Monday, 5 September 2016

The Glade of the Scythe Lizard

The Therizinosaurus Glade

The trees here – dying and drooping in the dim light of a bleakly clouded sky – all bear long, powerfully gouged-out scars: bark torn free in curved slices; big branches wrenched downwards exposing seeping wounds; smaller branches stripped of whatever dead leaves once remained. This is the work of the spectre of a beast which once lived off these trees when they were lush and giving of fresh life and able to heal themselves. A remnant which haunts them yet, just as they haunt the land here.

The spectre is of a therizinosaur: a shuffling bipedal shaggy-feathered giant, standing a dozen yards tall, with long groping arms ending in sets of claws up to four feet in length, and a high stretched serpentine neck. Its downward curving mouth contains a rasping tongue. Its feathers are faded and clumps are gone; its movements are shambling and drained of vigor; its eyes are no longer hungry but sad and dead; but it moves still – half-corporeal, half-mad, in a crepuscular mockery of what it once was.

The therizinosaur’s long scythe-like claws are used for feeding – stripping bark and branches so that the creature can get at a tree’s true treasures. While it could use them just as deftly for peeling flesh and detaching limbs, its ghostly presence (an affront to the distinction between death and life) is danger enough.

HD 9+9, AC 16*, AB +8, ATT Two claws (2d6+2)

*Is only half-corporeal and cannot be harmed by non-magical physical attacks.

*Is accompanied by a nimbus of terror and despair. At a distance this manifests itself as a sense of foreboding – a raising of the hairs on the back of the neck (enemies are never surprised). Confronted up close, or seen at any distance, enemies are either stricken by paralysis (cannot move for 1d3 hours), panic (flee insensate in a random direction for 1d3 hours) or paranoia (retreat into hiding somewhere for 1d3 hours) on a failed save vs. magic. After the 1d3 hour period, if the victim is still alive, he or she has no memory of what took place in the period except the vision of the ghost, indelibly marked into his or her psyche - and plagued by dreams in which the creature appears, communicating a sense of longing for unknown release (see below). The therizinosaur has no particular hostility towards the living but will peel and strip them of flesh as it would a tree if close enough to do so.

*Can communicate its mute grief with those who try to make psychic contact, and will plead to be led to living trees where it might find freshness once more. If this is achieved it bestows its blessing.
The Blessing of the Scythe Lizard 
The PC who is blessed can now tear physical objects with his or her fingers. He can do this in combat (doing d3 damage) or damage physical obstacles softer than stone within reason. His fingers can only be used for stripping or tearing, not for constructive purposes such as, for instance, climbing.  


  1. Now that's a monster I could really use! A real challenge for a fifth or sixth level party.

  2. Once again, you have made something that fits perfectly into this world you have made.

  3. Just had a thought: How are the sizes of various creatures affected in the creature's memories? Clearly the crocodile was larger than a human in its prime; animals would seem smaller to it.