DUNCAN: Hello, and welcome to another tale of the wondrous creatures who stalk the fields and forests of our lands. I’m Duncan, your travel guide, and today we’re “exploring” the dungeon known as the Crumbling Ruins to learn about the Lunari that lurk within.
Of course, I’m no Warden, so I’ve asked Agatha, the guildmaster of Gateway, to explain the special traits of this dungeon’s Solari population. Agatha, thanks for joining us again.
AGATHA: It seems the least I can do after you treated me to a delicious lunch at the tavern. Ayodele always has the freshest vegetables for her salads!
DUNCAN: I prefer a nice cold cut myself. Too many nights spent foraging for greens in the wilderness, I guess.
So then! Last time you told me that Thorn Heath’s Lunari population boasted a particularly wide range of affinities. Is the same true of the Crumbling Ruins?
AGATHA: Even more so, actually…we’ve encountered Solari of all six of the most common affinities within the ruins.
Many of these are the same as the Solari that roam the Lunari Trail of Thorn Heath. The Growley, the Hatchwing, the Shellfox, and the Ryzo all appear in significant numbers inside the dungeon, and brave students have also spotted a few Buzzles.
DUNCAN: So these are basically the same as the ones that I might see on Lunari Trail?
AGATHA: Well, yes and no. Their behaviors are essentially similar, though the dungeon-dwelling Solari tend to be somewhat tougher than their “cousins” in the wild.
DUNCAN: Say Agatha, I’ve noticed that you call these beasts “Solari” even when they’re corrupted by the Moonrise. Shouldn’t they be called “Lunari?”
AGATHA: Technically yes, but I’ve found that using that name can create a negative bias in the listener’s mind. It suggests a greater divide between Solari and Lunari than actually exists, at least biologically speaking.
In fact, Wardens often use the term Solari to collectively include both the corrupted and non-corrupted versions of these creatures.
DUNCAN: Well I suppose that’s easier than having to always say “Solari and Lunari” whenever you want to include both kinds.
But anyway, back to the matter at hand. I don’t suppose I need you to reiterate what you told me last time about those five Solari, but I’m guessing they aren’t the only creatures in the dungeon.
AGATHA: Most certainly not. Another commonly encountered denizen of the Crumbling Ruins is the Kitzapp. Its Shock Tail skill—which every young Warden insists should be called “Shock Tails” due to the Kitzapp’s twin tails—has sent quite a few dungeon-exploring students running for the entrance!
DUNCAN: The Kitzapp’s quite a marvelous-looking creature, I must say. Its blue striping gives it such a lean, sleek appearance.
AGATHA: I quite agree. Did you know that the Wardens Guild has managed to breed a small population of Kitzapps with an entirely different color scheme? The primary fur color is a deep black, with striking magenta highlights. I’ve heard some call it an “Ebon Kitzapp,” though it’s technically identical to the more common Kitzapp in all ways.
DUNCAN: Fascinating? Would I be likely to encounter one of these in the Crumbling Ruins?
AGATHA: Oh no, the population is still quite limited. A few accomplished Wardens are granted the privilege of using these beautiful creatures on their team, but so far none have escaped into the wild.
DUNCAN: But that’s still just five different affinities. I haven’t heard you mention a Water Solari yet.
AGATHA: There is one Water Solari that appears in the Crumbling Ruins, though with relatively low frequency. The Wigglebyseeks out damp, shady places to live, and the ruins offer plenty of those. It doesn’t look terribly dangerous, but its Tongue Flipskill delivers a mighty punch!
DUNCAN: I vaguely recall seeing one of those in my single foray into the Crumbling Ruins, though I admit the next few minutes get a bit foggy.
AGATHA: Another Solari that makes rare appearances in the dungeon is the Weevolt. The Weevolt actually channels its Electric power to create atmospheric changes in its immediate environment. This results in its signature skill, the Ozone Cloud, which has quite a dizzying effect on its enemies.
DUNCAN: That’s another Electric Solari! You seem to have a lot of them here.
AGATHA: In fact, we often give mid-level students the assignment of deducing why Electric Solari are overrepresented in this dungeon. I think my favorite theory involves the existence of mysterious power generators buried under the ruins, which somehow attract Electric Solari to settle there. Of course, no one has ever discovered any evidence of these mysterious devices, but that doesn’t stop folks from perpetuating the story.
DUNCAN: Sadly, I’ve found that ignorance and lack of evidence seem to empower opinions entirely too often. Sometimes these people don’t even believe the claims of those who have seen something with their very own eyes.
AGATHA: Welcome to the life of a professional educator, Duncan.
Before we get too sidetracked, however, let me finish by describing the last two Solari that we’ve encountered in the Crumbling Ruins. The Kindlehoof is a Fire Solari with a particularly aggressive temperament, typified by its signature attack: Vicious Charge.
DUNCAN: Is it true that the Kindlehoof is angry because it eats rocks all the time? I know that would make me rather cross.
AGATHA: Well, I’ve had young students ask me that question many times. The truth is that the Kindlehoof doesn’t really care much about what it eats, because its stomach can transform virtually anything into the energy it needs. Even diamonds!
DUNCAN: You know, I can think of a few times when that would’ve been useful to me on my journeys. Not the diamonds part, but let’s say I’ve had some hungry nights.
AGATHA: Last but certainly not least is the Toddlerock. First discovered and named many years ago by Warden Nathaniel, this awkward-looking Solari seems at times to barely be able to stay upright. However, there’s nothing like the brief petrification that can come from the Toddlerock’s Lithic Pulse to teach young Wardens about respecting a foe no matter its appearance.
DUNCAN: Well, I suppose that brings us to a close. Agatha, do you suppose it’s too early to wander back to the tavern for tea?
AGATHA: Not at all, Duncan, not at all. Lead the way!
Join us next time as Duncan ventures into the sandy wastes of the Daharan Desert!
Solari of the Crumbling Ruins