Fauna of the Temperate Zone

General

Some members of the fauna of the Temperate Zone are described here. For most of them it isn't worth making an individual page, so they are instead listed here together with an image (if one exists), a short description, and with an explanation as to what makes them special, important, or otherwise noteworthy. They are sorted alphabetically.

Fewigg
Fewigg, drawn by Theeda/Ferrety-Lixciaa

Fewiggs are small, winged mammals. Their size is determined by measuring the length of their bodies from the tip of the tail to the end of the muzzle. Males reach a length between 48 to 80 cm (1'7'' - 2'7''). Females reach a length between 42 and 60 cm (1'5'' - 2'). They have four paws, each with five digits that are tipped with little white to gray claws. They also have little curved horns above their fuzzy ears, which can be white or a light shade of gray. Only rarely have fewiggs with black horns been spotted.

The fur of a fewigg can greatly vary in color. They can be brown, gray, white, very rarely black, and they can even possess a wide variety of patterns. Some fewiggs even seem to wear little 'masks' on their faces. Gradients and highlights are also very common, for example having a cream colored body but a gray tail, like the fewigg in the example image. A thin layer of the fur that covers their bodies also covers their wings. During winter, fewiggs grow a thick winter coat, which is a bit lighter in color.

Their wings are large enough to allow for short, powered flights. In other words, fewiggs can easily use their wings to fly up to a roof or up into a tree. However, they are best used to glide down from a higher place to a lower one. Fewiggs commonly use their wings to catch small birds or raid nests. They are carnivores and gladly feast on all kinds of small mammals, even if they are a bit larger than themselves. Their high intelligence, compared to their prey, makes them capable hunters.

In the wild, fewiggs are a territorial, solitary species. They either build nests out of various naturally available materials or dig a shallow burrow. However, not all fewiggs are wild. Some people of the Temperate Zone have managed to domesticate them. They use the winged hunters to exterminate pests, like mice and rats, and thus prevent them from spreading diseases and destroying stockpiles of food. Even a population of pigeons can be kept in check by using fewiggs. It's also easier to keep a fewigg than a falcon, as they are simply less dangerous and can't as easily fly away. Some even keep fewiggs as pets to play with the energetic little guys.

However, not all fewiggs that live in urban regions are domesticated. Some wild fewiggs live in large cities. They inhabit primarily attics, in which they build nests out of stolen hay or bits of cloth, and use the buildings to glide to other places. At least fewiggs aren't known for biting people or destroying stockpiles, even if they do sometimes steal food. Their primary prey remains other small mammals, so their presence is overall tolerated, sometimes even approved of.

Warg
Warg Male Warg Female

Wargs are large, canine-like mammals, which live in both the Temperate Zone and the Boreal Zone. Both males and females grow up to be between 0.95 to 1.15 m (3'1'' - 3'9'') at the shoulders. The build of a warg is more thickset than that of a wolf. They have broader shoulders and thicker, stronger legs. Warg tails are shorter than those of wolves, but equally fluffy. The easiest way to tell a male and female warg apart is the thicker fur growth along spines of the males. It looks like a mane of sorts.

The fur of a warg can be brown, gray (light and dark), and in very rare cases white or black. Their underside has a lighter color, while the manes of the males are a darker shade of their main color. Wargs also have patterns and markings. Their flanks are covered in dark spots, which are either dark brown or black, and they can have dark splotches around their eyes, on their paws, and on the front of their muzzle. The splotches around the eyes can be found on all wargs that live in the north; the dark color around the eyes helps prevent snow glare. Wargs who live in cold environments have very light coats. During winter, wargs grow a thicker coat but don't drastically change their fur color.

Wargs feature no horns, but they do have sharp claws and teeth and even tusks. These tusks grow upward and stick outside of the lower lip, like those of a boar. While for male boars these serve to impress mates and defend themselves, wargs use them as vicious tools for killing. These canine predators are full fleshed carnivores. They leap on large prey, digging their sharp, thick claws into them to hold onto them, and then gut them or slit their neck open with their tusks. Small prey is killed with a simple bite to the neck, followed by a strong tug to break it.

But their strength and tusks aren't the only things that make wargs incredibly dangerous; they are also rather intelligent, more so than a dog, and bloodthirsty. Wargs even kill when there is no need to. They primarily target other predators to satisfy their bloodthirst, which in turn lowers the amount of competitors for food in the area and thus makes more food available. However, they aren't stupid enough to attack predators like gryphons or wyverns, but only smaller ones like Threan wolves, wild felines, and similar creatures. Trezlin and Truzlin, despite being dangerous due to their weapons, appear as less dangerous than gryphons to most wargs, simply due to their size and seemingly frail bodies. It isn't uncommon that travelers and hunters are attacked by wargs.

What makes these encounters even worse is the fact that wargs live in packs. Although these packs are rather small, rarely numbering more than ten members, they are very deadly. Pack members work together to bring down even more dangerous quarries. Duels that involve knocking tusks together and trying to wrestle each other down determine the hierarchy within a pack. Both alpha females and alpha males exist.

Despite their vicious nature, it is possible to domesticate wargs. Or at least make them tolerate an owner and even rider. Wargs only tolerate strength, so in order to tame one, the future owner has to show the warg that they are stronger. They ought to almost put the warg down, or at least bring it down to the ground, force it to expose its throat. Once dominated, a warg can become a great asset. The smaller lin can easily ride them; the Truzlin even ride them into battle against the Sokans. They also make for great guard pets. However, if a warg notices that their owner is becoming weak, they might make use of the situation and simply devour their owner. There's always a risk in keeping a warg around.

Tanzapo

Tanzapos are gigantic mammals, whose look similar to pangolins. Their height varies, because their posture does. They can either slowly walk forward on their hindlegs or use all fours to distribute the weight better and move a bit quicker. When tanzapos stand up tall, they reach between 2.4 and 2.8 m (7'10''-8'2'') at the head. At such a massive height and with a weight of a few tons, they can truly be considered megafauna. As a result of their more upright posture when they do only use two legs, their tail is shorter and more narrow than that of a pangolin.

Unlike pangolins, who are insectivores, tanzapos are herbivores. While a pangolin's long claws are made to dig after ants, the shorter claws of a tanzapo are meant to grab onto branches and hold them still. Once a branch has been secured, they use their long tongues to slurp leaves right off it! To reach higher branches, the arms of a tanzapo are much longer than those of a pangolin.

Just like their small pangolin counterparts, tanzapos are covered in overlapping scales from their head to the tip of their tails. These scales can be brown, green, or greenish yellow in color. The plates are so tough and thick that even blades and arrows have trouble piercing them; they serve as a great natural armor against predators. If need be, tanzapos can even curl up to form an armored ball that can barely be scratched. However, due to their size they much prefer to scare off predators by swinging their massive clawed hands at them. Being hit by a tanzapo isn't a pleasant affair; they could knock houses down with their strength!

Tanzapos aren't all brawn; they are roughly as smart as a dog. It's thus possible to domesticate them and teach them commands, but this is rather difficult and requires an experienced animal handler. Sokan beast masters, as experienced as they are, have learned how to properly tame, breed, and train tanzapos. These naturally armored beasts serve as living war machines in the Bronze Legions. They are great at breaking formations, squashing lin, and knocking down gates. The only extra armor they receive is a helmet and sometimes armored mitts for their hands. Due to being used to scaring off predators, tanzapos aren't easily scared, especially if their keeper remains at their side and their eye sight is limited by blinkers. The Sokans excel at breeding the most aggressive tanzapos.