Friday, March 26, 2010

Are you talking to me?!!

Hi all mammals! (or divine creations if you prefer). Next week I start making concepts and illustrations for an Australian project (a fantasy on-line game of sorts), that will take my attention away from this Bestiary to some extent. Exactly to what degree is yet uncertain, and it looks as if my work for the project will come in waves, at least in the initial stages. You never know about the future though... Just don't count on a new creature every week for a while...

I received an email from a person who desired to see a playable reptile or insectoid creature on the blog. Such wishes or requests are gratefully received, and I had that one in mind when coming up with this week's creature. Perhaps not a draconian or dragonborn, but more of an amphibian/fish-like creature. I probably strayed miles away from the request, but it certainly inspired my work this week, so thanks for that.

Also thanks to:
Rock falls, everyone dies
(Possibly the greatest name for an rpg blog imaginable) and
Smortazavi for kind writings about RPG Creatures.

I will probably have to consider genus issues here eventually, but for now, here is a male Ferrenai warrior for you.


CATEGORY: Amphibian mammal
TERRAIN: Jungles, damp forests, and swamps
FOOD: Omnivore
AGGRESSION: Controlled (short-tempered)
SIZE: About 5 feet, 6 inches (167 cm)
NUMBERS: 1-100

CHARM: 2-8
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 0,8 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 skin of the Ferrenai is hardier and more resilient than human skin. It is not as easily charred by fire, affected by cold, or other physical phenomena. Ferrenai are immune to skin disease and other skin disorders. The creatures prefer natural armour like leather and scales, but outside-clan individuals have been seen wearing metal

2 FISTS: 1-3
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

READ MEMORY OF WATER CREATURES: The Ferrenai can telepathically tune in, and to some extent, listen to the memories of fish and other creatures living in water. They have a 50 percent chance of gathering the memory reflections of any water-living creature. The ability is very unreliable and the information is rarely coherent. It is suggested that a d100 be used to see how usable and extensive the memory information may be. The same water creature can only be used once a day for this sort of inquiry.

In the dampest places, where no other beings will settle, the Ferrenai tribes live and thrive. They have specialised in aquaculture, the farming of water plants and fish, and are also expert hunters.

The Ferrenai are intelligent beings, but emotionally and socially quite different from the typical human. They never greet each other through words or gestures, but seem to take other tribe members for granted. This wordless acceptance of their fellow beings prevents many conflicts in the Ferrenai tribal life. To them it is natural that opinions differ and they never really bother with changing the minds of others, until matters of life an death emerge. The hierarchy of the Ferrenai tribal system solves most disagreements very swiftly, and if not, a ritualised fight to the death is undertaken.
This trait makes the Ferrenai rather vulnerable when thrown into a human society. When regularly questioned (dishonoured) or blatantly disrespected, it is in Ferrenai nature (culture) to resort to lethal violence. Though great hunters, and skilled warriors, the Ferrenai are not a violence-loving people, and therefore avoid other civilisations and beings, unless driven by some uncommon motif. Some individuals have made an effort, and learned the hard way, to interact smoothly with non-Ferrenai societies, but the number of creatures outside the tribes are very small.

The Ferrenai culture is normally based around a shamanistic pantheism, and the ritualistic celebration of water, fish and amphibians in many forms. The position of Tribe Leader and Head Shaman is always held by the same individual, and it is the level of mastery in shamanism that primarily is considered when new leaders are chosen. Ferrenai do not read and write, and resort purely to oral traditions for knowledge. This works well in simple tribal communities, but has obvious weaknesses when a wider scale of knowledge is desired. Many of the Ferrenai outside of the tribes are in fact seekers of wisdom and clearly curious of the ways of others. The Ferrenai language is hard to learn and the clicking and gurgling sounds are strenuous and tough to duplicate for most other beings. However it is said that there is much to learn about the water, and of shaman secrets, for those willing to integrate and manage to be accepted by Ferrenai societies.

Not used to the many nuances in human interaction, the Ferrenai have a hard time understanding what's communicated beyond the words. This is compensated by an intuitive judgement about the character of people and beings they encounter. It is commonly considered that it is the antennae, or the bulges at the back of the Ferrenai head, that somehow make them able to know the heart of people. Even if they can't follow a complex dialogue very well, they have an instant, and far better notion than others, about who to put their trust in, and what to be expected from any person. This gift can be used quite well to tackle most beings, without having to resort to the subtleties of social masquerade. Ferrenai normally always say what they mean, and tend to stand up to their opinions. If not corrected by a higher member of their tribal order, they will defend their stand with their lives if necessary. Ferrenai can tell a lie if they need to, but only do so in extreme and rare situations.

The Ferrenai is a mammal with many amphibian attributes. They give birth to fully developed children, but these stay encased in a tight and soft, water-filled, and semi-translucent "egg" for the first two days. In that period they shed most of the fish-like scales acquired in the womb, and then eat their way out of it. Ferrenai breath through lungs but can stay under water for twenty minutes without much effort. Their skin is not affected or softened by it, and their vision is kept sharp while submerged, due to a thick lens that automatically covers the eyes.

© Copyright 2010 - Nicholas Cloister