Sunday, 26 February 2012

[LL] Grevlar & Bursugs

  Grevlar                  Bursug                 

No. Enc.:               1 (1d4)                    1 (3d10)
Alignment:             Neutral                   Chaotic
Movement:            120' (40')                15’ (5’)
Armor Class:         4                             9
Hit Dice:                 5                             1d4 hit points
Attacks:                  3 (2 claws, bite)    1 (acid spit)
Damage:              1d8/1d8/1d8           1d3
Save:                      F2                           0 level human
Morale:                  10                           4
Hoard Class:        VII                           XIV
XP:                         360                         10

Of the many dangerous creatures to have come through the portals that manifested during the Aether Storms, perhaps there is no tale as uniquely wondrous as that of the Grevlar and the Bursugs. Though both hail from quite different worlds, they have adopted a symbiotic relationship to better survive in their new environment. 

A Grevlar (plural Grevlar) is, simply put, a huge, lumbering beast. They are covered with coarse, dark fur over their broad, brawny bodies, and measure up to six feet in height (this however comes from their proclivity towards knuckle-walking, for when a Grevlar attacks, he stands upright on his hind paws as to maul his opponent with his lethal claws, and in this erect state easily reaches a height of no less than eight feet). For their enormous size, they have dark, beady eyes, which seems to suggest their vision is ill adapted to well-lit environs. Indeed, even during their nocturnal hunts they can be observed relying mainly on a keen sense of smell and their sharp hearing. Despite their hulking appearance however, Grevlar can suddenly achieve enormous speeds once they have caught the scent of their prey, making huge, bounding leaps on all four of their legs. A few other noteworthy characteristics of their physiology are: the absence of a tail; their razor sharp teeth indicative of their carnivorous feeding habits; and lastly a pouch-like skinfold located on their belly (the importance of which I shall divulge momentarily). Grevlar make their nesting grounds in deep, dark caves, where they live in small packs (generally 2 pairs or 1 male and up to three females). They only possess animal intellect and generally leave other creatures alone when they are not hunting.

Bursugs on the other hand are quite different. A Bursug is a purple slug-like creature, about a foot in length on average and covered in a slimy film, transparent green of colour, which it uses to move itself along the ground. It has two well developed eyes on protruding tentacles on top of its head. The creature also has a large acid-producing gland, which allows it to lob globules of acid at its foes, and makes it unfit for consumption by most predators. Surprisingly, Bursugs possess a ruthless, malicious cunning disproportionate to their size. Though they have no discernible capacity for speech, they seem to have the ability to establish a telepathic link with various kinds of animals, and one can often witness even the most aggressive creatures suddenly becoming docile around a Bursug.

This bond Bursugs have with other beings is best exemplified by their relationship with Grevlar. A Bursug can command a Grevlar to place it in the latter’s pouch, which provides the former with a safe and quick mode of transportation. Generally only the top of the head and the eyes of the Bursug stick out of the pouch, giving the Bursug an effective AC of 2. The Grevlar in turn begins to display very uncharacteristic behaviour, often travelling during day and attacking bands of travellers in search of valuable belongings (more on this later). Another sign that the two creatures are in some sort of mind link is evidenced when the Bursug is killed while in a Grevlar’s pouch. In such an event, the Grevlar seems overcome by an irrational frenzy lasting 2d4 rounds, during which it indiscriminately attacks friend and foe alike. After the frenzy ends, the Grevlar gets its bearings again and usually makes for its lair as quickly as it can, especially if it happens to be daytime. After a successful raid, the Grevlar will return the Bursug to its lair along with any spoils.

Bursugs live in small, damp lairs, located adjacent to a lake, small stream or in marshlands. The entrance to these lairs is exclusively located beneath the water’s edge and usually no more than two feet wide. A short tunnel leads to a single hollowed out room, where a single colony of about 3d10 Bursugs lives. A colony is led by a five feet long, three feet wide Bursug queen, generally of a green or yellow colour, and has 2 HD. The queen can generally be found gorging herself on platinum pieces, gemstones or valuable jewellery. It is speculated that the minerals therein are an indispensable part of her diet and needed to produce eggs, but can only readily be found in these commodities in this realm. The proximity of the lair to water seems another necessity, as Bursugs have yet to be encountered living in mines where such raw materials would be available to them.

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