In addition to Beasts, the Riven, Chimerae and Kraken, and just plain ordinary plants and animals, there are a number of new types of Flora nad Fauna that are of interest to the average adventurer. What follows is a list of the more common or well-known ones. Most of these creatures have an enhanced, merged, or altered morphia, anima, or psyche.
Description: Reavers are the most terrifying creature of the Savage Earth. There is some debate as to whether a reaver is a living thing or a force of nature. They do not appear to eat or sleep, but they move with some amount of awareness. A Reaver appears as a translucent ball of dark energy, with crackling blue discharges surrounding it in a halo. It appears suddenly, the only warning being a high pitched whine, nearly undetectable by human ears. Also, the small hairs will stand straight when a reaver approaches. Once they appear, they move with a terrifying screaming sound. Normal barriers cannot stop their movement, but spirit enhanced walls will deter them to some degree. They have been winessed emerging directly upward from the ground.
Reavers are the reason behind the variety of wildlife in the Savage Earth. A reaver will chase and envelope a life form. It will then scramble the target's spirit in a seemingly random manner. Often the reuslts are fatal. Those who not die are called Chimerae if they were animals, and Riven if they were humans or beasts.
Adepts can exert some small control over reavers, usually only enough to order one away. Controlling a reaver is extremely difficult and dangerous; the consequences of failure are horrible.
Game Notes: Reavers are the ultimate plot device. They are a Radiation Accident made manifest. They are fairly indestructable by any force PCs are likely to control. Nevertheless, they have certain physical characteristics which can be exploited. They have a Speed of 5 and Flight of 12". They possess a sense analogous to Spirit Sight. Normal barriers do not obscure this sense.
Description: The Carnobroc is one ot the most dangerous denizens of the jungle. They live in tropical and equatorial regions of high rainfall. For most of the time, a Carnobroc is a stationary plant. But when rains are heavy and there has been little food, the carnobroc can become ambulatory. Loose, wet soils allow them to pull up their roots for short times and travel about looking for prey. They have an almost supernatural ability to move through even the densest foliage.
Carnobrocs travel in "groves" of 10-30 individuals. Once they have eaten, they will remain rooted until hunger drives them to move.
Carnobroc resemble trees in size and general shape, though they are distinguishable by a large pod-like head. When in search of a meal, this head will split, revealing rows of teeth 12 to 24 inches in length. These teeth are more for holding than rending, since the digestion is handled by strong enzymes in the central cavity. They strike with deadly accuracy. Carnobrocs are unintelligent, posessing virtually no psyche to speak of. They can be stunned by a great amount of damage, however.
|CSL +4 strike, -2 DCV for size
+10 STR only for grab
50% res. Damage Reduction, only vs. piercing attacks
Stealth 15-, Environmental Movement, jungle.
|CSL +4 strike, -2 DCV for size
+10 STR only for grab
50% res. Damage Reduction, only vs. piercing attacks
Stealth 15-, Environmental Movement, jungle.
Description: The Hangman's Tree is a carniverous tree that is also known as the Jack-o-Lynch. It is difficult to identify, since it has the peculiar property of adapting its morphia to resemble nearby vegetation. Therefore it can appear to be a completely harmless tree of a different variety. The only difference is the vague odor of rotted meat. This odor comes from previous prey, so if the smell is strong, the tree is probably slow and docile. The longer the time since the last meal, the more active and dangerous the tree becomes. The tree catches its prey by dropping limb-like tentacles, grasping with extraordinary strength. They strike quickly , but respond slowly while crushing. It is not known how they sense their prey.
Game Notes: The Hangman's Tree has strength from growth. Small specimens have 30 STR, the largest can be 45 STR. They have Concealment 14- (modified by smell), and +2 skill levels to grab, and can perform the Choke Hold Maneuver.
Description: This is one of the oddest trees on the Savage Earth and explorers have reported seeing their odd spores for as far as they have travelled. The Hindenberg tree stands form 25-30 feet in height and reproduces through long-distance spores. The adult tree produces spores at anything from softball to basketball size.The tree fills millions of tiny pockets within these spores with waste hydrogen. When the spore is ripe, the tree releases it, and it is carried away by the prevailing winds. At some point, a small electrochemical charge will ignite the gas, which will cause a local combustion, almost an explosion. The seeds of the tree need this combustion energy to start germination. Hindenbergs may be seen high in the sky if they are new, or they may be much lower as they age and lose gas. The spores themselves are delicate, and the charge may be set off with any sudden impact. Travellers are best advised to beware of them. Still, some barbarians collect the small ones and carefully dip them in clay and pack them in srtaw. They can later be used to start fires almost instantly. Hindenbergs are edible, but hardly worth the effort.
Game Notes:A Hindenberg will explode with any sudden strike, doing a 1 hex area effect reduced penetration killing attack. The strength of the attack is 1-3 DCs, depending on the size and age of the spore. A Hindenberg prepared as described above can be used as a missile weapon, but they are dangerous to transport in quantity.
Description: There are a number of very useful plants known to doctors and herb-lorists. Some purist healers will eschew their use in favor of spirit manipulation, but for the common person, they are often the only remedy for mundane ailments. They can also be dangerous when used in an aggressive manner.
Woundwort is so incredibly useful that it gets its own separate entry.
Easeroot: This is a juicy root that can be used to reduce pain. The plant itself is bitter and inedible, resembling reddish shoots similar in shape to an onion's. The root can be used as a topical painkiller. It can be boiled and condensed into a powerful depressent.
Dreamleaf: A mild hallucinogen, an infusion of dreamleaf encourages pleasant dreams and restful sleep.
Description: Woundwort is an incredibly useful plant. Though it is difficult to cultivate, its marvelous properties ensure that there is nearly always some for sale somewhere. Woundwort is a small low-growing plant that prefers cool, damp places. It has hundreds of tiny blue-green leaves and once per year produces 1-4 small white berries.
Woundwort has the property of enhancing or re-inforcing a creature's baseline morphia. A poultice made of the leaves can cure small wounds or remove scars if they are not too old. It cannot cure heavy wounds, though it can speed healing. It does nothing for pain, which may persist after the wound has healed.
Game Notes: Woundwort leaves, when properly prepared and applied, will cure any wound of three or less within 24 hours. If applied to a wound greater than that, it will merely speed healing. If the poultice is mixed with the berries, it can cure a wound of up to four Body points. What this really means is that Woundwort increases the healing powers of an individual. If a person could normally cure a wound of 2 with a paramedic roll, then they can cure at +1, effectivley healing a wound of 3. Berries increase the healing amount by +2.
One berry is good for one wound. The average plant can produce 1-3 poultices. Dried leaves and berries can be carried for many months without losing their effectiveness.
enough woundwort for 1 poultice = $3
prepared poultice = $10
berry = $25
prepared berry poultice = $50
Description: Chimera is a generic term for any large and unique monster. Most chimerae come from the action of reavers, twisting the spirits of natural animals, but some are from unspeakable cross-breeding. Chimerae are nearly always hostile and rarely if ever intelligent. After a reaver has passed through an area, there may be a sudden increase in the number of chimerae.
Chimera should not be confused for the Riven. Riven have a similar origin (reavers), but are generally from human stock and usually possess some intelligence.
Kraken is merely another word for Chimera. Whereas chimera refers to a land animal, a kraken is a chimera of the water.
Game Notes: Chimerae are usually difficult to kill and represent one of the major challenges for an adventurer. Since every Chimera is unique, no game stats are presented here.
Description: The Hydra is nothing more than a multi-headed snake. A single hydra can have from 2-9 heads. Near cities, they never get to exceptional size, since they are discovered and destroyed. It is rumored that in the wild they have gotton to enormous lengths. There are several varieties, most are not poisonous.
Game Notes: The multiple heads are bought as extra limbs. The snake can constrict or bite one opponent while continuing to hold onto another. The Hydra has a Speed of 6 for attacking purposes, but can only move at Speed 3.
The Tranq is a large arachnid, about the size of a German Shepherd. Although ferocious looking, it is physically weak and relies on poison to capture its prey. A tranq will grapple with a victim only long enough to inject its venom and then it will retreat. The venom is a powerful narcotic, which will cause first delusions and then torpor. Once the victim falls, the tranq will then drag it to a seculre spot and web it tightly. It then lives off the juices of the animal for many days. Tranqs rarely prey on anything man-sized, but it is not unheard of. The venom can be collected from the sac of a tranq and used to coat darts. One spider is good enough for 3 darts worth. The venom rapidly loses its potency unless properly prepared. It is rumored that the savages of Mundaba keep the spiders in cages and milk them.
|Adult tranq venom acts as a 26d Stun suppress. It is continuous with 3 charges. The Mendaban dart is slightly more concentrated, doing a 3d6 suppress instead.|
Description: Kongs are large hairy humanoids standing about 8 feet in height.. They are unintelligent, which is unusual given their morphic similarity to humans. It is possible that they are something like Beasts in reverse, a human whose psyche is that of a beast and becoming slowly more beast-like in morphia. Kongs travel in packs and can brachiate quite easily. Some of them have prehensile tails.
|Kongs are capable of using clubs. They have a flight of 5", only through trees (-1/2).|
Description: Leviathans are huge sea serpents. Growing to fantastic size in the waters of the Lantic Ocean near Braedor, the frequently reach 500 meters or more in length. They are perfectly capable of crushing most ships with casual ease. There is a tribe of aquatic mutants, the Sea Folk, who know the secret of catching and controlling the monsters, though they can hardly be said to tame them. If a leviathan gets free of the cruel mouth and eye hooks, it will savagely turn upon its controllers.
Description: A Bronto looks nothing like a Brontosaurus, or any kind of dinosaur, for that matter. Only the name has survived to describe this unbelievably colossal animal. The Bronto is a huge centipede-like animal, with multiple segments covered with thick plates of armor. Each segment is roughly 30 feet in diameter and possesses one pair of stubby legs. The entire animal is well over 150 feet long. Adult brontos have been reported that are twice these dimensions. Although it is frightening to behold, it is completely harmless unless it happens to step on you. Treat its area of movement as a casual Strength area effect. The Bronto is a fairly blind plant eater. The thing to beware about a Bronto is not the beast itself, but the parasite that lives on it, the Vampire.
|The Bronto is a truly frightening creature with 75 or more points of Growth.
50% Res.Damage Reduction Are of movement is considered a casual STR area effect attack.
Game Notes: The Bronto is a truly frightening creature with 75 or more points of Growth. The average adult has a STR of 85, BODY of 35, STUN 80, PD/ED 12 (+6 Armor), and has 50% Resistant Damage Reduction. It knocks down entire stands of trees as it moves. It only has a SPEED of 1, however, and although is is frightening to behold, is completely harmless unless it happens to step on you. Treat its area of movement as a casual Strength area effect. The Bronto is a fairly blind plant eater. The thing to beware about a Bronto is not the beast itself, but the parasite that lives on it, the Bloodsucker.
Ecology: Bloodsuckers have absolutely no resemblance to the humanoid vampires of legend. They are giant insects, roughly the size of a man. Their legs are stubby and end in sharp hooks. The mouthparts are long and sharp, drill-like in fact. They are a parasite that lives on Brontos. Using their hooked appendages to gain purchase between bronto segments, the vampire then uses its drill-mouth, to pierce the armor. It then gorges itself on blood. Although a bloodsucker can attack other prey, brontos are its favorite. The large slow-moving beasts make for an easy lunch. Bloodsuckers have an instinctual drive to keep their numbers manageable. Too many to a Bronto will kill the host. Once Bloodsuckers gain too great a concentration, they will feed on the blood supply of surrounding wildlife, if available. If no other sources are at hand, they will attack one another until their numbers are smaller
Description: No one knows what a vampire's true form is. It is a parasitic life form that draws its morphia, anima and psyche by stealing them from another. It always starts out looking like something else (usually someone else). It picks a target and makes an intimate contact. Any prolonged tissue-to-tissue contact will do. Sometimes it will take numerous applications. The vampire will gradually become the person in all respects. It can be immediately told from the real thing by a Sighted person making a PER roll. The unfortunate target of the vampire will gradually cease to exist, slowly becoming an immobile, featureless, mindless thing. Eventually it will die.
The vampire will be able to continue for some time, perfectly duplicating the original creature. Eventually however, they will begin to weaken. The fate to which they consigned their victim will gradually overtake them. Thus they must continue to steal lives. Vampires prefer intelligent victims, but will take a lesser creature if the alternative is death. Unfortunately for them, this will mean they will lose intelligence until they duplicate a rational target again.
According to legend, Vampires are weakened by the light of lumina.
Vampires are loners, at least where other vampires are concerned.
Game Notes: The Vampire's attack is a Transformation attack. In all other respects, it resembles its last target. The attack is a 10d6 attack that must equal the target's BOD + INT + (Speedx5). Note that in the average person, this is about 30 points. They can do it easily. An average heroic individual might have a combined score of 50. It is still possible, but more difficult, requiring further applications of power. The attack is cumulative. Individuals whose combined score is greater than 60 are immune to a vampire. Riven are also immune. Those with spiritual enhancement are given a +5 bonus to their target score, making them more difficult.
Treat vampires as a plot device. They are identical to their last victim. They retain skills and memories of things they have personally experienced, but lose all memories of their last target once they assume a new identity. It is not known how vampires reproduce. Vampires posses Spirit Sight.
Description: Spine Dogs, also called Jackalos, are pack-hunting canids. Resembling large dogs or hyenas in general shape, they are covered with sharp spines, similar to a hedgehog. They are savage killers, though they will quickly back off if wouned. A typical hunting pack has 10-20 adults.
They are known for their prodigious leaping ability. In combat they will spring from concealment, seeking to surprise their prey.
Game Notes: Spine dogs have 12" of leaping, with a -1/2 only for half moves Limitation. Basically, they can leap 6" and attack. They cannot leap 12". The ability is bought this way since the animal does not use its weight to attack; it is not a move-through. They also have Stealth and concealment of 14- each.
Their skin is bought as a damage shield, 1d6 HKA, reduced penetration.
Ecology: The Deezel of Merrikia is very similar to the Bison of the American Plains except in one respect. It is larger than an African Elephant. Its power and stamina are remarkable. It is used as beast of burden, with one Deezel doing the work of a team of horses. It requires skill to handle one and they are not normally allowed on city streets. The city of Tallon allows them on specific roads during night hours.
Two types of harness are used on a deezel. Some pull great wagons, or even short trains of wagons. These are the most common, and are used between docks and market areas, along main roads. Less common is the cargo howdah. This is an arrangement that can be pre-loaded and lowered onto the deezel by crane, or can be loaded and unloaded while already buckled on, by means of cargo ramps and platforms. The howdahs are used on roads that will not accomodate wheeled traffic, such as the steeper, staired streets.
In either case, the handler either rides just behind the head and steers by reigns attached to the horns, or simply leads the deezel by means of a nose ring and rope. Handlers also carry the Thacker, a five foot stick of polished hardwood. This is used to get the animal's attention.
Personality/Motivation: The deezel is a placid creature, easily manipulated by human handlers. It complains little even under terrific burden. When panicked, it can stampede however.
Powers/Tactics: The deezel almost never attacks unless severley provoked. In such a case, it will trample smaller creatures under its huge hooves. Larger creatures will receive the thrust of its nearly man-sized horns.
Campaign Use: Deezels are beasts of burden and a common sight in Merikia. They are primarily used for farming and freight handling. Attempts to train deezels for war use have met with limited success. They usually have two modes. Placid and dull, and stark raving terrified. The rare occasions upon which deezels have been used in combat have all required significant spiritual modification by specially trained Master Psychists.
Appearance: As mentioned before, Deezels are similar in overall shape to the modern Bison. Their legs are shorter and thicker, to support their enormous weight, and their backs are much broader and flatter, however. The horns of domesitcated deezels are often dyed bright colors.
Herbivore's senses: +1 with PER Hearing group
Horns: HKA 1d6+1 (2 1/2d6 w/STR) (20 Active Points); Reduced Penetration (-1/4) , Notes: Often blunted on domesticate Deezels (replace with +4 HtH Attack, or 14d6N)
Stampede: Running 0" (6" total), x4 Noncombat
Hooves: HKA 1d6 (2d6 w/STR) (15 Active Points); Reduced Penetration (-1/4)
Tough Skin: Damage Resistance (2 PD/2 ED)
Psychological Limitation: Domesticated (Very Common, Strong)
Physical Limitation: Animal Intelligence (Frequently, Greatly Impairing)
Physical Limitation: Enormous (Frequently, Slightly Impairing), Notes: 4.5m at shoulder, -4DCV, +4 PER rolls to be perceived
Physical Limitation: Very limited manipulation (Frequently, Greatly Impairing)
Psychological Limitation: Domesticated (Very Common, Strong)
Psychological Limitation: Docile (Common, Moderate)
Ecology: Raptas are great flightless hunting birds used throughout Merikia as steeds. It is not certain whether they are naturally-occuring, or the result of careful, spirtism-guided breeding. Rapta breeders claim that todays raptors are bigger and stronger than those in the days of the grandfathers, but this is conjecture. The few herds of wild raptas known to exist are thought to be feral.
A rapta female will lay 2-4 fertile eggs in a given year, nearly always in pairs. Almost every rapta has a twin of close physical appearance. It takes a raptor two years to reach maturity, three to assume full growth.
Raptas are carnivorus and prefer to hunt for their meat, but are known to consume carrion with equal zeal.
Personality/Motivation: Raptas are naturally querulous, excitable and somewhat mad. They are impressionable if caught at hatching time, and indeed, this is the only known way to domesticate one. Each raptor is eternally bonded to one rider. Rapta breeders are also raptor trainers. They cannot do the training themselves and must guide whoever will become the rider. Unimpressed raptors are generally killed. They are uncontrollable.
For this reason, breeders will charge a hefty price and are very selective in their clientele. If a breeder deems the buyer to be unlikely to complete the training, they will not do business with that person for any amount of money.
In the hands of a competent rider, a rapta is docile enough to ride and handle. They may even be ridden into combat, and are fearsom opponents. Their beaks and claws are easily the equivalent of any sword or spear.
Raptas are excellent watch animals as well, since they will tend to wake at the slightest sound, and will challenge strangers automatically. Other people may apporach or even ride a rapta, so long as it is clear to the birs that their master is present and in charge. Raptas that witness their masters slain have been known to go mad with a berserk fury, capable of slaying creatures twice their weight, which is considerable.
Powers/Tactics: In combat a rapta will foten begin with it's hunting cry. This has been known to paralyze more timid creatures with fear. Onc ein position, a rapta will strike out with beak or talons. If possible, the rapta will attempt to imobilize prey with a tallon, and then tear away with their cruelly hooked beak.
Rapta riders sit high above melee combat and will fight with a long spear or lance.
Campaign Use: Raptas are fearsome steeds for any character willing to make the commitment. They are not a use-and-forget animal. Rapta riders are nearly as dedicated to their birds as the birds are to them. For this reason, rapta riders are genreally regarded as competent, trustworthy sorts. Due to the high cost, a rapta riders is almost always wealthy, as well.
Appearance: A rapta stands 11-13 feet at the head, though it can raise it's head up to 16 feet or so for a quick look around. Their plumage is commonly bright blood red, though green, yellow and even blue are occasionally recorded. Broodmates are always the same color. They have strong, but non-flight-capable wings that are able to deliver a punishing blow. Deadliest of all are their talons and beak.
Ecology: Tunnel Slugs, also called Rock Eaters, are large actually huge armored mollusks. Their principle diet is vegetation, although this is not immediately apparent given their formidable mouth organs.
Tunnel slugs start off life in large underground nesting caverns. They are born with voracious appetites and immediately begin to make their way to the surface. Their mouths secrete an incredibly corrosive enzyme capable of reducing rock and metal to a thin paste-like consistency. They can then extract any organic material from the slag. The rest passes through their bodies like soil through an earthworm. They retain particles of iron and other metals and slowly secrete them into a hard, armored coating. It takes several weeks to build up a respectable armor, and the armor must be periodically shed as the Tunnel Slug grows. After shedding, the worm is soft and vulnerable and retreats to the underground until it has consumed enough to build up new protection. Once again protected, it goes to the surface and eats the richer fare of surface vegetation until it has once again grown too large for its shell. The tunnel slug will repeat this cycle many times during its life and the wilderness is littered with these rusting shells. They make excellent shelters for travellers providing no dangerous wildlife has decided to make it their home first.
The other implication of their life cycle is a vast network of tunnels. The paste they leave behind is easily eroded and the result is tunnels large enough to permit a man to walk in. Nesting Chambers can leave huge caverns as well. These tunnels are often the lairs of chimeras, bandits, subterranean mutants or even simple peasants looking for a defensible home. The Caverns of the Night Folk and the escape tunnel for Merchant Throne of Adala are old tunnel slug paths.
Occasionally, Tunnel slugs may run into veins of copper, tin or even precious metals. Slug shells of these unusual consistencies can be quite valuable. Every old scout has a tale of the Golden Shell, that miraculous windfall that will make a man wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice.
Personality/Motivation: Tunnel slugs are more prone to flee than fight, being simple herbivores. The only time tunnel slugs are truly frightening is during a birthing. When a hundred or so voracious baby slugs eat their way up out of the ground intent on consuming anything in their path, even large chimeras have been known to flee. There was a particularly memorable eruption that actually occurred inside the city of Tallon about fifteen years ago that killed eleven people and toppled a building.
Powers/Tactics: When pressed, their saliva makes a bite from them very dangerous. It does not reduce flesh to slag, but the enzyme will burn flesh over the course of a day unless countered with potent herbs or other counter-agents. The bite is considered Piercing versus metal armors and will ruin them in any case. The enzyme loses its potency quickly after leaving the slug's body and cannot be preserved.
Campaign Use: Tunnel slugs are a useful explanation for the existnece of underground complexes. Their discarded shells can be a useful shelter in the wilds, or a great prize if made from precious materials.
Appearance: Though normally about 4 feet in diameter and 10 feet in length, some specimens have been found 12 feet by 30 feet. They are bluish in color, with a thick, wrinkly hide. They normally carry a hard carapace which may vary widely in color and composition. The fron end has short but strong ropey appendaages for moving slag and secreting enzyme. Their teeth are jagged grinding and digging plates.