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A Bestiary of Shalazar

The world of Shalazar holds more wonders than man can imagine-but the imagination of man can hold quite a few wonders indeed. Below are some legends of the more well-known of the non-human creatures that live in the lands of the Calipha.

Genies (or Djinn)

Oh great Djinn-I, your most humble supplicant, wish to place before you this sweetmeat, tender and succulent, that you might deign to pick it upů

According to the legends of Shalazar, the djinn were created as the first servants of Shaliq herself, and certainly no djinn would ever claim to be less than a thousand years old. It is not known if djinn can reproduce, although it is rumoured that no djinn can be destroyed without the direct intercession of Shaliq herself. The great Summoners of the Invisible College might have something to say about this, but they keep their secrets to themselves.

Powers

Every genie is a unique mixture of the various materials that make up the world. Major materials include fire, water, earth, air, metal, stone, and wood. Even a common examination of a djinn will suggest its composition: fire djinn are more likely to be red or orange in colour, while those with more earth or metal may appear heavier, thicker, and slower. Likewise, a djinn's personality will be linked to its composition.

What exactly a djinn can do is a matter of debate even among great scholars. Among the common people, it is even more of a mystery. They are known to follow a vast and complex set of rules, known as the Code of Shaliq-it is whispered that the Tablets themselves are part of this code, although many, many more rules bind Geniekind than man.

All djinn can be assumed to have access to the following powers:

  • Shapechanging: Changing their own size and shape, becoming giant or shrinking to the size of a flea. Taking the form of another is also within their abilities.
  • Transformation: Turning others into animals, water into wine and things like that.
  • Creation: Creating gems and money out of the air. Building palaces out of nothing in a single night.
  • Illusions: Hiding people from sight.

Personality

All genies consider themselves to be of the nobility, and amongst themselves they have a hugely complex and frequently argued-over hierarchy. They are considered by most to be arrogant, and to see themselves as one small step below the grand calipha. Most stories will portray the Djinn as feeling that servitude to a mortal is an unfortunate inconvenience, but due to the rules they are bound by they tend to fatalistic acceptance.

In general, stories that the people of Shalazar tell of the djinn tend towards two archetypes:

  • The humble and wise summoner who uses the djinn's arrogance against him, with either guile or flattery, such that the djinn bends to his will
  • The arrogant and hasty sorcerer that calls forth a creature that he cannot control.

Types of Djinn

  • Fire: Even more arrogant than usual, impatient, overconfident, prone to fits of rage. More destructive powers than most, but less skilled in creation.
  • Water: Like to see those they serve embarrassed. Masters of transformations and shapechanging.
  • Earth: Obedient to the letter. Great at creating things.
  • Air: Lazy and exceedingly mendacious. Good at transporting people, and at illusions.
  • Stone: Slow in thought and deed. Good at creating big things, but can't do fine work.
  • Metal: Hard, cold and viscious. Masterful creators of metal items, and deadly warriors.
  • Wood: More reasonable than most; calm. Good at growth and transformations.

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Dragons

Dragons are very large, long lived, lizard like creatures. They come in a number of types.

The Feathered Serpents of the South

The smallest of the dragon-kind, they have given up their legs to be able to move through thedense jungles of their homelands more easily. They are between 10 and 20m long, and are the least arrogant and greedy of the dragonkind. Most of them avoid humankind, but a few are revered as gods by tribes of primative pigmies.

The Great Wyrms of the North

The largest of the dragon kind, they are huge (50+m), fire-breathing, flying lizards. They can live to great age, and they obsessively collect vast wealth and guard it ceaselessly. Fortunately for the Barbarian tribes in these areas, they don't breed very fast.

The Sea Dragons of the West

Gigantic turtle shaped creatures, they are occasionally mistaken for islands. They live at the bottom of the sea, and rarely interfere in the affairs of the surface.

Additionally in the west are found the wisest of the great wyrms, those who are less viscious and greedy than their kin, and who have left the north to seek seclusion in the lonely isles of the west. They may well have become accomplished sorcerers, and be capable of changing form etc.

The Divine Dragons of the East

Wingless worms that fly by the power of magical gems set in their brains, they are revered by the people of these lands as direct messagers from the ancestor spirits.

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Zombies

The simplest of the servants that a necromancer can command. At worst, they are a mere shambling body, but a skilled necromancer can give them other powers.

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Ghouls

Flesh eating fiends that live in grave-yards and feed on the flesh of humans.

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Manticores

A hybrid monster, traditionally believed to have the face of a man, the head of lion, the body of a goat and the winds of a dragon.

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Basilisks

Legendary lizards whose gaze petrifies the viewer.

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Rocs

Big birds. VERY BIG birds! Believed to make their nests in the mountains between Shalazar and the Jungles of Punt, and to feed on whales and elephants.

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Anthropophagi

Man whose eyes are in their chests, men with but a single leg, men with the heads of beasts and other such ungodly monstrosities. Believed to lurk in the dark corners of Punt.

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