Under Feet of Clay
The following information is assumed common knowledge for those who have done travel in the area, known with a DC 5 Knowledge (Local) or Knowledge (Geography) check. More detailed information may be known to more knowledgeable travelers.
Bandits, Thieves, and Outlaws
Due to the fairly substantial military training in Callopius, coupled with the relative peace of the current age, soldiers spend significant time keeping common roads safe and passage clear. The roads are unpaved, but along most plains common thugs are rare. There are a few outcasts from military or economic life who use mountains and foothills to hide their hidden bases.
In truth, thieves and burglars are the greater threat, with pickpockets and urchins the more likely means by which a person is separated from their property. In many cities, these criminals often arrange themselves into loose bands. Whispers of some kind of grand and organizing guild of thieves are popular among aristocrats, though evidence for such a group has yet to surface in any way. Most average folk believe this is instead the only way the richest echelons of society can understand how a dirty beggar could successfully target them.
Near the Dark Forest of Chaos, monsters are most often strange, hybrid creatures. Centaurs, Minotaurs, Manticores, Owlbears, Cockatrices, Basilisks, Nymphs, Hags, Orcs, and Harpies are all dangers hiding in the mists beyond the great trees. Occasionally these beasts make their way to the plains and hills of Callopius, where they can interbreed with unwarped animals. Lycanthropes are a source of great fear near the border towns, where the monsters can hide unseen among the rest of the citizenry. Rarely, the benevolent Unicorn or Pegasus can be seen near the forest, glimmers of hope among the dark and violent realm.
On the shores and seas, monsters take another form. The elegant Hippocampus is a good omen for any ship that spots the creature. However, rumors of Sea Serpents, warped sharks, and The shores of Callopius are dotted with cave entrances, in which untold numbers of humanoids have become lost, degenerating into Morlocks and worshipping the untold beasts beneath. Many Minotaurs take to the labyrinthine caverns, which many believe network across the whole of Callopius, even linking islands through winding caverns of darkness. These passageways are infused with Gaia’s energies, with Oozes leaking form the walls as semblances of life and spawning creatures such as Goblins, Kobolds, giant insects, Amphisbaenas, Nagas, Medusa, and Sphinxes to establish themselves or leave to plague the world above. On the shores of isolated islands, Sirens wait to lure sailors who draw too close, and tales of immortal witches are prominent. Other horrible leviathans of the deep are spoken of, particularly the mighty creature that causes the ongoing storm and maelstroms of the Charidian Sea
The unquiet dead are fairly rare in Callopius, but waves of skeletal soldiers or shambling zombies are not unheard of following devastating battles. A corpse might spontaneously rise if it is not given a proper burial within a few days. Much more commonly, the undead take the form of spirits, ghosts, poltergeists, and shadows that have slipped the bonds of Thantadeus to seek some goal for themselves in the world above. However, not all such spirits are wicked. Ghosts of mighty generals, for example, might return to their soldiers to bolster morale and help guide them to a decisive victory where they might have fallen. The secrets of the undead are rarely known to the commoner, however, and must ultimately seek to study religious texts to learn more.
Away from the Dark Forest of Chaos, common beasts such as boars, wolves, foxes, bears, boars, hawks, eagles, and snakes are the largest threat. However, these and otherwise harmless animals, such as bats, can be infected with the strange contagion that turns them Dire, making them seek blood and flesh with mindless abandon. Aristocrats have sometimes imported exotic creatures from the Barbarian Lands such as lions, camels, tigers, drakes, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, ostriches, and rarely even an elephant. When these exotic creatures break free or contract the Dire condition, they become a terrible force to be reckoned with, plaguing the wilds until heroes can restore a semblance of peace to the region in their wake. Dire creatures live incredibly long lives, and continually grow. As such, boars the size of houses or bats with bodies the size of a wolf are not unheard of.