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Non-Canon Mounts/Pet/Mob/Plant Lore: A Research Expedition into the Unexplored Wilds


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@"Fenom.9457" said:Yes do all the mounts! I always wondered, because the lore explanation for everything else in the BLTC was that they made it, but you can't "make" new kinds of animals. Like is the dajkah lantern skimmer actually found in dajkah? And if so, when/where was passage into dajkah opened? At the very least I'd like to see these skins in the game somewhere. We had NPC mounts in PoF, they should add some to new maps (wild animals) for immersion and consistency. But anyway, please do the other mounts!

I was thinking the same thing: why are there only the basic mount species found only in Elona? There should be wild ones of varying species/subspecies/colour-forms/variants/phases/morphs/mutations out-and-about as hostile, neutral, or friendly NPCs/mobs in the relevant locales of Tyria. The skimmers really do look like they could come from underwater, and perhaps they will be able to become underwater mounts in the future when the war on bubbles begins! :open_mouth:

sugarwraith's YouTube Channel was also one of the inspirations for this exercise in imagination, and if you want to watch her lore series on various aspects of Tyria called "Life on Tyria", you should check out her channel. :)

I'll be periodically posting here if anyone is interested in reading more about what could be enriching the floral and faunal lore of our world we call Tyria. :smile: Everyone is welcome to post their own stories, discoveries, theories and explorations, as well!

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If anyone would like to showcase their mounts, they can post their screenshots and be credited (and if you want to write your own blurb, you are most welcome to!). P.s. Colour variants are welcome!Call for screenshot submissions:

  • Umbral Demon Skimmer
  • Grand Lion
  • Spooky Mounts
  • Wintersday Mounts
  • Branded Mounts
  • Istani Mounts

Collected images:

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"Morphologically, griffons bear a strong resemblance to the tengu species/people. Both are avianoid, with beaks, feathers, and clawed phalanges. Their pinnae are also strikingly similar in structure and are most likely homologous features, much like their forelimbs and hind-limbs are, having a common origin to one another."


"The Clouded Corvus, Gryps corax nebulosae (shown above), is a different species of griffon than the common greater griffon (Gryps gryps gryps) which can be found in the arid and windy landscapes of Elona. They are, however, in the same genus: Gryps, of "greater griffons". Clouded Corvus griffons are predominantly found in the misty temperate rain-forests of the Woodland Cascades, but have been spotted ranging as far as the alpine forests of the Shiverpeaks--such as the Griffon Old Growth. The Corvus griffons are the only other species of griffon that are omnivorous (the other being the Sylph Griffon) and may occasionally dig up and consume tuberous vegetables--to supplement their diet of prey animals and grains like corn and wheat--much to the distress of the unfortunate farmer. The tails of the Clouded Corvus most closely resemble the tails of tengu, rather than those of other griffons and lesser griffons (Gryps-parvus spp.) whose tails more resemble those of charr--the similarities of the latter (between the tails of griffons and charr) are more likely a result of convergent evolution and are analogous in nature to one another."


"The Spotted Slyph griffon, Gryps sylphes occulatae (pictured above), on the other hand, prefers dense humid jungle and makes its home in the heart of the Maguuma Jungle. Its spotted and counter-shaded plumage helps it to camouflage seamlessly in the dense dappled canopy of foliage. Its range overlaps slightly with that of the Clouded Corvus but are not known to interbreed with them. It is thought that their tails are partially prehensile, an adaptation which serves to improve balance in the dense treetops. Anyone who has encountered a griffon will remember seeing wing-claws protruding from the wrist section of their wings and wondered what they were for. For the Spotted Sylph, these appendages assist in clambering through branches and are especially helpful when they are young and are blown out of the nest in heavy storms. Speaking of wet weather, to protect itself from the damp conditions of the jungle, the Sylph's uropygial gland produces a near-excessive amount of preen oil which assists in reducing feather pests due to its anti-parasitic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. Like the Corvus griffon, the Spotted Sylph is omnivorous: in addition to its diet of fresh saurian meat, of course, it enjoys consuming the plentiful fruits of the jungle with other frugivorous creatures."


"The Highland Harrier griffon, Gryps circus collinae (displayed above), occupies the highlands of Ascalon--namely, the Blazeridge Steppes--but range into the Elonian highlands as well as the eastern hills of the Shiverpeaks and Steamspur Mountains. It has been reported that the Harrier griffon's feathers and flesh are poisonous to consume due to the batrachotoxins present in feather and skin samples taken for analysis. Observations of its depredation upon venomous krait and poisonous hylek, among other creatures like: spiders, wasps, mosquitoes, devourers, bats, wurms, sand eels, ibogas and skale may explain how the Highlands Harrier metabolises and then incorporates the various toxins into its system. Highland Harriers typically prefer to nest in craggy outcroppings and caves below the alpine snowline on mountainsides, as opposed to treetops like the Corvus and Sylph griffons, or open-ground-nests as with the lesser griffons, and more like the cliff-side nests of common griffons and Badlands griffons."


"Badlands Stalkers (a.k.a. Badlands griffons), Gryps volatus taciturnae (shown above), are silent fliers, soaring across canyons on thermals rising from the baked stone of the cliffs they call home. Ranging from the deserts of Elona and the Blazeridge Mountains to the canyons of Maguuma Wastes and the Steamspurs in-between, Badlands Stalkers are among the most wide-ranging (though, not most common) of griffon species. Their stockier build allows them to thrive in both hot and cold climates, ranging farther into chillier regions than all other greater griffon species (other than the common greater griffon), though they require warm columns of air to hunt effectively. Specialised down feathers, called 'pulviplumes' help to insulate the griffon from temperature extremes as well as providing a copious amount of feather dust which it uses to blind foes."

"In the abandoned stone halls of the Silverwastes, a land once known as the lush Silverwood, nests an exceptionally rare variety of Spotted Sylph. This breed, a bright red colour morph, would stand out as a sore thumb in the verdant greenery of the Maguuma Jungle to the west. Currently under review as a subspecies of the Sylph Griffon, Gryps sylphes, its proponents for subspecies status argue that they have diverged from the main population of Spotted Sylphs for hundreds of years and the two separate populations have not been interbreeding--though it is posited that they they still are able to produce viable offspring if they do. Opponents of the designation argue that there is not enough differentiation of evolutionary adaptations, other than colour, to warrant a separate subspecies. If this particular Spotted Sylph of the Maguuma Wastes were to receive status as a subspecies all to its own, it would most likely be named Gryps sylphes rufus, Gryps sylphes rudhira, or Gryps sylphes deserti. Like its sister-subspecies in the dense jungles of Maguuma, it also enjoys supplementing its diet with fruit but must obtain that fruit from other sources in the Maguuma Wastes in the form of cactus fruit. This dietary supplementation helps it to better compete with the more dominant griffon species in the region--the Badlands Stalker (Gryps volatus taciturnae), which tends to nudge out other species of griffons in ecosystems they inhabit, like the Clouded Corvus (Gryps corax nebulosae)."


"Theories on this particular breed of Spotted Sylph range from plausible to outlandish. One theory is that they were kept as livestock and hunting animals by the giants, using their eggs (and meat) as a steady supplementary food source and their feathers as symbols of status and to insulate their bedding and clothing. As giant society collapsed, these brilliant vermilion avianoids escaped the fate of the giants and now live as ghostly reminders of the Age of the Giants and the capricious nature of the Gods. Interviewing the friendly centaurs of the region have produced many stories and myths about griffons, in general, which have been known to occasionally prey upon centaurs and their young. Centaur myths both revere and revile them, as spirits of the wind and demons from the depths. The latter perspective most likely comes from the period of conflict between centaurs and the grey giant tribes of the area where griffons may have been used as beasts of war."


"The griffon known as the Fire Pinion is also one that is known to very few and seen by even fewer. With feathers of flame and wings of wildfire, such a sight bewilders and befuddles onlookers. 'What God made that?' some human may ask. 'Where in the Eternal Alchemy did that come from?' an asura might ask. 'Pre-roasted chicken sounds good right about now,' a charr would possibly comment. The human, wrong; the asura, preoccupied; and the charr, irreverent. This griffon, created from the extinct Valley Pinion griffon (Gryps plumis valles), was formed in the fantastical fires of high-elder and grandmaster djinns in their Vabbian forges to banish demons from dimensions beyond ours. The Valley Pinion, unlike other griffon species, lack the leathery patagium that has replaced the primary flight feathers on other species of greater griffon. This links the Valley Pinion Griffon to the lesser griffons as the bridge between the two species. It is thought that the leathery patagium helped the other greater griffon species to take advantage of warmer climes by allowing the quick release of excess heat."


"The Starbound griffon has a similarly mysterious and mystical origin and is even rarer and elusive than even the Fire Pinion, even though it is most likely created from the common greater griffon, Gryps gryps gryps. One theory is that it is an elaborate conspiracy between the Black Lion Company, The Consortium, and the secretive Mesmer Collective to confuse the populace. Another is that they are, like the Fire Pinion, a product of the djinn high-elders imbuing these griffons with celestial magic from the Mists to combat demons not of this world. Regardless of its possible origins, the Starbound griffon is an excellent nocturnal hunter in the starry skies of Elona, practically melding in with the speckled tapestry of night above as it plunges towards its unsuspecting victim."

--excerpts from 'Descriptions of Griffon Subspecies: A Feathered Flurry' and 'A Treatise on the Origins of Griffons and the Mechanisms of their Speciation'. Research commissioned by The Tyrian Taxonomic Council on the Conservation of Finite Flora and Fauna.

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Thanks for sharing; it's been a nice read! I, too, am interested in the (so far) untold lore of these specific and curious mount variations, so it's fun to see someone's take on it. As another fan of sugarwraith's lovely "Life on Tyria" videos, I'm glad to see more interest in the community for flexing their creative writing muscles and going wild (with some IRL taxonomy references in the terms being used!) for the mount explanations to flesh out this little bit of Tyrian lore. Keep up the good work! :)

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@"Kossage.9072" said:Thanks for sharing; it's been a nice read! I, too, am interested in the (so far) untold lore of these specific and curious mount variations, so it's fun to see someone's take on it. As another fan of sugarwraith's lovely "Life on Tyria" videos, I'm glad to see more interest in the community for flexing their creative writing muscles and going wild (with some IRL taxonomy references in the terms being used!) for the mount explanations to flesh out this little bit of Tyrian lore. Keep up the good work! :)

Thanks!! :)I feel like the Lore side of GW2 needs some more TLC and its up to our community to bolster it a little~

In honour (and coincidence) of

, the next post will be on the reptilian pre-cursors to avians! If anyone has an image of their Resplendent Avialan, and would like to contribute, I would love to post it in their section (with credits and caption, of course)! If not, the placeholder will be the one from Arenanet. :tongue:
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"Elonian raptors, Sauraptornis squamatus, are fierce-looking bipedal saurians with jaws lined with rows of backwards-pointed serrated teeth adapted to tearing flesh from bone and preventing prey from pulling away and escaping. Gone are the days of old where large saurians lumbered throughout the tropical and sub-tropical climes along the southern coasts of what we know as Central Tyria and even as far east as beyond the Blazeridge Mountains. Those fearsome reptilians are now predominantly found in the dense and dangerous jungles of the Western Maguuma."


"The Striped Tri-horn, Sauraptornis squamatus striatae, is a subspecies of the common Elonian raptor (Sauraptornis glabra raptorae) found in the heart of the Maguuma Jungle and is believed to have diverged hundreds of years ago when the two populations became separated by the movement of the world and the passage of time. Its stripes help it to blend into the verdant vegetation of the jungle landscape, like in the tall grass meadows and the tangled vine thickets of Verdant Brink and Auric Basin. Like other reptilians and saurians, they have rows of teeth growing on the roof of their hard palate that serve as a conveyor-belt of teeth by which they are able to replace those that are broken or become lodged in the tough bony hides of their prey, such as arrowhead hatchlings and juvenile bristlebacks. However, Striped Tri-horns' diets primarily consist of smaller prey, especially when hunting alone. For lone hunters, packs of pocket raptors (Sauraptornis tyrannis minor) are still formidable prey and most opt for a steady diet of prey like jungle boar. The horns, shield and spikes on the heads of Elonian raptors protect their skull and vulnerable neck from attacks by other raptors during territorial confrontations or by creatures that would prey upon them."


"Unlike the smaller, feathered Tyrian raptors (Sauraptornis filoplumeum) encountered throughout Tyria--from the frigid Shiverpeaks and temperate steppes of Ascalon, to the balmy jungles and coasts of Maguuma--Elonian raptors are much larger and generally lack the more extensive feathering found on Tyrian raptors. They do however share certain behavioural similarities, such as their penchant for pack-hunting in groups of three or more. During the mating season, most raptors hunt in mated pairs and typically predate upon less risky prey items that are typically smaller than themselves. During the nesting period, the female raptor will incubate the eggs and protect them with her life while the male goes searching for food to feed the both of them. When the eggs hatch, both raptor parents leave the nest to hunt so the young are often left unattended and vulnerable to depredation. However, the young are not defenseless and are born with sharp teeth which they use to hunt insects (such as fireflies) in their infancy. Raptor hatchlings are often camouflaged and remain inodorous until their first year. Juvenile raptors often join their parents on hunts in order to learn pack-hunting techniques and stay with their parents until they are two or three years old to help raise their siblings in a form of alloparenting. Alloparenting helps to increase their 'inclusive fitness' by increasing the odds of shared genetics reproducing and reaching the next generation."


"The Savannah Monitor is another subspecies of the Elonian raptor and inhabits arid grasslands and steppes of Elona. Staples of its diet include agile rock gazelles, sand eels, and even sand lion cubs and cheetahs. Much like any large and wild animal, they will prey upon humans if desperate enough and given a chance. The one pictured above (Sauraptornis squamatus pratensia var. palmiceus) is a variety found predominantly in and around palm groves and its monochromatic colouration better camouflages with the scaled trunks than the common green or gold varieties of Savannah Monitor."


"Coastal Spiketails, Sauraptornis squamatus costarum, are typically found hunting on the salty coasts for hermit crabs, and occasionally fish (along with other organisms, like drake hatchlings) along the edges of rivers. Teeth found on beaches frequented by Coastal Spiketails are often mistaken for shark teeth when found lodged in the empty rock-hard shells of hermit crabs--a healthy reminder to the hapless Tyrian traveler looking for sun, sand and waves. They are the only subspecies of the Elonian raptors that are semi-aquatic and have partially-webbed hind feet. Contrary to what their erroneous common name would suggest, Coastal Spiketails are more closely related to Common Elonian Raptors and Savannah Monitors. Like other reptiles, saurians and avians, the Coastal Spiketail has a second, translucent, eyelid called the 'nictitating membrane' which helps it to see underwater and prevents sand and dust from reaching and irritating the eye. For the other subspecies of raptor living in the arid interiors of Elona, the membrane also serves to protect their eyes from losing moisture from the dry desert heat. Unlike other raptors, Coastal Spiketails secrete venom from the brightly-coloured spikes on their jowls, elbows, tail, and hindquarters."


"All Elonian raptors have sharp spines on the ends of their tails, but the Canyon Spiketails, Sauraptornis squamatus spinacaudae, have large and pronounced spikes on the ends of their tails that they use to defend against enemies. Males typically have larger tail-spikes than females because they are used during the rutting season to jostle for dominance of mating harems. True Spiketails also have elongated elbow spikes used to ward off rivals. The dominance over harems ensures that only the healthiest of males breed and pass on their genes to the next generation as tail spikes are thought to indicate the general health of the individual--the bigger the spikes, the more calcium obtained in its diet, and the better the hunter."


"Raptors, as a reference to the wider umbrella term (including Tyrian and Elonian raptors), are the only saurians left that have ranges spanning from the Maguuma in the west to Elona in the Southeast. The megasaurians (like Tyrannus, Ferothrax, and Angorodon) that terrorised the Tarnished Coast and the southwestern lowlands of the Steamspur Mountains (the region that includes Sparkfly Fen and Mount Maelstrom) hundreds of years ago are now relegated to the deep jungles of Western Maguuma."


"The Storm Ridge Raptor is erroneously thought to be a Branded raptor but is actually the product of manipulation by the air djinns--specifically, High Elder Kumaa the Feisty. These raptors prefer to hunt along the Brand, consuming the energies of the Branded and digesting it in their highly-specialised guts and converting it back into pure uncorrupted air magic which ripples and crackles across their scales as a defensive and ever-present shocking aura."


"Flamelanders are another raptor transmutation brought about by the powerful magics of the djinn, imbuing scales with fire and flames. Like other raptors, when faced with a threat, the Flamelander will hiss and sway its spiked tail from side-to-side, much like the arrowheads (Osteodermasaurus sagittacephalus) and stoneheads (Osteodermasaurus scuticephalus) of the Maguuma Jungle. If cornered and unable to flee, raptors will snap viciously with their jaws and use their sharp claws to maim their foes."


"Flamelanders and Storm Ridge Raptors are even fiercer than their un-magicked brethren and are two of the most difficult to tame as they are as wild as the elemental forces that formed their ilk."


"The Resplendent Avialan, Sauraptornis avialae resplendens, is a curious case and is being included in this list due to its morphological characteristics and as an illustrative example as to the taxonomic interconnections that bind all life on Tyria to the Eternal Alchemy. As an organism that looks as eccentric as it does, one can begin to compare physiological symmetries between the Avialan and raptors as well as moas--their closest relatives being the Green Moa (Sauraptornis tinamoa viridis) and the Eagle Raptor (Sauraptornis filoplumeum aquilae). The colours of the Resplendent Avialan are unique in that they are devoid of pigments and instead get their iridescent hues from the microstructures of their feathers which bend light in a way that only allows certain wavelengths to be reflected out and into the eyes of potential mates and predators alike. This is part of the reason they sparkle if they shake their feathers vigorously as their pulviplumes turn to feather dust and twinkle in the light, often dazzling and confusing any would-be predators. The Availan's tail feathers serve a similar purpose in changing their shape and size to appear larger and less like prey, with hundreds of eye-spots serving the break up its silhouette and unnerve or even scare off threats. The eye-spots on the back of its head also deter predators from sneaking up from behind as they make it appear that the Avialan is aware of their presence. The crest feathers on the dorsal surface of its head are used to convey emotion--when they are raised, the Avialan is displaying territorial behaviour or as part of its mating display and indicates aggression or excitement. The black filoplumes on its upper eyelids appear to be analogous to eyelashes and serve the same purpose of keeping dust out of its eyes. Avialans were a recently discovered species of avian raptor found living in the dense jungles of Maguuma whose bountiful mysteries will provide centuries of new discoveries and research opportunities."

--excerpts from 'Breeding a Better Raptor: A Vein to Adventure' with research partially funded by the Tyrian Explorer's Society and the Beastmasters' Guild of Elona.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Mickey Frogeater.1470Maybe sometime in the future as plants are listed in the title, but I'm not very familiar with the GW1 plants as I got into the game when they started advertising for GW2. :sweat_smile: --also, the GW1 wiki doesn't seem to have too much info on its plants either... :scream:

@CapFanGirl.8391Thanks! P.s. everyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion/thread with screenshots and blurbs of their own!

P.s. Been sick lately but slowly regaining health. :bawling:Also, I just realised I'm missing the Windy Spot Springer so if anyone has one, post a screenshot of yours~If not, I'll get to it.. eventually :cold_sweat:ALSO! If anyone has a Summit Chevon/Wildhorn Springer, feel free to post it (if not, I'll just use the one on Arenanet's blog-post)!

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Common Springers (Leporupodidae communis) are found in great abundance grazing on the juicy grasses of the Elonian highlands in 'mobs' (or 'herds') numbering of about a dozen or more, typically. In the drier regions of Elona, Springers are found in smaller groups, while in the lush Elon Riverlands, they are found gathering in greater numbers due to the greater availability of food. In the highlands and alpine regions, it is common to see a mob of a dozen springers foraging for food in meadows and woodlands, browsing on the foliage of pines and shrubs growing on precarious ledges other species may not be able to reach. Springers often compete with mountain longhorns for food as they generally consume the same vegetation, but during spring, both species can be seen herding together to better manage predators such as wolves, bears, skelk, wargs, and griffons. Male springers are known as 'bucks' or 'boomers' and females are called 'does' or 'flyers' while their young are 'kits', 'leverets', or 'buns'."


"The Tawny Hare Springer, Leporupodidae tanni, is found mainly in the montane grasslands and shrublands generally referred to as 'highlands' but are known to frequent woodlands and alpine biomes that border their range. Unlike other springer species, Tawny Hares will form communal maternity warrens in caves during the breeding season as their young are born altricial--blind and deaf--and vulnerable to predation. It is because of this one difference that tawny hares are considered by researchers to be a rudimentary form from which the other species of springers speciated from. Springers have a pair of ever-growing, and razor-sharp, incisors which are coated in many layers of hard enamel. Because their teeth never stop growing, springers have an evolutionary habit of gnawing which keeps their incisors from overgrowing, preventing them from eating, and puncturing their skulls. In the wild, their diet of tough grasses, tree-bark, and nuts with hard-shells allows them to naturally wear down their teeth without need of supplementary sources. However, in captivity, springer ranches must plate their stables with steel to prevent them from gnawing on support beams and collapsing stables and other wooden structures. Stablemasters will often provide them with gnawing-sticks or allow free-run in pastures where springers have access to natural materials on which to gnaw on such as limestone, wood-logs, or by supplementing their feed with hard-shelled fruits and nuts like coconuts."


"The 'Spotted Hopper' (Leporupodidae maculosum), or 'Windy Spot' as it's more commonly known, is found in alpine and montane regions sharing niches with the more cold-hardy Arctic Jerboa and the Tawny Hare which lives in more rugged terrain of the craggy highlands. Its coat is white with black speckles and spots which helps it to camouflage better amongst the alpine scrubland. Windy Spot Springers enjoy nibbling on hardy herbs such as rosemary and thyme as well as consuming pine nuts and needles. Like other springers in the alpine and highland regions, blueberry bushes are a reliable source of food during the colder months of autumn. During winter, springers must dig for starchy tuberous vegetables likes carrots--which are high in sugars--beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, cassavas, and yams--but not potatoes, as their skin contains toxic amounts solanine. Similarly, onions and garlic (or other plants in the genus Allium) are not recommended for springers as the phytochemical, thiosulfinate, causes hemolytic anemia and anaphylaxis which then leads to laboured breathing, lethargy, and eventually death.


"The Desert Lop, Leporupodidae nebulosa, pictured above, is found in the savannahs and grasslands of Elona, not the desert as its name would suggest. Its mottled rusty coat allows it to blend in seamlessly with the dappled shade of mebahya and acacia trees and the red sun-baked sands and sheer stone-cliffs of Elona. The Desert Lop, if transplanted to the Maguuma Wastes and Tarnished Coast would do quite well as an invasive species, most likely out-competing natives species of fauna such as deer. The Lionguard Joint-Commissioner of Invasive Goods currently requires that wide-eyed Tyrians register their bounding mounts at the Port of Amnoon before applying for a permit from the Lion's Arch Port Authority. Asura should be advised that the Rata Sum Port Authority will not issue permits to those who have been rejected by the Port Authority in Lion's Arch due to the Joint-Commission's signing of binding conventions across Central Tyria. These conventions were adopted partly due to the disastrous debacle brought about by the Consortium's development and settlement of Southsun Cove, leading to an invasive invasion of the common karka (also known as Levvi's Karka, Leviathanus carcinus levvii) and an expensive extermination campaign which saw the hiring of dozens of freelance exterminators from across Tyria by Special Commissioner Turl Sharptooth."


"The Elonian Jacklope (Leporupodidae antilocuni), also known as the 'Striped Jackalope', is the only species of springer that has antlers. Both males and females of the species grows antlers (antlerogenesis) near the beginning of the wet season in Elona in which most breeding seasons occur in the parched arid region. This ensures that young are born at the height of Elona's wet winters (on the lowlands) when food is plentiful. The three alpine/montane species of springers follow the traditional spring breeding seasons found in the temperate regions of Tyria unlike the lowland species or the common springer which is an opportunistic breeder where females ovulate year-round. The Elonian Jackalope is of minimal relation to the Tyrian Jackalope (Antiloleporidae papilli) which is about fifty-times smaller and share similarities possibly as a result of both convergent evolution and distant common ancestry."


"The Elonian Jackalope is a highly variable species coming in many colour variations and combinations due to their rarity and wide-range. The one pictured above (Leporupodidae antilocuni var. leucotigris) is a colour variation found in tall-grass grasslands turned golden from the abundant sunshine of Elona. The black-and-white striped colour variant (Leporupodidae antilocuni var. equustriata) is found primarily among pine groves where it must avoid depredation by the Savannah Palm Monitor as well as roving prides of sand lions (Panthera leo desertarum). Aqua stalker cheetahs (Panthera acinonyx riparius) are generally too small to take down an adult springer, but springer kits often fall prey to the lithe felines which are able to outrun an adult springer. It is known that springers are able to utilise their strong hind limbs for rapid vertical and horizontal movement, as well as their muscular tails for defense against predators and as a counter-balance in which to make sharp turns and other agile maneuvers but there has been preliminary research into their use in cracking the hard eggshells of harpies in the desert highlands and that translation into application in karka management services on Southsun."


"The Arctic Jerboa (Leporupodidae alpinae) is a special breed of springer found in the southeastern peaks of the Steamspur Mountain Range. It is the most cold-adapted springer species known to science and is quiet rare, living in bonded-pairs or found foraging alone in the frigid altitudes of the high alpine regions, such as the Shiverpeaks. Copper-rich foods in their diet include turnip greens, spinach, kale, asparagus and sugar pumpkins as well as various nuts and seeds which they can temporarily store in their cheek pouches. Cheek pouches allow springers to continue foraging without pause and take advantage of when there are a bumper crop of a particular nut far from their den--they can then stock up and make fewer trips back and forth. Arctic Jerboas have crystalline protrusions from the back of their mandibles which serve as displays during the mating season to indicate personal fitness--the larger the crystalline horns, the better the diet of montane grasses which contain a higher amount of silicates. Their horns are made of chrysocola, which incorporates the silica and copper present in their diet, and due to the value of the gem, they are often poached in parts of their range in the Shiverpeaks by norn hunters and human prospectors-turned-poachers alike."


"The Primal Hare is a corruption of common springers by enterprising fire djinn experimenting on warbeasts to help fend off Primordus's hordes as well as other dragon minions such as the Branded."


"Caprapodidae summi, also known as the Summit Chevon or Summit Wildhorn, is a rare creature found in the hilly regions of southern Vabbi and the only known specimens were found in Seborhin's Menagerie before Kralkatorrik's flight scarred the region. The species has only since been rediscovered by rugged explorers navigating the unforgiving physical and political landscapes of Vabbi. The Wildhorn will gather in spring breeding herds which are typically dominated by one male once mating dominance has been established through rutting matches. These matches are where they will use their muscular tails and feet to kick and slap opponents and will use their horns to grapple and headbutt one another until a winner is decided by the opponent tiring and giving up. These encounters are seldom fatal, but fatalities do occur in extremely rare cases."

--excerpts from 'Springers: A Search For Practical Faunal Applications Against Karka Infestations' by Researcher Levvi.

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"The skimmers (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta sbspp.) are peculiar creatures, inhabiting neither land nor water although appearing to be a wholly marine entity. Instead, the skimmer inhabits the air just above the surface of land and water using microthermals to help it keep afloat. However, it cannot float with thermals alone, ought the rest of us would be floating above the searing sands of the Crystal Desert in the blisteringly hot light-bending mirages. Skimmers have an unbelievably efficient respiratory system equipped with modified swim-bladders retained from their possible prehistoric origins in the primordial ocean. Their air-bladders are highly evolved forms of swim-bladders found in nearly all piscine species living in the unending oceans and possibly in the Sea of Janthir, formerly known as the Giant's Basin. The two holes visible on the junction of their fin and torso are called 'pneumatic ducts' which allow air into their air-bladders. The pneumatic ducts are believed to be modified from the gill-slits their ancestors had when they lived beneath the water. Skimmers are also able to fill their lungs and stomachs with air through their mouths for extra buoyancy. To propel themselves forwards, skimmers have hyponomic siphons that can eject the air stored in their air six bladders (three on each side). Their aerodynamic body structure, complete with a pairs of main fins and two minor fins, enables them to effortlessly glide through the air without needing to constantly force air out of their air bladders to continue forward momentum. Doing this would needlessly deplete the accumulated helium filtered in by their gas glands located near the mouth of the pneumatic duct. Their lungs, should water enter them, are able to convert the water into oxygen and hydrogen through a process called, 'hydroelectrolysis'. This process is enacted by the lamellar filaments present in their lower trachea."


"The Bright Ringfin Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta annulatus) is most closely related to the types species of skimmer, the Common Skimmer, also known as the Sand Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta harenarum). It inhabits similar inland habitats as the common skimmer and is the second tamest skimmer subspecies after the common skimmer. This is owed in part to its gregarious nature during the spring breeding season where it can be found feeding in large social 'fevers' corralling swarms of insects (such as locusts and scarabs) into large bait-balls which are easier to feed from."


"The Spined Longtail Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta spinacaudae) is the least tame of the inland skimmers, including the two freshwater subspecies. It often lives nearer to the hilly headwaters of the region where males of the species stake claim to breeding rights. They are fairly aggressive when defending their territory as females require gently flowing water in order to lay its eggs in and a male without a territory is a male without offspring--talk about selective pressures!"


"The Oasis Skate (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta oasiensis) is another close relative to the well-known Sand Skimmer. Unlike the Spined Longtail, Bright Ringfin, and Common Sand Skimmer, the Oasis Skate cannot go prolonged periods of time without access to fresh water. In cases where oases become too small and too salty, the Oasis Skate will ingeniously consume the insects and fruits near the oasis in order to keep from dehydrating. It will then use special sensors on the tips of its cephalic fins and pectoral tentacles to locate freshwater, similar to humans using dowsing rods. The oasis skate is the least tame of the two freshwater inland subspecies, the other being the River Mothwing Skimmer, and are both less tame than the common skimmer but more tame than the Spined Longtail Skimmer."


"The River Moth-Wing Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta fluvialis), much like the Oasis Skate, must stay near freshwater in order to survive as it cannot sustain itself for long periods without drying out. The longest it is able to go without freshwater is three days, much like the humans who catch, tame, and use them for transport. The Oasis Skate is able to go a bit longer without water at four days, but will obviously become sluggish and slow as the second day crawls along without water. The River Mothwing's diet consists mainly of insects and small birds as well as rodents and anything else it can catch while gliding through the air such as pollen and other small particles floating around in the humid landscapes it inhabits (Elon Riverlands, Maguuma Jungle, Tarnished Coast, Sparkfly Fen, etc.). Unlike other skimmers, the River Mothwing has four barbels it uses to detect scents, air pressure, vibrations in water, and moisture--much like the two pectoral fins skimmers possess--and aids in finding prey as well as freshwater and potential mates."


"The Dajkah Lantern Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta lucernae) is a particularly extraordinary subspecies of skimmer due in part to its ability to bioluminesce. It is the deepest-diving subspecies of skimmer known to science and its glow helps it to see, navigate, and lure prey in the ocean depths into its waiting maw. Dajkah Lanterns are named after the elaborate floating lanterns that light the Dajkah Strait every year as the tribes in the region celebrate a year of bounty and pray for a prosperous year full of starlight to safely guide their boats and ships home in dark nights and pay homage to the spirits of the sea. They are also named so as they frequent the sheltered waters of Dajkah's inlets to breed and spawn and are often not encountered anywhere else as they are normally hunting in the murky depths of the Unending Ocean. The brightly shining 'esca' at the ends of their 'illicium' (modified pectoral fins erroneously referred to as 'antennae') are what most people notice about the fantastical creature which they use to hunt in the dark inlets found in and around the coasts of Dajkah. The Dajkah Lantern has three methods of producing bioluminescence: (1) mutualistic bacteria living in their esca; (2) chemiluminescence via the enzyme luciferase and the photoprotein aequorin; and (3) electroluminescence through the manipulation of sodium in the ionic channels of its electrocytes found along its body. Riders of the rare Dajkah Lanterns should not fear electric shock from mounting one of these creatures, as the electrocytes on the body of skimmer only produce low-voltage phosphorescence--it is the electrocytes located on its cephalic fins near its mouth one should be worried about. The high-voltage electric charge produced by its cephalic fins is used to stun its prey. Its cephalic fins are also able to discharge a stream of electricity along its ventral surface towards its tail to defend against predators. It is due to this adaptation that P. f. lucernae must have access to salt water and are unable to live in freshwater as the common, ring-fin, moth-wing, and long-tail skimmers are able to do. To those who keep the two saltwater species inland, it is imperative one keeps either saltwater or a salt-lick for their Dajkah and Oceanic skimmers to maintain an acceptable level of sodium for the proper physiological functioning of their organs."


"The Oceanic Ray Skimmer (Pneumastoma fluophysomanta pelagicus), as well as the Dajkah Lanterns, is able to dive underneath the ocean's surface to hunt for fish and other creatures other skimmers normally have minimal access to. Because of this fundamental difference, The Tyrian Taxonomic Council for the Conservation of Finite Flora and Fauna (or 'TTTCCFFF' for short) is reviewing submissions and suggestions on re-naming these two subspecies as separate species from the freshwater and inland species of skimmers listed above. It is thought that oceanic rays are the most common species living in the Unending Ocean and that the ancestor of all skimmers lived beneath the water or near the ocean's surface in the sunny algae-and-plankton-rich epipelagic zone. Oceanic Rays are the only other subspecies, other than the sand skimmers and oasis skates, that form groups called 'fevers' (not 'schools') in which to feed, breed, and better flee from predators such as sharks, wyverns, and griffons."

--excerpt from 'From Sand Skimmers and Pond Skippers to Ocean Swimmers and Gliding Glimmers: An In-depth Study of Rays' research commissioned by The Tyrian Taxonomic Council for the Conservation of Finite Flora and Fauna.

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"Jackals are mystical constructs of wind and sand created and tamed by the djinn of the Desolation. In the wake of Nightfall, remnants of Abaddon's tormented magic left by the Margonites' presence seeped into the Crystal Desert. Left alone, this magic would coalesce into tormented remnants over time. To cleanse the Desolation of this magic, the djinn have gathered at Sand Jackal Run and taken to reshaping this tainted sand into jackal-shaped constructs. The djinn imbue their magic into runes taken from the bodies of tormented remnants to tame the tormented energies, and in turn the jackals. These jackals are feral and hostile initially, and still seek to bring about Nightfall. Once tamed, it is said that the eyes of the jackal are all that remains of their Margonite forebears. Jackals remain attuned to the Realm of Torment and are capable of utilizing sand portals as entryways into the Mists to travel distances instantly."

--excerpt from 'Of Jackals, Margonites, and Djinn' found in grand library in the Mists called The Sanctum of Truth and Knowledge.

[image below from Arenanet and quote above from the wiki.]


"Upon completing directives from the Durmand Priory and transcribing the book on Jackals, an entity borne of elemental magicks manipulated by beings called 'Djinn', I reopened the rift with the New Krytan transcriptions in hand and stepped back into the realm of existence we are solely familiar--Tyrian sun blinding and Elonan sands scorching as I remembered from months prior. Return travel from the Mists can be a bit tricky and it seems that I've a way to travel to get back to northern Elona and the Tomb of the Primeval Kings. What's trickier is trying to translate Elonian texts into New Krytan while fending off shadow-demons trying to eat all your research materials and language tutors, but that entry is for another day. Judging from the unmistakable stench of rotten moa eggs, I must be in the desolate Sulfurous Wastes. Now the day's objective is figuring how to get off this floating castle and getting all this sand out of my fur--no wonder none of the Legions ever set foot in Elona. I don't know these humans survived in this forsaken land for so long.""Reading about the djinn is one thing, meeting them is another altogether--don't even mention having to try and bargain with them: these dust-rags are tougher than marmox hide. They had me fighting tormented remnants for sand, rune-stones, and unbound magic in order to forge the exact same Sand-Jackals the Priory had me researching for them. I think this might be an opportunity to write a compendium with the transcribed manuscripts and anecdotes from my time here in this sand-ridden djinn enclave."


"The Twin Sands are an exemplary case of the whimsicality of djinn creations--'like a leaf in the gale' as they like to say. Whichever djinns created this sand-jackal most definitely enjoyed playing practical jokes and pranks on their fellow elementals--and it shows in their creation. The Twin Sands jackal is quite rare and is created from sands touched by the coldest frost in the darkest of desert nights and yet it embodies the delight of novelty and the loyalty of perseverance through hardships. Counting myself lucky to even have been able to encounter one let alone study it in person, my djinn hosts allowed me to study the methods of its creation from the grandmaster djinns themselves with a oath of secrecy--one I intend to keep because this charr does not want to be on the receiving end of pure elemental wrath--I've seen what fire does to fur and know what elemental magic can do to entire cities. Nonetheless, more research to come in the coming weeks on the creative diversity of jackals yet unknown to science. Lacking the penta-optic eyes of Abaddon, Twin Sands are the most purified forms of Sand-Jackals and are the least aggressive of the canine sand elementals."


"The Banded Mystic Jackal is a curious spirit, created from sand and stone bound with runic symbols inscribed on their body with elements of wind and earth by djinn of those respective elements. Unlike the playful Twin Sands, the Banded Mystic is curious and clever, requiring its handler to manage its mischief accordingly and train it to redirect its energy towards dispelling torment magicks left behind after Abaddon's fall. The djinn that have gathered at this nexus of energies in the Desolation are working together to remediate the corruption-wrought land by the fallen god of shadows and secrets. After dispersing the tormented elements and gathering their inert parts, they were brought to the djinn who gathered in various ceremonial plazas suspended high in the air. There, their rituals magically imbued the runes on the stones and the otherworldly creature began to take its form from the pile of aggregate that lay on the floor in the center of the room. The sands hissed as they shifted and swished around the glowing stones; the stones grumbled as they shook and slid as the clacked across the stone-tiles of the ground, picking up into the air into the shape of a feral form with gnashing teeth and a thick body of coloured sand--unlike the light and airy body of swirling sands the common Sand-Jackals possess. The Banded Mystic is a favourite of High Elder Kumaa the Feisty."


"The Polished Stone Jackal is an elite sand-jackal, like the Twin Sands, Banded Mystic, and Crowned Ancient. However, unlike all of the other types of sand-jackals, this particular iteration was created with runic sand, not runic stone and its magicks are instead painstakingly bound to each grain of sand that composes its body making it less susceptible to damage and unbinding. The Polished Stone Jackal is the preferred sand-jackal of High Elder Juaruadun the Flawless."


"The Crowned Ancient Jackal, like other elite sand-jackals, are made of more tormented sands and imbued with more elemental magic than their common counterparts. The Crowned Ancient was created by the most ancient of earth djinn, including Rubedon, the Trembling Earth. Unlike the other sand-jackals, the Crowned Ancient wasn't created from any plebeian tormented creature, but a demon known as the Grasp of Insanity, which appears to have been corrupted from an ancient saurian that once roamed the Crystal Desert before it was a desert."


"The Pyroclast Jackal is an innovation of the earth djinn and the fire djinn, forged in the pyroclastic flows of the Derelict Delve by Jubua the Wildfire. Its body is of molten magmatic stone that appears the consistency of wet sand but is so hot it will cause most materials to burst into flames upon contact. The heat from the Pyroclast's body has even been found to melt and degrade Branded crystals, given enough time."


"The Stardust Jackal is the preferred sand-jackal of Effazu, the Lodestar when hunting Branded. Seemingly stitched together from the fabric of the night sky, the Stardust Jackal is created in cooperation of the High Djinn Elders of all elemental backgrounds as the strongest candidate to contend with both the Branded and the remnants of torment lingering in Tyria and spilling in from the Mists."--notes from 'Mists, Sands, Books and Pages: Research Notes on Jackals and their Creation' published by the Durmand Priory.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the Bump, but I absolutely love this. As long as Arenanet doesn't give us some canon lore about mounts, I will mentally accept this one. I couldn't stand to see those shiny mounts everywhere but now I accept them with your canon in my head and they don't break my immersion ? I'm waiting for your take on the Grand Lion. Branded don't need a lot of explanation I think, but I do wonder how we manage to control them... All branded I saw are aggressive.Nice work !

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@Phineas Drayke.6381@Fenom.9457

I didn't know if anyone was still reading these :lol:Thanks! I was kind of stuck on which to do next, since finishing the Adoption License mounts, but I guess the specialty mounts are the next logical steps. However.. they are going to be more difficult with the lack of screenshots/images. For some of them, I can pull them from ArenaNet, but I would much prefer submissions from readers/community members. I could maybe pull them from the thread where people are posting their mount screenshots, but I feel like I would need to get their permission first??? :confused:

Otherwise, I might have to move on to pets and generic creatures/plants or just mix it up in no particular order. :yum:

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Headcase.4618 Actually, I am..!I was ecstatic when I saw that the Istani Mounts had been released, but I also had a moment of pause 'cause not all of those mount breeds tickle my fancy so I'm REALLY hoping to get screenshot-submissions from the community and I'm starting to feel like this thread should actually be placed in the 'Community Creations' section of the forums. :cry: :weary:

I would love to be a whale and just buy them all myself, but this fun little writing exercise is getting a little expensive.. :sweat_smile: :sweat: :cold_sweat:I'll quote my post from above:

@Reincarnatie.7254 said:If anyone would like to showcase their mounts, they can post their screenshots and be credited (and if you want to write your own blurb, you are most welcome to!).P.s. Different colour variants are welcome!Call for screenshot-submissions:

  • Umbral Demon Skimmer
  • Grand Lion
  • Spooky Mounts
  • Wintersday Mounts
  • Branded Mounts
  • Istani Mounts
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"The mythical "grand lion", as it is being marketed by the Black Lion Trading Company, is a baffling chimeric creation similar to the griffon--but even rarer so. In this audit-report, I, with the power vested in me by the Office of Lion's Arch's Commerce & Ethics Commissioner and the Captain's Council of the Free City of Lion's Arch, investigate the recent acquisition of exotic exo-Tyrian flora and fauna. With help from the Tyrian Explorer's Society and researchers from The Tyrian Taxonomic Council on the Conservation of Finite Flora and Fauna, I hope to evaluate potential ecological and economic impacts to Lion's Arch and the Lion's Road trade routes with this new influx of large, flighted, non-native mega-fauna."


[image source: Black Lion Trading Company/ArenaNet]

"A curious chimera, Leo-alatus angelorum is the only kind of its species, but is highly variable and there have been reported sightings of different colour-variations. The Consortium's interest in the lucrative new bestial ventures of the Black Lion Trading Company is concerning--if only for the reason that the asura in their upper echelons of management seldom practice restraint when reaching for the sun. Wild winged-lions are without a doubt a danger to humans, norn, charr, and asura alike--not to mention our skritt, hylek, and Tengu friends--and great care must be taken to prevent a feral population establishing itself in Tyria. If such a thing were to happen, representatives from the TTCCFFF assure me that it would be catastrophic for the local environment. I am far more concerned with the probable disruptions to our trade routes and the hundreds of juicy pack animals that ply them each and every day.

L. angelorum is a fearsome beast, and if you thought Sand Lions were fierce enough, multiple that by tenfold and slap on a pair of powerful wings that span across the width of the entire deck of Captain Magnus the Bloody-handed's ship! The Cormorant aside, I've had my Officers of the Commission investigate Captain Conerry's crew, and his ship, the Harpy's Smile, for suspected smuggling eggs of greater-griffons and winged-lion cubs. When my officers had remanded the lascivious sailor into custody, it did not take much to get the old canary to sing a few notes. As we had feared, Conerry decided that he would try his luck on the chance of smuggling an adult Grand Lion with a rare colouration that would fetch bushels of gold on the black market but some miscommunications occurred between the crew of the Harpy's Smile and the Elonan poachers. Long-story short, Conerry's pirates hastily absconded with the immense beast without the proper restraints properly fastened and the spooked creature broke free and mauled two human-poachers, a charr and norn pirate, and a few more human pirates to death and maimed a dozen more before flying off into the Istani landscape. It was then that our recovery agents in Istan sent word to Lion's Arch that Captain Conerry headed home to the port of Garrenhoff where my officers apprehended him and what was left of his crew.

Despite his losses, the rare leucistic winged-lion among them, his ship did not moor empty-handed. In the cargo-hold of the Harpy's Smile were dozens of poached greater-griffon eggs--most likely destined for Black Lion, Consortium, and black market brokers, alike. Among the eggs of griffons were other poached goods ranging from and exotic herbs and spices to raptor eggs and three grand lion cubs, all confiscated for future destruction or return postage. Fortunately for the eggs and live-animals, the Commission's partnership with the TTCCFFF, the Durmand Priory, and the Tyrian Explorer's Society allowed us to supercede our mandate a little in these dire circumstances and release the faunal paraphernalia to the appropriate authorities in Elona."

--excerpts from 'Lion's Arch Commerce & Ethics Commissioner's Fourth Quarterly Report'.

"After being rebuffed and unduly intimidated by the brutish buffoons at the new Black Lion Stables on the outskirts of Lion's Arch, I decided the best alternative would be joining my colleagues at the Priory to study the Leo-alatus angelorum cubs instead. It won't be as illuminating compared to studying an adult specimen, but what is an asura to do when staring up into the foul gnarled maws of two belligerent charr and trying not to regurgitate my lunch over the repugnant feet of that lout of a norn stable-master. I'll have to borrow a protoype Physiomagi-Miroluxic Projection Suit from the Opticalium Lab--Penn can get me in the door at the very least, after I helped his paper get published in the latest volume of the Statics' peer-reviewed journal, The Magitechnician, and his own book deal with the Priory.Addendum to self: remember to purchase sachets of potpourri from that insufferable sylvari florist near Trader's Forum.

The grand-lion cubs were a most fascinating specimen--I dare say they were down-right adorable with their spunky antics--even with a throng of researchers from three separate organisations prodding limbs and tugging on ears. We ascertained that the cubs were likely just a few months old and required a special formulation of buttermilk, egg, water, and coconut milk. As it would take approximately a month for a ship from Amnoon to arrive at the Port of Lion's Arch, my colleagues and I from the TTCCFFF decided it would be best to raise them according to an amalgamated developmental profile of both Sand Lions and Greater Griffons. This meant that we would take care of weaning the cubs off of liquids and onto solid foods such as marmox flank (an uncharacteristically kind charr chef in the city's east-end gave us the contact information for his supplier in Diessa--the Eternal Alchemy sure does love to surprise me). As our research deepened, we leased space in the sprawling labyrinthine offices in the upper levels of the Durmand Priory with the help of our Priory colleagues to room all of the researchers and research materials--namely, a separate room where the lion cubs could not tear through any more volumes of Priort transcriptions. I can already imagine Gixx, fuming, when one of his scholars exclaims 'a winged-lion cub ate all of my work' and his curt 'when siamoth fly'. Professor Gorr will be in stitches when I tell him about it at the Rata Sum Intercollegiate Symposium!

When we finally gained access to the Radiomagnetic Intracorporeal Magitomotron, on loan from the College of Dynamics after several repeated submissions of proposals and requests to Councillor Zudo, we sent the dean a gift basket of Shiverpeaks Specialty Dark Chocolate Truffles and quickly got to work. What we found in the scans of the lion cubs was the skeletal structure of their developing wings. Rather than a third pair of limbs as most speculated, the wings of Grand Lions are highly specialised and heavily modified scapulae and clavicles. This is critical to the hunting strategy of the species as it allows the creature to fold its wings together while attacking prey to prevent damage to them.

I, and a handful of the other researchers, decided to join the cubs on their voyage back to Elona. We were told by the paper-pushing politicians in Amnoon, after nearly a month-long journey on the rough seas, that a recent attack by Kralkatorrik left city services in disrepair and hadn't heard back from their agents working in the Wildlife Authority in weeks since they set out for Istan.

In reaching the Isle of Istan, we found out that the Sunspear revolution had ended and we were already encountering Priory teams seeking access to the ruins of Fahranur, the first city of the Elonians. We asked around to find out about the agents of the Amnoon Wildlife Authority, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that we would not be able to find them. According to Amnoon's City Council, the agents were invited to investigate mysterious disappearances in the Fields of Hope near the cliffs of Champion's Dawn and the Pillar of the Faithless.

It was gruesome, and we weren't sure if it was the work of pirates or the leucistic winged-lion--but we finally found the agents of the Wildlife Authority. We followed the paw-prints embedded in the sandy substrate--a single one could comfortably fit two asura lying down--to a dense patch near the coast where be heard frantic shouting in the distance. We followed the crescendo only to freeze in tracks as a rumbling roar rolled up our spines like thunder over a shuddering field. Then, we saw it. The winged-lion was being dragged up the ramp and onto the corsairs' ship. Suddenly, as with the first instance of criminal hubris and negligence of safety protocols, the grand lion broke free of the heavy rope braids. It lifted its wings and jabbed the clawed-joint of its wings into the heads of gawking corsairs, and then began knocking down the human corsairs like rag-dolls with swipes of its large paws, its retractable claws severing leather straps and arteries alike. Sensing changes in the air with its specialised plumed-whiskers modified from hair in its mane, it knew when a corsair was trying to flank it from what they thought was a blind-spot. When the winged-lion was finished, viscera littered the desk of the ship and the crimson ichor began bleeding down the ramp, living corsairs swimming to shore and running past us into the brush. I was still furiously scribbling in my notes when pebbles began pelting into my noggin and I then noticed a rising chorus of frenetic murmurs from behind me. Upon looking up from my notebook it became abundantly clear that my colleagues had made a hasty retreat into the cover of palms and trees several feet back from the shore--the very same shore where the grand lion was now loping towards me. I held my notebook flush to my chest and took off into a sprint. I could feel my heart beating harder than a rusty charr engine and every step I took shook me to my core. Right when I was about the reach the supposed safety of the shrubbery, the shadow of the lion grew and a rush of wind knocked me to the ground and everything went dark.

It was at this point where I believed I had rejoined the Eternal Alchemy as a sentient accumulation of bad decisions. Oh, I lamented how my death would be a cautionary footnote in textbooks--a joke among progeny for decades to come. I felt pain in what was my forebrain--oh, woe is I. I could only imagine what a delicacy my succulent grey-matter was to that lesser-being! I could already hear the whirring of the machinations in the void... The Eternal Alchemy sounded ridiculously similar to dry grass on a particularly windy day. Another sharp sting of pain erupted from my left temple and I could feel myself wince. Wince? Can a mass of hyper-intelligent essence wince? It was then that I started realised I had been unconscious and was still being unceremoniously dragged through the bush by the ankles by one of my female norn colleagues--a mesmer (a somewhat rare find among norn) whose name I forget--perhaps due to my concussion. Once we were safe, the grand lion having flown over us, the norn ruffian dropped me--head-first, no less, onto the dirt--and started to incant. Moments later, a roiling pool of rosy-photonic particles split the space in front of us. Before I could complete my groan of pain as I checked myself for skull fractures, the charr arcanist grabbed me by the back of my collar (my right-arm still tightly latched to my notes) and tossed me into the portal as if I were part of a human carnival game.

Thumping onto the damp inglewood planks of our ship, we were safe from the corsairs and that blood-thirsty grand lion at last. That is, until a blood-curdling roar resounding in the sky above our ship. We quickly jumped down into the ship's hold to find the three cubs mewling loudly. We tried to hush them but it was too late. A thud on the deck echoed in our ears, portending the thuds our life-less cadavers would make as we dropped to the floor from the fiendish feline's four-inch fanged-canines. The large beast sniffed out our scent and would, in mere moments, be snuffing each of us out. It reared up on its hind-legs and brought down its full weight on the metal grates above us, the planks it was anchored to splintering with a sickening crackle, debris now in a pile beneath its feet. The charr arcanist held onto the struggling cubs as if they were her own charges at the fahrar. The grand lion, slowly lumbered towards us, growling, snarling just two metres away from our huddled mass of blubbering researchers. One of the cubs struggled free and bounded towards the imposing adult specimen. From what I've read about Sand Lions, males would kill any cubs they came across that weren't theirs in order to stimulate ovulation in females. The adult stopped, fangs bared, and clamped down on the back of the cubs neck as it let out a squeal and writhed wildly in the adults jaws before going limp. The adult then placed the cub's body on its back between its wings. Puzzling now, but at the time, horrifying. The adult grand lion roared and in flinching, the other two cubs jumped free of the charr and ran to the feet of the male grand lion. It sniffed them but did not attack, so I guess these were its own progeny. It then turned its attention back to us, and we realised that these would be our final moments. Its growls felt as if they rumbled all our bodies before jumping into the belly of the ship; its rancid breath as humid as the breezes in my first lab on the Alcazia coast. Before the lion's jaws could envelop me in a coffin of smooth ivory daggers, the cub on its back yelped and the two cubs at its feet yowled, stopping the adult in its tracks. Instead, a most rough tongue abraded my entire facial region and continued on to the other researchers, especially the charr--perhaps it recognised a familiar ancestral scent. The grand lion then turned and rolled onto the floor of the hold and the three cubs--yes, the first was still alive--began nursing on one of the six mammary glands on the mother lion's ventral surface."

--excerpts from 'Research notes from an asura considering early retirement' archived in the Priory collections.

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