The Koga

An example of Bestia Chelona Koga, or Koga in common.

The Koga are related to the forest dwelling Holzkröte of the Grunvale and the Sangon of Ilshana. These hard shelled amphibious bestials inhabit the exotic lands to the west, from the muddy rivers that nourish the Haanjagala and its mangroves, to the crisp clean streams and rivers of the Shénmì Isles. 

Koga to the layman would appear to live in isolation, however they actually live in large herds spread out over an exceptionally large area. They dig hollows out beneath trees and under river banks and line them with treasures and the carefully preserved skulls of their prey. The Koga’s predatory habits shift seasonally. In winter they hunt alone, grabbing whatever food they can, from passing wildlife, pets from nearby villages, or lost travellers. In the spring they gather together and ravage isolated communities, taking anything and everything they can. They are particularly fond of shiny objects, particularly gems, silver, and gold. They will often roughly hammer bits of precious metals and gems into items they have scavenged to wage war with. Nobody is entirely sure why, it may be a display of power and their prowess as a raider, or maybe they just enjoy them for aesthetic reasons. 

Koga vary in colour between the Haanjagala and the Shénmì Isles. The Koga of the Haanjagala and it’s mangroves have flesh in shades of green and brown, with deep brown and black shells. While the Koga of the Shénmì Isles have a more etheric quality, many being albinos from their flesh to their shells. Some have shells with pearlescent qualities, while some have shells bearing patterns that look like they are made of pure silver. Beyond the albino Koga some have other pale hues, light yellows, purples and pinks.  

Koga are challenging opponents, being far swifter and agile that one would expect. Couple this with their natural defense and they pose quite a threat to an unprepared combatant. The best chance of taking one down in combat is to cripple their legs and dispatch them while they are on the ground. Otherwise I would suggest a sturdy crossbow or handgun, as their shells are easily pierced by the force of the projectiles. Keeping them at range is always preferable to a close encounter…….  

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

The Hircyne

An example of Bestia Caprigor Hircynus, or Hircyne in common.

The Hircyne along with Baran and the Stier, are the most widespread and most common bestial forms across Yss. The Hircyne share features with domesticated goats, and have a wide range of colouration and forms, dependent on location and climate.  

Belligerent and stubborn, Hircyne are a significant threat to any that might encounter them. Unlike the Baran, the Hircyne find no issue eating bones, tendon and anything else their prey may be wearing. There are many examples of deceased Hircyne specimens with buttons, buckles, coins and other such detritus in their stomachs, and showing no ill effects such as inflammation or ulcers.  

Hircyne, Baran and Stier can often be found in mixed herds, though it is not unheard of for them to live in groups made up exclusively of their own kind. One common trait amongst these groups is their pride in their horns and their disdain of those without. They treat hornless bestials as lesser than their ungor kin, even if the bestial is equal or greater in the natural order (Though they will keep such notions to themselves if the creature is far larger than them). They will only work with other bestials if they see a significant threat or if an alpha forces them to accept the arrangement, often with a few examples made of any with dissenting opinions.

The modus operandi of the Hircyne, Baran and Stier is well covered by numerous tales, personal accounts and historical treatise. For their actions are innumerable and horrifying. No corner of Yss has remained untouched by their kind, the tales from Esel and the Grunvale as a whole would fill volumes on their own. No man, duardin or aelve alive has not heard of their vile actions, nor unacquainted with their foul visage.    

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

The Feuergeist

An example of Bestia Feuergis, the Feuergeist in common.

The Feuergeist reside across Yss, lurking in damp cave systems and secret hollows in swamps and marshlands, and many found in the sewers and waterways of Yss’s larger towns and cities. These vicious man eaters are true horrors, stalking abroad at night to snatch away victims to consume, children and young women being their preferred choice. These creatures are perfectly adapted for nocturnal hunting, they appear to have perfect night vision, and their dark oily skin acting as near perfect camouflage in the shadows of their preferred hunting grounds.

While vicious when hunting, they are far more terrifying when defending their homes, becoming frenzied and inured to pain. They will lurk in the darkest shadows of their homes, stalking the interloper before striking with claw and blade to tear out the victims throat or dismember them alive. The entrances to their homes are often littered with the remains of unwanted guests, from wandering adventurers to wild beasts. 

Fully capable of killing with just their claws, Feuergeist are always found carrying a blade made from bone with crude symbols carved into the handles, over which they wrap dried intestine tightly. It is theorised that these daggers have not only a practical use, but a religious one to the Feuergeist. Possibly that the act of the kill and the consumption of the flesh is viewed as an offering to their fel deity (Or deities) and an act oneness with them?

Beyond their daggers they will fashion larger weapons from other skeletal remains. A common one being an assemblage of bone that they strap to their forearm as you would a shield, but with a variety of teeth and horns protruding from it so it can be used offensively. It is quite effective at close quarters, particularly in the narrow confines of their homes. They will often reuse helmets and other light pieces of armour if they feel their prey may pose a heightened threat to them and their kin.

Feuergeist are often hunted despite their fierceness, as many that dabble in magic and shamanic rituals, both noble and fel, wish to procure certain glands and the pelts for various rituals. One of the most common is a concoction made from a gland in the base of the creatures skull. This gland is believed to be the source of the Feuergeists heightened abilities when defending its home. When consumed a warrior gains the same ability for a while, becoming frenzied in combat, gaining increased strength and ignoring pain that would disable a normal man. Though this isn’t without risk, many die from their injuries, while others simply keel over and die post battle due to being overwhelmed by the concoction. But those that survive their first use seem to gain a measure of resistance to the negative effects of the concoction, becoming more focussed and aware, and a tempering of their fury when used again.

While I believe that, as with all bestials, that the Feuergeist should be dealt with in an unwavering fashion, I believe that those hunting them to procure ritual items are needlessly provoking these creatures as attacks increase four fold after successful hunts. Their greed and lust for martial recognition comes with a high cost to the innocent.         

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”

The Morsa

An example of Bestia Morsavum, the Morsa in common.

The Morsa are widely spread across Yss, lurking wherever there are high vantage points that they can use to ambush their prey. Individually Morsa are easily intimidated and driven off, but bold when in numbers. A pack of Morsa will spend days or weeks surveilling their prey and the surrounding area, plotting and planning their strike with precision, and accessing their targets strength. During that time they will engage in terror tactics to put their prey on edge, most commonly using their throat sacks to create a terrifying cacophony during the night to prevent their quarry from sleeping and keeping them on edge. These displays are also used to convey information to and from the individual members of the pack, as each Morsa have their own tone. 

Once everything is in place the pack moves in one decisive strike. Each member gliding from their positions down onto their prey in the night, slashing with crude blades and their razor sharp black claws in a vicious frenzied attack. Should the ambush go well the pack will pick clean the corpses and pillage anything they desire and then return to their nests up in the heights. Should it start going wrong the pack will scatter and flee on foot at speed. 

Morsa are not particularly graceful, their bodies are heavy and their winged arms are not designed for true flight, hence them gliding down to their prey and fleeing on foot. In combat they are rather clumsy and brutish. They tend to lash out with blades and claws at anything that is in range, simply hoping that the fury of their attacks will breach an opponent’s defences. If the Morsa terror tactics have worked, their prey is often tired, irrational and confused; which often leads to this frenzied attack leaving them a bloody mess ripe for the picking.    

My only advice to travellers venturing through the darkest woods and perilous mountain passes of Yss is to move quickly and keep an eye on what’s above you, and to seek safety if you hear that terrible noise in the dark. 

~ Filib Stjerne, Scholar of Theriology at the Learning Halls of Esel-Din. Author of “The Superior Hunter’s guide to the Beastly Mind. A cultural and psychological treatise on the Gor-kin”