Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Divine Wight - Part 7 Animals in the Jungle of Midnight

In addition to encounters with mythical beasts and dangerous inhabitants it seems important that a cursed jungle contain a large amount of wildlife.  While it would be easy enough to include these encounters on a monster encounter table, the goal is to both provide some separation between the (mostly) less dangerous encounters and the deadly, as well as increasing the number of chances for explorers to meet up with strange life.  These creatures also add some opportunity for resupply as many are edible.

Table 4 - Creatures of the Jungles of Midnight (*for stats listed below)
Giant Panthers* - A stalk of 1D6/2 Giant Panthers, 8’ - 12’ feet long and cruelly curious these creatures may stalk man-sized prey or lounge with yawning indifferent.
Dream Birds - Bursting with color and singing triumphant rilling songs in almost human voices, flocks of 3D6 of these birds are hunted for their plumage which is worth 100 GP a bird. Autochthons hunt them with wax stopped ears to avoid hearing their mournful death songs.
Slate Lizards* - Like dull blue river stones, up to 4d6 flat round lizards huddle on a bank or cling to the boles of trees - always basking in the sun.  These creatures are no more aggressive or intelligent than any other 3’ long reptile, but being of the basilisk they are dangerous.
Prophetic Birds - Avian shapes made of pure inky night, these immaterial creatures exude the cold of the void and their movements are prophecy.  A cleric may observe the birds to cast Augery without using a memorized spell on a successful 4D6 WIS check.  On a failure the Cleric and companions are doomed with a -1 on all rolls (as a Curse)
Glass Deer* - Noble troops of deer, most are placid but the stags are territorial and can be aggressive. The glass deer of Jungles of MIdnight are transparent tending towards translucent with age and somewhat immaterial, but their flesh is still succulent, if light.
Blue Bees - The sweet drone of buzzing honey bees indicates the presence of a monumental hive of blue bees.  Glassy and electric blue, the honey in their hives (unprotected raiders will be stung for 1D6 damage per round, for the 1D6 rounds it takes to recover each unit honey) is hallucinogenic, mildly poisonous and valuable - 250 GP per unit, with 1D6 units per hive.
Large Serpents* - 8’ to 18’ long these great constrictors are predatory and malicious,devoted to the Colossal Serpent they will be become placid if it is killed.
Glass Herons - Flying above in wedges that sparkle with sunlight or stalking fish in the river and pond shallows, these birds are like smoked blue glass with shearing beaks and brittle feathers that shatter with a tinkling snap.
Howling Monkeys* - Dirty slate, shambolic scavengers and thieves with 2-6 arms and wizened crafty faces.  They make a near constant cacophony of hateful screams, seemingly from the sheer joy of disruption, and stink with their own foulness.
Butterfly Migration - Sapphire lords, a butterfly with a 2’ wingspan, rich vibrancy and long feathery antenna travel in locust like swarms.  They are defenseless to the birds that trail after them nibbling at the edges of the swarm.  THe birds dare not eat too many as the butterflys are deadly poisonous, even to a larger creature if eaten in bulk (a meal’s worth requires a Save v. Poison).
Crocodiles* - Mottled purple, blue or grey the crocodiles of the Midnight Jungle are oppressed and disdained by their divinely inspired brethren, but they can be as mean and dangerous as any hungry 6’ - 10’ reptile - hunting in the river’s shallows.
Swarm Fish - A colony of thousands of fish, moving with singular intent and mind, flashing blue and silver glass  in the water the fish swarm is curious, but largely harmless.  An excellent food source it can easily be tricked into sacrificing some of its members - going so far as to risk 1D6 rations worth of fish leaping into a net or boat to investigate any sparkling objects displayed within.

Crocodiles - 6’ - 10’ crocodiles, in a swarming bask of 4D6, entirely normal, except for their odd blue and purple coloration.  They are vicious enough combatants but know only ambush and headlong attack against unwary creatures.  They are edible (1D6 rations per crocodile) and their hides are worth 50 GP each.
Crocodile - HD 2* (8HP), AC 5/15 ATK 1 (bite) ATK BONUS +3, DAM 1D8, MV 30’, SV F1, ML 7

Giant Panther - (1D6/2) Sinuous, blue black beauty with glowing palatinate eyes, but otherwise much like a housecat 10’ - 25’ in length and weighing more than a ton. Magnificent beasts whose ancestors gorged on divine flesh, the Giant Panthers of the Jungles of Midnight aren’t especially intelligent or savvy beyond feline wariness, and hunting craft.  The relatively undamaged pelt of one of these creatures (along with its teeth and claws) are worth 2,000 GP in the Imperial Capital, but only 500 GP to the traders of Ib.

Midnight Panther, Giant - HD 12* (70HP), AC 3/17 ATK 3** (claw/claw/bite) ATK BONUS +13, DAM 1D8/1D8/2D6(close), MV 90’, SV F12, ML 10***
* The Giant Midnight Panther has has feasted on divine flesh and it retains otherworldly vigor gaining a 3 points of regeneration per round (it can be permanently killed by drowning or incineration.
** Giant Panthers may make a leap attack against one target at least 20’ and up to 120’ feet away [short or long range] and make a single pounch attack.  On a successful attack they will inflict 6D6 damage, knock the target down and successfully grapple allowing them to automatically inflict 2D6 damage the next round.  For grappling purposes these giant cats have a Strength of 19.

Glass Deer - Delicate looking, as if of smoked blue glass, these small, wiry deer are little more than stomachs and acute sensory organs atop a set of fragile legs.  They graze on flowers and lush undergrowth in herds of 3D6, led by a stag, will flee from nearly everything they meet.  The stags however become aggressive to defend their herds. Each deer carcass will provide 1D6+2 days worth of food, though the glassy meat is strange.

Glass Deer - HD 1+1 (4HP), AC 6/14 ATK 1 (kick) ATK BONUS +0, DAM 1D6, MV 120’*, SV F2, ML 4
Glass Stag - HD 4 (20HP), AC 5/15 ATK 2 (horns/kick) ATK BONUS +5, DAM 1D8/1D6, MV 120’*, SV F4, ML 8
*Glass deer and stags are remarkably agile and do not require any DEX check or save to avoid attack in response to their breaking from combat.

Howling Monkeys - Troupes of 3D6 of these petulant annoyances roam the high canopy, but are easily tempted down by their curiosity to investigate loud noises, strange smells, and any novelty. The creatures themselves are dirty and shambolic, with numerous arms, clumpy fur and wrinkled bright skin.  The monkeys jabber and hoot, some even know a few insults in a variety of languages, though they will learn no other speech, but are immensely fond of theft.  Howling Monkeys will make considerable efforts to steal small shiny objects such as jewelry as well as paper goods.  The majority of  a pack will mock their marks from the trees while two or three brave monkeys sneak up to steal.

Howling Monkey* - HD 1(3HP), AC 4/16 ATK 1 (bite) ATK BONUS +0, DAM 1D6, MV 60’, SV F1, ML 4
*Howling Monkeys are nimble and quick fingered giving them a Dexterity of 15 and a pickpocket/sleight of hand/legerdemain skill of 4 for stealing small items.

Large Serpents - Treacherous beasts gathered in knots of 1D6+3 and festooning low hanging branches, these large poisonous 8’ - 18’ blue, purple and lavender snakes have acquired a rudimentary intelligence and a fierce sense of entitlement from the echoed desires of the Colossal Serpent (Table 1, Encounter 10) and as long as it’s alive the smaller snakes will be threatening and surly, believing themselves rulers of the jungle and entitled to fawning worship and the sacrifice of live animals (or people). If the Colossal Serpent is dead these snakes will return to typical solitary reptile behaviour - laying still in sunny patches and ignoring almost everything around them.

Large Serpent - HD 5(25HP), AC 4/16 ATK 1 (bite) ATK BONUS +7, DAM 1D6*, MV 20’, SV F3, ML 8
*The bite of a Large Serpent is poisonous causing a save Save v. Poison or inflicting paralysis for 1D6 painful turns.  At the end of this period the victim must make a second Save v. Poison or die as their heart seizes and fails.

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