Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Divine Wight Part 5 - Jungle Encounter Table 1: Monsters.


Dangers of the Jungle of Midnight
Autochthons (3D6) - A band of Autochthon hunters or gatherers, peaceably finding their sustenance.  They may be fishing for glassy eels from a bark canoe on the river, checking fish traps in a jungle rill, digging purple bulbs from the undergrowth or stalking birds, many armed monkeys and fat slate lizards.  They are usually suspicious, unfriendly and ready to flee.
Brutes (2D6) - From deep in the jungle, hulking, slope skulled, dulled eyed and decked in bones, these massive warped humans hunt and kill, and their favorite prey is their fellow man.  Brutes travel in bands and are usually hostile unless they have recently eaten.
Owlbears (2D6) - Usually arcanovore scavengers, the jay feathered ‘growlyhoots’ of the Midnight jungle have grown more predatory in an environment where all life is infused with magic.  They are lean pack hunters, tracking, circling, and distracting their prey with quizzical hooting and then rushing in from the rear to drag it down beaks snapping.  
Hunting Glass (1)  - Filaments of spun blue glass drape the trees and form mystical sigils that can stun a warp the mind.  Above its trap of symbols, hangs a colony of hunting glass, it will subsume and devour prey that becomes hopeless under the effect of its symbols.
Blue Monks (2D6) - blue monks roam from the city on a mission from their “god”, they are unlikely to talk but also unlikely to attack, preferring to return immediately to the city a inform their fellows before organizing a hunt for trespassers to sacrifice.
Azure Apes (1D6) - Monstrous, four armed horrors are cavorting in a clearing, gorging on fruit, hooting at each other, smashing termite mounds or travelling in a line.  They can rarely resist the distraction of crushing smaller ape-like creatures.
Revenant Legion (4D20) - Only the geases of the ancient empire and perverse professionalism keep this company of ghoulish soldiers endlessly marching.  They plod slowly, noisily through the forest in rusted armor, with broken weapons in warped, lichen splotched hands. The legion has no mission beyond the ceaseless march and sating their undead cannibal hunger.
Cockatrice (1) - small and solitary, the blue cockatrice is one of the jungle’s greatest predators.  It will hunch silently (often in a stolen nest over crystallized eggs) and then burst into its beautiful and and deadly song, leaving prey a fragile petrified statue of blue crystal.
Razor Birds (1D6/2) - A quarrelsome and deadly flock of tall birds, somewhat akin to giant cassowary’s except with long wispy feathers of gentle purples and black over scaled skin that gleams like quicksilver.  They are territorial, sadistic and fond of trapping prey in covered pits.  
Colossal Serpent (1) - over 60’ long this leviathan of the forest has grown almost immortal from devouring godflesh, and is far more intelligent and malicious than any mere animal. It coils in a great pool below a waterfall, whose bottom is blanketed with bones.  The snake considers anything the enters the pool a sacrifice to its divinity but will not attack those who offer proper sacrifice.
Divine Crocodiles (1d6+1) - A pack of crocodiles polluted by the Beaked God’s presence, they are blue and each has a huge third eye, capable of emitting a beam (BV 3 at range, single melee target) that turns all who fail a save vs. paralyzation into glass. The strange creatures guard sunken ruins and are never far from some piece of ancient carved marble.
River Draugr (1D6/2 ) - The bodies of drowned explorers, slither from their river den and float to the surface, waiting for ‘rescue’.  The Dragur will demand help in blubbering watery voices, with bloated faces weeping bloody tears.  If offered a line they either try drag rescuers to the river bottom or sit sullen faced in the rescuers’ boat, obviously dead, and waiting for a chance to stave in the boat’s bottom or seize the helm and dash it against rock.

Autochthons - The residents of the Jungles of Midnight appear largely human, tending towards lanky grace and with normal features, except with blue or purple skin and hair and large luminous eyes that glow yellow and lamp-like, allowing them to see in the dark. Though they will deny it, the Jungle’s residents are human, but consider themselves different from the people of Ib both because of ancient magical manipulation and mutation of their ancestors and their hunter-gatherer existence.  The Autochthons of course consider themselves ‘true people’ and everyone else to be ‘humanoids’ worthy of distrust.   They are in a constant state of war with bands of Brutes from deeper in the jungle and hold their debased grunting relatives in the highest disdain.

Living in small villages of woven huts high in the branches of the jungle’s trees, Autochthons are not inherently hostile or warlike and will trade with exotic treasures of the jungle for worked bronze and other useful items made by more settled peoples.  Despite being relatively peaceable the various bands of Autochthons are suspicious of outsiders, generally unwilling to offer help and potentially hostile if treated shabbily, insulted or harmed.  An individual band of Autochthons can call up 2D20 warriors led by a shaman or champion, but if enough outrages (such as the massacre of a village) are committed bands will come together to form confederations and can call up hundreds of warriors to hunt the perpetrators while signal drums boom through the jungle to relay the location of the intruders.

Autochthon Warrior/Hunter - F2, (DEX 15) (HP 10), AC 5/15, ATK 1 by weapon, ATK BONUS +3 to hit, DAM by weapon, MV 50’ SV F2, ML 8
Cord armor (light AC 7/13), shield, spear (1D6) [reach], 3 javelins (1D6) [light], dagger (1D4) [close]
Autochthon Shaman - Mu5, (INT 16, DEX 15) (HP 8), AC 4/16, ATK 1* by weapon, ATK BONUS +2 to hit, DAM by weapon, MV 50’, SV Mu5, ML 8
Protective wards/totemic mask [non-transferable] (AC 4/16), staff (1D6), ghost glass dagger (1D4) [close] [magic]
*Spells: Magic Missile, Sleep, Shield, Web,   

Autochthon Champion - F6 (STR 16, CON 15, DEX 17) (HP 42), AC 3/17,  ATK 2* by weapon, ATK BONUS +8 to hit, DAM by weapon +1, MV 50’, SV F6, ML 10
Blessed cord armor (light AC 6/14), shield, Ghost glass mace (1D8) [Penetrating] [Magic], 3 javelins (1D6) [light]

Azure Apes - Standing 8’ - 10’ tall, with jutting black fangs and four arms, the Apes pale white skin is shrouded by matted hanks of sickening electric blue fur.  Azure Apes are the alpha monster of the jungle because of their size and cooperative pack structure, making them quite cruel and territorial despite their vegetarian diet.  The pelt of an adult Azure Ape is worth 500 GP or more in large urban areas, and takes enchantment easily.

Azure Ape HD 7 (35 HP), AC 5/15, ATK 3* rending hands/sharp bite, ATK BONUS +8 to hit, DAM 1D8*/2D6(close), MV 50’, SV F 6, ML 10
*Azure apes often chose to grapple with their first two (hand attacks), for grappling purposes they have a strength of 19.  A grappled target can be held by one pair of hands and automatically hit for both 1D6 grappling damage and by the apes bite attack each round while the remaining pair of arms attacks independently.

Blue Monks - As divines of a dying, mad, and dreaming god Blue Monks are obtuse and far from sane, but they are the inheritors of an incalculably ancient mystical tradition and their sinewy impossibly muscled bodies are filled with the power of their belief. Blue monks are the ‘simple’ devotees of the Beaked God, now entirely recruited by force from the Autochthon tribes of the jungle, who fear and detest them.  They have a tendency to shout “POWER!” regularly even in friendly conversation and to constantly dart their eyes about looking for divine implications.  The Blue Monks seek captives to recruit or sacrifice and believe very strongly in the magical power of dreams.  Despite their eccentricities Blue Monks are an organized foe, and will do their best to notify their leaders in the Lost City to prepare a defense or punitive expedition once they know their are powerful intruders in the jungle.

Blue Monk HD 4 (20 HP), AC 4/16, ATK 2* (bare hands) ATK BONUS +5, DAM 1D6(close), MV 70’, SV CL4**, ML 10
*Blue monks strike with their hard, horny callused hands and feet, though some few wear bronze gauntlets or knuckledusters of blue stone. In lieu of their two attacks per round may take one of the following actions:
    Leap Attack - can make one flying attack at any target within 50’ regardless of intervening enemies. Alternatively this skill may be used to leap up to 50’ in any direction for escape or repositioning.
    Open Palm of 10,000 Dreams - A single strike that stimulates the target’s brain to hallucinations.  On a failed Save vs. Spells the strike will paralyze with dream filled madness for 1D6 turns in addition to doing normal damage.
    Master’s Sleep - Blue Monks can drop to the ground and enter a meditative state that appears identical to death (their souls actually depart the body) for up to one day.  This is a popular form of mediation as well as an excellent means of escape.
**Blue Monks are entirely immune to natural poisons and to sleep, charm or similar spells
Brutes - Hairless, slope browed, pig eyed with ice pale blue skin and sharp pointed teeth, these ogre sized creatures are an example of the harm that curdled magic can do the the human organism. They are the natural enemies of the Autochthons, who they eat and whose warriors use their skulls as helmets.  Brutes can’t talk, and though crude sign language and grunts may be used to communicate with them, they see anything smaller then them as food to be tormented before devouring.  Brutes dwell in bone and scrap strewn encampments of 4D6 members, but due to their disgusting hygiene they often move, traveling in smaller bands.
Brute HD 6 (36 HP), AC 4/16, ATK 2* (bare hands) ATK BONUS +7, DAM 1D8(close), MV 70’, SV CL4**, ML 10

Cockatrice - Hissing, cackling and rude, the cockatrice of the Midnight Jungle are magical sports hatched from the eggs of flying serpents or jungle birds exposed to the dreams of the Beaked God.  Rather than hiss they scream, low and guttural, and any within close, melee, or reach(20’) must save vs. paralyzation/possession or begin the transformation into a blue crystal statue, a Cockatrice of the Midnight Jungle are beautiful creatures, their bodies and plumage more akin to a peacock then a chicken and their heads those of brightly patterned jungle constrictors.  The long tail and wing feathers of many cockatrice glow faintly in the dark and are highly prized as decorative items or a material for jewelry, fashion and decor. A Midnight Cocatrice’s feathers are worth 200 GP in Ib and 800 GP in the Capital.

Cockatrice HD 5 (25 HP), AC 6/14, ATK 1 (peck*/hiss**) ATK BONUS +6, DAM 1D6(close), MV 30’/Fly 70’, SV F5,  ML 6
*The touch of the cockatrice causes magical petrification - transformation into a crystal statue.  A Paralysis/Possession resists the change, and the process takes 1D6/2 rounds to complete.
** The scream of the cockatrice also produces a petrifying effect, turning those who hear it (close/melee/reach distance or 20’) into crystal over 1D62 rounds. A Save vs. Paralysis/Possession avoids the effect as does stopping one's ears with wax or through other means.

Colossal Serpent - A huge and terrible beast, warped and eons old, the Giant serpent believes it is a god having slept within the fallen body of the Beaked God and gorged on its flesh for more than a thousand years.  It rests now in its pool (which itself may exist in multiple parts of the Jungle) and expects sacrifice.  The Serpent is 150’ long with a head as big as a rowboat.  An unwholesome mottled purple and blue of a bruised cadaver, but streaked with old white scars and encrusted with tumors the Serpent looks its incalculable age.  Despite its fundamentally animal nature, the Serpent can speak, though its halting, food obsessed utterances are unlikely to impress sentient beings.

Within the deep morass of slimy bones and filth at the bottom of the Serpent’s pool are: 3,500 SP worth of corroded coin, fused into small lumps and twenty-two snake shaped amulets carved from purple jade, gold and/or lapis lazuli each worth 100 GP.  At the bottom of the disgusting mess the Armor of Sand and Sea, a bronze muscle cuirass, engraved with whorls and symbols of some lost desert city state, gleams with magical perfection.
Colossal Serpent - HD 15, HP 90*, AC 5/15**, ATK 1***, ATK Bonus +11, DAM (bite) 3D6****, MV 20’, SV F15’, ML 12
* A snake doesn’t get this big without some form of magical protection, and the Giant Serpent has a limited form of immortality.  If slain it remains on the encounter table and may be encountered again, identical, in an identical pool, except having faded slightly.  Each time the Serpent is slain it will lose 1 HP per HD (75 HP the second time, 60HP the third,45 the fourth, 30 the fifth and 15 the last time) until it fades from existence after its sixth death.
** The Giant Serpent is enormous, this and it’s thick scarred scales prevent hand weapons from doing serious damage.  The first five points of damage from any normal attack against the Serpent are ignored.
***All in melee with the Great Serpent are in danger of being stuck by the Giant Serpent’s enormous thrashing bulk, each round anyone in melee combat with the Serpent must Save vs. Paralysis or be knocked prone (using their next action to stand).
****The Serpent is not poisonous, but on any attack roll above a 16 it will swallow its target whole.  Swallowed targets take 2D6 points of damage per round, but may attack with close weapons (automatic hit) with a successful Save v. Paralysis.

Divine Crocodiles - Black mottled with cyan, blue and purple, many of these river monsters are ancient and all are 10’ - 16’ long.  Notable because of the immaterial halo of blue sigils that floats above their brows and because of their large multifaceted third eye.  The Divine Crocodiles consider themselves the true clergy of the Beaked God, his mysteries and prophecies delivered by the tiny messenger birds that clean their teeth as they bask in the sun and constantly flock around them.  It’s a strange theology that amounts to commandment “feed crocodiles”, but the reptilian theocracy takes it very seriously.  Divine Crocodiles will approach peacefully and demand their due (a human sacrifice is preferred, but meat or other supplies - at least 1 man-day worth per crocodile) will also satisfy them.  They will also become agitated and aggressive if their ‘temples’ of ruin marble are disturbed.  Divine Crocodiles prefer to bite their prey rather than turn them to stone with their third eye, but aren’t especially reluctant to use their powers.

Divine Crocodile HD 8 (46 HP), AC 2/18, ATK 1 (Bite or Gaze/Spell*) ATK BONUS +9, DAM 3D6/special**, MV 30’/Swim 60’, SV CL9,  ML 10
* Divine Crocodiles are simple spellcasters (or maybe their bird symbiotes are) and can cast the following spells (on other crocodiles only) at will:  protection from mammals (as protection from evil - effects mammals), chant (bellowing and birdsong), cure light wounds
** Rather than biting a Divine crocodile can fire a beam of petrifying light from its central eye.  The Crocodile can focus on one target in melee, who must Save vs. Paralysis or be instantly transformed into a blue crystal statue, or blast

Hunting Glass - A colony, or a large single beast made of the impossible angles of shattered memories, it’s form is mostly that of a spider, but perhaps it’s a wasp or drifting storm cloud.  Relatively incorporeal the horror’s planes reflect the viewer’s memories and dreams, terribly and painfully jumbled causing confusion while it stalks and stabs with lance like appendages as sharp as broken mirrors.

Hunting Glass is an ambush predator and it will build a web of green and blue sparkling strands that hang like cobwebs from branches and undergrowth.  Any who know the signs are likely to spot a Hunting Glass ambush from beyond its range of effect, the sparkling blue strands and webs of its traps act as a lure (from up to 100’ away).  Approaching the Glass’ strange spinnings (within 50’) allows the complex set of ‘symbols of hopelessness’ within to affect any natural, living thing viewing them (entering the clearing or forest path where the Glass waits for prey).  All affected must save vs. spells or suffer crushing despondence, falling into a state of helpless weeping for 1D6 turns.  Hunting Glass can feed on the memories of its victims in this state, sucking the joy and sorrow from their past and leaving a feral cannibal husk (as a ghoul) that will awake in 1D6 days.

Hunting Glass HD 6 (36 HP)*, AC 5/15**, ATK 5 (claw/claw/claw/claw/Bite or Feed***) ATK BONUS +7, DAM 1d6x4/2d6 or special, MV 50’****, SV F6,  ML 8
*The ambush of Hunting Glass is surrounded it’s web of magical symbols of hopelessness.  Within 50’ all must Save v. Spells or collapse hopeless, despondent and paralyzed for 1D6 turns.  If fighting the glass within range of its web, this save must be repeated each round with a +1 bonus for each save made previously.  Remove Fear and similar spells will negate the sign’s power and remove the paralysis while fighting blindfolded can also prevent them from being seen.
** The immaterial nature of the Hunting Glass provides it complete protection from normal and silver weapons/attacks.  Hexed and magic weapons/atttacks do full damage.  Additionally anyone fighting the Glass who can see the reflections of their own thoughts and fears in its shifting mirrored panes must Save vs. Spells each round to avoid confusion.  If confused there is a 50% that their attacks will be aimed at another nearby target (likely an ally).
*** Rather than bite, Hunting glass can scoop up a victim of its traps and drain them of thought, hope and aspirations.  This does 2D6 damage a round and those who die this way will rise as ghouls in 1d6 days.
**** Hunting glass can climb and brachiate through the canopy of the jungle, and it will do so if seriously injured (ideally with a paralyzed victim in it’s mouth).

Owlbears - Jungle Owlbears are slightly smaller, considerably less massive, quicker and have much more tactical acumen than their counterparts in less competitive arcane ecosystems.  The owlbears of the Midnight Jungle are a nearly black blue, with glossy feathers and fur of the same concealing color and they hunt in packs, communicating across distances with their  ululating hoots and growls. They will attack from ambush, they will draw prey into traps, attack from several angles,  stalk and wait for opportunities and will sniff out tasty arcane magic to devour (including magic-users).

Jungle Owlbear HD 3+2 (17 HP), AC 5/15, ATK 3 (claw/claw/bite)  ATK BONUS +5, DAM 1d6/1D6/1D10*, MV 50’, SV CL4,  ML 10
*Jungle Owlbears cannot hug prey like their more massive counterparts in colder climes, but they can and will leap or drop from ambush on a successful surprise gaining +4 hit and doing x3 damage with their beak attack.

Razor Birds - Ponderous looking flightless birds, 14’ tall  with necks outstretched that move with surprising grace. Razor Birds have luxurious black and purple plumage that is valuable as a trade commodity (100 GP per bird).  Razor Birds fight with their strong silver scaled legs and namesake beak, a slab of cutting black horn capable of shearing through armor without pause.  Worse than the brutal physicality of the giant birds is their cruelty and cunning - Razor Birds lay traps, simple snares, deadfalls and covered pits filled with wooden stakes mark their territory.

Razor Bird* HD 5 (30 HP), AC 5/15**, ATK 5 (kick/bite**) ATK BONUS +6, DAM 1D10/1D8, MV 50’, SV F5,  ML 6
* There is a 3 in 6 chance that an encounter with Razor Birds will begin with one of their traps, a deadfall or pit that can be avoided with a 4D6 check vs. Dexterity or a snare with a 2 in 6 chance of pulling a party scout or lead high into a nearby tree.  Within a couple of round of the trap springing the Razor Birds will appear, seeking to slowly torment anything their traps have caught to death.
** Razor Bird beaks are unnatural strong and preternaturally sharp and treat all non-magical armor as if it didn’t exist (shield, natural, magic and Dex based AC still apply).
Revenant Legion - Revenant Legionaries are marching dead men, emaciated flesh stretched over worn down bones.  They are animate only because of ancient magics and festering ambition, sickly, grizzled men with hollow eyes and splotched torn flesh. A unit of the Legion is easy to hear or see coming, their ancient, blackened and rusted armor screeches and clanks while they croak forgotten marching songs to the time of their rotted boot soles’ rhythmic crash. Each Legionary is constantly on the lookout for food in the form of insects or small animals it can grab on the march, or larger prey the entire company can fall upon and devour, but their shriveled red eyeballs can’t see far into the gloom. Life in the Jungles of Midnight avoids the Legion’s companies as they would a flash flood or the rare lighting fire, suspending the normal relations of predator and prey while fleeing before the hungering dead.  The Legion is undead, though its members don’t know it, and it is capable of speech, though it has nothing meaningful to say beyond justifications for its cannibal excesses, and the endless march has left little besides military jargon in broken High Imperial for the Legion to say it in.

Revenant Legionary HD 2, AC 5/15  ATK 1* (bare hands) ATK BONUS +3, DAM 1D6* MV 40’, SV F2, ML 10
*Upon entering into melee combat with legionaries each legionary can direct their mad eyes at a single opponent who must save vs. Paralysis/Possession or suffer paralysis for 1D6 turns (usually while the ghouls devour them).

River Draugr - Sullen, bloated and spongy corpses filled with malice and anger at the living.  Draugr aren’t aggressive, rather they are filled with jealous, seething rage and seek to drag the living into the muddy river’s embrace as companions to their misery.  They are unlikely to attack directly, unless there are enough of them to drag an entire boat to the bottom along with its crew, but their intent is always drowning and murder.

River Draugr   HD 4, AC 7/13*  ATK 1* (bare hands) ATK BONUS +5, DAM 1D6** MV 30’, SV F4, ML 6
*River Draugr are immune to normal weapons, but take full damage from silver and magical weapons and attacks, they are also immune to sleep, charm and mind affecting spells.  Fire and magical fire do ½ damage to them because of their waterlogged nature.
**River Draugr will attempt to grapple foes and leap into the river to drown them, they have a Strength of 15 for grappling purposes.

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