When the dragons took over the worlds they got rid of everything that was a threat to them, but didn’t care about things that might be a threat to the humans. So many dangerous creatures still exist. Some have even come about from the dragons themselves. There are also many strange creatures that either aren’t a threat, or the dragons could not defeat (not that they would admit that!).
K'i-lin – The Unicorns
The unicorn is a magestic beast, first amongst the land animals in the worlds. It is a shy creature rarely seen, but it is believed it can spherewalk without gates. It has the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, and the hooves of a horse. Its short horn, which grows out of its forehead, is made of flesh; its coat, on its back, is of five mixed colors, while its belly is brown or yellow. It is so gentle that when it walks it is careful not to tread on the tiniest living creature and will not even eat live grass but only what is dead.
The Chio-tuan is believed to be a type of unicorn, due to the horn in the centre of their forehead and rear end, but are very different from the K’i-lin. They are not as careful and caring about living things, and eat grass and fruit at will. They cannot Spherewalk but exist on many realms in the worlds. Some scholars believe that they are K’i-lin that have fallen from grace, or perhaps young unicorns, and will eventually become K’i-lin.
Zhi is a giant unicorn, one and a half times the size of a horse. It has the body of a bull and a shaggy mane. It is a unique creature, possessed of great intelligence. Certainly it seems to have power as great as a dragons, if not more so. However it rarely shows this, unless it is close when an innocent is in danger. It seems to stay close to the realm of Ningbo, though travels the worlds at will.
This is a race of half men who are clad in black turtle shells used like armour. They are long lived and intelligent, but cannot speak the language of man until they are 1000 years old. They were formally a peaceful people who lived on Longsheng, but were scattered across the worlds by the dragons and their servants. Now they attack humans when they can. They are led by Bishamonten, a fierce warrior apparently never defeated and thousands of years old.
Gui Xian is a giant turtle, as large as many dragons, larger than some. She lives in the depths of Dali, but can travel the worlds at will. She has a single eye on her underbelly, and every 3000 years she rises to the surface and turns onto her back to see the sun. She can apparently tell the future.
These glorious White Tigers run around the worlds and are favoured for their fur, which is hard as steel, and flexible as silk. They are fierce creatures, proud and protective of their own. When slain their eyes are often removed since they are made of white jade. Military commanders often wear these eyes in battle as a way to use the tigers prowess. It is strange that they have been known to defend humans from attacking dragons, as they protect their cubs from humans.
This red fire-bird is sometimes known as a Phoenix. It is not known if there is 1 or many, since they are rarely seen, and can be seemingly different birds. It has the head of a pheasant, the tail of a peacock, and the most enchanting song of any bird. They (it) always seem female. They are defiantly intelligent, and seem to have the ability to accelerate growth in plants and animals. They seem peaceful.
These birdmen are believed to have been wiped out by the dragons, but some have been seen recently. They have the bodies of men, but the faces and wings of eagles. They were led historically by the gold coloured Garuda, a giant bird who can block out the sun with his size. It is said that they feed on dragons, and that is why they were hunted.
These are supposedly humans who have been corrupted by the Qin. It is said that the Qin steals their soul, and they travel to take the souls of others in the hope of replacing theirs. They appear human, but with blank stares, and stand statue still. When moving they tend to jump, with their arms held forward. If they touch another human they gradually drain their Chi, until the victim becomes a Chi-vampire itself. The only way to restore lost Chi is to destroy the vampire that took it.
This fox like creature has the power to appear human, generally a beautiful woman, and steal the secrets of man. To what end is unknown.
In it’s natural state the Tanuki looks like a small dog or racoon. It can take on the appearance of any animate and inanimate object however. They like to play tricks on humans, often looking like a monk or a kettle to do so. They are capable of casting powerful illusions, capable of turning horse excrement into a delicious-looking dinner, or stones into money.
These are goblins that live in mountains and forests. Their supernatural powers include shape-shifting into human or animal forms, the ability to speak to humans without moving their mouth, the magic of moving instantly from place to place without using their wings, and the sorcery to appear uninvited in the dreams of the living.
These are the two guardians of the gates to Shambhala. Agyo stands on the left and carries a thunderbolt stick while Ungyo is on the right with a saber. Conceived as a pair, the Nio complement each other. Agyo represents overt power, baring his teeth and raising his fist in action, while Ungyo represents latent might, holding his mouth tightly closed and waiting with both arms tensed but lowered. There is a pair at every gate to Shambhala no human may pass them without a dragons permission (which has so far never been given, even to Liu Bang).
These are small spirits that exist throughout the worlds. They have motives beyond the ken of men, and are beneath the notice of dragons. Examples include the Suijin, which are water spirits and Raijin which are thunder spirits. They aren’t generally powerful, at least compared to dragons, but could easily confuse and obstruct humans. Some are evil, but have a redeeming feature. The Kappa is a type of evil Suijin, described as an example of Kami:
Kappa smell like fish and are generally portrayed with the body of a tortoise, ape-like head, scaly limbs, long hair circling the skull, webbed feet and hands, and yellow-green skin. They are often depicted with a tortoise shell attached to their backs. Some say they can change color like the chameleon. They abhor metal objects and loud noises. They are sometimes confused for Xuanwu. They have a hole in the top of their head. This saucer-like depression holds a strength-giving fluid. If the Kappa spills its strength-giving water, it becomes feeble, forcing it to return to its water kingdom. About the size of a child aged 6 to 10, the Kappa is nonetheless incredibly strong. It attacks horses, cattle, and humans, usually dragging its prey into the water, where, according to various legends, it feeds on their blood, or drains their life force, or pulls out their livers through their anuses, or sucks out their entrails, leaving nothing behind except a hollow gourd. Kappa are mostly evil, but not always. When benevolent, the Kappa is supposedly a skilled teacher in the art of bone setting and other medical skills. In addition, the Kappa is always portrayed as trustworthy despite its many evil ways. When captured and forced to promise never again to harm anyone, the kappa always keeps its promise. Kappa often help or mentor those who outwit them or capture them.
The Shishi is a type of lion with the power to repel evil Kami. Their heads are harder than helmets, and some have horns. They are generally found in pairs, one mail, one female. They often carry a Tama, a jewel that brings light in the darkness and has the power to grant wishes. With their mouth open the males scare off the evil spirits, whilst with their mouths closed the females protect good spirits. A pair of Shishi has always stood guard over the Jade Throne, though it is not at the dragons request.
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