The Gibberling is on average three and half feet tall, and forty pounds. They have pronounced oily black hair covering their entire bod except for around their eyes, the palms of their raccoon like hands and bottoms of their feet. Their skin ranges from a dusky tan to varying shades of gray. They have pronounced teeth, large eyes, and have a high pitched range of vocalization. Gibberlings have no known language, limited ability to communicate even among themselves, and have the same general mental abilities as a dog. The high pitched screeching and burbling noises they make give them their name as they never seem to stop making those gibbering noises.
Almost non-existent. Gibberlings are weak, lack stamina, are not intelligent, and are repulsive. They cannot make tactical plans, execute orders, or otherwise do anything other than swarm over something and swing crude weapons, or scream and run away. In many ways a trained war dog is vastly more competent and capable than a gibberling. Dogs have a greater ability to communicate as well.
Given their atrocious stats and almost complete lack of skills, and paucity of stamina, how does such a pathetic creature survive? Their greatest strength is simply their numbers and rate of reproduction. With a short lifespan, sexual maturity is reached in 8 months, physical adulthood in a year, and they begin showing signs of age by 3 years. They have large litters of young, ten and twelve at a time, and they 'kinda' care for their young. These large numbers allow them to forage over huge areas, and when driven to hunger they can overwhelm slower prey by sheer weight and determination.
Civilization and the gibberling have a parasitic relationship. Gibberlings do not thrive in the wild, and the largest nests of these foul creatures tend to be found in the ruins of civilized areas, or near large settlements where the gibberlings hunt livestock, steal food supplies, and will use their numbers to bring down and abduct lone travelers to be torn apart and consumed in the nest.
The Real Threat
Gibberlings present a threefold serious threat to any settlement or town that they are close to; disease, famine, and environmental. Being nesting hairy demi-hominids gibberlings are absolutely infested with parasites and disease. Where they go they leave behind a trail of lice, ticks, fleas, and any number of skin diseases, egg cysts, and so forth behind. With the relationship between pests and disease, the threat of a gibberling borne plague sweeping through a settlement is a very real danger. This disease and pest issue also renders every part of a gibberling as contaminated and not suitable for any sort of use. The only things that eat dead gibberlings are carrion eaters, insects, and things like oozes, slimes, and fungus. They are notorious thieves and will strip fields and pastures bare of produce and livestock, and as they are given to gorging themselves and then bringing the remains to the nest, what they cannot carry off, gibberlings are prone to fouling with their excrement. More than one farmer has found his food storage broken into, a small portion of it stolen, and the rest covering in gibberling feces. The environmental threat is often the unexpected threat, as it only takes one gibberling falling in a well and dying to taint the water for a painfully long time, and more than one rural family has been wiped out because of tainted water. This can sicken livestock if several of their corpses end up in a pond or water source.
Gibberlings are good for low level adventurers to face because one on one they are not a threat, and only when they gain numbers do they become an immediate problem. This can encourage teamwork, trap making, creative use of magics, and allow the heroes to start making a name for themselves. Eventually, they will step up, and the next group of rookie adventurers will take their place. In stock jobs, gibberlings and gibberling nests can be objective, hunting them down and destroying them, finding a nest and burning it, finding the pile of dead gibberlings in the creek and cleaning up the mess, and so forth.
Gibberlings in Saerith are an artificial race, and were formerly human. Approximately 200 years prior, the nation of Pelemith fell into conflict with Praxingdrell, and the initial conflict went in Pelemith's favor. They had infantry, armored knights, a cadre of skilled magi, and were organized. The Praxian warbands and witches suffered several defeats, some quite humiliating. Things turned when the Queen of Praxingdrell entered the conflict with her black dragon mount, and quickly routed the Pelemithians and drove them out of Praxingdrell and back into their own fortress of Kordan Kulubril. It seemed like there was going to be a stalemate, with the Pelemithian magi creating powerful wards against dragonflame and evocation magic. Not to defeated by a bunch of maester magi, the Queen unleashed a powerful enchantment and cursed the men, women, and children of Pelemith to be transformed into the first gibberlings.
Kordan Kulubril is now the ur-nest of the gibberlings and there they number in the thousands, and have stripped most of the countryside around them down to stumps and mud. Cannibalism is very common, and many of the gibberlings there have not tasted anything but the flesh of their own kind. Since then, the gibberling has spread across a fair portion of Saerith, becoming a new breed of vermin.
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? Responses (2)
good idea to use them to spread diseases in rural area, better than rats
I like the emphasis on the environmental and agricultural threat over the RPG combat emphasis. Yet this is very wordy for a straight lift and not really an adaptation to a novel setting, at least we learn very little about the setting other than a few proper nouns tossed around out of context at the end. Also the prose uses a modern 'GM voice', with terms like 'Stats' and 'Kinda'. Which is fine, but again, if you're gonna spend a 1000 words describing some else's idea one might as well have some fun with language or drop that idea into a novel plot, perspective or setting not just GameMastersplain another monster. This might fall under the advice you give regarding why we should write 100 word or 500 word posts. But overall I like your vision of how to use Gibberlings you just could've given that to the Citadel in a shorter or more creative package.