The Lands

The Lands is my medieval fantasy world which was originally devised as the setting for a short story. It has since evolved into a setting for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) role-play scenarios. Concepts are rated M for mature audiences. All content unique to The Lands is copyright © 2006-2019 D S Berk.

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I have lived in Australia all my life (except for short visits to NZ and the EU). I live for my interests and also for sharing those interests with friends. I enjoy talking and blogging is a kind of talking.

8.5.06

The Bestiary


Bestiary Index

Here is information on the habitat and nature of monsters exceptional and rare. The Lands have all manner of plants and animals in them. Most are what one would expect of a medieval setting of the climate and habitat described for particular areas. Such mundane animals are usually between one and three levels. Small swarming animals can even be deemed gestalts that cannot be harmed and only serve to obscure or hinder movement.

Herein are only described those that are truly of fantastic nature. They are listed alphabetically by name (noting that particular related breeds are listed together). The number of Experience Levels for a monster is listed under name and for explanation of that and other aspects of rules look in D&D Game Mechanics.

BATKIN
Level Three Monster

Batkin

The Batkin (or Werebats as others call them) are Humans afflicted with the supernatural ability to become bats of the same mass. They can be of any experience level beyond the second. They look like normal Humans with a vaguely feral visage. They can change into a massive bat at will in one round. However they also are compelled by their affliction to change form once every month on a particular date and during the hours of darkness (only particular Werebats must change during the Full Moon). The transmutation only affects the body rather than clothes or possessions.

The act of transforming has the happy side-effect of returning the Werebat to maximum life points. The only kinds of damage that resist this effect are wounds inflicted by silver weapons. Werebats can fly. They can also emit a shrill cry that somehow allows them to detect the location of prey to a distance of one mile. In bat form they can attack with claw (1d2) claw (1d2) and bite (1d4). As a bat they have a leathery hide. In Human form they will attack as calling and experience level dictate. The leader of a group of Werebats can summon and command a swarm of ordinary bats (the attack of which can prevent effective action for one round).

Any Human (including part Humans) and Halfling bitten or otherwise contaminated with the bodily secretions of a Werebat must make a successful Constitution check or become a Werebat. If they are lower than third level they will suddenly rise to third level. They will change from omnivore to carnivore and develop a desire to hunt at night (which can be resisted by a successful Wisdom check). Only the most evil Werebats wish to hunt Humans. They will experience the compulsion to transmute into bat form 30 days after infection and on the same day of every month thereafter.

Most Batkin are solitary in preference and hide what they are by minimizing the frequency of transmutations. Some will go live in the wilderness and spend most of the time as bats. Others will live among fellow Humans. There is one unusual clan of Batkin in the wooded hills east of Urbana who live in a cavern complex behind a waterfall. At the behest of its matron, Ruxandra Wingate, they have actively cultivated the legend of the Vampire in the area as a way of keeping meddlers away.

The Batkin and Ratkin afflictions are related phenomena and one can only contract one or the other. Study by transmuters to understand this magic infection has proved futile. Efforts by clerics to cure it likewise have been useless. It seems to be a lifelong condition. Any child of two Batkin is also Batkin. However the child of a Batkin and a normal Human is also a normal Human (once they are born however they can be afflicted in the normal way).

BUCK BOAR
Level Two Monster

Boar with Orc Handler

The Buck Boar ('Buck' is a corruption of the Uroch word 'Boch') are wild boars that have been domesticated by Orcs for use as guards and hunters. They are an important part of Orcish culture and serve as both pets and food. They hunt for hallucinogenic truffles in mountain glades. They guard the entrances of fold caverns. They are conditioned to smell and attack Goblins and Dire Wolves with fury. Once they die they become the centerpiece of Orcish feasts. Also their pelts are turned into clothes and their skulls are worn by Orcish shamans.

These thick-skinned hogs can charge an opponent for 3d4 damage. Once in hand-to-hand combat they can bite for 1d4 damage. Due to its sense of smell it cannot be surprised by anything with a scent.

Lone relatives of the Buck Boar can be found in the wooded vales of the Brethic Hills and the Grey Hills.

CENTAUR
Level Five Monster

Centaur

Legend says that the Centaur began as the experiments of the breeder-mages of Nerina for the Emperor Horion to give him a perfect cavalry for his wars of conquest. Hydra blood was used to 'loosen the bonds that hold life in set shapes and forms' to defy of the natural 'limit of limbs' and blend both rider and mount into one powerful warrior. Hydra blood however also produces a powerful sense of independence and the Centaurs escaped the Emperor and ran to the hills. Even to this day there is a royal decree in Nerina calling for the Centaur to be captured or killed. All Centaur however live well beyond the borders of present day Nerina. They wander the Many Hills and the Greatwood Forest.

The Centaur are a race of mammals that seem to combine aspects of both person and horse. The lower part of the Centaur looks like a draft horse but arising from its fore-quarters is something akin to a Human torso (albeit a rather large and robust-featured one with a covering of horse-like fur). Mammary glands are on the torso. They vary in colouration from brown to black to grey with mottled patterns in some specimens. They average 8' tall and 9' long.

They can attack with ranged weapons like bow-and-arrow. In hand-to-hand combat they can attack with handheld weapons like bastard sword while also hitting with both forelegs for 2d6 damage. Finally they can stampede an opponent for 4d6 damage.

Centaurs never allow anyone to ride them (since they are the riders of themselves). However they will sometimes ally with others for some common purpose. They presently have an alliance with the Wood Elves of the Greatwood Forest and have entered into conflict with Grazian settlers of the Many Hills. Centaurs live a nomadic life as hunter-gatherers and live in small clans. A clan will be ruled by a stallion (level seven) and a mare (level six).

DEMI-HUMAN
Level One to Twenty Monster

Demi-Human is a generic term for a group of related sentient animals. Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs are all Demi-Human. So too are the races derived from them - Halflings, Pixie, Giants, Ogres, Goblins & Hobgoblins. So are any half-breeds. They are all discussed in other parts of this site.

DIRE WOLF
Level Three Monster

Dire Wolf with Goblin Rider

These are huge wolves that have been domesticated by the Goblins to serve as mounts. They are the size of a pony. They are known to the Goblins as 'Worguni' and are a key element in the war with the Orcs. They take goblin riders into battle at speed and then can attack with claw (1d3) claw (1d3) bite (1d6) routine. Sometimes independent wild packs of these wolves will also be found in the foothills of the Border Mountains.

DOPPLEGANGER
Level Five to Eight Monster

Doppelganger

The Doppleganger were created by the legendary Arch-Mage Mons Tara as the ultimate form of spy and assassin. The war they were made for ended thousands of years ago and now the few that are left exist simply to have as nice a life as they can. They prefer to work alone and only work in groups if it is absolutely necessary.

A Doppleganger is a supernatural monster of Human shape and size that can assume the identity of any Human (including part Humans) or Halfling it kills. In its natural state it looks like a human bereft of any identifying characteristics of any kind whatsoever. It lacks any pigmentation or hair or even any apparent sexual characteristics. It never wears clothes in this state. Its hide is leathery. A Doppleganger is telepathic and can assess the life circumstances and personality of anyone it sees. This allows it to choose a target that will give the Doppleganger a life to its liking.

Dopplegangers attack with bare hands and legs with amazing speed - they can make three blows per round with all but one limb and each successful blow delivers 1d4 damage. They can also use weapons. In both cases they apply a +3 to hit and damage. They must be touching a victim at the moment of death if they wish to successfully imitate that victim. Hence a common attack involves getting a few hits in with a sword then throwing it aside to continue the job. Once a victim is killed the Doppleganger will make sure to dispose of the body as well as it can.

It is the killing blow that matters and a Doppleganger that does this can then perfectly assume the form of the victim. Its telepathy allows it to know everything that its victim consciously knew. It will then behave as its victim did or rather behave according the the self-image of its victim. This may allow close friends of a victim to notice something is different. Usually only Divination magic will tell the truth of the matter. The sucking of knowledge also allows the Doppleganger to have any mundane skill of the victim for which Intelligence is the prime requisite (including languages). This knowledge is cumulative over however many 'lives'. Total Life is also improved by 1 per level of victim mimicked.

A Doppleganger has the lifespan of a normal Human. However it can prolong its life indefinitely by assuming different identities over time. The remaining lifespan of anyone it kills and mimics is added to its current life expectancy. Very few if any of the original Doppleganger survive today however. Rather they are the children of two Doppleganger parents (any child of a mixed Doppleganger and Human parentage will be Human in all respects). There are Dopplegangers living incognito scattered among the Humans of the Lands. However there is also a concentration of them living in a natural state in the Ruins of Ringin.

The blood of a Doppleganger is the only known way of producing Longevity Potion.

DRAGON
Level Eleven to Twenty Monster

Dragon

There are only ever ten Dragons in The Lands at any one time and only ever one of each breed. Also at any one time these ten are all at different phases of life.

The Dragons are inhabitants of the mortal world but they are also agents of the Divine. Every Dragon is the vassal of one of the gods or goddesses of the Lands (with the exception of the Deliverer who it is told has no need for such an agent).

Following is the description of each of the ten Dragons. They say that the personality of a Dragon is very much a reflection of the divine power it serves.

- The Golden Dragon is the servant of Olarin and can emit a sudden burst of sunlight from its maw which blinds all those it affects.

- The White Dragon is the servant of Urala and can emit a burst of frost from its maw which freezes all those it affects.

- The Silver Dragon is the servant of Bernali and can emit a spray of vapour from its maw which paralyses all those it affects.

- The Red Dragon is the servant of Teloch and can emit a blast of flame from its maw which burns all those it affects.

- The Blue Dragon is the servant of Marumi and can emit a sticky spray which slows all those it affects.

- The Green Dragon is the servant of Nitara and can emit a venomous vapour which poisons those it affects.

- The Iron Dragon is the servant of Kandoth and can emit thunder and lightning which electrocutes and deafens those it affects.

- The Black Dragon is the servant of Elchemar and can emit a spray of acid from its maw which corrodes or sublimates those it affects.

- The Copper Dragon is the servant of Garlomen and can emit a cloud of dust and sand which abrades those it affects.

- The Violet Dragon is the servant of Linesa and can emit a cloud of mist which puts all those it affects into a drunken stupor.

Damage done by the breath of a Dragon is 1d8 per every life-phase of the Dragon to all within the area of effect for the Green, Iron, White, Black, Copper and Red specimens. It is magical and can affect both the body and the animus (therefore it can harm even those immune to bodily attack like Spirits).

The ten life-phases of the Dragons are as follows: Hatchling – Very Young – Young – Adolescent – Lesser Adult – Greater Adult – Mature – Old – Very Old – Ancient

Each phase lasts half a century. Dragons grow as they age, from a fully extended length of 10’ in Hatchlings to a full size of 100’ as an Ancient. They grow also in experience and power as they age. Even at birth they have eleven levels and grow to 20 levels. Furthermore they cast a shadow of awe and fear in an ever growing area as they age – from 10’ (even as a Hatchling) to a mile as an Ancient one.

A Dragon has the musculature of a mammalian predator (like that of a wild cat) but the scaly hide of a reptile. It has a long neck and tail. Its head is adorned with distinctive horns while its tail ends in horny barbs. As well as the normal compliment of four clawed limbs, a Dragon has batlike wings (which scholars speculate are an extension and adaptation of the shoulder blades). Wings are disproportionally small in Hatchlings - allowing only gliding. Dragons are ferocious combatants and can attack several opponents all at once with jaws (1d12), claws (4d6), tail-slapping (1d10) and wing-buffets (2d4). They take half-damage from non-magical weapons.

A Dragon will maintain a number of lairs which are both secluded and secure in a habitat befitting the temperament of that dragon.

All Dragons have these additional powers which accumulate for each life phase and are as potent as level dictates.

Hatching: Summon Champion
Very Young: Fly & Swim
Young: Divination
Adolescent: Telepathy
Lesser Adult: Telekinesis
Greater Adult: Command and Muse
Mature: Teleportation
Old: Gate
Very Old: Transmutation
Ancient: Empower Champion

In its final days of life the Dragon expire (its body consumed in a form of destruction akin to its breath weapon) and a clone of the 'parent' will emerge from the destruction. The name 'Hatchling' is a misnomer since there is never an egg.

The Champion must help the new Dragon to remember the personality that it has also inherited from its parent. The Champion is a person that is chosen by the Dragon during its Very Old phase. The Dragon transmutes to go wandering among society till it finds one worthy to be its Champion. The Champion must willingly submit to the role and once this is done he or she is invested with powers such as longevity, immunity to dragon-breath, voluntary temporary giant-size, enhanced ability and greater level.

The Dragons spend entire lives in simply hunting and slumbering. Legend tells that they exist as a last line of defence for the world if ever it faces destruction from other-worldly powers.

FORMANTI
Level Two to Four Monster

Formanti

Horion the Emperor of Nerina had a Queen named Akantha who he loved for her beauty but grew to hate because she was far more popular at court than he. Akantha was an astute scholar and negotiator who contributed much to the reputation of her spouse. She developed better written scripts for use by imperial scribes. Akantha was known for her love of insects and the necklaces she wore which depicted such creatures. One Summer they both went on holiday to the Delta Swamps and one evening went rowing without any retinue. Horion returned alone saying that Akantha had fell into the waters and sunk without trace. Others however suspected foul play.

The following Summer the island villa of Horion in the Delta Swamps was attacked by a swarm of gigantic insects. All residents were killed and the biggest monster slew a look-a-like decoy of Horion (the Emperor himself was off on his northward march of conquest). Those with a sense of poetic justice deduced that the spirit of Akantha must have returned in insect form and spawned her own avenging army.

The truth of this legend cannot be confirmed. However there is a race of gigantic insects in the Delta Swamps. They are ruled by a Queen and they do attack local settlements. They look like praying mantis but have a society more like that of ants and are divided into castes of worker and trooper and Queen of levels two and three and four respectively. They stand at 5' tall and are 8' long (add 1' to these dimensions for troopers and 2' for the Queen).

Hind limbs always function as legs while forelimbs always function as arms. However mid-limbs can be both arms or legs. This allows Formanti to move at twice normal movement rate or to attack with twice as many weapons as normal. They use weapons stolen from Human victims. However they can also punch for 4d2 damage (workers) or 4d4 damage (troopers) or 4d6 damage (Queen). Also troopers and the Queen can sting opponents behind them for 1d2 damage and the injection of severe toxin. The Formanti can fly short distances (sufficient to enter or escape any melee in one round). They communicate telepathically via touch.

GELATINOUS MASS
Level Three Monster

Gelatinous Mass

The Gelatinous Mass is a cell colony of acidic jell that forms shapes that fit whatever space it moves in. It is found in caverns and abandoned catacombs and the like. The merest touch of its form delivers acidic damage of 1d4. However on a successful attack roll the monster will lurch forward at surprising speed and envelop a human-sized opponent. Once inside the victim will take 3d6 damage per round. They can only escape the mass on a successful Strength check. Some specimens can alter surface texture and pigmentation to imitate such things as doors or storage chests.

GENIUS
Level Six to Ten Monster

Genie

The Genius or Genie originate in the Elemental planes of existence. They are extremely rare and usually only come into the world as the result of magical spells. The ancient spell-casters of Nerina developed ways of summoning and binding these to particular objects (particularly flasks) such that the owner of that object can command the Genie. Important households and shrines employed them as guardian spirits.

There is a specific kind of Genie for each of the elements of Air, Water, Earth and Fire. They are that substance in its purest form which is rather different from the adulterated forms found in the world. They can move with the most amazing fluidity and then hit an opponent with devastating solidity.

They tend to assume three forms. One is of a 10-12' tall amorphous mass. Another is 8-10' tall but of vaguely human-like shape. And yet another is a 12-16' long serpentine form. They communicate via telepathy and show themselves to be shrewd and witty. They attack once per round for 2d20 damage. They can only be damaged by magical weapons or spells that replicate the opposite element in pure form (Air versus Earth and Water versus Fire).

A Genie can only return to its native plane of existence if the object to which it is bound is destroyed. A Genie will offer to undertake any task in return for its freedom. In contrast a Genie in servitude will only follow commands in the most minimalist and legalistic way.

Genie are related to Spirits.

GIANT
Level Eight to Twelve Monster

Giant

The Giants are massive monsters of Human kinship. There are two breeds of Giant - the Stone Giants and the Hill Giants. Both have the same legendary origin. The ancient Eriman Emperor Udolfo possessed an artifact known as the Sword of Conquest which conferred on him amazing powers of combat and control. One such power was to grant his rousing speeches a kind of truth. In one story Udolfo gathered his greatest warriors together and declared them to be giants in combat towering over all opponents. During the next battle they all grew to be between 12' and 18' tall and became much stronger as a result. The greatest of them was the ever-loyal Tremendous Tilda who was personal body-guard to Udolfo.

On the death of Udolfo the Giants formed two camps. The minority who loved Udolfo withdrew from the ensuing civil war despite all promises of rank and riches. These 'stone-willed' Giants lead by Tilda migrated as a group to live a life of simplicity in the Pillar Mountains. They became the reclusive Stone Giants.

The majority who loved combat stayed on to fight on both sides of the civil war. They were separated and made the body-guards of particular generals. Once that age of warfare passed the surviving Giants scattered into the Grey Hills and became solitary hunters or bandits. The Hill Giants dwindled over time as they became the targets of heroic warriors. The savage life they lived also dimmed their intellect.

However something peculiar happened a few hundred years ago and one Hill Giant warlord - Garroway Goremonger - united many others to his banner and took them across land to invade and conquer the Seven Hills (thereby winning them the enmity of the Dwarves).

Both kinds of Giant have pale skin and blond to brown hair and blue-grey irises. The Stone Giants emulate the memory of Udolfo by shaving all body hair (a custom of the last Emperor). In contrast the Hill Giants grow hair long and wild. Both breeds wear clothes made of animal hides but the Hill Giants supplement these with decorative items such as the skulls of smaller victims.

Giants can make one attack per round with a punch or kick which does 1d8 damage. Alternately they can attack with something like a huge club for 2d6 damage. In both cases damage is enhanced by +1 to +5 depending on the level of the Giant. Finally they can hurl boulders (one every two rounds) as far as 200' for 3d6 damage.

Giants have a Human lifespan. They can technically mate with Humans but the process is a difficult one and Half-Giants are very rare. A Half-Giant is a Human of maximum size and normal in all respects. It is rumoured that Garroway was advised and assisted by a Human half-sister who was also a powerful mage.

GOBLIN & HOBGOBLIN
Level One to Five Monster

The Goblins were originally bred from captured Orcs by the legendary arch-mage Mons Tara. She wanted to harness the ferocity and the night vision of the Orcs. To the natural Orcish ability to see heat she added the ability to detect even the palest glimmer of star light. A consequence of tampering made the Goblins smaller than Orcs and while they were nasty and sadistic they lost something of the wild bravery of natural Orcs. Mons Tara attempted to correct these shortcomings but never succeeded. Nonetheless the Goblins proved effective nocturnal combatants and in the civil war following the death of Mons Tara they served both sides and helped make warfare a round-the-clock event.

Following the Age of Tumult the Goblins returned to the Border Mountains of their ancestors and began a war with the native Orcs there. Goblin culture gave them military discipline and tactics which devastated the disparate Orcish forces. Eventually the surviving Orcs escaped to other lands. A few generations later however the Orcs returned in a more militant form and quickly re-took territory from the Goblins. Around this time however something amazing happened to the Goblins - Hobgoblins were born among them. It was as if the augmentation attempted by Mons Tara was suddenly activated by the pressure of the returned Orcish force. Hobgoblins are somewhat larger than Orcs and just as effective in combat. Every one in ten children is now born as a Hobgoblin regardless of parentage (Hobgoblin parents have as much chance as Goblin parents of producing Hobgoblins).

Hobgoblin

Both Goblins and Hobgoblins are vicious-looking relatives of the Orcs. They have pasty grey-white skin, dark hair and red irises. The eyes of Goblins are large. The eyes of Hobgoblins are the same size but in a somewhat larger face. Goblins are 3'9" to 4'8" tall while Hobgoblins are 4'8" to 6'4" tall. They wear uniforms of black, grey and red. They often decorate themselves with a paint derived from luminescent green cave lichens. They keep hair short and somewhat spiky. Both Goblins and Hobgoblins can see and move perfectly at night but in daylight Goblins find the light affects them and suffer a -1 penalty to attack rolls. Hobgoblins work fine in daylight even if they prefer night. Goblins get jittery if facing a larger force. In contrast Hobgoblins relish the challenge.

Goblin infantry have one level. Infantry commanders have two levels. They use scalemail, shield and short sword. Goblin Cavalry domesticate and ride Dire Wolves known to Goblins as Worguni. Cavalry members have two levels while Cavalry commanders have three levels. They use chainmail, short bow and dagger.

The Goblins have an hereditary monarch - the Ar-Goruth - who has four levels - the maximum for any Goblin - and casts clerical spells. The addition of Hobgoblins has made a difference to the effectiveness of the Goblin fighting force.

Hobgoblins have two levels while Hobgoblin commanders have three levels. Some Hobgoblins are given the role of acting as a bodyguard for both the Ar-Goruth and the Koruth and these elite troops have four levels. The Koruth is the general of the Hobgoblins and has five levels. All Hobgoblins use banded mail and bastard swords.

The relationship between the Ar-Goruth and the Koruth is a tense one. The Ar-Goruth is all-powerful by tradition but is finding that its power is limited to domestic matters while the Koruth is supreme military commander (which in wartime makes the Koruth more important).

Note that Goblins and Orcs can interbreed but resulting offspring are always Orcs. Goblins slay such infants at birth. 'Goblin' and 'Hobgoblin' are Rolanian words. The Bordenian variations are 'Kobold' and 'Nikobold'.

GOLEM
Level Five to Seven Monster

Golem

A Golem is an automaton made by a Dwarvish Spellsmith which is given the power of movement by a captured animus. Its construction can vary but a common description follows:

With copper sinew
And iron for bone
With flesh of clay
And hide of stone


The construct can take many forms but the most common model - The Thrall - is that of a dwarvenesque statue between 7' and 8' tall. This size provides for a forbidding and impressive form while minimizing construction issues. A larger Sentinel model is sometimes incorporated into gateways. A further Monarch Steed model is talked of in legend.

Golems are usually inert but the magic in them can move it to action if triggered by particular events (such as intruders entering a secret chamber or treasury). Many are enhanced by mechanisms such as a chest that opens to expose an automatic crossbow with magic arrows. The instructions that determine golem behaviour are usually located in a scroll or tablet set into a cavity in its upper back. Removal of the instructions renders the automaton inert till given new instructions. Only a successful Backstab by a rogue can remove the instructions in combat conditions. The Golem can attack with a punch (1d10) punch (1d10) routine or with such items as the imbedded crossbow described.

GORGON
Level Six Monster

Gorgon

The Gorgon are a reptilian race with a human-like upper body and a serpentine lower body. They live in isolated caves and abandoned oasis keeps in the Southern Desert. Legend tells that they were wicked clerics exiled from the Empire of Nerina for attempting to overthrow the aristocracy and replace it with a theocracy centred on a puppet ruler.

They are covered with scales in shades of blue, purple and grey. They have a gem-like scale on the forehead which is sensitive to heat (effectively granting them heat vision). Males have four rather than two limbs. Females have the bird-like characteristic of a crest of rachis emanating from the scalp (which however lack the filaments of feather) and a somewhat pronounced sternum (suggesting arms were once wings).

Gorgon seem to be solitary and may only come together to mate. They fight with weapons and those with four arms attack twice a round. The most powerful attack of the Gorgon however is their mesmerizing gaze which - on a successful attack roll - renders the victim paralyzed for 2d4 rounds. Only females can paralyze. All Gorgons however can cast spells as a level 3 cleric. They allegedly consume human flesh and collect the possessions of their victims.

A few mad desert travellers claim to have talked with Gorgons (who call themselves The Kith) and lived to tell of it. They whisper tales of how the Gorgons shed skin that still possesses life and can be shaped into animated devices of assorted utility. They also say that the Gorgons once tamed the Dragons as huge servitors. They even convey the Gorgon heresy that these reptiles are the original rulers of the world and that other races are alien interlopers.

GRIFFON
Level Five Monster

Griffon

The legendary arch-mage Mons Tara travelled in her youth and examined the magical breeding skills of ancient Nerina. Then at personal risk she acquired some Hydra blood which has the power to 'loosen the bonds that hold life in set shapes and forms'. The eagle and the lion were symbols of power in Grand Erimania and Tara blended together the essences of both to breed a new mount for her rebel cavalry. The Hydra blood allowed this blending and also the defying of the natural 'limit of limbs'.

The Griffons were too wild to be dominated by Tara however and escaped to live in forest wildernesses. They are a beast the size of a pony covered in brown feathers of varying sizes from fully sized feathers at the front to a fine fur-like covering at the hind-quarters. The face and forelimbs resemble the beak and talons of a bird-of-prey. The hind-quarters are like those of a wild cat. The most distinctive characteristic of the Griffon is the bird-like wings that grow from its shoulder blades. The coloration of Griffons ranges from brown to tawny while its talons, beak and eyes range from golden to orange. They average 7-8' long and have a wingspan of 11'. They are more bird than mammal and lay eggs.

A Griffon can attack with bite (1d6) claw (1d4) claw (1d4). However they can also do other things like lift an opponent off the ground and then drop them from a great height (which can happen if it makes two successful hits with claws).

Griffons are rare and are usually only found in the Greatwood Forest. There they have been domesticated by the Wood Elves (who seek partnership rather than domination) and become the mounts of the Wood Elf cavalry. An attack by such a cavalry is swift and devastating in its effect.

GROWLER
Level One Monster

Growler

A Growler is a massive mushrooms 3' tall that can both exude a mild toxin if touched and - of more concern - emits a booming vibration that can attract whatever other things are wandering in its cavernous habitat. It is only found in the largest of caverns and cannot be eaten by anything. However it can slowly move and consume any corpses in its vicinity. Hence the innate desire of this fungus to have battles happen in its presence.

HYDRA
Level Eight to Ten Monster

Hydra

The Hydra is a massive marine reptile with a propensity for mutation. At full size they are 30' long. Some are serpentine while others have two or four limbs (whether as paired flippers or webbed feet). The number of heads also varies from one to three. The more heads they have the more levels they have. Scales are green or green-blue. They can attack small boats by ramming them from underneath - the Hydra will capsize a boat on a successful Luck roll. It then attacks with its jaws - 2d6 per head. The Hydra roam the sea between the Gaping Gulf and the Ragged Isles but some come as far north as Farport.

The blood of Hydra was a vital ingredient in ancient magic that permitted the blending of different races in the forming of new ones. Sages say that this is because of the way in which Hydra themselves can take many different forms.

ILKITHIRI
Level Three to Ten Monster

Starborn Invaders (Ilk)

Long ago a star fell into a hillside close to the valley of Allmeet. It was excavated for meteoric iron but in the process a smashed 'sky keep' was discovered in the crater. Study of the site suggested that there had in fact been two forms (made of different kinds of stone). One was shaped like a starfish. The other like a twisted horn that was thrust into the starfish. Both were the size of galleys. Inside corpses of a most peculiar kind were discovered - the Ilkithiri and the Occu. Study by sages and Diviners tells us this of the Ilkathari:

The Ilkithiri is a cephalopod of alien origin that can assume a vaguely human-like form. This they do by decapitating victims and attaching to the opening of the neck. Soon tendrils grow in numbers sufficient to replace all muscles and sinews. None have ever been met but it is speculated that they are powerful and cunning spell-casters.

JACKALRIE
Level Three to Four Monster

Jackalrie

Two caravans meet at sunset in the Southern Desert. One group inform the other that a pack of jackals was seen a few dunes away and they suggest camping together for better defense. That night the two groups of merchants drink and carouse together. Suddenly the camp is attacked by many jackals and the members of one of the two caravans also take jackal-form and together slay all true Humans...

Many such tales are told by travelers of the Southern Desert regarding the treacherous and vicious Jackalrie. These are jackals that can temporarily assume Human form (for as much as six hours per day). They work in packs ruled by a Sire (a level four male). In Human form they can attack with weapons while in jackal form they can attack with one bite of 1d6 damage. Also anyone who survives an attack of Jackalrie may also have contracted a severe infection as they are dirty animals. They will eat victims and keep the best possessions for the pack.

In Human form Jackalrie are most convincing however one distinction is that they have four nipples (a fact they are careful to conceal). Jackalrie are the children of Jackalrie - in this sense they are very different from the Ratkin or Batkin who carry a supernatural affliction. Nonetheless Zinty tales of Jackalrie have transformed into the legend of the Werewolf in Narmant and Plana lands.

MANTICORE
Level Five Monster

Manticore

The Manticore is the oldest product of the magical breeders of ancient Nerina - an experiment that was rejected by its makers. This monster has a body like that of a large tawny lion but huge brown bat-like wings protrude from its shoulders and its tail ends in a spiked club-like tail. It has human-like rather than feline eyes that sport brown irises. It is utterly wild and will kill anything it meets. It can attack with claw (1d3) claw (1d3) bite (1d6) routine at anyone forward of it and with its tail attack someone behind it for 2d4 damage.

The Manticore roam the hills of Demona and live very much as do lions. However there is a legend which tells that Manticore love to engage in riddling - this legend is a fiction which has caused many adventurers to try to talk to a Manticore rather than run away from it! The Manticore is the only native of Demona to usually be left alone by the marauding Wyvern.

MERKIND
Level Three to Four Monster

Merkind

Legend tells that some of the Humans of the Mariner Isles survived its destruction by becoming the Merkind. This legend is supported by the fact that the Merkind congregate in the lagoons of The Remnant. The Merkind are a mammalian marine race with a vaguely human-shaped upper-body and a dolphin-like lower body. Fur is non-existent. Mammary glands are on the torso. They are of greyish-beige coloration. They can make a clicking call that allows them to sense and hone in on moving objects as far as a mile away. They can likewise communicate with one another under water. They must surface once an hour to breath.

They attack with weapons (tridents are popular) or with a whack of the tail which inflicts 2d4 damage. Despite this Merkind are peace-loving and only fight if threatened. They live in caverns within coral reefs and a pod will be overseen by a bull (a level four male). This bull serves as the shaman of the group and can cast spells as a level 2 cleric.

MISTLETOE
Level One Monster

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a parasite that grows on trees in the Grey Hills and Brethic Hills. It alters its form to look like a branch of its host tree and slowly sucks sap via its intrusive roots. However if ever Mistletoe comes into contact with blood its animus will then become active rather than dormant and it will seek to graft itself to an animal (including demi-humans). A blood-thirsty Mistletoe will fall from a tree onto an animal on a successful attack roll (likely with surprise). The grafting causes 1d2 damage and thereafter sucks 1 life point of damage per day. However if the host rests during the course of a day they negate that loss.

On the first day of grafting the Mistletoe will still look like a branch. On the second day it has a 50% chance of becoming a nondescript and non-functional animal extremity. On the third day it has a 50% chance of becoming a functional limb specific to the host animal. It will be of flesh and blood but cartilage will substitute for true bone. The limb will mimic limbs as well as it can according to host form and part of body to which it is anchored but variations (like fewer than standard fingers on an 'extra arm') do occur. The host can make use of this limb as normal on a successful Wisdom check (for every action willed). Mistletoe can be removed by killing it but the host will take as much damage as the parasite.

If ever a blood-thirsty Mistletoe returns to a tree-host (as in the case of its animal host perishing) it will then have the ability to make that tree move so as to help it capture future animal hosts. Legend tells that Druids have a way of using Mistletoe to safely and permanently replace lost limbs.

MOCK DRAGON
Level Two Monster

Mock Dragon

A Mock Dragon is a Wyvern that as a hatchling has had its growth magically retarded as it matures. Even as an adult a Mock Dragon is never larger than a cat. It develops an affection and affinity for its owner and is prized by mages as a familiar. The Mock Dragon can fly well and can also attack with a bite for 1d4 damage or with a stabbing of its tail for 1d2 damage and the application of severe toxin. They say that if ever a Mock Dragon sees a wild adult Wyvern it will suddenly become wild itself and turn on its owner.

OCCU
Level Five to Eight Monster

Starborn Invaders (Occult)

Long ago a star fell into a hillside close to the valley of Allmeet. It was excavated for meteoric iron but in the process a smashed 'sky keep' was discovered in the crater. Study of the site suggested that there had in fact been two forms (made of different kinds of stone). One was shaped like a starfish. The other like a twisted horn that was thrust into the starfish. Both were the size of galleys. Inside corpses of a most peculiar kind were discovered - the Occu and the Ilkithiri. Study by sages and Diviners tells us this of the Occu:

The Occu is an echinoderm of alien origin. It has a spherical form with ten eyes distributed across its five body segments (five set into the segments and five set on stalks). It has a tooth-lined maw at the opposite end from the cluster of articulated stalks. The body can levitate at will. It has a ravenous hunger and its gaze can cast a number of magical attacks on its victims from paralysis to instant death.

OGRE
Level Five Monster

Orgre

The arch-mage Hakon (apprentice of Mons Tara) bred the Ogres in the opening days of the Age of Tumult. They were sterile and none of the originals survived. However new ones can be forcibly bred and there are persistent rumours of Ogres living in the vicinity of Mount Fate and also the Ruins of Ringin. Ogres are the product of crossing Orcs and Hill Giants. They stand 8' to 10' tall and look like oversized Half-Orcs (which effectively they are).

Ogres can make one attack per round with a punch or kick which does 1d6 damage. Alternately they can attack with something like a huge club for 2d6 damage. Adventurers from Traviata and Urbana gave them the name of Ogre but those from Bordenia and Kingshope call them Ettin.

PEGASUS
Level Four Monster

Pegasus

Horion the Emperor of Nerina desired the perfect mount for his army of conquest and once Centaurs were found wanting he commanded his mage breeders to make him something better. The result was the winged horse Pegasus. This served as both the personal steed of Horion and also as the template for more such mounts. Dozens were bred but history tells that all were killed in the war between Horion and his enemy Volund. However legends persist that say a small herd of Pegasi survive to this day and hide in the deepest parts of the Eldarwood. If they exist Pegasi can fly faster and further than even Griffons. A Pegasus can attack from above with all four hooves for 4d6 damage. Legend tells that only a ruler of Nerina could ever win the loyalty of these reclusive creatures and only then if sufficient humility was displayed.

PIERCER
Level One Monster

Piercer

These gastropods are uniquely adapted for life in caverns in that they have shells that look like stalactites. These stone-hard shells nonetheless allow the Piercer to detect movement and if they sense something moving below them they can let go of the cavern ceiling and fall. On a successful attack roll they will impale a victim for 5d4 damage (likely a surprise). This one blow kills most victims - which are then eaten - but if the victim survives it can then more effectively attack the Piercer as its soft belly is now exposed.

PIXIE
Level One to Three Monster

Pixie

During the Age of Tumult legend tells that some Elvish rogues volunteered to be made into the ultimate messengers and spies. The result was the Pixie which live to this day in the Greenwood and are still loyal to the Ley Elvish aristocracy. They look like tiny mauve-pigmented Elves standing at 10" to 1'2" tall. They can become invisible and inaudible at will and can climb like a squirrel. They cannot fly but gossamer membranes stretching from arm to leg allow them to glide from a height. In other ways they are like Elves. They have the core thieving skills. They can bite for 1d2 damage and the application of Pixie saliva has the same effect as Lethargy enchantment. Whether they can breed with Elves is a matter of utmost secrecy and delicacy. They are revered as familiars by Elvish mages.

RATKIN
Level Three Monster

Ratkin

The Ratkin (or Wererats as others call them) are Humans afflicted with the supernatural ability to become rats of the same mass. They can be of any experience level beyond the second. They look like normal Humans with a vaguely feral visage. They can change into a massive rat at will within one minute. However they also are compelled by their affliction to change form once every month on a particular date and during the hours of darkness (only particular Wererats must change during the Full Moon). The transmutation only affects the body rather than clothes or possessions.

The act of transforming has the happy side-effect of returning the Wererat to maximum life points. The only kind of damage that resists this effect are wounds inflicted by silver weapons. Wererats are excellent swimmers. They also have a sense of smell that allows them to locate prey to a distance of one mile. In rat form they can attack with claw (1d2) claw (1d2) and bite (1d4). As a rat they have a leathery hide. In human form they will attack as calling and experience level dictate. The leader of a group of Wererats can summon and command a swarm of ordinary rats (the attack of which can prevent effective action for one round).

Any Human (including part Humans) or Halfling bitten or otherwise contaminated with the bolidy secretions of a Wererat must make a successful Constitution check or become a Wererat. If they are lower than third level they will rise to third level. They will change from omnivore to carnivore and develop a desire to hunt at night (which can be resisted by a successful Wisdom check). They will experience the compulsion to transmute into rat form 30 days after infection and on the same day of every month thereafter.

The Ratkin are very socialized and prefer to live in contact with others. Some will live in sewers and spend most of the time living among rats. Others will live among fellow Humans. The largest number of Ratkin live in Nartellfar. Historically they were a gang that would capture and turn Humans they were attracted to into Wererats or kidnap and sup on infants. Such action however would draw attention to them and would result in mass Wererat exterminations. In present times the Ratkin have been united under one inspirational if ruthless community figure (Marcelus Algernon) who has imposed a new code of conduct that ensures that the Ratkin can survive quietly in Nartellfar. One rule of the new community is to only prey on those who will never be missed (such as vagabonds and petty criminals).

The Ratkin and Batkin afflictions are related phenomena and one can only contract one or the other. Study by Transmuters to understand this magic infection has proved futile. Efforts by clerics to cure it likewise have been useless. It seems to be a lifelong condition. Any child of two Ratkin is also Ratkin. However the child of a Ratkin and a normal Human is also a normal Human (once they are born however they can be afflicted in the normal way).

RAVEN
Level One Monster

Ravens

The Ravens are large crows that have been domesticated by Dwarves as messengers. They are intelligent and can communicate in M'gar. They can memorize precise messages or even compose their own in dire circumstances. It is due to Ravens that the Hill Dwarf Monarchy-In-Exile survived at all following the conquest of the Seven Hills by Hill Giants.

Ravens mate for life and tend to travel in pairs. If pressed such a pair can attack for 2d2 damage or drop stones on opponents for 2d4 damage. A pair is deemed to be one monster for calculation of life points. Sometimes they are known as 'Winged Omens'.

SELKIE
Level Three To Four Monster

Selkie

In its natural habitat the Selkie blends aspects of the fur seal and the otter. It has golden-brown fur. It has useful forelimbs with opposing thumbs but its hind-limbs are more flipper-like. However the Selkie has the supernatural talent to assume comely Human form for as much as twelve hours in every two days. Selkie crave both company and the decorative and functional objects that Humans make.

The Selkie live in hidden huts woven from grass and weeds that they construct among secluded stony reefs in the Bay of Farnorth and the westernmost reaches of the Erimer Sea. However from time-to-time they go visiting the fishing villages in those areas. Many songs tell of visitations by suspected Selkie:

The stranger came in need of shelter
I welcomed him that sunset hour
He partook of my open larder
And more we shared in bed together
At dawn I rose to find him gone
My jewels I'd lost yet still I'm warm


The implication of such songs is that those visited are perfectly happy to lose the odd trinket in return for a night of passion and many a young widow or widower whispers of having had the love of a Selkie. Skeptics suggest that any stranger may do the same thing but others reply that one can tell a Selkie from others by the presence of four nipples. Selkie are the children of Selkie - in this sense they are very different from the Ratkin or Batkin who carry a supernatural affliction. Only Selkie of four levels ever go visiting Humans. They are placid but if pressed can bite for 1d4 damage (if in Selkie form) or attack as a Human otherwise.

SHADOW SPINNER
Level One to Two Monster

Shadow Spinner

The Shadow Spinners are huge intelligent spiders that reside in dark thick woods - particularly in the Twisted Forest. Females are 3' in diameter while males are 2' in diameter. The pigment on them can alter to perfectly fit whatever surface they are on (including the matching of shadows) so that while still they are invisible. They weave webs which hold anyone prone who touches them and fails a Strength check. They can bite for 1d3 damage. This bite also injects a severe toxin. Females carry young inside them. Rumors persist that in the Twisted Forest there are one or more hermit spell-casters who can control these gigantic spiders and who think and act like them.

SPIRIT
Level Six To Fifteen Monster

These are immortals from the planes of spirit. Some of them may be natives of the spirit planes (much as the Genie are natives of the Elemental Planes). Many more however are the immortal form of mortals who have perished and gone onto serve a particular god or goddess. Most reside forever in the spirit planes but some very rarely are sent to the mortal world for some divine purpose.

Spirits start at the same level they were in life and can then advance further. Those between first and fifth level will always stay at home as the inhabitants of eternity. Those between sixteenth and twentieth level stay at home so as to help manage the spirit planes for the gods and goddesses. Those however between the levels of six and fifteen are the ones sometimes sent into the world as guardians or envoys (such visits are extremely rare). At home they are pure spirit and cannot be destroyed.

Once they enter the world however they become both spirit and animus and the connection between these two component parts can be severed by magic or magical weapons (they are totally immune to any mundane attacks that affect the body). Likewise any attack of a spirit is deemed magical. Severing the link between spirit and animus vanquishes the spirit back to its home plane. However some powerful Necromancy can allow them to be captured.

The combat statistics of a spirit (including Defence Rating and Attack and Damage rolls) are never worse than the best statistics of those they are combating. They have the same talents they did in life. They also have the following powers: Divination, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Teleportation and Gate.

A spirit can project a sense impression of itself such that it can interact fully with the world. All spirits can present as a somewhat hazy form of the person they were in the prime of life. However they also can assume forms specific to the origin of the spirit encountered.

The Archon

The Archon are servants of Olarin in Paradise and can take the form of a beautiful Human with golden complexion sporting wings of golden light shaped like those of a bird-of-prey emerging from the shoulder blades. Garments tend to be basic and only the minimum demanded by the modesty standards of the culture visited. They give off a golden glow and any weapon wielded will be lined with flame. One of the few things that will provoke a visitation by Archon is the harassment of mortals by the Gargorim.

The Faun

The Faun are servants of Nitara in Paradise and can take two forms. One is of a vaguely human-shaped levitating cluster of plant matter such as flower petals and fluff. The other is of a naked almost-human form that has the horns, cloven hooves, fur and characteristics of an antelope. In this form they can both burrow and climb at speed. They occasionally facilitate the conceiving of children for infertile couples. A Faun will assume the likeness of the woman and mate with the man and take his seed and will then assume the form of the man and mate with the woman thereby transferring the seed. Conception is assured. The 'Changeling' children of such Faun arranged matings are comely and bring joy to those who know them. They say that the crops will never fail if such a child was born and continues to live in ones village.

Spirits

The Succubi & Incubi

These are the servants of Urala in the Netherworld. They take the form of attractive and seductively attired Humans but have feline pupils and pronounced canines. They also have small horns and batlike wings composed of dense shadow. If attacked they can employ spells of cold and darkness. Succubi and Incubi are sent to the world to test secure relationships and to provide solace to those who have lost such relationships. A visit from these spirits is usually interpreted as a particularly vivid dream. They occasionally facilitate the conceiving of children who will serve some secret purpose of Urala in the world. A Succubi will mate with a man and take his seed and will then transform into an Incubi and mate with a woman thereby transferring the seed. The children of such matings are granted particular powers that manifest in adolescence.

The Gargorim

These are the servants of Kandoth in the Netherworld. They look much as they are depicted in statuary on the walls and rooves of Kandothic churches – as ‘gargoyles’. They have large muscular forms covered in smooth grey hide. They have the faces of some dire carnivore with small horns. Eyes glow electric blue. Shoulder blades sprout large bat-like wings composed of grey cloud while tails end in arrow-like points. They have the power to make a thunderclap by snapping their wings suddenly. They can emit electricity at will. Visits to the mortal Lands by Gargorim are very rare but on occasion they may storm into some large undercover locale like a rooved arcade to “let the weather back in”…

The Ghosts

These are agents of The Deliverer sent to the world from the Eternal Hall to thwart those who try to evade death by use of magical spells or potions granting longevity. Its key form of attack on those it has been sent to collect is the power to cause rapid aging (ten years per touch). A Ghost is one of the few things feared by a Lich.

The Shades

The Shades are followers of Garlomen & Marumi and reside with them in the Shadowlands. There they live 'lives' much like those they had as mortals in rural settings. Some however are sent into the world of the living for some errand and will generally take on standard spirit form. The Shades of one-time Druids will sometimes visit those they mentored. They can also assume the form of a vaguely human-shaped monster of mud whose bones are stone and whose sinew is the gnarled roots of trees. In this form they can swim and burrow swiftly. Once they abandon this form it is left behind as a husk which then slowly erodes back into the landscape.

The Harmonians

The Harmonians are followers of Bernali and Elchemar. In Harmony they all have strict roles and routines and once sent to the world they follow precise instructions as well as circumstance will allow (and as spirits they can alter circumstances in significant ways). They can take the form of human-like statue of obsidian and silver with military uniforms that mirror those of the culture they are visiting. The precise function of such a form will be altered to fit its specific mission.

The Discordians

The Discordians are followers of Teloch and Linesa (except the relationship they have is more like that of a fan and they cannot exactly be controlled by those they worship). In Discord itself they can alter themselves at will to fit the ever-changing environment there. Whatever form they were last like at home is the form they will also have on visiting the world. The warlike followers of Teloch may have a hide like that of a Pangolin or they may have arms that end in bony blades. The followers of Linesa fancy all kinds of movement and presentation and may have anything from the gaudy plumage and song of an exotic bird to the form of a body sprouting musical instruments.

Wayward Spirits

Also known as The Fallen or Demons. Very occasionally a spirit will consider that the gods and goddesses themselves were once of the same kind as Spirits or Genie. Even more rarely such a spirit will decide that it is in essence as important as its ruler and desire independence. Such a wayward spirit will depart the spirit planes and hide in the Ether. There it will form a tiny pocket realm for itself. Some are content with that but others will aspire to the status of Divinity and will therefore make contact with the mortal world and seek worshippers.

These spirits will do so carefully lest they attract the attention of the existing gods and goddesses - the result will be clandestine cults. They will also find that the tiny numbers of worshippers they find are too few to grant them the power they seek and be much more demanding of those worshippers they do have. While a Divinity only asks for regular prayers a Demon will demand mortal blood sacrifices to feed it. This need for blood will lumber the spirit with a fleshy body and a consequence of this is that they can take half-damage from non-magical attacks. It is just as well that they are incredibly rare as they are also incredibly dangerous. The hunting of wayward spirits is one of the few tasks that are assigned to the Dragons...

Monsters Sometimes Confused With Spirits - Phantoms

These are inhabitants of the Ether and are sometimes confused with Shades or Ghosts. They can sometimes be fleetingly perceived in the normla world as shadows and echoes. In the Ether they have a form of misty grey that has the merest impression of a face. Sages consider these natives of the Ether but some may be lost persons who got stuck in this realm. They are functionally very similar to Will-O-Wisp.

TROLL
Level Four to Six Monster

Troll

Trolls are huge vaguely human-shaped carnivorous amphibians that come in both Freshwater and Saltwater breeds. They are vicious and cunning predators who love to wallow in small pools and streams and take prey by surprise.

They are solitary and only come together to mate. They spawn in flooded caves and the young hatch from clusters of soft eggs in such caves. Infant trolls cannibalize one another as they grow. As infants they have external gills however these become vestigial in maturity. From then on they must surface to breath but only need to do so a few times an hour. Tails become proportionally shorter as the body grows. They have mottled grey-green hide that is both silken and course in patches. Eyes are blank black. Mouths are lined with tiny sharp teeth while limbs end in claws. The vestigial gills gather moss and give the impression of trolls having hair around the back of the head from earhole to earhole.

The male Freshwater Troll is the smallest at 7' to 9' tall. The female Freshwater Troll and the male Saltwater Troll stand at 8' to 10' tall. The female Saltwater Troll is the largest at 9' to 11' tall. It must be noted however that they rarely stand erect and if on land prefer to crouch and crawl. They much prefer swimming. Female are more intelligent than males. If one sex is scarce in an area then Trolls can change sex while sleeping in thick and fertile mud.

Level (4-6) is allocated according to the three sizes described. They attack with claw (1d4) claw (1d4) bite (1d4). Also if both claws make a successful hit and both they and their opponent are standing in or alongside a body of water then the Troll will grasp their prey and take them under the water till they drown. A Strength check on a d30 is required to escape their grasp. 1d8 life points are lost for every round underwater. Injured Trolls can regenerate 1 life point per round per level if fully immersed in the right kind of water (salt or fresh).

Saltwater Trolls are native to the Erimer Sea while Freshwater Trolls can be found on both the shores of the Erimer Sea and in the rivers and ponds of the Wandering Lands, the Grey Hills, and the Brethic Hills. Those that live in the Brethic Hills sometimes develop a relationship of convenience with the legendary Will-O-Wisp there.

Über-Trolls

History records that a variant of Trolls once existed that were even more dangerous. These Über-Trolls were sufficiently intelligent to communicate verbally and strategize. They also had a unique natural weapon in the form of rib-tips that would bust from the regenerative torso of the monster. Any opponent in direct contact with these would suffer 1d10 damage from the sharp bones and the injection of severe toxin. This ability mostly existed to allow younger Trolls to defend themselves from older ones. However the ribs became a prized possession among Humans during the treacherous Age Of Tumult because an Über-Troll rib continued to operate even after removal from its body. The rib tips transmute blood itself into toxin on contact. Über-Trolls were hunted to extinction by adventurers who then sold the ribs to the warring factions of that dark time. Now all that is left of these lethal creatures is a smattering of ribs in hidden caches and troves.

UNDEAD
Level One to Ten Monster

The Undead are a variety of monsters that are the result of one or both of the animus or spirit continuing to be attached to a body or to one another beyond the duration of a natural life. To be deemed truly Undead a monster must have two of the following three components: (i) A corpse (ii) an animus (whether dormant or active) and (iii) a spirit (some comprise all three while others comprise i and ii or ii and iii).

Destroying Undead involves severing the body from the animus or the animus from the spirit. They are only fully damaged by magical weapons (which can affect the animus as well as flesh and bone) and take half-damage from mundane weapons (if they have a body) and none at all (if they lack a body). They also tend to be immune to Enchantment.

Magical Undead

Magical Undead are those that are deliberately made by use of particular magic spells and procedures.

Spectral Amulet

Some mages attach a dormant animus to an amulet and then attach their own spirit to that animus. This is done to preserve the owner of that spirit if they are facing dire attacks from the spirit world (if your spirit is safely stored in an amulet then you cannot become a Ghoul or Wight even if you are evil). Following the bodily destruction of its owner an amulet can project a sense impression of its spirit - this apparition is functionally similar to a Haunt. It is vanquished only if the amulet is destroyed. The amulet will usually be made of iron and include a skull image in its design.

Homunculus

The Homunculus (also known as an imp or gremlin) is an artificial familiar - a companion for a mage. Like all familiars the Homunculus shares the spirit of its mage. But as an artificial body it also needs its own animus to be attached to it. This involves the casting of many spells over its form. The most popular 'recipe' for a Homunculus body lists the following ingredients:

- The skeleton and internal organs of a monkey
- The sense organs of a cat
- The muscles and skin of a piglet
- The wings of a large bat
- The blood of its maker

The teeth and claws can be a mix of monkey and cat according to preference of maker.


Spells are cast over the resulting work of taxidermy to (i) transmute the construct into an organic whole, (ii) attach an animus to the new body and (iii) link the animus with the spirit of the maker. To effectively operate two separate forms a mage with such a familiar must be of significant mental agility. The Imp can bite for 1d4 damage. Many mages frown upon the creation of a Homunculus and ask what is the matter with contracting a natural familiar.

Animus Skeleton

An Animus Skeleton is produced by casting Attach Animus on a skeleton (usually Human). The spell attaches an active animus to the skeleton and the absence of a spirit ensures that it is totally controlled by the will of the spell caster. They will eventually decay to nothing. Damage of attacks is by weapon wielded.

Animus Corpse

An Animus Corpse is produced by casting Attach Animus on a corpse (usually Human). The spell attaches an animus to the body and the absence of a spirit ensures that it is totally controlled by the will of the spell caster. They will eventually degrade into an Animus Skeleton. Damage of attacks is by weapon wielded. They are sometimes confused with living victims of powerful enchantment spells.

Lich

Some very powerful mages who wish to stay in the mortal world will defer death indefinitely by using an arcane and powerful combination of spells to lock both the animus and the spirit permanently to the body. The Lich is similar in form to an animated skeleton or corpse but has the memory and skill of a powerful mage. They are extremely rare. Only one is named in the legends of the Lands - the lLch known as the Castellan who rules the maze of Mount Fate.

Mumia

A Mumia is similar to a Lich in that it is a corpse (preserved by embalming with wax and other substances) to which an animus and spirit have both been attached. It is different however in two key respects. One is that the Mumia in life was a powerful aristocratic warrior who had mages cast the necessary spells on them. The other is that the Mumia only occasionally has an active animus and spirit attached to it under very specific circumstances (its tomb has been invaded). The rest of the time it is a corpse with a dormant animus attached. The only known accounts of Mumia encounters come from the Lehenic aristocracy of Nerina. They attack with the skill of a powerful warrior.

Supernatural Affliction Undead

Supernatural Undead are those that have been produced by some form of supernatural curse which propagates in a similar way to a mundane infection. The affliction holds both the animus and the spirit in the body. However in some cases a spirit can resist the power of the affliction. Any spirit deemed 'good' automatically resists the curse. Any spirit deemed 'neutral' (including lawful and chaotic) has a chance of resisting (by making a successful wisdom check to represent both will and a sense-of-self). Any spirit deemed 'evil' automatically succumbs to the curse. Any instance in which the spirit resists will produce a 'stillborn' form of the undead breed which has only an animus and for game purposes can be regarded as an Animus Corpse. Fully fledged undead will usually destroy any 'stillborn' undead on sight.

Ghouls & Ghasts

A Ghoul is the product of a fatal attack by an existing Ghoul in which the corpse of the victim is left in tact and revives the following night as a new Ghoul. The animus is imprisoned in the corpse by the affliction as is the spirit which is distorted into a most savage condition. What they lack in smarts is compensated for by a predatory cunning. Ghouls are nocturnal and resent sunlight but can survive it. They must regularly consume living flesh and blood in order to stay 'fresh' and as long as they do this Ghouls only look like days-old cadavers with an inhumanly feral visage and a ruddy compexion. The teeth and claws of a Ghoul cause paralysis for 1d4 rounds if a Constitution check is failed and Ghouls enjoy consuming victims while still alive. Ghoul numbers are almost always low because very few whole corpses are left behind by existing Ghouls. Usually found in graveyards and catacombs.

If a Ghoul is deprived of fresh flesh and blood for long it will then become a Ghast. It starts to putrefy and exudes a powerful stench which makes mortals gag and loose initiative in combat. Its sheer desire to feed makes a Ghast more powerful. Both Ghouls and Ghasts attack with claw (1d2) claw (1d2) bite (1d4) routine.

Undead

Wights & Wraiths

They say that the original Wights were aristocrats who were so greedy for everything including life that they made a compact with Fallen spirits to allow them to stay in the world of the living. The affliction of the Wights produces a desiccated pale-grey corpse that can last many generations of mortals in a preserved condition. A Wight can produce new Wights by sucking all the life energy from a victim in the form of a fatal kiss. A kiss deducts life points by as many dice as the victim has levels. This they do rarely however as they are very snobbish and only wish to turn the most 'worthy' of victims into minions. As a result Wights are careful to utterly destroy the corpses of all 'rejects'. They are more likely to simply attack with weapons as a warrior of the same level.

Eventually the body of a Wight will turn to dust and once that happens the disembodied animus and spirit become a Wraith. It then focuses on just its kiss attack. Both Wraiths and Wights have only been reported in Erimanic or Brethic lands and are located in barrows. One Wraith is usually attended by 2 to 4 Wight followers. They only take full damage from magical weapons or those made from meteoric iron (deemed magical in this case). They are incapacitated by sunlight - loosing Initiative and suffering -1 to attack rolls and taking one life point damage for every round exposed. They even detest starlight.

Sheer Will Undead

In extremely rare and unusual cases undead can form from the sheer will alone of the deceased person. There are only two known kinds of the sheer will undead and in both cases they only exist for as long as is needed to accomplish a task.

Revenant

A revenant is a fresh corpse with both the animus and spirit intact. The person is the innocent victim of a particularly abhorrent murder in which both victim and murderer were familiar. The Deliverer has given permission to the spirit of the victim to stay in the world in order to exact vengeance and once that vengeance has been taken the revenant becomes an ordinary corpse once more. Its attack will be identical to the kind it could make in life.

Haunt

A haunt is a spirit which lingers in the world in order to complete some important task it had while alive. Once more the permission of the Deliverer has been granted. The spirit is attached to a dormant animus which itself is attached to a locale important to the spirit. Usually the task is of vital importance to persons still living but only the deceased has information necessary to its completion. The haunt must use the living to do its work by telepathically communicating with them. Haunts are frequently confused with Ghosts.

Monsters Sometimes Confused With The Undead

These are immortal spirits that reside in the Afterlife and serve particular gods and goddesses. From time-to-time they are sent into the mortal world to perform particular tasks and are frequently confused with undead. In particular Demons are frequently regarded as undead.

Also the mortal but magical Doppleganger are also sometimes mistakenly regarded as undead while the Will-O-Wisp is regarded as undead even if it only comprises animus.

The Legend Of The Vampire

The vampire is a case of a legendary tale which grows even in a fantastic world. The vampire is the product of a mingling of the telling and retelling of different tales of spirits and the Undead. The key ingredients of this fabrication are as follows:

- The natural vampirism which is a form of criminal insanity and is usually punished with the same forms of destruction as are known to slay the undead.

- Ghouls provide the vampire legend with its wild and deranged killer aspect complete with the consumption of blood.

- Wights provide that aspect of the legend involving mortal-hating life-sucking aristocrats.

- Succubi and Incubi provide the vampire legend with its elements of erotic temptation and seduction.

- Werebats are the source of the story of a race of nocturnal carnivores who can take bat forms (despite the fact that they are living rather than Undead). There is a particular Batkin clan in Urbana which has actively promoted this legend as a way of keeping strangers away from the clan cave.


Undead Level

Undead have the following Levels:

* Haunt - NA
* Spectre - NA
* Homunculus - 1
* Animus Skeleton - 1
* Animus Corpse - 2
* Ghoul - 3
* Ghast - 4
* Revenant - Any
* Weight - 8
* Wraith - 9
* Mumia - 10-20
* Lich - 10-20


Revenants, Mumia and Lich will have the Level attained in life.

UNICORN
Level Four Monster

Unicorn

Humans think of Unicorns as a kind of 'elvish horse' but in truth the gracile Unicorn is more closely related to deers. It has cloven hooves and its horn has developed from the twisting together of two separate horns. They average 8' long. Generations of controlled breeding by the Ley Elves have produced a distinct and semi-magical steed.

Unicorns have the longevity and intelligence of a Human. They develop a telepathic bond with the Elf who rides and cares for them. The horn of a Unicorn can both cause and cure injury at a touch at a value of 1d8 and this attack can affect those only affected by magical weapons. They can also attack with forelimbs for 2d4 damage. They come in shades from white to mottled grey with dark to blue eyes and pearl to silver horns.

WILL-O-WISP
Level Three Monster

Will-O-Wisp

The Will-O-Wisp looks like a hovering glowing sphere of misty light. Sages speculate that they are something very concerning indeed - animus gone feral. They cannot move fast but rather seek to lure victims - any kind of animal - into the bogs and marshes of the Brethic Hills. Any stuck victim is then touched by the Will-O-Wisp which delivers 1d8 damage. This supernatural damage is severing the animus from the body and this is how Will-O-Wisp 'reproduce' - by 'freeing' active animus attached to live forms. They can only be harmed by magical weapons or attacks. The Will-O-Wisp never attack Trolls - rather they follow them at a distance and assist in the killing of larger victims (the Troll consumes the flesh while the Will-O-Wisp takes the animus).

WYVERN
Level Seven Monster

Wyvern

A Wyvern is a huge winged reptile with a stinging tail. They have rusty-brown scales and orange eyes. Decorative back-sweeping horns adorn their heads. Fully grown they are 15' long and have a 20' wingspan. Small feathery tufts grow behind the ear holes and at the base of their wings. They nest in the remote and difficult-to-reach heights of the Wyrmway Mountains and prey on animals in Demona (all except the Manticore which they usually stay away from). At a distance flying Wyverns are frequently confused for the semi-divine Dragons.

A Wyvern can attack from above with claw (1d6) claw (1d6). If both claws hit then it can lift its victim off the ground and then drop them from a fatal height. If landed they can attack with a bite (2d4) or sting with the scorpion-like stinger that inflicts 1d6 damage and injects severe toxin. The eggs and hatchlings of Wyvern demand a handsom price from mages who use them to produce Mock Dragons. Capturing such a prize is one of the most dangerous tasks ever as Wyvern parents stay together till such time as a hatchling can fly and therefore eggs or hatchlings are always guarded by one adult as the other is hunting.

YINDRICK
Level Six to Seven Monster

Yindrick

The Yindrick or Indroch is a massive furry quadruped with one horn on its snout and a green-gold tint to its fur. Both males and female are horned. They grow to 9' tall at the shoulder and 15' long. Lone specimens wanders the Eastern Expanse and the Sundering Steppes. They are rarely seen despite their size because they can crouch on the ground and imitate a shrubbery-covered hillock. At a distance only the horn will suggest something other than a mossy mound. If aroused however they can be devastating in anger. A charging Yindrick can skewer with its horn for 2d6 damage and trample for 4d8 damage. These massive monsters are one of the few things that a Giant will keep a safe distance from, assuming they even see them at rest.

ZAMODIVA
Level Three Monster

Zamodiva

The Zamodiva is a large flightless bird that lives predominantly in the area of River Lake in the Eastern Expanse. It stands at 8' tall. They have two interesting defence mechanisms. One is that the plumage of its tail can be raised in such a way as to mimic a clothed person. At a distance and standing among reeds this can be sufficiently convincing to scare off many animals that are hunted by Humans. It can however have the opposite effect of attracting Humans to investigate. The bird however has another defence which is that it can spit a burst of acidic saliva at a distance of 12'. The acid attack does 2d4+2 damage. Finally the Zamodiva can attack in close combat with a claw-claw-bite attack of 3d4. This it will do only if pressed and can run quickly away from danger. Hunters prize the tail feathers of the Zamodiva which seem to alter specific colour and pattern even once removed from the bird. The creature is also the basis of Planav legends which inflate it into a shape-shifting and seductive demi-human of some kind.