I believe it would be most appropriate to share with you one of Oberon’s works depicting the creatures inhabiting Friedünn that are not man. Tis titled “Creatures of the East”. The three beings described play a major role in our quest, and, as you will see, Oberon composed this long before we were acquainted…
The descriptions of the beings to come are based upon personal recollection and a combination of details given throughout the works of others. Among those I wish to describe are shivurna, feranox, and gargoyles. Although there are many more creatures currently inhabiting the land beyond our borders in Enghor, such as dragons, cyclops, and cruorsitis, the three to be described have intimately intertwined themselves in the fabric of Friedünn’s illustrious history. I find it appropriate to begin with the most sophisticated of the three I wish to describe in this account: shivurna.
Shivurna are lean creatures of fair complexion. They are significantly taller than the average man, yet their long limbs and skinny bodies are often frail. Their hands and feet are similar to those of humans, but appear to be more stretched out. Often wearing simple tunics, these creatures are predominantly gentle, and seem to slowly glide around as they maneuver in their quiet sandals. They generally have long, thin hair atop their heads. Elder shivurna males tend to grow lengthy, grey beards as a sign of age and wisdom. This age is normally quite old, for the life span of a shivurna is much longer than that of the average human.
What makes these beings exceptional is their third eye. Located in the middle of the forehead on their elongated faces, this white eye does not “see” in the traditional sense. Its primary function is to impose thoughts into the minds of other creatures for the purposes of communication and manipulation. It is how they communicate with all. Over their lifespan, a shivurna will typically become skilled enough at implementing thoughts into others as to be able to influence lesser beings into obeying their commands. Some even possess the ability to control large groups of creatures. The better one’s skill of influence, the higher social rank one can obtain. Despite being able to control other creatures, however, they are not able to control other shivurna or humans, as only a weak mind can be swayed by this third eye.
The majority of the time, since the fall of Caelus, as discussed in my other work, A Brief History of Caelus and Enghor, the use of this influential eye comes into practice on creatures found abundantly in the Eastern Mountain Range known as feranox. Once hailing from the underworld, feranox are thought to have originated from what was left of shivurna’s souls after they were tormented for an eternity by Caelus in the underworld, for they resemble shivurna physically, but, in reality, are nothing of the like. Their bare, hairless skin is as dark as the night and, accordingly, night is the time in which they leave their mountain dwellings to hunt in the Weitwood Forest. Fully erect, feranox stand at a similar height to humans, yet they naturally hunch over like the savages they are. Like shivurna, they have long, skinny limbs. The difference, though, is that these limbs are packed with lean muscle ever ready to be utilized. In full movement, these quick and agile beasts sprint and pounce upon their prey. Their hands and feet are elongated, but function more like claws than anything else, and each individual toe and finger is a blade with the purpose of cutting down victims.
Feranox, too, have a third eye amidst their forehead, though theirs is a beady, black eye with the sole function of seeing heat. This ability to see the natural body heat of other living things is another reason they often hunt at night, and it is also why they are simply known by some as “nightwalkers.” The downside to this eye is that it is extremely sensitive, thus adding another explanation as to why feranox dwell in mountain caverns until night falls upon the land and their unsuspecting prey.
Finally, I would like to discuss another creature released from the underworld by Caelus: gargoyles. Once thought to be the gatekeepers to the underworld, these despicable beasts remain isolated in small numbers within the depths of the Eastern Mountains. Thought to be mans’ version of feranox, the once servants of Caelus have bodies crossed between that of a man and a bat. Their curled up, black bodies bulge with human-like muscles, and their toes and fingers are replaced by razor-sharp claws. In the upper, mid-back, two massive wings sprout out to give these tortured, unrecognizable souls the ability of flight.
The faces of gargoyles fully epitomize that of a demon, consisting of two jagged horns atop their heads, long, pointy ears jutting out from the sides, and four inconceivably sharp fangs among their numerous serrated teeth, two amidst the top row, and two amidst the bottom. On Friedünn, they feed on the souls of the living, turning men bitten into incoherent corpses often preyed upon by feranox.
The importance of understanding these creatures, along with their relation to man, is paramount to understanding the history of Friedünn, and why the continent lives on as it currently does. Though none of the three have interfered with the likes of man for quite some time, aside from the occasional feranox assault on travelers, I suspect that, as Enghor grows, our fates may once again become entwined, be it for better or for worse.