April 30, 2011

Mythic Monsters-Ziz

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. This is drawn from stories and mythologies found in a variety of real-world cultures.


Ziz

The first sign was a faint breeze touching his cheek. It was there in force and then gone. Back again and gone; a rhythmic cycle of breeze and no breeze. Then a sudden whoosh and the sun was gone. Looking up to where the sun had been, he saw the biggest bird in the world. And then it dove.

The Ziz is a giant bird of Jewish mythology. It is 100’ tall and its wingspan is large enough to block out the sun when unfurled. In appearance it is similar to a griffin or roc. It is part of a triumvirate of beasts that also includes the Behemoth and Leviathan. It is a powerful beast and should be considered to be something akin to a Tarrasque; a penultimate creature.

The Ziz is relatively harmless, other than incidental damage caused by its sheer size, but it is also a protector of birds. If it is aware of any harm coming to birds it will bring its full force against that person or group. It does, however, need to eat and will take its food where it can, usually horse, oxen and cows; unfortunately it does not have a sense of ownership so will often take such food from people’s herds.

Abilities
-Claw Grab: The Ziz can grab its target in its claw and then squeeze for considerable amounts of damage.
-Wing Buffet: By flapping its wings it is able to create severe gusts of wind knocking groups down and pushing them away.

Adventures
-A Ziz took an ox from the herd of a man and the man grabbed onto the ox trying to get it back. Of course the Ziz did not notice and flew off with the pair. The wife of the man now approaches the party and asks them to return her husband. They will need to figure out a way to find the nest of the Ziz and climb up to it (an arduous task as it nests on one of the highest mountains of the world). How they deal with the Ziz (if its home) can also prove difficult.

-The characters are approached by a group and asked to kill the Ziz. They bring various reasons for doing so; property damage, inadvertent loss of life, etc. In reality they are part of a nihilistic cult and a prophecy declares that with the death of the Behemoth, Leviathan and Ziz it will bring on the end of days.

-Rumors begin to spread of a local hunter who is rampantly killing birds. Rumors also spread that the Ziz is nearby. The local villagers fear what the Ziz may do and ask the characters to stop the hunter, however they must. The hunter is belligerent by nature (he lives alone for a reason) and simple conversation will be difficult. In reality, another person has determined there is buried treasure on the hunter’s land and is looking for a way to remove the hunter from said land so he can conduct a thorough search. He has been killing the birds and spreading the rumors.

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