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Natural Creatures

What is 'natural' in the world of SLuRP is very different from our own world. Essentially, "natural" is defined as any creature that lives, dies, and reproduces without the intervention of magic.

Thus, the undead are unnatural because they do not die by normal means. Animatrons do not live except through the use of magic. Faeries and Denizens cannot reproduce in this world, as they are not native to the realm.

These bipedal creatures are of mutable form so that they are able to shape themselves into the likeness of any humanoid creature from 4' to 8' tall which they observe.
Having become the double for a person they attempt to do away with that victim and assume its place. If unable to do this, the doppleganger will attack, counting on the confusion engendered to make it indistinguishable from the creature it is mimicking.
When copying a creature, the doppleganger forms itself into the likeness of the clothing and equipment of the creature, as well as the physical features thereof.
Dragons are not found near the human lands, and anyone with sense should be glad. They are by far the most powerful creatures in this world, and some say they are a form of god. Their natural form is that of a gigantic, often winged, reptile but they can assume any other form if they choose. They command the very essence of magic, warping reality as easily as imagining.
To amuse themselves and each other, they sometimes pretend to be mortal, setting themselves up as a local terror that must be defeated by a hero. In truth, the lives and deaths of the lesser races are of no consequence to them.
See also The Elder Races.
Dragon Ogre
Believed to be a magical hybrid of dragon and ogre, this is one of the most powerful creatures found in the human lands. It has four arms, and can use them all equally in combat. It wields fire magic, apparently intrinsically.
No human has ever defeated a dragon ogre.
These huge, two-headed creatures are believed related to orcs, but more closely resemble ogres or trolls. Feared by most creatures, they are very unlikely to be surprised as one head is always awake.
Perhaps because of their two heads, they can direct both arms independantly, and with great skill, making this creature a significant foe in battle. Their animal skin dress is typically moth eaten and filthy. Ettins favour spiked clubs and similar weapons
Smaller cousins to the orcs, goblins are relatively common around Keese. They are scavengers by nature and are interested in little more than food, although they can be distracted by anything shiny. They are notoriously stupid and cowardly, and are often enslaved by the stronger orcs.
It is said that a few goblins have some rudimentary understanding of shamanist magic.
In the same way that troglodytes are unintelligent humans, hobgoblins seem to be intelligent goblins or orcs. Their culture is rudimentarily tribal, their language is not sophisticated, but they are definitely the highest evolutionary step in the goblin family.
They can be compared in many ways to the wolfmen. They are stronger and tougher than humans, but not as culturally advanced. They differ in that they are not at war with humans, so will not attack out of hand. They also have a moderate understanding of shamanist magic.
Related to goblins, kobolds are even smaller, weaker, and more cowardly, really no more than animals. They live underground, and can often be found in the tombs and dungeons surrounding Keese. Like goblins, they are scavengers, but unlike them they will feed on carrion.
Kobolds are too dim to understand the concept of slavery, but are often used as food by orcs and ogres. They are also too dim to have any real language, understanding about as much as dogs. If you can train them, they are useful in similar ways.
Lizard Man
Lizard men are semi-aquatic, equally at home in water or on land. They are typically found in swamps, marshes and similar places. They are omnivorous, but are believed to have a taste for human flesh.
They are more solitary than the tribal-based wolfmen, but are comparable in many other ways, particularly in intelligence.
Not to be confused with wolfmen, these creatures were once thought to be mere legend, but it has now been shown that they do actually exist. Lycanthropes are humans with a disease which causes them to change shape to the form of an animal, often (but not always) that of a wolf. They retain much of their human intelligence, but little of their character. The amount of control over the change is highly erratic, but no lycanthrope can resist it during a full moon.
Any humanoid bitten by a lycanthrope has a large chance of infected by the disease.
Lycanthropes have been expanded, and now have their own page.
This thouroughly nasty creature resembles a lion that has evolved from a scorpian. Most notably, it has a long, poison-tipped tail that exudes perhaps the most potent venom on this earth.
Manticores can be surprisingly intelligent, in a cunning manipulative kind of way. It is said that some of them even wield magic. However, even the most bestial of them are sadistic, cruel and really quite dangerous. They should generally be avoided.
This strange creature is able to alter its body to perfectly mimic stone or wood. Mimics pose as doors, chests, or other similar item and, when touched, lash out with a pseudopod. The psudopod will hold fast to whatever it hits, and will digest it with organic acids.
Mimics can be small enough to imitate a goblet, or large enough to imitate a double bed.
Only recently observed by humans, the mindflayer has plagued the Drow and other underground dwellers for generations. It is basically humanoid, but with numerous tentacle-like things emerging from its head. It appears that it feeds on souls, and uses these tentacles to drain its victims.
Academics have speculated that this effect must be similar to the draining touch of a wraith.
Mindflayers appear intelligent, but in a totally alien manner. Communication has never succeded, even with magic, suggesting they commnicate telepathically (or are simply stubborn).
Ogres can be found in almost any terrain. They are large, ugly-tempered and voracious. Ogres are also fond of treasure, and will sometimes be found serving as mercenaries in the ranks of orc tribes. If not found working for treasure, ogres are usually solitary creatures, but tend to attack without provocation.
Half-ogres also exist, but it is probable that they are a seperate race, similar to lizardmen or wolfmen.
Orcs are the larger cousins of goblins, usually more aggressive and better armed. Orc tribes are fiercely competitive and are highly likely to fight one another. They are resourceful and adaptable, and often make use of other races to do their work for them. Large number of goblin slaves are common.
Orcs dwell in places where sunlight is dim, or non-existent, as they dislike the light. They are brutish and bestial in appearance, often being compared to boar.
Although they are not very intelligent, orcs are strong and fierce, and are a common source of dead travellers around Keese.
No human has seen a taqua, but the wolfmen are terrified of it. It is believed to resemble a gigantic insect, and is dangerously aggressive.
The troglodytes are essentially humans who did not receive the gift of speech. As a result, they remain primitive and about as intelligent as orcs. They live in caves, and are shabby and animal in appearance, speaking only in grunts or single words.
In many ways, they are human versions of the orcs. They fight amongst themselves, they fight anything that stumbles across them, and their only society is based on dominance of the strongest.
Troglodytes are not common around Keese, having been driven out generations ago by the wolfmen, but they can be found in ruins and dungeons. They often inhabit the same areas as kobolds.
Distantly related to orcs, trolls come in two distinct varieties. Both are only slightly intelligent, but intrinsically aggressive, attacking on sight. They are very tough, and recover from damage extremely rapidly.
Water trolls are semi-aquatic, always found near rivers or lakes. They are tall and thin, but immensely strong. They are particularly vulnerable to fire.
Rock trolls live in mountainous regions. They are more heavily built and just as strong. They are not especially vulnerable to fire, but can be hurt by direct sunlight.
Not to be confused with werewolves (see lycanthrope), these are fur-covered humanoid creatures that have an affinity with wolves. They are intelligent, and have a clan-based society similar to the Celts. They are currently at war with the humans around Keese due to a conflict over territory, and being stronger and tougher than humans, they are formidable enemies. Along with orcs and goblins they are the main danger in the forests around Keese.
It was the invasion of the Wolfmen's territory by the humans of Keese that lead to the Wolfman War.
Wolfmen and their society have been expanded on here.

Undead Creatures

In the quest for mastery over death, many people become undead. Undead can indeed live forever, being immune to all natural forms of death. They can however be destroyed by violent means.

Every form of undead is the result of a different process. They retain varying amounts of their humanity and intelligence, and can each be despatched in different ways.

Holy symbols only affect undead if wielded by a person of faith. They are not intrinsically effective.

Note that zombies and skeletons are not undead, but are animated.

If a person dies, but has sufficient need to live, their force of will can keep their spirit active. They become a ghost.
A ghost will usually be tied by passion to a certain place or action. They are also known as restless spirits, and want nothing more than peace of mind so that they may die. Powerful magic can, however, rip a person's spirit back from the realm of death to fulfil some task.
Ghosts only interact weakly with the living world. They can only be seen in very dim light, and cannot be affected by any physical means. They themselves can only act through simple magic.
A wight is a type of ghost that is sustained simply by its need to live. It does this by absorbing the life force from the still-living.
Wights can affect, and be affected by, as little as ghosts. They cannot interact physically, or be physically damaged. They retain little of their humanity, being entirely obsessed by their need for life energy.
Like ghosts, they will be bound to a place. Unlike ghosts, this will usually be the place they are buried. Their passion ties them to their body, not to their former life, or their death.
Anyone touched by a wight will lose life points to it. If all their life is drained they will die and, because of the nature of the death, will probably rise as a wight themselves.
Through the use of magic, a person can drain the very life force from another, and take it for himself. Their body will eventually fade away, and they will become a wraith.
Wraiths are in many ways similar to ghosts and wights, but retain more of their humanity, and all of their free will. They are not bound to anything, place or purpose, but once their body has faded away, they cannot interact physically with the living world.
A wraith drains life points by touch. If a person has all their life drained they will die and, because of the horrific nature of the death, will probably rise as a wight.
By the eating of the flesh of dead humans, a person can take death into himself and consume it, thus not letting death consume him. This person becomes a ghoul.
Ghouls have no trace of humanity remaining; they can best be described as insane. They are vicious and aggressive, and can be quite cunning if desperate.
The touch of a ghoul can cause temporary paralysis, and has been known to cause a disease similar to graverot. Anyone affected will become ghoulish unless treated. Ghouls can be dispatched by normal means.
When a person of high social standing (a king or high priest perhaps) dies, certain cultures will mummify them so that their spirit lives on. If done correctly, they become a mummy.
Mummies retain little of their humanity, and generally want nothing more than the peace of death. They retain a great deal of pain and anger at the living, and will generally attack anyone who invades their tomb.
Because of their nature, they are especially vulnerable to religious symbols. Non-religious weapons will not harm them, but fire will. Like ghouls the touch of a mummy can cause a graverot-like disease.
By drinking the blood of living humans, a person can steal the life for himself. They become a vampire, and one of the most powerful of the undead. They retain most of their humanity, but gain many additional powers which can themselves corrupt the person's character.
Vampires are susceptible to fire, but little else. They have increased strength, speed and perceptions, and often have powers of mind-control. Anyone bitten by a vampire but not killed will develop vampiric urges themselves.
There are countless alleged ways that vampires can be destroyed, but many people lose their lives learning not to trust all they hear. Piercing the heart and decapitation will usually despatch them, but complete incineration is the only sure way.
Vampires have now been expanded, and have their own section.
If a mage reaches the highest levels of power and knowledge, there are certain arcane rites that can extend his existence beyond death. While his body dies and rots, his will keeps it operational. Like vampires, they retain much of their humanity, and all their necessarily high levels of power, but the very nature of the act means that liches are usually obsessive and dangerous characters.
Liches are extremely difficult to destroy. They cannot be harmed by normal weapons, they are intrinsically immune to all mind-affecting spells. Their touch is cold enough to burn, and the sight of them causes fear. This is in addition to the powers they have accumulated as a mage.
Necros Worshipper
Necros is the god of the dead, and thus his worshippers desire death. However, dead worshippers are no use to anyone, so Necros grants undeath to his initiated followers.
Necros followers retain all of their humanity, but to be a Necros follower in the first place requires being of an inhuman nature. They are as powerful as a living priest, and have no special immunities or vulnerabilities. However, if destroyed they can petition Necros to be returned to the living world.
Necros followers will try anything to recruit people to their cause. This will generally involve killing them.
Necros priests are often responsible for the animated dead.

Animated Creatures

With powerful magic, a practitioner can take an inanimate object and give it a semblance of life. These animatrons have no mind, and thus no intelligence, but operate under the will of the spellcaster. They can be given orders of varying complexity, depending on the level of magic and the type of creature.

Animatrons are difficult to destroy as they feel no pain, and will attempt to continue carrying out their instructions even if they are rendered physically incapable. They will often continue operating even if decapitated or totally dismembered.

A common mistake is that a zombie is undead. In truth, they are animated corpses. One of the simplest animatrons, they are very slow and can usually be dispatched with a couple of sword blows.
A more advanced version of the zombie, also mistakenly thought of as undead. Skeletons tend to be quicker and more agile than zombies, and display a greater illusion of intelligence.
Golems are animatrons that have been built by the spellcaster specifically for the purpose. They are usually stone or clay, but can be made of metal or even flesh. Although they are often slow they are extremely tough, and can be formidable foes.

Faeries & Denizens

This world of the living is but one of many. Powerful magic can gain access to a plethora of alternative worlds with strange creatures and bizarre gods. Many of the denizens of these other planes are more powerful than comparable creatures in this world. Many have intrinsic abilities that no mage could duplicate.

There are two worlds of particular note.

One is the Kingdom of Faerie. It is 'close' to this world, and its denizens are often found here.

Faeries are creatures of magic, often resembling elves. Their laws and moralities are quite different from those we understand, and so they appear erratic and incomprehensible. One moment they will be pleasant and helpful, the next they will kill on a whim.

The other is the realm of death. Whether this is a true realm is open to debate, but if it truly exists, it would explain the existence of many of the creatures that plague our world - spirits and undead in particular. It is also theorised that the creatures commonly referred to as demons originate in this srealm.

To pass across to another realm requires powerful magic, and once there you have no guarantee of survival. No-one can survive in all the realms, and anyone who intends to visit other worlds must ensure that they have taken all necessary precautions. In particular they should ensure that they can return.

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