Sunday, 28 September 2014
Tsochar are also parasitic organisms, preferring to prey on intelligent beings. The Tsochar works it way inside the body of its host (preferably through a wound) and wedges itself in the spaces between the internal organs. The Tsochar can choose to simply inhabit the body --telepathically coercing the host with threats of pain if necessary-- or completely take over the host's nervous system, killing the mind while keeping the body alive. Obviously, the second option is used most, as few are willing to host a creature that (regardless of alligiance) will eat them from the inside out.
The Tsochar is similar to the Morgh, another wormy creature that is able to puppet bodies. However the Morgh is an undead creature controlling its own withered corpse, while the Tsochar is completely a parasite, highly intelligent, and relies on its host to be living.
I really like parasite monsters, regardless of game or media. Not sure how to explain that particular fancy, but it's always something I've found interesting. There's just something kinda cool / horrifying about another organism invading your body for its own survival.
Next time lets try an image that doesn't have blue and pink in it.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
Nereids are sea nymphs, the ocean being their usual habitat when they're not in the Elemental Plane of Water, their true home. Much like Dryads, the tree nymphs, are bound to their tree to survive, the Nereid's life is bound to their shawl, a floating material made of surf. Being separated from their shawls for too long results in the death of the Nereid, so stealing one is a certain (if cruel) way to temporarily gain their allegiance.
But the Nereid is a shy creature with a host of defensive abilities. As water faeries from an Elemental Plane, their bodies seem to be made out of shimmering water, making them incredibly difficult to see when submerged. They can also control the water surrounding them, alter currents and summon Water Elementals to protect them. Her final defense is an especially nasty and last resort one. The Nereid can kill with a kiss, filling the lungs of the victim with water so that they drown. You shouldn't have tried to take her shawl.
Actually a creature from Greek myth, as many nymphy creatures tend to be. While the word dryad refers to how they are bound to oak trees (drys), their name actually means that they are daughters of Nereus (50 in total, plus the son Nerites), an ancient sea god. There's some confusion between them and the Oceanids, daughters of Oceanus who are also sea nymphs (3000 in total, along with 3000 brothers --Potamoi-- river spirits). Calypso, of The Odyssey fame, is a Nereid or an Oceanid depending on the source. Regardless of parentage, sea nymphs tended to be minor protective spirits to fishermen, sailors and the like.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
The Shen Lung (the Spirit Dragon) is among the lungs that mortals are most likely to meet, where all others prefer to remain hidden away in their celestial palaces or in the Spirit World. An aura of divine purity exudes from this dragon, repelling all verminous beasts that would dare approach it. It has special power over water and is often found near rivers inhabited by Chiang Lungs, whom they are bodyguards to. Pleasing a Shen Lung results in good harvests, while insulting one can lead to floods and blights, as it has control over the weather.
I like the traditional D&D dragons (blue and black are my favourites), but I have a soft spot in my heart for the lung type dragons. I think it's mostly the way they don't have wings but can still fly. There's just something quite cool about that. And the whole mystic pearl thing. Some Chinese (and I'm assuming other Oriental tales) feature the dragon's pearl being found by a human and then it bringing them good luck.
Some of you may recognize the name Shen Lung from the Dragon Ball series, where the 7 dragon balls (mystic pearls?) were gathered together to summon Shenron (or Eternal Dragon, or Shenlong) to grant the gatherer a wish.
The final image of Epic Month, which also consisted of the Phoenix, Phane and White Slaad. Using a dragon feels a bit like cheating, since dragons have more than one challenge rating depending on their age. But from 800 years onwards a Shen Lung is over CR 20 so that means it becomes an epic level creature so yeah.
Friday, 5 September 2014
The Death Slaad isn't the final evolution of the slaad species. Neither is the White Slaad; it's merely the next step.
But first lets go over the many many steps needed to get to a white slaad. First a Blue or Red slaad needs to infect a spellcaster in order to create a Green Slaad. After a century, it becomes a Grey Slaad, and it can use a Ritual to become a Death Slaad. Then after yet another century, a Death Slaad becomes a White Slaad. And like I said, this isn't even it's final form.
But for now, the Slaad comes closer to the primordial chaos that originally birthed them as creatures. As well as having destructive chaos-themed magical abilities, the White Slaad is able to belch up chaotic goo which corrodes away the laws that hold matter together like acid. Even those who would normally have protection from chaos aren't a match for it, as it burns through the shielding magic.
I've kept going with the whole fungal thing that Joe did with his Death Slaad, since I was pretty disappointed with my original Green Slaad. The fungus thing adds a little something visually weird to what are otherwise yet another lizard/frog creature. The 3.0 edition of the Monster Manual actually had a nice table to slightly randomize the appearance and abilities of the Slaad. They still kept the basic giant toad-man thing, but you could sometimes get ones with snake hair, wings, petrification gaze, breath weapons or exploding poisonous boils.