April 23, 2011

Mythic Monsters-Tatzlwurm

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.


Tatzlwurm

Keeping downwind, the hunter moved smoothly through the forest. This was a new part of the hills for him, not many people ever travelled here. It was a primal forest, deep and old. However, the tracks he was following indicated a large smake or lizard. From the length of the beast’s foot placement, he estimated the size to be nearly 3’ in length. This would provide a few days meal. It was then he saw the creature, It was indeed 3’ long. Its scales were small and when the sunlight through the trees caught them just right they glinted in soft reds and blues. It should be easy enough to gut and drag out of the forest.
Taking careful aim, he let fly an arrow. It struck the beast just below the neck. However, it did not penetrate the scales. The creature turned and looked in his direction. Seeing him it suddenly leapt through the air landing a couple of feet from him. The hunter stumbled back in surprise, fumbling for his next arrow. He never got it out before the beast breathed a gout of sulfurous venom at him. He briefly clutched at his stricken throat and then fell limply to the ground, not to move ever again.

From the European Alps, this is a moderately sized, cat-faced lizard, first mentioned in the 15th century. It runs between 2-3 feet in length and has 2 front legs but no hind legs, though it is able to rear up on its tail. However, for its small size it is extremely deadly. It breathes venom capable of instantly killing a person. Also, its hide it extremely tough, able to turn normal weaponry. It is not intelligent and works from basic animal instincts.

It is known by various names depending on what region it can be found in; Stollenworm, Bergstutzen, Springwurm, Dazzelwurm, Praatzelwurm, Arassas. Of interest is that there are many people to have claimed to have seen the creature with over 60 sightings of similar description. The latest report of a sighting was in October of 2009. It also shows up in some wildlife books alongside normal animals.

The Tatzlwurm is very aggressive. It violently and quickly moves to defend its territory allowing nothing at all to live within that area. The area of a Tatzlwurm is often marked by dead bodies and bones; nothing living can be found within the area. Thankfully they prefer remote areas.

Abilities
-Breath: This does an extreme amount of poison damage similar to a dragon.
-Armor Hide: Its hide is tough enough to shrug off non-magical attacks. Weapons without a magical bonus do half damage.
-Leap: As a free action the Tatzlwurm is able to leap 15’.

Adventures
-A recent caravan was attacked. A survivor of the attack claims it was a Tatzlwurm and that the creature was fascinated by the gems and jewelry that the caravan was carrying. He managed to follow the beast back to its lair but he was too fearful to go into the cave. However, he is willing to sell a map to the cave. Whether or not any of this is true is up to the GM.

-Reports that a Tatzlwurm has been seen in the area start to make the rounds. The rumor was started by a group of miners that struck a rich silver vein in the hills and are fearful others may also strike silver, so they are spreading the rumor to make people avoid the area so they can continue to mine in secrecy. If the characters pursue the rumors they will be led on a merry chase of rumors from one person to another until they eventually lead back to the miners. The miners will not take kindly to someone asking so many questions.

-Rumors of a Tatzlwurm sighting begin to spread. Soon hunters and adventurers from around the area arrive, all wanting to be the first to finally kill such an elusive beast. They congregate near the Resting Way Inn. In fact, these rumors were started by the Inn as a way to draw people to the area and thus drive up their business. However, unknown to them there really is a Tatzlwurm in the area, which until now was content to leave the area alone as long as no one invaded its territory. However, all these people tramping around the area will likely rile the beast very soon. Even worse is the fact that the Tatzlwurm is not alone and there is in fact a nest of them.

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