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Offline Ancient Gamer

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[Coldforged]Bestiary
« on: August 03, 2005, 06:50:51 PM »
This Thread has already been transfered to Strolen's Citadel V2
This is the bestiary, containing animals, undead, constructs and other beasts that might be encountered within the Coldforged setting.

They are given danger ratings on the following scale:
Nuisance
Possible Threat
Threat
Dangerous
Life Threatening
Overpowering

Index
---------------------------------------
Animals:
Aoktholian Swarm
Beasts of Ûrghul

Beasts:
Barrow Dragon

Constructs:
Scroll Golem

Undead:
Kathyrrian Zombie
The Murdered Young
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2005, 10:25:09 AM »
The Murdered Young
Category: Haunting Undead
Danger rating: Nuisance
Activity Period: Nighttime
Restrictions: Cannot leave site of death
Description: The Murdered Young are the vengeful ghosts of infants who died before they were baptized. Telltale sounds can often be heard when a Murdered Young is nearby, depending on its age when it died. If it was the victim of an abortion, the sounds of a throbbing heart would be most likely, and if it was an infant the sound would be that of a crying baby. On occasion the Murdered Young screams with a childish voice, and then it usually scream the name of its murderer and how it was killed. Murdered Young appears as luminous wafts of fog, but might leave dripping wet baby footprints. If inspected, the fluid will appear to be amniotic fluid (the water surrounding a fetus).

These ghosts never attack anyone, but can prove quite bothersome as they are known to haunt the site of their death. They cannot be exorcised and only disappear when their murderer dies, which has resulted in many a burning of supposedly child murdering females. A Murdered Young will make all females in its vicinity barren until they leave the area or the haunting has ceased. Additionally it will instill fear in those who encounter or hear it, and will make sleep difficult as they keep people awake and cause nightmares.
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[Coldforged]Bestiary
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2005, 10:39:08 AM »
Aoktholian Swarm
Category: Swarm of ravenous crows
Danger rating: Life Threatening
Activity Period: Drought
Restrictions: Cannot fly in heavy winds, exists only within the Empire, close to the Obaayn Desert.
Description: An Aoktholian Swarm is a huge swarm of screeching, red and black feathered crows. The Aoktholian does normally not exist, but when there is a drought, these desperate crows change. Their wing feathers turn red and they begin to amass in ever larger swarms. In the beginning these swarms will be attacking defenceless victims, such as small children, dogs and cats, and they will completely cover these victims, peck them to death and greedily devour them, leaving only the blood spattered skeleton behind. Then, as the swarms grow bigger, they will begin attacking full grown humans, cattle and larger beasts, until one day the swarm is so big that it devours all it encounters; herds of cattle, families, villages and even small towns. At this point the swarm will be so vast that it will cover the horizon as it approaches, a trait that has given them the alternate name "Dark Swarm" in some locations. When the drought is finally over, these crows turn black once again and then disperse, finally able to survive on their own.

The Desert Nomads believe the Aoktholian are the messengers of the Gods and hold them sacred. These nomads have learnt several techniques to stay alive where all else are eaten and indeed entire tribes follow the Aoktholian to pillage the areas these birds have ravaged. Within the temples of the desert tribes, ancient frescoes of the Aoktholian as they assault entire cities can be found, as well as mysterious wall paintings of Aoktholian-human werebeings. The Aoktholian’s droppings are coloured red, due to the excessive amount of blood and red meat these creatures eat. This gave birth to the now widespread rumour, which has reached even the north, that when the Aoktholian pass, it rains blood.
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[Coldforged]Bestiary
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2005, 10:43:30 AM »
This post is a replica of an entry in the animal thread and has been posted here as it belongs in the Coldforged setting bestiary too.

Beasts of Ûrghul
Category: Carnivorous Animals
Danger rating: Life Threatening
Activity Period: Any
Restrictions: None
Description: Inspired by David Eddings
The beasts of Ûrghul are primitive animals originating from the vale of Ûrghul, a remote, forested valley within the Cyllerean Mountains. From that location they spread throughout the eastern parts of the Dhargenaas continent. In the beginning there was nothing that could stop the huge predators, so the Ûrghul population boomed, resulting in widespread death and destruction. For the Beasts of Ûrghul are gigantic carnivores with a physique resembling gorillas, but with a dark bluish-green scaly skin and huge ram horns protruding from their low foreheads.

They live in the trees and move about on the ground by knuckle-walking. In the trees they move about by jumping from tree to tree, often causing the entire trunk to shake. Thus their appearance is often heralded by the severe shaking of trees, ever closer to their prey. They have long black nails on all digits and their fangs and jaws are powerful enough to shred through platemail with one bite. They are about 7’ to 8’ tall (213 cm - 244 cm) and a male usually weigh in excess of 1400 lbs (636 kg), while the females are smaller.

They need not pluck the meat from the bones, rather choosing to fully devour their victims, sometimes even armour. In one week their strong digestive system will completely digest a victim and in this period the beast will be satisfied and peaceful, only responding to direct physical confrontation. Their droppings take the colour of various nuances of reddish-black and omit a vile stench of rot. The valued Tareeka mushroom thrives in the soil fertilized by such droppings and thus expeditions are mounted into Ûrghul territory when it is mushroom season.

There is an adage among the Belemarian Imperials “Rather one dragon, than an Ûrghul herd in mating season”, which sums up the dangers of the Ûrghul and teaches the young to be careful. More than one fool of a knight has been killed for drawing the attention of a hungry Ûrghul, yet it has become the mark of a true warrior to hunt and kill a beast such as this. This has led to the huge incursion of local and foreign nobles accompanied by large entourages of soldiers, maids and servants into the areas formerly considered the sole domain of the Ûrghul. While this has caused a slight decline in Ûrghul population, it has also become a feast of sorts for those Ûrghul who has been strong enough to survive. Indeed the rumours talk about an “Ûrghul Lord” which is so strong and powerful “it can only be killed by the most valiant knight”.
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 09:51:48 AM »
Barrow Dragon
Category: Beasts
Danger rating: Dangerous
Activity Period: Nighttime and underground
Restrictions: Bothered by daylight
Description: Barrow Dragons is a race of lesser dragons, nearly as small as wyverns or about the size of two oxen, that most often make their abode within dark and dry subterranean  lairs. Typically the burial mounds of men and women of great stature prove to be ideal places for Barrow Dragons and throughout time, many a supposed haunt has proved to be an avaricious Barrow Dragon, coiled atop the sarcophaguses of lords long gone. They are black, scaly serpents, have short, stubby legs and live mostly underground. Their subterranean habits have made them uncomfortable when in sunlight and they do not leave their abodes until nightfall, when they slither and crawl out to hunt. This diminutive race of dragons has a thin, scaly serpentine body and poisonous fangs, and had it not been for their small legs and leathery wings they would have been classified as some sort of giant snakes. Barrow dragons often speak the tongues of men but do so with dramatic, whispering deep voices. Unbeknownst to most sages, Barrow Dragons are repositories of esoteric knowledge and during their millennia long lifespan, they show almost as deep a thirst for new knowledge as for new gold.

The blood of Barrow Dragons has supposedly magic capabilities. If drunk unrefined, it is a potent poison and will kill the imbiber. Some alchemists and herbalists have, however, found that the distilling of the blood yields different essences at different temperatures. One of the effects of distilled Barrow Dragon blood is rumoured to be the ability to shapechange into serpentine form, and another gives the imbiber the ability to understand (but not speak) the language of birds.

When first met, the Barrow Dragon will typically hide in the darkness and speak from afar, its whispery voice carrying through the corridors. It will ask questions of importance as well as trivial everyday questions about family life and kids. After a while the questioning will begin to appear like an interrogation as the Barrow Dragon tries to sate its thirst for knowledge by asking ever more detailed and private questions. If searched for, the Dragon will relocate and suddenly its voice might come from an entirely different direction, for the Barrow Dragon is as fast as it is avaricious. When the Dragon tires of this game, or someone approach its hoard (often the treasure buried with the lord whose burial mound the Dragon inhabit), the Barrow Dragon will usually slither and crawl furiously at the trespasser. Though the Barrow Dragons have no fiery breath, they do have a set of lethal poison fangs and a crushing embrace. It also has viciously sharp claws that might even rend through metal armour. Still the most dangerous ability of the Barrow Dragon is to silently slither at the victim, and sink its fangs into the prey before the prey has a chance to defend itself.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 05:40:23 PM »
Kathyrrian Zombie
Category: Created Undead
Danger rating: Threat
Activity Period: Nighttime
Restrictions: None
Description: The Kathyrrian Zombie is a special kind of Zombie created by the Kathyrrian Cabal, an exotic group of spellcasters based in the Acaians. Due to the excellent worksmanship involved and the special abilities given to the zombies, the Kathyrrian Cabal sometimes sell these zombies to those who can afford their services. The Zombies look almost alive and smell very little. A prerequisite for creating a Kathyrrian Zombie is that the corpse is fresh, something that has forced the Cabal to keep slaves that are sacrificed immediately prior to the zombie creation ritual. The Cabal has managed to stop the decaying process in these zombies and because of this these zombie neither look dead nor smell particularly bad. Still the mouth of these zombies needs to be sown shut so that it cannot eat salt or meat, which would restore their personality.

Kathyrrian Zombies are branded on their forehead and chest with the stylized K rune of the Kathyrrian Cabal, and they have the typical zombie glazed eyes, but no shuffling walk. They are able to walk and work as a normal person. They can understand and obey complex commands and are more intelligent than “average” zombies. Kathyrrian Zombies have no recollection of their prior lives, though they sometimes retain skills they possessed while among the living. Spellcasting is complicated by having their mouths sown shut, but swordplay and stealth related skills still come in handy. They will do whatever they can to obey the commands of their master, which they identify by him wearing a special silver amulet crafted by the Cabal. Any shipment of Kathyrrian Zombies will also include a keeper wearing the silver amulet which he will deliver to the owner upon receiving payment. It is necessary for the zombies to visually see the amulet for the commands to be accepted. A blind Kathyrrian zombie is useless and will obey its last command forever. For extra money, the Kathyrrian is willing to produce unbranded zombies.

As these zombies are able to pass as normal people, they are popular among the unscrupulous as bodyguards and soldiers. They must be hacked apart to stop functioning and they are exceedingly strong. Even a single of these zombies will be powerful adversaries as they probably won’t be recognized as undead and hence eventual clerical counter measures won’t play a part. As is the case with all undead flesh, they are hurt by Holy Water and Holy Weapons.
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Offline Chaosmark

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[Coldforged]Bestiary
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2005, 10:20:53 AM »
Scroll Golem
Category: Magical Construct
Danger rating: Variable (Threat<-->Overpowering)
Activity Period: Any
Restrictions: Ones based on the nature of the construct, see below
Description: A scroll golem is a variable sized construct that looks exactly like what you’d think: a collection of magical scrolls twisted and connected into the shape of a humanoid creature. Due to being made of scroll materials (paper, hides, ect), the golem is exceptionally lightweight and physically fragile, but even so, weapons for the most part do no real damage to it. Piercing weapons such as swords and arrows do some damage, but maces and other weapons like that are almost completely useless. The only true weaknesses it has involve fire and other elements which do lovely things to paper.

The scroll golem is the result of a certain unknown sorcerer who decided that creating an independent magical monster to use as his pawn would make his job so much safer and easier. Much to his chagrin, things didn’t quite work out as well as he had hoped, and so his days of sorcery were cut short. After going over its masters notes, the creature figured out how to do many things, including reproducing itself. Now there are an indeterminate number of scroll golems, each with a varying set of scrolls it has absorbed and can use.

*Edit* Reminded by AG that I forgot to credit whom I originally got the idea for this creature from. Link is here: http://www.gmmastery.com/index.php?page=articles&article_id=16
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