Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bestiary of Lemuria: Suideans

Among the commonest threats to human civilization in post-Atlantean Lemuria are the roving bands of beast-men that were created by the Atlantean overlords by crossing humans with various animal species to create superior slave races.  Left behind when their masters quit Lemuria, they now lurk in the ruins, worshiping the gods of Chaos and preying upon the weak and unwary.

The Suideans (pronounced soo-idean) are one such race, created to serve as shock troops in the internecine battles of the Atlantean warlords.  Bred for ferocity and stamina, the flesh-shapers combined human DNA with that of wild boars to create the ultimate warrior race.

Suidean tribes are able to grow quickly because sows have large litters and short gestation periods.  They also have short generational spans; the average suidean reaches sexual maturity in just five years.  Despite their high fecundity, only a handful of suideans survive to adulthood.  The Suideans are typical r-selection strategists; they produce far more offspring than can possibly survive and provide little parental investment.  In their brutal and militaristic society only the strongest survive to join the ranks of the warriors, while the weak are bullied for sport.  Indeed, the only members of suidean society outside of the warrior caste to receive any degree of respect are the armourers and boar-handlers.

The idea for suideans arose from a strange dichotomy; I have always, since my very first days playing D&D, disliked pig-faced orcs.  Actually, 'hated,' would be a better word for it (see my previous rant on the subject) The Tolkienien concept of the orc was permanently entrenched in my psyche at a young age and I refused to accept the AD&D spin on them.  At the same time, I really like the aesthetic of the pig-faced orc and I love the Otherworld Miniatures line of pig-faced orcs.  The solution, of course, was to create a race of pig-faced humanoids that are not orcs.  Now I can indulge in these wonderful miniatures without betraying my ideals.  Semantics, I know, but putting a new, campaign-specific, spin on an old monster freshens them up and makes them far more palatable to a pulp sword & sorcery campaign.

Suidean (No. Encountered 2d4/3d10 x 10)
Armour Class: 6           Special: Bestial Charge, Berserk         Morale: 8
Hit Dice: 1                    Move: 12                                          Alignment: Chaos
Attack: by weapon        HDE/XP: 2/30

Bestial Charge: Suideans are capable short range bursts of speed coupled with savage fury, and they receive a +1 bonus to hit and damage on the round that they charge into combat.
Berserk: Suideans are, by nature, cowardly bullies and are easily intimidated by superior force, but when they are wounded they go berserk and fight with suicidal rage.  Berserk suideans automatically pass all morale checks and will fight to the death.  In such a state they are immune to fear and mind control effects and cannot be negotiated or reasoned with.


Trey said...

I like this orcish makeover. I wonder how they feel about truffles, though? ;)

Dan said...

Cool stuff. Love the miniatures Sean...

Sean Robson said...

Thanks, guys. Who doesn't love truffles?

Lasgunpacker said...

Excellent way to save those great miniatures from the ignomy of being labled "orcs" when they are clearly not.

migellito said...

Much in agreement over pig-orcs - nice solution, and great name! soooo-eeeee!! :)

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