Tvtropes has a delightful index page entitled Our Monsters are different (located here) – in which, as one would expect, details how many of the fantasy touchstones will be altered in various settings in order to put their own spin and flavour on them. Needless to say, we’ve done our own take on a few of these, and here are a few of them.
Our zombies are different:
Classic Romero zombies are simple, mindless animated corpses which, owing to a logistics shortfall in Hell, if the tagline is to be believed, walked the earth, and attacked/ate the living. Pretty simple stuff.
On Crux, zombies are more or less a natural phenomenon. They are a side-effect of a phenomenon called Lifebloom – Crux is made up from the world-shards of countless former worlds, each bearing the residual axioms of its world of origin, and once a shard becomes part of the whole, the disparity between the world and its new arrival will cause the flow of energies to and fro, as they seek equilibrium. The energies of life and death are often thrown drastically out of balance through the shard’s apocalyptic upheaval, and its procession through the Void. Upon arrival, these energies roil over the land, dissipating through the dust storms and grounding the energies of the shard in Crux proper. These transitions are not always peaceful, and when these turbulent currents ground themselves, they erupt into the world as crackling clouds of eldritch mist, flashing with green-tinged lightning, dragging the bodies of he nearby dead into motion, filled with the rage born from a world’s end; not one soul, but the screaming fragments of hundreds. A lifebloom can normally be predicted through the use of corpsewrack seaweed. The air bladders throb and pulse slightly in the hours beforehand, resembling a heartbeat as the storm gets closer to breaking.
Our dragons are different:
Dragons, in most settings, are greedy, powerful reptillian creatures that crave treasure in all its forms, and lair in caves or castles. They are often paragons of good or exemplars of evil, and can wield great temporal power.
Our dragons are powerful and terrifying for different reasons. They are indifferent to the goings-on of civilisation, and care nothing for treasure, princesses or crusading heroes. They are curators of the world, drawm to areas of dimensional instability, often the foothold for nameless horrors to come forth into the world. The dragons’ role is to excise the danger before it happens, by razing the infected region to the ground, so the desolation is reclaimed by the void on the outer reaches of Crux.
(From our reference document:)
“In areas where one axiom holds sway, to the exclusion of others, the beginnings of instability start to show themselves – the air feels greasy, disconnected; the ground unsteady, no matter what the footing. It is this that calls to the dragons; that which consumes all. Soaring silently over the condemned lands, systematically eliminating every living thing in their wake. Their breath, an acrid cloud of gas that contorts the body with rigor, while rending their every organ asunder with the most sudden and virulent fever under the sun. Seldom does anyone survive. Those that do are broken, scarred things, driven by an urge for bloody revenge, and the stirrings of withdrawal from the violently addictive toxin, the very breath that all but killed them. They are faced with few choices, take up the call of the Dragonslayer, die trying, or accept the inevitable.”
Next up, Our PC races are different, with a few examples!