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Offline Cheka Man

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Sea Monsters
« on: August 05, 2005, 07:53:27 PM »
Snapper Bass

Snapper Bass look very much like normal Sea Bass but they are a bane to the fishermen and fisherwomen and a menace to many of the other creatures of the sea. They are concentrated into a few great shoals for protection, but whilst most shoals are not dangerous to anything except fish fry and plankton, when something attacks this shoal it retaliates. Each fish has a mouthful of sharp teeth but by itself would not be much of a threat. In shoals of up to perhaps thirty thousand, they are a menace, because they turn on almost anything that they see as a threat. By their numbers alone they have been known to kill sharks and strip them to the bone.

Even the larger predators tend to avoid these individualy feeble but collectivly fearsome fish, which have been known to bite right through ordinary fishing nets and can only be caught with metal nets.

For eleven months of the year they eat plankton, but in their breeding month they eat almost everything they can find.Cleaner fish, who eat parisites and fungus from other fish and sea creatures, are left alone
as nothing sane in the oceans, not even the G'Thrann, will deliberatly eat a Cleaner fish.Most other sea creatures are fair game, to the point where they can cause famine to islanders who depend largely on fishing for their food.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 07:55:14 PM »
The Acquan Man-O-War

The Aquan-Man-O-War is a feared creature, a blob of transparent jelly the size of a full grown Manta Ray, with tentacles on the sides tipped with deadly stingers, along with less dangerous but still painful stinging cells all along the tentacles.Where jellyfish drift with the waves, this creature has several fins that it uses to swim whereever it wants.Where jellyfish eyes are almost useless if indeed they exist, this creature can see far ahead in clear water.The most deadly thing about this beast is that it cannot be seen until it is really close to it's prey.It races up, kills it's prey and drags it into the depths to eat. Few creatures will eat it because it tastes horrible and is not worth the effort.Even Shura warriors fear getting in a fight with it.It eats most creatures smaller and weaker then itself but stays away from Shura as it has found that it is not worth being almost killed for one meal.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 07:57:13 PM »
Octopusses, Squids and Kraken
There are many different kinds of octopus, squid and kraken in Acqua's seas.A lot of these are harmless to humans, but the few that are dangerous tend to be highly dangerous.

Octopuses

These range from the size of a coin to three times the size of a human, but are normally shy and retiring and don't attack unless provoked.Even then they are more likely to flee then fight. One type, known as the bluegreen because of it's colouring, is the size of a human hand and does not flee from humans with good reason. It's bite is deadly poisonous, and within five minites of being bitten all the muscles of the bitten one sieze up and the heart stops beating.A few assassins try to catch this poisonus little beast but most leave it well alone. Fishermen and fisherwomen wear thick gloves to stop themselves being accidently bitten when they haul in their nets.Only a handful of sea creatures can prey on the bluegreen and are immune to the poison.

Squids

These are mainly small but there are rumours of Kraken-sized squid that rarely come to the surface.The squids found in surface waters are rarely a problem, and again, the bigger ones would normally prefer to flee then fight, unless they are cornered.

Kraken

These are deadly creatures known as the dragons of the sea.They look rather like octopuses but, though the juveniles are the size of the largest known octopuses, the adults are large, and the biggest have been known on at least one occasion to pull down a two-master and pluck the crew from a three-master's deck.

They have ten tentacles like a squid does. Eight of their tentacles are *normal* and sucker covered, the other two are longer and at the end of each one is a tooth filled mouth.Adult Kraken can bite humans in two with these. As well as their mouths they have a great beak, but this is not the most dangerous thing about them. Kraken are intelligent beings and, if they can get access to amythest, it is said that they can cast deadly spells of their own. Of course, very few Kraken ever get access to amythest in any quantity.One of the few who did was the Kraken known as "Big Red".

It is beleaved that the G-Thrann may be Giant Krakens but noone has got close enough to one to find out and lived to tell the tale.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 07:59:18 PM »
The Eclipse G'Thrann
Deep beneath the waves, where the sunlight cannot be seen and all is darkness, lives the gargantuan terrors of the deep; creatures of darkness, devourers of cities. Often called the Eclipse Horror, or the Eclipse G'Thrann among scholars, they are sensitive to sunlight and never emerge from the depths, save when there is an eclipse.

The eclipses of Acqua are phenomenal and day long occurences when the red gas giant, which Acqua orbit, block out the sun entirely. During this time the G'Thrann seek the surface to feed and to mate. Their calls for a mate are piercing sounds; wailing and endlessly long, immensly loud. For a human the sound is unbearable and horrifying, an omen of destruction and desolation.

The G'Thrann have never been fully described but are thought to be jet black and snake shaped. When they arrive at coastal villages and cities their entire bulk is pulled on shore, crushing entire blocks of the city. There it rests, its wail attracting females, while strange pseudopods enter windows and doors in search of food.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2005, 08:00:08 PM »
Sea-Spiders
The Sea-Spiders are bizarre and evil undead beings who dwell on the open sea. Named for they spidery and otherworldly manner in which they skitter along the underside of the ocean waves, the Sea-Spiders are a deadly threat to any who sail the seas of Acgua.

Sea-Spiders, also called Lacedons, are ghoulish creatures who possess the strange ability to crawl across the under-surface of the ocean like a spider crawls along a wall. They are humanoid in body, but they are repulsive in appearance, being extremely thin and wiry, with wide, splayed hands, flat, long-toed feet, and stroke legs. Their flesh is rubbery and waxy, like that of a corpse, and is covered in a coat of stiff, prickly black hairs. Their smooth, round heads have no ears, and they have only vestigial nostrils on their flat faces, but their mouths are huge and toothy, caught always in a ghoulish rictus of hunger, and augmented with evil hooked mandibles. Their eyes are the puffy, bloated, and bugging eyes of drowned men, swollen with water and blood. Sea-Spiders often wear the tattered remnants of the clothing which they died in.

Sea-Spiders are born when a person dies at sea, and are instinctively driven to return to the surface. Travelling in horrible packs, they crawl along the sea's ceiling, waiting for unsuspecting ships. Then, like a pack of dark wolves, they swarm from the water and cover the ship, a hissing blanket of hairy dead men, slaying and eating the crew and dragging the ship down into the lightless watery depths, never again to be seen.

Sea-Spiders can be killed by a wound through their hearts, or by being brought to dry land, where they dessicate and turn to dust. In addition, a sending ceremony and funeral held in their honor with an item which belonged to them in life can cause a Sea-Spider to repent and depart for the Isle of the Dead.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2005, 08:01:54 PM »
The Sirens
Almost as feared as the Sea Spiders and the Silver Fleet are the Sirens, who are thought to be the souls of drowned women. Their call is hypnotic and there is a one in five chance that someone hearing the call will throw himself or herself overboard to be with them. They are not beautiful, their rotting, stinking bodies being covered with sores and decaying flesh.They drag those who jump overboard down and drown the person.Males drowned by them become Sea Spiders,and females who die by their hand join their ranks.

Like Sea Spiders, a wound in the heart or being taken to dry land turns them to dust, and a funeral conducted using an item that belonged to them may persuade them to go to the Isle of the Dead.

Their stink normally gives people a thirty second warning to go below out of range of their song or block their ears,or they would claim many more lives then they do.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2005, 08:02:32 PM »
The Silver Fleet
Dreaded are the ghost ships of the Silver Fleet. Several centuries ago, it is said that the Shogun Kenjo ordered his fleet to put to sea in a mighty storm, and vowed that he would sail until Doomsday if he had to, cursing Jove and Ulmania for holding him back.So powerful was the storm that it blew the entire fleet onto reefs and there were no survivors.Shoertly afterwards, it is said, there was the first sighting of the Silver Fleet, forty strong, ranging from great ten masters to small craft, glowing with a silver light.Those few who have encountered them and survived have reported that the ships are crewed by rotting bodies.The Shogun himself is skelital and seen standing on the quarterdeck of his flagship.

The Silver Fleet is not directly dangerous as it has never been known to attack anybody.However, when it appears,and it never appears in daylight, allways at night, the clouds and a thick fog roll in,so the moon and stars and Jove, and the islands cannot be seen,and all magic fails on any ship nearby.Divining, starting,stopping,and directing the wind,and even the most basic navigation, is all impossible whilst the Silver Fleet sails.Many ships have holed themselves on reefs and gone to the bottom of the sea because of this.The only way to be safe is to drop anchor and wait for the Silver Fleet to vanish again,and this is not allways possible.Noone can tell when the Silver Fleet will appear...it might not appear for a century and then appear every night for a whole month.

Those ships who sink because of the Silver Fleet,are destined to join it.By now the Fleet is hundereds strong. Any attempt to harm it fails as objects go straight through it, and boarding parties fall through the imaterial ships and end up chilled and in the water.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2005, 08:06:04 PM »
The Black Tide
Twenty leagues off the west coast of Kossier island,lies a scattered chain of four small islands that lie just outside the zone of Big Red's influence. Totally devoid of Amethyst,they are of absolutely no interest to the garangutan Kraken,but are neverthless blessed in their own way,being lush and verdant. Many of the spices that grace the tables of Banhoesea and the comely,dark haired female slaves that are so prized by the harems of it's nobility,hail from the vast plantations and slave markets repectively that the DeMadden Company owns and runs with the aid of prominent tribal chieftains of the native Tuvalatu tribe.

Contrary to what one expects,the Company has a barely noticable presence on the islands,apart from a token force that resides in a little fort they erected half a century ago in the scrub jungles of the main island's interior. As far as the Company high officials are concerned,posting a significant detachment of soldiers would be a meaningless waste of money and manpower,given the complete absence of any threats to the Company's hold over the islands. The natives are servile and meek,choosing to declare themselves under the protection of the Company in return for a handsome cut of the profits made from the booming spice trade,ruling out any likelihood of a native revolt taking place in the near future. As for that bloated brute Big Red, as the high officials scornfully refer to the rapacious Kraken,he would not wish to go to war with powerful DeMadden Company over a bunch of islands that have nothing to offer him. Even his most rabid warriors understand that and would never dare to launch a raid on any costal villages to grab vestal maidens to sate the voracious apetite of their master. Thus it is,that the only times that the men of the Company actually get to see the islands,is the once annual visit that a high official makes in order to commemorate and reknew the pledge of allegiance the islanders have made to the DeMadden Company.

There,in the smoky taverns and brothels,they hear strange tales of the Black Tide. The natives who worship Ulmania under her various names,often appeal to her as the Godess Protectress,willingg with to shield them from the ravages of this great evil that descends on their shores once every 60 years. Mere superstion to the skeptical sea-men that hear these hushed tales only to scoff at them, but even they, when seeing the expression of dread on the face of the story teller and his feverent prayers to Ulmania that the Black Tide leave his loved ones alone,find themselves wondering if there is indeed some basis behind the the story of the Black Tide.

They come in the dead of night,vast hordes of black wriggling things slithering out of the sea to smother the silver sands of the shore for miles around like some fell tide of malignant evil. Then they swarm and seethe over each other,never moving from the vicinity of the beach,appearing as if to wait for something to happen.

Hours later,the next wave of terror comes in the gruesome and demonic forms of hundreds of monsterous brutes,each one a fiend that would inspire dark dreams for nights to come. Repulsive serpentine beasts, they crawl on twisted, thick arms, pulling themselves by gnarled, taloned paws. They possess no legs, but instead have a long, writhing, meaty tail. Their heads resemble those of crocodiles, adorned with plates and horns of chitin. Their bodies are covered in scales and plates of thick chitin.

Organizing themselves into maruding bands of twenty each,they swoop down on the nearest costal villages,dragging away all the unfortunate residents and smashing open the skulls of those who resist abduction. Hours later,the various bands return with the captive wretches they have snatched from the villages and bring them to the part of the beach where the loathsome wriggling masses of the worms await the fresh living bodies that the beasts have collected for them.

But the victims are not devoured as one would expect,their skin stripped to bone by the vast hordes of the repulsive squirming things. Nay,it is a far worse fate then simply being eaten alive, that they are doomed to suffer. The wriggling black worms are parasites. Devoid of bodies that enable to perform the functions that abilities that humans take for granted, they must enter the body of another being to seize controll of it and use it as their host.

They begin life in the reefs that are found in abundance off the shores of the ocean, thousands of them clustering together in the vast eggs sacs that are laid by their ancestors. Lying slumbering in the sacs for almost a century, they are only awakened when summer arrives,warming the waters that insulate the egg sac. Immediately they begin to emerge from their eggs, driven by the powerful, inexorable, urge in their bodies to swim for the shores of the island. But first, the same urge has them lay their own clutches of eggs,wanting to ensure that there is a future generation to see to it that their kind continues to thrive.

It all comes naturally to them. The worms are not sentient. Like ants or termites,they are not capable of thinking for themselves, but merely obey the encoded set of instructions that lie dormant in their genes, waiting to be awakened. And so their great rush to the beaches of the islands begin. The enormous mass of their tightly massed together bodies turn the waters pitch black as they pass, making them an easy target for hungry fish in search of a feast. By the time they slither ashore to their destination,less than half their original numbers remain.

But still enough remain to call forth their brutish helpers. Their bodies give out a huge mindless cry for aid that compells the latter to come to the aid of the worms. For they too,have have an important part to fullfil in ensuring the welfare of the worms, being given the task of gathering hosts for their slimy little supplicants to infest. The parasites,upon infesting the bodies of their hosts,actually slither their way up to to the brain of the victim. It then proceeds to absorb it utterly,taking great care to keep the brain alive as it does this. Soon,it has claimed the victim's intelligence for itself,consuming his soul entirely and wiping out his mind in the act,an act that will take a week for the worm to complete. During this length of time, an interesting pattern emerges.

Even as the worm begins to develop a sentient mind,one built on the spark of self-awareness harvested from the victim's brain, the physical body of the host begins to change into something decidedly non human. What they become depends on the level of intellect that their former owners possessed. The physical bodies of dullards unfortunate enough to be infested by a worm,are twisted and corrupted into the very brutes that aide the worms in getting their hosts. On the other hand,a fairly smart person turns into something else entirely.

The second kind resemble, from a distance, extremely thin, hunched men with whip-curved spines and long necks. But from up close, it becomes abundantly clear that they are not human; their skins are clad in glimmering bluish scales, and their scoliated spines are crowned in rows of complex spines. Their hands are small and sly, and have six long fingers with curved nails; these hands they constantly rub and wring together, in a sly and sycophantic motion. They are short and bandy-legged, and their draping tails are half-again as long as their bodies. Their faces are reptilian and long, with a long solid dental ridge rather than separate teeth. Their brows and jaws are bearded with flexible spines, and their throats possess fanning fins.

The first type are ever hungy carnivores,fiends that lurk in dark coves,waiting reach out to grab any uanwary prey that swims along. Their powerful tails can crack open the skull of even the biggest and most robust Shura and their wicked claws are capable of ripping open the biggest octopus or squid,making them fearsome predators. But they are not reknown for their intelligence,and also happen to be terrified of magic,even the weakest spark. Shura hunters heed their traditional tales that surround this creature and are always careful to wear enchanted amulets made of Amethyst shards when stalking prey in places where these creatures have been sighted.

The second type is a parasite rather than predator. A parasite that feeds off the efforts of his brutish breathen. Though capable of hunting on their own,they simply prefer to grab the kill of a brute. The brute will not object to this,but meeky surrenders his kill,recognizing the presence of a superior being,one he sees with a mix of hate and grudging awe. Hate because he is is bullied and robbed by the other,but awe because the other is not a minion like him,unshackled by the former's inexorable urge to serve the needs of the worms.

It is respect well deserved. Extremely sly and gifted with magic,they have the ability to leach Amethyst stones of their magic,drawing the latent power of the stones into their own bodies. This way,they amass a powerful amount of magic within themselves and need not rely on Amthyst stones to cast spells,unlike other beings.

Powerful spell casters to be reckoned with, many of them have set up protection rackets in the small costal villages of Acqua. Appearing to the villagers in the midst of a a powerful gale it has conjured,this fiend demands offerings everyday of the best of what food the village has,as well as bright gold jewelry,being the rather vain thing it is. Shiny jewelry complements it's gleaming scales very well,meaning that it has a great weakness for shining baubles.

To help a village get rid of such a leech that afflicts it,is not easy ,given that it is a gifted mind reader and can probe a human's mind with ease,enabling it to detect any intention of treachery or violence towards it. Thus,setting a trap for them is nigh impossible.