Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In collision course with Giants

One thing that I don't like about the increasingly amazing Internet is that it makes it hard to name a new creature. Of course I like to check, when I come up with a name, if that name is already taken, in one or several inappropriate ways... and of course, it usually is. Soon, I think, every utter-able word will be used, if not for some exotic shampoo, then for one of the many life forms of World of Warcraft, or some other MMORPG that I have never even heard of. So far I have not dared to enter into any of these never ending worlds of digital fantasy, but I now hear 'Elder Scrolls 5 – Skyrim' will be released before the end of the year! Remembering how I completely lost myself in 'Oblivion', I already fear the future...

Kotaku.com mentioned and recommended this blog a few days ago, which severely increased the number of visitors for a while. That was very welcome. Thanks, Kotaku! In the aftermaths of that rocket, RPG-Creatures have been mentioned in a few more blogs and forums, in Germany and Brazil, for example. That kind of exposure is very good for my motivation, and makes me push myself even harder when it comes to making new creatures. Here is the Mehrog now! ...and more on the way. : )


TERRAIN: Plains and grasslands
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 7-20 feet long (2-6 m)

CHARM: 13-20
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 3
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

AVERAGE: 9 (+2 for mud)
BODY: 12
HEAD: 10
(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The Mehrog is well protected by unusually tough hide. On top of that is a shield of pointy hard bone. This is sometimes strengthened further by thick layers of clay and mud, which build up and stick between the plates when the creature rolls around in the soil.

1 CHARGE: 1-6
2 KICKS: 1-6 (+2 when stomping)
1 BITE: 2-6
1 CHARGE: 2-8
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Mehrog depend a lot on its sheer size and strength when hunting. It can move fast over short distances, and like to take down its prey by running straight into it. Once the prey is stunned or lying, the creature starts stomping. It never kicks with its hind legs, mostly uses its mouth for eating, and the tail is only applied to fend off rear attackers.

BREATH OF FOG: Inside the huge lungs of the Mehrog an unusual process takes place. Some of the moist in the air is extracted and and collected in special chambers. Once a week this water can be mixed up with the out-breath of the creature to create a fog. When there is no wind a cover slowly builds up, large an dense enough to greatly improve the creature's chances of a surprise attack. When there are many Mehrogs involved, large areas can be covered with fog.

Heavily armoured, the Mehrog can still pick up some speed. It is not clumsy, but far from agile, and it gets tired quickly. It prefers to lie silent, in the long grass, or hidden in the mist. From there it charges and smashes hard into its target. Once the prey is down, the creature rears up on its hind legs and stomps the victim into a mash, before it eats. The teeth of the Mehrog are long and sharp, but its jaws are not very strong.

The creature has a unique structure to its lower legs. A series of jointed bones, that can be locked in and out of position, make its hooves very flexible, and extremely sensitive to vibrations in the ground. Completely blind and deaf, the Mehrog rely exclusively on this sensitivity, and smell, to coordinate group attacks and to make out the direction of possible prey. It can lie down, belly flat on the plain, and still keep its hooves firmly on the ground. This ability gives the Mehrog a quick start, and makes it alert to the surrounding events, even when completely hidden. Toppled over, it is prone to danger, and loses its sense of aim.

The Mehrogs vary a lot in size. They are born at the height of a large dog, and continue to grow during their entire lives. At the age of 40 they can as big as an elephant, and become a true terror to the life forms of the plains. Some animals have come to shun fog like death itself, and run away at the mere sight of it. Others have not gained that wisdom. When large animals are hard to find, the Mehrogs kick down into the earth to pick out the rodents and frogs, easily made out by their sensitive hooves.

Moving around in families of up to 20 creatures, the Mehrogs keep to large but limited hunting areas. They tend to stay close to lakes and water holes, but never venture into the water itself. They like rolling in the mud, but only do so when they are certain of safety. Being deaf they use no vocal sounds, but an occasional burp and hiss can sometimes expose them. The creatures make lousy steeds, but have been occasionally been used as guard beasts.

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister