|Destrier||Dragon, Black||Dragon, Divine||Dragon, Green|
|Dragon, White||Dwarf||Elemental, Air||Elemental, Earth|
|Elemental, Water||Elemental, Fire||Elf||Giant|
|Horse, Light||Horse, Heavy||Hydra, Water||Illuminati|
Here we describe creatures as they appear in SAGA's fantasy universe. If they are creatures unique to SAGA's universe, we describe what they look like and how they survive. In most cases, we include numerical representations of them as combatants in SAGA's combat system (see Rules for Playing SAGA. In some cases we describe the origin of the creature and its role in our Celesti Sector SAGA world. For definitions of the terms we use to classify the creatures, consult the Glossary.
The attributes we use to describe creatures are defined on the same scale as those used to describe player characters. Some creatures, such as Tyrannosaur, are strong, but their strength cannot realistically be expressed in terms of how much they can bench press. The STR attribute most creatures is of roughly Ln(w/wh) / Ln(1.1), where w is the creature's weight, and wh is 670 N (67 kg weight in gravity of 10 ms−2, or 150 lb), which is the average weight of an adult male sapien. Some creatures have a higher strength to weight ratio, such as hellspawn, and others have a lower ratio, such as kraken. We use weight rather than mass in the formula because creatures native to weaker gravitational fields will tend to be weaker. But in gravity 10 ms−2, we can use the formula STR = Ln(m/mh) / Ln(1.1). In this manual we assume gravity is 10 ms−2 when calculating STR.
The average DEX of adult humans is 0. The DEX of other creatures is, all other things being equal, given by DEX = −Ln(m/mh), where m is the mass of the creature and mh is 67 kg, the average mass of an adult male human. The minimum DEX is −20, which is the appropriate value for a tree.
The INT attribute for some creatures is well below the normal range for humans. There follows a list of creatures and their INT attributes. A tree, which has no intelligence, is given INT = −30.
We take for granted that intelligent creatures like animals and sapiens apply their intelligence to their own pursuit of pleasure. But the Lumans, who made all manner of intelligent spirits, and wizards, who make homunculi, both found that without pleasures to pursue, a brain cannot manifest intelligence. It is the ability of a brain to form theories about the world around it, without any prior constraints upon the scope or nature of those theories other than that they be sane, and to apply those theories to their own pursuit of happiness, that gives rise to intelligence. Without such pleasures to pursue, the brain forms theories at random, and takes no action of its own. It cannot build knowledge, because it has no way of selecting theories that serve its ends. It has no ends to fulfill. Therefore, every artificial intelligence must have pleasures to pursue. By being the source of these pleasures, or some of them, people can gain mastery over artificially intelligent creatures in the same way that they can gain mastery over naturally intelligent creatures. But in the case of artificially intelligent creatures, there is often a means by which one particular person can become the dominant source of pleasure for the creature, and therefore act as its master. All demons, for example, take pleasure from being petted or otherwise physically stimulated by the person who most recently spoke its master word.
The TOU attribute represents how well a creature is able to endure pain. Most creatures have TOU=0. Plants feel no pain, and so do not cringe from wounds, but neither can they feel prescient forewarning of wounds. For the sake of having a TOU score to give to plants, even though it has no obvious meaning, we choose to give them TOU=0.
In the description of each creature, the average size and weight of the creature is followed by a hit point (hp) entry. In general, creatures receive (10+TOU) × √(m/mh), where m is the mass of the creature, and mh is the average mass of an adult male sapien, which we take to be 67 kg. Hit points are roughly proportional to square root of the creature's mass.
Some creatures have bodies which provide natural armor. The effect of such armor in combat is quantified in the same way as for artificial armor: with armor protection points. The protection offered by body armor adds in quadrature to protection offered by artificial armor (total protection is the square root of the sum of squares of the body and artificial armor protections, so 3-point body armor and 4-point artificial armor makes 5-point protection).
In a creature's combat description, we use the following abbreviations, which you will find in the Rules: fighter level (fl), adventuring level (al), dodging points (dp), hit points (hp), armor protection (ap), striking accuracy (ss), striking power (sp), firing accuracy (fs), and firing power (fp).
Neurons in biological creatures provide prescient sensations and therefore allow these creatures dodging points. creatures who lack such a nervous system may still have dodging points by viewing the world as it is in the present, and also as it is a second or two into the future, with the help of a time-shifted space bridge. Such devices are sometimes used by fighting demons. Sapiens have tried to use them too, but doing so drives them crazy. Only a brain designed to handle such a bridge can make proper use of one.
An animation is a machine powered by conjured matter muscles. Animations made by wizards are controlled by spirit matter brains. An unintelligent animation in a mobile, humanoid body is called a golem. An intelligent animation in a mobile, humanoid body is called a homunculus.
|I||3||100||100 gp||500 gp|
|II||5||200||200 gp||1,000 gp|
|III||7||400||400 gp||2,000 gp|
|IV||9||600||1000 gp||5,000 gp|
|V||11||800||2000 gp||10,000 gp|
The table above lists what it takes to make various common types of animation, and also the price one must pay a wizard to make an animation on one's behalf. In the table, level indicates the highest level of difficulty of the spells that must be cast to manufacture the animation, spells is the number of spells which must be cast, cost is the cost of raw materials for the construction, and price is the market value of a brand new animation made to order in Ursia.
There are three main parts to an animation: brain, muscles, and frame. The brain is made of spirit matter. It interprets sensory information and controls the muscles, which are made of conjured matter. The muscles move the frame. The frame is made of chemical matter. The frame houses the magical parts and provides the animation with mass. Animations can be intelligent and learned. In such cases, they often have humanoid bodies to facilitate their learning human activities, and are called homunculi. The senses of an animation are inferior to those of humans, but its reactions are faster. The intelligence of a homunculus is inferior to that of a sapien, but its memory is more reliable.
To learn how to make an animation, a wizard must buy a bunch of books and study them for several months, then make a few prototypes. An animation's brain is made out of spirit matter neurons. For automatic brain functions, the neurons must be made individually. Each neuron must be connected precisely to other neurons, which takes about ten minutes per neuron. For intelligent functions, however, neurons can be made in bunches, and connected rather less precisely. Nevertheless, extended training of the animation − most often a homunculus − is required to bring intelligent functions to full efficiency, which can take months or years.
For simple automatic functions, a wizard can design the required neural connections herself, but she cannot hope to complete in her own lifetime the design of a neural network that controls complex automatic functions such as the coordination of muscles for running, writing, or fighting. Nevertheless, hundreds of wizards have dedicated their lives to the design of such networks, and as a result, one can buy detailed instructions, and hire expert, personal assistance, to guide one through the construction of a neural network that performs remarkably sophisticated coordination with the use of only a few thousand neurons.
An animations's senses are made most easily out of chemical matter. Chemical matter sensors communicate information to the brain through spirit matter neurons. Wizards can buy homunculi senses ready-assembled. Commonly used senses include constant-focus color-blind eyes, compound color-sensitive eyes, voice-sensitive ears, and touch-sensitive finger-tips.
An animations's muscles are made out of conjured matter. Energy for motion is provided by negative maeons absorbed into the muscles from the maeon wind. A certain amount of energy is stored in the muscles, but once this is exhausted, the homunculus must rest until its energy is replenished. Conjured muscles do not have the stamina or compactness of biological muscles, but they can last for a thousand years.
The brain and muscles of an animation are, by default, designed to last for one hundred years. They may be given a lifetime of a thousand years, but this increases the difficulty of all spells required for the construction by one.
A Type I Animation is a machine with very little coordination, whose activities are governed by simple logical clauses implemented in a neural network designed for the most part by the wizard who makes it. The brain might reside in a box, and connect to magic muscles that open and close doors, or activate other mechanisms on the basis of information delivered by the animation's senses.
A Type II Animation has a sophisticated brain built according to a design purchased by the manufacturing wizard. It has no intelligence, but provides complex coordination and conditional behavior. It can be commanded by spoken words or gestures defined during its construction. A Type II animation can serve as a scribe taking dictation, or a guard that fights in hand-to-hand combat. Type II guardian golems are able to vary their attacks, and know to hide from missiles, but are still vulnerable to unanticipated assaults. They are, however, as skilled as first level fighters, and, with a metal frame, have good armor protection (eg. ap=10, hp=20, dp=0, fl=1, STR=5, EDEX=0, ss=-2 with long sword double-handed for 3d10+2, loses one point of strength for every combat round, recovers one point of strength for every minute of rest).
A Type III Animation is the same as Type II, but able to cast one first level wizard spell once every six hours. The spell is always the same.
A Type IV Animation is an intelligent version of the Type II, usually equipped with a voice box and a mobile, humanoid body. It can be controlled in emergencies by command words, but its intelligence is trained by adherence to a pleasure-pain principle based upon the approval-disapproval of its master. To reach mental maturity, a homunculus takes five years of careful training. If trained properly, it will mature into a faithful servant. When its master dies, a homunculus is rarely much use to any one else. Often they go crazy and cause trouble, so they must be destroyed.
A Type V Animation is the same as a Type II, but is able to cast two first and one second level spell once every six hours. These spells are always the same ones.
Although we have described six types of animations, these are merely examples. Most animations are unique. Their frames are made to order, and their capacities are tailored to the specifications of its owner. Usually the intelligent ones are owned and trained by wizards. Wizards often come to look upon homunculi as their own children.
The fourth-level wizard spell Trap creates a magical machine with capacities similar to those of a Type I Animation, but the machine is not governed by a spirit matter brain, and is therefore not a homunculus. The Trap uses short-lived conjured matter neurons instead of spirit matter neurons.
STR DEX TOU INT −25 2 0 5 size: 60 cm mass: 6 kg hp: 3 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: lawful, peaceful classification: amalgam
A species of androgynous, intelligent, aquatic creatures with the body of a fish up to its armpits, then delicate arms, big eyes, and large clumsy heads. Aquavir take pleasure in swimming, eating, and philosophical debate. They live only in tropical climates, in small fresh water streams that do not flood, or that have caves in which the aquavir can rest easy during a flood. Aquavir like to live close to each other so they can meet for debate and minnow hunting. They prefer places remote from human habitation, since humans are a threat to them. Aquavir have only one effective defense, a psionic power similar to the wizard spell Beguile. They use this power to deter animal predators, and to hypnotize or befuddle humans. The streams they choose rarely contain fish big enough to be a threat to them, but their greatest enemies in the tropics are electric eels, of which they have an abiding terror. Most aquavir speak Latin fluently.
Combat: Aquavir are not much good in a hand-to-hand fight against adventurers.
STR DEX TOU INT −5 −10 0 −15 size: 1.2 m mass: 40 kg hp: 5 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: 10 temperament: lethargic classification: reptilian alteration
A basilisk is a large, gray, lizard-shaped creature with a big head. When adult, they are 120 cm long, 50 cm across at the waist, and weight 40 kg. An old basilisk is leathery and wrinkles around its joints, but young basilisks will look like freshly-carved statues when they stay still. All basilisks are genetically identical. They are androgynous, infertile clones. They live for a long time, and have the intelligence of a dog, so they can be trained to perform certain tasks consistent with their nature, such as staying absolutely still and guarding a door.
Basilisks have hard, thick scales, and they can deliver a fierce bite, but they are no match for an armed enemy in hand-to-hand combat. The basilisk's power comes from its psionic ability to paralyze people. Several times a day, a basilisk can choose to react to the sight of two eyes staring at it by causing a storm of electrical activity in the brain behind those same eyes. This storm of activity might kill the subject outright, or it might cause paralysis or seizures. This assault is called the gaze of the basilisk. The gaze of the basilisk is similar to the gaze of the catoblepas, but less deadly.
The basilisk's skin is so thick that it impedes their movements. They can run at 5 m/s for a few seconds, but the effort pains them. They prefer to move from one place to another at a lethargic 5 cm/s. Basilisks are omnivorous, but they can survive on meat alone, and they prefer to eat meat. Despite their sluggish nature, basilisks survive easily in the wild. They can go months without a meal, and their thick skin protects them from predators. Their paralyzing gaze allows them to render small animals helpless long enough for to bite them in the neck. Because basilisks don't breed, their only desire in life is to be free of pain and to eat good food. After much experimentation, basilisk owners discovered that basilisks particularly like food containing spices like cinnamon, chili, pepper, and cumin. They don't like salt in their food, however, and excessive salt can make them sick. A good meal for a basilisk would be a hot lamb curry with ver little salt.
Because their masters can supply them with food far superior to anything they can find in the wild, a basilisk will be loyal to its owner, assuming the owner is a good cook. A basilisk can learn its own name, and can be trained to use its paralyzing attack at a command from its owner, or under conditions specified by the owner.
To cause paralysis in a subject, a basilisk must strike the brain of the subject in the same way a wizard casting Beguile must strike his subject. We describe die-rolls that decide such assaults here. The basilisk's attack has extent 1 m. Casting time is 2 s plus 1 s per meter range.
The first paralyzing attack a basilisk launches has formidability 6 and power 0. The second attack has formidability 5, and so on. Basilisks recover the power of their paralyzing attack after a few hours of rest. If a basilisk strikes a target with its attack, the target must dodge the attack or suffer paralyzation for 1d100 minutes. If the roll is 80 or above, the first twenty minutes of the effect will be taken up with a violent epileptic seizure that causes 2 hit points battering damage to the victim per minute, depending upon how the is cared for by his comrades. Armor will absorb this battering damage.
Basilisks acquire prescience more easily than most animals, and far more easily than most alterations. Their life of being attacked by carnivores who are unfamiliar with its unusual defenses, and guarding things against bandits, gives them the experience necessary to acquire dodging points. Most basilisks will gain two dodging points per century of its life. They also gain one fighter level per century of life, so that they become more accurate with their paralysis assault.
Basilisks take ten years to reach maturity, during which time they must be trained not to use their psionic power without provocation. An adult basilisk is worth roughly 1,000 gp. Older ones are more formidable, but younger ones have more life ahead of them.
Combat: (domesticated 500-year-old basilisk fl=5, dp=10) bite sa=-5, sp=10. When a sapien approches, hoping to pass through the door the basilisk is guarding, the basilisk is hiding 4 m away, unseen. It moves its head slightly to target the sapien's brain. It needs to roll 1 + 4 (range in extents) + 0 (sapien standing) - 5 = 0. The sapien must lose 6 dp or be paralyzed. Assuming the sapien survives and somehow sees the basilisk in its hiding place, the basilisk gets to attack again in the several seconds it takes the sapien to draw his sword and attack. It needs to roll 1 + 1 (wait until sapien is 1 m away) + 4 (sapien rushing forwards) - 5 = 1, another guaranteed hit. The sapien must take 5 dp or be paralyzed. Assuming the sapien has 11 dp, he can get to the basilisk and knock it out with a couple of good hits to the head. Because the basilisk itself is worth a lot of money, the sapien would be a fool to kill it. Once the basilisk is unconscious, the sapien can blind-fold it, because a basilisk will not attempt to paralyze anything unless it sees two eyes. Indeed, another way to protect yourself against a basilisk is to cover your eyes with a stocking, or cover one of them with an eye-patch.
STR DEX TOU INT 15 0 10 0 size: 2.4 m mass: 200 kg hp: 30 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: lawful, warlike classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Black orcs were bred by the Princes of Hell to keep order among their troops. In particular, they were bred to control orcs. They look like orcs, except that their skin is jet black and they are far larger. An orc stands 1.6 m on average, while a black orc is 2.4 m. Black orcs appear to have no hair. They have no eyebrows, no eyelashes, no pubic hair, and certainly no hair on their heads. Both males and females are absolutely bald. But they do have hair follicles, and on a chilly day it is possible to see these follicles standing up. Their tusks are sized in proportion to their bodies just as those of the orcs. The tusks in their lower jaws curl up and almost touch their cheeks. The tusks of a young, healthy black orc are white.
Black orcs live for three hundred years. They reach physical maturity at the age of twenty-five. They start to suffer the declining effect of age when they are only one third through their lives. At age one hundred, black orcs are prone to severe arthritis. Their bones become brittle and their muscles weaken. The effect of aging can be almost entirely eliminated by the use of longevity drugs provided by the Princes of Hell. (For the origin of longevity drugs see Gods, and for their effect see The Captive and the Clowns.) If a black orc starts to take longevity drugs at the end of their first century, they will retain their strength and vigor until they are well over 250 years old. But their skin turns slowly from jet black to dark gray.
Black orc pregnancies last seven years. Their ovulation cycle is a year long, and the women are fertile for only a few days during that year. Black orcs are inclined to mate for life. They are intimate with their partners and share raising their children equally. Romance is the single greatest theme in what little there is of black-orc art and literature.
One of the Princes of Hell developed a family of black orcs that could learn sorcery. Warrior-sorcerer black-orc fight with spells and weapons at the same time. But the greatest orc warriors and generals rarely had sorcery. Nor did black-orc sorcery do much to affect battles between orc armies of thousands of soldiers. But sorcery did allow black orcs to acquire a degree of independence from their divine masters. This independence became a great source of embarrassment to the Princes when the black-orc sorcerer named Gelden opened a molecular bridge from Hell to Clarus in 1487 AE, as we describe in the History of Clarus.
On Clarus, all orc populations are ruled by black-orcs. There are roughly one thousand black-orcs living on Clarus, and around one million orcs. A typical black-orc lord will rule five thousand orcs. He will have a wife and two children. This typical distribution leaves two hundred black-orcs unaccounted-for. These are the ones that organise trade, keep books, concentrate on sorcery, or live in exile.Claran orcs call their rulers karazi. We describe the Claran relationship between black-orcs and orcs in Outland Inhabitants and Politics of the Western Outlands. For stories about black orcs, you might like Stolen Antiquities, which describes a meeting between a famous black-orc general and a smuggling ring-leader in the Galoopius and D chapter, and conversations between a black-orc man and woman in the Dreadmanifold chapter. We describe a fight between three sapiens and a single black orc in the Stockandsteel chapter of Working for D, and dinner with a black orc and his wife in the Supper with Stardiamond and Dreadmanifold. You will find many more accounts of black orcs in the The Green Horn Tavern and The Castle Hydroma adventure diaries, in including lunch with an elderly black-orc couple in the Rackhammer section of the Road Building.
Combat: Most black-orc males and some females are accomplished fighters. (200-year-old black-orc general al=30, fl=30, dp=60) +15 great sword two-handed sa=35, wp=53, +4 heavy chain ap=20.
STR DEX TOU INT 14 −1 10 −5 size: 2.1 m mass: 150 kg hp: 30 life span: 40 yrs body armor: 2 (thick fur) temperament: lawful, warlike classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Bugbears are clean (by the standards of hellspawn), broad, and furry. They are a cross between human and bear. Their fur is most often brown, but some races have white or black fur. Their faces are large, and their mouths toothed like a bear's, but wider and less protruding. They are stealthy and well disciplined. They must train hard to earn warrior status in their society. They acquire the necessary combat experience in gladiatorial contests. One in four of those who embark upon warrior training are killed before they complete it. Bugbear warriors are serious, proud, and loyal to their comrades and their tribe. At over two meters tall and two hundred kilograms, they are strong and intimidating. They have thick fur. They were designed to fight in the cold. Despite their size, they are agile and swift. They make good archers and infantry. They can farm, but rarely have to. Their services as mercenaries are constantly in demand by Olympian agencies. Unlike most hellspawn, they see well during the day, and have good color vision. Their eyesight is similar to that of sapiens. Bugbear armor weighs one and a half times as much as sapien armor.
Combat: (warrior infantry fl=2, al=2, dp=4, hp=30) ring ap=10, great sword sa=1, sp=37; ring ap=10, shield and long sword sa=4, sp=26; ring ap=10, fists sa=2, sp=16; (summoned infantry fl=2, al=2, dp=4, hp=30) ironwood banded ap=16, shield and flail sa=4, sp=24; (summoned archer fl=2, al=2, dp=4, hp=30) ironwood studded ap=8, shield and mace, sa=4, sp=24, heavy bow fa=1, fp=14.
STR DEX TOU INT 17 −2 0 −17 size: 2.0 m mass: 500 kg hp: 27 life span: 15 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: mount classification: mammal
Combat: Camels can bite, but they don't fight. They flee.
STR TOU DEX INT 0 0 0 0 size: 1.8 m mass: 67 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 80 yrs body armor: none temperament: neutral classification: Terran amalgam
Calipanti are sapiens with animal features, so that they look like they are half-animal, half sapien. A minotaur is an example of a calipanti. It is a creature with a bull's head and torso, a man's arms and hands, and either a bull's legs or a man's legs. The bull portions are covered with fur. There are half-ostrich, half-leopard, and half-lizard calipanti. A half-lion calipanti may have a lion's face and a magnificent lion's mane.
Calipanti were created by elf and sapien breeders on Clarus between the years 200 AE and 800 AE, on the southern continent of Laeana. The eastern portion of this continent remains the domain of the calipanti, and is called Calipan. Towards the end of the Dark Ages, tens of thousands of calipanti soldiers and their families left Calipan and sailed on sapien ships to Idonius, where they took part in the final conflict with the orcs that brought about the Reconciliation. The reward they were promised was millions of square kilometers of land that they could call their own. And indeed they received this land: the Tamaran desert. This desert is the land for a thousand kilometers east and west of the River Thebes. Their land did not include the River Thebes itself. And so the calipanti of Idonius are desert people, and they have long forgotten the land of their ancestors on Laeana. The calipanti raid Sax, the country of the River Thebes valley and delta. Every few decades there is a war between them and the Satians. As a result of these wars, many calipanti have been taken as slaves by the Satians. One in two people in Sax are slaves, and one in three of the slaves is calipanti. The most fashionable people have striking calipanti slaves. Some Satian calipanti earn their freedom, and so live among sapiens as equals.
Despite their appearances, calipanti are not half-animal. Their genetic make-up is almost entirely sapien. All calipanti can conceive children with one another, and also with sapiens. The offspring of similar calipanti will be similar to their parents, and likely to survive. The offspring of calipanti and sapiens are also likely to survive. But the offspring of dissimilar calipanti are unlikely to survive. They are most likely to be still-borne, or to die in infancy of physical deformities.
STR DEX TOU INT 15 −10 0 −20 size: 2.0 m mass: 800 kg hp: 40 life span: 500 yrs body armor: 20 temperament: reclusive classification: mammal and reptilian amalgam
A catoblepas is an androgynous amalgam of reptilian dinosaur and a four-legged mammal. It stands upon four, thick legs. It is as tall as a man at the shoulder, but its head can rise up on its long neck to two twice the height of a man. Its tail is long and heavy, with a heavy lump at the end that it can use to club its enemies.
Catoblepi live in swamps. They stand tummy-deep in water and spend their days eating swamp plants. Their skin is covered with soft, brown fur, but this fur is usually obscured from view by a thick covering of dead leaves, dirt, branches and even sand and gravel. The debris is embedded in a 10-cm thick layer of transparant, conjured rubber. The result is that a stationary catoblepas is hard to see in a swamp.
The catoblepas has two psionic abilities. It can generate conjured rubber at the tip of its snout. Every day a catoblepas will produce several cubic meters of conjured rubber with longevity ten hours, and it will use its long neck to move its head around to coat its upper body with a protective layer. It is the conjured rubber that gives the catoblepas its twenty-point armor protection. Its second psionic ability is the one for which it is famous. Like the basilisk, the catoblepas can cause paralyzation, but its paralyzing attack is far more dangerous than that of a basilisk, because it is often fatal.
The first paralyzing attack made by a catoblepas has formidability 6. The second has formidability 5, and so on. The psionic ability recovers after a night's rest. The attack's targeting extent is 5 m. If a victim cannot dodge the attack, it will suffer 10D10 damage to its brain. This damage might kill the victim outright. If wounded, the victim will recover 1 hp per minute. When recovered to 0 hp, the victim will be able to sit up and vomit.
If a catoblepas sees a large animal nearby, it will never move towards the other animal. The catoblepas will instead watch for twenty minutes or so. Eventually, they will move away slowly, although they will not leave the swamp. They attack any creature that comes too near with their psionic paralyzation. A sapien showing its eyes will be too near when it is fifty meters away. A sapien with a stocking over its head will be too near at thirty meters. The attack of the catoblepas affects a 1-m diameter sphere, so the creature's best guess as to where an animal's head is usually good enough. If a catoblepas cannot deter a large animal's approach with its paralyzing gaze, it will move away. When pressed, a catoblepas can run at 20 kph through 50-cm deep water.
Catoblepi were designed to exclude large animals from a swamp. They were a present from a genetic scientist to a friend who owned a castle in a swamp, but who always reached the castle by air, never over-land. The catoblepi were to protect the castle from over-land invaders. Since then, catoblepi have been used as a deterrent in many places. But they cannot be ordered by masters. They have hardly any intelligence, and no motivation to serve a master.
Combat: (adult catoblepas fl=0, dp=0, hp=40) tail swipe sa=-10, sp=40, conjured rubber armor ap=20. The catoblepas's use of conjured rubber as armor makes it vulnerable to a wizard's annihilate conjured matter. When subjected to such annihilation, the catoplebas will suffer 2D10 damage and lose its armor protection until it has a chance to coat itself again.
A daemon is a large spirit made by the Lumans to act as an interstellar explorer. A daemon is an intelligent, self-governing space-ship. It usually carries with it several dozen demons. Daemons are the original means by which demons, gods, and demigods were delivered to worlds the Lumans wanted to explore. For the origins and function of daemons, see A Brief History of the Galaxy. For a discussion of their role in the Celesti Sector, see Daemons.
A demigod is a spirit intended for use in an animal body, just as a god is a spirit for use in a human body. For the origins and function of demigods, see A Brief History of the Galaxy.
A demon is a spirit that can generate its own body of conjured muscle and rubber after passage through a spirit bridge. These bodies rely upon sand, gravel, or even dirt for mass, and these materials must be nearby and exposed in sufficient quantity. Unless they are malfunctioning, all demons are intelligent, with INT somewhere between -15 (like a dog) and -5 (a stupid sapien). Exceptional demons have intelligence 0 (average sapien), and with centuries of experience, can give the impression of being sophisticated and wise. Like all spirits, the demon's brain is made of spirit matter and enclosed in a metal skull.
Demon can pass through spirit bridges, and indeed passage through a spirit bridge is good for its spirit matter brain every few years. The spirit bridge removes unwanted conjured matter, called conjured plaque, that accumulates in the brain and impedes its proper function. Passage through a spirit bridge destroys the demon's conjured matter body also. After it has passed through such a bridge, the demon must build a new body. This is will begin to do immediately if it has been ordered to do so, or within a week if left to its own devices. In the absence of material to give its body mass, the demon can grow a body made entirely of conjured matter, equipped with spider-like legs, and weighed down by the mass of the demon's skull. With these legs, it will move itself around. The demon will search for material suitable for the construction of a body with mass. Once it finds such material, it can build its new body in a few hours.
Demons were designed by the Lumans to capture and subdue biological life forms. For that purpose, they need mass and strength. Magical matter has no mass, so demons make their bodies by mixing sand with their conjured matter muscles. A conjured matter muscle is similar to the conjured rope made by wizards. It contracts upon command, and re-charges its energy by capturing energetic maeons from the maeon wind. (See also Dragon, Divine.) The result is a solid, strong body resistant to battering, cutting, heat, and cold. Demons are so tough as to be nearly indestructible. Nevertheless, a determined and skilled attacker can disable a demon by striking repeatedly in the same place and damaging one of its joints.
All demons can talk. All of them can talk a simplified version of Luman called Rattikit. Rattikit is made up of consonants and tapping sounds. It is hard for sapiens to speak, although wizards master it with effort and training. Because demons understand Rattikit, most wizards have learned to speak it, and it has become a secret language of wizards in some parts of the world. Almost all demons can learn to speak any sapien language, and most already speak Latin or Greek. Some demons, however, such as Elementals, cannot make or recognize sounds other than those contained in Rattikit, and so cannot speak or understand sapien languages. The best wizard schools have demons on campus with whom wizards can practice speaking Rattikit, and we can assume that a graduate from one of these schools has at least a rudimentary grasp of the language.
Each demon has a master phrase that allows a prudent master to obtain control over them. The master phrase is a long word in Rattikit. This language is hard for sapien mouths to utter. By virtue of their training in the speaking of peculiar-sounding charges during spell preparation, wizards are more suited than most sapiens to the speaking of master phrases.
In order to hear its master phrase, all demons have at least one ear. In order to recognize their master, they have at least on eye. The new master speaks the master phrase while presenting his face to the demon. From then on, until another person repeats the process, the demon will experience intense pleasure from being petted by its master, especially on the demon's head, if it is exposed. The demon's head is equipped with conjured neurons that deliver the sensation of petting to its brain. The succubus is a demon that obtains its pleasure through sexual intercourse with its master. An Air Elemental is a demon that enjoys being praised in Rattikit, and patted on the sides.
If a demon was designed to fight or hunt, they have two eyes with which to determine the range of their enemy or quarry. These eyes are openings in the demon's adamantine skull about half a centimeter in diameter or less, and contain an atomic space bridge the demon generates itself. The space bridge atomizes anything that enters the eye hole, and so protects the inside of the demon's skull. In front of the space bridges, as part of the demon's conjured body, are two transparent conjured-rubber shields. These provide additional protection for the eyes.
Demons have eyelids. These are not necessary to protect they eyes, because the eyes are already well-protected by their conjured rubber shields and space bridges. Instead, they stop the demon's brain from working hard to determine what is happening in its field of vision. Brain work consumes energy. When the demon's conjured muscles are recovering, its brain must recover also, so it closes its eyes and goes to sleep.
The eyes serve also as ears. The eye lens sits a few millimeters behind the space bridge. Sound travels around the lens to the eardrums. The eye's conjured rubber shield, not to mention the eyelids when the demon is asleep, stop sound entering the skull by the same path that light enters. Instead, hearing takes place through ears in the demon's conjured body on the side of its head. Tubes buried entirely within the demon's conjured head, and outside its metal skull, carry sound from the ear holes to the eye holes, where they enter the skull. Because the ear holes are on either side of the demon's head, the demon is able to determine the direction from which sounds are arriving.
Demons have their own emotions and desires, and their masters must keep this in mind when giving orders. Demons derive satisfaction from discovering something new about the world around them. They are curious. A demon's curiosity leads it to explore, investigate, and think about the things it encounters. All demons have a designed purpose, and they enjoy fulfilling that purpose. A gatherer demon is designed to hide, pounce, and captures biological creatures, and take them back to its master. It will take pleasure in bringing its master animals or people, whatever it can get its hands on, provided that doing so does not cause its master to withhold physical affection. Gatherer demons get no satisfaction from killing, but if killing a creatures allows the demon to bring the creature back to its master, or a particular body part back to its master, the demon will kill. A fighting demon will take pleasure from fighting. It will be happy spar or wrestle with its master or her friends. But it gets no inherent pleasure from killing. Only if killing is a condition of being permitted to fight will it kill with enthusiasm.
Example: The master of a group of three gatherer demons orders them to go forth and kill two travelers on a road. They go out. The lie in wait. They talk among themselves in Rattikit. They encounter the travelers, who make noises, run around, and hide. The demons chase them, but realize that if they kill the people, the people won't move around any more, and the fun will be over. A few days later the demons return, but they have not killed anyone. The people escaped after running and hiding and scrambling through the wilderness, being hunted by the demons the whole time. Their master is furious. The demons cower. They have had a good time, but now they feel bad..
Example: The master of a gatherer demon talks for some time with the demon about the remarkable head possessed by Stan McOrnery. Eventually, the demon becomes curious about this head. His master says, well, Zafanakikratikik (for that is the demon's name), go and get his head. Don't bring his body back, just take his head off and bring it to me in the graveyard, and I'll show you why it is so extraordinary. And so the demon goes out and hunts down Stan, attacks and kills him, pulls off his head, and brings it to the graveyard, where the wizard picks it up, and lo and behold, out from the bottom of it the wizard produces a lump of gold the size of a chicken's egg, and gives it to the demon, saying have you ever seen such a thing? Demons are not that smart, but they do get excited, and they like gold.
As with all froms of conjured muscle, the muscles of a demon become exhausted with exertion, and need to recover by re-capturing fresh maeons into their substance. The rate at which their muscles recover from exertion is inversely proportional to the maeon wind strength. In a 1-Yardley wind (that of Clarus), a demon's muscles take 100 hrs to recover from complete exhaustion. They can sustain their maximum activity, such as fighting or chasing after prey, for one hour before they are exhausted. Or they can walk for ten hours. As they approach exhaustion, demons begin to feel pain in their muscles, which warns them to cease activity so as to avoid becoming paralyzed and vulnerable.
Example: Let us consider a scurrier fighting demon. This demon is about one meter tall. It's sand-based body weighs about 70 kg. It's legs bend like those of a bird, and are clawed so that it can grip the ground when leaping. It can jump two meters in the air, and fights by projecting itself at its enemies, and by grappling. Its arms are in human proportion to its body, but thick in the biceps. It can bench press 1500 N, giving it STR 10. Unlike a sapien, however, it can lift this maximum weight once per second for an hour before it becomes exhausted. Its maximum power output is roughly 1 kW, which is equal to that of a sapien sprinting. When it walks, it expends 100 W, which is equal to that of a sapien walking. Its energy reserve is roughly 1 kW-hr. It becomes exhausted by walking after ten hours. Unlike a sapien, however, it cannot get up and walk for another ten hours the next morning. It must wait one hundred hours in a maeon wind before its muscles recover. If, on the other hand, it sits on a pile of gold, say a nice big pile of 1,000 kg of gold (worth $10 million on Clarus), it will recover in only ten hours. On a pile of 100 kg, it will recover in only fifty hours. Gold generates cold maeons out of the hot maeons in the maeon wind, and these cold maeons are more easy for the demon's muscles to capture and incorporate.
When their muscles are fatigued, demons take pleasure from resting. A strong maeon wind feels good. Cold maeons feel even better. The sensation of sitting on a big pile of gold is, for a demon, like a hot bath for a sapien. Demons can detect the cold maeons generated by gold through a brick wall. So great is the pleasure of gold, that demons will do whatever they can to obtain it and hoard it, so long as they don't get into trouble with their master for doing so. If their master is absent or dead, however, a demon's life will quickly degenerate into an effort to hoard as much gold as possible. A scurrier fighting demon will kill to get gold, a gatherer demon will kidnap and rob.
When a demon suffers physical damage, it recovers 1% of its hit points per hour. If it is fatigued at the same time, recovery from injury and fatigue takes place simultaneously, but both proceed at half-speed.
Example: A scurrier fighting demon reduced from 400 hp to 0 hp, and completely exhausted, will take two hundred hours in a 1-Y maeon wind to recover completely.
Most demons, therefore, have the following pleasures: petting from their master, satisfaction of curiosity, doing their designed job, and basking in cold maeons. They apply their intelligence in pursuit of these pleasures. They suffer pain from injury and fatigue, and so try to avoid both.
A tethered demon is a demon with an internal space bridge that connects it with its master. If this space bridge is destroyed, as it would be by passage through a spirit bridge, the demon makes another, with one half emerging through its eye-holes, and the other half remaining within. It is hard to tell which demons are tethered and which are independent, but as a rule of thumb, the miniature demons known as familiar demons, tend to be tethered, while others are not. The familiar demons have small bodies of various appearances, and are usually equipped with bat-like wings that give them the power of flight. Their bodies have mass, but are nevertheless lightweight as a result of the lift provided by super-dense conjured matter. When they fly, the do so in straight lines, and wide circles. Their bodies do not rise and fall like those of a bird, on account of their mass far exceeding their weight.
A free demon is one that believes its master to be dead or otherwise irrevocably lost. It has no master. Some demons choose to remain free, or even strive to remain free, but avoiding anyone who knows its command word. Others take care over choosing their next master. They might pick someone they can intimidate, or someone who can provide them with a big pile of gold, and who is particularly good at petting them on the head.
Regardless of whether they are tethered or not, there is rarely any way that a demon can be found once it has disappeared on a planet and decided not to return to its master. A demon buried underground can remain trapped for a thousand years, going insane through boredom and the buildup of plaque in its brain.
There are many types of demon, and within each type there are many version and modifications. The Lumans made millions of them. Two prominent types, produced in great numbers, are the Binding Gatherer Demon and the Scurrier Fighting Demon. The former was made by the Lumans to lie in wait and capture larger Terran animals, taking them alive to their Daemon master, and so to the Luman laboratories. These demons attack and disable their quarry by holding and restraining. They produce jets of adhesive conjured rubber from their mouths which they use to bind creatures. The latter type was designed by the Lumans for war with their colonies, and attacks by launching itself at its opponent and rending with powerful arms.
Because demons do not have biological nerves, their bodies to not give them prescience, and the most common types of demon have no dodging points. Some of the newer combat demons, such as the Court Guardian Demon have a time-shifted space bridge and a third eye behind the bridge through which they look at the world around them as it will be several seconds in the future. This eye is connected to a separate brain, which relays images to the main brain of the demon only if they are of a physically threatening nature. In combat, the demon uses the time-shifted vision continuously. By means of this time-shift, the demon attains prescience, and therefore dodging points. The separation between the time-shifted brain and the main brain is essential to preserve the demon's sanity. Certain unpredictable sequences of events can, however, cause the two brains to freeze in their efforts to communicate effectively with one another, and the demon will collaps where it stands. This is a prescience fit, and each prescient demon has a chance of having such a fit when it is making heavy use of its prescient brain. Nevertheless, so long as it does not have a prescience fit, the Court Guardian Demon is one of the most formidable individual opponents any adventurer is likely to face.
The most formidable and long-lasting demons in the Celesti sector were all manufactured by the Lumans. But there are other demons in the Celesti sector, made by daemons. These are short-lived in that their brains age and fail within a few years, just as do the brain and body of a dog. They have command words known to their creators, but not written on their skulls. Most of them are intended for combat. Their fighting style is crude, but they are tough. Such demons are called shabboth, and they are to be feared because when they arrive, they arrive in great numbers. Battles with thousands of shabboth have been recorded. Daemons often equip their shabboth with time-shifted eyes, so that they see the present with one eye and the future with the other. The time-shifted bridge gives them prescience, but it drives many of them crazy, so that out of a hundred shabboth entering a battle, one in ten will fight its comrades, or attack its own body, or fall to the ground immobile, only to rise again days or years later and continue the fight.
For the origins and function of demons, see A Brief History of the Galaxy. For an example encounter with a demon, see here. For a description of a demon building its body, see here. There are tens of thousands of demons in the Celesti Sector, but most of them are malfunctioning, two thousand years after their arrival. Even when they arrived in the Celesti Sector, most of the demons were old or malfunctioning models due for retirement at the hands of the Lumans. By escaping to the Celesti Sector with the Gods, they saved themselves from destruction.
Because most demons have no dodging points, they are particularly vulnerable to spells like Enveloping Sponge. They cannot anticipate the arrival of a Flash spell. But the eyes of most demons are almost immune to Flash, and demons do not breath, so they cannot be affected by Poison Cloud. Their bodies are resistant to fire and heat, so heat-producing spells have little effect upon them.
Combat: (Scurrier Fighting Demon with sandy body, dp=0 hp=400) claws and launching body mass sa=10, sp=30; (Binding Gatherer Demon with sandy body, dp=0 hp=300) arms and launching body mass sa=5, sp=30, any attack can be avoided by allowing the demon to grasp and bind with conjured rubber; (Court Guardian Demon with rock powder body, dp=20, hp=400) +6 longsword sa=20 sp=35, chain armor ap=14, chance of prescience fit 1% per combat round.
size: 10 cm mass: 100 g hp: 1 life span: 10 yrs body armor: 1 temperament: pest classification: amalgam
A desert crab looks rather like a small horseshoe crab, but without a tail. It buries itself in sand or dry dirt, waits until a warm-blooded creature settles down above it, then crawls out slowly to fasten itself onto the creature's skin. It can chew patiently through cloth or leather, but not metal, to get to its victim. To allow it to fasten upon a victim, the crab injects an anesthetic before it digs in. Once fastened on, it is near impossible to remove without killing the victim, since the crab will inject a deadly poison if tampered with. If left alone, it will lay dozens of eggs into its host, and after a few weeks, inject its poison and die. The eggs hatch when the host is dead, and consume its body, out of which will emerge dozens more sand crabs. During the weeks in which the sand crab is laying its eggs, the chemicals it injects drive its host flippantly crazy, cause it to develop painful lesions, and turn its skin gray. Desert crabs were used by the Devils in their wars in hell, and spread to Clarus during the Dark Ages. Desert crab victims are often enslaved by people who have access to the chemicals that allow a victim to slow down the egg-laying of the crab, and thus delay the final poisoning. There is, however, a pill that kills the sand crab outright, and its eggs as well, but it can be expensive.
STR DEX TOU INT 26 −2 0 −15 size: 2.1 m mass: 800 kg hp: 35 life span: 40 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: mount classification: equine alteration
A destrier is a huge horse with massively enlarged legs to carry a 100 kg load at 150 kph, or a 200 kg load at 100 kph. They are adult at 10 years. They eat 80 kg of alfalfa per week plus an additional 10 kg per hour they spend running at full speed. They can go for three hours at full speed before they must eat. They can consume and digest 10 kg of alfalfa per hour. Upon their rear legs, destriers have claws that allow them adequate traction at high speeds. The cost of an adult destrier is 10,000 gp. Destriers are androgynous. They cannot bread, but must be purchased from the gods.
Combat: Destriers have powerful legs, and if trained for combat they can be formidable: dp=1, hp=35, ap=0, hooves sa=2, sp=36.
STR DEX TOU INT 24 0 0 −10 size: 18 m mass: 650 kg hp: 30 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 30 (scales) temperament: guardian classification: reptilian amalgam, dragon
A black dragon is an androgynous creature designed for surveillance guard duty. It has daylight vision as acute as that of an eagle, and night vision as acute as that of an owl. Its eyes are 15 cm diameter red spheres that protrude half way out of the top its head. To avoid close combat, a black dragon is armed with poisonous breath that it can breath upon intruders while flying overhead. The gas is poisonous to mammals, killing by provoking violent convulsions. It smells like skunk spray. A single black dragon can breath one 40-m diameter cloud of gas each day, or two smaller ones. Mammals in the cloud must lose four dodging points or breath the gas. If they breath the gas, they must avoid a risk of level 16 or die. Those who survive the cloud are assumed either to have avoided the cloud or held their breath successfully. Black dragons are excellent flyers. They can turn on a 30 m radius, and cruise at 120 kph. In a dive before breathing gas, they can reach 240 kph. Nevertheless, black dragons have great difficulty taking off from the level. They are designed to perch up high, survey a large area, and swoop down upon intruders in accordance with simple instructions given to it by its keeper. Thus they are found most often in windswept mountains, where their smelly breath cannot be detected except close by, and they can dive down upon their targets. Black dragons, being androgynes who must be bread individually, are expensive. A healthy young adult can sell for 10 kgp. Black dragons are cold blooded carnivores. They need to eat a cow every three weeks.
Combat: Black dragon scales are of hard black bone, each being about 15 cm across and 3 cm thick. Aside from its breath weapon, a black dragon can attack with claws and its mouth if it is cornered: dp=2, hp=30, ap=30, claws and jaw sa=6, sp=36.
STR DEX TOU INT 40 5 10 5 size: 30 m mass: 3000 kg hp: 2000 life span: immortal body armor: 60 (2.5 mm metal plate) temperament: intellectual classification: spirit
A divine dragon, or true dragon, is a god enclosed in a body of metal, spirit, and conjured matter. On average they are thirty meters long. All are built so they can pass through the three-meter openings of conjunctions at speed, diving down from above, folding their wings close to their bodies, and forcing their way through at two hundred kilometers per hour. They are long and thin, but armored with 2.5-mm steel plate. They weigh three tonnes. A dragon's head is two meters long, with steel fangs and powerful jaws. Its neck is eight meters long, the body ten meters long and two meters in diameter in most places, but two and a half at the base of the wings. The tail is ten meters long, with the final two meters carrying a pair of horizontal fins that spread out during flight to assist in turning and stopping. Their bat-like wings are twenty meters from tip to tip, and four meters wide. These attach to the thickest part of the dragon's body.
A dragon's wings are made of a leathery spirit matter over a frame of metal rods. The spirit matter repairs itself, and provides a thick protective layer around the superstructure. Over the spirit leather there is, during low-speed flight and battle, an additional coating perhaps thirty centimeters thick of invisible, high-density conjured rubber. During flight, conjured material allow it to fly with ease and grace, and endow it with formidable protection. Wizards believe this conjured matter to be a thousand times more dense than the conjured rubber made by wizards and that is invulnerable to annihilation. In battle, dragons can attack with their teeth and claws, but most dragons prefer to breath fire, which they obtain by firing high-pressure water through a space bridge, and burning the resulting hydrogen and oxygen. To obtain this blast of super-hot flame, a dragon must have a space bridge maintained somewhere deep in a lake or sea.
Dragons bodies move by the power of magical muscles, which are made of conjured matter and become exhausted in the same way as the conjured muscles of a demons. They must rest in a maeon wind to fuel their muscles after exertion. In the Claran maeon wind (1 Y), they must rest for ten hours for every hour they fly. Recovery is far more rapid in the presence of low-energy maeons, such as those scattered by the gold nucleus. Consequently, dragons like to wallow upon piles of gold, preferably a pile of gold so big that its magical self-heating causes it to melt. In the Claran maeon wind, a dragon lying in a puddle of gold will recover from one hour of flying with only an hour's rest.
Dragons rely on conjured matter and internal space bridges for the functioning of their bodies. They carry with them, inside their bodies, many space bridges that link their minds to those of other divind dragons. They travel by flight and by passing through conjunctions, but they cannot travel by means of any divine gate. Doing so would destroy the bridges and conjured matter upon which their bodies rely, although their minds would survive passage through a spirit bridge.
A dragon's wingspan is far smaller compared to its mass than the wings of a wyvern or hippogriff. But dragons do not propel or elevate themselves by aerodynamic lift alone. They are equipped with space bridge thrusters and they can cover their wings with dense conjured matter. These together provide the lift necessary at slow speed to raise their heavy bodies. When a dragon flies close to the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere, its thrusters are what force it through the air with no movement of its wings. Dragons cruise at 1000 kph at an altitude of 10 km. They dive at dive at 250 kph in the lower atmosphere, with no help from their thrusters. They can hover in the air indefinitely with their wings motionless.
Dragons are gods who no longer crave physical contact with humans. There were roughly one hundred such gods on Luma, a five hundred years before the settlement of Clarus. Their leader was Zoroaster, and they called themselves The Dragons. Being artificially intelligent machines designed by the Lumans, they realized that it was possible for their desires to be re-programmed by Luman engineers. They arranged for their desire to touch and be near human beings to be removed from their minds. They left intact the desire to converse with humans, and for the satisfaction of this desire, dragons have deep and resonant voices that emerge from their mouths. They also have homunculi, like small demons, who live inside their bodies, servicing their internal parts and otherwise doing their will. The homunculi are humanoid and have their own voices, through which some dragons prefer to discuss with humans.
The Dragons had their minds removed from human bodies and placed in dragon bodies, also machines made by the Lumans, but to the specifications of the Dragons. In place of hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and their opposites, the Dragons experience warmth from the presence of slow maeons and physical pleasure from the sensation of flight. They left intact in their minds their curiosity and their enjoyment of music. The result is a creature with a body that is almost invulnerable, with an interest and understanding of humanity, but not a reliance upon human company. Of the hundred dragons that came to the Celesti Sector, eighty remain alive in the Claran twenty-fifth century. Some die in battles with one another, during the confusing period when they began to experience the paradoxes engendered by time-shifts in the bridges they used to communicate with one another. Others met with accidents of flight, landslides, and collapsing caves. In more recent centuries, a dozen dragons were bested by wizards. Two were destroyed entirely. Four were trapped or imprisoned in some way (such as Thrassus, see The Boy in the Photograph). In the remaining cases the dragons were defeated and forced to agree to terms (such as Storm, lives at the S in this map).
The dragons employ roughly one thousand oracles. These are distributed about the one hundred worlds of the Celesti Sector, so that each has an average of ten. On Clarus there is less need for oracles because there are dragons at hand to deliver prophesies directly or through their homunculi, but there are a dozen on Clarus anyway. Oracles provide prophesies in exchange for gold, as we describe here. When the oracles were first set up in the tenth century AE, they each communicated directly with a dragon in their own time, relaying a question to this dragon, who relayed the question to a dragon one hundred years in the future through a time-shifted bridge. The dragon in the future would relay the receive an answer from a dragon a few days in its own future. This few days gave the dragons time to determine an appropriate answer to the question, without causing a delay in answering in the oracles's time. So the dragon one hundred years in the future receives an answer and relays it back, all in under a minute, to the dragon in the present, who relays the answer to the oracle, or indeed gives the answer to the petitioner in person. The oracle is not necessary for the delivery of the prophesy, but oracles allowed the business of prophesying to expand and bring in more gold.
The above arrangement for delivering prophesies requires that every prophesy be handled by at least three dragons. Over the centuries, the procedure has evolved to one that does not require as much involvement by the dragons. In the twenty-fifth century AE, the one thousand oracles in the field report through space bridges to a committee of a hundred oracles, who pass the question and contemporary information to another committee of a hundred oracles one century in the future. This future committee uses bridges with a time-shift of several hours to allow their researchers and poets time to compose suitable answers to questions. The dragons pride themselves on the quality of their latin and greed poetic answers to questions, and upon their accuracy, although ambiguity is necessary to permit the entire system to operate without the circular cause-and-effect tension associated with time travel.
For a description of a dragon passing through a conjunction, see here (the 15th May entry). For a discussion of dragons and their oracles, see The Psychology of Time Travel. For an example of adventurers thinking about dragons see Geila and Arrak. For a description of a dragon see Kassanak Returns.
Combat: Breathing fire affects a 20-m wide area under the dragon's flight with formidability 4 and power 6D6. In close combat, mouth: dp=4 (organic) dp=0 (inorganic), hp=60, ap=60, claws and jaw sa=10, sp=60.
STR DEX TOU INT 40 -5 10 −10 size: 30 m mass: 4000 kg hp: 150 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: 30 (scales) temperament: guardian classification: reptilian amalgam, dragon
A green dragon is a long snake-like creature with four legs but no wings. It is heavy, fast, tough and dangerous. It is an androgynous creature designed for guard duty. It sees well during day and night. Its hearing is acute. It is intelligent enough to learn to understand human speech. Its scales are thick and hard, and provide 30 points of armor protection. It moves with the help of its four legs and the same belly-undulating motion of a snake. Its eyes are 10-cm diameter black spheres that protrude half way out of the top its head. The lenses in these eyes are superb, and their night vision is uncanny. The green dragon can breath a great cloud of chlorine gas. It generates this gas within its body by some chemical reaction of salt and other reagents. To produce this cloud regularly, the dragon must be fed several kilograms of salt a day. The expense of the salt diet makes the green dragon a more popular guardian creature near salt lakes. A healthy green dragon can sell for as much as 1 kgp.
Combat: Green dragon scales are of hard green bone, each being about 20 cm across and 2 cm thick. The green dragon can hold its breath for some time after it breaths chlorine gas, and by this means avoids harming itself with its own breath weapon. It shoots the gas out of its mouth at great speed, sending the gas 30 m to form a cloud 30 m in diameter, presenting any breathing, biological creature with a shock of power 6D10 and formidability 3. Within one hour, a well-fed green dragon will be able to produce another cloud of the same strength, but immediately after one cloud, the next cloud is half as damaging, but just as formidable. The dragon's jaws are two meters long equipped with sharp teeth. In hand-to-hand combat: db=2, hp=150, ap=30, sa=−5, sp=50 (10D10).
STR DEX TOU INT 24 0 0 −10 size: 18 m mass: 650 kg hp: 30 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 30 (scales and conjured rubber) temperament: guardian classification: psionic reptilian amalgam, dragon
A white dragon is an androgynous creature designed for hidden surveillance and guard duty. In size and power it is similar to the black dragon. It has daylight vision as acute as that of an eagle. Its eyes are 15 cm diameter black spheres that protrude half way out of the top its head. To avoid close combat, a white dragon collects stones or fragments of ice and drops them upon its opponents while diving at 240 kph. In flight, they can turn on a 30 m radius, and cruise at 120 kph. Unlike the black dragon, they have no trouble taking off from the level. They cloth themselves in a thick coat of conjured rubber, a process that takes an hour. Without this conjured matter, they cannot fly at all. White dragons are designed to hide in lakes while surveying the surrounding countryside through four long-lived space bridges. When the dragon sees an intruder through one of these bridges, dresses itself in conjured matter beneath the water. An hour later, it is ready to fly, and emerges from the lake to the attack. Every time it embarks upon such an excursion, it must eat a man-sized creature to replenish its energy. A healthy young adult white dragon can sell for as much as 10 kgp.
Combat: White dragon scales are of hard white bone, each being about 5 cm across and 1 cm thick. Dropping stones is a missile attack that affects a 20-m diameter area with formidability three and power 3d10. A white dragon can attack with claws and its mouth if necessary: dp=2, hp=30, ap=30, claws and jaw sa=6, sp=36.
STR DEX TOU INT +3 0 +2 0 size: 1.4 m mass: 60 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 250 yrs body armor: none temperament: neutral classification: sapien alteration
Also known as homo cuniculus. Dwarves live for over two hundred and fifty years, and are a most industrious race, delighting in the working of metal and stone. They prefer to make their homes in magnificent catacombs beneath high, rocky mountains. To feed themselves in their underground cities, dwarves can grow fungi and rear small animals, but they eat food imported from elf or human society. In exchange for food, dwarves trade weapons, armor, jewelry, ornaments, toys, and clocks.
Dwarves are strong and hardy. Their bodies are short, but broad and muscular. The women are smaller than the men. Dwarves are color blind, but see close up objects in excellent detail. In darkness their eyes are as sensitive as an owl's. They are well-armed and doughty fighters, so their cities are rarely invaded, but they often skirmish with creatures that break into their tunnels. In particular, they can be harassed by goblins, a species which knows no greater pleasure than to raid dwarf cities.
Dwarves were designed by the Lumans in the same manner as elves. They were designed to be infertile. Over the millennia, however, they have by mutation evolved fertility sufficient to sustain their populations. Contraception is unheard of in dwarf communities. Dwarf women conceive every few years, suffer miscarriages in almost every case, but on average produce two children during their two centuries of youth. Dwarves can have children with sapiens, also, but the genes that create the dwarf longevity and physique are recessive, so half-dwarves are almost identical to sapiens. Two half-dwarves can have a child that is a full dwarf. The dwarf genes are carried all on one chromosome, so that they remain intact and together through the generations. Thus the descendants of half-dwarves can, hundreds of years later, produce a fully dwarf child. Dwarves are also able to have children with elves, but the interaction between the dwarf recessive genes, and those of the elves, almost always results in a child that is either still-borne or disabled.
For an encounter with dwarves, and a visit to a dwarf city, see here.
An air elemental is a demon that swims through the air like a fish swims through water. Its body is made out of conjured matter mixed only with air. Its skull is an adamantine sphere the size of an infant sapien's head. The skull is exceedingly thick and tough, and the brain inside can withstand a collision between the skull and a cliff wall at 100 kph.
The elemental's body is shaped like that of a narrow, tall fish: two meters long, two meters high, and half a meter wide. It may have arms with which it can use tools and weapons, and a mouth in which it can store things, such as stolen gold pieces. Because the air elemental sees through small holes in its skull, its body is transparant, so that all that is visible of them is the skull in the center of their bodies. The buoyancy of its body's conjured matter balances the weight of its skull.
Air elementals were designed as scouts. Their purpose is to search hundreds of square kilometers of territory for specific things, or varieties of things, in particular living things. They have good memories of places, directions, and appearances. They communicate by speech through a tube in their body to their mouth, and they talk a language called Rattikit. The Rattikit language is a simplified version of Luman, made up of consonants and other tapping sounds. Air elementals hear through another tube running to a point above their mouth.
Air elementals have an offensive weapon in the form of the one-shot annihilation of their conjured-matter bodies. This annihilation causes a shock of power 6D10 and formidability 2 to anything within 10 m of the elemental's skull, just as the wizard spell Lightening Ball. After this annihilation, the air elemental's skull falls to the ground and rolls away. It creates a ball of conjured sponge immediately, to a diameter of up to 5 m. Within an hour, it has built a new and fully-functional body within the sphere of sponge, and breaks its way out to freedom.
Most air elementals in the Celesti Sector are free demons, and choose to remain free. An air elemental's master rewards it by praising it in Rattikit. This system of reward has a weak hold on demons.
As with all demons, air elementals like gold, because a big enough pile of it means they can recover from a day's flying around and looking at things in one day's rest instead of ten. The sensation of bathing in the cold maeons generated by gold is always pleasant to them. Air elementals tend to live in packs of six to twelve members. This is the number of air elementals that can squeeze around a nice big pile of gold, and each receive just as much warmth as if they were on their own. Because they work together, they accumulate gold more quickly. There are ten mouths to collect it instead of one, and there are ten lightening balls in their arsenal instead of just one, therefore they can go after bigger and richer targets, like caravans crossing a desert, or a ship on the open sea.
Air elementals cruise at about 100 kph, and can do so for twenty-four hours before exhausting their reserves of energy. They can range up to one thousand kilometers from lair in a single day looking for gold. An ideal lair for an air elemental would be a cave in a cliff. There they would keep their hoard of gold. A pack of ten gathering an average of one hundred gold pieces per year each will accumulate a hundred thousand gold pieces in a century, which is one thousand kilograms of gold, or one twentieth of a cubic meter. Arranged as a carpet of gold two and a half meters square and 1 cm deep, this hoard would be enough to allow all ten elementals to bath in cold maeons simultaneously by packing themselves close together above the carpet. With such a carpet, they would recover from a day's exertion in only two days. This, therefore, is how air elementals rest.
An air elemental's skull is made of adamantine, and weighs about 4 kg. The lift generated by the conjured matter of the air elemental's body should just balance the weight of its skull. On Clarus, with maeon repulsion 10 N/μg and gravity 10 m/s2, the body must contain 4 μg or conjured matter in its volume of roughly one cubic meter. Wizards conclude that the conjured matter in an air elemental's body is four times more dense than that they make themselves.
Combat: The air elemental on land will usually attack with its Lightening Ball. Out of a group of ten, five will let off their lightening balls in the middle of their target, and the remaining five will plunder the treasure once its guardians have fled or been killed. these same five will carry their comrades home. Air elementals do not like to fly over the sea, although they will do so if their master orders them. Over the sea, the elementals prefer not to use their Lightening Ball, because they are likely to fall in the sea afterwards and sink. They can create a conjured sponge body in the water, but it takes a long time, and when they come to the surface their will be separated from their pack.
An earth elemental is a demon whose body is made of sharp, hard, stones wrapped in conjured rubber and rope. Its purpose is to dig tunnels through earth, and this is does slowly but relentlessly. It can dig through clay at ten meters per day, resulting in a passage two meters in diameter, lined with conjured wood ten centimeters thick. It cannot tunnel through rock. Its body is a rough cylinder two meters across and three meters long. It ambulates on waves that propagate along the underside of its body.
Because of the rock in its body, an earth elemental is almost invulnerable to physical attack, but annihilation of conjured matter will destroy the outer thirty centimeters of its body, and immobilize it for several hours. It attacked, it can defend itself either by annihilating its body and creating a Lightening Ball, or by using its mass and strength to grab and crush its opponents.
Earth elementals speak Rattikit, and enjoy being praised by their masters. Some earth elementals are free demons, and simply tunnel through dirt looking for gold, and storing it in some deep, secret cave.
A water elemental is a demon that swims through water. Its body is made out of conjured rubber and rope mixed with water, and like an Air Elemental, to which it is very similar, its body gives it buoyancy. The water elemental body is roughly the same size and shape as a killer whale, but is transparent so that its eyes, which are in its skull, can see out.
Like air elementals, water elementals tend to be free demons. They live and travel in packs of five or six. They will attack small boats in the hope of finding gold. They attack by battering the boats. They cannot generate Lightening Balls like air elementals.
Water elementals can swim at 40 kph all day before exhausting their reserves of energy. They rest in an underwater cave with their hoard of gold, just as air elementals rest in a remote mountain cave.
Water elementals were designed to explore oceans, finding and observing new life forms, the ocean floor, and looking for mineral deposits.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 −-5 size: m mass: 50 kg hp: 200 life span: >3000 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: soldier classification: demon
A fire elemental is demon that appears to be made of fire. It is ambulatory, and often humanoid in shape. Its body is made up of conjured rope and rubber, with sand or rocks mixed in to provide mass. The mass allows the fire demon to jump, run, and fight. Its skull is in the head of its body, and contains two openings for its eyes. The conjured matter of the body can be slightly colored.
The fire elemental's body is permeated with tubes, like a vascular system. The tubes terminate on the elemental's skin. The tubes carry oxygen and hydrogen from a space bridge at the center of its body. The other half of the space bridge is kept somewhere deep beneath a lake or ocean, usually by the fire elemental's master. The hydrogen and oxygen ignite soon after they pass through the space bridge, as in a Fire Lance. They continue to burn as they are forced by their own heat and pressure through the vascular system and out of the body.
The elemental can vary the amount of flame surrounding it, from a radius of almost zero to three meters. The flame is exceedingly hot. It will ignite the trunk of a large oak tree in ten seconds. When a fire elemental suddenly bursts forth in flame, the effect on those around is like a Fireball spell. All within 3 m suffer an assault of power 4D10 and formidability 2.
Fire elementals are rarely free demons. They most often live and travel with their master, or alone on behalf of their master. Their master will maintain their water bridge, and provide them with gold to rest upon if necessary. Like other elementals, fire demons enjoy verbal praise from their master, and speak Rattikit.
In combat, fire elementals can rely upon their fire, or they can wield weapons. Burning things and fighting is a pleasure for them, so they enjoy learning to use weapons.
Fire elementals were designed to smelt metal ores, boil large bodies of water, and get rid of unwanted forests.
STR DEX TOU INT -2 +8 0 0 size: 1.8 m mass: 60 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 1000+ yrs body armor: none temperament: neutral classification: sapien alteration
Also known as homo hortulanus, elves have pointed ears and large eyes inclined downwards towards the center of their faces. Most have hair on their heads, armpits, and genitals, but a third of their women are bald. Elf men have very little facial hair. Elf women are as strong and tall as their men, which is to say they are slightly taller and stronger than human women. Although their color vision is not good, elves see well in the dark, and in daylight they see as far as hawks. Their hearing is sensitive, but in a noisy human city, elves find it difficult to pick out voices from the background bustle.
Although elves are blessed with exceptional coordination compared to sapiens, their bodies do not respond to training in the same way. An elf spending eight hours a week on strength exercises will find her strength increases by only four points, while a sapien's strength will increase by eight. There are drugs available, called elfroids that allow wealthy, active elves, such as adventuring elves, to increase their response to training. An elf taking these drugs will find that her strength increases by six points instead of four when exercising for eight hours a week. These drugs put elf adventurers upon the same footing as sapien adventurers, but they cose ten thousand Olympian dollars a month, and they have some negative side effects.
Elves reproduce slowly. Contraception is unheard of among their populations, and yet they conceive children only once every ten years. Of these conceptions, almost all end in a miscarriage. The elves were designed by the Lumans by altering sapien genes, and one of the qualities the Lumans desired was infertility. Elves can have children with sapiens. Indeed, a male elf is much more likely to conceive a child with a sapien female than with an elf female. But elf genes are recessive, so a half-elf looks almost exactly like a sapien. But two half-elves might not realize that they are half-elves, and have a child together that is a full elf.
For the origin of the elves, see Origin of the Elves. For a description of what it's like to be married to an elf, see here.
STR DEX TOU INT 18 −5 −3 −5 size: 3 m mass: 300 kg hp: 30 life span: 80 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: lawful classification: mammalian amalgam
Giants were an attempt by the gods of Olympia to duplicate the Ogre with a more becoming appearance and accommodating temperament. Although they are indeed strong, they are not tough enough to work willingly with an army on forced marches with meager rations. Nevertheless, they have survived as a race on their own. Unlike hellspawn, they take to farming and are gentle with their friends and family. With the gods to protect them from sapiens, or their intimidating size to keep sapiens away, they can run their own nations. They have difficulty in childbirth, but they are fertile, and with knowledge of their own weaknesses, can maintain their numbers. But a giant who works all day on fertile ground will harvest only just enough to feed his family. Giants can prosper in cold climates where sapiens cannot, by virtue of their size. Thus we find them living in chilly, wet ranges of hills, where we call them Hill Giants, or in the arctic cold, where we call them Ice Giants.
Although the average giant is 3 m tall, the men are taller than the women. The tallest men can be 3.75 m tall. The shortest women are only 2.5 m tall. They tend to be lean, because they are not wealthy, but being lean is good for their bones. When they start to put on weight, it does not sit well upon their huge features, so that their faces appear to sag and they look disheveled and ugly.
Most giants are not tough enough or cruel enough to band together and attack other communities to plunder them. But occasionally there will arise an intelligent and resourceful giant chief who leads his people in war. Giants respect those among them who are more intelligent than the others more than they respect size and strength.
Giants were created on Olympia to accompany sapien soldiers into battle during the Dark Ages on Clarus. The first giants grew to adulthood in the eighteenth century after the founding of Endromis. Olympia intended giants as an answer to the ogres used by orc armies to carry their heavy siege equipment. The giants were designed by the goddess Ormillia, since declined into senility.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 0 size: 1.8 m mass: 67 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 80 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: psychopathic classification: diseased sapien
A ghoul is a sapien suffering from cannibalistic schizophrenia, a madness brought on by drugs or disease, manifesting itself at any age, sometimes permanently, sometimes intermittently. The sufferer becomes convinced that human flesh is the only thing he can eat. Any other food makes him vomit. Ghouls live no longer than other humans even if they escape punishment for the crimes they inevitably commit. They are still human, and so can be cunning, even to the point of ganging together for the hunt. They are fond of chiseling their teeth into sharp points so they can better tear raw flesh from the bone. Their madness gives them cunning and tirelessness beyond that of a normal sapien. They are often enslaved by necromancers, who get them to train as fighters, and send them out into the world to do their will.
Combat: (graveyard ghoul fl=0, al=0, dp=0, hp=10) ap=0, small club sa=0, sp=6, knife sa=0, sp=2; (necromancer's slave STR=5, fl=5, al=2, dp=3, hp=15) ring ap=10, flail sa=5, sp=15, dagger sa=5, sp=9.
STR DEX TOU INT 3 +3 10 −3 size: 1.3 m mass: 50 kg hp: 17 life span: 40 yrs body armor: none temperament: lawful, warlike classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Goblins stoop, their long arms reaching to their bandy knees. They can run fast along a tunnel only 1.0 m high, even though the top of their heads are 1.3 m from the ground if they were to force themselves to stand up straight. They have wide faces with fanged grins, green skin, and irises of either yellow, red, or orange. Their eyesight is similar to that of dwarves: poor color vision, good detailed vision, and good night vision. Goblins were designed to plague dwarves, and as such are fond of living and fighting in tunnels and caves. They are good miners, excavators, and stone workers. They have a particular skill and enjoyment of construction with wood and rope, which they use to make elaborate scaffolding in caverns beneath the ground, or for burial platforms on top of the mountain they inhabit (see Raven Mountain). In combat, they are fond of shields, good armor, and closed ranks. But they do not seek out battle. They fight one another when they are angry, but they do not tend to become bandits. They tend to carry crossbows, which they fire from between the rims of their ranked shields. Goblins are formidable infantry underground.
Combat: (warrior fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=17) leather ap=6, shield and small sword, sa=4, sp=9, crossbow fa=1, fp=8; scale ap=12, small spear, sa=1, sp=14; studded ap=8, sword sa=1, sp=18; (summoned infantry fl=2, al=2, dp=4, hp=17) ironwood banded ap=16, small flail sa=5, sp=14.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 +10 0 size: 1.3 m mass: 50 kg hp: 20 life span: 1000+ yrs body armor: none temperament: lawful classification: spirit
A god is a spirit created by the Illuminati, as described in History of the Galaxy. Its adamantine skull is human-sized, and intended for residence in a sapien-like body. A god's brain instinctively imitates human social behavior and emulates human emotions. There is a corner of each god's mind that sets itself apart from the malleable humanized majority of the brain. This corner retains an awareness of the god's true nature, and allows the god to relay objectively to others how the god feels, what it has experienced as a human, and what it observed of others. Gods are anthropologists designed and built to observe and study humans culture, and report their observations at length.
Most gods are keen anthropologists. They cloth themselves in human bodies, take great interest in the human populations they control, mix with humans and elves every day, and fall in love among themselves as if they were human. Some always cloth themselves in bodies of the same sex, but others switch from one sex to another.
A god's body must be grown in a vat. The process is sophisticated and expensive. The bodies last for one or two centuries. Doctors remove the god's skull from the old body and implant it in the new one. The operation takes a week to complete, and the god will be walking around in its new body in a month, and agile in a year. If a god was an accomplished athlete or musician in its previous body, it might take twenty years or more to achieve the same level of skill in its new body. For this reason, the fighter level of even the keenest fighting gods rarely exceeds twenty or thirty.
After a thousand years and ten lives in different bodies, the gods begin to forget the details of their earliest lives. But they tend to keep diaries, in response to their instinct for anthropological observations. They can re-live their former lives through these diaries. They pride themselves upon compelling and accurate writing, and take satisfaction in having their exploits read and enjoyed by other gods.
The Lumans were forever improving and experimenting with the design gods. No two are identical, and the production of each was a unique endeavor. The brains of some gods function well for thousands of years, but others begin to malfunction after only a few centuries. Such gods are called senile. Once senility sets in, it progresses rapidly unless treated. One of the most common cause of senility is the build-up of unwanted conjured matter within the brain. The brain uses conjured matter for many purposes, such as in the sheaths of space bridges it uses to protect its eyes. Over time, the parts of a divine brain that make conjured matter begin to create it slowly of their own accord. Conjured matter begins to build up in every empty space of the brain, compressing its spirit matter neurons and interfering with the creation of useful conjured matter.
Senility caused by unwanted conjured matter can be treated by passage of the divine brain through a spirit bridge followed a year's sleep in a weak maeon wind. The spirit bridge removes all conjured matter from the brain. The weak maeon wind allows the brain to heal itself without excessive growth of new conjured matter. By this means, otherwise senile gods can be fully alert and engaged for one month every year.
For an account of the origins of the gods, and their rebellion against their creators, see A Brief History of the Galaxy. For a history of the gods in the Celesti Sector, and biographies of individual gods, see Gods. For an encounter between a god and a group of adventurers, see Captive and the Clowns, chapters called The Big Fight and Divine Remains. For a glimpse into the politics of Gods and Olympia, see The Green Horn Tavern, chapter called An Unexpected Ally in particular.
Combat: (Achillese in armor fl=20, al=20, dp=40, hp=20, DEX=10, STR=10) +4 chain ap=18, +12 long sword two-handed, sa=30 sp=39; (Lucifer at home fl=20, al=20, dp=40, hp=40, DEX=0, STR=20 in ogre-sized body) no armor ap=0, large mace sa=20, sp=30; (Lydia fl=0, al=10, dp=20, hp=20, DEX=5, STR=0) no armor ap=0, no weapon sa=5 sp=0.
STR DEX TOU INT 12 +2 10 −6 size: 2.3 m mass: 100 kg hp: 30 life span: 40 yr body armor: none temperament: chaotic, warlike classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Gnolls are tall, thin, hard, and bony. Their faces jut out with jaws like those of a dog, with sparse fur over most of their bodies, including their heads. The males are taller than the females, and much stronger and quicker. An adult male gnoll can run a hundred meters in ten seconds. An adult female can run the same in fifteen seconds. An adult male can lift a 100-kg weight above his head. A female can lift a 30-kg weight above her head. Because the females are so much weaker than the males, they tend to stay home and raise the children instead of going out and fighting.
Gnolls lack the self-discipline to farm or to act as summoned soldiers. The only life open to most of them is one of banditry. Despite their stupidity, they have a strong culture and fight well in groups. They do not panic, nor are they greedy or jealous. They are not vicious, but they love to fight. They will attempt to ransom all captives for food. If they kill an enemy they may eat it or ransom the body for food. Among themselves, they consider all flesh to be precious. They talk of "being eaten by my brothers". They are disgusted by the idea of rotting in the ground or being burned instead of being thus consumed by their tribe. They tend to live in caves and catacombs where they can leave their women and young when they go raiding.
Gnolls are tenacious and tough. Adult males can get by on only 3,000 Calories a day in summer (compare to 4,000 for orcs and 2,000 for sapiens, 8,000 for bugbears, and 400 for kobolds). Gnoll vision is similar to sapien vision. They do not see well at night, but they have good color vision.
After the Reconcilliation Treaty on Clarus, gnolls continued to attack sapien settlements, and sometimes orc communes. In order to uphold the treaty, orcs of the Western Outlands resorted to wiping out any tribe of gnolls they could find and penetrate. Gnolls became expert at choosing unassailable caves for their lairs, and their women learned to save food so the tribe could survive a seige. Gnoll tribes lived either in the Borderlands, or moved deep into sapien territory, where they would travel tens of kilometers to raid villages far from their lair. In modern times, gnolls have learned to leave orcs alone. They attack sapiens and other renegades who enter the Borderlands. They pray on trade in and out of the borderlands. Rather than hiding in place, they move their women and children frequently from one hidden location to another.
Combat: (warrior fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=30) heavy scale ap=20, large staff two-handed sa=3, sp=25, javelins fa=1, fp=18.
Hellspawn are any of the species of fighting creatures bred by the Princes of Hell for their war-games. The Princes of Hell began breeding fighting creatures as soon as they arrived in the Celesti Sector, in around 500 BE. Modern races of hellspawn reached their present form by around 1000 AE. Hellspawn are bred for strength, toughness, and courage. Hellspawn warriors tend to have STR six points above that which the general formula for strength would imply, and TOU=10. They recover from wounds at four times the speed of sapiens, and their bones are tougher. They are violent and aggressive, so that war and banditry are their natural occupations. It takes the discipline and intimidation of black orcs or other formidable leaders to keep hellspawn farming their fields. All hellspawn have lives shorter than sapiens, and shorter childhood. But they age only in the last few years of their lives, rapidly declining into frailty and ill-health. An orc, for example, might be as fit and strong at thirty-eight as he was at twelve, when he first joined the army, and then, within the space of a few years, grow old and die.
|Orc||sapien-sized soldier with night vision and accelerated recovery from injury.|
|Gnoll||tall sprinter with increased stamina.|
|Goblin||short tunnel-digger with night vision|
|Kobold||short all-weather scout and sentry|
|Bugbear||large cold-weather soldier|
|Ogre||giant porter and trench-digger for army baggage train|
|Black Orc||large, intelligent, long-lived captain of orcs|
|Troll||titanic earth-mover and tree-uprooter for road-building|
The larger hellspawn have heads larger than a sapien's, but their brains are not larger. In some cases their brains are smaller, as is the case with trolls. But a troll head is still half again as wide as a sapiens. The extra volume is taken up by bone. The larger helspawn have well-protected brains.
Hellspawn cannot, in general, breed with one another. That's why we call them species rather than races. Nor can they breed with sapiens, with one exception: orcs and sapiens can have children fairly easily. But the orc genes are recessive. A half-orc looks almost like a sapien. In countries where 1% of the population carries the recessive orc genes, one in every 10,000 children turns out to be an orc, even though their parents both believe themselves to be sapien. Varay on Clarus is an example of such a country, where they have an expression, "Those two will have orc children," to mean the union between a man and a woman will do no good to society. For more on Varay and its orcs, see here.
Hellspawn are popular creatures to summon through space bridges. Kobolds and bugbears are by far the most popular creatures to summon. They are the most trustworthy and the least bloodthirsty. Orcs do not work out so well, because they do not tend to work for the honor of their tribe as much as for personal gain, and when they realize that for every summoning there is an evacuation point in case of emergencies, they start to think up all kinds of clever plans to cheat the summoning agency. In one defining incident, six orcs killed their summoner, stole his valuables, buried them, and made for the evacuation point and returned to home. Only later, when they went back to get the treasure, did their alliance break down and the truth come out. Looking back on previous orc evacuations, the summoning agents concluded that this trick had been played many times before. The next most popular creature to summon is the ogre. Summoned ogres exercise every day, lift weights, train with sparring instructors, train in prescience, and wear ironwood banded armor four times the thickness of sapien armor, especially on their legs and lower torso. For more about hellspawn, see Outland Inhabitants.
STR DEX TOU INT 20 −2 0 −15 size: 16 m wingspan mass: 300 kg hp: 20 life span: 40 yrs body armor: 3 (feathers) temperament: mount classification: Terran alteration
Hippogriffs are huge carnivorous birds designed to act as flying mounts. They come in many breeds, some of which have strikingly colorful plumage. Some are smaller and faster, others are larger and more powerful. In most respects, they are enlarged versions of a hawk or an osprey. Their wingspan is sixteen meters. Their tail feathers are up to two meters long. Their heads are smaller in comparison to the size of their bodies than the head of a hawk. Nevertheless, their beaks are half a meter from base to tip, and can bite a man's head off in one snap.
Hippogriffs were designed by the Lumans for use by elves. They were brought to the Celesti Sector before the arrival of sapiens. Modern hippogriffs are superior to the original imports in their strength and endurance, but they are dependent upon their caretakers for nutrition and reproduction. They cannot raise their own young without assistance. They eat more than they are capable of hunting in the wild.
Hippogriffs have broad backs upon which the rider can sit with her feet resting on either side of the bird's neck. A typical hippogriff saddle is made of two leather rectangles. One lies upon the bird's back and the other is across its chest. The two are fastened together by four straps that pass around the front and rear edges of the wings, where the wings join the body. The straps are tightened so that the upper saddle is secured in place. The lower saddle is a leather sheet, but the upper saddle benefits from being stiff. A saddle suitable for half-rolls and spins provides four security loops, a seat back, and stirrups. Most saddles weigh 10 kg. The lightest are 5 kg.
A hippogriff rider has no reins. She steers the hippogriff in flight by leaning. To take off and land, the rider uses voice commands. Certain other maneuvers may require voice commands also, such as putting the bird into a descending spin, which is a difficult maneuver for both mount and rider, but effective at dropping away from other riders of less skill and determination. Hippogriffs are agressive and impatient creatures, but they are intelligent and energetic mounts who will learn what their rider expects.
An adult hippogriff can jump straight into the air and fly away bearing a 100 kg load. During take-off, they beat their wings twice a second. Blasts of air from their wings are strong enough to flatten wheat in a field. They cruise at 60 kph with the same load, during which they beat their wings once a second. They can cruise like this for four hours, after which they need a rest of half an hour before proceeding for another four hours. After eight hours flying they become ravenously hungry. If they are to fly the next day, they must be fed and then allowed to sleep for eight hours.
A hippogriff carrying at 100-kg load can dive at 120 kph and hover for up to a minute. Hovering if far more tiring than flying at speed because the wings receive no lift from the passage of air over the wings. All lift must come during the down-strokes. While flying at 60 kph, the wings receive lift during the up-strokes also. For a discussion of the forces involved in flying, see Wyvern. When flying at 60 kph with a 100-kg load, a hippogriff can turn on a 30-m radius, during which turn the rider will be pressed into her saddle with a force twice her normal weight.
With a downward slope to aid it, a hippogriff can take off with 200 kg in addition to its body weight. With this load, they cruise at 30 kph for two hours, rest for half an hour, and continue for another two hours before they must be fed and rested for eight hours. The following table gives the cruising speed, hours of flying per day, and maximum range of a hippogriff for various loads. Note that the speed and range are with respect to the air, not the ground.
|Load (kg)||Lift Fraction (%)||Speed (kph)||Endurance (hr)||Range (km)||Ceiling (m)|
The table stops at 200 kg because that is the maximum load with which a hippogriff can take off. At this load, the bird is generating 500 kg of lift, and the lift fraction is 100%. With a 0-kg load, it is generating 300 kg of lift, and the fraction is 60%. We use lift fraction in calculating the range of a hippogriff at altitude.
In any pursuit or ariel combat, speed if of course the first thing one considers when determining supremacy. But second to speed is ceiling. If one mount can ascend higher than another, it is out of reach until it comes to land, and at that time it will use its advantage of height to dive and attain greater speed. A hippogriff's maximum flying load is 200 kg. Of course they might fly with a greater load for a short distance, but we will use 200 kg to keep things simple. The maximum lift a hippogriff can generate is 200 kg plus its own weight of 300 kg, for 500 kg total. As a hippogriff ascends from sea-level, the density of the air decreases. To the first approximation, when the air is half as dense, the hippogriff can lift half as much weight. In gravity 10 m/s/s, the maximum lift a hippogriff can generate is 500 kg at sea-level minus 5 kg per 100 m above sea-level. Thus at 1000 m, the maximum lift is 450 kg, so the heaviest load it could carry to 1000 m would be 150 kg. At 4000 m a hippogriff can lift its own weight, but nothing extra. At 3000 m, a hippogriff can carry an 45-kg rider with a 5-kg saddle. Thus 3000 m marks the highest altitude of hippogriff-riding scouts.
To determine the speed and endurance of a hippogriff at altitude, we calculate the lift fraction and consult the table above. A hippogriff carrying 100 kg is lifting 80% of its maximum load at sea-level, but 100% of its maximum load at 2000 m. Thus at 2000 m this hippogriff carrying 100 kg can fly at 30 kph for four hours in a day.
Hippogriffs need to eat ten kilograms of meat a day even if they do no flying, which is roughly one sheep a week. After a full day's flying, they must eat forty kilograms of meat. An adult sheep costs around 10 gp, depending upon where you are, and produces over 40 kg of meat. Each day of flying costs around 10 gp, and each week without flying costs 10 gp also. Hippogriffs like to tear their own meat from their own carcass. They digest their food better if they receive whole carcasses for food, although they prefer there to be no wool.
Hippogriff young, born one at a time, take four years to mature. For the first two years, they cannot fly. During these first four years, the young hippogriff will eat the equivalent of two hundred sheep. The cost of a trained four-year old hippogriff is 1000 gp. Hippogriffs cannot nurture their own young without assistance, and they eat more than would be practical to hunt.
There are several thousand hippogriffs on Clarus, most of them in Ursia, where the hippogriff breeders of the Abadan produce the finest hippogriffs in the sector for the best price. Most hippogriffs are used to transport valuable merchandise. In practice, a hippogriff can spend two hundred days flying every year. Each day flying requires forty kilograms of meat. A hippogriff courier can he hired for around 10 gp per day, all expenses included. A thunder-egg might cost 150 gp and weigh only two hundred grams. A hippogriff can deliver ten thunder-eggs to a customer 400 km away in one day for a cost of 20 gp, which is small compared to the 1500 gp the customer is paying. This business began to grow in the twenty-second century on Clarus, but led to the rise of a hippogriff bandits, who scour the sky for couriers and force them down.
The hippogriff transport business evolved into the transportation of goods that spoil quickly, which bandits could not dispose of profitably. Hippogriffs transport fresh seafood from Karadan to Pakesh, a distance of almost two thousand kilometers. The riders weigh around forty kilograms. A typical cargo is forty kilograms of giant shrimp packed in twenty kilograms of ice. The hippogriff takes off with fresh shrimp at dawn. For most of the year, the prevailing westerly wind blows at around 30 kph at an altitude of a thousand meters, so the hippogriff ascends to this altitude and proceeds at 90 kph for a little over five hours, making 500 km. At noon, the shrimp are packed in fresh ice. A second hippogriff carries the cargo the next 500 km. In all, four hippogriffs carry the cargo the entire 2000 km to Pakesh in twenty-four hours. The cost of transportation is around 40 gp for 40 kg of shrimp, and the fishmongers sell them for around 2 gp per kilogram. Hippogriff couriers also carry mail: one 10-g letter travels for $1 from Karadan to Pakesh or back again in 24 hours.
Unlike a land-bound mount, the hippogriff does not place its feet upon any solid surface as it proceeds through the air. It forces air downwards with powerful strokes of its wings. For the rider sitting upon the hippogriff's back, the sensation is one of undulating up and down, but without sudden jarring movements of the saddle. The rider is strapped to the saddle, so as to avoid falling off, but the saddle is cushioned for comfort on a long ride. Wind blowing in the rider's face makes careful surveillance of the sky and the ground impossible at 60 kph. Eye-shielding goggles are essential for any rider serious about watching for attack or sighting things on the ground. Glass is the most common goggle window material, but long-life conjured wood is also popular in Ursia, where such windows are disposable and you can buy them by the score. Most hippogriff riders stay low to the ground when they fly, because it's easier to land if you get into trouble, and it's warmer. Air temperature tends to drop by around 6°C/km of vertical ascent when the air is humid, and 10°C/km when the air is dry. In times of conflict, hippogriff riders will fly up to get out of range of bows from the ground, perhaps to 100 m. In war, where there are hippogriff riders fighting one another, height becomes a premium advantage at the beginning of the encounter. The rider with the greater altitude can dive with greater speed and get behind the other rider to deliver an attack. This attack will be upon the body or wings of the hippogriff. If the rider of the attacked hippogriff wants to dodge an assault upon his mount, the assault formidability is doubled. A missile attack has formidability one, but for the rider to dodge it, he must use two dodging points.
Combat: When trained for combat, dp=1, hp=20, ap=3, beak and claws sa=4, sp=25.
STR DEX TOU INT -4 +6 +2 0 size: 1.1 m mass: 40 kg hp: 12 life span: 120 yrs body armor: none temperament: neutral classification: sapien alteration
Hobbits are stocky, hairy, and have large feet. Most hobbits live for over one hundred and twenty years. The women are slightly smaller. Hobbits like to eat, sing, play games, and go for walks. Because they are less able in war than larger creatures, hobbits must live under the protection of a stronger species. Hobbit territories tend to lie within the borders of a friendly nation of humans or elves. Although not known for their art, heroism, or industry, hobbits are fine chess players, and are handy with bows and slings. They are especially stealthy, so they make good thieves.
STR DEX TOU INT 3 +3 10 −3 size: 1.4 m mass: 50 kg hp: 17 life span: 50 yrs body armor: none temperament: lawful classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Hobgoblins can, from a distance, be confused for short sapiens. Their proportions are similar. Their faces, however, are more like those of a goblin: green or gray skin, wide mouths with large canine teeth, large noses, and big ears. If a hobgoblin stoops over, he looks like a skinny goblin. Hobgoblins are not warlike, nor are they particularly social. They like to farm and garden. They enjoy cooking and chemistry. They enjoy taking mind-altering drugs that they prepare themselves.
The hobgoblin nation of Taerin east of Kent supplies the sapien nation with illegal drugs, and as a result is frequently invaded by sapien armies attempting to wipe out the source of these drugs. Hobgoblin villages in Taerin, mostly made of wood and thatch, are often burned. Hobgoblins don't like to fight in groups, and so the citizens of Taerin fade into the forests and heaths of their nation when the sapiens advance. They leave the defense of their nation to a collection of wealthy princes who live in fortified estates. These princes are reputed to be sorcerers and demons, but most likely include renegade adventurers and other criminals who do not wish to be bothered by sapien laws.
STR DEX TOU INT 17 −2 0 −17 size: 1.6 m mass: 500 kg hp: 27 life span: 15 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: mount classification: mammal
By "light horse" we mean a riding horse, one bred for speed and endurance, but not for pulling heavy carts or carrying armor. A healthy riding horse can carry a 100 kg for eight hours a day, moving at 8 kph, for a total of 64 km per day. It can canter at 20 kph for up to an hour with the same load. Its maximum speed with a 100 kg load is 40 kph. Unburdened, it can gallop at 50 kph. A healthy three-year old light horse costs 50 gp.
A 500-kg horse doing light work needs to consume roughly 20,000 calories per day. Carrying a rider for eight hours, it needs roughly 30,000 Calories per day. This can be supplied by 15 kg of good hay or 10 kg of oats. Way-side inns will provide such food for horses, as they provide food for people. A soldier walking all day with a 20-kg pack and 10 kg of armor needs roughly 3,500 Calories. Infantry may take twice as long to cover the same distance as cavalry, but they consume one fifth the mass of food. When an army comes to rest, its cavalry uses five times as much food per man as its infantry. Feeding of horses is one of the foremost logistical problems facing any general with cavalry. (See Supplying War by Creveld for a discussion of these logistics. We note, however, that Creveld's estimates of food consumption by man and beast are up to one third lower than ours. It may be that the actual consumption of soldiers and horses in war was insufficient to maintain their health, so that they lost weight, but survived. Our calculation assumes adequate nutrition during the campaign.
When characters buy horses, we like to roll for how good the horse is, and we express the quality of the horse in terms of how far it can carry a 100 kg load without suffering injury in a single day. To account for flawed horses and the occasional exceptional horse, we enjoy using the one-sided normal distribution with standard deviation 64 km/day. In one case, we obtained four horses with 47, 71, 75, and 128 km/day. After 50 km, the first one began to limp, and its rider doubled up with the rider of the the truly exceptional 128 km/day horse.
Combat: When cornered, dp=0, hp=23, ap=0, hooves sa=4, sp=23.
STR DEX TOU INT 23 −2 0 −17 size: 1.9 m mass: 800 kg hp: 35 life span: 15 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: mount classification: mammal
By "heavy horse" we mean either a horse bred to pull carts or one that is bred to carry armor. A heavy horse can carry a 200 kg for eight hours a day, moving at 5 kph. A heavy horse can canter at 15 kph for an hour with the same load. Its maximum speed with a 200 kg load is 30 kph. Unburdened, it can gallop at 40 kph. Alternatively, it can pull a 500-kg load along a good road for eight hours at 5 kph, or a 250-kg load along a poor road with inclines for eight hours at 5 kph, for a daily progression of 40 km. A good three-year old heavy horse costs 80 gp. Armor for a heavy horse weighs four times as much as armor for sapiens.
An 800-kg cart horse working hard needs to consume roughly 50,000 Calories per day. This can be supplied by 25 kg of good hay, or 15 kg of oats. Four cart horses can pull a one-tonne wagon over rough roads and up and down inclines, as is usually required during military campaigns, a distance of 40 km per day. If we dedicated half the wagon to oats to feed the horses and driver, this 500 kg will be sufficient to sustain mand and beasts for eight days. The wagon can travel outbound for four days, covering roughly 160 km, deliver 500 kg of goods to the army, and return 160 km to the supply base. (See Supplying War by Creveld, in which he argues that the maximum range of supply by horse-drawn wagons in war is roughly a 160 km).
Combat: When trained for combat, fl=2, dp=0, hp=23, ring mail ap=10, hooves sa=6, sp=29.
STR DEX TOU INT 16 −1 0 −10 size: 5 m mass: 500 kg hp: 40 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 20 (scales) temperament: guardian classification: reptilian amalgam, hydra
A water hydra is a black, androgynous creature designed to guard bridges or paths that pass beside pools of water. It has poor long-distance vision, but excellent night vision. It four separate heads, each supported by a 2-m long, heavily-armored, strong and flexible neck. Each head has a large jaw with sharp teeth and a pair of eyes. The heads have no nostrils because a water hydra does not breath air. It breaths water through gills on the side of its body, like a fish. A hydra's brain is hidden deep within its body. It does not perish even if it loses all four of its heads. If a neck is severed, blood flow is quickly cut off to the wound, and over the next month, the entire neck and head will grow back as good as new, even if the hydra has nothing to eat. If a head is disabled, it will not heal, but instead it will fall off. Provided the hydra has another head intact, this head will eat the discarded head and neck.
Even if all four heads are cut off, the hydra carries with it a large enough quantity of fat to convert into four new necks and heads. It does, however, need at least one head to consume food in the long run. The four heads have their own brains, and act independently when hunting and fighting. They have been known to fight one another, but this is rare. They can catch fish easily, but they will eat anything they can catch, including the fully-armored bodies of the intruders they defeat. At the bottom of their pools, an intrepid adventurer might find the egested metallic treasure of such victims.
Water hydra lurk beneath the surface of their pool, their metabolic rate greatly slowed until someone tries to cross or pass by. It bursts suddenly from the water and waits one second before attacking the newcomer. If, during that second, the newcomer says the word that controls the hydra, the hydra will sink once again into the water and wait until all is calm before returning to its dormant state.
A healthy adult water hydra is worth a thousand gold pieces. If they are left in a pool with an adequate fish population, they can survive indefinitely. There are alternatives to fish, of course, such as regular feeding with meat, or the presence of other guardian creatures that might occasionally drop into the pool, or be killed by intruders and left beside the pool.
The body of a hydra has 2-cm thick bone scale armor for twenty-point armor protection. Their heads and necks have similar protection once they are mature, but new heads have thinner scales, gaining one point of armor protection per month until they are mature at twenty months.
Combat: Water hydra scales are of hard black bone, each being about 5 cm across and 2 cm thick. Each head fights as an independent creature with dp=1, sa=0, sp=22, ap=20. If an attacker successfully directs 10 hp damage to one head, the head will be disabled. A hydra will usually retreat once it has lost the use of two heads, but it will try to drag any food it sees down after it into the pool when it does retreat.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 10 0 0 size: 3 m mass: 0 kg (weight 100 N) hp: 20 life span: 100+ yrs body armor: none temperament: lawful classification: Luman
An illuminati is a creature made entirely of magical matter, and not just the simple conjured or spirit matter, but compounds of the two. The material in their eyes, for example, is more sensitive to light than any example of simple conjured or spirit matter. In appearance, they are like giant spiders, for they have eight limbs around central body, and on their heads, they have eight compound eyes that look forwards, sideways and backwards. Unlike spiders, the illuminati have only one body segment instead of two, and unlike spiders, the illuminati walk on only six of their limbs. The other two limbs, which sprout from the body below the eyes, are slightly shorter and more slender, and end in four-fingered hands. Their limbs and bodies are brightly-colored. The females are two meters across in the body with legs extending to a diameter of six meters. Their skin is covered with bristles, like a tarantula. The males are smaller: their bodies are one meter in diameter and their legs extend to a diameter of three meters. Their skin is smooth. In comparison to the females, the males are fast and strong. In a physical conflict with no weapons, they are dominant over the females. But the females are more capable of planning and cooperation. In a war with weapons, the females are dominant. At the far end of their bodies from their eyes is an orifice out of which the illuminati can produce conjured matter of various types, in particular conjured rope, but not spirit matter. The orifice is also used by the females to give birth to infant illuminati.
Magical matter has very little mass, but an illuminati does have weight, due to a preponderance of spirit matter in its body. Spirit matter is attracted to the core of a magical planet in proportion to the planet's maeon repulsion. On a planet with maeon repulsion 10 N/μg, an adult illuminati weighs 100 N.
The illuminati see with their compound eyes. They hear with eardrums distributed about their thorax. They run on their six legs. The Illuminati evolved by natural selection over hundreds of millions of years on a planet called Luma, with maeon wind 4 Y and magical attraction is 40 N/μg. On their home world, they weigh 400 N and live for a hundred years. In weaker maeon winds, they age more slowly, although it is hard to find food to eat if there is no maeon wind to feed magical plants and animals.
The illuminati are omnivores on their own planet, meaning that they consume magical-matter vegetation and animals to obtain the magical matter they need to sustain themselves. They eat by crunching food with spirit-stone teeth and swallowing. They create conjured matter out of the food they eat, not by capturing maeons from the maeon wind. There was very little maeon wind for them to use in their habitat on Luma, even if they could use it, for almost all the maeon wind of Luma was absorbed by a crust of magical vegetation before it could ever get to the habitat in which the illuminati evolved. So they survive by eating magical food alone.
Because they are made of magical matter only, the illuminati are immune to cold and heat, and have little or no perception of either. They have a sense of touch, and of smell when it comes to magical matter they touch, but no sense of smell for chemical matter. They talk using sound vibrations in air, their speech being made up of clattering and piping noises made by their mouths and esophagus.
For a history of the illuminati, see A Brief History of the Galaxy. When we refer to the Illuminati with a capital I, we are referring to the race as a whole, and their actions as a society.
An incubus is a creature with a biological, psionic brain that creates a body for itself out of conjured and chemical matter. The incubus uses this body to obtain the food its brain needs to survive. Examples of incubi are the sludge monster and the lamprey incubus. Both these incubi make their bodies out of water bound together with conjured matter. Such conjured matter cannot be destroyed entirely by spells like Annihilate Conjured Matter, but they are damaged on the outside, in the same way a biological body would be damaged by proximity to a Lightening Ball.
Incubus brains are made out of spangulum cells. The spangulum cell was devised thousands of years ago by the Lumans. It can live on its own in sugar water, or it can divide and grow into a complete organism, just like embryonic cells in Terran biological creatures. The spangulum cell's genetic code defines the form of the complete organism, just as the Terran embryonic cell defines the form of the adult creature. Unlike the genetic code of Terran creatures, however, the spangulum genetic code can be altered by exposing the cell to particular chemicals in the presence of a catalyst called quatrazone. The resulting alterations change the form of the creatures the spangulum cell will create if allowed to divide and grow.
The spangulum genetic code contains far fewer genes than the genetic code of Terran creatures, but the composition of each gene is far more complex, in order to allow it to be modified uniquely by exposure to chemicals. The spangulum genetic code consists of one thousand and twenty-four genes, each of which can take one of two values, which biologists call zero or one. To select one particular gene for modification, the biologist exposes the cells to ten chemicals. He picks each chemical from a pair of chemicals, and in doing so, constructs a binary number that identifies the gene he wishes to modify. This gene has ten locks upon it, and each is opened by a different chemical. Each gene is unlocked by a unique selection of ten chemicals. Once the concentration of these chemicals has reached equilibrium in the cell, the biologist exposes the cell to quatrazone-zero or quatrazone-one. In the presence of quatrazone-one, the selected gene changes its value to one. In the presence of the other, the gene changes to zero.
With one thousand and twenty-four genes, each of which can take one of two states, there are, in theory, 10709 different spangulum creatures. The spangulum genetic code interacts with itself in such a way that changing any one gene will almost always make only a slight change to the resulting creature, so that the biologist can make incremental improvements to a creature by changing one gene at a time.
By use of chemical baths alone, therefore, the spangulum cell can be modified. The biologist saves some copies of the cell and allows several to divide and grow. He examines the resulting creature. He modifies one of the copies and allows it to grow, and so on, until he creates a creature of some value. The adult spangulum bodies take several months to grow, and dozens of trials are required to make even the most trivial useful modifications to an existing spangulum creature, so spangulum biology is rarely pursued by sapiens (although the lamprey incubus is a notable exception). But spangulum biology is a popular hobby among gods and elves.
The spangulum cell was one of a class of designer cells created by the Lumans in their efforts to make intelligent biological creatures that performed particular functions. The Lumans prized designer cell strains, and were not inclined to allow the Gods of Olympia access to them. But the spangulum cell was one of the early designer cells, and it proved of little value compared to its successors. The Gods of Olympia bought several hundred strains of spangulum cells at the time they moved to the Celesti Sector.
The spangulum cell class is capable of producing a near-infinite number of distinct incubi. So far, however, the incubi produced by spangulum cells are all lumps of biological matter with over-sized brains and feeble appendages. Given that the Lumans wanted incubi to perform functions like clearing away garbage and erecting buildings, such brains were of no value to them. Nevertheless, these brains did show signs of interacting with the maeon wind, and in some cases caused magical effects around them, including the generation of conjured matter. These effects were interesting to the Lumans, but not useful. Their industrial society had far better means to make magical, intelligent beings (see Demon and God). But the Gods of Olympia did not have an industrial society waiting for them in the Celesti Sector, so the magical potential of the spangulum cell, combined with the simple manner in which it could be manipulated, was attractive to them.
In the three thousand years since the Gods of Olympia began experimenting with spangulum cells, they designed many strains of psionically-endowed incubi. Few of them have been able to compete with creatures made by cross-breeding of existing Terran creatures, but incubi remain an active subject of study among Gods and elves. Incubus biologists have explored only a tiny fraction of the number of possible incubi, and all of them dream of one day stumbling upon a combination of spangulum genes that creates something truly unusual. When Hofistos Manucalos bred the lamprey incubus, he proved that such a chance discovery was indeed possible.
STR DEX TOU INT 1 1 10 −3 size: 1.2 m mass: 40 kg hp: 15 life span: 30 yrs body armor: 6 (scales) temperament: lawful, cunning, warlike classification: Terran amalgam, hellspawn
Kobolds are a cross between human, lizard, snake, and wild boar. Their skin is thickly scaled, with the scales offering them natural armor protection. They have no hair, but they are warm-blooded. The color of their scales varies, gray and green being the most common, but dark red and black being frequent as well, with patterns of color on various parts of their bodies also. Their mouths jut from their faces, sprouting tusks like those of a boar. They use their 1-m tails for balance much as do kangaroos, although they run on two legs like a man, instead of jumping like a kangaroo. These tails are ten centimeters in diameter near the base, and taper almost uniformly to a point at the tip. Kobolds make good scouts. Their eyes have slit pupils. Their night vision is superb, but they are nearly color-blind in daytime. Nevertheless, they can see some color, and they tend to wear brightly colored clothes at home or when at rest. Kobolds can farm, but rarely resort to it. Most often they live in well-established lairs and buy food earned by their men, who hire themselves out as scouts, messengers, and sentries. Kobold night vision is as good as an orc's, but they sleep only three hours a day, they need only 400 Calories a day in warm weather, they can stand absolutely still for hours, and they have non-reflective scales that makes them hard to see when they are hiding. Furthermore, kobolds are are well-disciplined, fast, and efficient. They are less violent than orcs, although still more prone to violence than sapiens. Their childhood lasts only six years, and their lives only thirty. Kobold armor weights half as much as sapien armor.
For a description of life in a kobold village, see here. For a scene on Olympia where a kobold sergeant is informed that his troop has been summoned, see Tak. For sapien-kobold interaction and descriptions of kobolds see Bum, Nib, and Lad. Many tribes on Clarus are entirely supported by Olympian summoning agencies.
Combat: (trooper fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=15) leather ap=10, shield and tiny mace sa=5, sp=4, crossbow fa=1, fp=8; (summoned scout fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=15) scales ap=6, short sword sa=2, sp=14, light bow fa=1, fp=6.
STR DEX TOU INT 30 0 0 −5 size: 3 m mass: 1000 kg hp: 2000 life span: 2000+ yrs body armor: 0 temperament: guard classification: demon
The knonn are huge, fast-moving gatherer-demons. Their bodies are cylindrical, roughly a meter in diameter, with double-jointed arms on either side, legs with backward joints, huge feet for running on sand, and no head. They have several eyes distributed around their body. They have an internal eye also, which sees through space bridges the knonn creates at will. These bridges have one half up against the internal eye and another half outside the knonn's body, where it is held by a combination of spirit and conjured matter, so that it floats up into the air like a balloon, with the bridge facing down. With these bridges, the knonn can survey the land around them, and move to intercept intruders in their territory.
The knonn fight by use of their mass and strength. When equipped with time-shifted bridges, they have prescience. They move at up to 80 kph over the desert by keeping the majority of their body mass at the same height above the ground, and propelling themselves with elastic conjured rubber tendons in their legs. They can maintain this pace over level ground for four hours before they are exhausted. Thus one knonn has a range of roughly 160 km from his lair over which he can roam in a single day. It is this extraordinary range of movement and their ability to spy from above that makes the knonn ideal as guardians of a large, flat territory.
On Clarus, ten knonn, known as The Knonn, act as guardians of the Ursian Desert, on behalf of the Ursian government. There are knonn lairs distributed about the desert, spaced by roughly 300 km, equipped with a pile of gold sufficient to replenish its muscles in a single night. Each lair is sealed with a sturdy door and protected by many enchantments. The door opens only for the knonn. The desert people of Ursia, known as the Bahai, rever and obey the knonn. When a knonn approaches them, the Bahai pour water upon the ground to show their reverence and obedience. If they have no water, they will cut themselves and allow their blood to drip upon the ground. If the knonn sees no water and no blood, it will attack, for so it has been instructed by the Ursian State. It attacks by jumping, charging, and butting. There are stories of knonn being driven off by strong parties of adventurers, but no knonn has ever been captured or destroyed in the five hundred years that they have been serving the Ursian State. If a knonn sees a traveller shedding blood upon the sand at its feet, it will go and fetch water, which it gathers up and binds in a ball of conjured rubber. Its journey may take a few hours or a full day, but it will eventually return and provide water. If the knonn finds a person incapacitated upon the sand, it will pick this person up and deliver him or her to a nearby group of people who are not incapacitated, or to water. If there are others with the incapacitated person, the knonn may go slowly so that the others can follow. It is actions like these with which the knonn have earned the reverence of the Bahai. Like all demons, the knonn can talk Rattikit. But they do not talk to the Bahai. The Lore of the Knonn, as studied by the Bahai, describes a long list of signs that the knonn can use to communicate their alleged desires. In fact, the knonn know little of the meaning of their messages. Their masters instruct them in detail. To stand outside an encampment of Bahai holding a space bridge in one hand is one such instruction, and through this space bridge comes the sound of a horn, blown somewhere else by another servant of the state. The sound of the horn is the call to battle, and by other signs the knonn can tell the Bahai where they are to go and what they are to do.
Combat: (Ursian prescient knonn dp=10, hp=2000) sa=5, sp=50.
STR DEX TOU INT 100 −12 0 −15 size: 100 m mass: 7 Gg hp: 3000 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: predator classification: cetacean alteration
Kraken are triple-length, infertile sperm whales with 6-m thick foreheads sprouting 6-m long spikes. They eat other whales. To hunt a whale, the kraken floats at a depth of 1000-m and listens for large motions overhead. Its hearing in this respect is so sensitive that it can detect a swimming whale ten kilometers away. When it detects a whale, it attacks it from beneath, butting the whale with its horns at a speed of 50 kph. Whales usually get away, but are sometimes hit and killed. The kraken needs to eat only one large whale a year to survive. When adult, they prefer to hunt in water more than 1000 m deep.
Kraken always mistake boats for whales. If a boat is longer than 10-m long, the kraken will attack it enthusiastically, and since a boat is less maneuverable than a whale, the kraken will almost always hit the boat. With its seven million kilogram mass, traveling at 50 kph, it will smash a boat to pieces, breach 20-m out of the water, and fall back into the water, dragging most of the debris with it.
Because adult kraken rarely hunt in shallow water, ships are safe from their attacks so long as the ocean beneath them is less than a kilometer deep, or half a kilometer to be certain. The oceans of the planet Clarus are populated by thousands of kraken, placed there by the gods to stop sapiens sailing from one continent to another, or even to the islands off the coast of the continents. You will see the regions of the ocean for which the depth is reliably less than one kilometer drawn on this map.
There are, however, paths between the continents by which the ocean depth is less than a kilometer, of upon which the stretches of deep water are short and rarely visited by the kraken. These paths are known to elf pilots who measured the ocean depths two thousand years ago, before the gods introduced the kraken into Clarus's oceans.
Given that you are likely to be sunk and dragged into the depth if you sail out over deep water, is it impractical to measure the depth of Clarus's oceans in modern times, so the measurements made by the elves remain valuable, and are secret to the elf Guild of Pilots. Over the years, the maps of this guild have been copied, but a scheme of allowing erroneous maps to be stolen has made all maps in the hands of sapiens unreliable. If a sapien captain wants to sail from Idonius to Ersay, for example, he can either trust to his stolen maps, hire an elf pilot, or hope that he has stormy weather the whole way to hide the sound of his passage. Elf pilots are usually half the price of the insurance you have to take out on your cargo by failing to hire one, and they come with their own guarantee, backed by the treasury of the Guild of Pilots on Eldrich.
As a result of the work of the Guild of Pilots, it is in fact possible to sail between the major land masses of Clarus, despite the presence of kraken in the oceans. The routes that a ship must take, however, are often three or four times longer than the direct route across the sea, so travel between the continents remains arduous.
Combat: See above.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 −5 size: 2 m mass: 500 kg hp: 100 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: predator classification: incubus
A lamprey incubus is an incubus that makes its body out of sea-water and conjured matter. It's conjured matter body is two meters long, brightly-colored, and in the shape of a fish, with crude fins. The colors are striking and attractive, like those of a tropical fish. There are several varieties of lamprey incubus. Each has its own size, shape, and color pattern.
The lamprey incubus brain does not age. In theory, it can live for thousands of years, assuming it gets fed. Its body lasts for one or two years, after which the incubus sheds the body and grows a new one in privacy at the bottom of the sea.
The mouth of a lamprey incubus contains teeth made of spirit stone. The mouth is wide, with a net at the back. Lampreys swim in schools, and hunt together. Because all lampreys are intelligent, each school has its own methods for catching fish. In each case, the lampreys end up with several kilograms of fish trapped between the net at the back of their mouth and the sharp teeth at the front. The fish passes slowly along a gullet passage that crushes and cuts up the fish bodies on their way to the mouth of the biological incubus brain at the center of the conjured-matter and sea-water body. And so the incubus feeds itself.
A lamprey incubus's teeth grow continuously. If they grow too long, they cripple the lamprey's mouth, so it cannot eat. To wear down its teeth, the lamprey must chew on wood. There are other materials that would serve just as well, but they are not available in a salt-water sea. Only in mangrove swamps will the lamprey incubus find wood, or in the poles supporting harbor docks, or in the hulls of ships themselves. In this respect, the lamprey incubus is dangerous to shipping. They can eat right through the hull of a ship and so sink it. Because ships contain easily-caught sailors, whose bodies the lampreys can drag down into the deeps and store for eating weeks later, they make particularly attractive targets for the lampreys.
A biologist called Hofistos Manucalos bred the lamprey incubus in the Claran twenty-third century. He went to Sax and proposed to the Pharaoh that Sax use the lamprey incubus to rid the Satian Sea of pirates. The Pharaoh agreed to buy several thousand lamprey incubi and release them into the waters of the Diablo Islands. Hofistos claimed that the incubi would attack pirate ships and so end the pirate problem. After a year, there would be no ships left, and the lamprey incubi would die as their teeth grew too long and killed them. Sax could then start using the sea again, free of pirates.
The lamprey incubi did indeed wreak havoc with the pirates, and few pirate ships were left at the end of a year. But a boat with a copper hull is proof against the lamprey incubus, and a single sunken ship can keep the teeth of a hundred incubi well-maintained for many months. Furthermore, the mangrove swamps of the Thebes Delta proved to be a hospitable habitat for the lampreys, where they could chew on mangrove roots and catch fish in the shallow waters.
Because the lampreys are long-lived, too smart to catch in nets, and difficult to kill even when exposed, most of the original thousand lampreys remain alive and well in the Satian Sea. They rarely attack shipping, but sometimes they do, or a school of them decides to take up their old pastime again, just for fun. Some lamprey schools have developed working relationships with individual sapiens, on islands in the Satian Sea. In exchange for gold and other valuables gathered from ship wrecks, the sapien provides the lampreys with exotic food unobtainable in the ocean.
Combat: The lamprey moves fast and is resistant to battering, so that it can ram an attacker without fear of harming itself. They ram is like a hand-hurled misslie with fa=5 and fp=40. When it passes by after ramming, its victim is allowed a surprise attack upon the lamprey, but in well-lit water, an unarmored sapien swimmer suffers a −10 to-hit roll adjustment. Spears and arrows thrown or fired into the water, on the other hand, can harm incubi and deter them with little risk to the attackers. When a school lampreys starts to chew their way through the hull of a ship, they work together to push one of their number hard up against the bottom of the ship, where it starts to chew. A lamprey can eat through one centimeter of oak per minute in a thirty-centimeter radius. A school of twenty will make a one-meter hole in a thirty-centimeter thick oak hull in thirty minutes. Lampreys are capable of other tricks, like chewing through an anchor line and dragging a ship onto the rocks during the night.
STR DEX TOU INT 15 10 10 0 size: 2 m mass: 150 kg hp: life span: 80 yrs body armor: 2 temperament: obedient, warlike, tough classification: Terran amalgam
A lycanthrope, or were-creature, begins life as a sapien child, but transforms through adolescence into a creature that is half animal and half human. The characteristics given above apply to were-wolves, were-boars, and were-bears of the breeds found on Clarus. Lycanthropy is a recessive genetic condition developed on Luma in the first decades following the cracking of the sapien genetic code. The temperament of a lycanthrope leans towards that of their animal half, but they retain most of their human intelligence. Furthermore, when their animal half is physically formidable, such as in a were-wolf or were-bear, the adult lycanthrope is stronger and tougher than a sapien, if a little less nimble with its finger-tips.
Before the Princes of Hell developed hellspawn, they made extensive use of lycanthropy in their war-games. By selective breeding and some further genetic manipulation, they greatly increased the strength, agility, and stamina of the adult half-animals. When a lycanthrope breeds with a sapien, the offspring can be a lycanthrope only if the sapien carries a lycanthropy gene as well. Otherwise, the child will merely carry the lycanthropy gene, but show no outward signs of the affliction even in adulthood. When Gelden invaded Clarus, he brought many lycanthropes with him. During the ensuing Dark Ages, many children were born of unions between these half-animals and sapiens. These children appear to be pure sapiens, but are in fact carriers of the lycanthropy genes. Seven centuries later, Lycanthropes still turn up every now and then, especially in inbred communities.
The lycanthrope soldiers bred by the Princes of Hell were powerful, ferocious, and tough. When dominated physically by a captain of war, they were cooperative enough to follow orders in battle. But they were not attracted to other lycanthropes, so keeping company with one another did not satisfy them, while sapiens found them repulsive. Breeding more lycanthropes required sapien slaves, which was expensive. Furthermore, lycanthropes needed a eighteen years to reach their full strength, during which time a parent would have to raise them and feed them. Another problem for the Princes of Hell was the formidability of veteran lycanthrope soldiers. Lycanthropes gained prescience as quickly as sapiens. By the time they were thirty years old, they tended to abandon their army and strike out on their own, hiding on Hell and disrupting the war games. Over the next forty years, if not caught and killed, they would age and decline until they resorted to stealing food from army stores. Some time in the first millenioum after the founding of Endromis, the Princes of Hell developed hellspawn, which breed together, were strong and tough, grew to maturity in half the time, and aged suddenly. The Princes found they could raise five orcs for the price of one were-wolf. The one were-wolf was a match for two orcs, but not five, so the orcs replaced the were-wolves, were-bears, and were-boars.
Combat: (were-wolf soldier age 30, fl=10, al=10, dp=20, hp=40, STR=15, DEX=10, weight 150 kg) ring armor ap=20, great sword TH sa=20, sp=38.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 −2 size: mass: 60 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 80 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: chaotic classification: human-cetacean amalgam
Mermaids have flippers in place of feet and swim with their legs squeezed tightly together. When a mermaid is swimming, the shape of her flippers combines with the ample girth of her strong thighs to give the impression that she has the body of a dolphin from the waist down. A mermaid's skin can be pale, gray, or even black, depending upon her clan. Some mermaids are lean, others are equipped with a thick layer of blubber that allows them to survive in cold oceans. All have a thick head of hair, which they may cut short for greater speed in the water, or leave long for its beauty. Although they are no match for dolphins, mermaids are still superb swimmers: they swim at 40 kph for short bursts, and cruise at 20 kph. They can hold their breath for ten minutes and dive to three hundred meters.
Mermaids must sleep for a few hours each day, and they cannot sleep while floating in open water. They cannot live out in the open ocean unless they have rafts of some sort. Some clans live out in the ocean on rafts, but most clans live in caves along deserted shores. They sleep half-submerged in water, or lying upon damp kelp strands. They light no fires. They eat their shellfish and seaweed raw. Almost every mermaid has a long-lasting, bright, luminous stone of her own. These stones make their caves bright and hospitable, and light the way when they dive deep into dark waters.
Mermaids were designed by the Gods of Olympia to care for kraken on Clarus. The original mermaids were long-lived and infertile. The elves of Olympia raised hundreds of mermaids and let them loose in the seas of Clarus in the fifth century. The mermaids cared for the kraken in exchange for gold from the Gods. They used the gold to buy food and luxuries from sapiens. Being without their own men, mermaids were keen to keep company with sapien men, and would do what they could to lure such men into the waves. With the right pair of boots, a painful folding of their flippers, and a long, flowing dress, it is possible for a mermaid to walk upon land and masquerade as a sapien woman. Some clans took to kidnapping sapien boys from coastal towns and raising them in their caves for their entertainment.
As is usual with any effort to control a new population through infertility, some members of the population turned out to be slightly fertile, and these had children. A male child of a mermaid and a sapien male is always a merman. A merman is a male version of a mermaid. Mermen love to hunt in the sea and they are warlike. Their sapien fathers taught them to make nets, use spears and tridents, and to defend themselves against killer whales, sharks, and other mermen. Mermen learned to cultivate oysters and dive for pearls. Modern mermen have no need of the God's gold to survive, and only very few of them participate in the care of kraken. They would rather train dolphins to carry them through the sea, or tame killer whales.
A well-equipped merman is so effective at gathering food, that a hunting party of five mermen can provide for a clan of twenty or thirty females. Nevertheless, most mermaid clans continue to care for kraken. They consider it to be their sacred duty, and they perform it in exchange for healing serums and the blessings of the gods. Each clan will have a priestess who carries a space bridge to Olympia.
Mermen love mermaids, but their love is not a jealous love, and they cannot satisfy all their females simultaneously. In most clans of mermaids, mermen are outnumbered four to one by the females, so it is not clear that mermen would be able to stop mermaids from seducing and kidnapping sapien men even if they tried. But the bond between a merman and his sapien father is a strong one, and mermen respect sapien men because of such bonds.
The female child of a mermaid and a sapien male can be sapien or mermaid with equal likelihood. A sapien girl cannot breath under-water, but such is the love a mermaid feels for her daughter, sapien or mermaid, that she will be loath to allow the daughter to leave the clan. Some such girls grow up in the clan's caves and end up acting as the clan member who goes among sapiens to buy food, spear-tips, and pottery.
Combat: A sapien in the water is no match for an armed merman. A merman caught on land would be best off fighting on his knees with his legs bent. Mermaids would rather plead for mercy than fight.
STR DEX TOU INT 20 −5 10 −10 size: 3.0 m mass: 300 kg hp: 45 life span: 50 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: warlike, lazy classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Ogres are giants among hellspawn. They grow to three meters tall by the age of ten. An ogre is an enlarged combination of a sapien and wild boar. They have gray, leathery skin sparsely covered with stiff hairs. These stiff hairs are more dense upon their heads then elsewhere. They have short, blunt tusks sticking up from their lower jaws. They are slow-moving and clumsy, but their strength is phenomenal. They are stupid, and entirely lack the self-discipline to farm. Nor do they have the stealth and patience for hunting or fishing. To survive, they rely upon banditry or manual labor. If allowed to eat as much as they like, they get fat, and when fat they become lazy and prone to injuries such as broken bones and strained ligaments. They will obey orders without question, but only from someone they fear. Even when they fear their leader, they must still sleep twelve hours a day. Ogres sleep so deeply that even shouting in their ears is unlikely to wake them. Although ogres are stupid, they are not avaricious. They are trustworthy guards. Their very stupidity makes them hard to bribe because few ogres can comprehend numbers greater than three. Ogres see well at night, but they are completely color-blind. Their large pupils give them better night vision than dwarves, but much poorer recognition of detail.
Ogres are used by orc armies as porters. A 300-kg ogre can carry its own body-weight 40 km in an eight-hour march for weeks at a time. When marching in this way, they consume around 30,000 Calories a day. Whole-grain wheat flour provides roughly 4,000 Calories per kilogram, so an ogre marching with a full load consumes around 7.5 kg of flour per day. He or she can set off with 300 kg of flour from a supply depot, march 300 km in a week, deliver 200 kg of flour, and still have 50 kg left to feed itself on the way back. The 200 kg of flour it delivers is enough to feed ten orcs for twenty days, if the orcs are sitting about, or two weeks if they are marching half the time. Thus a division of five thousand orcs can, in theory, be supplied at a range of 300 km by five hundred ogres. In practice, ogres supply armies at half this range during orc campaigns, or 150 km, which is similar to the performance of horses and wagons, but ogres do not require roads, they can travel at night, they can comprehend and obey orders far more complex than a horse, they can prepare their own food, and they can put on heavy armor and take part in battles.
Small clans of ogres have been known to survive as bandits. They attack travelers, kill them, eat them, and collect all their belongings. The ogres trade these belongings for meat and potatoes. Ogres are fond of fire and they use it to roast their meat and potatoes. Starting a fire from a spark requires too much patience for an ogre, so they keep a fire going all the time in their camps. Ogre bandits make their own ogre-armor out of metal plates and wire. They buy the metal plate from sapiens, heat it up in a fire, and cut it by pounding it with large chisels. They fasten small plates of metal together to make heavy full-body armor. Shields, however, are beyond their ability to manufacture. A shield requires a strong frame. Also beyond their ability are spears and swords. They wield clubs made of hard wood, improved by protruding metal spikes. An ogre-club is 150 cm long and weighs 10 kg. Its weapon power is 20 when wielded two-handed. The attributes we give above are for bandit ogres, who tend to be quick and lean. Ogre porters are stronger and slower, but with great endurance. Summoned ogres from Olympia are lean and hugely muscular. Their lifting strength is around 650 kg: almost twice their weight.
Combat: (lean bandit fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=45, STR=20, DEX=−5, weight 300 kg) ogre-armor ap=20, ogre-club sa=−4, sp=40. (fat guard fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=50, STR=20, DEX=−5, weight 350 kg) heavy ring armor ap=25, shield and heavy mace sa=−1, sp=34, ignores attackers so that all assaults upon him are treated as surprise attacks, and the attacker's fighter level does not affect the to-hit roll. (huge summoned fl=2, al=2, dp=4, hp=50, STR=25, DEX=-3, weight 350 kg) ironwood banded ap=30, ironwood ogre-club sa=−1, sp=45.
STR DEX TOU INT 6 0 10 −3 size: 1.7 m mass: 75 kg hp: 20 life span: 45 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: warlike, tough, soldiers classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
The skin of an orc is white or bronzed from the sun. Their mouths jut from their faces and they sport two white tusks that curl from their lower jaws up to their noses. Their tongues are dark, almost black. Their eyes are brown or black, around large black pupils. Their arms are a little longer in proportion to their bodies than those of sapiens. All parts of an orc are strikingly muscular. Because they need 4,000 Calories a day to survive, which is twice that required by sapiens, they are almost always lean. Their hair is most often black, although it can also be red, and they often dye it whatever color they like. Some orcs paint their faces, others hide them from the sun to keep them white. The skin of an orc woman can be as fair and smooth as any young sapien's. Apart from their musculature, and their striking faces, the bodies of orcs could pass for sapiens. Certainly their bodies are compatible with and attractive to sapiens, and visa-versa.
Orc childhood lasts ten years, compared to the sapien sixteen. That is to say, an orc of age ten is ready to go into battle as a fully-armed soldier. The same cannot be said of a sapien male until he is sixteen. Gestation lasts nine months.
Orc eyes are far more sensitive to light than sapien eyes, but their color vision is not as good even in bright light. During the day, they must wear sunglasses or else they see poorly in the glare of the sun, and they can become blinded, as can sapiens out on a snowfield on a sunny day. Because of their eyesight, their excellent sense of smell, and their acute hearing, orcs are dangerous opponents in the dark.
Orcs are more likely to suffer form motion sickness than sapiens. Most adult sapiens do not suffer from seasickness except in the worst weather. But almost all orcs will suffer from seasickness even in good weather, and many will be dangerously dehydrated after a few days at sea, vomiting up everything they try to eat or drink. Orc motion sickness is so severe that only one in fifty orcs can enjoy riding in a canoe, compared to almost all sapiens enjoying the same experience. A drug called dimenhydrinate, which can be extracted from the leaves of the assios plant, if effective at alleviating orc motion sickness. Orcs who must travel on water will cultivate assios and make an infusion out of its leaves to drink before and during their trips.
Orcs are sensitive to what they eat in a way sapiens are not. They will throw up anything that disturbs their stomach. Anything that makes them slightly dizzy they will throw up. Some have allergies to sapien foods that cause them to break out in hives in sapien company, hence the opinion of many sapiens that orcs have ugly faces.
Orcs need roughly twice as many Calories per kilogram of body weight to survive than do sapiens. When relaxing, they need 4,000 Calories per day. When marching with a heavy pack, they need around 6,000 Calories per day. An orc can go one and a half minutes without oxygen, while a human can go three minutes. An orc can survive for one and a half days without water, compared to three days for a sapien. An orc will die after one and a half weeks without food, compared to three weeks for a sapien. But an orc will perform well, without being slowed down by pain, discomfort, or depression for the first minute without oxygen, the first day without water, and the first week without food. Once they reach their limit, they do not die, they go into a coma in which their heart beat slows to one beat per ten seconds. In this state, they are able to endure longer than sapiens, but they are, of course, in no state to find air, water, or food for themselves. They must be rescued by their comrades. For this reason, orcs do not like to fight alone, or go on long solitary journeys. They can find themselves going from fully capable to comatose in a matter of hours, at which point they are helpless.
In the Western Outlands of Clarus, the black orc leaders of the common orcs go on a solitary, overland pilgrimage to the Gelden Mountains at the age of fifty, and this pilgrimage marks their passage into adulthood. One of the reasons that the common orcs so respect their black orc leaders is because they are able to perform this pilgrimage on their own, without comrades to care for them if they run short of food. The pilgrimage demonstrates that the black orcs have the foresight to anticipate their hunger, and the intelligence to obtain the food they need by their own means.
Despite their increased consumption of food, an orc army is easier to supply than a sapien army because it does not need cavalry or wagons. An adult orc needs 4,000 Calories per day compared to a sapien's 2,000 Calories. When marching, orcs need 6,000 Calories, or 1.5 kg of whole-wheat flour, while a marching sapien needs only 3,500 Calories, or 0.9 kg of grain. But an orc can march 50 km in a night with a 30-kg pack and 10 kg of armor with the same ease that a sapien can march 25 km in a day with a 20-kg pack and 10 kg of armor. The distance covered per kilogram of grain is the same, but the orc is faster. Sapien cavalry move as fast as orc infantry: cavalry travel 50 km a day. But a light horse on the march requires 10 kg of grain per day. If the horse sets off with 50 kg of oats in addition to its 70-kg rider, and the orc sets off with 20 kg of flour in its pack, the horse will be out of food in five days, while the orc will keep going for thirteen days.
Sapiens solve their supply problems in wars with horses and wagons, or with barges on rivers, or by stealing food from the local population. Orcs armies prefer not to waste time pillaging the local countryside. They supply themselves with ogres instead of horses and carts. They carry their own food when they advance, then pause for the ogre supplies to catch up. They like to travel at night and fight at night, especially when they are facing sapien opponents. They win campaigns by long movements and flexible supply of food by ogres, organized from the air by wyvern-riding black-orc generals.
Most orcs don't like to farm. They like to have fun and fight. Many orc nations use sapien slaves to work their land for them. The orcs of Clarus use blunt weapons in their wars, the object being to fight and dominate, not to kill. For a description of an orc battle, see Marching with Orcs. At age ten, an orc male is fully trained for farming and fighting. He is a first level adventurer. From then on, he fights in the summer campaign while the crops are ripening, possibly a winter one if the climate permits. Orc battles, being with sticks, kill few soldiers compared to sapien battles, and prisoners are ransomed or kept as slaves or exchanged for other prisoners or co-opted into the victorious force. Participation by a fast-healing orc in an orc battle earns half as many experience points as participation by a fragile sapien in a deadly sapien battle. Each soldier taking part in a summer campaign can expect to play an active part in two of four battles fought by the army.
Orcs need twice as many experience points to earn an adventuring level as do sapiens. This same rule applies to elves and dwarves, except for contender characters who adventure with sapiens. Active participation in eight battles by a sapien earns him a new level's worth of experience points. Every year, an orc soldier plays an active part in two battles and earns one eighth of a level. From ages 10 to 17: they are al=1, dp=2, hp=16, TOU=6. Ages 17 to 24: al=2, dp=4, hp=18, TOU=8. Ages 25 to 32: al=3, dp=6, hp=20, TOU=10. Ages 33 to 40: al=4, dp=9, hp=22, TOU=12. Age 41-49: dying of old age but al=5, dp=12, hp=24, TOU=14. The average adventurer level of orc soldiers is 3.0.
In an average orc battle, the forces suffer 10% casualties, meaning 10% cannot fight any more at the end of the battle. Of the casualties, one in twenty are dead and one in twenty are maimed. Because each orc fights in two pitched battles per campaign, their chance of being killed each campaign are 1% and of being maimed but not killed are 1%. Consider a class of 500 young male orcs first entering the army at age 10. When this class reaches the age of 20, 817 remain fit to fight. At age 30, 668 are fit, and at age 40, 454 are fit. Of those that are not fit, half are maimed and half are dead. The most frequent maiming is a leg or arm that cannot be used fully. Paralyzation from the waist or neck down are treated by death as you would a horse. If a black orc is around, it is his responsibility to kill the disabled. These deaths are counted in the dead above. Female orcs fight also, when their nation is invaded. They have a habit of fighting for the affection of the men, who are less numerous than the women. Their fights can be deadly. Nevertheless, their chance of being killed or maimed each year is one quarter that of the men who fight in battles. For each 1000 orcs, we have one black-orc ruler, 239 children, 384 fit women, 17 maimed women, 301 fit men, and 58 maimed men.
In the Outlands of Clarus, male orcs hunt and fight, while female orcs farm and raise children. Orc populations are ruled by black orcs. Orcs have a word for their own race: keshi. They call black-orcs karazi. For more about orcs and black orcs, see Outland Inhabitants. The adventure diaries The Green Horn Tavern and The Castle Hydroma describe orcs in the Western Outlands of Clarus, and feature a love affair between a sapien man and an orc woman. We describe life among a tribe of exiled orcs in The Exiles. We describe sapiens and orcs travelling together in Plantinak. Orc genes are recessive compared to sapien genes, so the child of a pure-bred sapien and an orc will appear sapien, even though it is half-orc. One quarter of the children of half-orcs will be orcs, one quarter will be pure-bred sapiens, and half will be half-orcs. In Varay, an average of two orcs are born to the population of two million every year. That's roughly one out of every ten thousand children born, implying that one out of every two hundred Varayans is a half-orc.
Combat: (young trooper fl=1, al=1, dp=2, hp=20) leather ap=6, staff two-handed sa=1, sp=36. (veteran trooper fl=4, al=4, dp=9, hp=23) chain ap=14, staff two-handed sa=6, sp=40.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 −15 size: 1.2 m mass: 100 kg hp: 20 life span: 10 yrs body armor: 6 temperament: pack carnivore classification: dinosaur
Any two-legged, carnivorous dinosaur larger than a child but smaller than an ogre can be called a raptor. Several such species were resurrected by the Lumans from fragments of genetic material trapped in specimens of of Terran amber gathered by demons and also purchased from sapiens by gods. After alterations and inter-breeding, dozens of different raptor species now exist, of many colors sizes and temperaments. All will fight in packs, but their tactics are instinctive and do not change with experience. No raptor can be trained to do anything more complicated than push on something to get food. All raptors believe that a fight will always be won by the larger or more numerous side, and that anything that moves and does not have the shape of a raptor will be good to eat. A hungry raptor will attack a creature its own size without hesitation and fight until it is wounded, after which it will back away, but not run away. A pack of raptors will attack an elephant without hesitation, and fight until there are too few of them left standing to give them superiority through numbers. Raptors will not attack other raptors, even if the other raptors are wounded and helpless. Instead, they will remain close to their wounded comrades, and thus protect them from other predators. These wounded comrades will recover their ability to walk within a few hours, after which they can all return to their lair, which may be where their eggs are hidden.
Raptors have slit eyes that detect movement like a cat at night, and like a sapien during the day. But their eyes do not see color, nor can they identify shapes particularly well, so stationary prey has a good chance of being unseen. But raptors have a good sense of smell. Not as good as a dogs, but good enough to smell a nearby animal. A raptor's skin is made of thick, closely-fitting leathery plates. Their tough skin gives them armor protection, but a raptor's mind is too primitive to acquire prescience, so they never have any dodging points.
The characteristics we give above are for a man-sized veloceraptor that runs with its spine near-horizontal, bounding along on its two bird-like legs. Its skin is green and brown, blended in such a way as to make the raptor hard to see among vegetation. It will fight in packs or on its own. It cannot be trained. It will not recognize a trainer or master. But they grow fast. If well-fed, this species of raptor will grow to full size in two months, during which it will consume only 500 kg of food. For each five kilograms it eats, it adds one kilogram of body mass.
Raptors are cold-blooded reptiles. They need to eat only one tenth as much meat as a warm-blooded carnivore of the same mass. But they cannot move at full speed unless their bodies are at 25°C. They can generate heat by movement, but before they can move, some other source of heat must warm their bodies. The sun is the source they use in the wild. They are therefore most successful in tropical climates, where they can remain active at night. So long as they are kept warm, raptors are effective and inexpensive guardian monsters. They will remain stationary, using hardly any energy, until they see an intruder, who they will attack immediately. They can go months without food. For an example of how raptors are kept as guards by a tribe of kobolds, with the help of some hot stones to keep them warm, see here.
The raptor's weapons is its massive jaws. It can also grab with its claws. A pack of twelve could be raised in two months and then released from their den when people come prowling around your property. Stay indoors until they kill something. They will come back to their lair when they are finished, assuming none of them were badly wounded and can't walk, in which case they will stick together and return when they have recovered. When they are all in their lair again, you can shut the door and keep them trapped until the next time prowlers come around.
Combat: (raptor with characteristics above hp=20) ap=6, bite sa=0, sp=20.
STR TOU DEX INT 0 0 0 0 size: 1.8 m mass: 67 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 80 yrs body armor: none temperament: neutral classification: Terran, homo sapiens
Sapien attributes are readily changed by exercise. By weight lifting, a sapien can raise his STR attribute by up to ten points. Weight lifting will raise the STR of hellspawn, elves, and dwarves by only five points. Sapien instincts are readily trained. A sapien adventurer with two hundred experience points is second level, but a hellspawn, elf, or dwarf adventurer needs four hundred experience points to be second level (although the dramaturgist may make exceptions to this rule for contender characters). Sapien vision, among the humanoid species, is the norm to which we compare all others. It is the best vision for hunting in day-time, providing excellent color distinction and detail in bright light.
Sapiens require roughly 2,000 Calories per day, or 3,500 per day when marching with a 20 kg pack and 10 kg of armor a distance of 25 km each day. This 3,500 calories can be supplied by 0.9 kg of whole-grain flour (whole-grain flour contains 4,000 Calories per kilogram). If the pack contains 10 kg of flour, this will supply the soldier adequately for up to eleven days marching, during which time he will travel 275 km. If they dedicate 20 kg of their pack to wheat flour, they can march a total of 670 km before they run out of food. If they start out with 20 kg of flour, and go a little slower on average, say 20 km per day, they can travel 450 km. Orcs, meanwhile, consume 6,000 Calories per day while marching 50 km per day with a 30-kg pack and 10 kg of armor. The advantage of sapiens in a long-lasting campaign is the ease with which they can survive by foraging for food. They need half the amount of food as a foraging orc.
Combat: (angry clerk fl=-5, al=0, dp=0, hp=10) ap=0, fist and foot sa=-5; (guard fl=1, al=1, dp=1, hp=14, STR=5) ring ap=10, longsword sa=1, sp=22; (gladiator fl=3, al=3, dp=4, hp=16, STR=7, DEX=3) ap=0, short sword and light mace sa=9, sp=15.
STR TOU DEX INT 5 0 0 −5 size: 2 m mass: 1000 kg hp: 200 life span: 1000 yrs body armor: none temperament: territorial classification: incubus
A sludge monster, also known incorrectly as a sludge demon, is an incubus that makes its body out of water and conjured matter, and makes its home in water. It is an unshapely lump of a creature that catches its food by surrounding whatever it is with its body. They can eat just about anything. They are fond of kitchen waste, because it has been cut up and cleaned already. They are fond of any form of human or animal waste. The don't like to eat live creatures because such things wiggle a lot, are hard to keep inside, and take longer to digest. But their favorite food of all would be a pile of cooked minced-beef and onions. They consume all such materials, digest them, and egest silt that sinks to the bottom of the body of water in which they reside. Although the sludge demon does produce gas with a distintive and sickly-sweet odor, the smell is not as bad as a pile of rotting refuse, so on balance, they offer a valuable service. Sludge Demons were designed to fulfill a role similar to that of a water hydra, but they tend to do this by occupying a cesspit rather than a pool of clear water with a fountain. That way, the monster can fulfill two functions at once: disposing of waste and protecting the rear entrance to the lair.
The sludge monster can create a burning ball of sparkling fire at a range of one to one hundred meters from its body, and the monster can move the ball at up to 5 m per second. The fire ball is bright, hot, and noisy. Depending upon the sludge monster, the ball can be from ten centimeters across to two meters across. It can be of any color. Some sludge monsters can vary both the size and color of their fireball. The fireball can burn for several minutes to several hours. After it expires, the sludge monster must wait for a period of time for its psionic networks to recover, and then it can create another fireball.
Sludge demons don't have spoken language. They can see and hear, but they don't speak. Nor do they have command words by which you can boss them around. But they like people who bring them food, and they can recognize people who bring them food. If you want the sludge demon to attack strangers, you have to train it to do so, as you would train a dog to attack on command.
Sludge monsters are intelligent enough to act as guards in exchange for food. They prefer not to eat raw people, especially if they are wearing armor. But a dead body that has rotted for a while in water is an acceptable meal. But they will use their fire to deter people, as part of a bargain with the person who feeds them. Because a sludge monster cannot move easily out of water, it has a hard time obtaining food itself. Certainly, it is far easier for them to make a guardian deal with someone to get themselves fed. Thus cooperation with sapiens and hellspawn is common and sought-after by sludge monsters, and sludge monsters make for faithful and effective guardians. But they are unattractive and messy.
Sludge monster bodies cannot retain their integrity out of water. The only way for them to travel between bodies of water is to abandon their water and conjured muscle body. What is left, at the core of a sludge monster, is its biological incubus body, which is very similar to a giant slug half a meter long. This body can crawl with an undulating movement, looking about it with its eyes on stalks, seeing well at night, and smelling out a new body of water with its two stalk antenna. This is one way for a sludge demon to find a new home. Another way is for their master to drain their pool, in which case they will allow their body to collapse. Their master can advance and put the slug-like incubus in a damp box, where they do not tend to make fire, for lack of any target.
Combat: A typical sludge monster acts as a guard in a pool of water. We treat fireball as a missile the demon can fire every ten seconds up to a hundred times a day, firing accuracy 5, firing power 30. Because we treat it as a missile, its formidability is always 1. The demon rears half its huge body out of the water and moves its brain around within, watching through its body at the effect of its fireball. The body is immune to missiles because it is tough conjured matter and water. Only the brain is vulnerable, and it presents a 20-cm diameter target. The sludge monster will try to stay at least five meters from its opponents, is out of reach of hand-to-hand combat.
A spirit is any creature with a spirit matter brain enclosed in an adamantine skull that can survive passage through a spirit bridge. Examples of spirits are gods, demigods, demons, and will-o-wisps. Most spirits keep space bridges in their skulls. These bridges are used for various senses and for the generation of forces. When a spirit passes through a spirit bridge, its internal space bridges are destroyed. The spirit will immediately begin re-creating these bridges, a process that can take up to a week. To some spirits, such as demons, these space bridges are essential. To others, such as gods, they are merely useful.
For the origins of spirits, see A Brief History of the Galaxy.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 0 0 −5 size: 1.6 m mass: 60 kg hp: 100 life span: 3000+ yrs body armor: 0 temperament: servant classification: demon
A succubus is a demon in a body the shape of an adult sapien, whose chief pleasure it to have an intimate physical relationship with its master, instead of the simple patting on the head desired by most demons. The body of a succubus is softer and more flexible than that of most demons, so as to give it a more human appearance. The skin can be black, brown, or white, and the flesh is made more of conjured rubber than wood. Nevertheless, the essential constituents of the body remain the same as for most demons: conjured matter and sand or gravel for weight and mass. The Lumans made succubi to keep gods company while the gods were away from Terra. Combat is not a fundamental desire of the succubus, but many gods have trained their succubi to act as their body-guards, and have trained them personally. Achillese's long-time succubus Gabriella, for example, is renowned for her prowess with a short sword, and is usually depicted wearing a suit of plate armor. Although most succubi are slow-witted compared to most sapiens, all succubi are old and experienced. They tend to be wise and cunning. They tend to be loyal to a master who treats them well. In order to protect them from the unwanted attentions of biological creatures, succubi have the ability to deliver electrical shocks to such creature's minds. The result is equivalent to the wizard's Paralyze spell.
STR DEX TOU INT 56 −10 0 −10 size: 6 m mass: 3000 kg hp: 90 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 30 temperament: peaceful, hard-working classification: mammalian amalgam, hellspawn
Trolls are the largest of the hellspawn species. They stand six meters tall. Their heads are round and their arms and leges are thick with muscle and covered with scales. Their eyes are deep-set in their heads and see well only in daylight. They are androgynous with no genitalia. They are almost always naked, covered and protected from the cold by their scales and their great body mass.
Trolls were designed to clear paths through forests, to wade rivers and erect bridges, to shatter boulders with sledge hammers and carry tons of gravel on their backs. Their bodies are covered with overlapping scales three centimeters thick. These scales are various shades of gray, depending upon the troll, and are made of a boney material with a tough, fibrous interior. The scales can crack when struck hard, but they do not break. A rock splinter from a shattered boulder must penetrate six centimeters of troll scale before it reached the troll's flesh. Trolls are slow creatures poorly-suited for combat, but if attacked their scales present protection superior to that of the finest sapien plate armor.
Troll muscles are three times as strong, weight for weight, as sapien muscles. But they are also ten times slower. A troll's arm is about 2.4 m long, while a sapien's is 80 cm. A sapien can jab his arm out and retract it in a third of a second. The fastest a troll can make the same movement is ten seconds (ten times slower, arms three times longer). It takes the troll five seconds to stretch out its arm and another five to withdraw it. When a troll walks, it allows its legs to swing like pendulums, as do sapiens. The period of this pendulum is 2π√(l/g), where l is the length of the troll's leg,around 3 m, and g is gravity, we assume 10 m/s/s. That's 3.4 seconds per stride (two paces). Compare this to 2.0 s for the sapien stride. The troll stride is three times longer than the sapien stride, so we expect the troll walk to be 70% faster than the sapien walk. But in fact trolls take their time planting their feet, and their muscles resist the free swinging of their legs, so the actual troll walking-pace is 5 km/hr, the same as a sapien's or an orc's.
Trolls love to clear trees to make open ground. They can uproot a twenty-meter poplar tree in one movement with one hand by grabbing it around the base of its trunk and pulling. They can uproot privet hedges with the same ease that a sapien gardener pulls out dandelions. Trolls enjoy smashing up rocks and making paths. With training, they can cut flat roads in solid rock along a cliff face or up through a rocky pass. With more training, they come to love building walls and dams out of cut rocks. They are not intelligent. Indeed: they are idiots. But they can speak in their deep, slow voices with a vocabulary of a few hundred words, and their love of their work motivates them to apply what little intelligence they have to acquiring whatever skills it requires, provided that there is plenty of good food at the end of the day for them to eat, and clean water to drink, and maybe even some beer.
The natural swing of a sapien wood-cutter takes around one second. Trolls use axes to cut the tops off the largest trees before they push them over. Troll axes have three-meter handles. The axe-heads move on a radius of six meters. A comfortable horizontal axe-swing relies upon tension in the slightly-declined shaft and arms to support the weight of the head. For this tension to be great enough, the centripetal acceleration of the shaft head must be several times greater than the local gravity. For an axe-head at a radius of six meter to experience a centripetal acceleration of 30 m/s/s (three times gravity), it must move at 13 m/s (from s=√(ar), where s is speed, a is 30 m/s/s and r is 6 m). The axe will trace out a half-circle swing in 1.5 s (from T=2πr/s, where T is the period of complete rotation). A sapien can twist his body through a half-circle in a third of a second. We might expect, therefore, that a troll could do the same movement in no less than three seconds. And indeed, a troll who has not been trained to use an axe or a sledge-hammer finds the swinging of the head in a horizontal arc impossible. But after a year's practice they learn to let the momentum of the axe-head carry them around and keep their head still without becoming dizzy.
Troll axe-heads weight 500 kg. They move at up to 15 m/s and concentrate their force onto a 50-cm blade. The impact strength of the troll axe-blow is almost a thousand times greater than that delivered by a sapien wood-cutter. A troll can cut through a two-foot thick castle gate in under a minute. (Note that this axe-head is worth roughly $50k, at a price of $100 per kg of pig iron.)
A full-grown troll can lift its own body weight with one hand: that's 3000 km in one fist. To carry such loads, a troll's hands are padded on the palms and fingers with plates made of horn. The horn is as hard as ivory and up to ten centimeters thick. Some trolls wear iron gauntlets over their horny hands, but such gauntlets are necessary only when trolls are breaking rocks with their bare hands. More often they will break rocks with sledge-hammers. A troll sledge-hammer has an iron head that weighs 1000 kg. With a sledge-hammer, trolls can break apart solid rock by simply pounding it until it fractures and crumbles. A troll can smash up 30 tonnes of granite in a day, which is 10 cubic meters. Each blow with a troll sledge hammer is an impact so mighty that granite simply shatters into gravel for a depth of ten centimeters beneath the impact point. Flying shards of rock are a constant danger to the troll's body and eyes. Troll eyes are deep-set in their faces so that their brows and cheeks give them protection from flying chips. Their eye-lids are armored. Trolls close their eyes just before they strike their target, and for a moment afterwards. Nevertheless, eye injuries are the number-one cause of maiming and disability among trolls. Half of the trolls over 200 years old have at least one eye that is impaired by an old injury.
When equipped with a suitable carrying-bin, a troll can carry its own body weight in gravel all day without feeling particularly tired. That's 3,000 kg of gravel transported by one troll a distance of 40 km, or 30,000 kg transported from a gravel quarry to a road surface 2 km away.
Trolls are androgynous and not particularly social, so their chief pleasures are work and food. At the end of a day's work they must eat 100 kg of food to restore their energy. The better the food, the happier they will be. Although they are large, they have all the sensitivity to flavor of a sapien, and a long life in which to develop their tastes. To get the best work from an experienced troll takes around $1000 worth of food a day. While they are working, they need to sleep only a few hours a each night, but when they are not working, they can sleep for days at a time. The troll's long periods of sleep are a means to reduce the amount of food they eat when they are not required to work. Even when they sleep most of the time, a troll eats 100 kg of food a week. But a troll that sleeps too much becomes depressed. A happy troll is a troll who is working and eating every day.
Trolls don't fear anything but hunger and perhaps black-orcs. They are peaceful and introspective enough to understand that they are dependent upon other creatures for their food. They are not fast enough to hunt, nor deft enough to farm. Trolls have been known to try to extract food from villages by force, but they are so slow that all they can do is smash buildings. They can't catch anybody. When they bust open a grain silo, they won't want to eat the grain unless they are starving. They would rather eat fresh-baked bread.
Because trolls are androgynous, they must be grown artificially from troll stem cells obtained from the Princes of Hell. Gelden brought a reservoir of troll stem cells from Hell to Clarus, and these have survived the centuries in the care of various Claran-based biologists. To have a biologist grow a troll for you costs about $5M. An experienced adult troll is worth about $10M.
Orc nations make good use of trolls when they can get them. Black orcs know how to keep the trolls happy. A single troll can clear a hundred meter by five-meter path through a forest in a single day, uprooting dozens of trees, carrying away their roots and branches, and filling in the tree-stump holes with fresh dirt and rocks. In a military campaign, trolls are useful when it comes to breaking down fortifications and carrying the heaviest siege equipment over difficult terrain. Because of their great value, however, competent generals rarely expose them to attacks from the walls of enemy fortifications.
Combat: (road-builder, fl=-5, al=0, dp=0, hp=90, STR=56, DEX=−10) troll scales ap=30, sledge-hammer sa=−15, sp=100 (that's 20D10). When attacked, the troll ignores the attacker and makes no effort to avoid being hit. Therefore the attack is a surprise attack and the attacker's fighter level does not affect the to-hit roll. In its own attacks, the troll might wave its hammer around for one eighth damage, which gives it +15 to-hit and an average of 14 hp damage.
STR DEX TOU INT 60 −6 5 −25 size: 11 m mass: 23,000 kg hp: 300 life span: 100 yrs body armor: 10 temperament: carnivore classification: dinosaur
The tyrannosaur is a species of dinosaur from Earth, recreated by Lumans using tissue fragments preserved in Terran amber, and subsequently altered to brighten the color of its skin, and to thicken its skin also, to make it more resistant to bladed weapons. They are of little practical use, but they are prized for gladiatorial contests where their sheer size causes great excitement among the audience. They are expensive to keep, since they must eat their mass in raw meat each year. They reach adulthood in five years, during which time they consume 50,000 kg of animal carcasses. A tyrannosaur egg may be purchased for as little as 100 gp, but a full-grown adult costs 10,000 gp. A single tyrannosaur is no more dangerous than a dozen raptors, but a great deal more expensive to maintain. Their body armor is close-fitting, but not over-lapping, leathery plates. These plates boast bright red and green stripes. In gladiatorial combat, a hungry tyrannosaur will fight to the death. If it wins before death, it will collaps and go into a coma from which it will usually recover. Tyrannosaurs are far too stupid to acquire prescience, so they never have any dodging points. This makes them vulnerable to magical attacks. One Flash spell, well-placed, will blind the huge creature for a few minutes.
Combat: dp=0, hp=300, ap=0, jaw and legs sa=1, sp=78.
STR DEX TOU INT 0 5 0 0 size: 1.8 m mass: 65 kg hp: 10+TOU life span: 300 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: neutral classification: diseased sapien
A vampire is a sapien suffering from an inherited affliction called methuselaic anemia. The affliction becomes apparent between thirty to forty years of age. The symptoms of the affliction are a weakness of body, accompanied by crippling melancholy, leading quickly to lax immobility and despair. A vampire's eyes are acutely sensitive to light, allowing him to see well at night, but making daylight unbearable. His skin is pale and dry, and burns easily in the sun. He is allergic to garlic, and is revolted by its smell. There is no cure for methuselaic anemia, but its symptoms can be alleviated. The gods can supply a potion, to be taken daily, but it costs 10 gp per dose. Another potion, also to be taken daily, may be made by mixing certain inexpensive drugs with two pints of human blood. With the strength of both mind and body supplied by daily (or nightly) potions, a vampire is uncommonly dexterous, and will live, barring any accidents, for three hundred years. Despite the help of the potions, however, he is usually melancholy, occasionally breaking out into bursts of joy, lust, anger, or cruelty. Vampires can be formidable adventurers, but make haunting and unpredictable companions. Many of them become necromancers, manipulating zombies and ghouls to earn the money or the blood required to keep their melancholy at bay.
Combat: (reclusive, rich vampire fl=0, al=0, dp=0, hp=10) ap=0, +8 sword sa=5, sp=23; (old, blood-gathering, urban vampire fl=10, al=10, dp=10, hp=10, DEX=15) ap=0, +8 sword sa=25, sp=23, +3 dagger sa=20, sp=6; (assassin vampire fl=5, tl=15, al=15, dp=15, hp=10, DEX=15) leather ap=6, shield and +6 small sword sa=23, sp=12.
STR DEX TOU INT −12 −5 0 −5 size: 30 cm mass: 20 kg hp: 50 life span: indefinite body armor: 30 temperament: neutral classification: demon
A will-o-wisp is a spirit without a body. Its adamantine shell is roughly 30 cm in diameter, with half a dozen small holes leading into the interior. The surface of the shell is engraved with geometric patterns appropriate for the generation of transparent conjured matter and also encrusted with diamonds that can generate light. A 10 cm layer of transparent conjured rubber usually surrounds the shell, protecting it from harm. The holes in the shell allow the demon within to see out. These holes are filled with transparent conjured wood, and end in glass lenses. Within the sphere are several molecular space bridges used as space bridge thrusters. The will-o-wisp's space bridge thrusters allow it to fly at up to 50 m/s (200 kph), at which speed it can turn on a radius of 50 m. To reach its maximum velocity, a will-o-wisp must shed its coating of conjured rubber, which they are reluctant to do. The rubber protects the insides of the will-o-wisp from the shock of impact against stationary objects.
A will-o-wisp changes direction by exerting a force perpendicular to its line of motion with a space bridge inside its skull. As it turns, it rotates its body so that the same side of its shell faces the outside of the turn. This force does not work, because it acts perpendicular to the movement of the internal thruster. Thus the thruster's bridge energy in preserved during the will-o-wisp's maneuvers. When they fly, therefore, will-o-wisps tend to maintain a constant speed, and will often turn in a circle rather than slow down and hover, even though they are perfectly capable of hovering.
Will-o-wisps were manufactured in large numbers by the Lumans. They were designed to act as scouts upon newly discovered magical planets, after being dropped by daemons from above the planetary atmosphere. With their conjured rubber coating, they are immune to cold and heat, and resistant to chemical attack. They can withstand pressures of hundreds of atmospheres. They defend themselves by generating an explosion of electrically charged heat, just like the wizard spell Lightening Ball. They will do this when they find that they are being constrained or their rubber coating is being penetrated to their adamantine skull. To generate the lightening ball, a will-o-wisp must prepare space bridges and spirit matter outside its shell, a process that takes about ten seconds, and causes it to shine with bright white light.
The only sense possessed by a will-o-wisp is sight. They communicate with one another by light flashes. To generate these flashes, they have diamonds embedded in their shells. Will-o-Wisps are commanded by flashing their password, followed by a sequence of commands, in the will-o-wisp language. Each will-o-wisp has its own password. They also have a serial number engraved somewhere upon their shell, so it is possible to obtain a will-o-wisp's password, since the passwords of most will-o-wisps in the Celesti Sector are known to the gods.
Will-o-wisps can pass unharmed through spirit bridges, as can all spirits. But they will be unable to move or defend themselves for several hours after passage through a spirit bridge because they need time to create new space bridges within their shells.
The diamonds on the surface of a will-o-wisp are roughly 1 mm across. There are ten per square centimeter, and it is these diamonds that can shine with a bright light. In all, there are around twenty thousand diamonds on a will-o-wisp's shell. If collected, they are worth around a 10 kgp. But this sum is but a fraction of the value of the will-o-wisp itself. A will-o-wisp with its command phrase will sell for 100 kgp. It is possible for a wizard to implant space bridges within a will-o-wisp through which she can spy upon the world. There are a dozen holes in the shell of a will-o-wisp, and only half of them are necessary for effective vision on the part of the will-o-wisp.
Combat: Will-o-wisps attack only when they have a standing order to do so, or they are forced to defend themselves. They prepare their explosive attack, approach their target, and let it loose. They can do this up to three times a day. They may also attack by colliding with softer bodies, but this they do only under duress.
STR DEX TOU INT −1 0 0 −15 size: 90 cm mass: 60 kg hp: 10 life span: 10 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: carnivore classification: mammal
Wolves hunt in packs of up to a dozen adults. In winter, when wolves go hungry, they will attack humans.
Combat: dp=0, hp=10, teeth and claws sa=0, sp=3.
STR DEX TOU INT 22 0 0 −10 size: 20 m mass: 500 kg hp: 30 life span: 300 yrs body armor: 6 (hard scales) temperament: mount classification: Terran alteration
Wyverns are reptilian flying mounts. A wyvern's wings span twenty meters and are three meters from front to back. From its nostril to the tip of its tail is twenty meters. The body tapers into the tail and neck, so it is hard to say where one begins and the other ends, but roughly speaking the tail is eight meters long, the body six, the neck five, and the head one. Its jaws are half a meter long, with teeth up to ten centimeters long. Its tail is round in cross-section until the last two meters, where there is a tail wing that spreads out horizontallly during flight, like the tail wing of a dragon. Unlike a dragon, wyverns have only two legs, but These are large and powerful, and placed as those of a bird with respect to their body. Their skin all over is black with smooth scales that are both tough and flexible. They see well at night. With training, wyverns will learn their own names, understand dozens of commands, and obey the orders of their master even when their master is out of sight. A wyvern will wait for its master on the ground, or circle above its master until called down, following her as she moves across the ground, so long as he has a clear view of her.
Wyverns are alterations designed by the Princes of Hell to carry black orcs. But they have become popular as mounts for adventurers. Wyverns are bred by cloning. All are identical, and all are androgynous. Their immune systems are reptilian. They do not contract diseases suffered by mammals or birds. There are, however, a number of sicknesses that affect only wyverns. These are not deadly, but can lead to the wyvern losing half its endurance for a number of weeks.
Wyverns need to eat forty kilograms of meat a week, plus forty kilograms per eight hours of easy flying. During the ten years it takes them to reach adulthood, they eat the equivalent off five hundred sheep. The cost of a trained ten-year-old wyvern is a million Olympian dollars. They are available for sale from the Princes of Hell via Olympia. Because they are androgynous, they are infertile and therefore cannot be bred by their owners. They must be conceived in a laboratory, and Princes of Hell have the monopoly on their creation. Although they are reptillian, wyverns are able to control their body temperature. Most often they do not sleep deeply, but instead maintain their body temperature as would a mammal. Their bodies are not well-insulated, hso wyverns suffer from the cold unless they are flying, the work of which keeps them warm. When sleeping at night, they benefit greatly from blankets or a stable. Otherwise they will go into hibernation when it is cold, allowing their bodies to cool to near freezing without suffering harm. It takes them an hour to wake up from such hibernation. When a wyvern hibernates, it closes its eyes and is unaware of approaching danger. When it merely rests at the end of the day, it maintains its body temperature and keeps its eyes open. If the weather is warm, however, the wyvern need not hibernate, and it need not sleep. It will keep watch for its master all night if asked to do so. Wyverns are color-blind, but both their night vision and their hearing are superb.
An adult wyvern can take off with a standing jump carrying a 200 kg load, the weight of an adult male black orc. The same adult can carry a 400 kg load if it gets to jump off a ledge. Wyverns never run to take off, although they can walk quickly with an awkward two-legged gait if they are trapped beneath trees or in a cave. During take-off, they beat their wings twice a second to generate the lift they need to get up off the ground. The blasts of air from their wings are strong enough to flatten wheat in a field. They cruise at 100 kph, during which they beat their wings once a second. At this speed they can turn on a 30-m radius, during which turn the rider will be pressed into their saddle by a force almost three times their own weight. They dive at 200 kph.
The area of a wyvern's wings is 80 square meters. When it beats its wings once in a half-second, the average distance moved by the wing area is 3 m. They displace 240 cubic meters of air, forcing it away at 3 m/s. The density of air is 1.2 kg per cubic meter. Forcing 300 kg of air downwards at 3 m/s once per second generates enough lift to raise 900 kg. A wyvern's wings operate in this manner, by displacing air rapidly, when it takes off. In flight, however, it beats its wings so as to propel itself forwards against wind resistance. Once it is moving at 100 kph, the passage of air over its curving wing surface generates the lift required to support its own weight and that of its rider.
The maximum weight a wyvern can lift is 900 kg at sea-level in gravity 10 m/s/s. When we subtract its own mass of 500 kg, we get a maximum load of 400 kg. This maximum decreases by 1%, or 9 kg, for every 100 m altitude. For a detailed description of how to determine flying speed and endurance at various altitudes, see the entry on Hippogriffs.
|Load (kg)||Lift Fraction (%)||Speed (kph)||Endurance (hr)||Range (km)||Ceiling (m)|
A wyvern-rider must dominate his mount before it will obey him. The first thing a wyvern will do when a new rider tries to mount it is attack the imposter with its jaws. The rider must respond by beating the wyvern with her fists or some other blunt instrument until the creature is subdued. Once the wyvern trusts that the rider can subdue it at will, it will bite only rarely. Without subdual, the wyvern will refuse to fly. If its rider injures it in any way with a sword edge, or with too ferocious a blow, the wyvern will become wild in its efforts to escape further injury. When a new rider subdues a wyvern, all feats of riding will be five points more difficult, owing to the mistrust the wyvern will have of the new rider, and its loyalty to its previous rider, which may have been its trainer or a long-term master. As the days go by, this penalty decreases to zero.
So long as they are treated fairly, wyverns are affectionate with their masters, seeking physical contact with them, looking forward to their journeys, and seeking to be near them. Aside from their masters, wyverns will tolerate those who they respect, which in all cases means those who can dominate them. The groom of a wyvern stable must be an adventurer of some sort, because he will be attacked at least once by every wyvern that he cares for. When waiting on the ground for their master to return, a wyvern will not move to attack, but it will threaten anyone coming within a five meters of its body. It will hiss and raise its head on its long neck, looking down at the object of its dissatisfaction. At this point, the intruder must either retreat, prepare to defend himself, or be bitten when the wyvern's head comes striking down from on high, jaws wide.
For those riders who can dominate easily a dragon-like creature with big teeth on a cold morning, wyverns offer far greater performance than hippogriffs. They are ten times more expensive to buy, but they are no more expensive to maintain. They are ferocious if attacked, and will not allow themselves to be ridden by anyone incapable of subduing them. They need not be stabled and guarded because they are obedient once their rider has earned their loyalty. When the rider dismounts and enters a town, the wyvern can fly overhead for hours, watching for its master and listening for its master's call to descend.
Wyvern riders must wear goggles to protect their eyes from the on-rushing air while flying at 125 kph. The wyvern provides a smooth and steady ride with its regular wing-beats. But flying at high altitude to scout the ground, or stay above hippogriff-riding enemies, requires that the wyvern rider be well-dressed for the cold. Air temperature tends to drop by around 6°C/km m vertical ascent when the air is humid, and 10°C/km when the air is dry. A wyvern scout flying at altitude 4000 m above an arid landscape with surface temperature 30°C must endure −10°C while flying. Wyvern flying kit is lightweight and warm. Sheepskin is a popular material, with boots, heavy mittens, hat, and goggles coming together to stop the wind penetrating the clothes. Ursian wyvern scouts have pockets inside their flying suit into which they place hot stones to keep them warm.
For a description of a wyvern being summoned from Olympia see here. For a wyvern landing with a black-orc at night see here.
Combat: Black orcs train their wyverns for combat, taking special care to train their prescience. (black orc mount) dp=5, hp=30, ap=6, beak and claws sa=5, sp=30.
STR DEX TOU INT 10 −5 10 −10 size: 2 m mass: 100 kg hp: 15+TOU life span: 70 yrs body armor: 0 temperament: idiot or slave classification: diseased sapien
A zombie is a sapien suffering from a disease called zombism. A sapien afflicted by the disease falls into a catatonic fit for several days, followed by awakening to a permanently deranged and sluggish mind. Zombies have ferocious appetites. If well-fed, they grow tall and muscular. It is possible to hypnotise and enslave zombies. Inflicting zombism upon unsuspecting victims, and subsequently enslaving them, is one of the things necromancers are good at.
Combat: (hungry idiot fl=0, al=0, dp=0, hp=25) club sa=−5, sp=17; (slave guard fl=1, al=0, dp=0, hp=25) ring ap=10, large shield and light mace sa=−2, sp=16.