The wildlife of Shima is, for the most part, elegant. The creatures of this land have not had to worry so much about being wiped out by Humans, as creatures of other parts of Svet have. The mighty Eastern Dragons are considered the greatest above all else, while spotted Sika Deer are a common sight.
Eastern Dragon Edit
Arguably the most famous of Shima's creatures, are the Eastern Dragons, mighty, serpentine creatures of great power and glory. These creatures are practically worshiped by the people of Shima, and have been known to share their knowledge in return for tributes. These creatures are exceptionally intelligent, able to speak the language of Humans. They live for hundreds of years, and remember all that they see.
There are different sorts of these Dragons, generally different depending upon their element. Water Dragons are aquatic creatures, great guardians of the seas, rivers, and lakes. Lightning or Sky Dragons soar through the air, and are said to live in thunderstorms and the high peaks of the mountains. Fire Dragons are known to either fly or walk, and have great breaths of fire.
Sika Deer Edit
A harmless ungulate of Shima, the Sika Deer is a relatively small creature, often hunted for both its hide and its meat. It measures at about three feet tall at most, and is a skittish creature. They are a common sight in the forests and grasslands of Shima.
Compared to deer in other parts of Svet, the Sika Deer is actually a rather unremarkable creature, being one of the smallest of the deer family, and lacking the prominent antlers of others. There have been some attempts to tame and herd these creatures, but all attempts have ended in failure. Their natural fearful instincts are just too strong to overcome.
Emerald Hummingbird Edit
The Emerald Hummingbird, a creature known for its great beauty. The Emerald Hummingbird is a symbol of purity and grace, and the people of Shima often put out feeders to attract the creatures to their homes. These birds have a great love of sugar water, and are known to congregate at the feeders that people put out. They tend to be relatively skittish of people, allowing humans to get within about 10 feet of them, but fleeing if the individuals attempt to get too close.
In addition to their beauty and elegance, they are also known to be a part of a dark omen. If a cat catches and kills a hummingbird, and then deposits the corpse on the doorstep of a family's home, it is said that that family will have great hardship, perhaps even bad enough to destroy the family. This can be especially bad for commoners, as, unlike the royal and noble families, they have little means with which to gain the favor of the gods, or appease them.
Shima is the home of numerous breeds of small felines. These creatures are generally kept as pets, though wild ones can be found all over the country. To humans, they are relatively harmless, though to the wildlife of Shima, they can be a real threat. A pack of wild cats can take down a Sika Deer.
The Cats of Shima are also known to be a part of many omens, known to bring both good and bad luck, as well as forewarn of both disaster and great bounty.
A fish that exists both in captivity and in the wild, the Koi is a peculiar creature, being completely ignorant of the dangers of humans. Even in the wild, they are tame enough for one to simply reach into the water and grab one of the fish. In addition to this, they have a large range of sizes, with the smallest being only a couple of inches, and the largest being massive, two foot long behemoths. Overall, Koi provide both a food source, and an elegant pet for the people of Shima. One will often find Koi Pools in the gardens and homes of wealthy individuals, with many of these fish swimming about lazily, eating the scraps of the family. Some even bathe with the fish, believing that they having curative abilities, improving the health of the individual.
A staple food source for the people of Shima, the Quail is a small bird, only capable of limited flight. These creatures are plentiful on the island, and are eaten by individuals of all classes.
Feeding on worms and bugs, Quail are actually a welcome sight in the fields of farmers, at times, as they will bypass the young plants in favor of the insects that would harm the plants. The only real annoyance, however, is their habit of clawing and digging at the soil in search of worms, which can damage the seedlings.
In addition to being a food source, the feathers of Quail are often used as fletching for arrows. Admittedly, there are superior alternatives, but less wealthy factions must make due.
Flying Fox Edit
To foreigners,the Flying Fox is a terrifying creature, a nighttime monster that flies through the air on leathery wings. To the people of Shima, it is a welcome guest, a harmless nocturnal fruit eater. This creature has a wingspan that can reach as much as four feet in length, and it is known to accidentally make its way into the storage houses of humans, if they are not secured. It is curious, but wary, of humans, and prefers to keep its distance, though its watching eyes are known to make one's hair stand on end.
There is actually a tale behind the Flying Fox. It is said that there was once a man who owned an orchard. However, he refused to let anyone else touch the fruits, or even look at them. They were glorious, tasty fruits. One day, the Emperor came to his home, and requested to try one of the golden treats. The man refused, and when the Emperor ordered him to be seized, he fled. He was chased all over Shima, and hid in the darkest, most deprived of places. Eventually, his hate and greed changed him, and showed what he really was. Now, he flies all over the island every night, ever hiding from the Emperor, and ever seeking the most succulent of fruits.
When one thinks of cunning in Shima, the animal that comes to mind is generally the Ferret. These creatures are similar to Cats, in that they are kept as pets, while still having counterparts in the wild. Where they differ, is in that they prefer to live solitary, or in mating pairs. They are smart enough to be trained to understand simple commands, and can perform surprisingly complicated jobs. A Ferret can be taught to sneak into enemy camps and commit sabotage, as well as steal documents and generally harass the enemy. It is surprising how much damage a Ferret screeching every two minutes can do to the sanity of a unit, especially when they are trying to sleep.
Ferrets are often kept as pets, as well as covert operatives. It is not uncommon to find them in the company of Warlords as well as Ninja.
Shima's waterways are not always as safe as they seem, for beneath the calm surface, or floating at the top like a piece of drifting wood, are Crocodiles. These creatures can be dangerous, especially to children and livestock. Growing to as long as 15 feet in length, and having tough, scaly skin, these reptiles are a bane upon the existence of those who live by the river.
In some places, however, they are also respected, and even worshiped as bringers of rain and fertile lands. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, though it is known that one should not trust a Crocodile's Smile.
Scavengers, thieves, cunning strategists, the Jackals of Shima are many things. Welcomed is not one of these things. They prey upon the livestock of Shima's farmers, and are known to harass travelers for sport. Luckily, they seem to have little interest in actually hunting humans, but more than one warrior lost after battle, has returned with terrifying tales of things in the dark, horrifying growls and smiles, something biting at him, but never seen. The Jackal is a trickster of Shima, and it is said that it is the son of Apaphos himself. This is quite believable, as the creature has all of the marks of the God of Trickery.
Luma Moth Edit
The Luma Moth, a brilliant, beautiful specimen of a creature. With glowing wings, and a non-aggressive lifestyle, the Luma Moth has gained fame as being a guide, a bringer of good omen, a messenger of the Gods. Whatever the case may be, this creature has not failed to capture the imagination. Its glowing wings shine brightly in the darkness of the night, and yet, nothing seems to have any interest in attacking it.
These creatures are known to congregate around cherry blossom trees in the first days of spring, thus marking the change of seasons. They also appear once, in the final week of fall, as if to bid farewell before their winter hibernation.
It is said that the wings of a moth who has died of natural causes are useful in medical ointments and, if ground up and served in tea, ease pain and stress.
Royal Crane Edit
The symbol of the Emperor's rule, the Royal Crane is a majestic creature, pure in its ways, and simple in its lifestyle. It is a hunter of the weak, but it is not a foolish creature. It knows when the time to strike is, and has great patience in its craft.
Royal Cranes also mate for life, and if one of the mates dies, the other crane will not find a new mate. Often, it will remain in the area of its mate's death, even into the harsh winter months. Due to this, the remaining mate does not generally survive for much longer. It is said that the cries of the surviving mate are a bittersweet call, a sound that speaks of loss and agony.