(Thanks to everyone who contributed to the 'Good Monsters' post two weeks ago.)
Despite the Eclipsed Kingdom being the safest, most eminent, most holy and well-protected land in any reality, there are still those creatures and beings which, either from perverted nature or deliberate choice, act wilfully against the laws of both God and King.
Though, as a requirement of analysis, we must break down different castes and clans of heretic, and though exact knowledge of their plans and behaviours may be useful to the agents of the Holy Inquisition, we should never forget that the defining fact of heresy, is that it is heresy. There are no boundaries to sin and all heresies are ultimately One.
The Vere Agentia are Agents of the Spring Court, the so-called ‘Seeds of Spring’ or ‘Green Royalists’. The order of the Inquisition tasked with their destruction is the Ordo Vere.
When it was discovered that the rulers of the Spring Court were forming secret factions of dreaming Souls in preparation for an Unconscious Revolution, Saint Scaedwian judged the Royal House of spring as traitors in the Black Assizes and they were dragged to their eternal imprisonment
Thus followed the Green Winter and the Spring Crusade. Though this was swiftly won, some hardliners escaped to hide in the depths of the forests, mountains, moorlands and swamps. Some are even said to have retreated to the oasies of the Iron Sands.
Some of the Vere Agentia can temporarily restrain their verdant nature and hide amongst the common autumn or winter plants. Though continual suppression has driven them deep underground they now form a dispersed network of terror cells, striking random targets before disappearing back into the forests and moors. Their aim is nothing less than the restoration of the Spring Court.
These fiendish trees simulate an Autumnal sleep before breaking out in verdant leaves when no-one is around. The congregate in secret valleys or hide in sinkholes to plan and plot. If you are forced to arrest one, be extremely circumspect, they are extremely strong and very difficult to burn.
Deep Cover Dryads
These Dryads can remain undercover as Autumn Court or even Winter Court loyalists for years without giving away their deception. They collect information and disperse it to other members of the Vere Agentia, aiding them in avoiding capture.
These literal 'sleeper agents' have also proven difficult to unearth (THIS IS NOT A PUN). These Dryads choose to remain in their seed form. When the coast is clear, they crack open their seed pod to take a look around.
They are no larger than the smallest shoot. Still attached to their seed shell, they move around and, if detection threatens, they retreat inside the seed. In this guise they can ride around inside the pocket of a Knight and listen to what they say.
The most dangerous and expert seed Dryads are dandelion and sycamore, they are both capable of gliding on the wind and can find their way anywhere, and escape just as easily.
The Beetle Knights were formed specifically as counter-espionage units to deal with the threat of Seed Dryads and other traitors of the Small Realms.
Satyrs and Fauns
These apparently-friendly rapists lure churls or innocent maidens into the forest with their piping and dances before brutally assaulting them. Kill on sight.
Homeless and ignorant forest churls with green beards who clothe themselves in ragged plant matter and burlap sacks. Also rapists. Dangerous when they gather in numbers and should be regularly hunted by any local knights. The church does not classify Woodwose as either human or intelligent and there is a permanent bounty of 5gp for each Woodwose beard (so long as the face is still attached). The Chivalry may make whatever use of them they wish so long as they carry out regular culls and some knights carry their collection of flensed beards tied to their rear pommel with the flayed faces hanging down their horses flanks.
The only reports of Summer Elementals are fragmented. The colour blue is mentioned regularly, though not the blue of the Eclipsed Kingdoms but another colour much closer to white. Some stories speak of a terrifying yellow light and a godless sky and of the overwhelming noise of Avis Infernalis.
They are rumoured to have been summoned or created as a form of terror weapon against the Winter Court and even the most potent members of that court fear the power of these beings to reduce their frozen hearts to puddles in their chests.
The Haereticorum Ineptias are ‘Nonsense’ beings or Unreasoning Heretics. The order tasked with their discovery and destruction is the Ordo Ineptias, made up of perhaps the subtlest and most intellectually brilliant of the Holy INquisition, though sadly also the one with the highest rates of terminal madness.
One of the greatest dangers to the Eclipsed Kingdom is the lack of seriousness and piety with which the peasant classes go about their duties. Despite very strong prohibition by the church and repeated warnings of sinful corruption, the belief in ‘Silly Creatures’ or ‘Fool Beasts’ continues in the labouring classes and, perhaps, even deepens in intensity.
It seems that no matter how strongly the church abjures the Haereticorum Ineptias, the ignorant and simple cling ever more deeply to their childish, inane, yet dangerous myths.
The dangers of the Haereticorum Ineptias are;
· Belief in these creatures means the peasant class my hesitate in reporting the presence of clearly heretical beings when encountered, and may in fact assist them.
· Many are much more dangerous heretical creatures than they seem, even sometimes Avis Infernalis.
· They are destructive to trust in decent authority.
· They do not respect the right of property.
· They are corrosive to the fear of God which forms the basis of faith.
· They consistently subvert the sound judgement of the courts.
· They are beyond any law.
· They are ridiculous and injurious to the dignity of the churches Holy Inquisition.
· They seek to have the World Turned Upside Down.
· They are unforgivably silly.
These intelligent, shape changing, tool using magic elephants are extremely cunning, always in disguise as another kind of being and extremely potent in combat when revealed. They are Haeretica Majoris to the first extent and no Inquisitor or Knight should ever confront them alone.
The Baku are rare but ferocious supporters of heresy and are famed for offering aid to those whose aim is the betrayal of Gods law and the overturning of all social order. It is believed that several noted Haeretica Majoris have escaped the Lords judgement only through the aid of these creatures.
Their usual mode of deception is to change shape into giant hairy monsters of ridiculous pattern and hue, or into boisterous Woodwose or Hairy Men with strangely pigmented hair and skin. They can be easily given away by their vibrant colours, their ridiculous and inconsequential attitudes and by the fact that they have no visible means of economic support or place in the feudal hierarchy.
Common peasant names include “Hurly-Burlys”, “Wildys”, “Jumblies”, “Big Bad Boys”, “Bafflers” and “Grimblesnatches”.
The small size of these golden-furred flying elephants (about 2 feet long) should in no way distract the Inquisitor from their very clear danger. Despite their size they are certainly Haeretica Majoris with a wide selection of immunities and magical powers. Thank Azathoth they are unable to change shape.
Like the Baku, these creatures should be confronted only by a fully-prepared detachment of His Majesties Holy Inquisition.
Common names among the Churl class are “Bibbly Bobs”, “Little-Man-There’s”, “Brave Baron Bees”, and “Little Bad Boys”.
These beings can come in a form similar to dogs or, much more dangerously, those alike to lions. In either case they have much larger, blunter heads than usual, with wide-set googly eyes and ridiculously large smiling mouths with oversized fangs. Their hind legs are canine and the forelegs leonine. They have bush-tipped tails. They come in a wide range of colours, none natural.
Thanks be to Azathoth these creatures cannot fly or change shape, neither do they have the wide range of magical abilities of the Baku or Hollyphant. Nevertheless, they are still dangerous opponents, capable of disappearing from view and travelling by unknown means. Both versions are much stronger and more intelligent than their material counterparts.
These creatures can often be found protecting criminals, escapees, heretics or places of heresy. Thankfully they are quite rare.
Peasant names include; “Jim Dogs”, “Foolish Hounds”, “Hairy Hairy Howling Lads”, “Tommy Big-Teeth” and “Fools Pity”.
Blue Dogs and Yellow Bears
Though Lycanthropy is almost always considered a Divine Blessing, bringing the one transformed a little closer to the Lord, there are a few, lesser spoken-of, forms of that condition which can have a perverse and disordering effect on the spirit.
Most will be familiar with the Noble or Lordly forms of Lycanthropy, those of Raven*, Fox and Tiger, and with the Churlish or Common forms, those of Rat, Bat, Boar and Wolf, but there are, in fact, heretical forms of this condition.
Those transformed into Were-Bears will, during their Change, turn a golden yellow and develop an obsession with honey and sloth. Though these creatures are renowned for their Fellowship and Easy Manners, no-one should be in any doubt that their Liberal Habits and Lax Spirit form a basis for Sin and make an open door for Heresy. They are often found making friends with, or permitting the society of, Heretical creatures and characters and their Sad Addiction to the substance called Honey means they can be easily compelled to unwise, and even treasonous action by its presence.
Those transformed into Were-Dogs will, during their Change, turn a pale and ridiculous blue colour and adopt a manner both liberal and delirious. These Blue Dogs are known to have smiling faces, long limbs, fur like hairy rugs or rough clouds, lolling tongues, galumphing strides and daft pants. Although they are less physically dangerous than the Yellow Bears, they are also less slothful and more given to impudent heresy and disorganised crime. They are not wise dogs.
Were-Bears are referred to amongst the Peasant classes as “Eating Mister Mustard”, “going to see”, or “knowing of”, some “Fat Lads” or as “Going Roly”. Were-Dogs are referred to as “Wearing Sky Trousers”, “Forgetting to Shave” and “Voting for a Bowl”.
(*The existence of these houses being the reason that Ravens, along with Crows, due to the Emir of Crows, are not classified as Avis Infernalis but as Feathered Bats.)
The Roly-Poly Bird
(The reader should be aware that this creature may or may not be Avis Infernalis and those subject to the Oath of Saint Vish should read no farther.)
|From Les Enfants Terribles theatre company|
The Roly-Poly Bird is a ridiculous blue birdlike creature with a luxuriant and oriental multi-coloured many-feathered tail, a bold crest and a long neck. Every other aspect of its description differs from incident to incident, leading some to suspect that it may be another creature in disguise (see ‘Couatl’ below).
The Roly Poly Bird has been named and noted as an accessory in numerous criminal and heretical acts, including, but not limited to, aiding in the escape of heretics and criminals from custody, aiding the targets of the Holy Inquisition and the Ordinis Carcere and persisting in Ridiculous and Provocative Acts.
It’s powers and capacities are unknown and it has evaded capture in every instance of contact. Treat with extreme caution.
The Roly Poly Bird is referred to by the Peasantry as “The Roly Poly Bird”.
The Jub-Jub Bird
(The reader should be aware that this creature is almost certainly Avis Infernalis and those subject to the Oath of Saint Vish should read no farther.)
Due to its extreme rareness, danger and lethality, almost nothing is known of the Jub-Jub Bird. It may not even truly be Haereticorum Ineptias, being Avis Infernalis. The only details recorded are that it prefers isolated areas, that it has a shrill voice and that it lives in perpetual passion.
Any Knight, Inquisitor or servant of the True God is required and requested to report any perceived contact with a being they believe to be the Jub-Jub Bird to His Majesties Holy Inquisition, unless it definitely is a bird, in which case it should be ignored.
Though possibly Haeretici Ferrea, the ridiculous and contemptable nature of the Opinicus classify it also as Haereticorum Ineptias since no creature of similar arrangement could reasonably exist except as a deliberate and Heretical affront to, and mockery of, the True God.
The Opinicus has a camels body and neck, a monkeys head and limbs and an eagles wings. These wings are not useful in flight but despite this the Opinicus can travel both invisibly and through the air. It has a fiendish yet asinine intelligence and plots continually to subvert Holy Law and the rule of the Sleeping King.
The Opinicus is said to lair in the ruins of the Empire of Suleiman and may be allied with that exiled Tyrant or may be a creature of his Sorcerous Wife. It is defended by various magics, including the ability to ejaculate a poisonous and nacreous yellow light from its eyes.
This creature is referred to by the Bedouin as “The Caliph of Paupers”, “The Poets Dog”, “Sunken Ship of the Sky” and “Lord of the Slaver, Slave of the Lord”.
Named not only for the Iron Sands which they still lay claim to, but also for the strength of their heresy, the Haeretici Ferrea consist of those still loyal to the defeated ‘Emperor’ Suleiman. For this they are called ‘The Heretics of the Iron Sands’. The order of the Inquisition tasked with their destruction is the Ordo Ferrum and it has amongst it several devout Efreeti, the Dervishes of Azathoth, some Rakshasa and many Bottle Knights.
Before the coming of the True God, Suleiman ruled a wide empire, including all of the land currently occupied by the Emir of Crows. His power was such that it took seven Cold Crusades over several centuries to effectively break his might and drive him back to the doors of Akka.
Even now, the Empire of Suleiman still technically exists. At the height of the Seventh crusade the Grail Knights watered the blood of his Imperial Guard onto the very seal of his throne room and both the Sorceress Esmerillion and the Emir of Crows duelled magically with the Queen Nicaula. The Emperor himself had entered the fray when news reached Esmerillion of the beginning of the ‘Schism of Virgins’ and the entire Crusade was ordered to retreat.
Suleiman placed his unbreakable seal on the doors of his palace and no force has penetrated it since then.
The Haeretici Ferrea are unique in that they are not an insurrectionary conspiracy, a collection of disparate individuals or a terror network but are an actual military force in miniature. The shattered core of Suleiman’s Empire still remains and many creatures and people of the Iron Sands still owe him secret loyalty. Caches of his secrets and weapons still exist in the ruined cities of his Empire, guarded by his unbreakable seal.
Suleiman, ‘Emperor’ of Akka
The Emperor has the body of a Bull, the wings of an Eagle and the bearded face of a man. He was famed for thousands of years as a just and wise ruler, a mighty warrior and a master of many magics. He spoke the language of Birds, Djinn, Devils and Ants. He commanded the Arch-Devil Asmodeus who, bound to his will, served him for many years as Vizier, before his ultimate betrayal and escape at the height of the fourth Cold Crusade.
Suleiman can read minds, scry his enemies, see the future in a limited way, turn invisible, teleport at will and no doubt perform other miraculous actions. His seal is unbreakable once set and can be used to bind creatures like Devils or Djinn if they are subdued first. At the height of his power he commanded the direct loyalty of men, centaurs, birds, djinn, devils and ants as his subjects.
Queen Nicaula of Saba
The Queen has the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a beautiful woman with long hair. Like her husband she is known to be a master of many magics, a wise ruler and a deadly fighter.
When the Queen came before Suleiman she thought at first that the glass floor of his throne room was water and, fearing to tread upon it, she raised her robe. Seeing her beauty, the Emperor requested her hand in marriage. She accepted, providing he could prove his knowledge by answering her questions. That night she asked him two hundred and ninety nine questions and he answered them each in turn, but as the sun was about to rise, the Queen said she was tired and must sleep and that she would ask the last question the next night. The Emperor acceded to this.
When the next night came she said that as she slept it had come to her in a dream that her final question was much more complex than she had previously realised and asked if she could make some addendums to it. The Emperor agreed to this. She then placed before him, in turn, two hundred and ninety nine more riddles and mysteries, each more complex than the last. He resolved each one but, as the sun rose she again said that she was tired and that she would ask her final question the next night.
This went on for two hundred and ninety nine nights. On the three hundredth day the Emperor requested of his Devil Vizier Asmodeus that he create a mirror and take it to the horizon to reflect the light of the rising sun before it rose. Asmodeus flew to the horizon on wings of midnight black and, with some difficulty, held up his cyclopean mirror. As the Queen saw the dawn light rising in the east she said again that she was tired and would ask her final question the next night.
“It is of little consequence,” said Suleiman “I shall turn back the dawn.” And he rang a silver bell. Hearing this, Asomdeus dropped his mighty mirror, it fell to burning pieces in the sky and where it landed it formed the Selenium Isles, and darkness and starlight again filled the sky.
“Please, continue with your question.” Said Suleiman. The queen had no choice but to do so and after it was answered the Emperor said “Now. I have answered your three hundred questions and your eighty nine thousand four hundred and one addendums. I have asked you only one, and you have answered it. But I would sooner hold back the sun forever and condemn the world to eternal night than to compel the wisest and most beautiful creature who sprang from that earth against her will, so I shall ask again, and you may answer however you wish; will you make yourself my wife?”
Queen Nicaula replied that she would and the sun rose. And that is how the nations of Akka and Saba were united.
The Centaur tribes made up the majority of the Empire of Suleiman and though many have been destroyed or driven off a small population still haunts the Iron Sands, moving mainly by moonlight and hunting with their compound bows. As well as this, the Emperors Imperial Guard of bearded, bronze-armoured heavy cavalry still exists, though they are rarely seen outside Akka.
These small antelope-centaurs stand in a similar relation to normal Centaurs as Halflings do to Man. They were too insignificant and too numerous to bother exterminating and an itinerant population still live between the oasies of the Iron Sands. They hunt birds with their small bows and, for this convenience, are ignored by the Crow Knights. They may still owe secret fealty to Suleiman and are often suspected of being spies despite their formal declarations of piety.
The Bedouin tribes have all sworn faith with Azathoth and loyalty to the Emir of Crows but they are a perpetually fractious, proud and dishonest lot who almost always define themselves against whoever is currently in power. When Suleiman ruled they were a constant thorn in his side with their raids, thefts and intercene tribal wars. Now that he is gone many wear his seal in secret and speak of him as “The Desired One”.
Both the normal sized and the larger intelligent Formian Ants were said to have sworn fealty to Suleiman in ages past. Since the Seventh Cold Crusade no agent of the Eclipsed Kingdom has been able to communicate with the Queen of the Formians in her hidden city to find out where her loyalties (if she is even capable of such a thing) lie.
Avis Infernalis – The Parliament of Birds
The Ordo Infernalis is unusual in that it is made entirely of, and lead by, women, commonly Nuns of Saint Vish or other devout ladies.
(Any reader who has taken the Oath of Saint Vish should read no further but skip straight to Haeretici Caelum below.)
Ever since the Regrettable Crusade of St Fugol, the Avis Infernalis have been the abjured enemies of the Eclipsed Kingdom. It is extremely difficult for servants of the True God to discover any meaningful information about this trackless and placeless enemy. Of all the enemies of God and King, these are those whose motivations are most difficult to discern, whose plans are most challenging to counter and whose capacities are most unpredictable.
Even the existence of the “Parliament of Birds”, its location, forces, intentions, members and organisation, is unknown. We subsist only on rumour.
This deceptive, intelligent, heretical and evil bird is considered to be a Prime Agent of Aerial Heresy. It is fortunate that the creature is only very rarely sighted within the Eclipsed Kingdom. No force sent to attack or restrain the Phoenix has ever returned and the only remains recovered have been badly burned so it has been assumed that the creature is connected somehow with fire.
Prioress Groöb of the Nuns of Saint Vish has suggested that the name ‘Phoenix’ is merely a title passed on from bird to bird as each ascends to a position of Arch-Heresy. This would make sense of several incoherent rumours about the creature.
This extremely heretical and evil creature plays some kind of vital role in the hated Parliament of Birds. Though little is known about it, evidence suggests that it is a skilled sophist and deceiver as it has been able to persuade several driven and focused servants of God to deny His truth. It has been claimed that the Simurgh is in fact ‘many birds’, which is either inane and obvious deceit or proof that this name applies to a secret sub-faction of the Parliament of Birds.
Roc or Rukh
This name may be that of a single species of Avis Infernalis or may refer to a range of species of similar gigantic size. The Rukh therefore can be considered as any bird large enough to carry a fully armoured knight and mount off in its claws. Thankfully these birds are rare. When they do occasionally make their nesting places in mountainous areas in or adjacent to, the Eclipsed Kingdom, the Nuns of Saint Vish are quickly summoned and directed to assault and destroy such creatures.
Owls, Eagles and other common Infernal Birds
These creatures, though apparently of only natural shape, sometimes exhibit disturbing and unnatural intelligence, awareness or size. These can include unusually large owls, intelligent storks, storks which vomit boiling water, giant storks, red hawks and enraged ostriches of the Iron Sands.
Legendary and Imaginary Avis Infernalis – Aarakocra, Garuda, Swanmays and others
Numerous other forms of Avis Infernalis are rumoured to exist in distant nations and climes. It has been claimed that a race of “Bird-Men”, having the wings and heads of birds, but the form and wits of men, exists and is called the “Aarakocra”. The “Garuda” bird is described in varied and conflicting ways but is always described as a being of magical power and often as a servant of heretical pseudo-gods, a race of women able to transform into swans or other Infernalis via magic has been spoken of in ballads.
It might be assumed, firstly, that these creatures are clearly imaginary, and secondly, if they are real they are so rare and unlikely to be encountered that no attention need be paid to them. However, the reader should consider what a terrible disaster could result if Avis Infernalis of significant power and intelligence should make their way to the Eclipsed Kingdom in force….
The Haeretici Caelum include heretical creatures of the Air which are not Infernalis. This includes the Haereticum Dracones.
If the Vere Agentia and the Haeretici Ferrea are defined by their loyalty to a particular doomed cause and the Haereticorum Ineptias by their anarchic, persistent, but unstructured disobedience, the Haeretici Caelum are like some of the more intelligent Infernalis in their planned, intelligent, direct and continued opposition to the rule of the Sleeping King and the spread of the True Faith. Though their methods are various and their numbers are few, have no doubt, they aim at the overthrow of the Kingdom and the destruction of the Church.
However, since the Caelum and Dracones are not Infernalis, though they tend to be occupants of the air, they can be freely acknowledged and hunted by the Chivalry of the Sleeping King. It remains only for the Holy Inquisition to discover and locate them so they may be destroyed. Though they are uncommon they are all extremely deceptive, intelligent and cunning.
The Criminal Ki'Rin
This creature is an irritating and inexplicable, pompous, harassing, liberal, heretical, superior and exasperating being. Its form is alike unto that of a horse though its head is horned. Its coat is of golden scales. It skips and gallops through the sky with the greatest of ease. It exhibits some control over weather, can disappear at will and possesses a wide range of other magics. It makes a speciality of tempting servants of the True God with illusions and the creation of material goods which, the greater the substance they seek to counterfeit, the more quickly they return to their ethereal form.
It is known to have assisted criminals, escapees and heretics and to have penetrated even to the heart of the Kingdom itself to obstruct the due performance of justice and avert the necessary destruction of traitors and thieves. It has, on multiple occasions, dared to lecture and condescend to agents of the Black Church and to criticise, in detail, the Faith of the Black God before escaping in a puff of smoke.
This creature is widely suspected to be the true form of the Haereticorum Ineptas known as the ‘Roly Poly Bird’.
In its true guise the Coatl is a kind of winged and feathered Wyrm with a preference for warm and torpid zones. It has a venomous bite and, like many heretical creatures, is capable of disappearing at will. It can seemingly change shape as and when it desires. It possesses a wide range of unpredictable magics
The creature is known to have a high opinion of its own status as an agent of culture and learning and it is possible that it could be tempted, tracked and trapped by an agent of the Church able to engage it in scholarly or cultured discourse and argument.
Zoloto Daraniya Hiranyam Gulp - the Golden Wyrm
One of only two unconverted wyrms still at large in the Eclipsed Kingdom, the creature known as Zoloto Gulp must certainly spend almost all of its time in a false shape, presumably that of a man, since it has not been seen at large for several hundred years.
Neither has it been revealed and caught, or its rumoured treasure-palace found.
Based on its previous behaviour, Zoloto Gulp must still exhibit some keen interest in trade and capital. (Sadly ignoble enthusiasms for a creature of its size and potency.) Before the arrival of God, the wyrm was the chief banker to the court of the Sleeping King and often appeared before him in the form of a plump and hearty merchant lord, bearded and fat and bestrewn with golden chains. It is from this period that most of our knowledge of its behaviour comes.
Though no Inquisitor or knight has yet revealed him, it is thought that they have come close on at least two occasions, once by tracing rumours of a banker who secretly ate gems and once, hundreds of years later, as the ‘Lord of the Yellow Hall’, a feudal lord of a marginal realm famed for his gift-giving and good luck.
Wherever Gulp is now, it is unlikely that he has been completely unable to abandon his passion for generosity, his obsession with sound finances and his love of luck and gaming.
If any agent of the Holy Inquisition does locate Gulp, they should immediately and secretly summon as much aid as possible. Beneath his deceiving guise Gulp is a gigantic, millennia-old creature capable of incinerating, poisoning and tearing apart scores of Knights in a moments notice.
Kypria Contortrix Aes – the Penny Wyrm
Kypria is the only Dragon in the Eclipsed Kingdom to live openly as a Dragon and as a Heretic. It is believed she does this specifically and only to irritate and mock the Holy Inquisition.
On at least seventeen occasions since the coming of the Black God, Aes has revealed herself and predated openly upon both the Chivalry and the Clergy, stealing vast amounts of currency and valuable property. On each of the seventeen times she has been traced to her hidden lair by servants of the One God, only for the only treasure discovered being a gigantic pile of pennies and a very artfully devised trap to spring, killing or crippling all present.
Obviously, after the first five or six incidents of this type, the agents of the Holy Inquisition realised that they were inevitably being lead into a trap and began to take elaborate counter-precautions in order to discover and evade any possible snare or device.
Regrettably, Aes had anticipated those precautions and, in every case, the actions taken by the Holy Inquisition, be they magical, practical or intellectual, were precisely the ones required to activate the trap she had prepared.
After her latest appearance a Conclave of Wyrms was called by the Black Pope herself in which the wisest minds, greatest magicians and most intelligent lords would gather to discuss and devise a means to discover and destroy her trap before it was sprung.
The conclave is now in its fifty-sixth year and, after several schisms and purges, is close to delivering its Final Plan for the destruction of the Penny Wyrm. (Although a supressed and minority faction believes that the Conclave itself is the trap this time and that there is not actual trap in the dragons mountain lair.)
In the intervening time Aes has continued to prey upon the local hierarchy and has been engaged with militarily on several occasions by the Chivalry, who were all regrettably and horribly dissolved by her acidic breath, which she then used to burn insulting and provocative messages into the grass.
Any subject of the Sleeping King is expressly forbidden from attempting to penetrate the stronghold of Kypria Contortrix Aes until the Conclave of Wyrms brings forth its judgement.
These heretics are, in the large, imbued with only minor powers to confound and rebuke the agents of order and law. Likewise they are generally incapable of any sustained intelligent action in the pursuit of their heresy. Unlike the Haereticorum Ineptas their flailing misadventures are not carefully disguised anarchic timebombs of conspiracy, they are simply stupid.
It is arguable as to whether some of these creatures are truly intentionally heretical or simply dangerous animals but they have all, at different times, been classified by the Holy Ordos as enemies of God and King and there they shall remain.
Moon Dogs, due to their power and intelligence, are not truly Haeretici Minoris but have proven impossible to classify anywhere else.
These very magical, powerful, ethereal dogs hate and despise the faithful servants of the Black God. They can be distinguished by their vaguely human faces and prehensile hands. They are sometimes seen walking on two feet. Their colouration is dark grey with deep black mottles. They have amber eyes, are intelligent and can speak.
Moon Dogs have a limited capacity to change shape but are known to make only brief and conditional use of it, unlike the Baku who can remain in human form for days, or weeks. They prefer to avoid strong light and possess a number of illusory magics to aid them in evading the Holy Inquisition.
They persistently and fearlessly assault the agents and servants of the Black Church and assist those attempting to oppose its rule.
Monkeys are thankfully rare in the Eclipsed Kingdom, usually inhabiting the forests on the edge of the Iron Sands and the Oasies therin. Though they are only occasionally encountered there have been reports of a race of Monkey Men with human wits whose behaviour and manners are Foolish in the Extreme.
This race has on many occasions expressed distain and contempt towards the Holy Church and has publicly denied any fealty towards the Sleeping King. They have engaged in ridiculous and sustained boasting matches with any Knight who chooses to converse with them and have claimed numerous divine and magical powers. There is no evidence for any such capacity amongst the Monkey Men and they should, and must, be ignored.
Though of near-human intelligence and capable of a limited teleport capacity, these creatures prefer to avoid inhabited areas and are not much of a threat. They have proven impossible to fully wipe out.
These extremely annoying creatures were briefly popular in the Eclipsed Kingdoms as pets for noble children. When it was discovered that some of these creatures were leading children into heretical opposition to their parents the whole species was ordered to be exterminated. Some did escape and must have provided a small breeding population since they have become endemic vermin in a few forested areas.
Small-scale shadowy shape-changers able to disguise themselves as dogs, cats or owls. Must be caught and killed before the sun rises or they will heal any damage inflicted up until that point.
This very low form of demonic or devilish creature occasionally escape into the Eclipsed Kingdom and harass the Winter Court by quietly melting ice behind peoples backs.