2/18/2012

Sea-Brides, or, What The Naughty Whistle Is

 Along the coasts of the Abraxas region, many of the local tribes share tales of men who have taken brides from the sea. The common thread of these stories is that the marriage never ends well. "The sons of men and the daughters of the sea do not get along any better than with their own women. In fact, it is worse," the elders say. "Always worse." 

The popular image of a Sea-Bride.
This image is incorrect.

 Still, occasionally a callow young warrior, a bored man of means, or, most likely of all, a desparate sailor will fall to the enchanting song of, or even seek out the affections of a sea-bride, and the Lord of Abraxas is rumored to keep several in a kind of aquarium beneath his palace for his pleasure and amusement, being immune to their spell by means of some puissant sorcery.


A sea-bride.

 Dealing with sea-brides is not universally perilous. They are not overtly hostile, and have been known to show interest in trade or conversation. Sea-brides will surface in the vicinity of passing ships or coastal fishermen, and join in a sustained, hypnotic whistling song audible from several miles away, hoping to attract humans to them. The spell is usually dissipated when they cease the whistling to converse. They are of roughly below-average human intelligence.



 On a reaction of "Uncertain" or better, the DM may consult this table to determine the Sea-brides' interest:
(Roll d10)


1. The Sea-brides have discovered a sunken ship and want to trade for its goods. Goods they desire include sweets, alcohol,and gold or silver jewelry.


2. They have discovered sunken ruins and wish to reach an agreement for long-term trade.


3. They have discovered sunken ruins inhabited by monsters. They want help eliminating the monsters and offer treasure as a reward.


4. They have discovered sunken ruins inhabited by monsters. If help is refused, they will attempt to Charm you into helping them.


5. They are being menaced by a tribe of Crabmen, for whom Sea-brides are a delicacy. They offer the location of the Crabmen's lair and treasure as a reward for helping them.


6. They have sighted the Grandfather Whale and offer to lead you to it in exchange for 1d6x100 GP of desirable goods.


7. They have discovered a sunken monastery and offer to bestow water breathing and lead you to it in exchange for 1d6x100 GP of desirable goods.


8. They have discovered an air-filled section of the ruined undersea city, which they offer passage to in exchange for 2d6x100 GP of desirable goods.


9. They desire a companion and offer to trade treasure from a sunken ship in exchange for him.


10. They are in an out-of-season mating frenzy and will attempt to capture a mate.
sunken ships


 Danger lies mostly during the spring, in the Sea-brides's mating season. Then they are likely to intensify their song and attempt to capture men - treat all results of "hostile" or "immediate attack" as a frenzied attempt to capture mates.

Sea-Bride
_________


Armor Class : 7
Hit Dice : 2***
Move: 30'(10')
 (swimming) 120'(40')
Attacks: 1 bite/1 Sting or Spittle
Damage: 1d6/Poison or Special
No. Appearing: 0 (3-12)
Save as: Elf 2
Morale: 8
Treasure: A (no scrolls)
Alignment: Neutral


 Sea-brides are amphibious, with upper bodies resembling attractive human women, slick blue skin, colorful spiny fins, and long, sinuous eel-like tails. Total length is usually around 15'. The sea-bride's song, when intensified, is strong enough to cause a Charm Person effect against a single male target within 120'. Sea-brides generate a great deal of slippery slime and are difficult to catch or grapple (-4). Their preferred attack is to spit a mass of a thick, gluey substance at a target up to 20' away equivalent in effect to a Web spell. The slime cannot be burned, but can be dissolved with alcohol or washed away with soap. If pressed into close combat, they may bite with shark-like teeth, or attempt to sting with their fin spines. The venom is not weak enough to cause serious harm a humanoid opponent, but will weaken the victim, causing a -2 penalty to hit rolls, saving throws, and AC, and halving movement.


Sea-bride dentition.


 If sea-bride in a mating frenzy captures a mate either through her charm, or, if necessary, by gluing him with her spittle, she will attempt to bring him back to her lair to mate, periodically breathing her slime into his lungs, enabling him to breathe underwater. The new mate will hold her interest for 1d6 months, during which time she will dote on him, and nurse him with her milk, which will gradually enslave the mate totally to her will. At the end of this period, her interest will wane, and when he is no longer being nursed, the mate may have a chance to escape. However, his eventual fate is dependent on the peculiarities of the sea-bride's life cycle.


 Seemingly, sea-brides are all female. However, the truth is more complex. In the vicinity of a sea-bride lair there will be swarms of their male counterparts, ravening eel-like creatures of subhuman and malicious intellect. Normally, sea-brides use their Charm ability to ward off the males from their mates. However, the mate may be in danger when her attentions wane.


An assortment of handsome sea-grooms.


Sea-Groom
_________


Armor Class : 9
Hit Dice : 1/2* (1-4 HP)
Move: 
 (swimming) 90'(30')
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1
No. Appearing: 4-24 (4-40)
Save as: Normal Man
Morale: 7
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic


Sea-grooms are vicious, lamprey-like creatures that are the male counterpart of Sea-brides. They are constantly hungry, but have a cunning intelligence and may use restraint and cunning to capture prey. They attack by biting with their toothsome sphinctered mouths. A successful hit means that it has attached itself to its target and will automatically drain blood from a living victim for 1 point of damage per round until either it or its victim is dead. Sea-grooms cannot breathe air.


Sea-brides bear eggs, and early in the mating season, they will be internally fertilized by many males. In order to reproduce, however, they need a host to carry the eggs to hatching and term. Humanoid hosts are preferred since they are needed to pass on their intelligence to the offspring. Once each month of capture, the Sea-bride will spit fertilized eggs from her gullet into her human mate's throat, where, unless he makes a saving throw vs. paralysis they will develop in his stomach over the next 1d4+2 months. If she is successful in hosting her eggs in the mate, the Sea-Bride will conscientiously protect him from her Sea-Groom brethren until they are born. When the time comes, the mate will vomit out 4d6 larvae equivalent to 1hp Sea-Grooms. If he is in water, they will immediately attempt to devour him. A host who has escaped onto land will feel an overpowering urge to return to the sea, and must save vs. spells each week or succumb to this urge. If he is still on land when the larvae mature, he make a final save vs. paralysis to vomit them out onto the ground where they will helplessly writhe and die; if he fails they will desperately try to eat him from the inside out before dying. The larvae may be killed by the application of a Cure Disease spell if the host makes a saving throw vs. Paralysis.


The DM may choose to handle this process by rolling on the table below:


(Roll d10)


1-3. You bear a host of larvae and are devoured by them.


4. The sea-bride's eggs never take host in you; without intervention of other PCs within 1d6 months, she bores of you and you are devoured by Sea-grooms.


5. The sea-bride's eggs take host in you; Without the intervention of other PCs within 1d4+2 months, you will be devoured when the larvae are born.


6. The sea-bride's eggs never take host in you. However, she is enamored of you indefinitely, and may eventually be rescued: 1 in 10 chance per year without intervention of other PCs.


7. You manage to escape 1d6 months later and wash ashore in a random coast hex, bereft of equipment, but carrying 4d6 larvae.


8. You manage to escape 1d6 months later  with your equipment and are rescued by a passing ship, but carrying 4d6 larvae.


9. You manage to escape 1d6 months later, and wash ashore in a random coast hex, bereft of equipment but free of larvae.


10. You manage to escape 1d6 months later with your equipment and free of larvae, and are rescued by a passing ship.


 While most Sea-brides only attempt to capture men, on rare occasions a Sea-Groom will, similarly to an anglerfish, fuse with a Sea-Brides' body after mating, and overtaking her mind. This gestalt creature will always be aggressive, and will capture mates indiscriminately to their sex; it will copulate with a charmed human using the parastitic Sea-Groom as a pseudopenis. The result of this union can be treated as a Sea-Blood Fighter or Thief per Realms of Crawling Chaos, if available.


 Wizards and alchemists find several uses for Sea-bride components. Sea-bride lung slime can be used to create  a Potion of Water-Breathing, skin slime is an ingredient for Oil of Slipperiness, and Sea-bride milk for a Philtre of Love.

8 comments:

  1. Topic recommended by Scrap Princess of http://monstermanualsewnfrompants.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Foolish boy following the seas song,
    you are happy now,
    but you wouldn't last long
    mermaids! pretty pretty mermaids!
    lay their eggs in your throat!
    later will come horror in spades,
    but for now enjoy her accolades!
    but her attention will turn,
    and she will tire of her pet,
    and thus my boy you will learn
    there are far better ways to get your dick wet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the versification reminds me of a play i was once in with unfortunate mermaid consequences

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    2. "unfortunate mermaid consequences" will now be liberally inserted in any random table I make. Liberally insertions and unfortunate consequences. Totally not a joke there

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  3. This is all kinds of nasty, squicky and wrong.

    Carry on Mr Cole.

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  4. I came for the squick (get your mind out of the gutter, civilians) but I am considering staying for the Monster Specific Adventure Seed Table which we really need more of and which really should be the standard feature of DIY monster write-ups instead of stats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monster Specific Adventure Seed Table which we really need more of and which really should be the standard feature of DIY monster write-ups

      I'd like to include more in future posts; I think they add usability to the monsters and remind me to connect things in my game. Not every monster will have them - some monsters are "d10 1-0 It's in a room." - but for "featured" monsters I do want to come back to this.

      Stats are included since basic D&D stats are easy and I'll need them myself if I'm gonna use the monster anyway.

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