Burrow-mawt (DCC)

Final-Burrower Maug-C
Burrow-mawt by Gary Dupuis

Burrow-mawt: Init +4; Atk bite +0 melee (1d4) or claws +0 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 2 hp; MV 20’ or burrow 5’; Act 1d20; SP infravision 60’, keen senses, blood-rage, light blindness; SV Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +0; AL N.

Burrow-mawts, also known as land piranhas, are the size of a cat, with iridescent yellow eyes and extremely long, sharp claws. They live in areas where there is enough soil to dig beneath, usually emerging to hunt at night. Their claws are not strong enough to burrow through solid stone, although they can work their way into old brickwork and burial mounds. Unless disturbed, they sleep during daylight hours. Indeed, burrow-mawts are effectively blind in daylight or similar bright light, but their keen sense of smell reduces the penalty for blindness to a mere -2 on attack rolls.

These creatures can smell the blood of living prey within 30’. They can smell spilled blood from up to 300’ away. As soon as a burrow-mawt smells prey, it flies into a blood-rage, biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. The creature gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls and damage, but suffers a -2 penalty to AC while enraged.

Though possessed of a bite belying its size, the danger of these beasts lies in their numbers. A typical pack of burrow-mawts is comprised of 1d10+20 individuals, and packs of 2d10+20 individuals have been encountered. In their hungry madness, they attack en masse until their prey is brought down and dragged into their burrows to be consumed. If half their pack is killed the remaining members can make a DC 15 Will save to break the frenzy of their blood-rage and flee. Any burrow-mawt that fails this save continues to fight until either they or their prey is dead.


On Porphyra

Bred for some grim purpose, burrow-mawts have spread to many environments and adapted for them. They may be found in any environment that has surface material loose enough to burrow in, and avoid any terrain dominated by deep-rooted plants, such as most trees. There are variants in the snows of the Northlands and the Eternal Ice, and sandburrowing mawts in the desert lands of Siwath, Simoon, and the Ghadab.

Most burrow-mawts, however, are found in the plains of Pardeshi, where they have displaced other plains-dwellers to areas of forest or close bedrock. Newcomers to the plains of the Pardeshi sometimes make the mistake of assuming that some race engages in plowing odd patches of the treeless earth.  They are incorrect, and if that earth is closely (and foolishly) inspected, bits of flesh and blood are found, the leavings of the burrow-mawts. Very lucky is he that is so foolish and lives to tell the tale.

Ghost of the Hunt (DCC)

Ghost of the Hunt by Rick Hershey

Ghost of the Hunt: Init +2; Atk incorporeal touch +2 melee (1d6) or paralyzing howl or trumpet of doom; AC 13; HD 3d8+9; MV fly 30’; Act 2d20; SP infravision 60’, sense hunters, un-dead traits, non-corporeal , fear aura, paralyzing howl, trumpet of doom, fear of reflections;  SV Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +4; AL N.

Appearing as the bones and entrails of a slaughtered animal, flying on wings of tattered skin, a ghost of the hunt is the un-dead spirit of an animal hunted for sport or abject savagery, whose bones have been left to rot. Such a being always knows the direction to those that slaughtered it, and can recognize them without fail. Although not a malicious spirit, the ghost of the hunt will attack any creature it sees despoiling the natural world. Otherwise, its nights are spent tracking down those that slaughtered it in the first place. When they are killed, the ghost of the hunt is automatically laid to rest, and disappears in peace. Otherwise, even if defeated, a ghost of the hunt may eventually reform if the judge so determines.

Any creature that gets within 60’ of a ghost of the hunt must succeed in a DC 14 Will save or be frozen with fear, unable to act, for 1d5 rounds. Likewise, once per day, the ghost can unleash a terrifying howl that affects all humanoids within 100’ in the same way, unless a DC 16 Will save is successful. A creature succeeding once is forever immune to these particular effects of the ghost.

Once per day, the ghost can also keen a final mournful lament (the “trumpet of doom”) that may bring death to any creatures within 100’ that is affected by either of the ghost’s fear effects. Each potentially affected creature takes 1d6+3 damage and must succeed in a DC 14 Fort save or take an additional 3d10+10 points of damage.

Because they are non-corporeal, ghosts of the hunt are immune to non-magical weapon damage, and damage from physical sources. They are affected by force effects normally. They are also horrified by their own visage, and must succeed in a DC 15 Will save if shown their own reflection. A ghost of the hunt which fails this save flees in panic and does not return for 1d3 hours. If the sun rises before this time elapses, the ghost is not seen until the next evening (or later).

Many tribal communities have hunting rituals that offer prayers to the gods, and which honor the animals they hunt. A ghost of the hunt never arises from hunts that honor the dead, or which are motivated by hunger or survival.

On Porphyra

Sarenites have great sorrow for the ghost of the hunt, as no living creature should suffer torture or slaughter for sport. When a Sarenite first encounters a ghost of the hunt, she will attempt to aid the ghost in extracting revenge upon those that killed it before putting the ghost to its final rest.

Porphyra Monsters (DCC)

Hymele art by Gary Dupuis

Hymele:  Init +4, Atk claw +1 melee (1d3 plus kiss) or kiss  -2 melee (poison) or short bow +5 ranged (1d6); AC 13; HD 3d6+3; MV 30’; Act 3d20; SP charm person 3/day, poison kiss, entangle, symbiosis; SV Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +5; AL C.

Appearing like svelte elven girls with ruddy complexions and white flowers knitted throughout their long red hair, hymeles are wild, beautiful spirits of the poisonous hemlock plant. They are found deep in secluded woodlands, where they are a source of aggravation and death to travelers and woodsmen alike. The sound of their laughter ringing through the forest signifies that something ill has befallen someone at their hands.

Hymele are aggressive and traitorous. They are more than willing to take a shot at a woodsman from distant cover, and the traveller who faces but a single arrow counts himself luck. Hymeles use their charm abilities to lure victims away from their friends; sometimes for the simple joy mischief gives them, but just as often to their victim’s death with a poisoned kiss.

These fey creatures avoid melee combat when they can. In melee, they use a raking claw attack with stick-hard fingers. If this attack succeeds, they may attempt to kiss their victim as a free attack. The kiss of a hymele is poisonous, causing 1d3 points of temporary Stamina damage. The victim must also make a Fort save or take an additional 1d3 points of temporary Stamina damage each round until either a save is successful or the character is dead.

A hymele can cast charm person three times each day, with a +5 bonus to the spell check and no chance of spell loss or corruption. This ability can be used on both humanoids and animals, and hymele will often try to kill a group’s animals before engaging the travelers themselves, simply to prevent their escape. Hymeles can control plants within a 30 yard radius, entangling creature so as to slow movement by ½ and cause a -1d shift on Action Dice (creatures with a Strength of 17+ are only affected if they fail a DC 15 Strength check). These creatures can pass through foliage and vegetation of all types without hindrance or trace.

Every cluster of hymeles is mystically bound to a single, lush hemlock shrub and must never stray more than 300 yards from it, dying within 4d6 hours if the shrub is damaged or they are forced away.  Should a cluster of hymeles’ hemlock shrubs be discovered, they fly into a frenzied defense of the plants, whether the bushes are attacked or not.

On Porphyra

Clusters of hymele are known to dwell in the Snakewood Forest. Their aggressive attacks on the loggers of Sanity Lost makes snakewood one of the rarest of all woods harvested in the Tuthon Barony. Tuthon snakewood is prized for its beauty and is often used in the construction of exquisite music instruments.