April 22, 2011

Mythic Monsters-Sciritae

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

Sciritae

It had no nose. I wanted to look away but it had no nose, just holes where a nose should be. At first I thought it was an old injury but they all had no nose. They walked, no, they glided out of the trees and now my eyes were immediately drawn to their legs and feet, or lack thereof. Instead of legs they had two snake-like appendages. It wasn’t natural. Those with me reached for their weapons expecting an attack from these hideous creatures. Then one of them spoke, clearly and succinctly, as a man and not as a beast.

A mythical race from India, but recorded in ancient Greek writing, they are humanoid with no nose, just slits for a nose similar to a snake, and their legs are snake-like. They are a full-fledged race instead of solitary monsters. They are intelligent, sapient and fully capable of interacting with the rest of humanity.

There are not a lot of them but they are separated into a few tribal groupings. While they can interbreed with humans they prefer to stay within their own race. They run the gamut of humanity, in that they can be evil or good much the same as anyone else. However, when first encountered by other races they are often faced with fear and hostility and this has caused many of them to wish to either withdraw from the rest of humanity or fight for their place. Most tribes of this race tend to fall into one of those two extremes.

Also of note is the fact there was a tribe of humans with the same name. They were allied with the Spartans and often fought along side them in prominent positions. It is possible that the stories of the snake-like Sciritae were confused with the real tribe. This could have come from the helmets they might have worn at that time.

Abilities
-Movement: Their snake-like legs allow them to move faster than normal. This provides an increase in speed and ability to move rapidly on a battlefield.
-Poison: More of a cultural aspect than any sort of racial ability, they are adept at using poisons. These poisons range from debilitating to damaging.
-Smell: Their sense of smell is greater than normal. They are able to smell their target even if it is concealed in some manner. All penalties for concealed/invisible/hidden targets are halved.

Adventures
-It is said a tribe of the Sciritae lives in the hills north of the city. Normally this would not be a concern for anyone, as they have not been seen in the lifetime of anyone alive, but it also is said they hold a cure for the most virulent of poisons. However, an assassin has struck the lord of the land with just such a poison. The party is tasked with journeying to the hills, finding the tribe and negotiating for their knowledge. And it must be done quickly.

-A tribe of the Sciritae has long lived side by side with the people of the region. However, of late rumormongers and neer-do-wells have been stirring the people up against them. A few confrontations have led to injury and near death. There is talk of banishing the tribe from the land. The party has been asked to find out where the problems are coming from. Has the relationship with the Sciritae changed? If not where is the hostility coming from? In reality, a rival government seeks to remove the Sciritae from the region. They are planning an invasion and the Sciritae have scouts working for the government of the local region. These scouts are able to scent out any intruders and the rival government needs them removed if they wish to move their troops into position quietly.

-A new religion has sprung up in the region. It promises power and enlightenment if only the people will worship their god. The priests are really some Sciritae in deep robes to hide what they look like. This tribe is adamant about serving their snake god and is looking to convert the people in the area, whether they want to or not. One useful tool they employ is a special poison that dulls the mind of the person who partakes of the poison. Can the aprty stop them before they take over the minds of everyone.
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