Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lucky egg discovered in the highlands

There! I almost got away from the previous subject. A little brighter this time, at least. One of the hardest thing, visually, when creating a new creature concept (at least for me) is the look and the placing of the eye. Very minor eye changes bring about great shifts in mood and can alter the entire narrative (if there is any). This creature had to undergo extensive facial surgery before its maker was pleased with the results. Luckily this is an imagined life form, and surgery therefore less costly. This is the much sought after Nomancuan.


TERRAIN: Mountains and highlands
FOOD: Herbivore
SIZE: 5 feet tall (150 cm) without the fungi.

CHARM: 1-2
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 0,2
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

EGG: 0
(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The Nomancuans only natural armour is a bony shield covering its back. Physically vulnerable it relies on other means for protection (See 'Powers')

1 BITE: 1-2
2 CLAWS: 1-4
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Nomancuan is a slow and peaceful creature. Since it usually can't outrun an enemy it will defend itself if attacked. Though equipped with formidable claws the creature is not quick enough to produce any serious damage. Its attacks are rather easily avoided.

SPORE SHOWER: The fungi-like tentacles, normally clasped tight around the great egg, quickly rise up into the air when the creature is threatened. Once positioned they release a shower of almost invisible spores over and around the Nomancuan. This ghastly spray has a vile odour that in itself is enough to scare off most predators. If intent on a close encounter, the curiosity of any breathing beast or being will soon end, as the spores enter their lungs and the blood-system. Here they will immediately take chemical control of the brain and render the victim silent, still, and devoid of will and memory (no saving throw allowed). Holding one's breath will help, but if any naked body part makes contact with the spores, they will enter the blood through the skin. The effect of the Nomancuan spore lasts for fourteen days, and unless a mental resilience saving throw is completed, the victim will a suffer partial, but substantial and permanent loss of memory.

The life of the Nomancuan can be described simply as; finding grass, grabbing grass (with its dexterous miniature nasal trunks), cutting grass (with its front claw cutters), moving grass to its mouth, chewing grass, and swallowing grass. There is however a wider and more mysterious context to consider. During the 100 year lifespan of the Nomencuan it produces a single, living, magical power in the form of a great egg. This egg does not not reproduce the species but is something in its own right. It detaches from the creature only at the Nomencuan's death. If removed earlier it never matures into power, and disintegrates within a matter of weeks.

To touch the Great Egg of the Nomancuan is a blessing for life. Luck will follow such persons for all their days, and disease will no longer catch hold. The entire area in which such an egg is laid will be fortunate and prosperous for as long as the egg remains. Poor soil will turn green, deserts will flower, and animals will be drawn to such places. One hundred miles (160 kilometres) in all directions will be affected by the positive powers of the egg.

Nomancuans are extremely rare. For as long as the powers of the egg has been known, people have tried to tame it, or to capture it alive. All attempts have failed. The Noamcuan refuses to eat in captivity, and if it encounters a fence it cannot round or cut through, it will stop dead in its tracks and wait until starvation kills it, or the fence is removed. It needs the grass and wind of a variety of areas to keep the egg growing.

Naturally, Nomancuans are often followed and guarded from a distance. Rulers and other powers tend to have a great interest in the destiny of the eggs. Wars have been fought around these creatures, and a lot of blood have been spilled to pay for the luck brought by possessing the laid egg. Such a treasure must be well guarded, and few things are as desirable. An egg will last for 300 years, and the glow of its blessing remains as long as it stays unharmed.

How the Nomancuans reproduce, or come into being, is unknown. Some claim they are gifts from the gods, but this is refuted by the greed and conflicts they tend to bring about. For some reason they seek higher altitudes, to graze at the very edge of the grass line. They move slowly, like sloths, preserving most of their energy for growing the egg. When walking from one range of mountains to another, they keep out of sight to the best of their abilities. Despite their powerful spore protection, some vanish in the mouths of fast and large predators, but most beasts stay well clear of them.

On clear nights, the fungi caps let go of the great egg and exposes it fully to the starlight. Its red glow can then be spotted from afar. Touching the translucent shell of the egg while it still remains with the Nomancuan, has no effect. Surgical removal will kill the creature as well as the egg. Nothing is known about the biology of the egg itself.

© Copyright 2010 - Nicholas Cloister