Placodians represent a whole different branch of evolution besides the Archosaurs, Common Reptiles and Mammal-like Reptiles. They branched of early from the other species but they do have placodes. Where the placodes of other creatures turn into scales, hairs or feathers, the placodes of placodians do not develop, resulting in early branches having a bulby, yet slick skin. Later placodians would develop their own hair-like structures called Carbonhairs, which, unlike the structures in other vertebrates, are not made of keratine. They also commonly have six limbs compared to the four that are most common to other vertebrates. They have evolved divergently to fill several niches left vacant by other vertebrates in their habitats and used to be the contemporaries of pre-dinosaurian archosaurs, mammal-like reptiles, the truly giant bugs and monoculi. The modern era sees them mostly outcompeted by more modern vertebrates like mammals and birds, as well as the great cephalopods that they used to compete with. A few species still survive, and some even thrive, but it is a fact that most placodians, like their cousins the monoculi, are gone.
Beasticores are a silly name for a very dangerous group of placodians. They are predators and look very cat-like. Beasticores have great wings that they can use to glide with.
Manticores are cat-like placodians with a beak-like mouth. They have four strong legs with claws that they use to climb cliffs and mountains. They are the apex predator of the great mountain ridges along the Allegoyan-Latsian border. Besides their four legs they also have two great wings that allows them to glide long distances and sometimes give the appearance that they fly. Their long prehensile tail has a spike on the end that they use to pierce and kill their prey.
Griffins are a predator commonly found in the southern mountains of Allegoy and the Latsian Empire. Though fearsome, many from the border forts have tamed them as they serve as great mounts for traveling the mountains. They have strong clawed legs with which they can climb surprisingly fast for such a big creature. Their beak-like mouths are some of the strongest among the placodians and can crush the scales of dragons. Being a griffin-knight is one of the biggest shows of power an Allegoyan knight can achieve.
Hippogriffs are a type of beasticore that is more adapted to the open plains then life in the mountains. Their legs are longer and more slender and their claws have turned much more hoof-like. Hippogriffs use their wings not for gliding but for balance and quick turning while they run. Hippogriffs can be found in the unmapped lands outside the Gracian Hook, and are one of the great factors that stop further expansion of the hook's territory.
Krakens are the biggest of the surviving placodians. They are giant aquatic monsters that like to pull down ships and eat their crew. Though sometimes confused with the giant and colossal squids, they are a completely different type of creature. For one they have bones. And while there limbs are relatively flexible for vertebrates, they still have joints where there long limbs bend. They also only have six limbs, rather then the ten of squids. Another point of difference is that instead of having a beak between their tentacles, krakens have a beak-like mouth between their eyes. Kraken split off from the modern placodians early in their evolution, as they do not possess the carbonhairs of later branches.
Beakrats are small six-legged rat-like creatures with sharp beak-like mouths. They hunt rodents and thrive in the sewers of large western cities like Latsia, Aragonia, Kuchmacher and Old Vignar. When they can no longer find enough rodents to sustain themselves, desperate beakrats will go after cats, dogs or even children.
Dessertans live in the deserts of Aricia and the Latsia Empire. They are a nomadic race, moving from oasis to oasis. They are smarter than any of the other surviving placodians and might even be considered one of the sentient races. In their old tales they talk about many types of sentient placodians, all competing with the cyclopses and ancient elves for power like the races of the modern age. But like cyclopses and ancient elves, their numbers have been vastly reduced and the dessertans are the only sentient placodians left. They walk bipedally with two great arms and two small arms that they mostly hide under their long desert robes.
Bushgrazers are large placodians with strong thick grey hides. Unlike many of the other surviving placodians, they are fully vegetarian. They walk on four great legs as thick as an elephants. They have long thin arms with which they grab bushes, tree branches and low plants and pull them over to their beak-like mouths. They live in Aricia, but are exceedingly rare as they are often outcompeted by elephants and rhinos.
Qirins were one of the most common types of placodians in their prime. There were hundreds of species. They all had four long legs with hoof-like feet and wing like structures that they could use for balance and to attract mates. They also had two antler-like structures on their heads. They are mostly (but not exclusively) vegetarian, and their beak-like mouths have developed to be able to chew plant-matter. In the modern era, only three species survive.
Perytons, one of the last three qirin species, live in the plains of the southern Latsian Empire. They are multi-colored animals the size of deers. They follow the stereotypical qirin blueprint and live in family groups.
Jackalopes, also known as Wolpertingers, one of the last three qirin species, are some of the smallest qirins to ever live. Jackalopes vaguely have the form of rabbits with long hind-legs and ears. Their wings have shrunk down to a rudimentary size. There are few Jackalopes left as they were hunted to near-extinction by the early Allegoyans. The last remaining population lives in the Natavon reserves.
Ceryneians, also known as Goldhorns, one of the last three qirin species, are large qirins bigger than horses. They are known for their brass coloring with white-gold antlers. They live in the woods around Aragonia and northern Allegoy where they are carefully preserved so they can serve as great hunts for royalty and upper nobility. The wings of a Ceryneian are regarded as a great delicacy in the Allegoyan capital and are very expensive, which has lead to poachers.
Mishipeshus, also known as underwater panthers, are a feline-like type of semi-aquatic placodian. They live on Aricia’s eastern coasts and spend most of their time in the water. Their six legs have evolved a membrane between the clawed toes that give them a paddle-like effect. An adult mishipeshu can stay underwater for 4 hours and not come onto land for weeks on end. Male mishipeshus have a series of spines running down their back and tail, the purpose of which is unknown.
Bugbears are a large bear-like species of placodian. Unlike most placodian, their beak-like mouth also contain several sharp teeth. They are omnivores and have a limited sentience, that scholars still debate if it should count them as a sentient species, which allows them to understand languages and communicate in their own very primitive language. They have six strong limbs with large paws. The two paws in the front have a sesamoid bone with which they can grab onto stuff. Though mostly walking on all six, in times of combat or feeding they can raise themselves up into a bipedal stance. Bugbears are native to Trolltopia.
Minokawas are a four-winged placodian that are the size of eagles and fill a similar niche in the northern islands of Brineina and Ippo. Their eyes are incredibly reflective to light, making them sometimes appear as mirrors. Thanks to a strange adaptation in it’s jaw muscles, they can only hear sound when their beak-like mouth are open.
Grootslangs are long limbless placodians from Aricia. They have the appearence of giant fuzzy snakes. Their beak-like mouths have two tusks which they use to uproot the ground. They live mostly on insects, low foliage and worms but are not afraid to eat rodents, lizards or ostrich eggs when the opportunity presents itself. They also consume rocks and gemstones to aid in their digestion of plant matter.
Owlbears are a six-legged nocturnal predator from Älvenheim that can move silently through the foliage. It often targets sleeping day animals and will attempt to kill it with a surprise attack before it can wake up. They have highly developed ears and large eyes with night vision. Their beak-like mouths are not very developed, but they make up for this by having some of the sharpest claws in the animal kingdom. Early elves would often use owlbear claws as simple knives and spearpoints.
There are four species of zhenniao. All species are small bird-like placodians with four wings. They are the only placodians known to be poisonous. The four species all live in the main island of Mandaria. They are easily separated by color as they all have different bold colors. The silver zhenniao is silver-grey color with striking yellow lines. The khanite zhenniao is light blue with cobalt spots. The black-red zhenniao is black with red stripes. The dwarf zhenniao is smaller than the other species, being closer to the size of a house sparrow than a robin. They are also white with a red head.
Longmas are a very old type of placodian and might be the first type to branch off from the other placodians. They do not have the carbonhairs of later species and also lack the beak-like structures, instead having a row of sharp teeth. There were many species of longmas in the past, but only two survive into the modern era.
Jingshen’s Longmas, also known as common longmas, modern longmas or simply longmas, are horse like placodians that were introduced into Mandaria from an unknown origin. They have wing-like structures instead of middle legs, but do not appear to be able to fly. Some scholars theorize that older species were gliders that lived in mountainous terrain, like griffins, but lost this ability when adapting to life on the grasslands.
Haimas are an aquatic type of longma. They have fin-like structures on their backs and their middle legs have involved into flipper-like wings. They have a long tail with a oar-like end. With these adaptations, they swim through the kelp fields, feeding on seaweed and shellfish.
Calydons were first described as monstrous six-legged boars that inhabit the plains outside the Gracian Hook. There is an old legend of an especially large specimen entering the hook and wreaking havoc. It took eleven of the empire’s strongest men and one especially strong woman to take down the creature. Calydons appear to be scavengers and omnivores. They often steal prey from the hippogriffs with which they share their territory.
Alans are winged placodians that walk on the knuckles of their hand-like paws, giving the appearance that they have backwards feet. They have two sharp fangs in their beak-like mouths which they used to make holes in their prey so they can suck the prey’s blood. Their eyes are small and nearly blind. They are native to Sjardan, and thus little is really known about them.
Bakus are a rare nocturnal placodian native to the Pirate Hub. Their mouth have lost the beak-like structure of the other placodians and instead evolved into a more trunk-like shape. It is said that they possess an ability to put other vertebrates to sleep. It is mostly vegeterian, and thus uses this ability only for defense. They do eat corpses when they find them, but do not make their own kills. When pirates first encountered bakus they thought the strange creatures fed on dreams, but this has since been proven false.
Leshies, also known as Borovois and Viravas, are large bipedal placodians that originate in mainland Soffur. Their higher arms are very thin and small, to the point of being useless. To compensate for this, their lower arms have grown to immense size. They have long carbonhairs on their heads giving them the appearance of having a beard. There is a story of a Leshy that could talk and liked to lead travelers astray, but this seems unlikely as they are little more than simple leaf and bug eaters.