F#32: Woodsprites

(This creature is available for adoption on etsy!)

Woodsprites are there all year round, but it’s in the autumn that their population explodes. That’s when it’s time to gather them up from the overpopulated woods, and spread them out a bit.

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They may be curious and playful, but they aren’t the smartest creatures, and need a hand so that their habitats don’t get crowded out.

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Sprites are gentle nature spirits, and like to spend their time exploring, eating and sleeping. The live on a diet of tree bark, sap and nuts and berries.

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No two sprites look the same, with their own individual markings and features- though some of these do crop up more than others.

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Sprites make for affectionate companions, and will happily adjust to house and garden living.

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They like having new places to explore!

 

 

 

 

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F#30: Feral Faeries (Hominus Minimus)

When the faerie and human realms were sealed off from one another by the great Nightwarp storm; what happened to those left behind?

Some, like the Filauny we have covered previously, formed remote and reclusive colonies. Others turned feral: for example Hominus Minimus or the Little Fairy.

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Preserved specimen of  Hominus Folium being handled before framing.

These faeries, once playful and mischievous, suddenly found themselves lost without the guidance of their lost courts; turning scavenger and hunter to survive.

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Hominus Scarabius

These days it’s rare that you’d see faeries like these in the wild- they favour remote places where the skin between worlds is at its thinnest, where they feel closest to their lost people. However, many natural history collections have preserved specimens like the ones you see here, available to study.

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Hominus Mantis

 

Hominus Folium
Hominus Folium

(Like what you see here? These framed fairies are now available on our etsy store!)

F#29: Mosswatcher

If you ever get that neck-prickling feeling of being watched, look down. Odds are, you’ll see a pair of golden eyes peering at you from the grass or verge.File_003

Mosswatchers are a little studied phenomenon; a small, curious beast that seems to have only one hobby- care to guess?

They watch.

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In fact, they have been known to watch for days at a time, and possibly even longer. Some theorise that they acquire their mossy coats from sitting still for weeks, or even month.

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F#27: Silkwing

Sometimes called ‘cloud mouse’ or ‘false dragon’, the silkwing is delicate creature that is often romantically described as ‘travelling with the winds’.

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As autumn arrives, you’ll see silkwings far more often in the skies along the coast. They’ve flown in from the inland meadows where the spend the summer; riding the strong winds to wheel and gather in flocks of tens to hundreds strong. IMG_5657

Come early October, after a month of socializing and cementing strong flock relationships,  the silkwings migrate to winter in the southern hemisphere.

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Goodbye ’til next summer, cloud mouse.

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F#20: Hekbune

Hekbune- Filauny Male

Fae


For the past couple of days Percy, our resident manticore, has been very interested in the little courtyard garden at the back of the institute. It took us humans a while to catch on- we were being watched.


This is our second encounter with a member of the reclusive filauny species, and after a patient couple of hours of Evelyn and I sitting outside and trying not to look threatening, he finally came out from behind the plant pots.



He introduced himself as Hekbune, still clutching a tiny slate knife and shaking a bit, and said he’d come to thank us for offering assistance to his little sister on her pilgrimage.

So we offered him a cup of tea, and got him to put down the knife (Jesper also offered him a piece of that shortbread Mrs T makes for him and he uses as a doorstop. Jesper is no longer allowed at diplomatic meetings).


We asked Hekbune to tell us more about his people, but he was unconvinced.

However, he said, he would talk to his elders and see what they thought about us meeting them.

He did say that Minluth had been successful on her journey, and is now a fully-fledged clan member.



We offered him a tour of the institute, and he seemed intrigued- but when we took him to the archives he didn’t even make it across the threshold before he backed out, his hands shaking, muttering about ancient evil.

Looks like the archives could do with another cleansing ritual…

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#12: Puffmote

 

Name: Luminous Puffmote, Airbag Salamander*

Classification: Fauna

Designation: Neutral

Description: A Fully-grown male puffmote measures from 2-5cm long (nose to tail) with a dark coloured body and lighter, bioluminescent markings.

A Female or ‘Queen’ puffmote has a longer, snakelike body. She is typically white, with darker markings, and a more defined crest or ‘crown’.

*Misnomer, puffmotes are unrelated to salamanders

Notes: puffmotes emerge from sleep in the late afternoon; often to be found hovering around flowers in sun-warmed places. The ones you’ll see in the daylight are typically the males, collecting nectar which is then stored in an internal pouch.

The puffmote Queen anchors herself to a plant stem, and is much harder to spot during the day. However, at night she is far more noticeable.

Often mistaken for the light of a glow worm or firefly, puffmote have bioluminescent markings. Males have a small glowing crest, and markings down to their tails. Queens have a bright crown and body spots, which they use in a ‘dance’ to attract mates.

 

Entry compiled by: Thursday Madaki

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