In general, intelligent things are more interesting to play and fight against than mindless or instinctual ones. The odd encounter with a pack of hungry wolves can be fun, but three encounters in a row of things that just mindlessly attack with no regard for their own safety can get really dull for both sides. If you are putting intelligent creatures into a battle, however, it helps if they have a motivation that explains why they're willing to risk life and limb, and helps guide the monsters regarding when they're likely to call it a day and scarper.
Presented below are a number of examples of the kind of creatures that can be found in the world of Memento Mundi, and what sort of stats might be appropriate for them. This list is in absolutely no way exhaustive, and GMs are encouraged to come up with new and exciting creatures and abilities for their adventures.
Mainstay of fraught road travel everywhere.
The world of Memento Mundi contains most mundane animals, dinosaur-like Tyrant Lizards and many of the more plausible end of mythological beasts such as Wyverns, Pegasi topping out at around Chimeras. Many beasts have hard carapaces or scales that function like armour, though mammals tend not to.
A large, scaled creature with a vicious poisonous tail and stubby wings that it mostly uses for balance.
Bipedal lizards standing shorter than a man, with viciously sharp claws. OOC: Very much like a Jurassic Park velociraptor.
Gargantuan bipedal monsters with massive, powerful jaws. Tend to be loners or mated pairs, though often have swarms of scavenging Clawfiends too fast for them to catch following them around.
Both magic and divine power can give rise to creatures of various sorts. In general, magical rites can give rise to constructs animated in some appropriate fashion, which generally have appropriate abilities, and occasionally rudimentary intelligence. Divine power tends more to influence existing creatures - i.e. something touched by the power of the Leader might be taller and with radiant fur/plumage. There can be cross over on both these methods. What you won't generally find around Acryn, unless the Flux is involved, are spirits or ghosts as commonly seen in fantasy works, and they don't especially feature in religions or beliefs. The Serradic Empire has a greater tradition of ghosts and an afterlife, while Valydd has an idea of heroic vestiges left behind.
Many villages and towns on the east side of the Continent do have a tradition of local gods or guardian spirits. How much power there is to a given belief may have changed since the Upheaval.
Blessed creatures tend not to attack priests of the god that empowered them. A priest channeling the gaze of that god can usually communicate with the creature on a rudimentary level. Magically created creatures have no loyalty to mages of the rite that created them.
A huge stag standing taller than the height of a man with luxuriant white fur that blazes with an inner light. Empowered by the Tender, such creatures are often seen as a test for mighty hunters to prove their worth
Both the power of the Builder and the Rite of Scribing can give rise to suits or armour animated to fight as men. Lacking flesh, they can fight with no regard for pain.
Rituals of the rite of Wounding can be used to raise large numbers of corpses as semi-mindless undead servants for a mage. They can endure significant amounts of punishment, as nothing short of totally hacking apart their form destroys them. Knocking them to the ground or severing tendons with precise strikes are the best way to deal with them.
These zombies have arcane symbols inscribed on their frantically beating hearts that animates and rapidly heals them. Only destroying the heart will finally finish them off.
Twisted creatures sometimes created when enchanted reagents of the rite of consumption are fed to animals. They ceaselessly hunger for inorganic material, which they can digest extraordinarily quickly, and can do hideous damage to fortifications or industrial operations in a short time.
Most creatures encountered in the flux are very similar to those found outside it, changed only slightly by popular perception. Wolves might be slightly bigger and a little more senselessly vicious, Tyrant Lizards might literally be able to crack the earth by stamping their feet, but the essence of the creature stays the same, save that once slain or evaded they will ebb back into non-existence once the area they are in ceases to be stabilised. However, there are three sorts of flux creature that require special attention:
Perhaps the most discomforting thing to meet in the flux are beings that look, talk and act like people. Often they will conform to some sort of archetype - the farmer, the bandit, the nomad, the innkeeper, which will shape the way they act somewhat. Debate rages as to exactly how conscious or sentient these individuals truly are, and what is the ethical way to deal with encountering them, but like most other flux creatures they will fade away if allowed to. Some have tried bringing them into the consensus, but they tend to sicken and pass away within a few weeks even if constantly observed, and vanish earlier than that if not.
The best way to get around them is not to draw attention to the fact that they are not “real”, and allow them to play out whatever role they fit into. Sometimes, however, they come into being with a sense that keeping outside observers around is good for them, and may be hesitant to let travellers depart. In these cases, it is sometimes uncomfortably necessary to use violence to escape.
There are many dark stories in the world, and in the wake of the Upheaval, some of them have become that much more real. Nightmares is the general term given to creatures found in the flux that do not conform to normal expectations of biology or the creations of divine and magical powers (though they often bear some similarities to the latter). As well as being a hazard within the flux, these occasionally wander emerge briefly into the consensus from patches of flux recently stabilised, as many of the stories that have created included a tendency towards preying upon the unwary.
Rarest of all flux creatures, Anomalies are those that, for reasons as of yet unknown, come into being with some specific quality that allows them to self-sustain outside the perception of others, and travel into the consensus and out again with no obvious ill effect. These creatures tend to take the form of things that are either normally intelligent (so humans) or storied and potent, such as truly mighty examples of wildlife. Whether or not what they look like is normally intelligent, these creatures are always or around human intelligence, and many can talk despite having no obvious way of doing so.
Anomalies currently little understood, but what is known about them is enough that they are intensely feared. Anomalies come into being with the ability to travel through the flux between patches of consensus, navigating it seemingly effortlessly, though they seem to do so without causing stabilisation. As they continue to exist, they begin manifesting the ability to control the flux in a fashion that appears to be similar (though not identical) to that available to Wayfinders. Most notably, one of the oldest anomalies known to exist (Turaya, see below) has in recent months twice emerged from the Flux into patches of Consensus and unleashed a wave of power that caused the effect of Destabilisation, rending away the consensus around the villages and leaving only flux behind.
Based on this, the official line of the city is that Anomalies should be destroyed on sight, and a bounty is payable for successfully doing so (though this is often difficult to prove). The Wayfinder's guild has also offered a substantial bounty to anyone who can successfully bring them a captured Anomaly alive.
Tyrant Lizards are dangerous creatures at the best of times, but the beast known as Seismos has begun to gather a legend all of its own in recent months. Normal Tyrant Lizards stand perhaps 20 ft tall at their apex, but Seismos is closer to thirty, with joints augmented with gleaming spines up to five foot in length. When it opens its mouth to roar, people collapse to the ground with their hands to their ears from the noise.
Despite its fearsome appearance and size, however, Seismos has not yet shown itself to be aggressive, actively fleeing confrontations and using its tremendous roars to avert pursuers. Some claim, through the pain, to have heard the words “leave me alone” worked into the sound.
A masked human figure that is every bit the archetype of the dashing cat-burglar, wearing a black cape, black leathers and a mask across its face. The Thief has made appearances in all the cities on this side of the continent, and on the isle of Thys, every time appearing to make some grand theft and fleeing into the flux with the loot, which seems to vanish along with them once they evade pursuit. The Thief appears to have access to Temporary Destabilisation, as it forms a major part of their modus operandi, and they appear to be able to reconfigure the terrain rapidly to aid their flight while in the Flux. They also have an invisible barrier similar to that of a Wayfinder, but much more potent - it appears to cause weaponry and projectiles that strike it to be dramatically rent apart. No pattern has yet been discerned in The Thief's crimes, but many are convinced there must be one.
What exactly the dragons of legend are is a debate that has raged among scholars for generations. However, over the years, a popular perception of a dragon has emerged, combining elements of Wyverns, Tyrant Lizards, and stories of mastery over arcane power. Turaya is an anomaly that looks an awful lot like one of these storybook dragons, only covered in the arcane symbology of the Rite of Scribing, and with apparent access to most of the magics of that Rite. As mentioned above, she has recently emerged as a substantial threat to the sanctity of the Consensus, and those aware of her recent actions and capabilities have begun trying to work out what to do about her. Her attacks have been several months apart, so finding where she is hiding between them is thought to be a good start.