In Brigard, roses are strongly associated with endings, particularly of relationships. As such, they are viewed in a very negative light and rarely grown in most gardens. This association has its origins in a folktale known as The Tragedy of Lord Chraenin, in which a kindhearted noble was murdered by his lover in a rose garden. Despite all this negativity, however, florists do still grow the flowers because some people find enjoyment in sending their former significant others a single rose as a way of announcing the end of the relationship.
The sareni – a flightless bird standing roughly three and a half feet tall – are among the few predators to successfully adapt to the Aexian Waste’s forbidding climate. The sareni’s body is covered almost uniformly in a dappled tan plumage, with the underside tending more toward white and the back bearing the most noticeable spots. However, males of the species sport long, red-gold tail feathers and crests. The sareni are among the fastest creatures in the Wastes and use this speed to overrun their prey. Attempts have been made to domesticate them, but despite their apparent intelligence, have proven too wild to be of any use.
Archaeologists working deep within a series of ruined catacombs in southeastern Brigard were sorting through the usual artifacts – pottery, jewelry, and the like – when they came across something very strange. A scroll apparently untouched by the passage of time was found resting in what had been determined to be the chamber of a king. The scroll was covered in complicated patterns of unknown origin and detailed a treaty between two regional kingdoms. Understandably, the discovery stirred up a lot of debate. Many claimed the scroll was fake, either fabricated by the archaeologist himself or planted their as some sort of prank.
Originally native to the wetter portions of southern Brigard, the swamp-hound frog’s population boomed after the flooding of the Sterling Marsh. The swamp-hound is one of the largest frog species known, with some specimens having been found measuring nearly six hands (about 10 inches). They are easily identified by the bright orange stripe running down the center of their back and the strange vocalizations that sound eerily similar to barking dogs. The tadpoles are often harvested by people in the area and eaten fried and served over a bed of spinach.
In the regions surrounding the Sterling Marsh, many in the lower classes will spend misty summer mornings traipsing across the muddy riverbeds at low tide in search of a creature known as the Southern Mud-Shovel. Ranging in size from the length of a hand to the length of a forearm, the Southern Mud-Shovel is a fish with a wide, flat head that resembles its namesake. And like its namesake, this fish uses the strange, boney head to burrow into the mud when the water ebbs back to sea. The Southern Mud-Shovel is considered poor man’s food, but those who eat it nevertheless swear it tastes quite good.
Mirengard coats, named for the city from which they originated, were first created as general-purpose raincoats. Their most distinguishing feature were the thick shoulder guards, designed to help keep water away from the body. Because the coat was designed for those who would be working often, they were made of tough leather, with bone or simple wooden buttons. Over time, they were gradually altered until, in the time of The Clocksmith, they became exclusively worn by women. To reflect this,the tailoring of the coat has changed to accommodate the dresses currently in fashion. Although they can still sometimes be seen made of their original sturdy leather, most are made of a specially treated wool.
Ustenmyndur, the closest planet to Altrin, has long been watched by Brigardine astronomers as it is one of the only planets visible to the unaided human eye. Appearing as a bright green star, Ustenmyndur is closely associated with the first planting of spring. According to folklore, children born on the years when the planet shines brightest are destined to grow up to be physically stronger than their peers.