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Author Topic: [Aterrizar] The Bestiary  (Read 1913 times)

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Offline Scrasamax

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[Aterrizar] The Bestiary
« on: October 11, 2004, 02:15:46 PM »
In this thread, I am going to introduce the myraid of flora and fauna native to Aterrizar. Much of the common mythozoology is present, though in unexpected, and hopefully novel ways. When dealing with such enigmatic creatures it is important to remember one thing.

Never run, it only draws their attention

Enjoy.


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Offline Scrasamax

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The Harpy
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 02:27:44 PM »
The harpy from mythology is a large winged creature with the head, and breasts of a woman, this depiction invaraibly has the bird thing crusted and foul from eating carrion, and having sooty black feathers. The female characteristics range from comely lasses, to withered hateful crones, often dependant on the age and maturity of the author, or illustraitor.

The Aterrizaran Harpy is a rather different creature.

The native harpy is a large black vulture, often with a wingspan as great as twenty to twenty-five feet, and a body mass of eighty to one hundred pounds. For a bird, this is a substancial animal, easily comparative to four or five large turkeys for mass. Their feathers retain a dull finish, and are not strongly rooted, a predator attempting to bite one will come away with a mouthful of unpleasantly pointed feathers.

Their heads are on the large side, with well developed eyes, and nasal apperatures, giving them a keen sense of smell that they utilize in hunting down their preferred meal, three weak old corpses. Thusfar the harpy has demonstarted no major difference from a common, albiet giant vulture.

The harpy has the ability to mimic voices, a talent it has gained from an unknown source, suspected to be magical in nature. When approaching carrion they can effect human voices to scare away predators and scavengers who are afraid of humans, especially lesser vultures, and coyotes. There is also a primitive and malicious intelligence behind the mimicry. If a person were able to stand the horrific smell, they would discover that the birds are capable of speech.

They are also abrasive, heckling, and as possibly unpleasant as possible. Some make a sport of defecating on knights in shining armor and then winging away out of weapons range. Others will roost in a hidden spot on a roof and make a racket of themselves, screaming and making makes crude enough to make sailors blush.

Harpies have their true origin in the underworld, where a large number of the carrion birds end up as their feeding ground shallows into the realm of the dead. Most are able to escape, but a few remain trapped behind. The strange properties of the spirit realm of death has altered those who have survived there, feeding on the spirits and corpses of the dead. In an inverse of the entry process a number of harpies escape the underworld on a semi-regular basis and have established small, but viable breeding populations in areas that are not heavily populated, and have rough mountainous terrain to roost in, as well as abundant prey, and carrion to feed on.


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Offline Scrasamax

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River Dragons
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 03:54:47 PM »
A river dragon is a large serpentine beast, ranging from ten to thirty feet in length. It has a draconian head, short legs, and a deep sculling tail that is uses as its prime mode of swimming. Despite its dragon like appearance, it is possessing only animal intelligence, and is as attracted to bright shiny objects, as it is repelled by the stench of human waste.

Thus, it is excedingly rare for a River Dragon to be encountered anywhere near a town on a river, as the rier is generally the main way that a town disposes of its organic waste. Sometimes a dragon possessed by a strange malady, or illness will wander into the area and make a problem of itself, but in areas where such events occur their are earthen levies that the dragon has a difficult time surmounting.

Attacks away from civilization are common, moreso when the victims are festooned with shining armor, and bright colors. The Dragon will grab a victim and pull them under the water and lodge them under a piece of fallen debris to let them 'soften' up to be easier to digest.

There are exceptions to every rule, and the exception among River Dragons is the beast of the Argent river, also called the Sirion, or shining river. There is only one River Dragon known to its waters, and the beast has reached a staggering sixty-odd feet in length, and has on multiple occassions spoken with travelers who seek to cross the river. The villages and bridge keepers have discovered that it is much easier to make the small offerings of silver and gold coins that the great serpent requests rather than the constant rebuilding of bridges, and ruined levies.

Unlike the standard Occidental (western) dragon, a River dragon cannot fly, cannot breath out flame, or cast spells and enchantments. Some have learned a trick of spitting water out of their mouths in a stream, but this is mearly a measure of pressure and mouth control. The stream is still strong enough to knock a grown man from a horse, or stun an unarmored man.


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Offline Scrasamax

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The Fire Falcon
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2004, 12:59:18 PM »
Fire Falcons are a species of falcon native to Tresserhorn and the eastern provinces of the Midlands. It is a large falcon easily identified due to the vibrant red color of the undersides of its wings. It is an intimidating animal and is fearless when attacking larger birds and some smaller land animals.

Fire Falcons are considered good omens since they often drive off larger hostile birds such as harpies, and most species of smaller drakes. They also inheriently attack magical constructs such as gremlins, homonoculous, and other magic creations.

It is considered to be an omen of exceding doom to actually kill a fire falcon, and even the most evil wizard or warlord will think more than once before taking one of these uncommon birds down. In the Kingdom of Tresserhorn it is actually against the law, upon pain of death, to willingly and knowingly harm a fire falcon.


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Offline Scrasamax

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Aterrizarian Elementals
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2005, 09:29:01 AM »
The elementals of Aterrizar differ from the standard fantasy elemental in that they have permanent genders, and five genders at that. Composition, and general rules of summoning and control still apply to these elementals, but they are more fixed in their form, aside from the ability to interect with their native elements, or assume the form of those elements for a limited amount of time.

The Five Genders
Male - These are the craggy, and least humanoid of the elementals, and consequently have the most raw power. Shifting masses of roaring stone, and towering bonfires are their physical shapes, and are the most recognizeable. Most magi summon the male of the elementals for these reasons, though there is a trade-off as the male elementals are the least intelligent and more bestial of the courts. Male elementals can mate with any of the other four genders.

Amale - These elementals are counted as weaker than the male, but are still powerful in their own right. They can assume a human form and pass among humanity with some ease, but still have strong elemental tells, such as the smell of smoke, or dripping water where ever they go. Amales can reproduce with semales, females, and umales.

Semale - Similar to the amale, these elementals manifest in female forms, with the dryad being one of the best known. Hedonistic mages will summon semales as concubines and pillow toys. Semales can breed with males, amales, and umales.

Female - These elementals are the physically weakest, but possess the greatest knowledge, on par with the demon princes and celestial little gods. They are passive in the extreme are very hard to find. It takes the raw power and single minded determination of the strongest males and rare amales to find these elusive beings. Females can breed with any of the other four genders.

Umale - these are the strangest of the elementals, often existing as a pseudopod of their associated element. They have no humanoid features other than an occassional face, though usually there is some flaw such as too many or too few eyes, misplaced sensory organs and the like. Umales are the most manageable of the elementals and serve some sort of elemental 'sanitary' disposal function in the courts. Umales can breed with any gender, including other umales, though they are attributed a pariah status among other elementals.

Half-Blooded
In the case of the amale and semale, there is a good chance of cross-species fertilization, creating half-bloods. These individuals are invariably raised in the human realm as the strictures of the elemental courts would extinguish their human flesh and kill the half lacerated soul. Once they reach physical maturity, these half bloods are able to survive in their parents elemental court. Powers are common and vary from indiviual to individual. Good blood is no promise of powers just as a fast car is no promise of victory.

Elementals like the half-blooded as they represent hands in the mortal realm that can work to the betterment of their court and kin. Many a wood-blood has become a ranger or forestal to better protect a large wooded area, while some fire-bloods invariably become arsonists. no element is predisposed to good or evil, so the 'evil' arsonist can be easily counterbalanced by a 'good' smithy, or healers.


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Offline CaptainPenguin

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[Aterrizar] The Bestiary
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2005, 11:20:29 AM »
I like that about your elementals... Very creative. Perhaps we should make that into a New Look?
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Gifts/ Flaws and Organizations
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2005, 01:01:11 PM »
What kind of gifts are we looking at for the halfs?

There is of course three that should be considered
1) Elemental Immunity - Half is immune to the odd effects of their parent element

2) Elemental Pass - The ability to move through the element as if it is the natural environment.

3) Elemental Travel - In appropriate areas, based on the element, the character can travel to the elemental court.  So if you want to travel to fire, you must be a fire half, and be at a bon-fire, volcano, or enchanted forge.  There are additional steps of this gift, once you have your basic, that lets you go to other ones.

4) Elemental Blood: The character has elemental blood somewhere in its ancestry. A given basic gift can be "shared" to someone (half or elemental) of the appropriate element. To be  shared, the two must remain in contact at all times.

Then of course, there should be additional bits...
Burst - create small (1d4/1d6) ranged attacks.. Take multiple times to stack
Shield - deflects small amounts of damage ... take multiple times to stack.
Elemental Movement - Flight, Tunneling, Swimming, Teleporting (fire to fire)
Elemental Scry - Ability to sense where the element is and what is going on around a given patch of the element
You can go on... but you get the idea...



There will be flaws of course...
Tells - The character must have one of the signs that they are halfed and which element they are decended from... For example: Fire Tells could be Red/Blond Hair, Dusky Bronze Skin, Large Eyes... perhaps a distinctive nose shape?  A character must take these flaws (and probably gets not points for them) based on the number of elemental Gifts they take.

Elemental Bane - The character takes additional damage from the opposing element.

Nemsis: Opposing Element -(Your parent must of peeved off someone... and they are here to take it out on you).

Nemsis: Elemental Court - (your parent peeved off his own court (or a strong faction) and they are out to either kill you or make your life most miserable:

And another thing
If these halfs exist, what is the human/ mortal response to it?  ARe they hunted down? Are they enslaved as "less than people"?  Are they nobles? Is there a church or organization that harbors them?  Is there some complex combination of the above? (Oh please let there be....)
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Offline Scrasamax

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Mortal Society and the Elemental-Blooded
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2005, 07:14:25 PM »
Elemental Blooded are less common than would be suspected. While coupling between elementals is a little more common than the conservative Trinitarian Church, and the general populace would like, the chances of a child being born are quite low. Assuming humans have a 1 in 4 chance of reproducing an elemental hybrid has a 1 in 16 chance, a flaw that the elemental blooded carry themselves. This has made dynasties of potent elemental blooded tyrants all but impossible.

The Northern Kingdom of Nyserta, the royal family is supposedly entirely Elemental Blooded, descended from unions of water spirit and woman. The queen to be takes an elemental lover, along with potions of fertility and under the guidance of astrology seek to create the next generation of royalty. Suppossedly, the fortune of the kingdom is bound in the Royal blood and the pact made in generations past between the first Queen Nara, and Deneb, the Waterking of the Northern Springs. Those of Nara's blood are easily recognized by their blue eyes, melodic voices, and innate connection with water. All are excellent swimmers and are quite at home in the water, often in water that would leave others chattering with cold. To breed with an elemental outside of Deneb's court is to invite either exile, or death for the offender.

The Knights of Hyron, a silver clad flamboyant warriors dedicated to the Trinitarian god, have long harboured the elemental blooded among their ranks. This is one of many things that has soured the relationship between the valiant, and often hedonistic order and its ascetic parent church. The Trinitarian Church has offically declared the elemental-blooded as abominations and as such should be hunted out and put to a quick and merciful death. Across the Midlands and many neighboring Kingdoms, the elemental blooded are hunted down by means of astrology, snitches, and 'guesswork' that has killed a few non-elementals. The knights have taken several dozen earth and fire aspected elemental blooded into the ranks as they proven their devotion to Hyron in battle. A few water and air aspected elementals have also joined, but the arts of the healer and the archer are not so high in the painfully chivalric and overly bold creed of the knights. Better victorious and dead, than maimed yet alive.

Basic responce to elemental blooded often depends on the views of the local populace. In areas where the Trinitarian Church is strong, such will be met with outright hostility and could expect lynchmobs lead by the priests and the temple knights. Those suspected of fornication with elementals could be just as easily ostracized or killed. In other more pagan areas, the elementals could be seen as semi-divine born to rule, such as in Nyserta, or as simply just another person, such as in the marches of Deepwood.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

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