Encyclopaedia Edimoria - Toobendorfs
The following extract is from the Encyclopaedia Edimoria volume 79, 14th edition by Alberfungus Betswish Stunk. It is about the small bird like creatures known as Toobendorfs and the mysteries that surround them.
“The Toobendorf is a species of small avian creatures with a round ball shaped body and vibrant messy plumage. Many find them quite annoying, thinking of them as nothing more than scavengers, persistently looking to steal food, whilst tweeting away their irritating songs. These songs however sound more akin to rusty farts then any delightful tune you would expect from a small bird. They are known to consume people’s right socks as well as keys, especially at times when they are urgently needed. A number of particularly eccentric scholars believe them to have amazing powers - able to travel between dimensions and shift in and out of existence as they please, reappearing once again in a well-stocked sock drawer, though this idea has yet to be put under rigorous study. Not much else is known about these creatures, and being little more than an irritant there has not yet been a scientific urge to understand more. As such they are just another one of the bizarre species that exists within Edimor.”
And this is generally all that is known in Edimorian society. A number of notable individuals have been able to obtain them as exotic little pets, though they are notorious for randomly disappearing. The most effective way of keeping them around is to give them a ready supply of right footed socks to consume, as well as the occasional spare key. Lady Illyanna de Punt is perhaps the most successful at doing just this. She was a sock entrepreneur who built an aviary for these creatures in one of her factories. The machines were set to produce double the number of right socks to make sure they always had enough to keep these little creatures happy. For a while this worked and the presence of the colony was a brilliant marketing tool – de Punt’s socks were clearly the best if they were eaten by the Toobendorfs so eagerly. Problems arose however when their numbers grew to such an unmanageable size that they had to start making 3 right socks for every pair. Things then went terminal when the Toobendorfs adapted and started to eat the left ones as well. With her stock disappearing before it had even left the production lines Lady Illyanna de Punt’s foot garment business collapsed. She still lives upon the huge wealth she accumulated quite happily and spends most of her time hunting, now finding great enjoyment when shooting these tiny ball shaped birds.
Apart from such stories little else is known about them and so they are generally left alone, their diet little more than an irritant. Sock businesses do not mind as it always means they have a ready supply of customers, and on the whole people simply don’t care about these creatures. However there are a few who find the Toobendorf fascinating. In particular Dr Hensbury Poof dedicated his life’s work to revealing the many secrets of this species. Indeed he believes them to be far more important to what the Dramatimancers call the “Great Story”, than many people realise. In the introduction of his 4,000 page book, The Toobendorf: The Greatest of Species and Mysteries, he says:
“Creatures great and small within our galaxy have yet to comprehend the importance of this magnificent species. They have powers that even the most accomplished magic user would be jealous of. For it is my understanding that, much like the creatures attached to Eternity Doors, the Toobendorf is really a being from a parallel dimension. From my careful studies of their available nests and colonies I have noticed that you can never find an example of an egg or any of their young. Even the largest Toobendorf is able to disappear in an instant - whether to get away from danger or to find new hunting grounds somewhere within our existence or theirs, and as such I believe that their real nests actually exist in their own dimension, far away from any predators. This in turn means they must be able to easily jump from one existence to the next. Of course I cannot give away too much here, you must read on to Chapter 72d for a more in depth analysis.”
On the nature of these creatures he goes beyond the description found in the Encyclopedia Edimoria, saying:
“There are many common misconceptions about these fascinating creatures that are passed around by the ignorant masses. Initially what people fail to realise is that are a considerable number of species and sub-species that are all types of Toobendorf. They have a variety of different plumage and dietary requirements along with patterns of behaviour and although it is generally believed that they live on a diet of right socks and keys, this is a ridiculous over simplification. Yes it is true that they eat right socks, but it is also known for them to eat left socks too – indeed some sub-species will only eat sweaty athletic socks in the colours of white and black that smell of a particular brand of Dorgonian cheese. Beyond this I have witnessed them consume support socks, tights, leggings, compression socks, leg warmers, and tabis – of both the left and right foot. As for keys, this is a common misconception, for they will not eat just any key. No, it is only the most important ones that they find, such as front door keys, safe keys, and those without a copy that they will eat. Those tiny locker ones you might possess and never use, or such ones that have no known accompanying lock are entirely safe.”
In preparation for his second book on Toobendorfs, Hensbury strived to gain access to their real dimension. For over a year he lived within one of their colonies, feeding them with a ready supply of socks. His feet understandably got cold, and soon he found himself spending almost every second of the day knitting new ones. All of his savings were spent and he found himself destitute. Nonetheless, in spite of the pleading of both his colleagues and family he continued on with his research. That was until one day when his intern arrived with a new delivery of socks to find no trace of him. He had simply disappeared along with every Toobendorf in that colony. Despite thorough investigations over the years, his whereabouts remain unknown.
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