A small, piglike creature with a hard shell and a flat, snuffling snout, this timid beast noses about the undergrowth for food along with its herd-mates. A domesticated farm animal, the aprig is raised for its succulent meat, known for its nutty flavor, and its hard shell, which is used in the construction of household implements and armor. Aprig sows also produce milk, but it is of questionable quality. Aprigs require little care, being voracious omnivores that will eat almost anything that is put before them. A herd of these creatures is led by a single boar and a number of sows and their litters. Adult males must be separated or they will fight for mating dominance. Mating takes place twice each year, and an aprig litter can number as many as 10 apriglets. Aprigs vary in color from gray to reddish brown. Their faces are round and their snouts wide, suited to shoveling through piles of vegetation. Their vision is poor, but their hearing and scent are strong.
A strain of humped cattle with a bony skull and drab hide, these animals move in a wandering herd, longhorned males protecting short-horned females and young. With many products and resources being derived from it, the carru is a staple of Athasian life. The females produce a nourishing, creamy milk (as much as three gallons per day), and both sexes are slaughtered for their meat. A male can yield as much as 250 lbs of meat. This is less for females (only 200 lbs), but they are seldom killed for their meat, as they are potentially much more valuable as milk producers.
Carru make excellent beasts of burden, dragging plows and turning water and grain mills. Carru hide is soft and supple and holds a dye well, so it is used in the making of clothing, furniture, tents and the like. The thicker hide of the skull is a component in many leather and hide armors and is also highly suited as a shield covering. The carru’s hump, though used for water storage, does not inflate or deflate like a camel’s. The average hump holds 1d6+2 pints of water at any given time and can be used to make a waterskin of similar capacity. The leather will rot in contact with alcohol, however, so carru hide is unsuitable for the fashioning of wineskins. The adult carru is ten feet long and weighs as much as 400 pounds. Their soft hide is furred and colored in varying shades of dun grey or brown.
Carru herds are led by one or more adult males (bull carru), with up to three females per adult male.
A cloven-hoofed quadruped the size of a large pig, this creature sports a pair of sweeping horns and a striped, furred hide. Sygra are wild animals, only ever partially domesticated at best. They are raised for their meat and milk, which is fairly tasty, and for their soft hides, which make good clothing and low-grade leather. Sygra are a feral breed that can be tempted to remain in the area of a farm through offers of good grazing land, but they are never truly tame. They are also sometimes used as guard animals, as they are wary and light sleepers, with an excellent sense of smell.
The bear has a massive body armored in articulated carapace shot through with tufts of brown fur. Its furred, thick-boned skull has round ears, a square snout, and a black nose the size of a man’s head. From its gaping maw droops a scarlet tongue dripping with drool. Those Athasians who have seen paintings of ancient bears assume the furry creatures to be dwarven pets; the bears of today’s Athas are massive beasts caught and trained for arena fighting. Handlers subdue the beasts’ potent psionic minds, which have developed psychic attacks over the millennia. An Athasian bear resembles a shell-wearing version of the dire bear, though even larger and more ferocious. It has brown fur and a black snout and paws. A typical Athasian bear measures 18 feet long and weighs 14,000 pounds.
This tiny lizard has a spiny back, a multicolored hide, and a small, toothy mouth. Usually reluctant houseguests, critics are innately psionic and tune themselves to their feeders. Critics change color each year after a molting. Critics use body language when communicating with other critics. Magical or psionic contact is possible, but the critic always reacts/answers in a paranoid or anxious way. Critics are considered a good luck charm for most households. They would prefer to be fed rather than hunt on their own. They are usually caught young and brought to a household. They adjust to their new surroundings at their own pace. Within a week the creature will let its owner know it has adapted to its new environment; it will either stay, or run away. The lizard stays in a constant state of alarm if caged or chained.
This creature is a large, flightless combination of bird and reptile resembling an ostrich. It has wicked claws at the end of its long fore and hind limbs, and its scaly hide is a yellowish red, with similar colors along its side and underbelly. Crodlu are a species of flightless, scaled avian that roams the wilderness in herds. They have powerful hind legs, which were built for jumping great lengths. Crodlu have very poor eyesight, but make up for it with an excellent sense of smell. Crodlu have great endurance, almost better than a mul’s, and can run at high speeds for long periods of time. Female crodlu only lay one egg each year. When the chick hatches it is able to run and fight within minutes, having a great appetite. When it comes to feeding, crodlu will eat anything, preferring to hunt live game when there is some around over eating just vegetables. Crodlu herds can get as big as 30 strong. The herd leader is usually the largest, and will have more of a reddish scaly hide. Crodlu make great mounts, but are hard to control and train as such most of the time unless they are caught as chicks and are trained as mounts as they are being raised.
A large, flightless combination of bird and reptile, this creature is more heavily muscled than most others of its species, and its clawed feet splay more broadly in the sand. A strong creature, used to heavy loads, it has a reddish-yellow scaled hide, with similar variations on its sides and underbelly. The heavy crodlu has been specifically bred for carrying heavier loads (or passengers) and occasionally for light skirmisher activity. It is a little larger and a fair deal stronger than its smaller cousin, but lacks the keener combat abilities of its warfaring big brother. Heavy crodlu possess the same wicked claws and sharp beak of its fellows and have a similar life cycle, but their herds were originally released into the wild by breeders. They have long since developed into an identifiable strain, but these herds remain valuable commodities nevertheless.
Crodlu, Heavy Warmount
A flightless combination of bird and reptile, this large and fierce animal has long, curving claws and thickly armored scales and holds its head aloft with keen alertness. It is clearly a beast bred for war. The heavy warmount crodlu, also known as the war crodlu,
is a breed of crodlu reared for its superior Strength, armor and weaponry. Occasionally used as heavy beasts of burden, war crodlu are most frequently put to use in combat as mounts for specially trained cavalry. Heavier and slower than the regular and heavy crodlus, the heavy warmount crodlu makes up for these weaknesses through its proven usefulness to sorcerermonarch, merchant house and nomad alike. Heavy warmount crodlu have the same ecology as other crodlu but are never found in the wild. War crodlu are bred exclusively through animal husbandry and are commensurately expensive.
A five-foot-diameter crab scuttles from the silt, its ridgecovered shell blending in perfectly with the surrounding sand and dust. The crab’s four eyestalks angle about, looking for prey to mash with its barbed pincers. Dunecrabs inhabit the shoals of the Sea of Silt and hunt animals and people. Giants and some Balicans hunt the tasty crabs for food. A dunecrab stands four feet tall and measures five feet across.
A flat, disk-shaped creature glides on the faint breeze, its edges rolling on the wind like flexible wings. A long, barbed tail drifts back from the flying disk, which has a wide maw of tiny teeth on its underside and a ring of a dozen eyes around its top. Dust gliders float through the skies of the silt islands, feeding on dustgulls and other unsuspecting animals. A dust glider measures roughly four feet in diameter.
This hideous, golden-feathered bird has a scaly, red head, a hooked, rapier-like beak filled with sharp teeth, and talons dripping with filth. Dustgulls inhabit the shores of the Sea of Silt. A typical dustgull is 2 feet long and has a 6-foot wingspan.
This creature is a large species of flightless bird. Covered in ruddy scales, it regards you with a blank, stupid gaze and squawks once or twice before returning to its grazing, picking at the soil with its two clawed feet and sharp beak. Erdlands are a large variant of erdlus. They are generally used as mounts or to pull caravans. Erdlands are flightless, featherless birds that are covered with scales. They weigh around 2 tons and can stand up to 15 feet tall. Erdlands are used more for their endurance than speed, since they are not capable of fast speeds. Erdlands don't provide much in usable material. They do provide the savage halflings that inhabit the jungles of Athas with a major meat source. Erdlands can provide up to 700 pounds of meat.
A tall, flightless bird with heavy scales or rough feathers, this creature is as tall as an elf. It has a long neck, large beak and stands on two tough, sinewy legs. Erdlu are large, flightless birds often used as livestock. They can weigh up to two hundred pounds and stand almost seven feet tall. Erdlu are covered in thick, flexible, scale-like feathers, ranging in color from dust-grey to soft reddish-brown. An erdlu's legs are long and strong, propelling it rapidly over the desert sands; the head, at the end of a long neck, is rounded, with a wicked, wedgeshaped beak. The omnivorous erdlu is a very common herd animal with many uses. Aside from its value as a meat animal, the erdlu's beak, wing scales, and claws all find their way into various weapon heads and tools, and the egg of an erdlu is an excellent source of food and water. Cooked, a single large egg can provide about three days' worth of food for a human. Raw, the egg's liquid contents can be substituted for about one gallon of water.
A herd of small, 3-foot long reptilian beasts travels through the sandy wastes. The reddish creatures have a colorful dorsal fin and short legs that end in large claws. A loud hissing noise can be heard from the beasts. Goraks are herd animals, used by many in the Tablelands as sources of food. Many herds roam free, while some have been domesticated. Quick and agile, goraks group together to attack prey. They are known for their good eyesight as well as their keen sense of smell. Domesticated herds have been known to number as many as 50 beasts but wild herds rarely boast more than 20 individuals because of the scarcity of food throughout most of Athas. The herd will be led by the largest male (known as the alpha), a position that comes under challenge frequently. If food becomes scarce for some reason, the alpha male culls the herd of other males. Herds do not accept goraks from outside the herd and attack and kill outsiders on first contact. Typically, goraks are three feet in length and weigh 150 lbs. Their skin ranges in color from red-brown to sandybeige and they have a colorful fanlike dorsal fin that they extend to cool their bodies in the hot Athasian sun. A second, less colorful fin surrounds their heads.
A crocodilian beast that almost swims through the sands towards you with great paddling sweeps of its broad limbs, this creature has knobbed, variegated hide and savage, snapping jaws. Hatori are the crocodiles of the sands. They have a hard, knobby hide that ranges through many colors and is indistinguishable from stone. Hatori are shaped like overgrown lizards with flipper-like appendages that they use along with their tail to "swim" in the desert sands. Hatori move awkwardly on any other surface but sand.
This large lizard has a long, curling tail and a broad mouth that looks quite capable of swallowing a halfling in a single gulp. Inixes are midway in size between a kank and a mekillot. Inixes weigh roughly two tons and can grow up to 16 feet long. Inixes make good mounts because of the amount of weight they can carry for their size, which is two times their normal capacity.
A sleek, muscular feline creature looks at you with its predatory eyes. Its hide shines in a bright golden hue as it slowly makes it way towards you…
The jaguar is normally over six feet long in the body, with a lashing tail that can add two feet or more to this length, and weighs around two hundred and fifty pounds. This weight is evenly distributed throughout a muscular neck and shoulders, a barrel-like body and short, stout legs. Its paws also pack a powerful punch. Its tawny coat shines like freshly coated paint. The golden hue of the jaguar becomes a brilliant red with the setting of the sun. Its chest, cheek and belly become a soft tan hue. This splash of color is offset by an irregular pattern of black markings across the animal’s body.
You spy a small, furry, mammalian animal regarding you from the safety of its burrow. Long, curved spurs can just be seen on the creature’s limbs. These furry mammals live in burrows in the desert. The common people of Athas think these prized creatures are too dangerous to bother with, but those that are killed make good furs and are a good source of food. Jankx communicate via ultrasonic squeaks and barks which are inaudible to most humanoid ears.
You are confronted by a snarling reptilian beast of formidable proportions, somewhat resembling a smiling bulldog with thick, wrinkly, scaled hide.
Jhakars are predators whose pugnacious behavior makes them a bane to humanoids and animals alike. Their appearance is similar to that of a reptilian bulldog, and their characters are fierce and aggressive to match. Jhakars hunt in small packs in the wild, and fiercely attack all but the most dangerous of prey, pulling larger creatures down with their numbers and savagery. Sometimes jhakars are found in the city as domesticated guard-beasts, or serve as trackers, finding escaped slaves and so are also greatly feared by most thieves. Jhakars are mortal enemies of tembo, as the two species are often in competition for territory and prey. Needless to say, jhakars often come off the worst in such conflicts. A jhakar's scaly hide is thick and wrinkled, sporting a webbed, bony spine that protrudes from its back and ends just before its stump of a tail. Its eyes and ears, wellprotected by bony ridges and double-lids respectively, are dwarfed by the huge, fang-filled mouth. The bulk of the body is a rich, sandy-brown color, darkening at the snout and claws.
A scrawny black bird squawks as it circles around overheard, looking for a meal. A blood-red patch on its head is its only distinguishable feature. The kes’trekel is a carrion eater, constantly on the search for dead prey. Cowardly birds, they usually shy away from large targets, but have been known to assemble in packs to attack larger prey. In large numbers, the kes’trekel can sometimes muster enough collective psychic energy to manifest the psionic power of aversion. Kes’trekels are extremely territorial and use their psionics to scare trespassers away from their nesting areas. They pair only long enough to mate. They are often captured and used as guards, as their nervous territorial squawking reveals the presence of all but the stealthiest intruders. Their eggs are considered a delicacy in Nibenay (if procured within two weeks of laying), and their eyes are sometimes eaten by the barbaric tribes of the Ringing Mountain in the belief that they grant enhanced vision. The foot-long bird has a three-foot wingspan with black plumage; the only spot of color is a crimson patch on its head. Feral kes'trekel have a life span of approximately 15 years, while domestic kes'trekel sometimes live as long as 25 years.
A small armored hexaped scuttles away from you as you approach. This shy, six-legged, armored creature digs up and eats the roots of plants. Its armor-like covering makes excellent leather goods. Kip communicate via low grunts. Dwarven kip herders have learned to mimic this in order to better control the herd.
Crouched on the ground before you is a tiny feline with soft, grayish fur and large, dark eyes. Kivits are tiny, wild cats that dwell in areas of heavy undergrowth. They secrete a poisonous musk through their fur that can be fatal in large enough doses. A kivit’s paws are even more dexterous than an ordinary housecat’s.
A snake-like creature with a great frill of scales flaring around its throat, this reptilian beast bursts from beneath shallow mudflats to drag its prey to their doom. The kluzd is a reptilian predator related to the constrictor snake that inhabits the mudflats of the Tablelands. Biting and throttling its prey, the kluzd is only a danger within the mudflats themselves, as it cannot burrow through sand and rapidly dries out under the Athasian sun. The males of the species have distinctive turquoise and white coloration around their head and neck frills, but the females lack these markings, instead having a sandy brown body flecked with black along its length. Growing up to ten feet in length, an adult kluzd is able to swallow a man whole, although this distorts its shape somewhat. A kluzd weighs as much as 500 lbs.
A large, gray-colored lizard carries on its back a small structure, from which you can see several humanoids. The slow moving beast obeys all commands as it travels along the dunes. Its long muscular tail leaves sinewy trails upon the sand. Korinths are large, gray-colored lizards, with huge 25- foot high spikes jutting out from their backs. These hulking quadrupeds have a long neck and relatively small head. They serve as patrol mounts by the Draji, who use them to patrol the sandy wastes around Draj. These huge beasts are very hard to find, and it is unknown where the Draji capture them. They have a feeble mind and are easily controlled by psion handlers.
Mekillots are mighty lizards that weigh up to six tons, with huge mound-shaped bodies that can be thirty feet long. They are covered with a thick shell everywhere except for on their sides and bellies. Mekillots are used as caravan beasts; a hitched pair can pull a full wagon at a slow pace. Mekillots are never truly tamed, however, for the creatures have been known to go off the road and wander for days. They also like to make snacks of their handlers. Most caravans that use mekillots have a small team of psions to deal with the beasts.
Startled by the shadow of something huge passing by overhead, you look up to see an enormous bird circling above you. Athasian rocs are huge birds of prey that dwell in warm, mountainous regions. They are known to carry large creatures off for food. These birds of prey resemble large eagles. They are 50 feet long and have a wingspan of 100 feet wide.
This long, black eel has oily scales and a ridge of spiked fins along its spine. Its serpentine body weaves through the silt, its wedge-shaped head scouting for prey. Silt eels live in the Sea of Silt or in inland silt basins. They hunt small creatures dwelling in the silt and rarely attack humans. A silt eel measures 4-5 feet long from the end of its spiny tail to the tip of its bullet-shaped head.
Resembling a bear, this creature has stiff, thick fur and a ridge of thick, olive hide covering its back. The creature has a mouth of dagger-shaped teeth and a hairy tail that grows at its end into a bald club of bony material, the same substance that makes up its hard claws. Takis resemble bears, though unlike true Athasian bears, they stand only 10 feet tall when reared on their hind legs. Brownish in color, takis ooze slime from their snouts while sniffing for food. Fierce and powerful, takis make dangerous opponents and often find themselves captured for sport in the gladiatorial arenas of the Tablelands.