Archive for the ‘Beings’ Category

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Zoology (A to Z Challenge, Z)

30 April, 2016

LionAnimals are everywhere in Sea of Stars and in so many varieties.  The initial pool of animals was similar to that here on Earth, with a few exotic variations, but the Sundering changed everything, sometimes for the better, but usually for the worst.  The raw magic released by the sundering changed animals in all sorts of strange ways, though the most common was changes in size, which is why there are giant rats and miniature giraffe in the Sea of Stars, but sometime the changes were stranger leading to tree dwelling sheep and six-legged oxen, or creatures became mixed and dangerous, creating such beings as stagwolves and sting squirrels.

People in some regions were forced to adapt to chickens that ate wood and laid eggs that were shelled like nuts, aquatic cows or replacing transport animals with zebra and other such adaptions which then became just the way things were done in that valley or these islands.  In other words, for those who travel widely, especially venturers, it is wise to not take the animals you encounter at face value without consulting with the locals.

Zoos and menageries is the Sea of Stars are always looking for new and exotic additions to their collections, gatherer of such creatures can make a good living . . . if they do not get eaten first.

Notes: Z is a tough letter to end on, but I hope still fun.

Photo by JoyTek and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

 

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Giants in the Sea of Stars (A to Z Challenge, G)

8 April, 2016

Lost footstepsGiants are rare to the point of being legendary in the core realms of the Sea of Stars, though a few hundred of them live out on the fringe island beyond organized beyond organized dragonrule.  After the gods were slain, the giants realized that this was their opportunity to seize power and began mobilizing for war, but the Empress had already turned the forces of dragonkind against them and the initial gathering of giants was attacked and destroyed by the unified dragon led by the Empress.  It was a terrible and bloody fight and its aftermath can still be viewed on the Blasted Plain of Yotenschlachtfeld, it was also the last time that the dragon fought together as a unified force.

Need a hand?In the aftermath, various dragons, now rulers of territories once belonging to giants savagely rooted out the scattered and demoralized remains of those once mighty kingdoms, a very few of the least giants bend their knee to a draconic overlord but many more fled or died in the ruins of their homes.  Those that survived have either fled into the wilds at the Edge of the World or used magics to blend in with the “small folk” (from which liaisons between disguised giants and said small folk come the Giant-Blooded).

The remaining giants survive, avoiding hunting dragons and other dangers and slowly try to rebuild their numbers but with limited success.  On the edge of the world is the Republic of Giants, a community of giant-blooded living in the ruins of the Treaty City that once served as a meeting place for all of the giantkine.  Secretly, a community of surviving lesser giants lives beneath the Treaty City.  For reasons unknown, the former Treaty City and its environs and Imperial lands, theoretically directly ruled by the Empress, but in practice, ignored.  The Republic tries to rebuild giantish culture, and giantish strength, but reaching out to the feral giants of the edge but with very limited success.  It is a challenge, as stealth and subtly are not universal giant traits but they do their best.

Notes: Giants are such a traditional part of D&Desque games that I wanted them to be represented in, just not central to, the Sea of Stars.

Photo of the Giant’s Causeway by Sean Lucas and of the carved giant arm by Paul Albertella, both used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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Beastkine (A to Z Challenge, B)

2 April, 2016

One of the CatfolkTo quote from the original Sea of Stars pitch:

Beastkine– The Sundering had many strange effects, warping both man and beast, sometimes combining both.  This lead to the creation of new and bizarre races that had never been seen before.  Many of these young races died out but other have thrived.

Among the Beastkine are the Dogmen of Altacia, the Sisters of the Swan and the Catfolk of Felix Talis.

Since then, the Brave Folk, the Elkentribe and the Serpent Folk of Ypisara have been added to the world (and more may yet be discovered).

I have always had a place in my heart for anthropomorphic animal races, I think they are an interesting shorthand for playing up certain traits and archetypes so I have often incorporated them into my fantasy worlds and the Sea of Stars is no different.  Though they have not been heavily played, two of the Brave Folk and one of the Elkentribe as player characters, and one Catfolk as a re-occurring NPC, they are available for those who like them.

The artwork is by Xenorus Jrand owned by me.

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New Monster – Straw Soldier (for Pathfinder and D&D5)

15 March, 2016

Straw Soldier     CR 1 (XP 400)

A line of silent soldiers armed for war with spears and shield, an arrow strike one squarely in the chest but it does not slow in the least.

Straw Soldiers are build to provide temporary advantage in warfare, expendable constructs to bolster ranks and provide the illusion of larger armies.  They are provided with wooded shields and spear or clubs painted to resemble swords attached securely to their hands.  They cannot perform complex tasks, but they can march and fight.

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New Fey – Leap Day William (for Pathfinder)

29 February, 2016

He wants your tearsHe is charming and nattily dressed, in blue and yellow, but there is something odd about him . . . perhaps it is those gills?

LEAP DAY WILLIAM    CR 12
XP 19,200
NE Medium Unique fey (aquatic, water)
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, see in darkness; Perception +25

DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 17, flat-footed 21 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural, +5 bracers of armor)
hp 161 (19d6+95)
Fort +11, Ref +17, Will +14; DR 10/cold iron; SR 23 (33 against the magic of Aboleths)

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., Fly 60 ft (only over water), swim 60 ft.
Melee +15 Bite (1d6+5/19–20 + 1d4 bleed) and +15/+15 claw (1d6+5 + emotion)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; concentration +26)
Constant— misdirection, see invisibility
At will— dimension door, disguise self, faerie fire, touch of idiocy, whispering wind
3/day— baleful polymorph (DC 21), confusion (DC 21), crushing despair (DC 21)
1/day— shadow walk, word of recall Read the rest of this entry ?

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New Monster – Wood Warrioress (D&D5)

11 January, 2016

These fierce female warriors are not born but grown from seeds, planted in soil fertilized by fresh blood and marrow from cracked bone.  The greater the quantity and the higher the source, the quicker they grow into “adults”, usually it takes two years but it can be done in as little as a season with sufficient viscera and blood.  They are grown by power tree spirits, vicious druidic cults, and others.

They appear as athletic women with skin that resembles sanded wood (complete with grain), their hair has a greenish tinge to it.  When cut, they bleed a deep red sap.   They wear clothing salvaged from where they find it.  Their weapons are made of wood or other materials dug up from the natural world, they prefer massive war clubs lined with sharped stones or teeth, carved and decorated with glyphs and symbols.

Sharper than steel

Wood Warrioress
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A more mythical Manticore for D&D5

20 December, 2015

Something like this but redIt has the body of a red lion, a human head with three rows of sharp teeth (like a shark), and its voice is a whistle that sounds like a melody from pipes.  The tail is that of a scorpion, curved and ready to strike.   It devours its prey whole and leaves no clothes, bones, or possessions of the prey behind.

The Manticore is usually a solitary hunter, though rarely a pack will form under some strange pressure, they prefer to strike from surprise and overwhelm small groups of prey.  A manticore is perfectly willing to flee from superior opposition but will seek revenge if it can.

They can, more or less, understand human speech but they can only communicate in a sort of sing-song nonsense, understandable to other manticora but gibberish to everyone else, but perfect for luring the curious to where they can be attacked.

All Consuming, sometimes when a manticore consumes a magic item, especially a potion or a scroll, it is temporarily imbued with magical powers but these tend to be spontaneous and uncontrolled but can be surprising both to the manticore and its enemies.

Manticore
Large Monstrosity, neutral evil
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