Deep Worldbuild Project:
For a newer and more practical post on this topic, click here.
Welcome to part three of the Deep Worldbuild Project. Part one was on map outlines and part two was on terrain and how it affects the culture. Today we’ll be talking about the wildlife. That includes both the animals and the vegetation.
I hinted yesterday/Thursday at a couple of animals I was planning on making for this project. One was a panther-like cat for Kor-Baen and the other was a lot more vague: some sort of reptile for Egath Baen. Well I’ve fleshed both of those out a bit more, as well as come up with some new ones, and this is what I came up with.
The cats are called the Shahr. One Sha, multiple Shahr.
In addition to black and tan, the Shahr also come in dark brown, white, tawny yellow, and even dark maroon and navy blue. Some have tufts of fur under their chins like bobcats. They’re extremely strong and aggressive, and they’re excellent hunters. They’re nocturnal and you don’t want to be caught by one; It’s nearly promised death.
I had an idea for another Kor-Baen animal yesterday morning, as well. A golden bear with grey, stone-like scales on its back. They’re called Patharai (or Pathar, for the singular), and though they’re a lot less aggressive than the Shahr, they’re more dangerous if they do decide to attack you. They’re twice the size of the ordinary bear, and between their claws, teeth, and armor, there is very, very little chance of you getting away from a battle with one alive.
In Egath Baen I decided to expand out from the reptiles and I also have a toad and a few butterflies in mind. But here I’ll just share the snake and the toad.
This is a Bush Viper, aka the inspiration for my Egath Baen snake. I’m combining it with a Horned Bush Viper to make it more menacing-looking.
Horned Bush Viper ^^. Those horns are going to be vital to the Egath Baen snake, the Varean. The singular and plural are the same for this one. A real Horned Bush Viper can be almost two feet long. The Varean can grow to three and a half feet. The Varean also has longer horns than the Bush Viper and can shoot venomous scales from them, each tipped with enough poison to kill a grown man in seconds. You don’t want to mess with one of them.
The toad we’re using as a base is the extinct Golden Toad of Costa Rica:
We’re going to give this fellow some interesting attributes, as well. For instance, he can freeze anyone who looks at him. They don’t even have to look him in the eyes, they just freeze if they see him. For this reason he is called the Basilisk Toad. After he has frozen his victim, he gives a deep croak that brings all his reptile buddies slithering over to start their feast. It attracts the smaller lizards and snakes as well as the larger, and those unfortunate small ones become his own dinner.
I’m not going to be real creative with this part at this point. I’ll probably make some more stuff up later, but for now we’ll stick mostly to real life plants.
Adrelia has the most interesting flora, being tropical and whatnot, and a lot of its wildlife is in common with Egath Baen, since they have similar climates and terrain. Adrelia, for instance, has the same venomous reptiles and amphibians.
But in addition to the deadly, they share the beautiful. Here’s a sample of the flowers that grow there.
This gives you the basic idea. Lots of bright, colorful flowers. They also grow dragonfruit, mangoes, pineapples, etc. (You should look up “dragonfruit plant.” They look like weeping willows meet cactus. They’re wild looking.)
I always hated this part of worldbuilding, but I think that was because I was trying to make everything completely from scratch. Basing your wildlife on something familiar is a lot easier, both on you as the writer and on your readers so that they have a point of reference.
Have fun making stuff up and playing around with ways to adapt existing things to your story world. :)
And here’s the next two chapters of my WIP, as promised. Enjoy!