The Summer Empire
Animals and Plants
The Summer Empire has an incredible diversity of environments and life, from the rocs of the upper reach to the firebirds of Ilios to the giant spiders of the Archos ruins to the spider-like fungal traversers of the lower reach.
An oddity in the natural world, dream otters look like any other otter while in the light of the sun, but when Lyral is blocked by other islands, they turn translucent and hundreds of tiny lights glow in the depths of their bodies. In this state, anyone touching them will sleep absolutely soundly, without worry from nightmares or malign spirits preying on their slumber. What’s more, dream otters need almost no training to acclimate themselves to humans and make almost-flawless pets. There is a brisk trade in dream otter cubs as pets for the rich due to this property.
Found only on islands with cold climates, firebirds are birds about the size of a large crane, but with spectacular red and gold plumage and long tails that often burst into flames. If separated from their bodies, their feathers will burn for years without being consumed, and firebirds are often hunted for the value their plumage provides in country estates and other places outside the bargains with the city-spirits.
Large carnivorous plants, mantraps are not actually as dangerous to perihumanity as their name would indicate. They are rare in the wild after centuries of rooting them out from any civilized island, but enough uninhabited islands remain that the occasional infestation from drifting seeds appears near a town.
Mantraps have large leaves that lay low to the ground and are often covered in debris and a central bulb that is almost entirely submerged. If anything stepping on the leaves, they snap up and the bulb opens up, dumping the unfortunate into the acid-filled bulb as the walls begin squeezing. Those who keep their head don’t have a difficult time escaping, but for children or small animals it’s almost certainly a death sentence.
Pools: Grapple 3, Stealth 2
Damage: 1B per round automatically.
Health 3 / 7 (central bulb only)
The largest birds in the Summer Empire, rocs almost entirely live in the upper reach, close to the light of Lyral. They nest on uninhabited islands in mating pairs, preying on large predators and the occasional human. They’ve even been known to snatch lone perihumans from lonely places in the islands or from the decks of airships. They look like eagles, but often with brilliant gold or red plumage and a 15-yard wingspan.
Attributes: Strength 8, Dexterity 4, Stamina 9, Presence 3, Composure 1, Wits 3, Resolve 2
Skills: Athletics 3 (Fly), Brawl 2 (Grapple), Investigation 3, Survival (Hunting) 3
Weapons/Attacks: Bite 3L, Armor: 1
Size 18, Initiative: 5, Defense: 6, Speed: 10 (fly 16), Health 27
The birds of the lower reach, sporebats come in a bewildering variety of shapes and colors. Most of them look like nothing less than aerial manta rays above the size of an eagle, but often with long, trailing tails, bioluminescent spots, tentacular fringes, or other strangeness. They are trainable, and some inhabitants of the lower reach keep them as pets.
Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Presence 2, Composure 1, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Skills: Athletics 2 (Fly), Brawl 2, Investigation 2, Survival (Hunting) 3
Weapons/Attacks: Bite 0B
Size 2-3, Initiative: 5, Defense: 6, Speed: 10 (fly 16), Health 4-5
Traversers are enormous, fungal creatures that resemble giant spiders. They’re nearly as big as an airship and are mostly only dangerous to flying creatures, as they spin their webs between islands to catch bloatwings or sporebats and then scuttle out and pounce. They rarely pay much attention to anything that’s not in their webs, but they have occasionally crushed people who got too close to them while they were moving. In the modern Summer Empire, traverser webs are one of the main navigational hazards of the lower reach and part of the reason that the water trade is so risky—and profitable
Attributes: Strength 13, Dexterity 3, Stamina 16, Presence 2, Composure 3, Wits 1, Resolve 3
Skills: Athletics 4, Brawl 3, Intimidation 4, Investigation 3, Stealth 2 (Lurking), Survival (Hunting) 3
Weapons/Attacks: Bite 3L, Crush 6L, Armor: 2
Size 30, Initiative: 6, Defense: 7, Speed: 21, Health 46
Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Presence, Composure, Wits, Resolve
Size 30, Initiative: 6, Defense: 0, Speed: 4, Health 5