Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fashionable drug produced by reptiles

31 creatures down the line there might be some opinions forming in the minds of people about the content of this bestiary. Please, let me know of them! As an artist I am very used to critique in all forms, and delight especially in constructive feedback. Why does he always...? Why do most creatures look like...? When will he ever make a...? It would be fun if there were more... ? This bestiary really s...? Whatever you think, would like to suggest, desire, hope for, would like to change, feel annoys or upsets you, feel welcome to vent it in an email, or straight into the comments. I aim to make a really good bestiary here, and your feedback can certainly improve the quality. Though I keep all things I do in line with my preferences, there is a lot of room for new input and influence.

Here is a treat for those of you who enjoy urban adventures. If this little critter doesn't set your imagination in motion, you should perhaps continue buying all of your campaigns. ; )


TERRAIN: Civilization
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 3 feet (90 cm) tall

AGILITY: 12-14
CHARM: 2-5
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 1, Swimming x 1,3
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The Cilluhin is a feathery, leathery, hairy sort of reptile, with harder decorative scales on the head. The tail is relatively unprotected, but consists mostly of feathers and fur.

2 CLAWS: 1–3
1 BITE: 1-4
2 HORNS: 1-2 (+ alkaloid effect, see 'Powers')
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Cilluhin is not a hostile creature but will use all means available to defend itself and its master.

ALKALOID SCALES: The pointy ochre-orange scales around the Cilluhin's head and front feet produce a natural alkaloid, with potent and hallucinogenic powers. A sting from any of these points will result in an opium-like high, with a short and intense rush of joy, followed by three to four hours of deep and pleasant relaxation. Normally very small amounts of this alkaloid is produced and it takes ten to twenty minutes of “cuddling” with the creature, to inject a normal and comfortable dose into the blood. When the creature is upset, as when fighting, the size of doses produced increases manifold. At such times a single sting may be lethal. Unless a saving throw vs 'Endurance' is completed random muscles will temporarily (1-4 rounds) go limp, when stung. Critical failure (a bad throw) results in failing lungs, and the the victim will simply stop breathing. Some quick and extraordinary means of healing is then necessary to return the bodily functions to normal. Several large injections normally result in physiological breakdown and a quick death.
One out of five people report vivid hallucinations from this drug, and some claim episodes of clear clairvoyance. The alkaloid produced in the Cillluhin scales is very addictive, and very damaging to health in the long run.

Cilluhins can no longer be found in the wild. For centuries they have exclusively been in the possession of nobles, sometimes secretly kept in cellars and towers, at other times paraded openly in the streets. They are very rare, seldom for sale, and extremely expensive.

Bred not for their looks, or strength, but for the power of their biological drug, they have weakened physically with time. The Cilluhin is very much a pet, and behaves like one. Most are trained to defend their owners, but unless actual violence takes place, the Cilluhin will not know what happened. They walk with a dream-like gaze, seemingly uninterested in their surroundings. None of the curiosity and lively mood of dogs can be found in these creatures. Only when threatened, do some of their former predatory ferocity return to them.

Cilluhins live for 7-10 years, and their end usually results in more than the normal grief connected with the demise of a beloved pet. Desperation is likely to follow, and dark times may commence as an addicted influential Noble run out of “Cilla”. Webs of intrigue and dark politics are commonly woven around these creatures, and many have perished from the side-effects of their presence.

Of great interest have been the powers of premonition and clairvoyance, claimed to come with the alkaloid injection. Some report to have seen with great distinction and clarity into future events of importance, and also to have witnessed ongoing affairs from afar. Not all beings are so affected, but those who are, are said to be so regularly, which may be considered a great threat, or an opportunity, to those in power.

To keep a Cilluhin healthy and in top condition it must be regularly exercised, have a hot place in the sun or by a fire, food, preferably in the form of living ducks or similar water birds, and company. They survive for a month without food, but produce bad or no alkaloid if starving. The creatures can give birth to one to two young per year, which reach the maturity of production at the age of two. As the creatures age the quality of the “Cilla” improves.

The alkaloid cannot be extracted without negative effects. It degenerates swiftly and the quality is strongly reduced in a matter of hours, outside of the Cilluhin body.

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister