Razanian Coast Environmental Notes
by Matt O'Malley
Flora and Fauna specific to the Razanian Coast, as passed on by the naturalist orator Huris:
Orif - a family of trees, consisting of three different species. Each specie varies slightly from the others in leaf, bark, and size. They share one peculiarity among trees: they move. Each individual tree will move perhaps one to two feet a month. Their locomotion is achieved by an uprooting of the farthest back roots, a twisting of the trunk and root ball, and finally a re-insertion of the raised roots. None of this movement is obvious to the human eye; someone would have to watch an Orif for days to become aware that anything more than an odd and specific wind was evident. Though the object of much study, no one knows the purpose of an Orif's movement. All of the trees are not moving in a certain direction, nor are they congregating towards a certain point. It is even doubtful that they are moving towards a better growth site, as some have been found trying to climb the Mountains of the Rim. This seemingly random movement has made the development of permanent roads difficult along the Razanian Coast, and towns need to keep wary of the approaching forest. Orif are the subject of many stories in which they help a lost Razanian in the woods, creating shelter or pointing the person in the right direction. The Aryisans have started clearing away large numbers of Orif in their nation.
Thysle - a plant that is abundant along the Mountains of the Rim range. Its strong yellow-green leaves splay out from a trunk that rises two to three feet in the air, and can be harvested by cutting the trunk or stripping the leaves, neither of which will kill the plant. The fibers of the leaves can be separated, resulting in a very light white-green strand, soft to the touch but strong. These strands are then woven into remarkably comfortable clothes.
Gurder - the beast of burden native to the Razanian Coast. It is an omnivore. An incredibly muscular creature with a large shaggy head, it walks on two legs and has no arms. Though bipedal, it bears little resemblance to a human: its legs are spread wider apart and face out at forty-five degree angles; its body seems more like a round mass of muscle; its head rests on its body; its face is elongated with its mouth sprouting forward, and its eyes are set almost on the sides of its head. A gurder can be harnessed with a stock around its neck and shoulders, and is often used to pull either a plow or a cart. The Gurder hide is used for clothing and other leather goods.
Sil - a small fast rodent that runs on two legs, very intelligent. It is adorned with colorful feather-like hair, and has one strong arm with a thumb appendage, and one arm that has atrophied to uselessness. It is used by the Razanians as a messenger, carrying a written document or communicating using a rhythm pattern taught to it. It has an incredible sense of smell and sight, and good hearing as well. The Sil is used like a homing pigeon, in that it has one main person or small group of people that it knows by sense and will track down. First it is pointed in the correct direction, and then it runs straight for a certain time (designated by an earlier rhythmic communication). At that point it begins to track on its own. If the Sil goes for more than two days without finding its "home", it will usually wander for a week or two before returning to its origin location. If a message absolutely must get somewhere, a human messenger is invariably sent to follow-up on the Sil. But the Sil are excellent in their capacity as true homers. The Aryisans refuse to use what they call useless rodents. Some Asagmari use Sil as a slang term for the Razanians.