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Author Topic: Some creatures from a forthecoming setting-Now with more filling!  (Read 6127 times)
Fiercely Anochronistic
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« on: July 03, 2010, 12:20:07 PM »

Stuff


These are creatures I wrote up to help me get my head into a setting. Its dark-sorcery-old west with a mix of mysticism and occult. It's main method of magic is singing. I'll explain that later. Mainly issues with clarity need to be addressed, the organization of each article is 'goofy' and I don't think I really get my description across very well. These entries are no where near done, but I think they lay a decent groundwork for more creatures.


Fauna of the Wild

Bull-Apes
   
   One of the most feared and oft written about creatures. Sentient. Highly aggressive. Carnivorous with a wicked metabolism. They can consume up to twice their body weight, and within two weeks grow 25%. Basically they consume and grow rapidly. Bull-Apes have two curved horns protruding from their skulls in front of them, angled slightly up. They have thick hides, and fur ringing there necks, chest and groin. The bristles of this fur are coarse and are capable of cutting human skin on contact. Their preferred method of killing is to strangle their prey, or enclose them in there arms bringing them into contact with the killing-bristles. They are humanoid, but there arms and legs can be used interchangeably. (They can run on there front two legs, while grabbing with there hind-legs and vice-versa) The horns on there head seem to be decorative, although they are strong enough to gore. The awkwardness of these horns is a weakness. Bull apes have been seen killing each other with these horns, usually for alpha male status. They have keen sense of smell and hearing, but have about 1/3 human vision capabilities.
   
   They move in packs and vary in size and color. There is at least one alpha male in each herd(size of herds:5-10, 10-20), and he does little of the killing during hunts. Each member of the tribe presents one part of the prey to the Alpha, and if he is pleased may accompany the Alpha. They have a 'caste' system that seems to be solely based on the position of the individual during movement. Favored members are closest to the Alpha. The Alphas position out front makes him particularly susceptible to attacks, and once an alpha is killed the tribe disperses, or fights amongst themselves, usually killing off the entire tribe.(basically the havok wrecked from an Alphas death is the entire tribe turning on itself. Alphas have been replaced within the tribe, usually from a favored. It is unknown if the new Alpha necessarily has to kill off other would-be Alphas or if it just happens.)
    
   Bull-ape young have never been seen, but it is suspected that they give live birth, most likely in caves or protected gulches. Male and female Bull Apes look nearly identical, and it is very hard to discern one sex from the other. It is believed the female Bull Apes, after giving birth, shed the killing bristles very rapidly, revealing mammary glands. The bristles are often found in the Brushlands, and are a trade item. Some even incorporate them into weapons, clothing etc.


Automata

   Rarely seen outside of the Easterlies, the term automata describes a wide variety of mechanically constructed creatures. Some are industrius and built for purpose rather than beauty. Others seem to be merely pieces of living, moving art, as in the Clipper-Fly whose wildly complex construction has been the subject of many poems, some even 'turning verse'. and has no apparent function other than fascinating scribes and wanderers. In the South'an'Yond they are considered good luck.
   Automata are known to communicate in a variety of ways. They do not communicate inter-species though and their dialects range from chirping, fluttery noises to low, gutteral monotony. Automata are usually found near the Easterlies, although a few are track-ridden. These Automata apparently perform hauling functions for other species of Automata, traveling out of the Easterlies and into the world.
   The Easterlies and Automata are nearly synonomous, and it would be the fault of the author if he did not divulge a little information about the coast. Factory cities, heavily fortified with walls and billowing smokestacks dot the eastern seaboard. Built on great mounds of rock and debris and trash, these are some of the oldest cities in the world. Humans frequent them and are relatively safe. The unpredictability of the Automata inhabiting these cities make them occasionally dangerous.  

Humans

   Humans once dominated the earth in great cities and empires. Now reduced to scavengers, humans skulk across the blasted landscape, searching for food and water. They gather in small settlements that are like dust- one day there , the next blotted out.
   Humans have widely ranging ideologies; some can grasp the concept that they were once masters of the world, using technology and wit to conquer and devour resources. Tragedy and an unknown cataclysm have destroyed the foundations of their society, and a new one has emerged. Wanderers are almost always exclusively human, and can live very long lives through use of the 'verse'. The average non-magic using human peaks at about 40 and sharply declines at about the age of 60.

Hurzzahs

   The coming of Hurzzahs is marked by a grainy laughing sound. They are pack creatures, wolf-like and fierce, they attack weakened creatures, or use cover of darkness to attack their prey.

Ball Tailed Panther

   Popularized in myth, these creatures are rare, and live very long lives(100-150 yrs) They have a characterist tail, ranging from 3 feet (in runts) to 10 feet (mature adult). The tail has a bulbous spike covered in fur, and is used to bludgeon prey. They also have three vicious claws on front and back paws, and two pronounced fangs. They have excellent vision and precise hearing. They vary in color, but most varieties are in the greyscale. They hunt alone and only couple to procreate, whereafter the couple splits, and the runt is left in a hole or other such enclosure.   The male usually brings live food to the pit for the runt, who learns how to kill prey. The male does this until the runt is strong enough to climb out of its hole. In some remote settlements of humans, young men attempt to 'master the cat' by jumping into the runts pit, and thereby making a name for himself. These runts are by no means easy prey as they are very large (300+pounds). Ball Tail panthers tails are prized possessions by men and are sought after vigorously.

Sasketch

   An offshoot of human evolution, whether by some quirk or dark sorcery, these humanoid creatures are very human like, except they are covered in .....

Blood Worms

   Blood Worms hail from the Mud Plain, great gruesome creatures that tunnel through the miles thick mud of that place. They grow to several hundred feet in length, and are capable of self replication when severed in half. There evolutionary pattern is wicked and weird, there method of procreation is strange, whereby they cut one another in half using thick metal-like barbs on there underbelly, they writhe in apparent extacy for months following the act, and the murderous howling, and shockwaves can be felt all around the nearby lands, specifically in Kozelocke. The citizens of that city began to realize that the earthquakes were actually there feared enemies procreation ritual, and quickly set about destroying the creatures. In recent years the worms began burrowing deeper after the slicing, thereby insulating the aftershocks. They get there name from there bluish-red color, and there vicious nature. It is believed the large quantity of mud in the Mud Plain is actually Blood Worm excrement mixed with soil and sediment from the Brine Sea.

A note on Blood Worm Procreation
   A smaller kind of Blood Worm, (known as nasties or creepies) like to sneak into dark spaces in order to approach there prey. They enter human bodies via orophuses such as nostrils, ear canals and other such places. These creatures are thought to be the beginning of a true Blood Worm.
   They infiltrate a host while they are sleeping or otherwise incapacitated, and attach to the central nervous system of the victim. They begin syphoning electric charges that naturally occur in human brains, eventually growing large enough to spread 'tendrils' throughout the body. The host will begin to act strangely and within a month will lose all control of their bodies. The host usually wanders out into the Mud Plain to die.  
   The blood worm eventually consumes the host completely, bursting from the vessel and consuming the body. (This is thought to be how the larger Blood Worms are brought about). The city of Kavelocke has banned alcohol due to a large number of drunken citizens becoming infected, and swelling the nearby population of Blood Worms to near-catastrophic proportions. (Kazelock likes to retain a reasonable amount of Blood Worms in the Plain for there goo production.)

Ghosts

   Ghosts are common in the wild, and in settlements. Ghosts are remaining energies of dead things. They are completely aware of there incorporeal existence and make no great fuss about it. Ghosts can possess people, and use them as they wish. Ghosts apparently do not 'move on' to the afterlife. Most ghosts disappear over the Eastern Mountains when they wish to leave. No one knows what happens to them after that.
   Ghosts retain all the knowledge of there former life, plus whatever knowledge they gained while possessing a person or animal. Blood Worms and Automata cannot be possessed.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 09:58:18 AM by LordVreeg the Unsleeping » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 02:37:38 PM »

Seems pretty grim and nasty, but with a humorous undertone. What does it mean that bull-apes have "1/3 human vision capabilities"?
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2010, 03:55:53 PM »

Cool creatures!  I noticed a bit of a `contradiction, though, in the Bull Apes entry.  At one point you mention that alpha males play a key role in Bull Ape society, but towards the end you seem to suggest that the species are hermaphroditic or somehow mono-gendered, i.e. "There also does not seem to be a distinction between male and female.
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 10:47:53 AM »

Steerpike


Cool creatures!

I noticed a bit of a `contradiction, though, in the Bull Apes entry. At one point you mention that alpha males play a key role in Bull Ape society, but towards the end you seem to suggest that the species are hermaphroditic or somehow mono-gendered, i.e. "There also does not seem to be a distinction between male and female.
[/quote]
I see what you mean. I'll have to change that. I guess it's not completely necessary that they be hermaphroditic. I suppose I could leave it at 'there is no distinction between male and female'. Except if they have live birth the mothers would need to nurse...
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 01:49:27 PM »

Only the males could have horns, if you wanted to keep the cow analogue.
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 10:20:59 AM »

Steerpike


Only the males could have horns, if you wanted to keep the cow analogue.
Trap Door Spider (giant) [/u]
   Fierce predators that use ambush tactics to take their prey. Humans fear them immensely and many songs and tales have been woven with vicious spiders as the antagonist. The whereabouts of particularly large and old Spiders are known, and those places avoided at all costs. These are given names like '˜Old Joe', '˜Sister Mary' and '˜Wild Sue', and have become legends in their own right.

Trap Door Spiders are highly intelligent, and can weigh as much as 500 pounds. The legs on such creatures are nearly 20 feet long. Despite the immense size, they have surprisingly small jaw-parts. For this reason they use venom to subdue larger prey and pick them apart with two mid-section '˜legs', and eat them piece by piece. Smaller prey like Hurrzahs are eaten whole.  
A note on Trap Door Venom    

Trap Door Venom is harvested in some human settlements and mixed with alcohol, honey and water and boiled. The end result is a sweet, sticky liquid that produces euphoria. It is highly addictive, and cities like Coven and Kazelock have banned the use. Various black markets have been established as a result. The substance is rubbed on the gums raw, or boiled and reduced to a sticky honey-like substance and cut into lozenges.

   

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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 10:53:51 AM »

How is the venom harvested if they are so dangerous? From spiders grown in captivity?
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 10:58:28 AM »

Ghostman


How is the venom harvested if they are so dangerous?



Fearless adventurers of course!

Ghostman


From spiders grown in captivity?

Possibly. But kinda boring for a setting like this. I'll give this a little more thought.

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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 01:23:02 PM »

One imaginable method could be to construct baiting dummies and trick the spiders into biting them, wait for the beasts to leave and collect the dummies. Although if the critters are highly intelligent as you said, they may not fall for this - or they might even outsmart the collectors and turn their tactic into an ambush...
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 01:27:26 PM »

Ghostman


One imaginable method could be to construct baiting dummies and trick the spiders into biting them, wait for the beasts to leave and collect the dummies. Although if the critters are highly intelligent as you said, they may not fall for this - or they might even outsmart the collectors and turn their tactic into an ambush...


 I like this idea! Of course..they would have to use human 'bait' to make it more sinister. Maybe this is a 'guild' of sorts tied into the black market. I think younger Trap Door Spider's would be susceptible to this, certainly not the larger quasi-mythical ones. I'm still determining how sentient this 'Elder' Spiders should be. Perhaps a language of sorts. Spiderish? Arachish? Arakni? Something like that. Thanks for the thoughts Ghostman.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 06:03:13 PM »

The monsters look pretty cool. I also like the small quirks, like how the panthers leave their young in a hole and the blood worms procreate by being cut in two.
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2010, 11:49:05 PM »

Cataclysmic Crow


Ball-tailed Cat.[/url] Not sure if any spider myths existed around that time, although I do known Anansi was imported to America as 'Aunt Nancy' from Africa.  
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 12:35:26 AM »

Geography

 Far Easterlies
The Easterlies is a general term for anything on the East Coast. This is a bare landscape, dotted with factory cities and old, treacherous roads. Smokestacks buried in the dust and sand dot the hills, and the ocean there is a brackish dead place. The tides are no more, the moon long ago shattered into a meaningless orbit of thousands of smaller rock-chunks, and only stagnant water swill at the shore.

Coven
   Founded by Hugo South, a famous Wanderer who died some 200 years ago. South came from the South'an'Yond (some consider the name of Hugo to come from that territory, some claim Hugo named South'an'Yond, and others claim it's just a stupid play on words) and gathered men about him to search the mountains for food. He found plants growing in the lowlands and built a fort around these. Cultivation of hardy root vegetables followed: Rutabegas, Parsnips, Beets and weird Potatoes. South founded the Coven, and sent his agents out into the world to find out how it was faring. They reported that the world was much in the same shape as it was decades before, and South realized it probably would never change.    
   South is long dead, but his Coven remains. Locked in the fortress of the mountains, membors of the church search the land for men who have attracted the attention of the grey ghost. They 'hasten death' and are fueled by religious furvor.

Stove Pipe and the Glitter River

South'an'Yond
   A southern expanse of '˜rain-shadow' land. The land rises steadily up the further one travels south, and culminates in sharply climbing mountains. A large body of water is known to exist on the other side of these mountains, and vegetation has been found in the mountains, and on the other side. There are numerous human settlements in the South'an'Yond, and possibly on the opposite side of the mountains. (Rework)

Mud Plain
   The Mud Plain is a living hell of goo and mud and blood. Blood Worms bath and procreate in its primordial goo, which is miles deep, filling some unknown chasm of hard bedrock beneath. The mud itself is actually usable as fuel and is apparently the feces of Blood Worms. The city of Kazelock harvests the burnable '˜goo' for its forges.

Brine Sea

Kazelocke

Note: Size of Cities

When the term city is tossed around in the rest of this article, it should be considered that: Cities of great population, especially human cities are incapable of sustaining large populations. City as a term might describe a settlement of 300 or up to, but not exceeding 2000.

   
Kazelocke is the largest human city in the world with a population of roughly 2000(this figure fluctuates given the violent nature of the world). The walls are crafted from scavenged steel, debris and barbed wire. Wooden watch towers made from baobabs dot the wall and a citadel of wood, bone and animal skins lies at the center. The structures are a weird mixture of bone, Blood Worm husks, Pipe Cacti and dried spider legs, which are unusually strong once dried and prepared.    
   
There is a steep cliff that separates the city proper from the '˜harvesting' section. Lifts and elevators using complex pulley systems bring the refined goo to the city, where it is used to fuel the forges and fires of the industry section. The people working the mud fields are tainted by the stench of the goo and forbidden to enter the city proper. The goo has the unique quality of eternal smell. Once an individual comes into contact with it, the stench forever remains on that person.
   
   An unofficial 'caste' system has developed in Kazelock, with the worker class being restricted to the Mud-side wards, forever afflicted with the sulphurous stench of the Mud. The forge workers and mechanics are also part of this class. Above this tier is a small portion of non-mud ridden merchants, that are not permanent citizens of Kazelock. They take caravans stocked with weapons made in Kazelocke out into the wide world. Another caste on par with the merchants are the Mercs. Skilled guards and guides that lead the merchants around the world. Some of these are Wanderers, using the Verse to aid them. Others are simply men accustomed to the harsh terrain.    
   
   The authority in Kazelock is a small rarely-seen group of human men. Some claim these men are host to Blood Worms.  
   
   Occassionaly, Automata from the north will journey to the city, supposedly to see how the humans have progressed. These are largely ignored, but some claim that they are testing the human meddle, preparing to strike with force once the time is right.



Magic
The most famous of magics, called "verses" are poetic in form. The caster has memorized these passages either from a book or from hearing them. The poems must be recited to achieve the effect. Effects are not always what the caster thinks they will be. Many different verses also achieve the same effect to a lesser or greater degree. Casters need not necessarily be literate, as verses can be learned from simply hearing and memorizing. Spell casters often lob the same spells at each other, as they hear the song the other caster is singing, and quickly returns it in likeness. Combat can be very interesting.


Note: Verses

Inward verses can be recited very softly, or not at all. The caster merely has to finish the verse from start to finish(as is the case with all verses). The effects of 'Inward' verses are always on the caster himself. Satiating hunger and thirst, or amplifying the five natural senses. Inward verse nor verse in general can amplify psychic ability, that is another system altogether. "Outward" verses must be sung aloud to achieve the effect. These spells are always targeting someone or something other than the caster. Spells with a zone-of-effect ability require written implements and are usually the verses written on pages.



Weapons
There are three grades to weapons, whether it be blade or gun. There is plenty of ammunition in the world, made in cities like Steel Head by ancient automata that do nothing but manufacture and collect ore. Trains are automated as well.


 Weapon Classes/Grades
Magnificent
     A finely crafted weapon. Rare to the tenth power. These items are sought after all over the world. Those that do encounter them usually die. Fine working order.

Ordinary
These weapons may be makeshift, constructed by ameture gunsmiths or sword makers, but usually constructed from weapon parts. They are in decent working order with few misfires etc.

Paltry
 These weapons have been constructed from various odds and ends. Metal work is shoddy or non-existant, (as in the bone-gunn used by Hugo South to kill his great rival wanderer) These weapons are quickly made in preparation for an attack, often being constructed with objects that were never meant to fire bullets. Mis-fires are common, usually resulting in injury or death to the wielder.

List of Weapons to Consider Fleshing out
Bone Gunn
Glass cannon (concentrated light)
Snub Gun
Gear
Weapons made from pillaged automata
Basic weapons (slings, slingshots, Swords etc.)

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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 12:55:46 AM »

This is really cool.  Reminds me vaguely of Zeno Clash somehow, but not in any kind of derivative way.

What would a Snub Gun be?  It sounds odd and kooky and probably messy.

BTW, love tha the moon has been blown up.  Could moonrock be magical/powerful?
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2010, 08:42:32 PM »

http://i41.tinypic.com/eq77np.jpg

Zeno [/url]Clash somehow, but not in any kind of derivative way.

BTW, love that the moon has been blown up.  Could moonrock be magical/powerful?
[/quote]
  Just hinting at a calamity somewhere in the murky history of the world. Not sure about moonrock being magical. It might be a valuable ore for weapons/items if it were particularly strong/malleable though...
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