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 Post subject: The Hook Horrors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:50 pm 
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The Hook Horrors

Description:
The Hook Horrors is a bipedal, underground-dwelling monster that looks like a cross between a vulture and a man with hooks instead of hands. The Hook Horror stands about nine feet tall (2.7m) and weighs almost 400 pounds (181kg). It has a tough, mottled grey, chitinous exoskeleton, like that of an insect that is extremely thick and dense and covered with sharp studs. The exoskeleton can be removed from a Hook Horrors and transformed into tough armor. Its front limbs end in 12-inch-long (30cm), razor sharp, blade-like metallic hooks surrounded by red feathers. These hooks are the primary method of combat. Its legs end in feet that have three small hooks, like long, sharp toes and similar to those of a bird. Its head is shaped like that of a vulture, including the hooked beak and the neck of crested feather. Its eyes are multifaceted like that of an insect. It is thought that the hook horror is distantly related to the cockroach or cave cricket., despite its birdlike qualities.

Hook Horrors do not have a smell to humans and demi humans, but an animal would detect a dry musty odor. They communicate in a series of clicks and clacks made by the exoskeleton at their throats. In a cave, this eerie sound can echo a long way. They can use this to estimate cavern sizes and distances, much like the sonic radar of a bat.

Combat:
Hook Horrors have acute hearing and are rarely surprised. They always know their territory, and they try to ambush unsuspecting travelers or denizens. Often they will work together as a group using both hooks as they swing to inflict damage upon their prey and attempt to grab hold and use their strong beaks until at least one of the hooks is dislodged. In a fight, a hook horror will use its clawed arms to trip its opponents.

The eyesight of the Hook Horrors is very poor. They are blinded in normal light. They use their extremely acute hearing to track and locate prey.
Hook Horrors are natural climbers, as their hooks give them excellent purchase on rock surfaces. They can move at normal speed up vertical surfaces that are not sheer. Their great weight means that they cannot hang from the ceiling like other insects. If forced to retreat the will use their ability to climb to escape death.


Habitat/Society:
The obvious penalty for having hooks instead of hands is that Hook Horrors cannot use weapons or tools. They can only pick up items in their beaks. This severely restricts their ability to amass large treasures.

A clan of Hook Horrors most often lives in caves and underground warrens. The entrance is usually up a vertical or steeply sloped rock wall. Each family unit in the clan has its own small cavern off a central cave area. The clan is ruled by the eldest female, who never participates in combat. The eldest male, frequently the mate of the clan ruler, takes charge of all hunting or other combat situations and is considered the war chieftain. Members of a clan rarely fight each other. They may quarrel or not cooperate, but they rarely come to blows. Clans sometimes fight each other, but only when there is a bone of contention, such as territorial disputes. It is rare for a clan of Hook Horrors to want to rule large areas or to conquer other clans.

Hook Horrors have poor relationships with other races. Although they do not foolishly attack strong parties, generally other creatures are considered to be meat. They retreat when faced with a stronger group. Hook Horrors do not recognize indebtedness or gratitude. Their simple language does not even have a term for these concepts. Just because a player character saves the life of a hook horror does not mean that it will feel grateful and return the favor.

Ecology:
Although Hook Horrors are basically omnivores, they prefer meat. They can eat just about any cave-dwelling fungus, plants, lichens, or animals. Hook horrors are well acclimated to cave life. They have few natural predators, although anything that managed to catch one would try to eat it.

Hook Horrors like to live as families (no more than a dozen) in subterranean caverns, led by the eldest male, and catch their food by hunting these areas. They sleep around half of the time, moving sluggishly when not under threat, meaning that they can survive on relatively little food for their size. Despite this, when food is scarce, hook horrors will migrate to another subterranean area. There exist a small number of Hook Horrors colonies that are able to cultivate their own food. Only when they are desperately hungry will Hook Horrors turn to foods such asphycomids, shriekers, violet fungi and zygoms to stay alive, and although this food is poisonous to most humanoids, a gland in the Hook Horror's abdomen produces a special hormone that renders it immune to such effects.



Hook Horrors reproduce by laying eggs in a closely guarded central location. The eggs look like rocks, 3 inches (8cm) in diameter and they are spread amongst actual rocks in the horrors' cavern, for camouflage.

The clan's eggs are kept in the safest, most defensible place. They will hatch after six months, producing a 1' (30cm) tall hook horror baby. After a year, it will reach 5' (1.5m) in height, and will reach its full size after 17 years. It remains with its parents for the first year of life, spends the second becoming more and more independent, before finally no longer needing its parents by the third year. It will seek out a mate of its own from the age of six.

The Hook Horror is especially susceptible to diseases and parasites. They have a life expectancy of less than forty years.

Hook Horrors have their own language, communicating in a series of clicks and clacks made with their own exoskeletons, but they can also speak Undercommon. In their own language, communication is soft and gentle when "speaking" about friendship, but loud and frenzied when discussing food.

Hook Horrors do not see well at all, but their hearing is very acute and they have a keen sense of smell. In a cave, Hook Horrors can produce a high-pitched sound that cannot be heard by most other creatures. It enables them to use echolocation, much like the sonar of a bat, to "see" nearby objects and environments without the need for light. Hook Horrors are sensitive to bright light.

They are omnivorous but they prefer the meat of whatever creatures they can catch. They will resort to fungi or lichens if they cannot obtain meat. It is rumored that they particularly enjoy eating Itheril.

The Hook Horror's exoskeleton dries and becomes too brittle for use after a month or so. Hook Horrors must molt to shed their hard exoskeletons after growth occurs. During a period of two days, the old exoskeleton drops off in flakes, and a new one is forming underneath the whole time. For a period of a few days after the old exoskeleton has been completely shed, the Hook Horror's new one is soft and it is much more susceptible to damage.

Where possible, Hook Horrors will collect and eat silver or electrum items. These pass through their digestive systems, and remain unchanged, although with a slight odor, when deposited.

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 Post subject: Re: The Hook Horrors
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 2:51 am 
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Location: Vancouver BC
GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
More reading on the Natural History of Caenyr:


A Basic Guide to Faerie Dragons
The Bitter Pole – The World’s Crown
The Bitter Sea
Bugbears
The Cycles of Caenyr
The Deep Sea
Dragons of Caenyr
Dragon Settlements
Heavenly Forces
The History of Gem Dragons
History of the Yuan-Ti
The Githzerai
Hook Horrors
Illithids
Luhta Kanta: Cursed Children of Aryanaesis
The Lupinal
Master Trees and Barklings
Minotaurs of Caenyr
Moons of Caenyr
Plants and their Uses
Poison – the Whats and Hows
Owlbears
Rare Cloths and Other Materials
Rauk’hra – Terror of the Black Fathoms
Star Stories
Wemic

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 Post subject: Re: The Hook Horrors
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 3:14 am 
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: Vancouver BC
GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
Other Races (playable if so stated)


The Ageless Kin
Breathstealers
Bugbears
Conception, Gestation and Maturation Across the Species
Erri’l
Gobley: Language of goblins and hobgoblins
Half-Celestial (playable race)
Celestial Races Revisited
Half-Demons (playable race)
Half-Dragon (playable race)
Half-Nymphs (playable race)
History of Languages
History of the Yuan-Ti
Hook Horrors
The Githzerai
The Illithids
Kitsune
Llith
The Lupinal
Lycanthropes (playable race)
The History of Lycanthropy
Master Trees and Barklings
Merfolk
Minotaurs of Caenyr
The Pedryfan’elfen
Ri’asa (playable race)
Sea Siren
The Sidhe
Spirit Folk
Unique Undead of Etaria
Vampyre (Playable race)
Wemic

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Teehee(c) Laurelicious Inc.
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Bringer of Shiny since 2002
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