Platypus (higher-res)

The platypus is a small, aquatic, intelligent, egg-laying mammal with webbed feet and a bill like a duck's, but without the ability to fly. It is a well-kept secret that in two separate locations, groups of platypi have clustered together into kingdoms governed from magnificent castles. These two platypi kingdoms can be found in the Mithicus Mountains, and on Misty Island in Antharia. It has been suggested that the platypus outpost on Antharia's Misty Island is in fact no more than the winter home for the platypi wishing to avoid the frigid climates of the Mithican Mountains.


These two platypus civilizations are remnants of the once mighty Anatian Empire that spanned both Antharian and the Westlands centuries before the dawn of Quendor. Their mythic ancestors were in fact truly human monarchs. It is estimated that around 800 BE, some great disaster fell upon this empire. Most anthropologists today term the disappearance of the Anatian Empire as a “goof-up of the first order.”

Since the Mithican tongue had been formed from the elements of magical incantations, the mysterious disappearance was most likely the accidental side effect invoking some potentially dangerous spell, namely one of transformation. All in one sudden stroke, every member of the ruling family, and large segments of the population as a whole, were transformed without warning into platypi. With the rulers of the kingdom stuck in Mithicus and Antharia in the feeble isolation of newly-born platypi, all form of order and civilization in the lands in between came to a sudden halt. In a matter of minutes, the empire collapsed, only to survive in distant and obscure legends. Today the platypi continue to be governed by the same ruling family which had dominated the Anatian Empire.

Not everybody today agrees with the problematic Platypus Scenario. Lacking any evidence in favor of some magical spell that turned an entire ruling family into a flock of platypus overnight, most people prefer to dismiss the Misty Island and Mithicus Mountains settlements as hopelessly confused enigmas that will never be explained, even by blaming the entire affair on the Implementors. (Zorbius Blattus, for instance, in his 900 Questions on Just About Everything, saw fit to ask: “How exactly could a platypus live in a castle? Have you ever actually looked at a platypus?”) In any case, the Platypus Scenario is our best and only guess as to the origins of civilized life in the Southlands of Quendor.

Generally the platypi remain separate from mankind, but occasionally a platypus tale enters the lore of man. Historical trivia tells us that these platypi played an indirect role in the respective defeats of Gladys The Evil One (1157 GUE), and a monstrous Ur-Grue (966 GUE). The Legend of Wishbringer also involved platypi.

The platypi are familiar in both the arts of magic as well as the crafting of small silver whistles, that when tooted would carry the blower away on unseen hands to a distant location. Their Whistles of Summoning, which have been found around the necks of several pterodactyls, draw the conclusion that these furry creatures used these winged animals for flight. Platypi are easily offended, even acts such as the refusal of a gift are enough to earn the sentence of enslave within the Antharian Granola Mines (even those dwelling in Mithicus send their prisoners here). If a platypus finds the need to show their humble gratitude to a human, they do so by licking their shoes. Platypus can commonly be seen preening themselves.

Platypus-gut strings are said to be the most resonant when strung to the violin.

Almost all whistles in the world by 966 GUE were manufactured by the platypi. Apart from their Whistles of Summoning, the most common of these is shaped like a platypus and twinkles with gentle magic. When blown, a clear, sweet note stills the air with its beauty, before a sudden gust of wind teleports the tooter to its destination. Every platypus of the Misty Island carries one of these whistles, which instantly returned them to the royal palace. They sometimes repay good deeds done on their behalf by presenting one of these magic relics.

Both "platypuses" and "platypi" are the plural form of "platypus."

SOURCE(S): Beyond Zork, Wishbringer, Wishbringer (the novel), History of Quendor, Legends of Zork