Intelligent Species
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ID: 6942


August 31, 2012, 4:39 am

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Anophelite, Male


a.k.a. Mosquito Man, a.k.a. Stirgili, a.k.a. Mansquito.


Anophelites resemble human men, except that their noses are foot-long needles.  This proboscis can be partially retracted into the skull, so that the 'nose' is only 6" and not as fragile.  Anophelites can use this proboscis as a syringe in combat.  When they hit with their proboscis, they may choose to snort blood into their mouths.  They get about half a pint of blood per snort.

But blood is not their diet (it gives them indigestion), although they may swallow some in order to regurgitate it later.  Instead, they are vegetarians.  They especially enjoy nectar, and some of them cultivate gardens in order to sip their favorite sweetness from long flowers.

Their wings are long and straight, and can be easily concealed beneath a cloak.  They can fly only when unencumbered, and then only in short bursts.  They can fly double their speed for a round, but they must rest their wings for a few minutes before they can do it again.  Flying tires them quickly.  Still, many an anophelite has gotten away with a belly full of stolen blood by pulling his cloak around his shoulders and buzzing across a river or onto a rooftop.


Anophelites come from far away.  Across the sea, in fact.  And they all seem to be male.  Most anophelites encountered by adventurers are alchemists, healers, or some other profession that dabbles in the bodies strange humors.  About half of all anophelites are able to create a homunculus from stolen blood.  This homunculus resembles the person (or people) that it was created from.  An anophelite needs a pint of blood (two snorts) to create a homunculus. If less blood is used the homunculus is stunted and is more likely to be deformed.  This process is obscure, but known ingredients include anophelite saliva, the victim's blood, vast quantities of meat and vegetables, and alchemical reagents.

Sometimes anophelites are traveling professionals (alchemists, healers, soothsayers, plague doctors), escorted by their flock of cow-eyed homunculi.  These anophelites will trade services for blood, and often wear bird-faced masks to cover their unsettling 'noses'.  Surgeonbirds are sometimes kept as pets, for multiple reasons.  

Others saw off their proboscis entirely and replace it with a wax nose in order to infiltrate society.  These anophelites resort to more mundane methods of blood collection.

Nothing is known of female anophelites, or what happens to the blood they ship back across the sea.

Plot Hooks

Your GP or your HP.  A mugger is after more than just gold.  But will people believe what the PCs saw under his long-nosed clown mask?

It's Only Natural. A love-struck youth is spurned by their ideal mate.  Perhaps a bit obsessively, the PCs are tasked with bringing two blood samples to a Mosquito Man, so that the loveless youth can, at least, see what their kids would have looked like (by making a homunculi from blended blood).

Traveling Salesman. A travelling healer offers to heal the PCs in exchange for blood.  Is this an honest deal or will they come to regret it?

Don't Drink the Kool-aid. The PCs hear tales of a mad bandit.  Apparently, he has been kidnapping people into joining his crew of murderous cutthroats, which they do immediately.  The truth is more sinister--he is a psychopath who roams the countryside with his homunculi.  He uses blood from the people he kills to replenish his ranks.  The PCs are tasked with recovering a young noble who was 'kidnapped' by this bandit.

Do No Harm. Pavlo Beragiso is a trusted doctor in the town of Shortport.  The PCs have even had their wounds treated by him a few times--a burrowing brainworm extracted, a case of mummy rot mitigated, and/or been cured of "The Flatulent Death".  LITTLE DO THEY KNOW that the good doctor is actually a Mosquito Man who has been trying to create homunculi who are intelligent enough to impersonate and replace the important people in town.  The PCs are approached by what appears to be a retarded version of one of the PCs.  This creature believes that the PC is its parent, and it has just escaped from "Bad Master", but is too stupid to remember anything useful.  Once calmed, the creature is content to stare at walls.  Only cats vaguely interest it for any length of time.  Still, the creature is the key to tracking down the mad doctor, and the PCs must lead it through town in secrecy (They've obviously been dabbling with demons or witches or something) to try to find clues to jog the creature's memory while keeping it from falling asleep (which it does constantly) and surviving assassination attempts by agents of the doctor.

The Good Doctor.  Like the previous hook, except that the PCs investigate the story of a man who claims to have 'met himself' in the woods.  They raid and destroy the doctor's secret laboratory, as well as his failed creations.  The doctor has decided that the PCs have gotten too close to the truth, and must be eliminated.  Soon, one of the PCs finds himself wanted for a crime he didn't commit.  After a masked man uses a flock of trained Surgeon Birds to ambush the party and steal some more blood, another PC is framed for a crime as well.  This culminates in a battle against the alchemical doctor and misshapen clones of the PCs.

Dammit, Jim!  I'm a Doctor, not a Homunculus. The doctor is back!  And setting up shop in a new town.  The corpse they found was a homunculus made from his own blood.  Unless the PCs checked, of course.

Mosquito Season. The PCs discover that the head Mortuary Knight (tasked by Mondaloa to watch over bodies before burial] has been stealing blood from fresh corpses for decades!  The PCs move to confront him, but he escapes with a wagonload full of preserved jars of blood.  In the chaos, the knight's nose fell off, revealing three vertical slits.  Perhaps expecting a vampire, the party joins in hot pursuit, but the six-horse team pulling the wagon run as if hell itself was at their heels, and the party is unable to catch him before he reaches his destination: a secret convocation of Anophelites in the deep woods, where they sip nectar from pewter flowers and compare each other's homunculi.  It's a chance to stretch their probosces and air out their wings as they walk between the tents, talking in small groups.  They are hear to await the arrival of a female anophelite, and they will be very pissed if there are any interruptions.  Overseeing the ceremony: Grandmaster Alchemist Viviserian, who has hundreds of homunculi patrolling the convocation as well as the woods around it.  He likes to blend his blood, so every hybrid homunculus you can imagine--manbear, womandog, horsedog, gorillasnake--is prowling around in the woods somewhere.  (Good time for a random monster generator, yes?)

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

Voted Scrasamax
August 31, 2012, 9:48
An excellent treatment of the mighty Mansquito, and usable as well.
Voted Strolen
September 3, 2012, 4:47
A boost for all the awesome plot hooks. What a crazy twist to the mosquito and doppleganger!! Really fun!
Voted Ouroboros
September 3, 2012, 17:52
Ah, you´ve been reading some Mieville lately, I gather? Still, you´ve given the race a few quite respectable twists of your own, which really boosts this way beyond any form of plagiarism. Very well done!
September 4, 2012, 5:34
I've never read Mieville, actually. People keep telling me to. But I googled the book (I think) you're referring to. Anopheles is just a major genus of mosquitoes. China and I both need to be more creative with our names, I think.

This dude came from a conversation about genotyping a population by capturing mosquitoes. Cloning, homunculi. . . same potato.
September 4, 2012, 11:33
Actually, I like these guys better than Mieville´s rather dull critters, so well done. I´m a huge Mieville fan, but his creature ideas are rather too unimaginative for my tastes. Good job!
Voted EchoMirage
September 5, 2012, 5:11
What about the female anophelites?
Voted Murometz
September 14, 2012, 21:44
I've always had a perverse fascination with mansquitos. Juicy info! Thank you.
Voted valadaar
May 6, 2013, 23:18
These strike me as something from those old painting of hell and witchcraft - perhaps the doctors mask from plauge. Love the oddness here:)
December 7, 2016, 15:13
Did I mention I think these guys are awesome? They definitely should have a place in the odd back-alleys of your worlds.

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