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ID: 1952


August 16, 2007, 4:14 pm

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Cheka Man

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The toxic lands of the Wastes should support no life. Here the land is slowly corrosive to the touch, causing illness with prolonged contact. The bubbling sulfur and ectomass pools are especially lovely, if you have the right aesthetic. The soil is soft and any heavy object slowly sinks. Other than a few migrant birds and some exotic small insects, The Wastes support only one native lifeform - The Verners - Exerpt from the often wrong but very popular Kalemandi’s Beasts of Lore and World.

Full Description
Verners are best described as glistening, slimy, massive worm centipede hybrids. They range from three meters to twenty meters in length and are a meter and a half wide in their semi-segmented body. Their tentacal like legs allow them to lightly and briefly stride upon the soil of the waste. However, most of the time they "swim" in the strange loam that is The Wastes. While they can "swim deep", most of the time they are just at or below the surface.

Verner’s slime seems to protect them from the acidic soil. However, since the slime has toxic properties, it is not used as a protective material. 

They are uniquely adapted to the paraliquid soil of The Wastes.  Their primary sense is hearing - and it is acute.  They can "hear" and "feel" things in and around the wastes. The sound of people talking on a landskiff or footsteps of a prospector (in those large barrel like shoes they wear) will bring wild Verners like blood in a water will bring a shark. Verners have been known to "jump out of the soil" to capture low flying Soarers or birds.

Verners can eat anything in The Wastes.  This list includes the carnivorous mobile mutant plants, passing birds, Soarers, Waste Rats, Waste Knights, and even other Verners (but only those of another breeding group). Anything it can get inside its four element beakish mouth is an option.  The most amazing thing is that this list includes rocks and toxic soil. Their beaks can crush most rocks. These materials enter in and pass out in a concentrated form. Verner dung is perhaps the most dangerous and toxic substance known to The Wastes. However it can be refined to retrieve a number of valuable substances from the soil.  

Additional Information
Verners were allegedly named after the scout that first discovered them.

The creatures have no other senses than touch and hearing. Having only these senses, they are somehow able to recognize members of their same clutch (Each clutch has five to ten eggs). A female (and they are outnumbered by males in a ten to one ration) will breed every four years or so. No one knows how they are able to recognize their litter mates.

It should be noted that Verners are immune to most of the paramagical effects of the ectomorphs spawned by the HellPits and other ectopools of the waste.

Verners seems to absorb "water" through their carapaces.  In areas other than The arid Wastes, this causes them to swell up and eventually explode.

These creatures can be "Tamed" and are used as pack animals in the wastes.  The creatures are somewhat charmed by the ringing of musical bells. The tamed ones are set with harnesses that have appropriate "jingle bells".

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Comments ( 14 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
July 9, 2006, 13:10
Now THIS I like, as Cheka would say.
I get a whole Tremors, Dune, Gor, Monty Python (jingle bells :D) vibe here. Nice details. A few ecological facts remain vague. Also a nice touch.

What sort of campaign world do these things inhabit? just curious.
July 9, 2006, 13:32
I was trying not to make them too Tremors like, thus no grasping tenticles and the centipedal elements. I threw a little Dune with the valuable, but toxic dung (insert antigathics or something here). But in short, they are giant wormish creatures that you can ride in this hellish environment.

Actually The Wastes are potentially a Biome of Arth in EighthLand. (yes I have only written up 6 of them).

However, this is just a "bad part" of any fantastical world. That section of the map that sort of fades away into "nobody is here". Here the world is filled dangers and monsters at every turn. It works well for post appocolypic fantasy (so this is a contamination site), but the presence of hellpits and other magical elements makes it just a fantasy bad place. So if you want a bad lands or a place where people go to prospect and potentially score gold or gems, there be Verners. (oh and check out the linked city)
August 16, 2007, 16:12
The Wastes now have their own "home" for you Muro. I blame you for this one. Thank you.
Voted CaptainPenguin
July 9, 2006, 13:32
Reminds me a lot of Nausicaa and also of Dune.
Interesting creation.
July 9, 2006, 13:38
I had not thought of Nausicaa at all (having only seen bits and pieces). That would be an interesting add. These critters could be thrown into a Gamaworld scenario as well.
July 9, 2006, 14:38
Ah, I have such fond memories of Nausicaa. It was my first venture into anime, and also my first venture into the post-apocalyptic world setting. For years I though Australia was a mix of Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max, but I got better.
Voted Scrasamax
July 9, 2006, 14:39
oh yeah, and meh votez!

I like their unique biology, and would guess that they would recognize each other by smell.
Voted Cheka Man
July 9, 2006, 19:30
Foul and disgusting to human eyes, but proof that life will find a way to exist whereever it can.
Voted Pariah
July 10, 2006, 22:48
Mmm, yummy centipeds.
January 13, 2007, 11:51
Forgot about these things. Like them and The Wastes that spawn them. Updated for linkage, some tiny grammar errors, and such.
Cheka Man
January 26, 2007, 21:57
Can they be pets? If yes, how does one safely stroke one of these things?
January 26, 2007, 22:14
What is it with you and petting/stroking creepy lifeforms? :D
January 27, 2007, 3:19
They can be pets as much as a Musk Ox or Elephant can be a pet. As for safely touching one. There is only one safe way. Briefly. The slime on their skin keeps them safe from the chemicals, but does not protect YOU from the stuff on their slime.
Voted valadaar
March 4, 2014, 13:31
An interesting one, though the frequent use of quote for emphasis I found distracting.

A good creature.

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