The Crucible · Writing

The Crucible Series Bestiary

For a number of months now, I’ve been planning out a bestiary, and let me say, it is not easy! Those of you who’ve read my series know there are a good number of creatures featured across the books, so there’s a lot to get down! Some of these are based on classic mythology, some on urban legend, and others were just made up from scratch. So I thought some people might appreciate having them listed together in one place, the only problem is that it’s been hard for me to find time lately to actually finish it!

So, since progress on that front has been so slow, I thought I might hop over here to post some of the creatures I do have listings for! If you’re curious, some of my favorites include Brutes, Ghouls, and Will-o-Wisps! :)

• • •

Brute: A type of Sentinel based on necromancy. Instead of conjuring an animated suit of armor, a necromancer reanimates a corpse to serve their whims. Like Sentinels, Brutes do not require food or sleep, and will regenerate lost limbs with uncanny speed. They can also be programmed with a few basic commands due to their very limited intelligence. Yet these creatures are too powerful to be made and controlled in multiple numbers, and can be destroyed without killing the necromancer controlling them.

Physical abilities are dependant on the type of creature used to make the Brute, but all possess the ability to move in an out of Limbo, the Plane of the Dead. Oftentimes, the only warning a Brute is nearby is the putrid stench of decay just before they strike.

• • •

Cockatrice: A reptilian creature with the head of a rooster. Cockatrices vary in size, the biggest usually comparable to an ostrich, though some have been known to grow larger. Able to move at frightening speeds, particularly when sprinting, these animals can stun prey with their gazes, preventing escape for long enough to strike. Cockatrice eggs are sometimes used in magic spells meant to stun enemies.

• • •

Drake: A member of dragonkind, drakes are powerful animals and are typically more even tempered than their wyvern cousins. This, along with their physical builds, make them much more suitable for mounting and riding. Most drakes grow to fifteen feet in size, and may or may not possess wings. Due to the draconian practice of raising these beasts to perform in the ranks of the Skyriders, they haven’t been hunted for their scales nearly as often as wyverns.

These animals are found in five colors, each with a different ability (i.e., breathing fire (red), lightning (blue), poisonous acid (green), frost (white), or firing a psionic burst (black)).

• • •

Ghoul: Humans who remain daywalkers eventually transform into monsters known as ghouls. These mindless creatures operate on sheer instinct, which is a drive to consume flesh and blood. Physically, ghouls are grotesque, with large, empty black eyes and a lipless grin of razor sharp teeth. Though most appear to be slow moving with frail bodies in a hunched-over posture, they can jump and sprint at terrifying speeds. Ghouls tend to form nests underground due to their extreme light sensitivity, and will eat whatever living creature they get their claws on. Additionally, a single bite or scratch can transform a human.

• • •

Sentinel: Magically animated suits of armor (usually lacking a head, though some possess a helmet) conjured by mages to fight and/or protect them. These beings can summoned in multiple numbers, and do not require food or sleep. If taken apart, they will reassemble themselves and continue fighting in mere moments. The only way to destroy a sentinel is to kill the mage controlling it.

• • •

Skin Thieves (alt. Tratters): Tall, bony, skinless monsters that dwell in The Pit. These creatures wear the skin of their victims until it rots, and though they lack higher intelligence, they’ve been known to keep their victims captive if they survive the process of being skinned and regenerate quickly enough.

• • •

Trolls: An sentient race of monsters which were formerly elves. As legend goes, the Goddess of Light, Udana, forbade her children from leaving Divinity, warning them that a physical existence would only bring suffering. However, some left Divinity anyway, and as such, were forever cursed to wander the world as monsters. Because of this, trolls are sometimes referred to as The First Elves, though most true elves resent this moniker.

Physically, trolls come in all shapes and sizes, with oily, pebbled skin and black sclera instead of white (irises, skin tones, and hair are found in a wide range of colors). Their strength and speed are impressive, and though intelligent, their thirst for violence curbs their craftiness. They are also sensitive to light.

• • •

Will-o-Wisp: These creatures appear as small dots of floating light that tempt travelers into following them. Elves in particular are unable to resist their lure without a great deal of self control. If a Will-o-Wisp is successful at drawing someone in, they can, on the rare occasion, lead to great fortune. But much more commonly, the traveler will inevitably walk off a cliff or drown in a body of water trying to reach the glowing dot of light.

• • •

Wyvern: A member of dragonkind, wyverns grow larger than drakes, and are more temperamental. They also possess wings that double as arms. In Ithelyon, these beasts are endangered as they’re hunted for their scales, which possess protective properties to differing types of magic, with the red being the rarest of all. Like drakes, these animals are found in five colors, each with a different ability (i.e., breathing fire (red), lightning (blue), poisonous acid (green), frost (white), or firing a psionic burst (black)).

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