Ibia's countryside has been overrun by bandits, brigands, highwaymen, and whatever other words a thesaurus might furnish me with if I bothered to check. Local strongmen have succeeded in banding these outlaws together into gangs such as the Mad Dogs, Wild Cats, Bearmen, and Hellwings. Each gang has its own particular characteristics -- and, as their names suggest, eponymous animal companions -- and the individual bandits themselves range from mighty swordsmen to cunning magi. In better days, the Knights of Ibia would have ridden forth from the capital and rounded up (or simply massacred) such miscreants, but, alas, now it is far more likely for towns to pay tribute in hopes of being spared from pillaging.
In a healthy civilization, wild animals exist for the purpose of being hunted, stuffed, and mounted (Gods no, not in that sense!). Sadly, sickly as Ibia has become, beasts that ought to be prey have instead reclaimed their place as predators. Wilderness strolls are now not uncommonly interrupted by the roar of an enraged beram or the mournful howling of a pack of growlfs. Even more troublingly, in the truly dark places -- such as the heart of the Mushroom Forest -- it is said that there are creatures that are strangely corrupted and monstrously powerful. On the upside, maybe such abominations will give more experience points . . . .