Monday, December 27, 2010

Polar panic as ice bursts open

RPG creatures celebrated its first year of existence on the 12th of December 2010. With this creature included it makes for a little less than one new creature every two weeks. That is not bad, though two new creatures per week is more of the speed I'd like to see on this.
26 457 visits was registered during year one, and 9 415 of those are from revisiting users.

No one can tell what 2011 holds in store, but I hope to find the time and resources to keep this bestiary growing. In line with the theme of the snow and ice here in Sweden I'm ending this first year with a polar creature. This one deserved a visual background and context, not only to fill up the page, but also to make the thing believable. When interacting with a world and put in realistic lightning even the strangest of forms can come to life... with some luck, and a lot of your imagination. ;)

Happy New Year! To all of you.

/N Cloister


TERRAIN: Cold water (salt and brackish)
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 23 - 30 feet long (7-9 meters)

AGILITY: 10-12
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running (Crawling) x 0,5 Swimming x 8
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

Underneath the hardy skin of the Bhorda is a thick layer of blubber, keeping it warm and protecting its vital parts. The creature is insensitive to cuts and damages to this outer layer of fat. Daggers and short axes will do little or no harm to it, unless directed specifically at the head and eyes.

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

The Bhorda's favourite way of hunting is to swim with full speed from below to crash through the ice with its bony flipper ends first. The prey, surprised and often stunned by the attack, is then mauled unconscious and usually swallowed whole.

ICE BREAKING SONG: In areas where the ice is too thick for the Bhorda to penetrate, the creature can apply a deep and extended bellowing roar to create cracks in the ice and break it open. The vibrations of this sound are powerful but must work on the ice for some time before it comes apart. Surface instability can be felt from above, and a deep eerie song is audible even through thick layers of ice.

JET OF WATER: As the Bhorda surfaces it can apply a single jet of water to throw down prey fleeing from the scene. Out of the water the creature is slow, and the jet is often its only chance to bring down prey still standing after its initial strike. The creature can not keep the water inside while breathing, or eating. It must be shot out as a jet or simply let out, before any serious manoeuvres are undertaken on land. The jet can reach up to 30 feet (10 meters) from the Bhorda. If the water is icy cold the shock itself might bring the target to the ground. In either case a successful agility roll is needed to stay on foot. The jet is shot out through the inner and very pliable mouth of the creature.

Though the head and flippers of this creatures are very unlike the rest of the family, the Bhorda is a great seal. Huge and monstrous it can crush and consume a walrus without much problem, and hunts basically all life-forms on and underneath the ice. It spends most of its time in the cold polar waters but may venture anywhere in search for food. It will survive no more than a week outside of water, and must breath air at least once an hour.

Bhordas have occasionally treated ships as if they were ice, and swam straight into them, breaking great holes in the hull. The inner worm-like mouth can be extended 10 feet (3 meters) from the creatures, and have ripped out members of the crew before anyone really knew what happened. As the Bhorda leaves, cold water starts flooding the vessel, normally resulting in a lot more food for the seal.

In all cases, the element of surprise is the Bhorda's main tactics. The back flippers of this creature have merged completely into a large fin and it can generate impressive speed under water. Once on land it is comparatively clumsy and will only leave the ocean to pursue wounded, or confused animals, out of reach from the shore or hole.

The clawed tentacles on top of the creature's head can be moved to some extent, and are used mainly to ward off birds from the head when the Bhorda basks a few hours in the seasonal sunlight. Its skin ranges from red to black and is often speckled. Its scent is similar to that of other mammals of the sea, and the grunts and roars let our when on land have a complainant tone.

The Bhorda live for over 500 years and mate only once a century. The long life span has granted it a special reputation in folk medicine, claiming the rich fat to hold life-extending powers and to preserve the youthful qualities in skin. It may seem absurd in the ugly face of this beast, but some queens have ordered great hunts on the Bhordas and had royal alchemists produce anti-wrinkle ointments of beauty from their blubber.

Apart from the rare events of reproduction the Bhordas move about alone, and stay well away from other members of their species. They are nevertheless feared greatly by the seamen of the North and tend to keep ice skaters away from frivolous escapades on the open sea.

© Copyright 2010 - Nicholas Cloister