Archive for the ‘Beings’ Category

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Xenogenesis in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, X)

27 April, 2019

Do you lay eggs?The world of the Sea of Stars in deeply infused with magic, in many cases the supernatural and the natural have intertwined so far as to become indistinguishable from one another  This constant interplay of forces means that strange things sometimes, just happen.

One of those is xenogenesis, birth of an offspring that is unlike its parents, which is rare but far from unknown.  Draconic blood flows through the veins of so many people and occasionsal, children are born higher up the draconic chain of ascension than one would expect, while no child not of a dragon has even been born as a Dracona (half dragon), Dracovi and Dani have appears as children to parents who were far removed from their draconic ancestors.

Occasional fragments of divine ancestry (“god-spark”) will manifest often leading to a very unusual child with strange appearance and potent magics, such children must be hidden from the dragons who will kill them or, at the very least, try to control such potential power.  The Empress recruits such children, when found by her agents, into her household, though she also has them rendered sterile, she has no wish to see the return of the gods.

Alignment with one of the elemental powers sometimes find their way into children conceived in areas rife with such activity.  These children are sought after by wizards and other specialists in the arts of magic as they can interact with their aligned element in very useful and productive ways.

And other changes to biology are known to happen, strange coloration, extra (or fewer) fingers or toes or both, and other physical abnormalities but rarely are they negative or harmful changes (though the possessor may not consider them positive either).  It is almost as if the magic wishes to expand the variety of people.

Notes: More excuses for players to be able to play the character that they want and X is a tough letter to find things to work with.

Image The Selenetidae women giving birth to eggs. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY.

 

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Whales, sky and otherwise, in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, W)

26 April, 2019

Whales in the seaWhile the seas and oceans were shattered, along with the rest of the world, in the Sundering, the whales were surprisingly unaffected almost as if they knew what areas would be safe.  Some of the whales, of course, were lost in the seas that poured away.  The whales went on with their lives, mostly, a few decided that they wishes to travel to places that they could no longer swim to . . . and took to the air instead.

The sky whales usual avoid urban areas and other areas where people gather, they prefer the purity of flying over empty oceans, deserts, steppes and star fields.  So seeing them is rare, unless one also travels in such area.

For the crews of the sky ships, seeing a pod of sky whales is considered good luck, and most would never consider hunting them.  The Sen’tek and some groups of pirates have no such scruples, as their bones can be used to make sky ships though the magic bleeds from them quickly and such ship can only fly for a matter of months without a fresh infusion of bones to renew their ability to fly.  The Empress disapproves of such hunting and Imperial Navy ships are occasionally tasked to watch over the whales when there are rumors of predation upon the sky whales.

Not that whales, of sea or sky, are helpless in the face of whalers without outside intervention.  Whaling is popular, and profitable, in some climes though the ocean born whalers watch the sky, for sometimes the sky whales act to protect their oceanic brethren.

Notes: Image “Whales!” by Hot Grill is licensed under CC by-nc-sa 2.0

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Insects in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, I)

11 April, 2019

Insects of several typesInsects are everywhere in the Sea of Stars, just as they are here, but in even greater variety.  Due to the presence of magical flows, some insect are able to overcome the square law rule and grow to enormous size.  Occasional insect-animal hybrids (such as MothLions and sting squirrels) exist and are more common in some regions than others.  (So, insects, giant, unusual and hybrid, are all viable forms of threat.)

While magic can be used to eliminate large numbers of insects at once, there are always more, but in general the farms and large cities of the Sea of Stars are no more troubled by insects than such are in our modern world.  Though occasionally a new, invasive species with upset the balance in a city or island with catastrophic effects before a balance is reestablished.  There are a small number of wizards who specialize in large scale extermination of vermin, not just insects, and they rarely lack for work somewhere.

Of course, very few know that the insects of the Sea of Stars are occasionally influenced by the mysterious Pattern which acts through them to achieve its inscrutable goals.

Notes: Sorry this is late, yesterday was just a terrible day for productivity.

Image Five insects of the Orthoptera order, including a grasshopper, locust and mantid. Coloured engraving by J. O. W from the Wellcome Collection. CC BY.

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Cats in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, C)

3 April, 2019

A variety of big catsAs one would suspect, the dragons of the Sea of Stars feel a certain kinship with cats, natural predators with a disdain for others.  Many of the draconic houses have both working cats and cats for pets, not that their dragonish masters have to under take any of the unpleasant tasks of having cats leaving such to the Visse and other servants.

Some among the dragons have adopted larger cats, lions, tigers, leopards, or even more exotic felines, for use as guards, hunting animals or even decoration.  (It is amazing how some people are cowed when their ruler is surround by a subservient pride of lions.)  The hunting cheetah of the Crystal Plains are justly feared and cooperate effectively with dragonkine when hunting.  While the crimson leopards from the Bloodwood Forests are exceedingly effective as guards and have a petranatural ability to communicate among themselves.  The grey-gold lion prides of the Amber Savannah willingly accept dragon as the leader of their pride even when they have adopted human form.  Needless to say, the Visse do not care for having to deal with big cats and actively recruit larger handlers when such in in a household.

While dragons like cats, their relationship with the Catfolk of Felix Talis has been more fraught, the Independence that manifest in a pet is one things, less so if they talk back, especially less so if they argue philosophy with you.  The Catfolk, however, respect all the dragonkine and are careful not to twist their tails . . . too far.

Cats are a popular choice among the familiar animals for spellcasters and many have developed considerable intelligence and some even have acquired their own magical abilities.

Notes: Art from the Wellcome Collection and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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The Empress is Watching.

16 March, 2019

 

The Empress

Here is the official piece for the Draconic Empress of the Sea of Stars, in her human form because it is much easier to get administrative work done when you are not at risk of destroying all of the paperwork the empire requires to function on with a twitch of a tail.

This lovely piece is by the ever-talented Ron Randall, comic book artist and creator of the Trekker series (which I also recommend).  Who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with at many Portland Comic Cons back in the 1990s.  The photo does not fully do it justice and I will need to get a big flatbed scanner to get it converted to an image for use in the Sea of Stars campaign book.

Enjoy!

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New Monster – Corpse Custodian Projection

22 October, 2018

A ghostly appearance

You open the crypt revealing a body decked in valuables, as you reach for them, swirling motes of dust coalesce into the spectral form of a small person. “Halt varlet! Neither those riches not this body is for you! Flee now or taste my blade!” It brandishes a translucent sword to back up its statement.

Corpse Custodian Projection CR 2

XP 600
N Small construct (ancestral, force)
Init +3; Senses darkvision, low-light vision; Perception +6

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +6 armor, +1 size)
hp 26 (3d10+10)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4
Special Defense DR 5/Magic, Resistance to Acid, Cold, Electricity, and Fire 10

OFFENSE
Read the rest of this entry ?

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New Chimeric Monster – Moger (for Pathfinder, D&D5 and Dungeon World)

26 May, 2018

Just a moose, right?A sound near by, you turn to look, a moose?! How did it get so close without you noticing? It is moving towards you awfully purposefully. Those teeth do not look friendly and it has claws! Run! Run for your life!

MOOGER CR 4

XP 1,200
N Large magical beast (chimeric)
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6

DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, –1 size)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +4
Special Defense shielding antlers Read the rest of this entry ?

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