Saturday, 25 March 2017

Bestiary Entry: The Dragons of Wulfwald

For those that haven't already seen them here are the Dragons of Wulfwald . . .




Dracan (Dragons)
The Dracan of Wulfwald, sometimes called Wyrms, are all the progeny of a single Draca, Eorðdraca the earth dragon. She was the first living creature in the world; born of the earth itself. Every hundered years she hatches an egg and another Dracan is born into the world. Each Draca is a singular creature which bears little or no relation to the others or its parent. Little is known of these solitary hunters, even by the Dweorgas who worship Eorðdraca as a god. There are only seven living Dracan and if the Dweorgas keep to their worship of Eorðdraca there will never be any more.
Áttorsceaða
Áttorsceaða is a poisonous destroyer, but her poison is not the venom that flows through fangs, but the lies and desires she uses to poison the hearts of men. The firstborn of Eorðdraca she is the oldest, most cunning, and malicious of her kind.
Áttorsceaða is the most Wyrm like of the Dracan and resembles a huge serpent large enough to coil herself around a hill. Her scales are corpse-white, her eyes amber yellow, she has diminutive malformed wings, but cannot fly. She can use her tail as a club, or bite foes with her fangs, but considers such bestial behaviour below her and has yet to meet either beast or man that she couldn’t bend to her will. She does not need to feed on flesh as the despair and woe of mortal men is the only sustenance she requires.
Áttorsceaða: AC:14 HD:8 HP:38 Attacks: Tail Bash (1d6) and Bite (1d6+4). Special: Poisoner of hearts and minds, Shape-shifter. ST:4 Move:10 (12 in human form). Morale:9
Depending on the gender and preferences of her intended victim she changes form to resemble a man or woman of great magnetism and raw sexual attraction. It is only in the moments before their death or doom that her victims see or realise what she truly is.
One of Áttorsceaða’s greatest powers is to be able to read the hearts and minds of mortals with a mere glance. Her victims are allowed a ST, but with a -2 penalty.
Once she has read their darkest desires, hopes, and secrets she uses this knowledge to manipulate people to cause misery and mayhem for those around them. For example, she often convinces two people that each bars the way to that which the other desires most in all the world; then sits back and enjoys the fallout.
Another of her favourite schemes is to take the form of someone her victim knows: a friend, family member, lord, or rival and use the familiarity of the relationship to manipulate, hurt, or mislead her victims, and cause more misery.
She dwells in the kingdom of the Wulfingas where she has many opportunities to cause mischief and feed amongst the chaos of the kingdom’s six-way civil war. A war she started.


Fýrdraca
Fýrdraca, the Fire-Spewer, is a voracious predator and a bane to mankind. Cattle, sheep, goats, farmers, villagers he isn’t fussy which he takes, but feeds once a week on three or four at a time. He is a flightless quadruped about the length and height of a small longhouse, and is a mass of muscle and mottled grey and green scales whose colour matches the forest and rocks of the mountain highlands he haunts.
Despite his size his colouring offers some camouflage as he stalks his prey, but once he has spotted his kill there’s no attempt at ambush or stealth. Instead he roars a challenge that shakes the hills and leaves his prey frozen in fear. It’s then that he charges out of cover, sprays them with a spew of liquid fire, and devours the charred remains. His hunting grounds range across the kingdoms of Geatlund, Westland Jute mainly in the north on the borders with the Wildling Highlands. Between hunts he spends most of his time sleeping in his mountain, digesting his kill, and building up his energy reserves for the next hunt.
Fýrdraca: AC:19 HD:12+4 HP:55 Attacks: Bite (1d6) and Claws (1d6). Special: Roar of Dominance, Fire-Spewer. ST:12  Move:14 Morale:7
Anyone who hears Fýrdraca’s roar of dominance must make a ST. If they fail they are paralyzed with fear and can do nothing until after Fýrdraca’s next attack.
Fýrdraca’s deadliest weapon is the liquid fire he spews forth. This attack uses most of his energy and can only be used twice before Fýrdraca either has to feed and sleep for a week, or, if his hunt is unsuccessful, sleep for two weeks.
The Fire-Spewer attack hits automatically. To determine how many are affected and what damage they take roll 1d6. The number rolled is the number of targets affected; the number on the opposite face of the die is the number of d6 in damage they each take.
For example: if you roll a 1, then one target takes 6d6 damage if you roll a 6, then six targets take 1d6 damage each. The first roll also indicates how many rounds the liquid fire will burn for after the initial round. When burning anyone affected takes 1d3 dice of damage, for the duration, unless the flames are put out by spending a round rolling in the dirt, covering them with a blanket, by magic, or some other means.
Eorðdraca
Eorðdraca, the earth dragon is the oldest living being in Wulfwald. It is told in legend that she slumbered under the earth for a thousand years when nothing lived and all the world was ice. It was only when she awoke, that her heat and warmth brought life to the world.
She is worshipped as a deity by the Dweorgas. It is a strange kind of worship that includes holding her prisoner in magical bonds, using her fiery breath to power their forges, and farming her eggs to create their fire powder, their weapons, armour, and the intricate metal craft they are famed for.
It is because of Eorðdraca the Dweorgas live beneath the mountains. Their ancestors, exploring the caves beneath the mountains, found Eorðdraca and because they were brave, and forward, and because they were the first creatures to speak to her, Eorðdraca allowed them to live, and to worship her. They brought her prisoners to feed on and in return she gave them the knowledge of runes, and taught them the secrets of crafting metal. Because of Eorðdraca they were the first race of men to understand the secrets of metallurgy.
When Eorðdraca laid her next egg and the Dracan, Níþdraca was hatched. The Dweorgas discovered that powerful weapons could be formed using what was left of the eggshell and their lust for power and riches overtook them.
Through cunning and treachery the Dweorgas captured their god and bound her with golden chain, forged in the heat of her own fire, and enchanted with the very runes she taught them. Since that time, although they worship her as a god, Eorðdraca is their prisoner and all her eggs are harvested by the Dweorgas before they hatch.
The shell they grind down to make fire-powder, the scales and bones of the unhatched Draca they grind down and add to the ore that makes their weapons, armour, and trinkets. The flesh and blood is consumed by the Dweorgas elite in dark rituals. To force her to breathe flames, to power their furnaces and heat their underground city, the Dweorgas use a gold-plated bone goad enchanted with runes which they force through her left eye and into her brain.
The Dweorgas still worship her, and feed her on slaves and prisoners taken in war or traded with the mountain men, or the king of Westlund Seaxe. Eorðdraca’s existence is one of misery and torture. If she ever gains her freedom she will take great pleasure in the slow and deliberate destruction of the Dweorgas people and will not rest until they are no more.
She is huge the size of a large hill, the sort men build hill forts on. Her scales are a dull earth-brown hue with golden tints. Her long neck is serpentine and her head alone is the size of a longhouse, the powerful jaws able to swallow up groups of men. The backdraught of her powerful wings can flatten buildings, her rear and fore claws sharp and deadly and even in her current weakened form she is a fearful foe and a threat to all mankind.
Eorðdraca: AC:21 HD:20 HP:160 Attacks: Bite (3d6)and Tail bash (2d6) and two Claws (1d6 each). Special: Magic Resistance 80%, Devouring Maw, The Dragon’s Breath, Earthmover. ST:6 Move:16 (24 in the air). Morale:11
As well as her regular attacks targeted at individuals her devouring maw can swallow 3d6 1HD enemies each round and she can breathe fire doing 1d6 damage to 1d100 massed troops or 10d6 damage to a single target. Being of the earth herself once free of her magical bonds she is able to create huge rifts in the earth, rifts powerful enough to sink a village or hill fort.
Lígdraca
Lígdraca, the fiery dragon is a formless creature of pure fire. He often takes the shape of a fierce winged dragon comprised of flickering orange-yellow flame, with eyes of white hot fire. He preys on human settlements, attacking at dusk screaming down from the sky. He flies from building to building until the whole settlement is aflame and then rises to watch it burn. He takes no interest in people, other than destroying their settlements, and ignores them unless they are foolish enough to try to stop him. He also burns the settlement’s cattle and crops. After his burning he often watches the aftermath of the devastation he has caused spending days, hovering high in the sky. Many believe he derives a grim satisfaction from watching the survivors as they shuffle around in shock wondering how they’ll manage without food or shelter.
Lígdraca: AC:15 HD:5 HP:22 Attack: fiery grasp (1d6+3). Special: Immunities, firestarter. ST:12 Move:18 Morale:10
Lígdraca can only be harmed by magical means or enchanted weapons and anything he lands on (including people) has a 4 in 6 chance of bursting into flame causing 1d3 damage for 1d6 rounds to anyone affected.
Níþdraca
Níþdraca, the dragon of malice looks like a muscular draconic wolf that is twice the size of a bull. It is jet-black and hunts at night, but even in daylight is hard to follow as it can move in a blur of speed and can wrap itself in a shroud of shadow.
Níþdraca, is the youngest, and smallest of Eorðdraca’s progeny, but is also one of the most hateful of the Dracan. Typically it stalks humans and follows them back to their settlement. It then spends a few days watching the settlement until it has a sense of the people and their relationships. It is then that Níþdraca strikes. Stealing into one of the homes it takes a member of the community making sure its attack is witnessed; so someone sees it flee with the victim. Then it disappears into the night.
Instead of devouring its chosen victim immediately it keeps them alive, and near to their home, then torments them so their friends and loved ones can hear their pitiful cries for help.
If any of the villagers are brave enough to try a rescue it uses its powers to spirit itself and its victim to another location. Once the rescue party has given up it begins its torment again, to mock the rescue attempt and torture the villagers with more cries from their loved one. It does this for a week or so or until it tires of toying with the settlement. Its last act of malice is to devour the victim’s body, sneak back into the settlement, and leave the head at the door of the victim’s family for them to find when they awake.
Níþdraca: AC:18 HD:7 HP:30 Attacks: Bite (1d6+4)and Two Claws (1d6 each). Special: Blur of Speed, Shroud of Shadow, magic resistance 50%. ST:8 Move:24 Morale:7
Already twice as fast as men once a day Níþdraca can move in a blur of speed so fast that nothing can see it move let alone catch it. If tracked in daylight and unable to use its speed to escape Níþdraca can envelop itself, and the surrounding area, in a shroud of shadow that no one can see into or see out of (making it -4 to hit Níþdraca ). People might know that Níþdraca is in the cloud of darkness, but not where. They would also know their loved one was also in the darkness.
Úhtfloga
Úhtfloga, the twilight flyer, lives on the wing. From tail to nose she is as long as two mead halls, but is svelte and graceful her body being only a little broader than the cattle she feeds on. Her scales are coloured in a blackish-blue that makes her hard to spot in the night sky.
In the day she spends her time high above the clouds gliding and sleeping, but when the sun sets she descends to hunt. She glides down to ground level under the cover of darkness, silent but for the faint whoosh of air. She approaches her prey from behind and strikes with her talons at the base of the skull, stuns it, then flies off, gaining height as swiftly as possible so her victim will think twice about breaking free of her grip. That’s if they even recover from being stunned before she devours them.
If faced with any resistance Úhtfloga can breathe a cloud of paralysing fumes. She only needs one cow (or man) sized meal a week and is a good hunter so if faced with fierce resistance is more likely to fly on, rather than fight hard for her kill.
Úhtfloga: AC:16 HD:6 HP:29 Attacks: Talons (1d6+3). Special: Stunning Strike, Paralysing Breath, magic resistance 45%. ST:10 Move:30 Morale:5
Swooping silently down behind her victims in the cover of darkness, Úhtfloga has a 3 in 6 chance on a d6 of surprising her victim. Her stunning strike is +3 to hit and does the normal damage for her Talons, but the victim must also roll under their Con, minus the damage caused by the talons, on a d20. If they succeed they are only stunned for 1 round. If they fail they are stunned for 1d3, plus the number they missed the roll by, rounds. Either way, unless their companions act quickly when they come to they’ll find themselves hundreds of feet in the air, held in the grasp of a hungry dragon. If she does face resistance Úhtfloga will use her paralysing breath which can affect 2d6 targets at once, who if they fail their saving will be paralysed for 1d3 turns.


Wælgeuga
Wælgeuga, the deadly walker, is the most bestial of the Dracan. The size of a burial mound, it has no tail, or wings, but a barrel shaped body that is low to the ground and a broad thick-skulled head with powerful jaws full of dagger sized teeth. Its hide is grass green and the scales covered in horns and bumps and impervious to most weapons.
It lacks the guile and cunning of its brothers and sisters and in fact lacks any intelligence other than the basest animal wit. It has no particular hatred of humanity and is intent on nothing more than satisfying it voracious hunger. It feeds once every 10 years, but feeds in a frenzy devouring anything and everything it can: whole herds of sheep and cattle, crops, the villagers, even their homes and possessions, sometimes even hedgerows and trees. Once it has fed, Wælgeuga burrows far beneath the earth and creates a huge lair where it sleeps for another 10 years until it awakes, emerging from its lair twice its previous size and twice as hungry as before. Those that have survived Wælgeuga terrors and seen it return decade after decade larger and hungrier each time, are convinced that if it isn’t stopped one day it will devour the world. Unfortunately most people who see it don’t survive, and most that haven’t seen it don’t believe the tales, dismissing it like all the other myths and stories of dragons, monsters, and other such childish foolishness.
Wælgeuga: AC:19 HD:10 HP:42 Attacks: Barge (1d6) and Stamp (1d6+1) Bite(1d6+2) Special: All is Edible, Stone Hide, Magic resistance 45%. ST:12 Move:14 Morale:12
Wælgeuga is lumbering and predictable in combat concentrating bullishly on one target until it has killed and devoured it. It ignores everything else unless someone wounds it then its rage will focus on them.

Once a target is selected it barges into them if the barge attack fails then the attack is over for that round. If it is successful not only does it damage the target it knocks them prone, making its next attack at a +2 bonus. After the barge it stamps on its victims legs causing not only damage, but reducing their movement rate by half and negating any Dex bonus to AC. Once it has its victim prone and crippled it starts to eat them. It can bite through anything so any protection from armour is ignored, making its targets AC:10 for its bite attack unless they have any other method of protection. It will continue to keep biting its chosen victim until they’re dead then spend the next turn eating them before attacking someone else. Wælgeuga’s hide is tough and thick making it impossible for arrows, spears, and axes to penetrate and do any real damage. Only a sword can pierce deep enough to wound Wælgeuga.

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