The Bahimut is a humongous, lumbering, and fortunately exceedingly rare, creature of the northern Germon Doith and the Moredein Kaerath in the northwest of Nybelmar. Capable of reaching heights of sixteen to eighteen peds, and weighing around an estimated 9000 pygges, the Bahimut is most likely the largest, or at least the heaviest creature to walk the lands of Caelereth. Even though it is easily followed due to its size and the wake of destruction it creates, many things surrounding these beasts remain veiled in mystery.
The first thing that
comes to mind when beholding a Bahimut, is that it cannot, possibly, ever be
real. Many people think it is much smaller than it really is, until they find a
pont of reference and their perception rescales the beast. Its towering height
is offset by a fairly balanced length of about twenty to twenty-five peds
counting the tail, making this an easy mistake to make. It has a remarkably
streamlined build for such a large creature, as one can draw the outline with a
single, flowing line all the way from the top of the flat, oblong skull, down
the long neck and sloping back to the tip of the stubby tail that barely reaches
he ground. Meanwhile, a second line would suffice to go from the head down the
front of the neck, torso, and front legs. It has at times jokingly been
implicated that drawing a Bahimut is perhaps one of the simpelest tasks to
perform, as it it merely a right triangle with a head. This of course completely
forgoes the fact that the Bahimut is too rare to be effectively drawn when one
desires a realistic result, as getting to see one is a hard enough task.
The Bahimut's skin is tough and leathery, ranging in thickness between two to five nailsbreaths. It is golden yellow, cinnabark brown, or anything in between, but displays irregular blue-grey and herne green stripes reaching from the spine along its neck and flanks, but never forming a full circle of colour.
The head of the Bahimut is, as mentioned a fairly smooth oblong shape about a ped and a half long, slattened slightly at the top. Two small, black eyes without eyelids provide the Bahimut with vision, although it does not seem to be able to detect unmoving objects, or things smaller than a few handspans wide. The nose however is quite well developed and consists of three vertical slits circa two spans long, situated right above the mouth. It is thought that this is the Bahimut''s primary sense, and that it identifies food and threats mostly by smell. The mouth is a lipless semicircle opening around the front side of the skull, and set with large, flat molars capable of grinding the strongest wood and even rocks into a paste.
The neck then is thick and well muscled, supplementing the strength of the jaws' ability to crush wood and stone with the force needed to transport the resulting mush to the beast's stomachs. It is set with a line of thick, metallic-looking spikes along the spine of lengths between two to four palmspans. These spikes may have various blotches of green, red or yellow, but are otherwise always a deep steel-blue colour. An odd fact is that though these spikes may appear strong and dangerous, they are in fact quite flexible and can be bend over by hand allone. (Preferably when the Bahimut has been killed of course.)
The legs are fairly short, on average one and a half to two peds long, but quite thick, often compared to tree-trunks. The Bahimut has anything between five to twelve toes on each foot, always distributed evenly around the circle-shaped soles. Eatch toe ends in a thick, blunt claw used to clamp on to rocky terrain, so that the ground will be less likely to give away underneath the beast on a slope.
The main bulk of the creature of course consists of its rotund body. dense and muscular, it has a rather unusually structured rubcage, with lateral 'side ribs' reinforcing the chest, and extra supporting bones in the upper legs that connect to secondary shoulder and pelvic joints to better transfer the weight unto the feet and lifting the stress on the spine somewhat.
Its digestive tract is also rather unusual, with six interconnected stomachs that can pump half-digested food from one to the other in various orders, even dividing and combining separate meals before passing it through to the bowels. One can only assume that this mechanism enables the Bahimut to devour both floral as well as mineral food effectively, and incorporate the various minerals and metals found in its food into its body.
While having no obvious special abilities to speak of, there are several
remarkable aspects concerning these beasts that can be considered "special".
First of these is the contruction of their heavy bones. Ordinary bones, no
matter the size would be shattered by the very weight of a being of this
magnitude. The Bahimut however has a quite remarkable method of re´nforcing the
most endangered sections of its skeleton. With minerals and ored derived from
the earth it consumes in such great
quantities, it introduces ores into its bones, forming a network of metal 'rods'
in and around the bones that strengthen it considerably. A side effect of this
seems to be that the skeleton of a Bahimut is in itself much harder than that of
smaller creatures or humans, more resembling
stone than the fairly brittle bones usually found in other species. While this
makes the bone more resistant to the natural pressure of the Bahimut's own
weight, it is also more susceptable to a blow from the side making it quick to
It must be noted that this is not the only creature displaying something alike to what is commonly known as "Bahimut Steel" (although the metal derived from both bones and spiked is only resemblant of steel by appearance). The copper lopstere found along many Caelerethian shores produces a similar substance resembling natural copper, in this case known as "lopcopper".
Territory. Bahimuts are only found wandering from the Germon Doilth into the Plains of Kaerath (located in the northwest of the continent of Nybelmar). It is unknown whether they originate from these mountains, or merely pass through them from another place, but if this is the case, nothing of this kind has ever been reported. Once upon the plains, they seem to lose focus, and merely wander around feeding of whetever might come across. They seem particularly attracted to the enormous thorncloud trees, but controversely tend to avoid the Mushroom Towers of the Morchini. It has been suggested that they dislike the smell of the latter, as they often tend to divert from their chosen path to avoid getting too close to one of these structures, even if this means backtracking along their own trail.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Bahimut displays in general only two actions; feeding, and traveling. It is either calmly trotting along, or feeding off any tree, shrub, field or meadow that happens to be nearby. It is rarely agitated or distressed, and there are reports of a Bahimut falling through the roof of a cavern, and slowly plodding its way back out of the hole again, spending three days just breaking at the rocks confining its body. Rivers are not a problem at all for the Bahimut, as it is either able to walk through without submerging, or walking along the bottom for the deeper parts, holding its breath for several minutes if needed.
Only when assaulted by humans does the Bahimut lose its calm demeanor. While still not the fastest animal on the disk, its sheer size and strength make it a formidable opponent that can fell entire groups of warriors with a single stroke of its tail, and can crush flesh and bones between its jaws as easily as wood and stone.
Diet. The Bahimut will eat just about any kind of plant it will come across, ranging from grass and herbs to the tallest of trees. Often, and especially when grazing on the ground, it will devour mouthfuls of soil along with the plants, or gobble up loose rocks it comes across. It is especially fond of the large thorncloud trees the Morchini have cultivated into setlements, something of obvious distress to that particular tree's inhabitants.
Mating. It is unknown how, where, when, or even if the Bahimut mates. No two Bahimut have ever been seen at the same time, nor has any report of a smaller, and presumably younger version been made anywhere. they emerge from the mainly inaccesible Germon Doilth onto the plains, where they usually die, killed by Morchini warriors trying to protect the great thorncloud trees and their valuable fields from being ravaged by its appetite.
Usages. The body of a dead Bahimut can used almost completely. The hide can be tanned by conventional means and made into robust leather armour and protective equipment, the bones and teeth may be polished and carved by craftsmen into exquisite, and rather expensive statues, even the flesh is quite edible albeit a bit salty, and can easily be dried and preserved for several months. Bahimut dung is an excellent fertiliser to grow fungi on, and is often gathered from the creature's path with the gatherers following it as far back as possible.
Myth/Lore. The origin of the Bahimut is veiled in mystery. Due to the general inaccessibility of the Germon Doilth, through which only a handful of relatively safe passages into the lands southward can be found, further research into this matter is all but possible. This has resulted in the dozens of different stories and myths surrounding the monstrous beasts, where their origins vary between being children of the mountains itself, arising from the mountains as demons taking solid form, the results of magical mishaps, or even the ridiculous idea of the Bahimut being large rocks that were displeased with their location, and decided to move to the lands of the humans. For a more detailed version of this last notion, the Compendium recommends the book "The Hour of the Tree and Other Tales of the Night" as a collection of fables and legends of Kaerath.