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Scholars agree that the Cataclysm marked the beginning of a extinction event on Empyria, but whether that event is over or ongoing is still a matter of debate. The huge explosion physically shattered the Endlands and rained debris down over the other continents, instantly destroying most life close to the site. Shortly after, the mana that spread across the world permanently altered climate patterns in many parts of the world, further exterminating vulnerable species.
Although records of pre-Cataclysm history are sparse, we know from scattered Telosian documents and fossil records that most of Empyria's largest land animals died out during this extinction. It's rare to see wild creatures larger than a deer; domestic animals can be bigger, presumably as human care shielded them from the worst of the Cataclysm, but even then some species such as horses are only known through historical documents.
In present day, the ongoing radiation from the background mana field doesn't seem to have had any major effects on existing animals. Some species exhibit brighter colours than their First Age counterparts, but this could also be due to mundane sexual selection. The sole exception is humans, who are extremely vulnerable to physical alterations from magical influences, possibly due to their unique ability to manipulate mana.
Shortly after the Cataclysm, magical creatures began appearing on Empyria as well. Although many of them exhibit animal-like behaviours, they are not animals; they are made of mana rather than conventional matter, and do not reproduce or have physical needs such as food or rest. Since most of these creatures share an inexplicable aggression toward humans, they are all collectively referred to as monsters.