Sunday, 25 October 2009

War Crayfish

When the people of the Mountains of the Moon go to war, they employ phalanxes of specially bred giant crayfish - their equivalent of heavy cavalry. These crayfish are usually armoured with additional special barding and sharpened claws.

There are many problems associated with the use of war crayfish. They are stupid, belligerent and usually half-starved to make them more aggressive, so they are as likely to attack their own side as the other if they are not properly controlled. Though they have been bred for many generations to live out of the water, they still have to return to fresh water once a day. And they are totally incapable of following any but the most basic commands - essentially: face left, face right, face straight ahead, attack, halt. But timed correctly a crayfish charge can destroy entire formations of foot troops.

War crayfish are controlled with the aid of special magical items - Helms of Crustacean Control - which are operated by a religious cult of mercenary eunuchs. These eunuchs travel the oligarchies of the Mountains of the Moon, offering their services to the highest bidder; they are paid only in platinum and slave boys, who they train as apprentices. They have their own religion, which is based on a the worship of a pantheon of crayfish gods, and call themselves the Kep kep.

As well as being used in military formations, individual war crayfish are sometimes kept as pets or bodyguards, or found in gladiatorial arenas.

War Crayfish

Armour Class: 0 (with bronze scale barding)
Hit Dice: 4+4*
Move: 120' (60')
Attacks: 2 claws
Damage: 2d6+4/2d6+4 (with sharpened claws)
No. App: Special (up to 30 in one formation)
Save As: F3
Morale : Special
Treasure: Nil
Intelligence: 1
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value : 125

Special: One eunuch controller can command up to 30 war crayfish. If he is killed, his charges will attack the nearest warm-blooded creature - or, failing that, move in a random direction in search of fresh water.

War crayfish cause fear when they charge at non-elite troops and horses. Horses will flee in terror from a war crayfish charge for d6 turns; non-elite troops are permitted a saving throw vs. magic.

Helm of Crustacean Control

This helmet takes the form of a large copper crab, which grasps the wearer's skull with its legs. It allows the wearer to command up to 30 crustaceans who are within one mile. It also allows the wearer to sense telepathically any crustacean life within that distance.

Only a eunuch can operate a Helm of Crustacean Control. If a non-eunuch puts such a helm on his head its legs will press inwards and slowly crush his skull, killing him over the course of five turns. Once this process has begun it can only be stopped by a wish spell.


  1. a war crayfish in bronze scale barding.

    somebody should draw that

  2. I just want to say that the Helm of Crustacean Control is one of the coolest names for a magic item I've ever seen. Who cares what it does!

  3. JB
    That having been said, it'd be pretty funny if it DIDN'T control crustaceans and just happened to be called that.

  4. Very col. I eagerly await more Yoon-suin material.

  5. Zak: Sounds like an opening for somebody who's good at art. Gee I wonder who that might be.

    JB: Kind of fond of it myself!

    Bluskreem: I shall of course oblige. Today I'll be ranting about Spelljammer though I think.