Devblog: the logic behind creatures in Bliaron

Nature is often a big thing in fantasy, all sorts of strange creatures and plants with magical properties are important in setting the tone in a fantasy world. Bliaron is no exception to this, and having the majority of the world sparsely inhabited wilderness it is perhaps even more pronounced than average. What is then the main design goal and idea behind it? This is something reaching back to the Finnish edition, Bliaron – Kalthanien Perintö, but it’s not very pronounced or underlined in the original release, it’s rather something like a hidden design principle. This is something I’m looking forward to expanding in the English edition, it’s a detail that I wanted to develop in the past, but it simply couldn’t fit into the scope of original release.

Compare Danak (in the picture) with images of Therapsids, which extinct creatures do you think are the closest?

The Fauna of Bliaron is fantasy based on certain phase of earth’s evolution, something that happened before the age of mammals, but not as far back as dinosaurs. The majority of creatures of Bliaron therefore have either mammalian features or are direct ancestors of mammalian creatures. Danak is the prime example of the type of creature, but also beasts belonging to the Ide Jem -classification can fit this description. This is not to say that there couldn’t be any mammals, but especially for the Great Steppe, it’s worth trying to imagine what kind of lizard-mammalian hybrids could possibly live there.

Another thing is that Bliaron’s people probably would only have experience-based knowledge of animals, and actual biological studies would be extremely rare, some Sahen scholars going trying to describe what they can alike early scientists of Ancient Greece and Rome, but their texts would likely contain errors and brave assumptions. In Finnish edition, Ide Jem, were described as synonyms to “monster” or “beast”, like something not properly known or defined, but rather something big to be feared. Great, powerful, possibly magically capable animals, with somewhat divine origins, being the children of Uentan Jem, even more godlike and less defined legendary creatures. Ide Jem can be derived either from dinosaurs, therapsids or creatures of weird alien-like fantasy. There are currently seven different examples of Ide Jem creatures written for 2nd edition, but the base idea will remain the same, these are creatures that can be anything you make them, we recommend that GM’s invent themselves.

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