In the Telengard setting, “monsters” generally belong to none of the natural animal types.  A Greek chimera is neither mammal nor reptile, and a Cockatrice is neither bird nor reptile, and an owlbear is neither mammal nor bird.  I try to conceive of other monsters breaking biological “rules.”

For example, there are green skinned orcs.  They are green because of chlorophyll.  You’d think a creature hat can make its own food from the sunlight would be peaceful and live in the sun.  But orcs shun sunlight and are warlike.  Why?  Because they glut themselves on flesh and blood for food.  Exposure to sunlight in the typical orc’s normal state (with a belly full of indeterminate meat) can cause acute hyperglycemia.  They suffer in sunlight and seek dark places.  Blood is an intoxicating beverage to orcs, exactly as mead is to Vikings.  (In fact there are said to be peaceful green orcs on the steppes to the southeast, who live on photosynthesis.  Scholars dispute this.)  Not all orcs are green, though.  There are many colors of orcs.

Another example of a monster in Telengard is the Grue.  They are like amphibians in some ways, but can actually absorb nutrients from damp soil and rocks.  This feeding by osmosis is very unsatisfactory for them, though, and a Grue that feeds exclusively in this manner will grow emaciated.  They much prefer the flesh of intelligent creatures, especially adventurers and hirelings.  They are killed by sunlight and injured by starlight and moonlight.  Torches and light spells annoy them but do no harm.  I use a Ral Partha “Well drakken” to represent a grue (image from Lost Minis Wiki; mine is painted dark brown with grey hair and white claws, but I intend to repaint him.)

Because he was sold as a “well drakken,” I always imagined this guy hiding inside a well.  I imagined him waiting for years for victims to stumble near enough to snatch in his huge claws.  The sad Muppet face only adds to the horror.  I love this mini.

Anyway grues can live indefinitely in a hermetically sealed dungeon, and fill this niche of “no-maintenance monsters”  as well as undead creatures,  living statues, and other D&D standards do.

Published in: on March 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. that’s a pretty plausible Grue–close to what i always imagined.

  2. Shouldn’t the Grue weaken the things it eats? So, perhaps it will eventually break out of the dungeon.

    • Nah, they sit in the corner, slowly absorbing stone etc. to create new passages and even rooms in the dungeon. They are too lazy to move except when humans, demihumans, etc. are nearby to eat.

  3. I love those monster figures – they were very creative when they designed them.
    Here is what I did with some vintage Ral Partha figures – I guess they’re not exactly monsters, but I like the look of them.

    I have a Johzal and a Sylph so far.

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