A vaguely humanoid shape of moxious green rises up from the water before you, seeming to pull the algae and slime from the surface to sonstitue its form. As the head forms, it turns toward you, the jellified jaws opning to spill forth a false tounge of ooze and putrid flesh.
Formed from bodies left to putrefy within muddy graves and stagant waters, skuz number among the most disgusting of all undead. Consisting of equal parts stagnant water, rotting vegetation, and liquefied corpse, skuz are consumed by a blind need for vengeance, seekin to inflict their horrible demise upon all living creatures. Making their home amid swamps, sewers, and stagnant areas of ronds and rivers, they awair live prey to drag into their revolting pools. Preferring solitary existences, multiple skuz rarely linger together, with newly created spawn oozing away to pollute their own territories.
In the Forgotten Realms, skuz are most common in the Swamp of Akhlaur, the Wast Swamp, the Farsea Marshes, the River Umber, and a few locations along the coast of the Easting Reach. Rumor has it that, several times a year, the remains of the dead god Moandr exudes one or more powerful skuz, pssibly the forms of long-dead victims slowly excreted by the profane corpse's decay.
Crocs on mainstreet
Or any other large semi-aquatic animal swimming in the flooded roads.
Dozus 11:07 pm: Here's a subplot: the expansion of the bog is invading the local temple's cemetary. The priests ask you to move the remains to a safer location, wherein they uncover...
A local fungus explodes if hit or fallen upon. If any conflict takes place between intelligent foes, both sides will use it to their advantage.
"Quite near there happened to be a mound of earth, at the highest part of which were gowing thickets of cornel and a dense cluster of spiky myrtle-stems. I went up there and tried to wrench the green growth from the ground to provide a leafy covering for our altar. There I was confronted by a horrible and astonishing miracle. For, from the first bush which I tried to break off... blood oozed in dark drops, fouling the earth with its spots... A piteous moan came from the base of the mound and I heard a human voice answering me: 'Why, Aeneas, must you rend a poor sufferer? I am buried here... for I am Polydorus. Here death overpowered me in a crop of piercing iron pointed spears. And so a crop of resembling javelins has grown over me..."Go to Comment
Where to begin? Let's start with the whole 'peasant weapon' thing. After years of research into Japanese and Okinawan weapons, I've learned to take any claims of "peasant" origin with a LARGE grain of salt, especially where Okinawan weapons are concerned. Like the ninja, there are a great number of myths associated with kobudo weaponry. The first being that peasants were improvising weapons from common tools because they couldn't carry weapons (a myth also appearing in Japan). It was the warrior caste (Pechin) of Okinawa who improvised tools for use as weapons (primarily due to the restrictions placed on them by the Satsuma after the 1609 invasion).
Don't get me wrong, there are weapons derived from "peasant" tools. However, research shows that these generally derive from the same sort of tools you'd find turned into weapons in Europe; flails, axes, hatchets, scythes, and the like. The tonfa is pretty much the only Okinawan weapon, derived from a tool, which doesn't exactly have a classical European counterpart (excepting the use of improvised objects as weaponry). So when you come across claims of a weapon being derived from "peasant tools" be sure to triple check the sources on it. (As a side note, for the suruchin alone, I've seen three different "origin" stories; the fishermen one, one where they're derived from tools used to hold together bits of roofing, and another that states they were used as far back as the Stone Age to fight off wild beasts. Given the simplicity in design of the weapon, any or none of those could be valid.)
Next we come to the chain/rope issue. The suruchin is a rope weapon. Later exposure to Japanese weaponry introduced chain weaponry to Okinawa where local practitioners of kobudo adopted the weaponry and dubbed them "suruchin", but they're still really not the same weapon. The two types of chain suruchin, cho suruchin and naga suruchin, are actually a tamagusari and manriki-gusari. Judging by the wording used in the description posted, the chain entry was pulled from Wikipedia. Don't get me wrong, Wiki can be a wonderful source of information, but only if used as a starting place in your research.
Technical stuff. The actual lengths given for the suruchin are 3, 5, 6, and 7 shaku (11.930542 inches, usually people just convert to one foot for ease of reference). For the metric folks, these lengths are 90 cm, 150cm, 180cm, and 240cm.
Note: Yes, I use the 'suruchin' spelling rather than 'surujin,' lots of research shows that most Japanese and Okinawan weapons have generally at least half a dozen alternate spelling/names for the same weapon. The "suru" part of the name is derived from the plant fiber, surukaa, from which the rope was originally made. Chin/jin is supposedly derived from the term for the paperweight used to hold down rice paper (according to Wiki at least, if it's true, it would derive from the character (not sure if that will show well here) 'chin'; 'shizu' (in okinawan), an archaic Buddhist term for a weight).
So, overall, my main suggestion is simply to make sure you research multiple sources on stuff like this. Other than that issue (which happens to everyone, even me), it was a good submission. Go to Comment