The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

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Saturday, June 7, 2008


Kender are race comparable to hobbits and halflings. Kender are depicted as being slight, nimble, and short. The typical kender has keen senses, a light-hearted personality, and intense curiousity leading to unconscious petty theft and an almost-total immunity to the emotion of fear.
Appearance and traits
Kender are small creatures, rarely more than 4 feet tall, and often compared to human children. Like elves, kender have pointed ears and slightly slanted, almond-shaped eyes. Their eye color ranges from green, blue and brown to any combination of those colors. Kenders grow wrinkles at a very young age, and these are seen as attractive by many kender (some kendermaids try to grow them through various methods, much like humans and other races try to remove them). Kender hair color is usually brown or black, with occasional kenders bearing red/orange and blond hair. Their hair is usually a lighter shade than other races because of all the time they spend outside. A generic kender hairstyle is the topknot, where the hair is grown long and then tied up in a knot on the top of the head. A kender's topknot is usually a source of pride for them. Temple braids are a sign of noble descent among kender. Kender tend to have high pitched voices, but their body allows them to make a wide range of noises, making them apt ventriloquists, animal imitators, and many other roles. When kender are excited, their voice tends to revert to a normal high pitch, and they speak very quickly.

There are conflicting sources that state the origin of kender. Irda once stated that kender descend from the gnomes. When the Greygem of Gargath was released, the gnomes present who desired the gem for greed were turned into dwarves, and those who wanted it for curiosity were turned into kender. However, the dwarves state that when the Greygem came to Krynn, its chaotic magic transformed an elven army into the first kender and a dwarven army into the first Gnomes. Apparently it is unknown who they originated from, and perhaps the kender like it that way.

Kender have an odd trait that is rather like kleptomania, where they unwillingly or unconsciously pick up objects. Kender see this as the uncanny habit of finding things that have dropped into their pouches by accident, picking things up in the streets, finding "junk", and generally getting things that belong to other people. This art is known as "Handling" for them, and is one of the reasons they are very unpopular among the other races of Krynn.

Kender don't seem to think there is anything wrong with this, and get genuinely surprised when they see the things that have fallen into their pouches. Kender oppose thieving vehemently, and thus consider being called a thief or cutpurse a great insult to their dignity, ironic given that Kender are inborn with every natural skill that is ideal for a thief. The small race, however, do not tend to "find" things like money, gems, etc. A really interesting shaped leaf will hold more value than a steel coin, because steel coins are everywhere, whereas that interesting shaped leaf hasn't been seen before.

Kender Handling is known to get Kender in to deep trouble. Usually, the owner of the item angrily tries to reclaim the item, which can be deadly if the owner in question is a Minotaur or Draconian. On rare occasions, Kender find cursed artifacts such as a ring that forcibly teleports them from place to place, wands with powerful spells inside, and on one occasion, a statue that can Polymorph the owner into an adolescent Bronze Dragon.

Another aspect of Kender Handling, is their enormous natural curiosity. It's said that the worst thing you can do to a Kender, is isolate it. Trained and otherwise brave warriors have degenerated into a state of sheer panic when hearing a nearby Kender say, "I'm bored".
Kender also have uncanny lockpicking skills, which is a favorite pastime of theirs, and almost every Kender carries a lock picking kit with them. Much like everything else, this is like a game to Kender, and if, for instance, one were arrested, he would likely unlock his shackles or prison door, then go complain to the guard that it was too easy and they should think of upping security. The only reason a lock is ever on the door to a Kender home is to amuse any guests who might stop by.

Kender have a very sharp wit and tongue, and as such, are masters at the art of insulting people. Kender see great flaws with most of the insults directed at them and take delight in showing people what a real insult is like. Kender seem to have a wide repertoire of insults for any race and any occasion, and have no clue when is the right time to stop insulting someone.

Many speculate that the two above traits are byproducts of the kender's odd fearlessness. This is a physical trait of kender — they cannot feel fear. There have been incidences where kender have stood near huge monsters and wondered if they could say hello. Kender rarely feel fear, and most only feel it through magical means. For example, one of the most famous kender, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, has felt fear through magical means — at Shoikan Grove, after being subject to Dragonfear. This fearlessness results in an almost permanent optimistic attitude and smile. Because literally feeling no fear means not being restricted very much, kender are always willing to try new things, whether that means traveling to a different place, playing a new game, learning to ride a dragon, or even dying an interesting way.
The kender mentioned above, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, is one of the few kender to ever experience real, non-magical fear. However, as Tas described it, this was not because of fear for himself, but for those he loved.

Kender are known for their extreme curiosity, a trait which carries the potential to get them into trouble. Possessing an inborn obsession with new or interesting objects or areas, kender often find themselves driven by impulse to "handle" something or explore unfamiliar terrain. Because of this, kender enjoy maps greatly, even making their own (with great enthusiasm) to add to their collections. They also have a tendency to involve themselves in issues or procedures they should stay out of due to this trait, often causing chaos to ensue. It has been said that the most dangerous word a kender can ever utter is "Oops."

Life cycle
Kender have typical births — the mother has a 9 month pregnancy and usually has one child at a time. An average kender mother will have three to five children in her lifetime. Kender names are chosen from a wide range of sources, such as corruptions of other words, like Cassel from Castle, or recent events or items in pouches, like Bearchase, Lockpick, Fruitthrow, etc. Infants mature at about the same rate as humans.

As children, they come to rely on family and friends for needs, and the main contributors to a young kender's growth are often called their grandparents, uncles and cousins, regardless of actual family ties. At around 4 or 5, "kenderkids" begin to take part in their communities and to constantly ask questions. While others may feel this stage in a child's life is the most annoying, it is seen by kender parents to be a beautiful stage in life. Some do not give proper answers, in order to further encourage the child's curiosity. As they age, kender children gain education by hearing stories, desiring to acquire new skills, and playing games. They also begin handling and wandering.

Some kender volunteer themselves to keep the kenderkids amused, and are referred to as "Kender Wranglers." These people have fences and locks on their houses—not for security, but so that the children can climb and pick them if they want. Wranglers who watch over adolescent and teen-aged kender are called "Game Masters." As kender reach this age, not only do they seek out these Game Masters, but they also become more active participants in "Kender Moots," social gatherings where the youth can show off their newly found skills in games and demonstrations.

As they near adulthood, kender experience intense wanderlust and leave home. Most spend their entire adult lives wandering around the world. Most of the population of Krynn has been exposed to the adult variety of kender, and as such have adapted the word kender to mean thief, rogue, or cutpurse. Kender take great offense to these epithets, especially the last. Otherwise, they build up close friendships during the wandering stage of their lives, at least with people who can understand and cope with them.

"Settling down" begins between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. This is a gradual process, whether the kender wonders what's happening back home and decides to go visit, or unconsciously wanders back. They may stay for a bit and then go back adventuring. Eventually the traveling will become shorter and the visits home longer until they return to their city for good and buy or build a home. Most kender find a mate during this stage and live together. They also start to informally choose professions and to pass on their talents to the next generation, possibly becoming parents, Game Masters or Kender Wranglers.

Kender age slowly and often do not realize it is happening, remaining childlike in comparison to other races even when their bodies slow down. When kender die, it is traditional to give something meaningful to their spirit. Funerals are held, at which the people who knew them express their grief, but kender view death as the next great adventure, and don't linger too long on sadness. Kender are usually interred somewhere that was meaningful to them in life or as they died, or simply at a particularly nice spot. Graveyards are uncommon, and in Hylo, a deceased kender's body is set sail on a burning raft rather than buried.

All kender weapons can double as instruments. There are two kinds of kender weapons: ones that end in "-pak" or "-ak" are heavier weapons and are usually described as being used by the males, while the ones that end in "-pik" or "-ik" are lighter and depicted as being typically employed by female kenders.
A kender weapon, the hoopak resembles a cross between a slingshot and a spear. The hoopak is a long wooden staff with two prongs and elastic at one end and a sharp metal point at the other. The hoopak can be used as a spear, quarterstaff, or sling. It produces a distinctive whirring, buzzing noise when whirled.
Another kender weapon, the chapak is akin to an axe. The head may be taken off and swung, making it a long-ranged weapon. When the head is removed the chapak may be used as a flute.
Another kender weapon, primarily described as being used by the females. Like a hoopak, it can be used as a staff, sling, or noisemaker. In Tales of Uncle Trapspringer it is shown that this weapon is capable of firing small arrows. It may be strung for use as an instrument.
The battak is a hollowed out club made of a hard wood that is wider at one end than the other. The larger end provides access to the inside of the club, which may be used to store rocks, pellets, or any form of bullet. The projectile is removed and the club is then used a a bat to swat the bullets at targets. The battak may also be used as a kind of rattle.
This weapon is depicted as originating from a yoke to carry water buckets. The sithak is fitted with a blade on both ends to be used as a double scythe. There is a curved hook on the ends where a string may be fastened to fire arrows or to act as a string instrument.
This is described as the largest of all kender weapons, and is primarily used by wood cutters. It is a pole arm six feet in length and can be separated into three two foot sections. One end has a hammer spike and piercing beak. The other end is an axe backed by a hammer head and saw blade. The middle is hollow and wrapped in sheep skin that can hold up to six darts. Metal rings circle the pole at one foot intervals. The rings may be played as chimes by hammering on them.
This is an eight foot pole normally used for spear fishing or pruning trees. One end of the pool has a short blade attached to it. The blade may be removed and used as a normal short sword. The pole also holds up to a dozen caltrops.
This weapon is a bola / belt. The metal balls hang from a series of quick release hoops. It can be used as a bola or flail. It can be spun to create a high pitched tone.

A special thanks to wikipedia, the writer of Dragonlance, and to phoenixelement of deviantart for this slightly stolen image

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