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Forest/ Jungle
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ID: 3896


May 6, 2007, 2:02 am

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Dire Swine


The earth holds the fool and holds the wise,
endures that good and bad dwell (upon her);
she keeps company with the boar,
gives herself up to the wild hog.

The Atharva Veda

Full Description
Stand half as tall as a man at the shoulder and as heavy as a small horse, dire swine are animals not to be triffled with. They are covered with coarse, wiry hair that generally thins as the swine age. Most come in shades of brown, though black, gray, red, and white are not uncommon. The head is large and the jaw well equiped for consuming plant matter, roots, nuts, and the ocassional animal that crosses their path wrong. Male swine grow tusks as long as a man’s hand and both genders have thick and very durable skulls.

The Beast of the Fold
Dire Swine are most commonly found in tropical and semi-tropical forests where they are foragers, eating insects, fruits, nuts, and the roots of various plants. In some cases, the swine will hunt and kill living prey to add protein to their diet though this is rare outside of lean food times. Druids, rangers, and Elves are able to communicate in a limited fashion with dire swine, though the porcine behemoths can be ill-tempered and as dangerous as wolves when provoked.

Attempts have been made to domesticate the large and robust dire swine to human use, but all have failed. By nature, the swine are solitary or travel in small family groups. In rare circumstances, herd, or sounders will form, but this is dangerous as when this occurs the swine are much more predisposed to hunting rather than foraging. Magical means can be used to ‘control’ a dire pig, but such efforts are seldom worth the cost of the magics used.

As mentioned above, a druid, ranger, or elf of the forest can take a solitary dire pig as a companion much as a wizard takes a familiar but there is no innate magical bond formed, merely a sympathetic understanding of nature.

Plot Hooks
Amok, Amok, Amok - A village has become the target of a larger and aggressive sounder of dire swine. The fields have been devastated and some livestock has been killed. The peasants cower in their huts never knowing if the swine will upon them dine. The PCs must deal with 20 to 30 dire swine, be it combating them, luring them away, or some other method. A great idea for a low level party.

The Green Druid
As above, the village is being assaulted by dire swine, but the cause is a radical druid who wants the village gone as it is, in his opinion, too close to a sacred grove. The PCs must face not only the giant swine, but also a armed and dangerous druid who has been in the green a bit too long.

Breakfast of Champions
One night, as the PCs fail to set up a watch, a few dire swine meander into their camp. The PCs awaken to find the swine rooting through their packs, muching on the grain and other special feed for their horses and anything else the pigs might think tasty. If the PCs dont over-react, the swine will move on and cause no more problems. If they shout, the largest of the swine, the male, will become angry and start attacking the noise-makers.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
May 6, 2007, 12:53
A hog with attitude.
Voted MindForge
May 6, 2007, 13:12
I like the plot hooks, especially the Green Druid hook. I love antagonists that are not evil, their outlook is just different.
Another thing that could be added to it; perhaps some of the local men are vandalizing the holy cairn that lies nearby. I mean there are a million things you can do with that hook.
I also like the Dire Swine, but I think your hooks really gave more flavor to the post.
Voted valadaar
May 6, 2007, 14:53
Solidly done critter. I'll be adding this to the encounters on the Unseen Fortress for sure!
Voted Murometz
May 7, 2007, 13:09

nice Scras. Love pigs, in all their sinister glory!
Voted PoisonAlchemist
March 21, 2013, 22:52
This is about as interesting as big pigs can be.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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