Field GuideLearn about the creatures who inhabit Hertha here.
Mopfus mopfus magillicutty
Range: everywhere, especially concentrated in urban areas
Diet: virtually anything, but especially partial to cotton lint, which draws them into homes
Appearance: One mopfing is about the size of a ping pong ball, and covered in white, brown or black “fur” which is more like very thin but sharp urticating hairs than actual OE fur. A mopf is a colony of mopfings, usually 20-40 but occasionally numbering in the hundreds.
Vocalizations: mopfs make a range of sounds, particularly when in larger colonies; they can mimic human voices, and sounds in the environment, but usually make high pitched chirping sounds.
Field Notes: The common mopf is a curious creature, indeed. Namely because it is not one creature, but many, sometimes numbering in colonies of a hundred! Each mopfing, a singular of the colony, is roughly the size of a ping-pong ball. No, nobody knows whose legs those are, and all attempts to find out have ended in catastrophic failure since the common mopf’s bite is exceedingly venomous, and its “fur” can become very sharp and irritating when projected into human skin. No one has honestly cared enough to try with gloves. Common mopfs are frequently encountered in urban settings, occupying the shadows much the same as OE rats. They also enjoy deep forests, hiding in crevices in trees and rocks.
One wonders if there is an uncommon mopf?
*OE = Old Earth
Range: all Herthan forests
Diet: primarily pseudofungus and pink algae
Appearance: 3-4 feet at the shoulder. Dark to pale teal, with darker teal stripes on face, occasionally on legs. Six muscular legs, terminating in two-clawed feet similar to OE hooves. Fin-like process on dorsal neck, purpose still unknown. Three tails.
Vocalizations: a vocally silent creature, they communicate with tail whips and snaps, and middle-leg stomps
Field Notes: Tanotaurs are a mysterious creature and not much is known about their lives in the wild, as they are strangely elusive despite their size. What we do know of the tanotaur is from intensive captive breeding for meat. The meat is toxic unless specially treated, presumably a feature designed by evolution to eliminate the species’ natural predators. We do know that the very pseudofungus groves they feed in can also be their demise, as certain pseudofungus species can grow large enough to consume a whole tanotaur.
Domestication: Tanotaurs were notoriously difficult to domesticate, but given that they thrived on native flora, continued effort was put into making them a viable food option. A significant problem was the animals’ ability to communicate with one another. When at last the discovery was made that the Tanotaur uses its three tails as its primary communication method, as well as a weapon, farmers decided to begin the practice of removing the tails in infancy. Without the ability to organize, the Tanotaur has become a docile supply of meat for the Dominion.
Range: all Herthan forests
Diet: sap from trees
Appearance: 6 feet at the shoulder. Dark to medium cobalt blue. Single spherical eye positioned at the top of head. Infinite numbers of pupils focusing at any given time.
Vocalizations: vocalizations consist of warbling rumbles which emit from the ocular sphere. The sphere can even be observed oscillating with the loudest vocalizations.
Field Notes: The oculet was among the first creatures encountered after Old Earth settlers arrived. Its appearance sowed panic, but settlers quickly realized the oculet had no interest in them.
The oculet’s orbital sphere, and those of the other Herthan creatures sporting one, has been the subject of great research and debate. Despite centuries of effort, we still do not understand how the ocular sphere works, or how the creature is able to process a seemingly infinite amount of visual information.
The ocular sphere contains a great many pupil-like structures attached to nerve-like stalks. These pupils travel along the inner surface of the ocular sphere at rapid speed. The oculet in particular is capable of producing seemingly infinite pupils on-demand, to the point that its entire ocular sphere can be covered.
While being the oculet’s greatest vulnerability, the ocular sphere is also its greatest asset, allowing it to observe nearly all angles at all times, and thereby avoid attacks from above and from the sides by panthets or pseudofungal tentacles.
Range: all Herthan forests
Diet: primarily risu risus and oculets, but will scavenge or consume pseudofungus if necessary
Appearance: 3 feet tall at the shoulder. Pale blue with dark blue variegation. 4 forward-facing eyes. Spiked crest along head and neck, usually flattened unless threatened.
Vocalizations: Emits a characteristic clicking rumble when threatened. Otherwise silent.
Field Notes: Easily considered the most fearsome animal denizen of Hertha’s vast forests. The panthet has always been an object of terror despite the objective fact that it has never been documented to have harmed a human. In fact, the panthet is quite shy, and avoids all contact. It does not even strike out when cornered, despite its threatening display with spiked crest erect. The panthet is persecuted and hunted when found too near towns or livestock, even though its only known live prey are risu risus and oculets. Foolish human misunderstanding.
The panthet prefers to hunt from on high – on tree branches or on top of pseudofungus. Its color and variegation helps it blend into the blue reaches of the forest, and bypass the oculet’s brilliant all-around vision. As for risu risus, it simply snatches them from the branches with its barbed four-foot tongue.