are varying levels of dangerous, due to this ability and their respective temperaments, but one creature within this family line in particular stands out as a monster above all others, a creature infamous for its ravenous appetite and profound hatred of Civilized Races. These rare but highly dangerous monsters are known simply as the Shadow Maws.

The largest of the Shadow Beasts at being a Giant-Class creature, the Shadow Maws are also the most dangerous. They are driven by an innate, almost supernatural hunger, a need to feed that cannot be fully sated and which will cause them to consume whole swathes of land in short order. Flora, Fauna, and even the mineral wealth of the soil itself are all eagerly consumed by the beast, leaving the areas they strike barren and lifeless. They are especially dangerous to Civilized Races as we are some of the few things these creatures are incapable of eating. As a direct result of this, they are enraged by our presence and have been known to break off from their feeding frenzy in order to try and strike us down. They are creatures of such power that unlike the other Shadow Beasts, they do not require patches of darkness to Dive in and out of the shadows. They can enter and leave the Shadow Realm at will. Luckily, however, their sheer size is such that it takes them some time and effort to move between the realms, with active light slowing them down further. [A note is attached. It reads 'Shadows Maws don't need darkness to dive out of the darkness. They just....show up, whenever they want to. It's scary as hell to me.]

In the most ancient of historical times, Shadow Maws were a grave threat due to their destructive capabilities, devouring farm land and livestock and slaughtering farming communities by the dozen. In this era, Shadow Maws were slain by great heroes who were blessed with mighty weapons forged by the Great Spirit of Blacksmithing, Eruiru. All of these heroes would go on to become legends in ancient folk-lore and records, though many of their names have been lost to time with the loss of many such records. It was during these times that the Shadow Maws first appeared in modern fossil records, as they are now known to have existed millions of years ago before suddenly dropping off the fossil record at around the time of the last major extinction event, likely entering some form of hibernation or stasis until food became plentiful again.

The Shadow Maw is a creature that is always heavily armed. It's huge, scythe like limbs are mostly for mobility, dragging it's lumbering form around, but they also have sharpness and strength to bisect whole treelines and cleave armored vehicles in half. They can project an irradiated, incendiary, molecular acid from their maws, used to melt structures and leave those inside to a gruesome and slow death. They can project and unleash explosive orbs of dark energy that cause nuclear decay on impact and gravitational anomalies. Shadowy lightning can be cast forth, disabling technology and burning holes through armor. The signature attack of these creatures, however, is when they are not fighting Civilized Races: they open their jaws as wide as they can before inhaling, causing a sucking effect with gale-force winds that draws in anything unfortunate enough to be in its way to be drawn into its mouth. Even trees and embedded rock is uprooted and drawn in to be consumed. Massive crushing jaws ensure even the most heavily armored of creatures are disposed of in a matter of a bites. [A note is attached. It reads, 'Nothing should be able to just chew up a damn Greater Shinook! It's just not right, it's just not natural.]

Dissection of fallen Shadow Maw's corpses has revealed interesting, and disturbing, truths about them. They appear to lack much in the way of any internal organs. In fact, they are almost entirely composed of nothing but bone, plating, and muscle tissue. No discernible stomach has been found, and indeed, inspections by Magi indicate that whatever the Shadow Maw eats is destroyed entirely. Some speculation exists on if they cease to exist entirely, or if they are fed to some shadowy 'void' unrelated to the Aether but which the Shadow Maws are borne from, and it is generally agreed further research into this topic will be required in order to discern the truth.

The Shadow Maw has no mating season and in-fact lack sexes entirely. No known records indicate the reproductive methods of the Shadow Maw, as all time they spend not eating in the material world is spent in the shadow realm, with all Magi led hunting parties into the place resulting in no way to track the beasts down. So far, there are three theories on how they come into being. The first, and less likely, is that they produce an egg like seed similar to those discovered in the shadow realm and spit it out through their only orifice, their mouths, in a form of asexual reproduction. The second theory is that these creatures may split apart via budding in order to create new Shadow Maws, as all Shadow Maws discovered share the exact same genetic traits with one another. The third, and most ominous, is that they are not born at all. Rather, each Shadow Maw is an extension of the shadow realm itself, being created from within it at the loss of any currently existing one. Without a means to properly track those that reenter the shadow realm, we may never know, though rumors abound of a new tracking method being developed by Magi that could shed light on them, if this new method passes muster.

The Shadow Maws are ancient, dangerous, and violently spiteful brutes. They come and go as they please in the wild, feeding on whatever they encounter, and go out of their way to destroy Civilized Races they meet in their path of destruction. Some say it is luck that they have yet to appear within and attack a Great Walled City, but there is enough evidence to suggest that Shadow Maws, for all their brutish nature, have some measure of intellect, and know when a fight is too much for even itself to win. [A note is attached. It reads 'That's reassuring, but it doesn't stop my nightmares of these things showing up in the streets outside in the city and just tearing up the place.']
 
Skin-Stripper.

TripleMRed

Member
Author
Skin-Stripper.

[Sketches depict a large spider, big enough to be the size of a person when not counting its legs. It's exoskeleton is armored with reinforced plates, and its leg tips are tipped with sharp blade like tips. The pedipalps, while lacking proper digits, have segmented plates that allow them some level of proper grasping on whatever they hold. It's head possess 8 eyes, two stacks of four lined above the other, the upper pair slightly further back along the head than the bottom pair. It's mouth is similar to the insectoids of Null, having a jawed structure, with the signature fangs of a spider being integrated into a large set of mandibles flanking the mouth. When the mouth is fully closed, the fanged mandibles curl up the front, vaguely resembling a large mustache like structure. The abdomen is large and holds the silk production organs, which a cut-away reveals are very large. Females have larger abdomens. Disturbingly, one sketch shows the beast skinning, drying, and then using the flayed skin of their prey as a hammock.]

[A note is attached. It reads 'Okay, so like, them using skins as a hammock is really disturbing, but also really metal as all hell.']

Scientific Name Translation: Flaying Fang.

Average Size: 2 meters/6.6 feet long, not counting legs.

Average Weight: 500 lbs/226.8kgs.

Notable Sexual Dimorphism: Females are larger than the males, have larger abdomens and have red markings.

Habitat Range: Heavily forested areas..

Summary:​
Arthropods are some of the oldest multi-cellular life on our homeworld of Null, having existed since the earliest days of complex multicellular life in the oceans some 600 million years ago. In the eons since, many distinct branches and families of arthropods have come into existence, with few as intriguing as to the wide world of Arachnids, which includes spiders, scorpions, and other related species. Of these many Arachnids that call Null home, few have as fearsome a reputation, however, as Flayer Spider, known by its contemporary and ancient folk name of the 'Skin-Stripper'. [A note is attached. It reads 'I remember lots of my Spirit friends snickering at hearing the name. Apparently Spirits have these things called 'strip-clubs', where hot chicks and dudes take off their clothes and stuff in front of a crowd for money? I dunno, sounds far fetched to me.']

At 2 meters in length, Skin-Strippers are some of the largest spiders to exist outside of the Land of Giants to the far West. They are relatively light, with much of their weight being in the way of an armored exoskeleton capable of repelling indirect Slugger fire with ease. This lightness, combined with the great strength in their 8 legs as well as a keen silk-spinning ability allows the Skin-Stripper unparalleled mobility in their preferred environments, this being heavily forested regions. The type of forest is not relevant, as over time dedicated subspecies have come to inhabit everything from tropical forests to rainforests alike.

Despite their size, speed, and relative durability, the Skin-Stripper is not all that common. Fossil evidence indicates that only within the last million years or so, their numbers have begun to severely dwindle to modern comparative rarity. The most likely cause is the increase in deadliness among the life forms of Null, as it is a well established fact that as more time passes, the deadlier Null as a world becomes. Despite this, modern day Skin-Strippers have become adept and intelligent hunters who are infamous for their trademark technique. As their name suggests, the Skin-Stripper is infamous for flaying its prey of their skin, which the Skin-Flayer then dries into a leather before adding their webbing into the mix in order to turn the skin into a hammock for themselves. This trademark technique is so ubiquitous among Skin-Strippers that not only has it become their folk name, it has even developed into something of a culture among themselves. Some Skin-Strippers exclusively hunt for the skins of specific prey, while others make do with whatever they can catch. One particular culture actively takes live prey back to their lairs in order to preserve them and wait for optimal conditions for skinning and leather making.

In terms of armament, Skin-Strippers have sharp tipped legs which provide them with excellent cutting and piercing power in close quarters. Their eyes offer them excellent vision even in darkness, and some subspecies posses quill like hairs along their bodies which can sense vibrations in the air, offering them superb sensory information. A volatile acid is produced from their mouths, which is further mixed with venom from their fangs for a dangerous armor destroying substance that also poisons the wearer. Their silk, produced from their abdomens, is durable enough that only the raw strength comparable to Cerberi can hope to rip it apart, thus requiring a sharp blade to cut through it to escape. This silk is resilient to heat and cold, but is highly conductive to electricity. As a result, any modern day Power Armor with a basic electro-stun defense feature can easily escape by electrifying the webs and causing them to disintegrate within a matter of seconds. [A note is attached.It depicts a cartoon Skin-Stripper with an exclamation point over its head as an armored man electrifies its webbing with his PA. Words follow, reading 'Imagine holding your prey down in your super-web, only for it to just start producing a mini-lightning storm.']

In terms of hunting tactics, the Skin-Stripper is highly cautious, spending hours if not days tracking their preferred prey until the perfect opportunity arises to strike. When this happens, the Skin-Stripper attacks quickly and brutally, tying up their prey before injecting them with venom to kill them. Upon confirmation of the prey's expiration, the Skin-Stripper expertly and efficiently uses its sharp-edged limbs to flay the target, with the most experienced managing to perfectly preserve the skin with as few needed incisions as possible. Then feasts on the flesh below before going back into hiding to tan the acquired skin for its uses in attracting mates and for use in regular activities such as sleep.

When mating season arrives, male Skin-Strippers meet in established mating grounds for their kind, bringing with them their collection of skins. Females come and inspect the collections of the various males and decide on which of the most successful they will mate with. Despite what some popular culture would have you believe, female Nullian spiders, Skin-Stripper ones included, do not eat their mates. This is a common misconception, due to identification. They only eat males who fail to meet their standards long before any mating commences. If a male is selected to mate, then his life is not forfeit. After mating, the larger females seclude themselves in dark areas to lay their egg sacs. They then use the collected skins donated to them by their male counterparts to cover up the egg sac for warmth. This skin covering also doubles as nourishment for the young when they finally escape into the world, thus debunking another common myth that spider-young swarm and consume their mothers.

In every day life, with the advent of the Great Walled Cities, Skin-Strippers are growing increasingly less common in the common mental viewpoint. Only the Bug-Hunter Nation continues to keep much attention to them, due to the Bug-Hunters actively hunting and consuming Skin-Strippers as part of a ritualistic ceremony for a special sect of their Hunter's Guild members. When asked on the street of their thoughts on the Skin-Strippers, the spider-like Spirit Race that is the Ira have no real opinion of them, failing to see what relation one would draw between the Skin-Strippers and themselves. As one Ira put it: 'We deal in poisons, potions, and remedies, not butchery.'

[A note is attached. It is a a detailed sketch of an Ira woman. She is an Arachne style tauric individual, with what would be pedipalps acting as legs for her womanly body at the 'head' of her spider body. She possess greyish skin and armored segments lining her arms and 'legs', with a short-muzzled face that have a pair of small, cute fangs poking out of her thin lips. A pair of mandibles flank her mouth, though they appear to be for show more than anything. Five red eyes line her face, two in a conventional position, two above those eyes, and one at the center of her forehead. A pair of pointed, armored ears flank her head, and her purple hair is tied in a bun over her head. She is wearing a skirt and a T-Shirt that seems to be for a band called 'Fire & Fang' that give her well endowed form a sense of modesty. Words follow, saying 'This is Isha, my co-worker at the engineering shop. I always heard Ira were potion makers, but she makes a great engineer!']
 
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