Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drala Thallu (Zalchis)


No. Enc.: 1d2 (1d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60'
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 or 2 (1 Eyebeam or 2 claws/weapons, or 1 claw/weapon and follow-up Tail-Blade)
Damage: 3d4/1d6/2d4/2d4, or by weapon
Save: F8 / L7
Morale: 10

Special: Use the Random Eye-Beam Table to determine which particular Eye-Beam they are each attack. More advanced specimens may have additional physical mutations, implanted/grafted weapons, psychic attacks or magical spells...

The Drala-Thallu are invertebrate tinkers who seek out any and all forms of mechanical constructs, especially robots, whom they then attack mercilessly until they've hacked them to bits and pieces. The Drala-Thallu then sift through the wreckage and try to cobble together replacements or enhancements for their own, damaged systems, organs or limbs. The only loot that a Drala-Thallu will carry are cybernetic and other body parts, robotic limbs, artificial organs, synthetic or animal body-parts, and the like. They might have some mutant plant parts or samples taken from fungal colonies and the like as well, should they gain access to such things.

And yes, the Eyebeam Attack/Effect is intentionally left vague/randomly determined. They Dralla Thallu are continually self-modifying and upgrading, so it could be just about anything the DM desires...

We suggest using the excellent Random Space Debris Tables at The EXONAUTS! blog for possible scrap and junk that the Drall-Thallu might be carrying, hoarding or trying to peddle at some open-air swap-meat or flea market.

Slithering and silent, they approach with great stealth, hoping to ambush their prey with a hellish onslaught of rays and beams emitted from their terrible, cyclopean eyes.

After a battle, whether they fought or not, they slither about scavenging limbs, organs, and especially mechanical parts. When victorious in personal combat, they rip apart the mechanisms and machines of their enemies and eviscerate them, dissect them, carefully removing any organs, glands or other parts that they deem worthy of incorporating into their perpetually-enhanced bodies. But not just anything will do. No. Only those things that are strong enough, potent enough, powerful enough -- things that have been able to survive their dreaded eye-beam attack -- those are the things that a Drala-Thallu wants, and will have. One way or another. Whether a limb or organ is enchanted, runic, clockwork, golemic, or bionic -- they make no distinction. They can work with any and all of those modalities and more. They are the Drala-Thallu.

Drala-Thallu are fairly well known within Zalchis, where they prowl the ruined regions of the Great Ring looking for salvage and spare parts. There are rumors that they might also have been encountered in a number of ruined star systems left in the wake of various great wars. On more barbaric worlds the Drala-Thallu have engaged in limb-trading and organlegging without any regard for those affected by their dealings, entire regions have been completely decimated and wantonly depopulated by waves of over-hunting when ignorant or desperate locals discover that the Drala-Thallu will trade for exotic animal parts or bits and pieces of broken machines dragged out of old ruins that no one knows how to use or do anything with anyhow. Many a tribesman has sold internal organs or muscle fibers to these beings from beyond the sky in order to gain silver fists, sinister-looking new eyes, or other replacement parts and pieces that they believe will make them more powerful. Sometimes it works out that way, but always at a cost the recipient never fully imagined or could fully appreciate or understand. But it is a free market approach and Caveat Emptor is the cardinal truism all Drala-Thallu learn before all others.

Wherever or whenever you find them, the Drala-Thallu are great opportunists who are always trying to take advantage of whatever situation they find themselves in, and they are always looking to make a trade, swap or deal for spare parts and random junk that only they seem to think has any value. The Drala-Thallu often find some of the strangest old artifacts, relics and bizarre remnants imaginable by sifting through junk heaps, scrap-yards, or plundering regressed and forgotten neobarbarian worlds....
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