First brought to the Britain by the Victorians, the ornamental hippogriff still wanders the grand estate grounds and parkland- and the countryside, as they quickly escaped captivity and flourished independently.
Unlike their large winged cousins, who thrive in cold climates, this breed of small hippogriff prefers mild winters; they keep their short, soft fur all year ’round and don’t grow the distinctive thick white fur that true hippogriffs are known for.
Avid insectivores, these creatures are a great solution to garden pests- particularly fond of slugs and caterpillars.
Due to their association with wealth and land, they often appear on heraldry and in portraits: a symbol of fortune.
This six legged rodent is an effective harvester, active in hedgerows, farmland, woods and even urban environments from spring to autumn.
Commonly characterized in folklore and stories as greedy and selfish, the hexury is merely an accomplished survivor; weathering even the harshest winters with ease in their secure, cosy ‘pantries’.
They make their winter home in a variety of places, including rocky crevices, rotten logs and holes in tree roots.
Once their collection is deemed sufficient, they seal themselves inside with a wall of gathered fur, dry grass, mud and saliva. Once secured, a typical hoard can last up to six months, though rarely is that required.
Sometimes called ‘cloud mouse’ or ‘false dragon’, the silkwing is delicate creature that is often romantically described as ‘travelling with the winds’.
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.
Come early October, after a month of socializing and cementing strong flock relationships, the silkwings migrate to winter in the southern hemisphere.
This summer may be full of weird cult activity and necromancer shennanigans, but the Seaflower Institute still has normal work to do.
Well, comparatively normal, I mean. Like, going to check up on an ancient dragon. That kind of normal.
The village of Lyminster in West Sussex is home to Knucker Hole, a supposedly bottomless blue pool. It was in this pool, the legend goes, that the Knucker lived; a fearsome dragon that tormented the local villages, until it was eventually slain- either by a knight in the traditional fashion, or a cunning baker via a poisoned pie.
More likely, the dragon activity subsided due to the dragons hibernation cycle, which typically involves napping for a few hundred years.
We like to keep an eye on the Knucker, so every five years or so, someone goes to check its still alive- and this time it was me and Jesper’s turn. So, armed with dragon repellent and welly boots, we ventured to sussex.
The farmers whose livestock graze in the surrounding fields are certainly taking no chances- as Jesper found out when he accidentally touched the stock fencing.
The pool is pretty secure behind a high gate and barbed wire-topped fence. We were let in, and stood at the edge of the water like two clueless kids on the doorstep of an ancient monster.
I was eating breakfast when I heard it: a rustling in the pantry. Best case scenario: it was a foraging venomstriker; worst case scenario: I had mice.
Turns out, it wasn’t either of those: when I opened the cuboard; armed with a glass and a roll of newspaper, I found this little guy:
This is a devilmite, so named for its horned appearance and tendency to steal food. (i.e. Begone, devilmite!)
It was obviously used to people, and didn’t make a fuss when I took it outside- it even stuck around to suss me out, before scooting over the wall next door (A bakery, where it will probably decimate their stock. Oops.)