Wednesday, July 13, 2016

5 New Monsters: Hatchet Beaks, Infiltrex Harpies, Alchemical Oblate, Stunted Stone Giant, Clot



Hatchet Beak

This diminutive subspecies of axe beak (a supposed cross-bread with blood hawks) is a creature common to Salt in Wounds although many more thousands have been exported in recent years. These riding dog sized birds can readily serve as mounts for small creatures in addition to providing home & property defense or even serve to bolster militia forces. While not considered to be an equal to a wolf in a straight fight, hatchetbeaks none-the-less exhibit instinctive ‘tactics’ (fortified by training) which make them even more deadly than domesticated dogs of similar stature. While unable to fly, these raptors generally seek out elevated ‘roosts’ from which they dive down at adversaries with lightning quick strikes. Estates may well be protected by half a dozen hatchetbeaks, silent & hidden until they screech down at trespassers, landing a vicious blow  and raising other defenders with their piercing cry. Well trained hatchetbeaks continually disengage to seek a hidden roost and launch an additional gravity  empowered strike, staying just out of their opponent’s reach and slowly bleeding them out by successive slashes from their clawed feat and beaks.

Infiltrex Harpy

Infiltrex Harpies are shapechangers born of one human and one harpy parent. Their existence is not common knowledge. They possess two forms: a harpy form (capable of flight) and a human form both of which are completely convincing. They usually have some inborn magic capable of befuddling the mind and confounding the senses that enables them to better serve as infiltrators, spies, and (occasionally) diplomats. They also utilize these abilities in combat, preferring to to defeat their opponents through subterfuge or stealth than a direct confrontation. Another common tactic is their use of ‘silence drops’ where they fly under the effects of a silence spell with a carried opponent, finally dropping them near a tower to be slain in such a manner as to resemble suicide (which is a particularly favored technique to eliminate troublesome without arousing suspicion).

Hypothetically, Infiltrex Harpies loyal to human societies could just as easily scout and manipulate harpy communities though the predatory, near sociopathic mindset common to these creatures often meshes better with their harpy progenitors than their human ones.

Alchemical Oblate

These loathsome creatures are former humans who have been alchemically modified to serve the purpose of biological production of rare/unique reagents. Traditionally, to produce an alchemical oblate a child or adolescent is abducted. Over the coming months, their eyes, limbs and ‘extraneous’ organs are all removed whereupon they are force-fed a diet of mutagenic concoctions to induce the growth of new glands or to further modify their existing bodily systems to produce caustic bile, supernaturally sustaining blood, or other excretions useful for the alchemist who lays claim to them.

Pitiful and slow, most oblates are unable to produce any dangerous substance and can only manage movement by inching. As such, most are quite passive and would beg for death had their minds and language centers not been reduced to putty by their treatments. However, exceptional specimens can be quite deadly; possessed of anger and rage, scenting the air with their gaping nostrils or tripartite tongue, able to vomit gouts of boiling acid, and slither with serpentine grace. . Depending on the treatments they have received and their disposition, some alchemical oblates are controlled by use of a muzzle and harness.     

Stunted Stone Giant

Also called pebble giants, stone men, and the stunted; Stunted Stone Giants are the diminished offspring and great-offspring of enslaved stone giants. Some feature of their generational captivity prevents these creatures from acquiring the stature of their forebears, even if they exhibit some significant fraction of their line’s strength and stone-cunning. Like proper stone giants, these creatures have darkvision, and a gray, stone like skin that makes them nearly invisible when hiding amongst stones… though most have elaborate runic tattoos that signify the chain of their ownership. Stunted Stone Giants mature faster through to adolescence than proper stone giants though alchemical analysis of their blood leads many researchers to suspect that they will ‘enjoy’ even longer lifespans than their larger cousins (though none have yet been around long enough to verify this). Distinct from other stone giants, the stunted are known for being incredible stealthy and prefer to fight with telescoping, long reaching whip-spears with which they can slay an opponent with a single well placed strike.

A minority of stunted stone giants hold the belief that when all are free, they will be able to grow to their proper height while many more have accepted their enslavement and stature as the inescapable curse their birthright.

Clot

Clots are the rare aggregate pools of Tarrasque blood that has managed to cling to itself and squirm into a semblance of mindless life. They resemble nothing so much as swirling masses of coagulating red viscera, forming reaching, questing pseudopods as they writhe across the ground. Behaviorally, clots function much like oozes found elsewhere; mindlessly seeking organic matter to engulf and consume. Although individually weak (at least compared to other hazards of Salt in Wounds), clots possess two supernatural qualities that make them dangerous. When damaged, they split into two similarly sized clots, sharing their remaining life force between the two of them. While this behavior isn’t unknown amongst those who regularly slay oozes, it is all clots’ ability to regenerate almost as fast as the Tarrasque itself that means even divided, damaged clots quickly regain any vitality lost in their splitting. With a few ill-timed blows, adventurers can quickly go from facing two or three clots to facing a veritable army of the creatures; each quickly regaining full strength. As such, care must be taken when facing these monsters. Those with experience fighting clots know to use more powerful, or even synchronized blows to ensure they destroy these abominations outright *before* they’re given a chance to reproduce endlessly.


Alchemical Oblates inspired by the awesome Goblin Punch blog.


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