Saturday, June 7, 2014

Six Bears (Wermspittle)

This time it was a bear. The bear stood at the edge of the darkness and looked into the moonlit valley with the brook running through it. He could hear no sound of Morons, no whistle of manshonyagger, as he and his kind called the hunting machines.

Said the bear in perfect German, 'You are at the edge of the Unselfing Zone. You have been rescued by a Moron. You have stopped a Menschenjäger very mysteriously. For the first time in my own life I can see into a German mind and see that the word manshonyagger should really be Menschenjäger, a hunter of men. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Middle-Sized Bear who lives in these woods.'
 Mark Elf
Cordwainer Smith

Black Bears are fairly common in the woods surrounding Wermspittle. There are Grizzlies in the mountains that sometimes wander down towards the Meadows claimed by various Farm Enclaves for their flocks, but these brutes are usually not much of a problem. Since the disastrous experiment in 936 involving artificial Weak Points in the Lidenbrock Reservoir by the Arctika Korps that resulted in the cataclysmic transposition of a six-mile-sphere of glacial ice into the the very center of the Reservoir, there have been numerous sightings of Boreal Sea-Bears in the surrounding subterranean waterways. The last Horned Bear was killed and mounted as a trophy by Claudino Chapwick at Yrmingost Manor...until it was possessed by a vilegeist and the thing was necessarily destroyed in the ensuing violent debacle. No one has seen a real War Bear in over three hundred years, leading most Parazoologists to consider the things well and truly extinct. And as for Owlbears, they are almost always a nuisance whenever they show up...which tends to be far too often...

  1. Tisha. She's a young, precocious, and badly wounded black bear that has gotten herself stuck within a collapsed section of a fallen fire escape...

    Tisha  (unique) [Smallish, Female Black Bear; AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 7, HD 3, #AT 3, DG 1d3/1d3/1d4, SV F1, ML 6, Special: Tisha was taken from her mother as a young cub by some adventurer who intended to train her as a companion animal before they fell down a hole in the street and were never seen again.]

  2. Zoris. Sluggish and bloated, this bear is immense. Her legs can hardly support her grotesque, squirming girth. Her skin is flaking away from extreme eczema and her claws have all turned a vibrant orange, as have her teeth. She hacks up a clotted pinkish phlegm and reeks of spoilt milk. If antagonized, she will defend herself for 1d4 Rounds, then seek to flee before collapsing back down into a miserable heap.

    Zoris (unique) [Massive, Adult, Female Grizzly; AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 7, HD 5, #AT 3 (Claw/Claw/Bite), DG 1d3/1d3/1d6, SV F3, ML 8, Special: Zoris has werms.]

    Bloat Werms [AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 7, HD 5, #AT 1 /Bite or Sting), DG 1d3/1d6, SV F1, ML 6, Special: These slippery things will latch-on with their sucker-like mouths on a result of 19-20 on their To Hit rolls and then lash about wildly in an attempt to skewer their victim with their tail-stingers for double-damage. Each sting attack imposes a -1 penalty to the victim's Saving Throws for 1d6 Turns. If a werm gets a natural 20 on one of these tail-sting attacks, they do double damage and inject 1d6 eggs into the victim. The eggs will cause painful, extreme bloating, persistent nausea and impose a -4 penalty on all attempts to attack or defend while the eggs gestate over the next 1d4 days. Cure Disease will cause the werms to be discharged from all available bodily orifices causing 2d4 damage to the host. The werms will then attempt to escape. Some Quacks will recommend a concoction that includes a heavily-diluted solution of Lear's Soap, often mixed with strong Red Weed Root Vodka. The mixture has a 46% success rate, killing the eggs and any hatched werms, but it also incapacitates the victim for a week's worth of debilitating diarrhea as their body rejects the inflammatory-enzymes secreted by the werms and shrinks back to normal.]

  3. Nauzir. Huge, old and wise; Nauzir wears a special monocle that allows her to Read Magic. She speaks only a few words that are more growls than anything, but she can understand and follow simple Franzik, a few useful words in Illushian, and will suffer a -4 to her Reaction Roll towards anyone using Pruztian within her hearing. She had befriended a trio of Street Urchins, but they were eaten by Curb Slugs, so she has been wandering about in mourning ever since.

    Nauzir (unique) [Ancient, Female, Middle-Sized Bear; AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 4, HD 6, #AT 3 (Claw/Claw/Spell--rarely, if ever bites), DG 1d3/1d3/By Spell, SV F3, ML 10, Special: Knows 1d6 random spells. She has buried 1d4 disreputable grimoires which she intends to go collect later for further study.]

    We suggest the following spells: Auric SheathDalrin's Lesser Call (Uncorrected Version), Dirt to Meat, Dorind's Demulcent Yellow Claw, Charnel BreathEgregious Effusion.

  4. Clever Franz. Nimble and quick, Franz rides a unicycle through the alleys as he hunts down his next meal. He's very partial to fresh berries and rotting fruit; the more fermented, the better he likes it. He's never tasted liquor before, but will happily (greedily) guzzle all he can get. But it is honey that really gets him going, and has made him the bane and scourge of every hive and Beebalmer's den in the area. Fortunately for Franz, he is not allergic to bee stings--most poisons don't bother him overly much, a trait he inherited from his sire, Brutazio--The World Famous Dancing Bear who was killed in the aerial  bombings that stranded the Udolpho Carnivale in Wermspittle. Franz has a beautiful spiked collar that is engraved with the distinctive Udolpho Carnivale crest and an offer of a reward for the safe return of their good friend Franz.

    Clever Franz (unique) [Huge, Adolescent, Male Black Bear; AL N, MV 120' (60')/180' on Unicycle, AC 6, HD 4, #AT 3 (Claw/Claw/Bite), DG 1d3/1d3/1d6 , SV F4, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Any time Franz gets a natural 18-20 on his To Hit roll, he uses his unicycle to ram his target for 2d4 and gets a follow-up attack at +4 to hit in order to hug his opponent for 1d6. He's very enthusiastic about this special attack, but not large enough, nor quite strong enough to be all that good at it. Franz also knows a lot of clever tricks, is a very good dancer, and loves to play games like trading shiny-bits for morsels of food--as long as the food offered is especially tasty (i.e. half rotten).] The Udolpho Carnivale Troupe will indeed be quite pleased at the return of their errant bear, but their idea of a reward may not be quite what was expected...

  5. Chadda. This owlbear wears a vest that appears to be a re-worked straight-jacket from one of the old asylums or clinics. Its left eye has been replaced with a Purple Amber orb that allows Chadda to Detect Miasmas at 120', and it constantly emits a flickering violet radiance that Repels Purple Minions (such as Smog Thrall or Breathless). Chadda lost his custom-made gauntlets, the one fitted with a variety of wicked-curved blades, back at...that place...where the headaches started...

    Chadda (unique) [Huge, Adult, Male Owlbear; AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 4, HD 4, #AT 3 (Claw/Claw/Bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d6+2, SV F3, ML 8, Special: Chadda is registered as Test Subject 11k-2, and is part of a special project managed by Doktor Klinefeldt who has transferred the brain of a recent Purple Smog victim into the modified body of a captured Owlbear. If you look closely there are stitches and a bald spot on the back of its head. The personality of the brain is slowly degrading as the instincts of the Owlbear assert themselves. apparently the 3% Solution of White Powder used in the process is somehow allowing the Owlbear to reclaim the foreign brain matter, to literally regrow itself through the transplanted tissue. Klinefeldt would be very happy to have his creature returned to him unharmed, he can be a most generous and helpful patron, or a terrifying personal enemy.]

  6. Lumo. Tall, fierce and intimidating, Lumo has been trained to act ferocious despite having no pointy teeth left. He got lost when his handlers were ambushed by some overly-ambitious Feral Children. The handlers are dead, except for one. Lushima desperately wants to recover her trained bear before the ringleader at Bairini's Big Top discovers what has happened. Unfortunately she was wounded by an Achromic Powder/Salted Shot and needs serious medical attention herself. In the meantime Lumo has wandered through the alleys terrorizing the locals and having a great time reliving his long-lost youth. So far no one has noticed that the old bear has no fangs...

    Lumo (unique) [Huge, Old, Male Brown Bear (Striped Shoulders); AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 6, HD 6, #AT 3 (Claw/Claw/Bite), DG 1d4/1d4/1hp*, SV F4, ML 9 (drops to 3 when confronted by galvanic prods), Special: Lumo has an imposing appearance, which is what convinced the handlers to make him part of their show, after they removed and replaced his fangs with blunt knobs of hardened cellulosic plastic. When Lumo rears up on his hind legs and roars, he radiates Fear in a 20' radius...however all Saves are made at +2, since he's getting old and isn't quite the bear he used to be.
    * On any roll of 19-20 To Hit for a Bite attack, Lumo clamps down and vigorously shakes his victim for 1d6 damage.]

Lions | Tigers | Bears
Lesser Beasts
Red Bestiary Index

The badly decayed carcasses of three bears were pulled from another unlicensed basement cess-pit being run by an absentee Landlord alleged to have connections to certain unnamed exotic ammunition crafters on Burr Street. One of the bears, the smallest one, was clutching a stuffed human doll that had to be doused with Cling-Tar and burned before its killing rampage was ended with sixteen seriously injured and two fatalities...

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