“Shbors are truly majestic, I have seen one with my own eyes. Luckily, he didn't engage with me, but the ground we were on was infested with magic. It's a theory of mine that crimsons only grow in areas with loads of magic around.”
Shbors are a peculiar species because they’re not real animals. They are an artificial creatures created by crimson berries as a form of protection. As such, they have no mind of their own, but are completely controlled by sentient berries, basically serving as their extension. They are created out of plants, with branches for bones and vines for muscles, and they mimic the forest wildlife.
Crimson berries are rare magical berries endemic to the forests of Northern Ladvolja and they only grown in places rich in soul. Ladvoljan people believe they have powerful healing properties and can even bring people back to life. While there are many myths about them, in reality they hold only one power and that is enhancing magical properties of potions.
Shbors’ bones are made of kralreve wood, a specific type of wood that is prized for being light but firm. This wood is another reason why they are hunted, besides people trying to steal the berries. Shbors are majestic creatures, very elegant and peaceful in nature, but that changes as soon as someone threatens berries. Then they attack decisively and mercilessly, using their plant manipulation magic in full force, usually ending in death of an attacker.
Table of Contents
3. Anatomy 3.1. Size 3.2. Movement 3.3. Senses 3.4. Reproduction
4. Ecology 4.1. Diet 4.2. Natural predators 5. Behaviour 5.1. Habitat 5.2. Social structure 5.3. Communication 5.4. Life expectancy
6. Interactions with humans 7. Magic
In Ladvoljan language, word “shbor” would roughly translate to “evergreen tree of the forest”.
Due to having countless legends circling about them, Shbors were hunted in the past by adventurers who wanted to prove themselves and get their hands on precious berries. Shbor babies were hurt the most because they had berries grown on their heads so they could be collected right out of their bodies. Adult Shbors were hunted for a different reason: kralreve wood, especially present in their big thick ribs.
Nowadays, the hunts on Shbors mostly stopped, only exceptions being occasional young adventurers too bold for their own good.
Shbors change a lot as they age, being loose and flowy when young and more rigid and woody when older. Young Shbors have loose grass all over their bodies and a singe berry branch on their forehead. Adult Shbors get bigger and pronounced ribs, emerging out of their belly and back, their branch turns to many shorter tusks and their grass turns to moss.
Shbors are about 1.7 CH in height and between 30 and 40 CW in weight.
They walk on all fours. As they get older, their ribs get more and more pronounced, eventually sprouting through their back. When this happens, it limits their movements and over time immobilizes them completely. They get thrown on their backs under the weigh of ribs and slowly die of starvation.
Despite not being real animals, they have real senses, but none of usual ones really stands out.
However, Shbors sense vibrations through the roots in the area, so they are easily alerted when someone is approaching.
Shbors don’t reproduce sexually but leave crimson berry seeds after they die. Their corpses sprout new bushes of crimson berries if they die in an area with enough magic and those bushes create new Shbors.
Shbors are herbivores and will eat any plant besides crimson berries. They often regrow their body using the material from food they consume.
4.2. NATURAL PREDATORS
They have no natural predators. Usual animals wouldn’t be able to hurt them even if they tried but they mostly understand Shbors’ purpose and don’t get near. Only predators they ever come across are humans, but even that happens very rarely.
They live whenever crimson berries are. Crimson berries are an endemic species to the forests of Northern Ladvolja which are very cold and soul infested. Berries need huge amounts of soul to grow and thrive so they’re very rare.
Shbors tend to never leave crimson bushes’ side, spending their whole lives in limited areas around them.
5.2. SOCIAL STRUCTURE
They have no social structure, every bush creates two or three Shbors that aren’t dependent of or interact with each other.
Shbors don’t communicate among themselves because there is no need for them to. They only communicate with their bush that controls them, so all of them share the information through the united mind of berries.
5.4. LIFE EXPECTANCY
They die either by someone killing them or by natural death after being immobilized by their own bones.
6. INTERACTIONS WITH HUMANS
Shbors have a low frequency of interacting with humans.
Throughout history, they were a source of many folk stories and legends to Ladvoljan people. The most famous ones are about Kings bringing their heroic sons back from the land of death using the power of crimson berries. Crimson berries were believed to hold great healing properties and that they’re infused with pure magic.
Humans used to hunt Shbors for berries but reports on such behavior have been dropping rapidly over years and are very rare nowadays.
Shbors use plant magic. They can manipulate roots, vines, branches and all other plant forms in the area. The most common use is attacking a threat from below, tripping them on roots and trapping them with vines. Once a target is immobilized and if the attack itself wasn’t enough to kill it, Shbors attack their enemies’ faces, clawing them to death.
first animal ever created in NocthoVerse
one of Ladvolja specific creatures
one of symbols of Ladvolja
inspired by wolves and foxes
Written & edited by: Worldbuilding by: Cadence Nocthonax