“Long have heroes attempted to find and conquer Syteless Peak, but its dangers are unseen, and its path hidden. Beware the darkness you can touch.” First Champion and Kingdom Protectoress Baila Kindgard, as found in The Ruined Scrolls from the Forgotten Epoch.
Royal Archives Volume 72, Kingdom of Mar, “The Ruined Scrolls,” by Royal Historian Reguss Samthorn
Arcus Vultures are a curious contradiction. One of the most dangerous creatures of the Valley of Fire, it is not due to their razor sharp talons or five step wingspan. (Although these are good to be aware of.)
Rather, it is due to their scavenging lifestyle of digging through decaying carcasses that Arcus Vultures carry a swift and deadly disease known as “fleshrot.”
Fleshrot, if not treated, is often fatal within a few hours. See “Fleshrot.” Because this disease is so deadly and because it transfers at nothing more than a scratch most find it prudent to avoid Arcus Vultures entirely. Arcus Vultures also hunt in packs, no more than six to eight but seldom fewer than three, making them even more worthy of avoidance.
However, Arcus Vultures carry a regenerative healing property in their blood that allows them to carry fleshrot without dying. The chemist philosopher Andrus Corpsen isolated the property and discovered for the modern world the powerful healing elixir that we now commonly refer to as “Second Chance Elixir.” See also, “Andrus Corpsen,” and “Second Chance Elixer.”
Royal Archives Volume 473, Kingdom of Mar, “Arcus Vulture,” by Royal Historian Gregus Sandburr
The Rock Ogre is a native to the twisted and sharp lava rock caves of the Valley of Fire. Not to be confused with the Forest Ogre, which is much bigger but has lighter and more sensitive skin. (Some Forest Ogres are even known to sunburn). The Forest Ogre lives beyond the hills bordering the Kingdom of Mar in Greatwood Forest. See “Forest Ogre.”
Rock Ogres are known for their massive teeth and their voracious appetite, but not for their intelligence or stealth. Their teeth grow throughout their lives, requiring them to gnaw on rocks or bones to keep them from growing too long. (You can often tell how old a Rock Ogre is by how long his teeth are, although, such examination is rarely possible.)
Rock Ogres, often referred to simply as “ogres” by those from the Kingdom of Mar, do not speak Lingua Comma as you and I do, but instead communicate by a crude system of grunts and pointing. One notable exception to this generality was a circus performing ogre by the name of “Ozblat the Terrible.” He was taught to say “Dana Dizzywittle didn’t do diddly during daytime darts.” This level of speech was so astonishing people regularly paid to hear Ozblat’s performance.
Royal Archives Volume 465, Kingdom of Mar, “Rock Ogre,” by Royal Historian Gregus Sandburr
The Exarus race is a mysterious race that looks similar to the Kingdom of Mar’s champion war horses but with the addition of wings. The Exarus do not claim any relation to our own breed of horses, although they do have a similar fondness for apples. Little is known of their origin as they guard their history carefully and often keep to themselves.
The Exarus are perfectly proportioned and can speak several languages including Lingua Comma. They are not ridden as we ride horses. Instead they have been sought after as diplomacy and war advisors in the past. The Exarus left the Kingdom of Mar when Amanex was banished by King Yertune during the Cretlin Sea War. Since that time the Exarus have been declared an extinguished race. See “Amanex, Diplomat of Aeola,” and “Extinguished Races.”
Royal Archives Volume 239, Kingdom of Mar, “Exarus,” by Royal Historian Handel Brushtache
Essie Brightsday is a fiercely independent blind girl who wishes her dad didn’t act like he is afraid of her. Tigramon is Essie’s big grey cat. He hates water, loves grasshoppers and speaks the Lingua Comma.
Urodelas were a salamander-like creature that made their home in the swamplands of Bangular, until those marshes were destroyed and became what is now commonly known as the Grey Wasteland.
A relatively harmless and peaceful creature, they are known for their incredible varying colors and have at times been held as pets by nobles. No Urodela are known to exist today. See “Extinguished Races.”
Royal Archives Volume 611, Kingdom of Mar, “Urodelas,” updated by Royal Historian Smalls Cavimish, original entry see, “Uerodelam,” Royal Archives Volume 328
Rock Basilisks are one of the more cunning predators of the Valley of Fire. They were described in the journal of the great explorer Tangerine Menalo as “a creature up to eight steps long, of the same coloration as the red rock of the Valley of Fire with sharply jagged features, camouflaging perfectly with the sharp terrain in which it lives.” Menalo also says “the mouth of the Rock Basilisk is of a bright yellow and it emits a most unpleasant scream before making a kill.”
The male Rock Basilisk has a hooded frill around its neck that is also brightly colored. It is unknown if the female Rock Basilisk has the same frill. Rock Basilisks have never been tamed or captured, but for those who have killed the Rock Basilisk, the hide is of tremendous value. There are presently two Rock Basilisk hides in Plen, in the Kingdom of Mar, as a part of the Royal Treasury display. One of the hides is the Rock Basilisk mentioned in the Ballad of Grindor Trunch. The properties of the hide are most unique, with overlapping scales forming an almost impenetrable barrier but coupled with an absorption property, allowing Rock Basilisks to receive severe blows with minimal damage. The absorption property present in the hide is thought to be similar to the “stone armor” enchantment used by blacksmithing mages. See “Ballad of Grindor of Trunch,” and “Rock Basilisk Hide.”
Royal Archives Volume 451, Kingdom of Mar, “Rock Basilisk,” by Royal Historian Gregus Sandburr