I was born and raised here in the western highlands, so I know firsthand how much the place has changed. As the climate has got colder and colder, creatures that were never native to Coerthas have come down from the mountains to find food. The mylodons are one such species. Time was they made their home up in the far reaches of Abalathia's Spine, but ever since their hunting grounds were lost to the Calamity, they've found their way down here. They're fierce carnivores, who see steel-clad knights as nothing more than a packed lunch. Alteci's the worst of the lot a mad mylodon who's been laying waste to the local forces. At the last count, more than a dozen noble lives have been lost to that monster.
Have you ever come across an archaeornis? At first sight you might think they were birds, what with the feathers and all, but they're actually a primitive species of scalekin, closer to raptors than they are to chocobos.The only thing they definitely share with birds is their brains that combination of mental weakness and physical strength makes them perfect thralls for the dragons, who use them to launch constant attacks on the Ishgardian forces.The knights are particularly wary of the one they call Kreutzet. He's got such strength in those thighs of his, even the thickest snowdrift's not enough to slow him down. He races hither and thither across the snowfields, tearing apart any outpost unlucky enough to stand in his way.
The Vanu Vanu are a beast tribe native to the Sea of Clouds, and they're not short of a few decent hunters and fighters. Sanu Vali's one of their best and brightest-a Vanu warrior who wields her twin blades to such devastating effect, her compatriots revere her as a force of nature. The Rose Knights who often come into conflict with the birdmen hold her in equal and opposite regard. The Vanu are wont to put on something of a show before they enter battle, and it's the graceful majesty of Sanu Vali's own war dance that has earned her the moniker “of Dancing Wings.” That said, the only “wings” you'll need to worry about are the steel ones she holds in her claws.
Mayhap it's because these floating islands have been cut off from the world for so long, but the Sea of Clouds seems to have more than its fair share of curious creatures-and they don't come much curiouser than the paissa. They're mischievous critters with wild, staring eyes, who seem to be in a constant state of agitation. Still, they're no match for a Clansman-all apart from their leader, the dreaded Squonk. I don't know whether it's because he's unusually clever, or especially quick, but he's succeeded in pulling the Rose Knights' breeches down on more than one occasion. Whenever aught of import goes missing from the Rosehouse, you can be sure that Squonk isn't far away.
This merchant's got it in her head that there's an enormous man-made island somewhere in the Sea of Clouds. It was built by the Allagan Empire as a base for their bizarre experiments, and it's still up there, teeming with the horrors their unholy tamperings gave birth to. One of the Allagans' favorite pastimes was to splice bits of different monsters together, creating godsforsaken chimeras to set upon their enemies. But it wasn't just beasts they tampered with they had their wicked way with the beastmen, too. This merchant claims to have found a record of one of these experiments they took a lizardman from the southern shores of Aldenard and crossed it with a vicious scalekin from across the Sea of Ash. The abomination that resulted from this unhappy union they christened Lycidas.
Histories tell that in the dying days of the Allagan Empire, uprisings occurred one after the other in every corner of their vast territory. The imperial army came up with a plan both to suppress these insurrections and stave off revolt from within they'd build an army of automata that would never disobey their masters' orders. And where better to station these soldiers than their magical flying fortress? It's the captain of these automata, Omni, the merchant's got it in for. No doubt this incorruptible defender of Allag wouldn't take too kindly to the adventurers she's trusting to strip this floating island of all it's worth and sell it to her for a pittance!
Time was the Gnath kept 'emselves to 'emselves, too wary o' the dragons to ever stray far from their own lands. Past few moons, though, the overgrown ladybugs look like they've finally grown a bit o' backbone. They used to only use them muskets o' theirs to 'unt fer food, but o' late they've been turnin' 'em on anyone unlucky enough to stray into what they reckon to be “Gnath territory.” Judgin' from the number o' chocobo 'unters comin' back to Tailfeather with a back full o' buckshot, it seems that includes any place in the range o' their boomsticks. Someone's got to get rid o' that sniper o' theirs before it's too late.
Ye'll 'ave seen them bandersnatches prowlin' about off to the north, right? Well, there's one o' their number that's been causin' the chocobo 'unters such a ball ache they've put a bounty on its 'ead. Instead of 'untin' fer chocobos like a good little bandersnatch, this Thextera's been takin' 'is meals from the trade caravans plyin' the trail 'twixt Tailfeather an' Ishgard. Those caravans bring in the supplies the 'unters need to survive, an' carry back the chocobos they catch to be sold at market. The beast's been 'elpin' 'imself to a bit o' both, an' the drivers beside. If the caravans are Tailfeather's lifeblood, then Thextera's the knife in its neck.
As wyverns grow, they progress through a number of developmental stages, their bodies becoming more and more streamlined with each change. In their final forms, even their horns drop off, leaving them with a sleek shape perfectly suited for flight. It is one such elder wyvern that has been marked for death by a certain nobleman. It seems the beast has taken something of a fancy to the fellow's son a pretty young thing I wouldn't mind gobbling up myself. Mayhap not in the same manner as the wyvern, though... You should be able to spot this monster easily enough its sleek, shining scales have earned it the name Scitalis, after a legendary dragon with similarly lustrous skin.
Not long ago, a party of Temple Knights headed into the foothills of Sohm Al to spy on the dragons' activities. However, a few days into their mission, they disappeared without a trace. A rescue party was dispatched to find the missing knights, and find them it did. They discovered their missing comrades standing over the body of a vinegaroon fearsome scalekin in thrall to the dragons. But as they approached, the monster suddenly rose to its feet and sprang at the would-be rescuers, slaying several before they could ready themselves. The Temple Knights were all dead the Scarecrow had propped up their corpses to lure their rescuers into a trap. After taking its toll on the rescue party, the monster fled up the slopes of Sohm Al, and naught has been seen of it since. We believe it may yet be hiding in the Churning Mists.
Time and again, the residents of Idyllshire have come under attack from a huge, hairy beastkin-imagine if you crossed a Roegadyn with an opo-opo, and had it row a ten-tonze galley for a twelvemoon. I scoured the Sharlayan annals for a record of such a monster, and finally found it-it's a gigantopithecus, a fierce beast discovered on the tropical jungles of the Cieldalaes. It was brought here as a youngling by a Sharlayan scholar, who raised it in a specially constructed glasshouse in some vain attempt to research its ecology. But when the exodus came, the callow whelp didn't think of taking his pet with him. Now it falls to the Clan to pick up the pieces.
The Thaliak River is a shining symbol of the Dravanian hinterlands-the great mother who blesses the land with the gift of water. But where the gentle and generous mother brings life, the cruel and merciless father-an oversized crustacean who rules over the Thaliak with an iron claw-brings only death. The great glutton will pounce on anything that moves, and chop up his prey with his tail pincers faster than you can say “ouch.” If you don't keep an eye on that tail of his, you'll be feeding the fishes in bite-sized chunks.