|Scientific Name||Crappus homunculus|
|Common Names||Fenlander, Toad-like moonbeast, Eelman|
|Habitat||Fens, Swamps, Marshes|
|Diet||Flies, Carrion, Swamp goo|
|Range||Northern East Anglia. Some related species found in remote marshlands worldwide.|
“When fenlander calls to fenlander, it is amphibians croaking to each other across primaeval swamps.”
“Ribbit ribbit Croak!”
Generally speaking, fenlanders are easy to identify since they are seldom seen outside their local habitats to prevent their skin drying up. Likewise, they are one of the few species found in the Fens as almost no other creature has adapted to withstand the miasmas which rise continuously from the marshes.
Most often, fenlanders can be seen hopping from lilypad to lilypad around the marsh in which they live. The purpose of theis movement is not known, but it is thought to be to escape the Great Fen Eel, which is their only natural predator. Alternatively, they may be seen working in groups or swarms to recover items from the torpid depths of the Fen. These objects may be vehicles such as motor cars which travellers have driven into the mire; the fenlanders will then carefully dismantle these in an attempt to discover the witchery which powers them. Occasionally they will remove more grisly trophies: the decaying corpses of men and animals which have sunk into the Fen. Although they will eat these in part, they will store the heads for use as a kind of rudimentary currency.
If you are unfortunate enough to have to pass through the Fens, do not attempt to communicate with the fenlanders. They will group together and kill the outsider. However, such an encounter may necessitate negotiation with them.
Fennish (Slumi) is linguistically related to Low Ghoulish, with a strong Frog influence. Incidentally, this reflects quite accurately the evolutionary origins of the fenlander. Although an accurate pronunciation is impossible for the human mouth, by filling your mouth with slime and saying, "Meep-meep ribbit meeeep" it should be possible to ingratiate yourself sufficiently with the fenlanders to escape. This phrase should, if possible, be accompanied by a tributory gift of a few fliestto fully ensure that they will not pursue you again after your release: their feeble mental capacity makes it unlikely they willl remember your friendship unless the memory of food reminds them.
The more sophisticated Fenlanders may speak High Fennish, which is a mixture of Fennish, oo-ars, and other unintelligable slurs.
Fenlanders, unsurprisngly live in the Fens. This is an area of land at or below sea level in the eastern part of England. It is constantly shrouded in a noxious cloud of fumes resembling smog but, since there are no cities in the region, it is apparent that this is not the true nature of the gas. Instead, it is a mixture of foul miasmas rising from the Fen, dense fog, and the smoke from the rush pipes smoked by fenlanders. There are a few causeways carrying roads across the swamps and mires. However, these are not entirely reliable as fenlanders frequently tamper with the road signs to lure travellers into the marshes, thus providing them with an opportunity to loot the remains. Overall, it is a bleak and forbidding country and, some have claimed, proof of divine loathing for its inhabitants.
Generally, the fenlander will live in a small, slimy burrow on one of the few islets of firm (though not dry) land dispersed around the region. It is unclear exactly how these burrows came into being, since fenlanders theselves have no apparent means of burrowing. Some have suggested they were originally formed by the gnawing of the Great Fen Eel when it was still young.
The Great Fen Eel
According to ancient legend a vast eel dwells in the darkest most sinister depths of the Fens. The immemorial age of the eel makes it impossible to give an account of its origins: some believe it to have fallen from space while others claim it is a survivor of the dinosaurs. Regardless of its origins, it is the only thing in the Fens more dangerous than the fenlanders, and the only thing they fear. Ancient tales tell of how their young would disappear at night when the Great Eel came looking for its midnight feast.
Decriptions of the Eel vary, some claiming it is larger than a house, while sceptics claim that it is really just a tall tale based on murmured reports of a number of different eels living in the Fens. However, even the most sober analysis agrees on one key point: Fenlanders are neither intelligent nor cultured enough to have built the great Eely Cathedral; therefore it must have been built by the Great Eel, probably for its own worship.