A Bestiary means a summary of all creatures in the game, along with details like what they drop and their strengths.
There are so many kinds of creature in Stendhal that it is beyond the scope of this page to list them all, but if you want to read more or learn about a specific creature, the best place to go is the main server website.
From within the game you can ask the NPC Starkad about any kind of creature. He walks around Semos Plains South and gives you information including their respawn likelihood, drops, locations, level and your suitability to fight it.
This page gives a general introduction to the many kinds of creature found. In general the level of a creature can be seen by right clicking and doing Look. This gives an indication of how strong it is, and at what level a player would be able to defeat it.
Enemies in Stendhal also come in human or humanoid form. Races include dwarfs, elfs, orcs, dark elfs and gnomes. The basic form of each type is linked to here but many stronger creatures of each race also exist, such as the elder dwarf, archmage elf, orc chief, dark elf sacerdotist and infantry gnome. When creatures are killed, they drop items into their corpse. The major races tend to drop items appropriate to their type. For example in the corpse of a soldier elf you may find an elvish shield. Dwarfs carry heavy weapons such as the war hammer.
More exotic creatures include all forms of dragon, from green dragon to the mythical black dragon. As you can see these are larger in size than the creatures introduced so far. As well as huge animals there are many types of giant. Some creatures in Stendhal come not from existing myths but are completely made up for the Stendhal world. In the dreamscape brave players find strange hybrid creatures like the grobble monster and winged blurble.
The creatures in Stendhal have different behaviors depending on what kind of creature they are.
The first type of creature that players meet in the game are rats. These are an example of a cowardly creature, as they run away when you attack them.
Deer are a completely non aggressive creature and do not start attacks on players. Like rats they are also cowardly, and if attacked they run away.
Players who become strong enough to enter dungeons start to meet more fantastical creatures such as cyclops, walking skeletons and trolls. Most of these creatures are offensive and attack you once they can see you.
Some snakes inhabit dungeons and dark spaces, these are the first example players are likely to meet of a poisonous creature. Poisonous creatures are best killed as soon as possible because they will try to poison you again and again, leading to a large build up of poison in your body.
Self-healers and Life-stealers
Certain creatures can heal even while in battle. You will see a green number like +5 pop regularly out of the heads of for example, a ratman, a stone golem or a monk. Other creatures heal through stealing life from those they attack, we call this lifesteal and the best example are the vampires like vampirette and vampire lord. When they make a hard hit against the player, they are healed by some proportion of that damage.
There are some very rare creatures in the game which only appear every 6 weeks on average, say. These are not asked for as part of the Daily Monster Quest nor do they appear in the Death Match. An example is the centaur. You are very lucky if you ever find such a rare creature!
Melee is normal hand-weapon to hand-weapon combat. The attacker needs to be next to (or diagonal to) the target, to make hits.
The very strongest creature in game is the dark archangel, she is an example of an archer creature. She attacks from a distance with a bow and arrow, attacking more effectively when further from the player (while still within range). You don't have to face her to find an archer, though, another example is the archer elf.
Defence against magical weapons
Some weapons are marked with an attack type like "fire", "ice", "dark" or "light". On many creatures this makes no difference but some are particularly susceptible or resistant to specific types. For example, the ice elemental has 500% resistance to ice attacks, but only 50% resistance to fire attacks. That means, when attacking it with an ice weapon the actual damage caused will only be 1/5 of the normal value, whereas with a fire weapon the caused damage will double.
Attacking with magical forces
Magical creatures can attack with "dark", "light", "fire" or "ice" attacks. Some types of armor will protect you better against these attacks. For example, an ice elemental performs ice attacks. With an ice armor you will better resist these. On the other hand, the ice armor will be worse against opponents that perform fire attacks.
Tactical creatures such as dragons and high ranking soldiers, attack the weakest enemy rather than simply defending themself against the first player who attacked them. For example, take care near a green dragon as it will switch attack if a weaker prey comes along.
Most creatures who fight with melee attack can't do anything if they can't reach the attacker, which means they are useless against an archer for example, who can stay away and avoid being hit. But dragons for example can breathe fire as well as hit with the claws and tail, so they can use a fire attack from a distance if the player is not touching but within range. The black giant is another example.