A Brief Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the Wilderness (3rd edition)

by Dr E Timmons

The wilderness contains many strange and wonderful plants and animals. Some have been identified from old texts written in The World that Was, whereas of others no records seem to exist. As our knowledge of this time is extremely patchy however it is most likely these supposedly 'new' creatures were well known to our ancestors, just not mentioned in any of the very few texts that managed to survive The End. As most of the wilderness is yet to be explored there are doubtless many creatures still waiting to be discovered. What follows is a short description of some of the most common and notable species discovered so far, intended to aid and assist workers on the Inter-Dome Railway, and any others who have cause to leave the safety of the Domes. Readers desiring more information should consider A Comprehensive Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the Wilderness by the same author which includes information on more species as well as complete behavioural and anatomical studies.

Flora

Overview

Most of the area so far explored consists of plains, which are dominated by a large variety of grasses, although in the springtime wild flowers are also abundant. A number of smaller woods have also been explored and a number of delicious varieties of fruit have been discovered. Marshes bordering some of the major rivers have also yielded a number of medicinal herbs.

List of Notable Varieties

Fire Fern

A reddish orangey fern. Touching it causes a severe burning pain.

Evronberries

Sweet orange berries which can be used to make a delicious jam. Found growing on damp, marshy ground. Has white flowers with an even number of petals.

Deathberries

Sweet orange berries which are extremely poisonous. CANNOT BE USED TO MAKE A DELICIOUS JAM. Looks very similar to Evronberries but has white flowers with an odd number of petals. Unfortunately the berries do not appear until after the flowers have died.

Mobile Mushrooms

Also known as Mushtens. These red mushrooms with white spots are capable of independent movement and have two little feet at the end of their stalks. Discovered by Kay Wolff.

Woodapple

A medium sized tree with a tart, sweet fruit about the size of a clenched fist.

Fauna

Overview

A large variety of animal species have so far been encountered. Some of these are gentle creatures, with some even being domesticated and kept as pets, as perhaps they once were in The World that Was. Others are extremely dangerous and should be avoided where possible.

List of Notable Varieties

Billijoes

Very large, herbivorous, quadrupedal reptiles with spiked backs and tails. Named by Kay Wolff of Wildekein.

Birds

There are many species of birds present in the wilderness, of which their are too many to go into here. There are many that prey on small animals or smaller birds and others that feed on insects or on fruits and seeds. The sheer variety of different colours, shapes, and sizes have lead to birds becoming very popular as pets.

Flashaurus

Knee high, bipedal carnivorous reptiles which have a frilled head and were observed spitting venom. Found south of Wildekein. First discovered by Flash of Wildekein.

Growlprins

Large, amphibious creatures with powerful legs, thick, sensitive feet and toes, enormous, upturned mouths, and thick, curly beards. There are many colours of them, piebald, yellow, pale green, black, brown. These animals seem fairly easy to tame and there are hopes that eventually they will be able to be ridden. Discovered on the first expedition of the Grand Expeditionary League

Horses

A fast moving, quite large, quadrupedal mammal. Found in herds on the plains where it eats grass. The Old Texts suggest that they can be domesticated and ridden, which several railway workers have tried with varying degrees of success.

Hardshell

New this edition
An aquatic reptile with a shell covering most of the body with the exception of the head and legs.

Lapumps

Small, arboreal creatures the size of a rabbit they have a striped, prehensile tail, green fur, curving claws, a long proboscis, and rabbit-like ears. They eat fruit and insects and can be easily tamed. In some of the domes they have even become quite popular pets.

Kraken

A huge tentacled creature that inhabits the Sea of Mists. Larger than several houses and capable of sinking ships. Very dangerous and as a result little is known about it.

Omnixards

Human sized, bipedal reptiles with long legs, necks and tails. They have a beak like snout and appear to eat just about anything. Found south of Wildekein.

Rabbits

Small, furry animals with large ears. They move in a hopping motion and live in large burrows that they dig out from the ground. They eat low growing plants and are found both on the plains and in the woods.

Roc

A very large bird with a wingspan of up to 20m. Has a unique skeletal structure, sharing many similarities with that of a bat.

Six-legged Salamander

A black, lizard like amphibian with yellow spots, the main peculiarity is that it possess six legs instead of the more usual four. The skin is slightly poisonous, causing a mild stinging sensation if touched (as the author learnt first hand).

Sixtail

Superficially resembling a wolf but much smaller and a reddish or golden coloured fur instead of grey or black. The other difference is that instead of one tail it has six, hence the name. Also unlike a wolf it is a mainly solitary creature and has not been known to eat anything larger than a rabbit. Very intelligent and possible to train, although this is quite difficult.

Snakes

There are many varieties of snakes present in the wilderness. Most are venomous but some kill their prey instead by constriction.

Marsh Python

Growing up to three times longer than the average man the Marsh Python kills by constrictions and is large enough to consider humans as prey.

Nadder

Small, venomous snake. Quite aggressive. Favours wooded areas with lots of leaf litter.

Stomping Lizards

Very large, herbivorous, quadrupedal reptiles with frilled heads and three horns.

Sunshine Lizards

Large semi-quadrupedal herbivorous reptiles that spend half their time on all fours and half their time upright. They have yellow or orange scales and spiked thumbs. Found south of Wildekein. Named by Michelle Wright of Haven.

Swimsilver

New this edition A large aquatic mammal. Shaped somewhat like a fish but with a horizontally fluked tail (instead of a vertically fluked one)

Velociraptor

New this edition A waist high, carnivorous, bipedal, feathered animal. None have been sighted in the wild, the only known example having been raised in captivity. Appears to share the name and general appearance of a similar but more aggressive animal that went extinct over 65 million years ago.

Wolves

Extremely dangerous animal, it hunts in packs and has been known to attack and kill small groups of workers on the railway. Mainly nocturnal it fears fire and will avoid large groups of people. Numerous mentions of it are present in the Old Texts, some of which seem to suggest that it possesses the ability to talk. This ability has not been witnessed however and it is thought that this ability does not exist and that the sources were either mistaken or fictional. Following a recent study it appears that Wolves do indeed lack the ability to either talk or sing

Yoxen

Standing more than three times as tall as a man, these quadrupeds have a thick coat of shaggy fur and two large horns, one on each side of the head. Despite their fearsome appearance however, these gentle giants are herbivores and pose no threat to us. Living in large herds on the plains they spend most of their time eating. No direct match has been found to them in any of the Old Texts, although they do seem to closely resemble an animal used as a food source and beast of burden in the Old World. This 'match' however is much, much smaller, less than a third of the size of the Yoxen, with much shorter horns and fur as well. Our current theory is that for some reason only juveniles were used for these purposes and that no mention of the adults is made. Recent evidence suggests that Yoxen are “New Beasts” although what this means is unclear

Rumoured Sightings

Who knows what other creatures, unseen and unheard exist in the wild? There are some creatures that have been claimed to be seen but have not yet been verified. These include a very large bird of prey that was spotted in the distance by the Mountains near Cross and Giant Reptiles in the swamps and marshes near Wildekein. Editor's Note: These sightings have now been confirmed and the relevant species can be found listed above

flora_and_fauna.txt · Last modified: Tue 3 Feb 2015, 02:49:21 UTC by gm_michael
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