Atan Irith/Fauna

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Fauna of Atan Irith: A Guide to Some of the Unique Creatures of the Erithian Continent is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Fauna of Atan Irith: A Guide to Some of the Unique Creatures of the Erithian Continent

In addition to Elanthia-wide creatures and insects, Atan Irith has several unique species across its expanse.

Birds of Atan Irith

Kealotl: The Inyexat-named kealotl is a rare alpine parrot with an outward appearance of a slightly dull, olive green shade. However, when in flight, blues and turquoises, albeit somewhat subdued, are also evident, and the underwings have a red-orange sheen to them. Kealotls have a distinct air of mischief about them, with intelligent grey-green eyes and an inquisitive nature, and they are known for turning this inquisitiveness toward any unusual item they come into contact with. If one is in an area where kealotls live, one best be prepared to carefully secure all belongings, preferably in an impenetrable trunk. Kealotls can, and have, made short work out of most backpacks, dismantling them in minutes to see what's inside.

Lotus Hummingbird: The lotus hummingbird has distinctive iridescent blue-green and violet plumage swirling together, with a petal-patterned pink splash behind each eye. While not truly picky about its flowers, the lotus hummingbird does appear partial to lotuses, and hundreds flock to the xan'ayra blossoms each summer, swarming the saltwater flowers in tiny droves.

Tichan Peacock: (Also known as the whorled peacock or peafowl) Peacocks are not native to Atan Irith, but several dozen years ago, a couple Tichan erithi were traveling in disguise through Ta'Loenthra and, on a drunken dare, they each stole a peafowl from a park in the city. Their misdeed was not discovered until the ship was well out to sea, and the decision was made to just keep the two birds and never speak of it again. One was a beautiful male specimen with brilliant coloring, while the other was a leucistic peahen with iridescent ivory feathering. The pair's resultant offspring were an unexplainable blend of the two – the peahens mostly white with tinges of the expected browns, greys, and dull blues and the peacocks with ivory bodies whorled with vibrant blues and greens and the traditionally brilliant tail feathers. Whorled peacocks can be found in carefully controlled environments, so as not to impact native plants and animals.

Years later, when the erithi made themselves known to the rest of Elanthia, a diplomatic envoy was sent to Ta'Loenthra to discuss the long-ago theft and recompense paid (unnecessarily in the eyes of Ta'Loenthra's leadership, as they too understood the whims of youth). In 5123, a pair of mated whorled peacocks were sent to Queen Cadhla.

V'tullian Nightjar: A crepuscular member of the nightjar family, the V'tullian nightjar is native to Atan Irith, specifically the western mountains. Its dark grey plumage has splashes of crimson with a scimitar-like ebon swath on its chest. The nightjar's marking and its coal black eyes coupled with a squawking that sounds more like a frenzied battle call give the nightjar its Arkati name. Despite their potentially alarming appellation, these nightjars are actually quite friendly and can often be found hitching a ride on the head of a mellow capybara and even preening behind their ears. There is an old Inyexat children's tale about a V'tullian nightjar and its capybara best friend and how they discovered a now-popular divination toadstool.

Sea Life of Atan Irith

Ayjira shark: The ayjira shark or sun shark is a small, mostly harmless shark found around Atan Irith. They have a trio of dark orange lines across their face. An Inyexat myth claims the sharks have protection from harm by the sun itself, and they do not hunt or eat it. The erithi came up with their name based on this myth, but they do not eat it for more practical purposes -- the flesh is ridiculously poisonous.

Agate crabs: Tiny crabs found in coastal areas of Atan Irith, agate crabs are known for their mottled, agate-like shells. They are coveted for aquariums because of their beautiful shells and are too small to be eaten. In the waters around Tynathi-Re, the agate crabs tend to resemble moss agates, but in other areas, agate crabs can be found similar to other agates, such as cloud, dream, or iris.

Sunrise nudibranch: The sunrise nudibranch is unique to the waters of the Jade Cove. Its pale yellow body is adorned with waves of darker yellow and orange tentacles cascading down its length.

Sunset sea anemones: Found across the coastal areas of Atan Irith, the sunset sea anemone has a bright orange body that deepens across its tentacles to a blood red tipped with dark violet.

Ichthyology of Atan Irith

In addition to several fish found the world over, Atan Irith has numerous unique yusaka (Erithi for fish).

Aikayu: Also called sweetfish, aikayu is known for its faintly sweet, melon-like flavor. The fish require pristine waters to thrive, and they can be found in lakes and rivers throughout the northern half of Atan Irith. Aikayu is most frequently cooked with very little seasoning or spices, as erithi desire to draw out the unique flavor.

Kirichaku: A type of char endemic to the fresh waters of Atan Irith, the kirichaku is most prevalent in rivers on the eastern coast. It can be found in smaller quantities in other areas.

Nirisaka: Also known more prosaically as the cyclops flounder, the nirisaka is a one-eyed flounder. Erithi claim nirisaka are the result of one erithi researcher's attempts at magical manipulation of hereditary traits to produce flounder with eyes on both sides of their heads. Instead, she only succeeded in the one-eyed fish, and she threw all of them into the sea in exasperation where they astonishingly thrived without ruining any pre-existing ecosystems.

While this was a happy accident several centuries ago, erithi today have a much stricter view on the study of such manipulations.

N'tansaka: Translating roughly to fish of truthfulness and affectionately nicknamed tansyfish, the n'tansaka is a sightless, freshwater fish typically found where streams flow out of deep caves. They bear the typical characteristics of evolution in total darkness -- sightlessness and albinism. Larger populations are found in cave systems, but plenty make their way to pools flowing from caves and seem to thrive adequately there.

Catching a n'tansaka is believed to be an omen that someone in your life is withholding information or being untruthful to you. Some believe that eating one will act as sort of a truth serum and will thus serve the fish in moments where truth is expected. There is no indication there is any truth to this belief, however, but it has become a tradition to some.

In addition, households inclined to keep fish in an aquarium also frequently like to add a tansyfish to the mix, as it is believed to prevent distrustful behavior. Again, folklore, but a popular belief.

Sanyu: Unique to Atan Irith, the sanyu is a sub-species of salmon, adaptable to both temperate and sub-arctic bodies of water. The fish is incredibly common and considered a staple of most erithi diets. With a silvery base, the fish comes in diverse scale colorings, with iridescent silver being the most common and the violet-streaked sanyu being the most rare. Other variations include the jadefish (a dark green-tinged sanyu), the orange-spotted sanyu, and the crimson-striped sanyu. While the most common symbol for the Tichan Dai is just a generic fish or the silver sanyu, different groups may adopt different sanyu to represent both their group and their Dai.

Preparation of sanyu is varied, but in Tynathi-Re, pan roasting with a miso and honey glaze is common. Smaller villages often dry copious amounts of sanyu to get them through lean winter months, and chefs in Eloth-Ra are continuously coming up with new ways to incorporate sanyu into dishes, including a savory mousse version served on crispy rosemary crackers that is currently taking the erithi gastrophiles by storm.

Sinuous jadesnake: A type of eel, the jadesnake is a dark viridian hue streaked with wavy crimson streaks along one side.

Xan'ayra eel: First discovered in the Lotus Sea, the xan'ayra eel's preferred habitat is living amongst those famous saltwater lotuses. However, they can be found anywhere along the coast that has a strong seaweed presence and rocks to hide in. They are edible, but the flesh is nondescript enough that most opt for more flavorful food.

Yurita: Yurita, the luck fish, are rare, saltwater fish that are blue with a periwinkle iridescence. They are eaten at special celebrations and are often thought to bring luck. It's meant to be eaten only rarely, no more than once or twice a year. Erithi take great care not to overfish them as well.

Entomology of Atan Irith

Dreamfire Butterfly: Named after the erithi storytelling style, dreamfire butterflies have intricate patterns that often create optical illusions when looked at from certain angles.

Ghostfly: Ghostflies are tiny, snow white flies found in areas where ghostwood trees grow.

Glimaerfly: Similar to fireflies, glimaerflies are light-emitting, flying beetles. However, rather than the yellow-green glow of the firefly, glimaerflies produce light in jewel tones and possess brilliant, gem-like colored carapaces. There are several different types of glimaerflies, a handful of which can be found in two other places: the Isle of Four Winds and, oddly enough, the Great Piratical Flotilla. It's believed the flotilla's glimaerfly population is perpetuated by an erithi hobbyist that lives permanently aboard one of the docked vessels, and from there, someone smuggled some to the Isle of Four Winds, where they naturally thrived. Attempts to cultivate them outside of these three areas, however, has been mostly unsuccessful.

In Tynathi-Re, glimaerflies fare best near the shore, but they can also be found throughout the town and its immediate environs in smaller numbers. Typically vespertine in nature, during the fullness of Liabo, glimaerflies will stay out all night en masse, their polychromatic blinking filling the night sky like a tiny skyfire exhibit.

Glimaerflies play a significant part of the erithi's annual Festival of Lights, that celebrates their safe arrival on Atan Irith.

A Sampling of Glimaerflies:

  • Ianthine glimaerfly: A brilliant violet-hued glimaerfly
  • Ayra glimaerfly: A bright yellow-orange glimaerfly
  • Nathalene glimaerfly: An icy blue glimaerfly, reminiscent of the the erithi gem nathalene
  • Iris glimaerfly: Reminiscent of the iris agate, iris glimaerflies have a pale pink translucency with thin bands of colors that create delicate rainbows as they light up.

Lotus mantis: A type of praying mantis with camouflage capabilities, blending into lotuses of all colors.

Nathaita: Nathaita are mountain bumblebees, known for their unusual yellow-orange and mahogany stripes. With pudgy, fuzzy bodies and translucent jacinthe wings, the nathaita brighten up mountain meadows. They especially enjoy vethajira comfrey and the colorful taqitzka.

Shi'hadara Moth: Also known as the masked moth, the shi'hadara moth has distinctive markings reminiscent of the qakoni used in the art of shi'hadara.

Shiri Moth: A palm-sized moth with velvety, midnight black wings laced with iridescent polychromatic patterns, shiri moths are said to be good luck when seen after the death of a loved one.

Shadowfire Moth: Named after the storytelling known as shadowfire, these moths feature luminous colors framed with ebon markings, creating a "cut-out" feature.

Skyglass Spider: The skyglass spider has an almost mirror-like body veined with black, reminiscent of the erithi glassworking technique known as skyglass.

Wooly Cikyas: Coming in a variety of colors, wooly cikyas are large members of the butterfly and moth family. Originally discovered in Atan Irith and named by the Inyexat, cikyas are drawn to rolton wool and can be found alighting on the native ikacikta as well as other roltons (and wooly creatures) throughout Elanthia. See also Roltons, Wools, and Cheese of the Land.


Axolotl: The axolotl is a rare salamander found in the Undermere on Atan Irith. Unlike other amphibians, they evolved to eschew metamorphosis and even as adults remain aquatic. In general, axolotl are either leucistic (white-pink, but not albino) or shades of brown. However, there are a few varieties of green or gold axolotl, and several marking types, such as stippled, speckled, striped, and dappled. There is even a rare, full black axolotl with no distinguishing markings and vivid emerald green eyes.

They are rarely chosen as the animal companion of a Child of the Starlit Wilds. This takes special care, given their aquatic and gilled nature.

Capybara: Capybaras can be found mostly near Inye'vexl. In addition to breeding for strength and stamina for mounts, some capybaras are bred for wool. These long-haired capybaras are routinely shorn for the soft wool that is then woven into a fabric known as captiql. Captiql is a luxuriously soft, light brown wool that dyes well and is sturdy enough for everyday use.

Capyxita: Capyxitas are miniaturized capybara kept as pets by many Inyexat. They are roughly a quarter of the size of a normal capybara and look very similar. Capyxitas are known to be loving and loyal pets.

Ixacikta: The ixacikta, more colloquially known as cikta, are mountain valley roltons typically raised by small Ineyxat groups in northern Atan Irith and some erithi farmers, especially those from the Surath Dai. Cikta are typically white-wooled and serve as an important source of meat and wool. Rams have curled horns that frame their face; after a ram's death, Inyexat take the horns for a variety of uses, including small containers and jewelry. While hornless, ewes are valued for their thick coat and flavorful milk which produces a tangy cheese known as ciktat.

Occasionally, a cikta will be born with all black wool. These rare creatures are seen as a sign of a herd's prosperity in Inyexat culture, and they will pamper the lamb and raise it as a pet. Cikta in general are quite docile anyway, and the additional pampering makes for an incredibly carefree and happy beast that will often follow its favorite people around the farms for hours.

Teadragons: Teadragons are small lizards native to Atan Irith. See Erithi Teadragon for detailed information.

OOC Notes

  • Created by GM Xynwen, 2023
  • Many thanks to GM Thandiwe who created the glimaerfly back when we were first GMs together so long ago. I'm thrilled we're finally able to flesh them out and bring them to Elanthian life
  • Many thanks to GM Casil who came up with most of the fish ideas as part of creating the fishing areas in Tynathi-Re. I'm going to miss the DMs of "this is the fish I want, give me an erithi name for it!"