The Bestiary 

Humankind, the children of the gods, make up the vast majority of the population of the world of Mystwood. Over time, however, Magic has touched the bloodlines of many, and their appearance varies. Some show pointed ears or small horns, others unusual markings on their skin, or colors in their hair. These are accepted by society as long as they are not too extreme.

Those who are touched not by Magic, but by Chaos, often bear more extreme changes- hands mutated into claws or tentacles, spines, large horns, additional eyes, and the like. These are called Mutants. Mutation is most common at birth, but can occur later in life as well.

The Church teaches that they are to be pitied and showed charity and mercy, so long as they did nothing willfully to bring on their state. Alas, most mutants are loyal to the forces of Chaos. Those who are not are said to bring misfortune, ill luck, and further mutation with them, and thus are often driven out into the wilderness. Despite the teachings of the Church, many lords order the killing of mutants in their lands out of hand.

Most mutants can speak, and will at times trade or negotiate with ordinary folk. 

While common mutants may be pitied, there are greater creatures that must be feared. Chaos may work a greater transformation in powerful Gifted individuals, one fitting to the vice that lured them into darkness. Their very souls are consumed, and they become Chimera. These beings are the monsters of legend- Medusae spawned by Vanity, Draconians of Greed, Gorgons of Rage, plague-bearing Harpies, and many more.

Mutation can touch animals as well as humans, and it is so that Beastmen are created. Minotaurs are the greatest of their kind, but nearly any animal can be so changed. Beastmen of Mystwood most often have the heads of beasts, but the form of men. Beastmen have enough intelligence to make use of weaponsm and occasional scraps of armor and clothing, but can rarely speak more than a few words of the common tongue. Universally they are savage servants of Chaos, with a great hatred of humankind.

Worse than Beastmen are the Daemons of Chaos. Creatures of pure Chaos, they are summoned briefly into the mortal world for purposes of mayhem, after which they disappear once more. They have a thousand forms, from the least warriors and nuisances, to greater Daemons of enormous power and intellect. Often they come in near unending waves from gates, portals, or icons. Thankfully such occasions are rare, unfortunately, they are much more common in the Mystwood than in the world at large.

Chaos is not responsible for all the dangers that the world holds, however. Elementals are the daemonic counterparts of the other elements besides Chaos. They are less common, and usually less destructive, though it is possible to rouse them to battle. They often defend locations that are wellsprings of their Element.

Dire Animals are sometimes mistaken for Beastmen. They are larger, more humanoid, more aggressive versions of natural creatures. These are understood to be free from the taint of Chaos. Boar, bear, and deer are all common dire beasts. Dire Animals are distinct from ordinary creatures in that they are played by NPCs. Unlike beastmen, they are edible. They are prized as game, and some are illegal to hunt without the Duke’s permission, though it is generally allowed to kill them in self-defense.

Less easily categorized are the Fae- woses, pucks, kelpies, korreds, sprites, sylphs and the like. It may be that they are elementals of some form, or that they are manifestations of the god of the Wild in some way, or something else altogether. Certainly, they are mischievous and powerful, talented in the arts of magic, long lived and restive.

Also unclear is the nature of Goblins, Ogres, Orcs and Trolls. All are brutish, green or brown skinned, and inimical to humankind. It is unclear, though, if they are some sort of Chaos breed, a form of Fae, or spring from some other source

Lastly, there are the Undead. A soul may be awakened from its rest, sometimes due to its own pain, suffering and unfinished business, more often through the foul magics of necromancy. With or without their bodies, they walk among the living in many forms- zombies, skeletons, haunts, wights, revenants, ghouls, and more. The source of necromancy is the greatest of the Undead- Vampires.