Fauna of the Mwangi Expanse
Native to the Oubinga River in the Kaava Lands, the voracious maka-yika have supposedly been sighted in other Mwangi rivers. These crimson fish resemble piranhas in more than shape, for they are capable of flensing a humansized body to bones in a matter of minutes. Some hold them sacred, but most simply avoid their waters entirely.
Brightly colored and aggressive, the hellsting wasp can grow to astonishing size. Unlike its smaller kin, its papery nests only house a relatively small number, but when each wasp is the size of a horse, numbers are less important. The strange tendency for hellsting wasp queens to mutate into fiendish monsters makes them even more dangerous, and hints at an otherworldly origin.
With their brightly coloredfaces, muscular prehensile tails, and tusk-like teeth, the howler mandrill presents one of the more frightening visages among the Mwangi’s fauna. The shrieking howl of this carnivorous primate sounds eerily like that of a dying human. Many legends of hauntings in the jungle likely have howler mandrills at their root.
The vines that hang from every tree are not always harmless. They aren’t always even plants! The vine viper is one such peril, a reptile that coils around the upper branches of the canopy and hangs its body down, resembling a vine terminating in a large, leafy end. This “end” is, of course, the vine viper’s head, and its capacity to strike with staggering speed, when combined with its potent venom, makes it a dangerous predator indeed.
One of the most vocal reptiles of the Mwangi Expanse is the Bluering Gecko, a brightly colored lizard notable for the blue rings on its fat tail. These lizards can grow to the size of large dogs, and like those creatures, they communicate via a series of loud and expressive barks and yelps when frightened or angry.
While most might contend that the typical dream spider’s leg span of three to four feet is quite large enough, some variants of the species can grow up to ten times that size. Yet it is not the spider’s size that is its most unusual feature, for its venom and even the chemicals in its webbing can cause euphoria and strange visions. The drug known as shiver, a black-market item in most cities, is created from dream spider venom.
As if the prospect of a bat the size of a horse weren’t horrifying enough, the foul skaveling presents an even greater terror. Bred and slaughtered and then animated as mounts, these large ghoulish bats spread fear and disease wherever they fly.
The whip centipede only measures a few inches in diameter, yet few would ever think to classify this vermin as “small.” A typical whip centipede can grow to a length of seven feet, and specimens with a length of nearly a dozen feet have been reported. Dwelling in the fissures of deep underground realms, the whip centipede is a relatively harmless fungus-eater, despite its unsettling length.
Though rarer than its purple worm cousin, the albino toothed worm is just as dangerous. Lacking the purple worm’s poisonous stinger, the toothed worm instead has several sharp “teeth” surrounding its mouth, enabling it to burrow through solid rock while also giving it a fearsome gore attack.
This tiny animal has rough, rocky skin that helps protect it from the attacks of predators as it burrows under the ground in search of insects to eat, using its powerful sense of smell. While usually little threat to humans and other races, it can be troublesome if handled, as chips of its rock like hide can break off and embed themselves under the skin, causing painful irritation.