Gloaming Lands 1: Mundane Animals

In the Gloaming Lands, no animal is truly mundane. For the most part they look and smell and behave as you would expect, acting as the background detail for an adventure setting. But each has twist, sometimes obvious, sometimes secret. Normal animals, but if the half-forgotten folk-tale about them was true.

<a href=''>Juliette Oberndorfer</a>

The list takes a lot of inspiration from Arnold K's mundane animals. The goals are similar but not identical. This list exists for several purposes:

  • Portray a snapshot of an ecology, like the random encounter table of a dungeon. If you need an animal in the Gloaming Lands, pick or roll on this table.
  • Convey setting and tone. The types of animals and how they differ from the real world should say something about the place.
  • Provide small adventure hooks. Each of these animals have a gameable detail that could be become an encounter or used in player shenanigans.

d20 animals of the Gloaming Lands

1OxOxen are not owned, but paid to perform the skilled work of plowing a field. Small herds of oxen travel between villages plying their trade, guarded by hired men.
2ChickenRogue spirits are often exorcised into a chicken. Still-moving whole-roasted devil-chicken is a special delicacy at grand feasts.
3DuckAlways know the direction of due north. Often carried by navigators.
4CarpGuard river crossings and extort coins (which they hoard) in exchange for safe passage. Will destroy bridges to keep their protection racket going.
5HorseAll horses in the Gloaming Lands trace their ancestry back to a single horse king. The value of a horse is based on the purity of it's bloodline.
6MonkeyA common sight in towns and cities. Have a knack for picking locks and are often employed by thieves.
7CrocodileIntelligent, scheming and evil. Can imitate human voices to draw children close to the water.
8ApeWarlords of the woods. Hunt deer, crocodile and each other with stone clubs and spears. Travelers are wise to keep well away from the apelands.
9DeerBone white fur. A stag's antlers glow when danger is near, even after the stag is dead.
10EagleLords of the high mountains. Do not die from old age, and never stop growing. Duels of honour are the main cause of death.
11RavenCan speak with the dead they consume. If you feed a raven a dead person's eye, it will caw out a single word — the last thing the person saw.
12FrogThe timing of a frogs croaking is very precise. Those that learn the patterns can tell the time of day down to the minute.
13CrabMust constantly eat iron to replenish their metallic shells, which would otherwise rust away. More than one army has woken to a parade of crabs devouring their armoury.
14SnakeHighly magical. Snake blood is prized by wizards, who drink it to maintain their powers.
15EelAre snakes that were born underwater. They cannot reproduce, so steal snake eggs and raise them as their own. Eel blood is highly poisonous, but looks and smells identical to snake blood.
16FoxCan shape-shift into human form. Still has the nature and intelligence of a fox, so cannot hide for long.
17DogGloaming Lands guard dogs are prized for their ability to smell lies. A well trained Gloaming Mastif can smell the traces of deception up to an hour after it occurred.
18CatHave a secretive, highly complex legal code by which all other creatures are judged. A cat lawyer is required to argue your case in front of the court.
19BatThe backs of bat wings bend light around them. A sleeping bat looks like a broken pane of glass.
20CraneThere is only one crane, the lonely queen. She is many places at once, but never with a mate. Many men have tried to court her, but all have been found lacking.