Sunday, May 3, 2020

Eagles, Ear Seekers, Eels, and Efreeti

 One might assume these are just 'eagle but big' but they clearly draw more from the great eagles of Lord of the Rings, being inclined to ignore 'good' creatures but attacking threatening 'evil' ones and being friendly towards certain dwarves and elves. They also have a form of 'limited telepathy' and when it comes to combat, can dive from 50 feet or higher to attack for double claw damage at a total of +8 to hit for 4d6 damage. They attack any creature in defense of their nests, which have a 50% chance of young or eggs, 1 nest per 2 adults, with 1d4 eggs/young. Eggs sell for 500-800 coins each and so, in addition to the chance  of Q or C treasures (magic items only) raiding eagle nests may be tempting for those unaware of how dangerous they really are. They are also 'never surprised unless encountered in lair or at night' due to their eyesight, and can carry up to 200pounds at half speed, making them passable mounts for the lightly equipped or halflings.

With an AC of merely 7, they strike me as a very 'glass cannon' type of enemy. If one can endure or avoid the initial horrible divebombing, they are fairly similar to a low ac, low HD big cat in terms of their claw-claw-bite routine. I think they could be a potentially interesting tactical problem if divorced from their 'neutral ally of good' idea, and would make for good support monsters for other monsters, and at the very least Elves have a 65% chance to have 2d6 as guards.


Who hurt you Gary

 I was surprised at the variety depicted here- they come in the Electric form, which can deal from 3d8 to 1d8 damage via the electric jolt, once per hour, and further more come in 4hd variants that deal from 6d8 to 2d8. I was currently having my own electric eels deal only 1d8 damage, but with this in mind I now feel emboldened to use these bigger varieties to kill all my players with electric death in the Sunken Sepulchre, a very large tidal dungeon in my current campaign, and to tempt them into that electric death with the hope of building a giant set of taser knuckles for their giant robot just as they did on a smaller scale with a waterbarrel and wire for the dwarf.

Electric eels aside, there are also 5hd giant eels that hit for 3d6 and are said to have nasty tempers, and Weed eels which are essentially treasure-hoarding poison sea snakes that live in communal caves 30x20x20 that is accessed through 6 foot tunnels, which in turn is accessed by 6 inch holes that the eels hide in and bite people, typically 25-40 feet underwater. Whilst treasure types O and P are low-value coinage, treasure type R is held by dwarf fortresses, which is pretty incredible for tiny eels to have, but considering they are 10d6 goblin HD enemies with poisonous save or die attacks and a highly secure underwater base, the risk of looting a Weed Eel lair does need an impressive hoard to tempt people into even considering it, I suppose.

OG EFREETI- detailed already here

I realize too late the scale is off so you must pretend this is like an ogre falconer or a mini eagle or a falcon disguised as an eagle or something

Sunset Realm Eagles, Giant and Otherwise
Just as the Lion is the king of terrestrial beasts, the Eagle is king of the birds. They hold court at the peaks of mountains and the highest trees in the forest, attended by a court of birds. Eagles are difficult to train, for they are proud beasts, but they cannot prey upon humans and as such are more prone to accepting domestication and a place in Our Lady of Gardens plans for the ultimate society than, say, Lions.

However, not all birds accept the domination of humans and the proliferation of missile weapons, and seek to bring about a 4th bird age (not canon to my setting but a weird joke I find endlessly amusing) and perform a forbidden ritual where they fly up, up, and up, into the terrible black sky, in search of a star small enough to eat. 99% of birds who attempt this are devoured by nameless Moons, but those who succeed (and those lucky enough to find a fallen starshard or lost sunshard on the ground, sparing them the trip) begin to grow to tremendous size, large enough to slay the terrestrial beings that once had the advantage of size. Their hunger is endless, as is their opportunity for growth, fed by feeding the flame in their belly, and they grow larger and larger until mere flesh is simply not abundant enough to feed them, so they must turn to either the sea, monster predation in the Moonlands, or back to the sky in the hopes of gobbling more stars. Many birds along this path end up serving the Autumn Moon, these moon-maddened avians known as the Black Buzzards, named for their oily, dirty metal feathers that have replaced their original plumage as they forsake all softness for more power.

However, most birds do not want these monsters to emerge, and so the Pecking Order was established. Big birds prey on smaller birds to keep them in line, and smaller birds mob big birds who get too cocky. Animals in this setting all reincarnate (provided they do not become monsters) and the judgement of the Pecking Order determines what sort of bird one gets to hatch as next time, which is why there are so many small birds and comparatively fewer bigger ones.

It's a fantasy setting, no one has even heard of a trophic pyramid
It's all quite vicious and cruel, and some birds who forsake the Pecking Order and the rule of Eagles claim that were it not for the gripping talons of the Eagle Kings, there wouldn't be so many birds seeking power as an escape from the Pecking Order in the first place.

Sunset Realm Ear Seeker- while body horror involving with ear penetration is pretty great I don't think I need to punish thieves for using their class abilities. Class abilities based on RNG that can indicate 'you are caught and pounded to jelly' are punishment enough.

Sunset Realm Eels-
Some reptiles gave up their legs for the wisdom of Yg, mother of serpents, but what about eels? Are they fish, or snakes?

The answer is both but neither. Like the ancient Frog Kingdoms that sought to rebel against the Serpent Empire, Eels were a sort of aquatic splinter group that opposed the Serpents but ended up in relative irrelevancy in the water, secure but obsolete. Eels have strange magics developed in isolation from the magical tradition that is traced from human academies to elvish archmages to snakefolk sorcerers, and those seeking slimy and sneaky spells from the sea often start cults to the Eel, and texts written in Piscine or Serpentine may have secret subtext that requires one to know Eel to decipher. It is hypothesized by some Yg scholars that the Eel splinter sect was due to the machinations of the goddess of secrets, madness, and the mirror realm, Lumar, and the remnant Eels labor knowingly or no to advance the obscure goals of that goddess even in this age.

Electric Eels dwell in the Bog of the Canal and the  Dayland oceans, and as lightning is only rarely found trapped in fulgurites, they are the natural source of electricity for mad alchemists. They are also fairly popular to create electric chimera, and as such they are rare in the wild, but common among the right sort of human seeking to harness their lightning.