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Comments: 9
Ideas: 0
Rating: 2.9286
Condition: Normal
ID: 4469


November 24, 2007, 6:55 pm

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The Giant Swans of Pier Point


The Giant Swans of Pier Point are the pride and joy of the city…

Full Description

When the Yocasta Company potions factory had a disastrous magical accident, which badly polluted the River Crysta, killed and injured large numbers of people and created the Flowing Death , the effects went far beyond the area. A couple of swans imbibed some of the water hundreds of miles away from the disaster and began to grow. The majority of such creatures would be seen as evil and chased out of the region or killed, but the symbol of Pier Point was the swan and these two giant swans were seen not as abominations but as living symbols of the city and as living tourist attractions. Amongst some they have become the centre of a minor religious cult.

They are the size of small boats and because of their vast weight, can only fly now in short bursts despite the size of their wings. They see no reason to fly anyway and have no fear of humans because they are kept fed by the tourists. They have become somewhat arrogant and expect to be treated well. If angered, their giant wings can snap a human arm and the beaks, their rasps scaled up to the size of teeth, can give a nasty bite. They have no greater intelligence then average swans as their minds were not affected.

Plot Hooks

The Golden Eggs-The swans have laid eggs and the PCs have been sent by the mayor of another city to steal them. They must avoid the city police, known as the Admiral’s Guards, the civilian fans of the swans, and the danger of the swans themselves, who will not take kindly to would-be egg thieves. Lastly the eggs are heavy and will only be useful if recovered unbroken. Should the swan/s be killed, the PCs will be hunted down as outlaws.

Offerings-The cult has kidnapped the daughter of a rich family and plan to offer her to the swans (who will not attack anyone in fact unless they feel threatened.) Again, the PCs need to rescue the daughter without killing or harming the swans.

Author’s Notes-so many creatures are just things for the PCs to kill. If the PCs chop these swans up, they will be in serious legal trouble.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
October 23, 2007, 3:40
this submission has alot of unrealized potential. The idea is good, I like the city adopting the altered swans as their default mascots and showering them with attention and praise. Unfortunately I have some problems with this sub.

1. There was a prehistoric swan roughly 30% larger than a normal modern swan. This creature was deemed to very likely to flightless. Unless there is magic involved in their locomotion, the Pier Point swans would be completely flightless. (Wiki for Giant Swan)

2. A boat sized swan would very likely be able to kill or easily disable a human foe due to the sheer strength of their wings. Normal sized swans would be able to give nasty bites and leave severe bruises. A giant one could break more than just arms, but ribs, and other nasty internal trauma.

3. I would be happy if you would start using betting links. Putting brackets around a sub's name works fine, but unless your sub is very easily named, as in not having a tag like City Image attached to it this is not noticed. All you need to do is (submission ID number|text you want to be the link) and replace the parentheses with brackets.

Thus you would use (1944|Pier Point) for your tag. And BTW, the tag in the sub doesnt work for my browser.
Ancient Gamer
October 23, 2007, 4:04
On the other hand, bumblebees are not supposed to fly at all, yet they do... Magic?
Voted valadaar
October 23, 2007, 10:10
Not bad - a little thin though.

I'm not put out by biomechanical issues in fantasy myself. If we cared about that, good bye giants, dragons, etc. And having 'magic' reinforce the structure just seems tackey. Better to say the laws of physics are slightly different and leave it at that. The same goes for its apparent strength - sure, if you apply real-world physics it is crazy, but Cheka is okay to set what damage it might be able to do.

Lets leave the physics nit-picking to Sci-fi and modern :)
Voted Murometz
October 23, 2007, 15:26
Only voted
Voted manfred
November 24, 2007, 19:08
A few days ago I've seen on TV a German city, that has indeed adopted swans as their mascots (though only the standard sized ones :) ), going as far as moving them for winter into a special pond with permanently running water, and having special fines for anyone interfering with the birds. They are closer to the real world than they seem to.


Hoping not to enter the realism debate again, but the part about having lesser abilities than expected can be explained much more easily. Since they are unnatural mutants, their sinews, reflexes, etc. may simply not be up to their full potential - and they could be clumsy in combat. While still very dangerous, killing a human would be more of an accident.

Now, what happens if their offspring grows up, and is used to their size is another question...
Voted hylandpad
October 22, 2011, 21:12

Cool idea, needs a little bit of fleshing out. Everything I was going to say has already been said. Unique idea; a normal sort of "Everyday" animal gone mutant makes for something out of the ordinary. It still just seems a little "too ordinary" as far as magical or mutant creatures go, if that makes any sense. 

October 22, 2011, 21:13
I would like to add that you get kudos for the unique back story. Though fantastic in nature, it reminds us all that real problems in the real world can cause some rather fantastic, or in this case, gruesome things to occur.
Voted Kassy
April 14, 2012, 6:36

A good, useable short encounter.

Something to throw at your PC's inbetween.

Voted Dozus
December 6, 2016, 12:02
Well, they certainly are large. I like the idea of throwing something random like this at a party. Would like to see some plot hooks, though.

Link Backs


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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