uring 2023, a challenge called #Dungeon23
is being undertaken by many worldbuilders. In the World of Cartyrion, the Forgotten Academy
is being constructed for this purpose. A megadungeon needs a variety of creatures, of course, and here are some new ones being developed to populate the dungeon.
Badger, Common and Giant (17. Burrow)
There are many types of burrowing animals, but one of great concern to woodland adventurers is the Badger
. There are two main varieties of these creatures on Cartyrion. Left to themselves, the much more numerous Common Badgers are typically not a problem, though farmers with plots near a forest's edge may have issues with the extensive burrows made by the creatures which could extend beneath the fields. Accidentally breaking into a nesting burrow with a plow has resulted in attacks. But in the forest, it is the Giant Badger, which can grow to the size of a large bear, that can cause much grief among a neophyte adventuring party.
Raven (1. Wings)
Large, intelligent birds covered in jet-black feathers, Ravens
are often trained for use as messenger birds by the elite of Cartyrion. Whether domesticated in this way, or encountered in the wild, though, these mean-tempered creatures can inflict serious damage with their strong, sharp beaks and nasty talons - all designed to enable the bird to rip flesh from carcasses of scavenged prey. Some of the Folk consider the arrival of a flock of these creatures as a bad omen, even referring to the flock as an "unkindness of ravens".
Wolverine, Common and Giant (2. Stripes & 23. Viscious)
Most glory-seekers who enter the forests of Cartyrion are aware of wildlife dangers such as bears or the great hunting cats, but they often overlook one of the most dangerous creatures: the Wolverine
. Cartyrion boasts both Common and Giant varieties; both known for their ferocity and orneriness. The Common variety is dangerous enough, willing to attack anything that enters its territory no matter how big the intruders are, nor how many. It is not necessary to threaten the wolverine to invoke an attack, either. The Giant Wolverine, which grows to be as large as a cave bear, is even more threatening, more ill-tempered, and more viscious. Fortunately, a wary party can often smell these creatures before they see them.
Wolf Spider, Common and Giant (26. Predator)
The word "predator" brings to mind non-magical creatures like wolves, bears and hunting cats, or exotic beasts like owlbears or griffons, but there are other creatures that eke out their existence by hunting down others. An eight-legged example is the Wolf Spider
- an arachnid that does not spin webs to catch its prey, but rather relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to catch and kill its meals. The forests of Cartyrion boast two variants of these creatures. The common variety, typically only a half-inch (1cm) long, feeds on other small insects and is considered beneficial and welcome by naturalists and wise farmers. The giant variety, though, which can reach the size of a small dog, is feared. These feed primarily on small animals such as squirrels and rabbits, or even foxes and raccoons, but there are stories of children and even adult Halflings attacked and dragged off by these frightening predators.
Undead, Demons, and Devils
Devil's Advocate (18. Bond)
Many among the Folk will go to great lengths to achieve power and recognition. The most ambitious will even enter into a binding contract with one of the Diabolar to sell their soul in exchange for success, wealth, recognition, or other such favor. But sooner or later, payment is due. For those in the legal professsion, one possible outcome is an eternity in the service of the contract holder as a Devil's Advocate
Spectral Servant (15. Tamed & 20. Gentle)
Not all ghostly undead need to be horrfying or dangerous, and what busy necromancer wouldn't want to have a little domestic help around the tower to keep the library well dusted, cook meals, empty chamberpots, and so forth? The Spectral Servant
provides the answer. Created by a necromancer from a willing, and presumably loyal, living member of the Folk, the Spectral Servant can serve as maid, butler, cook, or other household servant. And best of all, they cost nothing to keep on!