F#36: Phoot

Bird feeders watch out! The Phoot is about- and it’s stocking up for the winter!

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During October and November, the phoot consumes nearly three times its body weight DAILY, in preparation for its hibernation from December to march.

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It’s during this time of feasting that you can best hear the distinctive call that gives it its name: ffff-oot! ffff-oot!

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So consider putting extra on your bird table this year- to give the birds a chance.

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F#24: Domestic Manticore Kitten

‘Beep’ Domesticated Manticore Mardyakhor Mansueti

 There are many reasons why people might rehome a manticore bred by Eliza Knights-Herbert of 23 Rose Street, Revery. Most of these reasons relate back to their finicky personailities, or the ability to dissolve things just by looking at them.

Beep, however, was left with us at the institute because she is blind. Her previous family were displeased with her lack of laser vision, and feared she would no longer be an effective burgalar deterrent- a legitimate concern.

Luckily, Beep has found a new forever home, and will only be staying with us briefly before travelling to Gloucestershire- our resident manticore Percy will miss her.

F#23: Wyrm Hatchlings

Wyrm Hatchlings (Northen European Wyrm) 

Dragon species

When we got the call about an ‘infestation of worms’, we might have reacted a mite too hastily with our stock (polite!) ‘we are a research institute, not Revery Pest Control’ response.




After the miscommunication was cleared up, we arrived at a small garden in the suburbs- only to find these week-old specimens of the European small wyrm causing havoc and destruction in their pursuit of a Sunday dinner.

These dragons are rarely found in built up areas (and almost never in the south of England) and there was no sign of the parent wyrm, who normally feeds young in the nest until they are a month old. It seemed as if the babies had been fending for themselves for a few days- feeding on insects and tearing up the garden in the process.



After a short (but chaotic) pursuit, Evelyn and I caught all three at the same time and took them back to the institute.


They have settled down in the break room in Keeley’s hat, whilst we contact the South West Dragon Centre to see if they have a spare pen…

F#21: The Guardian of Wistmans Wood

The Guardian of Wistmans Wood

Fae

Warning: Treat with caution, watch what you say and check any wording in a written or verbal contract carefully.

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There are places where the skin between worlds is thin. You feel a tingle along your spine, a prickling of your skin and a tang in the air, like the taste of ozone before a storm.

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It is in these places that you’ll find such peculiar beings as the Guardian of Wistmans Wood: cloven feet, horns, a cape and a goatlike face- it’s no wonder people talk of devils and wild hunts in this part of Dartmoor.

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The guardian lives in a cave beneath the roots of a contorted oak. When we arrived he didn’t come out straight away, but i could see the glint of his eyes inside the dark crevice.

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‘I know you’re there,’ I said.

There was a rustling, then a low croaking laugh. He stepped out into the light.

‘Greetings, Bartholomew.’ His eyes flicked over Jesper and Thursday behind me, but other than that he didn’t acknowledge them.

‘Wistman.’ Those eyes make me uneasy.

‘How’s that soul of yours?’ He said slyly.

‘That’s not why we’re here-’

‘Ah yes, we have a contract to renew.’

And contracts with faeries are almost always sealed with blood.

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F#18: Lanternhead

Lanternhead

Also known as: Old Man of the Swamp

Homunculus

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In the dark of a summer night, you spot a light that seems to hover half a foot off the ground. Then another light pops into existence.

Then another.

You have come across a rare occurence: a ‘Moot’ of Lanternheads.

This pale skinned, furry-bodied homunculus is normally a solitary creature, wandering large swathes of woodland, moorland or marsh. However, during the summer months it seems that several will congregate in one area- and no one knows why.

There is no visible interaction between the creatures at the moot. They stand several feet away from each other, and appear to gaze skywards. Are they communicating in some internal fashion? Or are they waiting for something?

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We may never know.

Entry compiled by: Bartholomew Moon

F#16: Butterfly Dragon (Draconis Papilionem)

Name: Butterfly dragon (Draconis Papilionem)

Classification: Fauna

Designation: Neutral

Notes: A standard feature of greetings cards, the butterfly dragon is a shy creature that prefers a warmer climate and plenty of fruit and nectar. A great place to spot them is an orchard after the first windfalls; descending in large flocks to feast on the fruit and bask in the sunshine.

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Wild cherries are another favourite food.

Many attempts have been made to domesticate this member of the dragon family, but aside from a butterfly dragon perching on your hand there is not much chance of this.

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They are not a species that thrives in captivity; well known to ‘fade’ both literally, their bright colours becoming dull, and figuratively, a greatly reduced lifespan. It’s far better to watch them in your garden, and wait for them to return the following summer.

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Entry Complied by: Keeley Claremont

F#15: Imps

Name: Imp

Classification: Fauna

Designation: Neutral

Description: No more than a couple of centimetres in length when fully grown, the imp comes in a variety of colours and markings. Their young are born with spotted fur, which begins to fade into their adult colouring at six weeks old.

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A young imp, probably a week old

Notes: Imps are widely considered a pest, eating fruiting crops and raiding food stores- it is said that just one imp can decimate a larder of a large family!

Imps live in family groups, and have a short lifespan of at most five years. They reproduce, on average, twice a year; with litter sizes of one to four implets.

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A small family group
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An implet emerges from the nest behind a broken brick in our courtyard

Entry compiled by: Keeley Claremont

F#14: Tuft

Name: Tuft

Classification: Fauna (insect)

Designation: Neutral

Description: A fluffy green winged creature with a leafy face and shiny black eyes.

Notes: The tuft is possibly of fae origin, and is found in places where the skin between worlds is at its thinnest. When capture of one is attempted; the tuft appears to be able to manipulate its own corporeality, literally slipping through the fingers of its would-be captor.

Entry Compiled by: Evelyn Morris

 

F#13: Minluth (Filauny Child)

Name: Minluth, Filauny child

Designation: Fauna

Class: Benign??

Description: Small grey-furred humanoid with powerful hind legs; solid blue eyes; face markings: intentional, possibly traditional (some sort of dye?).

(Note on the name Filauny- we couldn’t ascertain if this was the name of her species, or just of her people/family group. One and the same? Are there others?)

I try to keep these entries purely factual, but today I’ll have to descend into anecdote. I apologise.

We came across the filauny child Minluth in our own back garden/courtyard at the seaflower institue when she tried to use it as a short cut. We were outside, making the most of a rare dry day, when the small figure scrambled down the fence.

Needless to say, she was not expecting a curious party of researchers; just as we were not expecting a small intelligent humanoid no one had ever heard of.

At first we weren’t sure if she could speak english, though she seemed to understand it. Turned out she was just shy; and after Thursday offered her a piece of chocolate the pair of them got quite chatty.
A forest dwelling species of intelligent small humanoids, we gather that the Filauny are proud hunters and have a complex societal structure and culture- more than could be learned in such a short, chance meeting.

Minluth is ten years old, and seems to be taking part in a coming of age ritual, wherein she carries three vials from her home settlement across the countryside to a sacred location. One contains soil from the forest, one an assortment of seeds, and the third water. Once she reaches the sacred place, she tells us, she must plant the seeds with the water and soil, then fill her three bottles with sap tapped from a particular tree. She then makes the return journey and, if she survives, becomes an adult.

She’s not allowed to ask for help on the journey, but is allowed to accept if it is offered to her freely and without prompting. Until the chocolate we gave her, she said, she hadn’t eaten for three days.

She had to leave and continue her task, much to my disappointment, but told us that her people live in deep woodland east of here. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll visit and learn more?


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