Much like migrating animals in the real world, some creatures which reside within Kladeon and beyond are known to be nomadic and travel to different parts of the continent depending on the time of year. Whistler Crest happens to fall within the path of these creatures during various seasons and in order to better track them, these creatures have been categorized together.
These wild animals bare no distinguishable features when it comes to gender, it's anyone's guess whether ssaels even have sexes. They migrate north during the summers, and come back south in the winter! Whistler Crest is lucky enough to live in their overlap range, potentially seeing them all times of the year, though sightings are most common during their summer migration.
No bigger than a child's outstretched hand, ssaels are star-shaped gliders with prominent dorsal fins and two rudimentary rudders on their bottoms. They naturally float in the air, gliding with the faintest flick of their wide wings. They have darkly-coloured backs and pale underbellies, with almond-shaped eyes placed along their medians. These eyes can glow quite brightly when the creatures are startled or looking to attract others of their kind to flock.
The noses and tailspurs of these creatures are hard and metallic, boasting an alloy of conductive metals that are local to the area. The richer the ores available to the creatures along their migrations, the more sensitive they are to electromagnetic currents. The almost feline, earlike protrusions on their "brows" are sensory organs that assist in sensing reflected electrical currents.
Floating behind their tails is a star-shaped bit of charged metal, carried behind them with an electromagnetic current. In the event of danger, ssaels have been known to extend the trailing distance of their stars to distract predators from chasing them, this causes the magnetic currents to attract magnetically-charged particles, forming elaborate clouds of dust! Ssaels with new offspring are conspicuously missing their stars, instead trailing a kit- or sometimes even two - behind them instead.
Ssaels are avid insectovores, most active at night. They are adept users of lightning magic, using their natural abilities to sense even tiny fluctuations in the air that would indicate a spark of life. They adeptly sense the difference between larger sparks - life-forms larger than they are, and that they should therefore avoid, and those that are of a managegable size to hunt down!
Ssaels are also attracted to the natural sources of metals, feeding on veins of ore-rich earth during the daytime when they hide in caves.
Not much is known about the breeding habits of ssael. They are very mysterious!
Abilities and Skills
Ssaels, being naturally buoyant in the air, fly with simple flicks of their wide wings, and by manipulattion of electromagnetic currents. They have the ability to sense the electrical currents of lifeforces around them, and use that to hunt and to be aware of larger creatures around that may pose a threat. They can also attract electromagnetically-charged particles to follow them around as a distracting cloud, and in times of danger, may even shed their stars completely.
To communicate with other members of their species, ssaels allow their eyes to flash with bright glows during times of plenty. They flock and frolic together when the summer nights are full, or when their young are fed and sheltered during their overwintering.
Pronounced: Hart Bet-tah
Female: Kisses| Male: Hugs | Baby: Squishes
Heart Bettas are a peculiar type of fish seen swimming through the nearby lake and river ways around the month of February. They appear as suddenly as they vanish, seemingly migrating through, even thought many of the Whistler Crest bodies of water are landlocked. Because of their timely arrival, these fish have been heavily associated with Heartsgiving, and a tradition has arisen which sees these fish being given as gifts to cherished loved ones. Because of this, these fish are often found kept as pets.
A Social Fish
Heart Bettas are social fish and are safe to keep together in the same tank. They are not known to have any aggressive tendencies. In fact, it is believed that Heart Bettas enjoy and even crave the company of other Heart Bettas. Some even propose the idea they enjoy the company of any other creatures. They thrive in environments where they have others to interact with.
Varieties and Appearances:
Heart Bettas are known to be very colourful fish. Their bodies always comprise of at least two gradient colours, with no more than four combined colours having been documented. On top of these iridescent scales, Heart Bettas may have simple designs and patterns, with things such as splotches, spots and stripes. These markings are commonly white and black, although they may consist of other colours, but these colours are always solid.
They are known to have a wide variety of eye colours with both eyes always matching.
A distinct feature of the Heart Bettas is the characteristic heart-shaped split in their dorsal fins and the heart-shaped tips of their long whiskers. These features are what has given the Heart Bettas their name. Their entire bodies have large frills which make them look very beautiful when swimming about.
Keeping and Caring For Your Fish
Heart Bettas should be kept in clean and well maintained bowls and tanks. As they are freshwater fish, consideration should be given to their needs, and you can acquire the necessary bowls and tanks in town. These fish are very easy to keep as they feed on standard fish food, which can be purchased from the local pet shop. They are especially fond of ground up fruit...particularly Heart's Desire!
Every January, Heart Betta migrate from the rivers of the Isle of Xaaida across the ocean to the mainland of Kladeon in order to seek out a place to spawn. The fish arrive by the time of Heartsgiving to breed. At the end of Heartsgiving, they seemingly disappear as they make their journey back to Xaaida to return just in time for the first thaw in the Spring. Before migration, the fish eat plenty of food and absorb mana to change form. The bettas take on a bigger, more dangerous form, growing a uniquely shaped horn and longer whiskers, along with the large heart shaped marking on their forehead and arrow-like lines that run down their sides. All wild bettas have these features during their migration, though they retain their original colors and other patterns, along with growing to about twice their size. The Bettas become more aggressive in order to survive as they migrate across the ocean. As they reach the rivers of Xaaida, Islanders catch glimpses of the fishes' more monstrous forms as they return to the lakes they spend the rest of the year living as their usual, small forms. The cycle repeats in January again, when the fish take their oceanic forms once more to migrate back across the ocean.
Those who live on the mainland of Kladeon have never seen the bettas' oceanic forms... The Heart Bettas seemingly appear from nowhere and vanish into thin air when Heartsgiving ends.
When in captivity, Heart Bettas no longer transform into their ocean forms. It's unknown why this happens.
Singular: Pufkin | Plural: Pufkins
Pufkins are small mammalian creatures known to inhabit forest floors. They are not very large, not very fast, but extremely resilient. They have bodies which can withstand incredible amounts of pressure and are known to thrive in any temperature or weather conditions. They have small, round bodies, and have been described as being very "plush". They live in small groups called snuggles, which usually consist of whole extended families. Large communities of Pufkins are referred to as cuddle parties. The largest documented community of Pufkins was clocked in at over 100 individuals. They are social creatures and prefer to be around others. They're known for being extremely affectionate, even in the wild, and appear to have no fear of larger creatures. They have often been called courageous as they will not back down, regardless of the aggression shown to them. They are known to make excellent pets and are extremely loyal when cared for with love and affection.
Pufkins are not very large, rounded and feature prominent and distinct plant-like antenna on their heads. These antenna mimic various types of leaves in order to help the pufkin blend into its surroundings. They can shed and lose their antenna painlessly and will grow them back at an extremely fast rate. Pufkin are rarely seen without their antenna.
Pufkins come in one of four known varieties. The most common being referred to as smooth coats (or standards), soft coats, woolly coats and scaly coats. Smooth and soft are commonly seen being kept as pets as they acclimate well to the indoors. Woolly prefer being outside and require a lot of time in the sun. Scaly enjoy swimming and tend to be found near water.
In the winter of 2019 it was discovered and documented that Pufkin appear to change yearly depending on the impact of their environment.
Pufkin discovered in 2018 appear as described above, but Pufkin discovered in 2019 appear with spines and horns. It is believed that their connection to the world of the Spirits has impacted their appearance negatively due to the turmoil of 2019.
Future changes in Pufkins will be documented.
A new discovery has been made!
Colours and Markings:
Pufkins from the Whistler Crest area are found predominantly in soft pastel pinks and greens. They normally have either markingless pelts, or feature simple spots and stripes, occasionally with larger markings like their entire underbelly.
Scales on the bodies must match their leaves. Their paw pads may be any colour/hue/tint found on their palette. So a darker pink can be used thanks to the soft pink palette.
2019 Pufkins must have dark grey spines and horns, with no visible plants, but their bodies can be the same colour/pattern as their 2018 predecessors.
Breeding and Life Cycle:
Pufkins have extremely long lifespans, despite growing very fast through their first two stages of life. Eggs are laid in clutches of 2-5 and are referred to as "seeds". The infant Pufkins are referred to as "buds," and during this stage the baby Pufkin will start to sprout their trademark fauna-like antenna or quills. Adult Pufkins are referred to as "blooms". Pufkins are known to breed for life, so once a mating pair is established, they remain together and produce families. Shown to the side, you can see an example of a Pufkin seed, bud and bloom!
Pufkins are herbivores, meaning they feed entirely on plants, which is why they are known to make their habitats in heavily wooded and green areas. During the winter they feed on tree bark and roots, as well as feasting on any plant-life they can find, including moss. They do not require a large sum of food as they are not very active creatures and they tend to conserve energy by sleeping...a lot.
Skills and Abilities:
As stated above, pufkins are extremely resilient and capable of living in the harshest environments, meaning they are found all over the globe. They are known to be able to withstand extreme levels of pressure making it possible for them to squeeze their bodies under heavy objects. They have loud and high pitched squeaks and chirps which can be heard for miles despite their diminutive size. Pufkins make for excellent pets, but can be hard to come by!
The 2019 Variant:
Pufkins found in 2019 appear to have been drastically changed by the turmoil of the Spirit realm. Rather than having their traditional foliage antenna, they now have a thick bed of quills lining their backs and tails, as well as a pair of small horns above their eyes. They appear to be slightly...feistier than their 2018 counterparts. Handle with care!