The crocodile saw the infancy of human life out of the corner of its eye, paying as much attention as a man does to the hopes, concerns, lives and deaths of deer: occasional subjects of disinterested study; occasional meals.
It remembers them chiefly as bipedal, hairless creatures - something like a beast of the land, but also smooth and sleek like a fish or snake. Forever making strange chattering noises, like a bird; the crocodile does not understand the concept of speech, and if it thought about the behaviour of early humans at all, it surmised that they were somehow able to understand each other through pheromones. It thinks of them as cowards, who were extremely skittish around water and terrified of confrontation unless they were armed and in large numbers, though sometimes, at night, it perceived the warm glow of the fires they were somehow able to create, apparently from the dust itself. It saw their villages too: nests, it thought, like those of some social insect like a bee or wasp. It has no understanding of their hierarchies or sexes: it never paid enough attention, nor is perhaps capable of comprehending such a thing as a "family" or a "chief".
Distant Memories of Homo Erectus
Appears as a bipedal humanoid, with shaggy hair around the head, furtive dark eyes, and skin that is brown but scaled - squamous like a serpent. Alone or in small numbers they are cowards who avoid confrontation; in numbers of four or more they attack if having the advantage of surprise; in numbers of eight or more they attack remorselessly. They communicate through smell or perhaps some minor psionic ability, and make a constant confused and babbling chatter which distracts magic-users from completing spells on a roll of '1'. With a handful of dust they can produce fire, which they can then throw at a distance of 6', causing d3 damage.
No Appearing: 2d6 (3d20 in lair), HD 1+1, AC 14, AB+2
This is great stuff. Use of fire, proto-language etc., as interpreted by a passingly interested crocodile mind, yields a strange new encounter for PCs. Plus the chance to get brained by a stone axe.ReplyDelete
The chance to get brained is always important.Delete
The scales are a nice touch. I'm reminded of those early sketches of marsupials by British sailors, in which kangaroos have heads like foxes or deer. The strange is broken down into familiar components.ReplyDelete
I love the fire-throwing too!
Yes, there is going to be a lot of that going on with this crocodile thing. Trying to put yourself into the mind of an animal to imagine how it sees the world is quite an interesting exercise in itself.Delete