Bas-Lag Wiki

See also: Creatures and monsters, Deities and Powerful Beings

"The crowd was a moving stew of human and vodyanoi, cactus, khepri, and other, rarer breeds: hotchi and strider and stiltspear and races the names of which Isaac did not know."
Isaac observes the crowd in Sobek Croix

Bas-Lag is home to innumerable sapient races. Many of the currently known races reside on or around the Rohagi continent, although a few originate from further reaches.



Xenians is a catch all term for all vaguely humanoid, organic, living sapient races apart from humans themselves. In New Crobuzon, it is most commonly used to refer to the most sizable non-human populations: cactacae, khepri, vodyanoi, and hotchi. The New Quillers vehemently oppose their acceptance into society, and the New Crobuzon government is willing to turn a blind eye to all but the most violent transgressions of the law.

Note that many sapient beings do not fit this category.


Main article: Anophelii

Anophelii are essentially mosquito-people whose women are mindless, vicious predators until they have fed, and whose men are intelligent, scholarly frugivores.


Main article: Cactacae

Catacae are human cactus people, distinguished by their prodigious size and their wood-fiber bones, who live across Rohagi.


Main article: Cray

Cray are amphibious, lobster-bodied centaurs who largely inhabit the Swollen Ocean south of Rohagi, although a few can be found in Tarmuth and around New Crobuzon.


Main article: Garuda

Garuda are winged, birdlike humanoids native to the Cymek Desert who traditionally live in tribal structures.


Main article: Grindylow

The Grindylow are an enigmatic race of deep-sea quasi-humanoid creatures, notorious for their reclusive nature, strange thaumaturgy, and the inscrutability of their cultural practices.


Main article: Hotchi

Hotchi are a traditionally tribal porcupine-like race who are native to the Rudewood south of New Crobuzon.


Main article: Khepri

Khepri are a race of sapient scarab-beetle-headed women and large, non-sapient, scarab beetle males. Khepri originated from Bered Kai Nev, but have since emigrated and can be found across Rohagi and in some locations around the Swollen Ocean.


Main article: Llorgiss

Llorgiss are a somewhat obscure race with trifurcated bodies.


Main article: Scabmettlers

Scabmettlers are a short human-like race whose most notable trait is their quick-clotting blood.


Main article: Stiltspear

Stiltspear are a traditionally tribal race of hunter-gatherers native to central Rohagi.


Main article: Strider

Striders are a race of giraffe-like creatures who inhabit multiple planes simultaneously.

Unnamed beetle-people[]

An unnamed race of child-sized bipedal beetles that inhabit the Galaggi Veldt and its surrounding rainforest. While the beetle-people live alongside humans and other inhabitants in Chelona-towns and other settlements, they tend to keep to themselves. They are notable for selectively breeding insects and arthropods, such as ants and large millipedes, for use as living mortar for their homes.


Main article: Vodyanoi

Vodyanoi are amphibious, humanoid frog-like creatures with their own distinct brand of thaumaturgy, referred to as watercraeft.


Main article: Ab-dead

In New Crobuzon, ab-dead a catchall term for both thanati and vampir; in High Cromlech, the term refers specifically to vampir.


Main article: Thanati

Thanati are the lich-like nobility of High Cromlech, a status achieved through a complex and costly embalming process facilitated by political connections within the aristocracy of the city.


Main article: Vampir

Vampir are afflicted with a bacterial disease, which also enhances their senses and grants them agelessness at the cost of a need for blood. Often social outcasts.



Main article: Abnatural

Abnatural is a catch-all term for any near-human race with distinct traits that set them apart from normal people.


Main article: Construct

Constructs are servant robots once widely used in New Crobuzon. While not strictly a race, some constructs have gained intelligence via connection to the now-defunct Construct Council.


Main article: Daemon

Daemons, while not strictly inhabitants of Bas-Lag, are known communicate and trade with residents who seek them out.


Main article: Dolphin

Dolphins are much like their real-world counterparts, except intelligent enough to hold jobs around Armada.


An undescribed but massive species that sometimes work as armor-wearing bounty-hunters. One such bounty hunter is employed by the Transcontinental Railroad Trust to hunt Stiltspear during the construction of New Crobuzon's railroad. Their homelands are known to lay some distance outside Rohagi.


Main article: Handlinger

Handlingers are parasitic hand-like creatures who often live discreetly within larger cities; in the case of New Crobuzon, with the government's blessing.


Main article: Menfish

Menfish are an undescribed race that inhabit the aquatic underside of the city of Armada.


Main article: Trow

A "grave-pale" subterranean race of humanoids.


Main article: Wyrmen

Wyrmen are small, vulgar, winged-humanoids that largely live around New Crobuzon.


The races of Bas-Lag are nigh-infinite, and they cannot all be enumerated here. Trow or troglodytes lurk in caves, striders roam the plains, gessin, vu-murt, and countless others all form lesser known societies or drift through other races' settlements. The Cacotopic Zone alone must contain a constantly changing population of creatures as varied as the entirety of Bas-Lag, too obscure and transient for their possible sapience to be discovered.

Significant races

Anophelii · Cactacae · Cray · Grindylow · Hotchi · Khepri · Llorgiss · Scabmettler · Vodyanoi


Thanati · Vampir

Other races

Abnatural · Humans · Constructs · Dolphin · Handlinger · Menfish · Stiltspear · Strider · Wyrmen