April 13, 2011

Mythic Monsters-Kludde

This is part of the A-Z Blog Challenge. Herein I am presenting a new monster that hopefully has not been seen before in any RPG game. These are drawn from stories and mythologies found in a variety of real-world cultures.


He quickly made his way homeward, but his thoughts were racing. He realized he should have never stayed at her house as long as he had. This would be hard to explain to his wife, not even claiming to be drunk at the tavern would be enough to fool her this time. His thoughts were intruded upon by the barest of sounds and movement. Something caught his brief attention and drew him out of his self absorbed thoughts. It took a moment for the sound to register, but it indeed did sound like the rattling of chains. Then he saw the small blue flames flickering in the tall grass. He broke into a run and he could hear it running through the grasses running parallel with him. He veered to the left, away from the creature, but then it burst from the grass and leapt at him, moving at a speed beyond normal. The last thing he was to ever see was the large black dog right before it ripped his throat out.

There have long been myths and stories of evil apparitions of dogs; this is the Flemish version. The Kludde can actually take multiple forms, but the shape of a large black dog capable of walking on its back legs is the predominate form. It is a malignant water spirit that exists to harm others, particularly travelers in the early morning, just before dawn. The appearance of a Kludde is presaged by the sounds of chains rattling, for the creature is covered in them, and by the two blue flames that are its eyes.

It appears to serve no ecological niche; it just kills to kill, though it does eat that which it kills. While it appears physical, it is a spirit apparition and things that affect spirits will affect this creature. In addition, due to its ties to the world of spirits it is unable to manifest during daylight hours, disappearing at dawn.

While it sticks to its dog form mostly, it has been seen in other forms. In each of its other shapes the distinctive chain rattling can still be heard and each form has blue flames for eyes, so it is readily apparent a person is dealing with a Kludde.

-Horse: In this form it will appear docile and allow a person to ride it. However, once a rider is on it, it moves at an unnatural, break-neck speed, running for over an hour. At the end of the run the Kludde dumps the rider into a water source, thereby allowing the rider to “safely” dismount. In this form the Kludde is more of a nuisance than a killer.
-Cat: This form is used more for stealth. When the Kludde actually goes to attack it will switch to its dog form.
-Raven: This form is used for scouting. Again the Kludde goes into dog form when it wants to attack. If the creature finds itself in trouble it can switch to this form to escape.

During my research it seems the Kludde has, in fact, been statted for Shadowrun. However, I liked the monster concept; I think it would make an excellent monster for a fantasy setting.

-Weight: The Kludde has the mystical ability to increase its own weight. It first pounces on its victim and then increases its weight to keep its target down on the ground, so it can better ravage its victim.
-Speed: A person can not outrun a Kludde. It is able to always move one space further than its target.
-Tenacity: The Kludde is persistent (some would even say dogged) in its attacks. It prefers to attack the same target each round and if it does so it gains a successive bonus to its attacks.

-Someone has managed to gain control of a Kludde. It could be a necromancer able to speak to the spirit or a magician who has managed to bind it to his will. Either way, a Kludde under the control of an intelligent and cunning adversary can lead to many dangerous adventures. Such a combination can quickly spread terror throughout a region.

-A Kludde is rumored to in the region. As such the residents have taken to killing all cats and ravens in case it is the Kludde in one of its forms. In reality, there is no Kludde and news of its appearance are nothing but rampant rumor mongering, a case of a story being told and retold until it takes on a life of its own. However, a powerful high elf from the Fey, has heard of the killing of the ravens and since he serves the Raven King he can not allow this to continue. The characters will have to figure out a way to convince the residents of the area there is no Kludde (something for which they will need to provide sufficient proof of) and do it before the elf begins to systematically destroy the residents.

-The party is approached by a man on the run. For some reason a Kludde has chosen him as its target, continuing the chase at nightfall until dawn each day. The man has been on the run for a week now, only able to keep ahead of the monster because he travels non-stop, day and night. And yet, the monster almost catches up to him each day at dawn. The man knows if he ever stops running for even half a day the Kludde will catch him. He asks the characters to destroy the monster for him.
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