• Published 7th Jul 2017
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Hunter's Path - SwordTune



In a time long forgotten, unicorns and pegasi were nothing but mutants, and monsters ravaged the land as much as famine, war, and pestilence. The only hope for any pony's salvation was a professional. A monster hunter.

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Fiora's Bestiary

"A monster hunter is only ever as good as the monsters he or she can slay. Therefore, vast and changing tomes of knowledge must be the founding principle for all hunters, no matter what school of thought they hail from."

--Grandmaster Mountain Gale of the Dragon Arts, 26 E.I.C., in response to the Mass Rising

Monsters:

Aes Sedha and Aos Si:
"They are beautiful and powerful, and should any king or lord believe--through madness of power--himself to be a god, any hunter can tell them that the Aes Sedha have beaten him to that title." --Master Blacknight Oldenfeather of the Parliament of Owls, 32 E.I.C., after the only recorded contract on an Aes Sedha.

Aes Sedha, and their more earthly cousins the Aos Si, are often referred to in folklore as faeries, angels, minor gods, and benevolent spirits. Aes Sedha are powerfully attuned to magic in ways still unknown, even after the increase in horned mutant births. They are able to seemingly fade away, and many hunters have speculated that the Aes Sidhe simply observe us from their own reality, a world referred to as Andoinne Silde, by using magic to enter ours.

As a result, almost everything known about the Aes Sedha is speculation. Only masters of legendary skill have ever reported seeing an Aes Sedha, and all have been fleeting glimpses. However, these sightings have been thought to be linked to natural phenomena, including plague, crop blight, and hurricanes.

Countless folklores also tell of minor gods with the exact same appearance as the Aes Sedha. These stories often tell of blessing from the gods: fields filled with crops in the middle of winter, diseases suddenly cured, and violent monsters becoming docile.

Aes Sedha resemble ponies greatly, aside from their slender frames and radiant glowing skin. They posses two small bony growths on their head, like the stumps of antlers, that glow brighter than any other part of their body. Consequently, it's thought that this is some storage or source of magic for the Aes Sedha.

Aos Si are more common, though stories surrounding them are equally fantastical as the Aes Sedha. Usually green in complexion, most hunters confuse their long, wavy manes for shrubbery. This is because the Aos Si covet nature, and defend their forests and its monsters fervently (see dryads, lop grou, and balams) and wear crowns of branches and flowers for stealth.

Because they are not as powerful as their cousins, Aos Si do not demonstrate the same fading phenomenon that renders the Aes Sidhe so mysterious. They still are, however, revered as minor gods and spirits in many folktales for good reason. Hunters have reported Aos Si being able to change into trees and bushes and command flocks of birds in their forest. They have been seen to cause natural phenomena--storms, droughts, plagues-- as punishment to those who wrong them.

Ponies are fortunate, however, that they demand very little from those who live near them. Respect for their privacy and care for their lands are usually the only requests. In return, Aos Si have been known to happily grant rich harvests to farmers living near their territory, even allowing some to gather and hunt in their woods in times of understandable peril.

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Affanc:
"To hunt such a creature one must have a shapely maiden prepared as bait, for whatever reason the entire species of Affanc shares the same weakness as the species of stallions."-- Mordri Mottan Volume 6, by Shalecrest Fogbow of the Murder of Crows, 606 E.I.C.

Affancs are lake monsters resembling something of a crocodile body with the head and tail of a beaver. As ridiculous as the description sounds to common ponies, hunters will know that the monster is not to be threatened without protection. Its magic lets it eject streams of boiling water from its mouth. They live in small families of six or seven in small ponds, growing to large clans of over thirty for larger lakes. Though extremely cooperative within their families, affancs are not partial to sharing with other families.

Their diet consists of fish, mostly, though young affancs will often hunt pets and large game to practice their hunting. In adulthood, they develop a bizarre love for female ponies, not unlike a dog or cat who loves its owner. Sadly, the territorial nature of affancs also drives them to hunt any pony who is close to their bonded mare, killing even her own family.

A hunter should take great care when using a mare to lure out an affanc. In its vicious attacks to defend its female, the affanc can cause a great deal of harm to both the hunter and, as collateral damage, the bait.

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Afrites:
"I didn't train for two decades to be killed by a bloody lesser demon!"--the alleged last words of Nickol the Stubborn of the Dragon Arts, 102 E.I.C.

A member of the demon family, an afrite--also called yffrit--is considered a lesser fire demon. It has a frame that resembles an ape or gorilla. Born in the upper levels of Tartarus, afrites have thick, leathery hides like that of a rhino, with natural bony armor on its shoulders that partially cover its neck. It has glands in its shoulders that store a sulfur-oil mixture, and can eject this out of the pits in its wrists. Their magic then ignites the substance, producing a sizable flame that even burns underwater.

Many hunters have trouble combating afrites if they are not prepared. Afrites are immune to nearly all fires, even those produced by powerful magic, so a hunter who has not prepared alternate glyphed horseshoes must rely on other means. Luckily, an afrite's magic only pertains to fire. Unlike demons and high demons, their magic cannot heal them against poisons or injuries.

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Amulls:
"If a hunter hears the sounds he or she can distinctly recognize, yet knows it has no place being there, then drink two doses of the Fortitude Decoction and run away from it."--Killing the Dead by Blacknight Oldenfeather of the Parliament of Owls, 54 E.I.C.

There are many folktales of monsters and mysterious sounds working together. In many cases, villagers and peasant chalk this up to a single species of monster, the baens'e (see baens'e and Lesser Aos). Yet it is the experience of the hunter that shows that the baens'e is a rare occurrence. Far more common is the distant, and far deadlier, cousin of the Grave Maker, the Amull.

They are bizarre creatures of constantly shedding flesh. Ponies often mistake them for being dead, since layers of their shedding skin accumulate and form a fleshy armor around its body. Appearing like a ox-sized frog, its long, bony arms are for ambushing and trapping prey and can grow up to twice the length of the rest of its body.

An amull is able to use its cavernous mouth and massive vocal chords to manipulate existing sound around it. Thus, it prefers habitats filled with loud and musical insects. It uses these sounds, coupled with mild illusion and mental magic, to produce voices or songs that ponies recognize, like a lullaby or the voice of a dead family member.

However, it can only manipulate sound, and thus cannot create noises that are too different from what is around it. Drinking a Fortitude Decoction should shield the hunter from the magic of the amull, revealing the distorted pitches of the mimicked sounds.

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Ankhos:
"I am not mistaken. The Reaper is after me. The cold, the sickness, I feel death at my doorstep."--Act 3, scene 2, line 104 of A Night Under the Burning Moon, by Inkel Scribe, 1110 A.O.

An Ankho is both a title and a particular type of spectre. Portrayed as the grim reaper in many written works, the Ankho is a spectre attracted to the dying. They are solitary spectres, meaning no curse or curses involving Ankhos can overlap, who haunt most villages and hamlets.

They reside around graveyards or shrines, rarely showing themselves in the day. But, at night, the sick or starving claim to see the specter waiting silently at their doorstep. It presents itself as a long-legged pony, standing tall enough to look over most peasant homes. Its face its withered and dry, with nothing but empty eye sockets. Its body is moon-white, while some about to die have described it as looking grey.

It mainly kills those sick and suffering a slow death. But, come the end of winter, it changes its behavior. It will leave the ponies it haunts to die, watching and waiting for the last pony to pass. It's not known how, but the Ankho can sense when a pony will be the last to die in winter, and before they pass naturally it will killed them by draining their aura and memories.

It does so because its weak life force cannot last more than a year. It must replace its previous memories and magic with the energy from another pony. Because of this, every year there comes a "new" Ankho, with noticeable changes in personality. For a hunter, that means a second encounter with this specter may not be the same as the first.

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Athahcks, Lesser and Greater:
"I once saw a huge, muscular stallion wearing a pile of yak pelts on my way back from patrol. A monster hunter came to my house the next day claiming I had seen where his prey went. I told him my day, and he said the stallion was called an Ath... something."--anecdote of an Orendrea City Guardspony, 1126 E.I.C.

To understand lesser athahcks, one must understand their greater masters. Greater athahcks are mountainous monsters who prefer to hide in solitude deep within forests. Few hunters are able to kill them simply due to their superb skill at concealing their whereabouts.

Old folktales have detailed the activity of athahcks, though often stories described them as wise druids or maddened witch doctors. Neither accounts would be true, despite the accuracy of the physical description. Greater athahcks are usually three times the size of an average stallion, covered in brown or black moss-like fur. Their heads boast pony and canine qualities--fangs and pointed ears, but with a long pony's muzzle as well-- while their bodies closely resemble grizzly bears in shape.

It is said their eyes glow red or orange in the night, but that is a simplification. Their eyes "glow" by reflecting the light of the moon, light that is typically white.

For centuries hunters have reported seeing orange-eyed athahcks while feeling vibrations from their night silver--the only reliable way to track them. Magical studies have proven the generally accepted theory that greater athahcks possess latent illusion magic, forcing their victims to see their white eyes as red or orange.

Lesser athahcks are the products of this magic. Occasionally, a greater athahck's magic can damage the mind of the pony who sees them. Some point to overwhelming fear as the cause, others say there are particular psychic traits of the magic that are responsible for insanity.

Regardless of the how, victims of greater athahcks slowly crave the need to live in isolation, eventually exiling themselves to the nearest mountain or forest to hide. Madness drives them to emulate the beast that cursed them, and over time these ponies become lesser athahcks by wearing animal furs and moss, some even growing and cutting their mane to braid their hair onto their coats.

Driven to madness by magic, lesser athahcks often possess a certain level of unnatural strength, born out of their insanity and years of living in isolation. Surviving off the wilderness they chose to inhabit also means they have a great deal of knowledge on the terrain of their territory.

Some hunters have said that deep down lesser athahcks are still just ponies, but those hunters are probably dead. No hunter should take a lesser athahck lightly, because whoever they were, they have long since been gone. Deep down, they've lost what makes them ponies and are nothing but monsters.

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Baens'e
"Concentrate a Fortitude Decoction with a strong liquor before engaging a baens'e. And remember, the only sense you should trust is your sense of touch." -- Master Guerrier of the School of the Cynogriffon, 1094 A.O.

Baens'e are lesser members of the Aos classification. Though lesser, they are more dangerous than most other Aos and Aes, largely because their "weaker" magic entices them to be involved in mortal affairs. Baens'e cannot live solely on magic, having to hunt once every few weeks to restore the magic they have.

Nevertheless, their powers far exceed anything achievable by natural means. The baens'e are able to produce mental spells through their voice, creating illusions and causing madness at will. Their magic arrests both sight and hearing by producing visual copies of themselves or projecting their voice in multiple directions.

Many baens'e eventually learn to sing songs of deception, masking their gaunt, pale appearance and presenting themselves as shapely young mares. The only sign of this illusion is the song they must constantly sing in order to maintain the magic veil. Thus, baens'e cannot hide themselves in cities and villages. They enter, hunt, and leave as quickly as possible, returning to their homes in the surrounding wilderness before a wandering eye spots their true form.

When fighting, a hunter has to be aware of the spells a baens'e can produce. As neither sight nor hearing can be relied on, only the intensity of a weapon's night silver vibration can distinguish the illusions from the real thing.

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Balams:
"Aw, come here little kitty." --The last words of a Warfstead patrol guard, approx. 1106 A.O.

Balams are magical cats who prowl and serve the jungles and forests of Equestria. They resemble tigers and jaguars, though their eyes glow green and their hide protects better than hardened leather. If a village near a balam's territory is respectful, the balam will also take them under its protection. However, this protection has gone awry in many cases when villagers begin expanding their homes into woods and forests.

Powerful balams are also kept as pets and partners of Aos Si, a combination that is strangely passive and powerful at the same time. Aos Si grant magic to their pets to defend their homeland, producing balams of greater strength and keener senses. Hunters should be wary when hunting a balam, whether or not it has an Aos Si master. It is most susceptible to fire, yet at the same time burning a balam's forest is a good way to attempt suicide.

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Barbglazes:
"Woe is to the Barbglazes who believes this is still their lands. I claim it in the name of my father's bloodline, and I claim it for my sons and daughters. All hail the Orendreans!"--Yion Malgre Vois the First Orendrean Emperor, 320 E.I.C.

The gnomes of the High Mountain were once considered a non-pony race, standing equal with bovines, yaks, sheep, and donkeys. They have long since declined into burrowing creatures spiteful of whoever inhabits their ancestral home. Among these underground gnomes, there are three subspecies, two of which has become vastly different from their early ancestors (see clauricorns and dunters).

Barbglazes are closest in appearance to the Hobgoblins, a race of gnomish farmers living in Equestria's central mountain. During that time, Hobgoblins were known for making deals with cows, trading work in the house for the right to borrow milk. Barbglazes are the remnants of these stumpy, bipedal creatures. After ponies began to colonize their mountain, they were forced underground.

Growing a hatred for ponies on their mountain, but retaining their playful good nature from their Hobgoblin ancestors, they play tricks on farmers: stealing food and uprooting crops. Escape is an essential skill, and thus they are masters of digging complex escape tunnels and burying themselves in dirt and rock.

They stand no more than three feet in height, with short hairy legs and a square torso. On their arms are three strong but short fingers, excellent for gripping and digging but poor at manipulation. Nevertheless, their wide variety of tools and ingenuity to use them is what makes hunting them such a difficult task for a hunter of any experience.

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Basilisks:
"'I don't care if it's a dragon or wyvern, I want it gone,' the High Mountain king said to me. I told him it was neither, and that he might not have to worry about the cost. It was mostly likely I wouldn't return to collect it."--Slip Fin, of the Hydra Philosophy, 1210 A.O.

Death to the hunter who thinks the term "cousin of the dragon" makes it any less dangerous. In truth, basilisks are far more deadlier thanks to their tenacity in a fight. While dragons have wings and are able to fly from any fight, a basilisk is grounded. If any threat presents itself it will assume that threat has the intent to kill, and will not hold back.

Armed with rows of serrated teeth and feathered limbs, its presence alone can terrify. Some basilisks favor their horrifying screech to paralyze foes. Thought to be magical by ancient hunters, a basilisk's cry simply rings at such a frequency that its prey and predators are crippled by its sound.

In addition, basilisks come in two varieties: venomous and fire-breathing. They are easily identified by looking under their necks. Fire-breathing basilisks have organs under their jaws that hang like the wattles of roosters. There, it stores fat and processes it into a highly flammable oil. It's unknown exactly how the basilisk ignites the oil, except that it must be through a catalyzed oxidation of the oil. No organ is found to facilitate this, so the prominent theory stands that the process happens at the level of cells.

Venomous basilisks, on the other hand, have no wattles, only slightly wider heads to accommodate their massive venom glands. It can fire the venom from its mouth against a stronger opponent, but often times it simply coats its teeth in the venom for a deadlier bite.

One should always be wary of a bite from any basilisk, however. Venom or fire, their saliva is a cesspool for diseases. Food rotting away between their fangs feed diseases that it uses to infect and slowly kill its prey. "Immediately treat any wound inflicted by a basilisk" was one of the first lessons taught by the founders of the Dragon Arts, and has proven good for thousands of years since.

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Baykoks:
"Villagers spoke of an army of the dead that passed by. Corpse eaters, I told them, for peasant ponies always mistake corpse eaters as undead ponies--I don't see how, but that's beside the point. But then I found rotting weapons in the fields where they had passed, where no battle has ever been fought. For once, I doubted myself." -- Sharp Tone of the Discipline of Mutants, 1410 A.O.

Baykoks are one of many monsters appearing in Equestria after an unknown magical event, named as the Day of Revelation. Portals appearing in every kingdom are producing new monsters that hunters have no experience with. It is fortunate that one such monster is the baykok--they are dull, stupid creatures despite their ability to use weapons.

Appearing as pale brown or grey ponies, with translucent skin so the glowing white bones reveal themselves, baykoks travel in packs of at least fifty. It is guessed that their weapons originated from whatever world they came from, but over time some carry weapons of soldiers their packs have killed.

Equally strange is that baykoks are never seen feeding. They kill only armed ponies, and leave the dead untouched. For this reason, small weapons like that used by the Murder of Crows are effective at getting close to a baykok, for it will ignore a pony so long as it thinks it is unarmed. Conversely, long pole weapons are also advantageous due to its lack of wit. In its fervor to attack, a baykok will, in all likelihood, forget about the spear point in its way.

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Behemoths:
"The South Coast Kingdom would not exist today were it not for the unanimous decision of all its lords to come together and elect a king. However, they gave up power with selfish intent, for it was the king who had to decide how to deal with the behemoths who inhabited the swamp."--On South Coast History by Oakrend Taletell, 890 A.O.

Even monsters hunters fear certain animals. Bears and ferocious wild boars are hardy creatures to have survived in the wild alongside monsters. It stands to reason a monster with any resemblance to such animals be treated with double the respect. Such is the case when facing a behemoth.

An adult behemoth stands at about the height of a single-story townhouse. Most of its body is comparable to a wild boar, but there are many differences to consider. It has specialized hairs along the back of its neck and upper back that are hardened into points. They can be fired for defense, or remain in place to stop attackers from getting close.

In the front it has four tusks, two on either side, capable of raking through entire trees as it charges. It grinds its tusks against rocks and stone to keep it from growing too large and sharpen them at the same time. If that is not enough, a behemoth's front legs can act as lethal weapons. Boasting sharp claws on its forelegs as a method of marking territory, its size lets it tear through muscle and armor, even chainmail and joints of plate, without effort.

It eats mostly plants fibers, though is omnivorous and very territorial. Behemoths do not actively hunt, but consider any animal in their sight as trespassing in its territory, no matter where it is. As a warning, they partially devour the bodies of the offending creature to ward off others of its species.

There have been dozens of recorded killings of behemoths by hunters. All of them with no less then five hunters, and usually out of pure necessity. Advice taken from survivors of those encounters suggest fire and illusion spells are key in slowing a behemoth, however all also admit their success to be the result of pure luck as well. Therefore it is hard to say if there is any definitive way for a hunter to kill a behemoth.

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Blackbirds:
"And so for the wedding her sisters, despite hating her, volunteered themselves as Little Ashes' bridesmaids. They were overjoyed to be in the royal wedding, so much so they did not notice when blackbirds emptied their sockets of eyes."--Follies of Greed, by the Grin Twins, 1697 E.I.C.

Part of the family of avian monsters, blackbirds are smaller relatives of the rocs (see Rocs). Their black bodies are foreboding in the day, while invisible in the night. Like most birds, they feed their young through regurgitation. However, their bile are a lot more purposeful than any normal bird's.

To protect their young, adult blackbirds regurgitate highly concentrated amounts of stomach acid at predators. As a result, the hide and organs of Blackbirds are highly resistant to acids, and highly sought after ingredients for health fortification tonics and acidity resistance potions.

Despite the demand for blackbirds, there is no shortage of their kind. Blackbirds mate once every season, and it is these seasons that determine many of the individual attributes.

The ones born in the spring keep some of their fluffier feathers from their youth. This allows them to disguise themselves as small distant trees by puffing up their feathers and wrapping themselves in their wings, tracking and watching animals come out of hibernation without ever being noticed. They are calm and analytical hunters, often seeming to plan every hunt days in advance by spying on its prey's activity.

Summer blackbirds are a stark contrast to their spring brothers and sisters. Prey becomes grown, fed, and strong in the summer, and thus so too must the blackbirds born in this season. They are grow up to twice the size of their spring relatives, with talons that are, proportional to their body, twice in length. Few other monsters can match the grip strength of a summer blackbird.

Autumn blackbirds are a peculiar bunch, to say the least. Of the four seasons, they are the only ones to possess low amounts of magic ability. They're the only ones to fly in flocks, combining their magic and creating illusions of food for animals preparing for hibernation. Their eyes are red and their bodies taller, more slender. It is unknown whether fear of an autumn blackbird is a result of its magic or common sense, but either way the smartest thing to do is to turn tail and run. When there is one, there is bound to be dozens more.

In the winter, blackbirds are born with impressive wingspans and excellent sense of smell. Only the most well-hidden animals can hope to cover their scent from a hungry winter blackbird. With wings that can carry them for miles on cold winds, these monsters seek out unsuspecting animals in deep hibernation, snatching them up before they have the chance to escape. Only when there is little prey left to hunt to winter blackbirds make long trips to pony settlements. There, they may take a few scraps when offered. But when ignored on an empty stomach, it has been said they will snatch a child.

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Boncacones:
"I don't want to hunt a boncacone, Highsight. I really don't want to."--Fiora de Battaille of the School of the Cynogriffon, 1367 A.O.

A boncacone looks like a bull, regardless of the monster's sex. Its tail is noticeably longer and behaves as a whip-like appendage to swat offending insects. However, it possesses a unique trait: highly toxic dung. Its fecal matter is not only unbearable to the nose, but also burns the eyes and skin with the venom that the boncacone drenches it in. The venom remains effective even as it evaporates from the dung's warmth, poisoning the skin and eyes of those who stray too close to it. It can even reach a lethal dose if one is unable to escape its effects after long periods.

It produces this dung only as a defensive measure, however, beyond that there is nothing physically threatening about a boncacone. Little else about the boncacone is notable. It is a herbivore like cows and rarely threatens ponies. In fact, once its dung is left to decay and the venom as been broken down, what remains is a very rich fertilizer for farmers.

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Buk'ta:
"Imbibe an antidote of basilisk blood and peppermint, then a Tundra's Breath decoction, and approach the monster's lair slowly. Be wary of the clear scale atop its head, which will blind you with its bright magic. It would be prudent to practice one's listening techniques."-- Grandmaster Stonewood of the School of the Cynogriffon, 1298 A.O.

Living in swamps, rivers, and wetlands across Equestria, the semi-aquatic Buk'ta is a common plague in regions west of the High Mountain. It is a serpent as around as a tree trunk with the antlers or either a moose or a stag. Between those horns is a large, specialized scale. Hunters and victims alike describe it as a gemstone that shines radiant light as bright as the sun, a result of the monster focusing its natural magic through its lens-like scale.

If blinding brightness wasn't challenging enough, once they reach adulthood, Buk'ta have fully developed venom glands, and a pit below the tongue to eject it as a mist, which has led to the myth that their toxic breath is a harbinger of death. Its venom is peculiar, however, in that it acts more like a plant poison with the ability to be absorbed through the pores.

Effects of Buk'ta venom include paranoia, varying degrees of hallucinations, and hysteria. It is fortunate that there are a few monsters naturally immune to similar toxins, among them include basilisks and dunters (see basilisks and dunters). In addition to defense against the monster's natural weapons, Buk'ta are as fast and ruthless of a killer as any normal snake, and have the ability to sense changes in temperature. It is almost impossible to catch a Buk'ta by surprise; it almost always finds its hunter before the hunter finds it.

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Charyb:
"Train to clear your soul of feeling. That is a must for a hunter, for monsters like the charyb can manipulate the hearts of lesser creatures."--Greater Fae by Grandmaster Mountain Gale of the Dragon Arts, 9 E.I.C.

Charybs are one of many monsters thought to have been hunted to extinction during the height of the Orendrean Empire. Famously, hunters from the Dragon Arts and Murder of Crows were hired by the Orendrean emperor to eliminate all charybs after his own wife was stolen away by a trickster charyb, who was sometimes referred to in literature as Corten and treated as a god of love in many stories.

Few monsters boast mental and illusionary magic as strong as charybs, which they use to--at the very least--manipulate the emotions and relationships of ponies for entertainment. At the very worse, they use their illusions to turn their grey, stork-like bodies, into beautiful stallions and mares to lure unsuspecting ponies to their dens, where they consume their victims in an ecstasy of ravenous hunger and lust.

In recent times, charybs have been one of many monster species appearing out of bizarre magical rifts across Equestria. While most of those are new, unseen species, it's widely accepted among masters and grandmasters that charybs prove that Equestria has, at some point, encountered an event similar, or even exactly the same, as the sudden appearance of the rifts.

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Chenoh
"The pony who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. And then gets killed by a Chenoh."--a popular saying among Western Equestrian miners.

Though some scholars still hold the belief that chenoh is a larger subspecies of magical constructs known as golheim (see golheim), the stone giants of Northwestern Equestria are widely accepted to be the result of demons that had been separated from Tartarus and slowly evolved into hardy creatures of rock.

Though vestigial organs are still present, these take the form of fossilized bones and fangs, giving the chenoh a frightening appearance for those untrained to hunt them.

They can stand at almost three times the size of a stallion. Fortunately, most don't hunt ponies, or any animal for that matter. Chenoh are thought to subsist solely off magic, explaining why they inhabit only a few mountainous regions known for having deposits of crystals susceptible to magic properties and enchantments.

Still, whenever ponies, either by greed or necessity, decide to tunnel and mine through their homeland, the chenoh can retaliate viciously. Hunting in groups of two to five, escape is nearly impossible. Once they choose to attack, they will always begin by finding a way to ensnare their prey before brutally killing them.

Even for monster hunters, chenoh are deadly. Few ever take contracts on them, as it usually requires the hunter to venture into the chenoh territory. Blades will have no effect on a chenoh's stone body, and they have the ability to absorb magic from spells and glyphed horseshoes. In the history of monster hunting, only powerful explosives have ever completed a chenoh contract.

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Chimaera
"One of the oldest known monster species, chimaera are more than the sum of their parts. They are patient, relentless, and powerful, and it takes a level-headed hunter to kill. Even then, my students, bring a friend."-- Krokadilla of the Dragon Arts 20 E.I.C., Chapter 3 of "The First Year on the Path."

The head and body of a big cat. A tail made of a snake. A goat head with hardened, bone-crushing horns. A chimaera's snake venom can be quickly negated by healing infusions that have been treated with snake venom. It is essential, for the combination of its feline speed and venom turns this mess of a monster into a disciplined killer, capable of killing multiple hunters at once.

It sharpens its goat horns on rocks and other hard surfaces, often attacking villages that build too close to its forests. To track one in the wild, or to know where to avoid, a hunter should keep an eye open for horn scrapings along large, flat stone surfaces. After that, move very, very quietly.

Author's Note:

This incomplete version of the Hunter's Bestiary will be edited and moved over to book 2. It will stay as it is here, but continue to grow as the story grows in Hunter's Path: Frozen Roads

Comments ( 5 )

Wow, really clever and interesting bits concerning these creatures. I’m looking forward to more entries to this bestiary :twilightsmile:
However, I’m not sure if it is a good idea to have it there as a first chapter—all in itself it is not very hooking for the reader.

8519682
I might put it at the back, since it's meant to be a glossary rather than an introduction.

To interested readers: I had intended to continue the story arcs I had planned out on this same story page. However, after a long hiatus and shift in writing style, I decided it'd be better leave this story as it is and continue in a second story to maintain consistency.

In that picture is that Hircine the daedric lord of the hunt from the Elder Scrolls!!!

9981569
Actually, no, it's a Leshen from the Witcher 3, referencing my inspiration for this story.

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