F#44: Rootball

Apologies for the late post! It’s been rather chaotic at the institute this week, what with it being Widowbird breeding season! Also, we have a stall coming up in Gloucester on Feb 3rd and 4th of interesting artifacts and specimens- so if you’re in the area, come and check it out at the ‘What’s Your Game’ larp fair!

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The rootball is found in damp areas perfect for fungus- woodland, rough ground, even some back gardens. Though essentially harmless, make sure your cat/dog/domesticated griffin doesn’t try and eat one- the mushrooms are usually poisonous.

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F#41: Sprigs

(Adopt a sprig from our etsy shop! Six available.)

It’s been a busy week at the SFI- festive preparations, major storms and power cuts abound! The greenhouse heater has given up, so some of the more sensitive occupants have come inside.

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Meet the sprigs; a faeries species also known as wandering roses or meadowmaids.

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During the summer months they are often found in the company of bees and other pollinators- so much so that at one time they were thought to be farming the insects.

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In a way, they are- flocks of sprigs will wander towards bee hives for a taste of honey; and, naturally, the bees are drawn to their flowers.

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During the winter, however, cold conditions threaten the survival of these fae creatures.

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And so, we have guests for the festive season, and tiny footprints everywhere. Good luck keeping them out of the chocolate.

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Intermission: Concept vs Creature

Today was the last day of my market stall! Thursdays comic will be posted as normal, and my etsy will also reopen the same day. Because of the market I don’t have a new creature for you- but I do have some comparisons of my concept sketches I draw before I start making them, and the eventual creature you see on the site. I hope this is interesting! 

One of my earliest creatures, sprout was little more than a scribble. I think he turned out cuter?

When is a hippogriff not a hippogriff? When it’s pretty much another creature entirely!
I stayed pretty close to the sketch here, but couldn’t get the face the same.
Hekbune: probably the closest to a sketch I have ever made. I drew him several times before attempting the model, so perhaps that’s why!

F#38: Cornus Martes

Also known as the ‘weasel dragon’ (though it has no link to the dragon species, this name probably due to the similarity of some features to that of Asian lung dragons), this creature roams some of the coldest climes of the northern hemisphere, with particularly high populations in northern Russia, Iceland and Greenland.

In other places, however, the weasel dragon is kept as a pet.

It is effective at keeping down mice, rat and rabbit populations, and also is an affectionate companion.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Today I’m off to Gloucester to run my market stall for a whole week! Unfortunately that means there won’t be a new creature on here next sunday- but check in to see some creature design sketches! 

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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F35: The Sock-Eating Monster

Diet: Socks, underwear, pencils, pens, assorted household items, Jesper’s car keys

Habitat: Under Katerina’s bed

Sock Eater available on etsy!

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Hello! My name is Katerina, and this is my monster. I caught him myself. I am six.

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The sock monster lived under my bed, and ate my stuff. Sometimes I give him the crusts off my sandwiches, because I don’t like them.

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He is shy of adults, but comes out when it’s just me. He ate all the crayons in my box.

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I was in trouble a bit for feeding him. When I grow up I want to be scientist like my uncle Jesper. That’s why I fed him, and took notes of all the things he ate:

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He sleeps most of the day, and comes out at night because he’s nocturnal. He only has two legs, and Uncle Jesper says that’s bipedal. His tail is very strong.

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Sock Eater available on etsy!

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#17: Seafoam Dragon

Seafoam dragon (Draconis Nausicaa)

Aquatic fauna

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The seafoam dragon is native to the Mediterranean sea, but this one showed up in Revery Harbour after a massive storm- she must have been blown off course.

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This small aquatic dragon has long webbed forefingers, perfect for breaking open tightly closed shellfish and mollusks. They breathe both underwater and out of it, and lay their eggs in the sand like turtles. A clutch normally consists of five, one to three of which are expected to hatch. Once all the surviving eggs hatch, the parent leads the hatchlings to the water, and they stay in the sandy shallows for a few days before venturing further out.

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Entry compiled by: Jesper Beattie

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