Saturday, January 2, 2010

Apes cause Desert Storm

Parallel to producing creature number five I'm negotiating a contract with a gaming company. This means that the blog might enter slow-motion mode for an unknown time ahead. Nothing is settled yet, but in either case I will keep the blog moving, if slow, until I'm able to give it my full attention once again. As of now, here is a real slugger for you. Something to spice up those desert adventures. Take care, and just in case you didn't catch a stomach sickness (throwing up etc) twice this winter, you can be pleased knowing that I did... a splendid way of starting 2010! ;)


TERRAIN: Sandy deserts
FOOD: Omnivore
AGGRESSION: Normal/Extreme
SIZE: 6' 5" (195 cm) upright

AGILITY: 12-18
CHARM: 1-4
(If stats of human ranges from 3 to 18)

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

MAGIC POWER: 5 (to 20)
(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

2 FISTS: 2-6
1 TAIL: 2-8
1 BITE: 1-3
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The powerful arms and fists of the Ra’khuni are its weapons of choice. When truly threatened it will also swing about with its long tail and bite at its opponent. The tail does more damage than a single fist, but is more easily dodged. The Ra’khuni avoids using the tail when fighting because of the risk of injury to it.

SUMMON SAND VORTEX: The Ra’khuni has discovered the secret of the sands, and possess the ability to magically awaken it. Through rhythmically beating its fists and tail into the sand, it can cause it to rise and form a violent vortex. The vortex is about 10 feet high and 4 feet wide (3 x 1, 2 m), travels at twice the speed of a man, and lasts for 1-10 rounds. It is controlled by the will of its creator. The sands blind those in it, and do 1-2 points of damage per round to any unprotected skin. The victim should also make a dexterity roll each round to keep standing. Bows become virtually useless, and all other attacks are made at -2. At times several Ra’khuni join together to create a single and greater vortex. These whirling storms blind all things within them, can (Game Master’s choice) cause permanent eye-damage, peel off skin and clog up the ears to reduce hearing. The size of the storm is increased by an additional 10 x 4 feet for every additional creature partaking in the summoning. Damage is increased by 1 point per every five Ra’khuni and the dexterity check should become harder with vortex size. This elemental earth magic can be used once a day.

The Ra’khuni is an ape creature dwelling in the sandy deserts of the world. Here they travel around like nomads to find what food and water there is, but can settle for some months in the same location. They live in groups of five to twenty adults, with about a third as many young. To protect themselves from the cold of the night and from the burning sunlight of the midday, they dig out holes and tunnels in the dunes. These are very simple but usually have separate rooms for sleeping, storing food and defecating.

On the back, tail, lower arms, and head of the Ra’khuni there are tough, pointy, leathery outgrowths that can store up fat- and water reserves. The colours of these lumps vary from ochre to deep red. Saturated colours mean a higher place in the group hierarchy, and are also an indication of the level of venom in the outer skin. The pointy shape and poison of the outgrowths prevent the Ra’khuni from being eaten by larger desert predators, and can also be used as a trap. These apes have been discovered semi-buried in the sand with only the very tip of their backs protruding from the surface. This technique can be used to protect the entrance of their temporary lairs, or when hunting in narrow passes. The venom is deadly, but the Ra’khuni themselves are immune.

The creatures can walk for weeks without food and water if properly prepared. They seek nothing in life, but can be temporarily enchanted by shiny objects, and might drag on a necklace or carry random treasure. In extremely hot summers they have been seen in the outskirts of human civilization, looking for food, but the main cause of conflict with these creatures is when trespassing through Ra’khuni territory. The territorial instincts of the Ra’khuni are strong, and the level of aggression displayed towards intruders knows no boundaries – a potentially dangerous trait, since the territory changes as the desert apes move along, and thus change the borders of their claimed domain.

It is said that in the past the shamans of nomad people learned from the Ra’khuni the secrets of the sand. Some of these secrets supposedly went beyond summoning the sand vortex. Legend claims for example that a few of these apes could actually become sand, and move about unobstructed through the desert dunes. A sandglass made from a Ra’khuni trapped in that form is said to hold the strangest and most remarkable powers. No one knows very much about these creatures, but it is true that they lived and walked the sandy realms ages before the coming of man.

The Ra’khuni can live to be 50 years old. They use gorilla-like grunts and their long tails for communication, enabling them to communicate silently and when partly hidden. They prefer meat but eat everything edible, including cadaver. The female are slightly smaller, not as bright in colours, and not quite as poisonous. As young they can be held as pets, but a mature Ra’khuni will inevitable feel the call of the desert wilds, and rebel fiercely against any master.

© Copyright 2009 - Nicholas Cloister