Thursday, September 11, 2014

The world is as sharp as a knife

They who will soon die. Source.

When you are a warrior, the knife is always on you. It is first to put on in the morning, last to take off at night. Name it Close-at-Hand, there to guard your people at all times.
- Xa'aiŋa advice to young men
Capture slaves, settle debts, revenge trespasses - it is irrelevant. What matters is this: go there, kill them all, and then you will have all the things that they own.
- Raven to the Hungry People
That's no good. People who use that armor are no real war men. Warrior doesn't care if he lives or dies! Disgrace for a man to fight with any protection but his power. Nutl'ileb men have got big heart, don't need that kind of stuff!
- A dead man
To his eldest son the warrior warned, "The world is as sharp as a knife. The careless fall right off." Ever the know-it-all, as eldest children so often are, the son retorted, "The world is broad and flat! None could fall off it!" Then, in kicking the earth to demonstrate its reliable solidity, he ran a splinter through his foot and died shortly thereafter.
- Məŋa'məŋa' tale

Periodic slave raids, blood feuds, and attacks of reprisal are unfortunately common in the Straits. Every headman needs slaves - how else to gather the resources necessary to demonstrate his wealth? And it is well known that only battle alleviates the sorrow of loss - if you are hurting, it is only sensible to ensure that others hurt, too.

And so raiders appear in the night, burning villages to nothing before any even knew there was to be war. Lone fishermen and those given to wandering disappear without warning. Grinning strangers appear on the horizon only to betray the lie of friendship with sudden violence. Survivors that cannot flee into the woods are enslaved.

In this environment, every village needs professional warriors. These are dangerous and unwholesome men, but necessary. Peculiar and surly, they speak little as they stalk the villages with eyes always darting sideways, knowing this threatening carriage makes them objects of fear. When the raiders muster, all the other villagers huddle inside, for it is said they are like a great mouth, always open and ready to swallow anything that passes.


Tools of War

Armor Types

Coiled cedar cuirass.
Elk-hide jacket.
Elk-hide tunic.

Common Leathers: Elk or deer hide shirt or jacket & leggings. Commonly worn as clothing by outsiders and Straitsmen alike, or under heavier armors. [AC 8.]

Hide TunicTreated hides of elk, walrus, sea lion, moose, or bear draped loosely over the body. Northerners travel far each year to obtain these trading in the elk-hunting villages of the far southern Straits, near unto Fusang. Often painted with family crests or other symbols. Also worn under Slat & Rod armor. [AC 8, 7 vs. arrows, teeth, & claws.]

Coiled Cedar: Coils of braided cedar rope sewn tightly together. It is stiff and cumbersome, but popular among the warlike villages of the deep fjords in the central Straits. [AC 7, penalty on athletic action.]


Slat & rod cuirass.
Coin mail jacket.


Slat & Rod: Hardwood slats & rods bound with rope or fiber, worn over elk hide. Often includes similar shin and arm protection. This armor is emblematic of the northern peoples and their preeminence in war, though the design is slowly proliferating throughout the Straits as chaos and violence rise. [AC 6, penalty on athletic action & stealth.]

Coin MailAn extravagant display of wealth, this armor is of hundreds of Chinese copper coins (Qing dynasty, as old as 1644) affixed to an elk hide backing. Men would kill simply to own it. Often accompanied by slat & rod shin and arm protection. [AC 5, penalty on athletic action & stealth.]


Wooden helm.
Wooden collar.


Wooden Helm: Carved from dense spruce burls into hideous and intimidating shapes. Combines with collar to form great helm. [Protects against blows to the top of the head.]

Wooden Collar: A bentwood plank cut from a spruce burl and painted with crest designs. Contains a bite ring to hold it in place. Combines with helm to form great helm. [Protects against injury to the face and neck.]


Great helm.
Great helm.

Great Helm: Full spruce helmet covering the entire head and face. The great helm and its component parts are also northern designs, perhaps even more iconic than slatted armor, and are spreading similarly. [-1 bonus to AC, imposes penalty on perception & surprise, muffles speech (no spellcasting).]


Weapon Types

Wooden slave-killer.
Stone slave-killer.

Slave-killer: This heavy, blunt dagger makes for an awkward combat weapon but serves admirably in its main roll of delivering finishing blows to downed opponents or sacrificial slaves. [Halved piercing damage.]


Copper-breaker.
Copper-breaker.

Copper-breaker: A wood-shafted stone hammer made for dramatically breaking ceremonial copper sheets but often pressed into service as a combat weapon. [Blunt damage.]


Spearhead fighting pick.
Horn fighting pick.

Fighting Pick: A deadly war pick or axe. Often serves as a slave-killer would at major memorial feasts and house dedications, but also finds use as a weapon. [Piercing damage.]


Stone club.
Wooden club.
Two-handed wooden club.
Whalebone club.

War Club: A variety of clubs taking a variety of forms. May be of stone, hardwood, bone, whalebone, antler, or similarly robust materials. Most are single handed, though some are not. Most have a narrow edge to concentrate force, and occasionally teeth, but some are rounded (these more closely related to those used to kill seals & caught fish, but still serviceable as weapons of war). [Bludgeoning damage, +1 damage for two-handed varieties.]


Copper sword.

Copper Sword: A war club pounded from copper with sharpened edge approaches what the Company would call a "sword". Quite rare. Takes its form from club designs rather than the Californio & Mexicano swords that occasionally appear in the hands of certain Straitsmen. [Slashing damage.]


Copper dagger.
Double dagger.
Iron dagger.

Dagger: Fighting daggers on the Straits take many forms, though most are of copper or iron. Copper is acquired locally, but iron must be traded for or salvaged from meteors and shipwrecks, though it can be honed, tempered, and ground with flutes locally. Other possibilities include bone, horn, or obsidian, though these are not esteemed. All are commonly worn on a thong about the neck and lashed to the wrist in battle.

The larger double-bladed dagger is more ancient, and a symbol of war. The one that wears it is generally assumed to be a professional warrior, slaver, or madman. [Piercing damage.]


Atlatl.
Copper spearhead-daggers.

Spear: Spears are of many types, both long and short. A common design uses a particular type of dagger for a head, that it may be detached when needed for other purposes. [Piercing damage, reach.]

Atlatl: The spear thrower is still in use, though less and less common of late. Its notable advantage is in having no powder or string to ruin in the rain, bringing its usefulness up dramatically in local weather conditions. Darts are notably larger and more cumbersome than arrows. [Piercing damage, unaffected by rain.]

Sling: The sling is also common and is much the same as is known the world over. [Bludgeoning damage, unaffected by rain.]


Cable-backed bow.
Flatbow.

Bow: Bows are of the flatbow type and ideally made of yew, with arrows of willow. In the absence of decent wood, the cable-backed bow is known and used, strengthening the stave with an opposite string. [Piercing damage.]


Sawed-off trade gun.

Trade Gun: Muskets acquired from the Company or Mexicano explorers are found in many (but not all) villages of the Straits. They are altered and decorated with the same intricate sensibility that Straitsmen apply to all their crafts. [Piercing damage +1, alerts wandering monsters.]



Warrior Societies

Wudyagwilis brings a war party.
The War-Makers' Society
Little know you men of the South
what valiant warriors we are
Poorly can foes contend with us
when we come with our daggers
- Traditional raider's chant

The largest and most populous (though not the most prestigious) of the warrior societies is that of Wudyagwilis, the War-Maker, who flies silently and kidnaps souls to the underworld. Nearly every village in the Straits can boast of a few members.

Wudyagwilis is patron of slavery, antagonism to foreigners, the blood feud, and masculinity among women. He appears as a mysterious war canoe full of corpses drifting over water or flying through the sky, a pack of black wolves or pod of black porpoises moving in unison and making no sound, or a giant emaciated corpse dressed in battle armor. His approach is signaled by deafening silence and stillness accompanied by bleeding from the ears, eyes, and nose.

Members of the society are known to paddle canoes silently, frighten with a gaze, and injure themselves in dramatic public displays. Though a welcome presence bolstering village defenses, they are not well loved, for they are universally a dangerous and hot-tempered lot.

Restrictions
In order to use any powers, society members must obscure their face. This is typically done by donning full great helms, wearing masks of fearsome aspect, or keeping especially wild and unkempt hair.

Society members have difficulty calming themselves after provocation. If forced to disengage from combat without physically besting an enemy (because they must flee, or the enemy does, or external factors intervene), they become extremely agitated and take a -2 penalty to reaction rolls & stealth checks. This condition lasts until either the society member sleeps a night or is able to vent their frustrations upon another source.

In order to maintain their power, a society member must sever the head of a human opponent and display it prominently near their home or on their person. When the head has rotted to bone (or is stolen or otherwise disappears), it must be replaced. This is usually accomplished through raiding, though there are other ways.

Benefits
Veterans (level 1) of the society, though normally of a loud and blustery disposition, can move with eerie silence (4 in 6 chance) when intent on violent surprise. This stealth ability may also extend to other situations, but at a reduced rate of success (3 in 6 chance). This ability is supernatural, though it is still somewhat diminished (-1) by excessive armor.

A society slaver.
Heroes (level 4) of the society no longer feel pain or cold. Minimum damage rolls (such as 1 on d6) seem to wound but subtract no hit points. Damage rolls of more than minimum damage subtract hit points as normal, though the society member is still able to ignore associated pain absolutely.

Society members often use this ability to deliberately self-injure in intense and horrifying ways to demonstrate ferocity to their fellows. One expression often seen in the winter season is that of piercing the skin and hanging from longhouse rafters by leather thongs for days at a time.

Also at this level, the society member's supernatural sneaking ability extends to all those in a party they are currently leading, up to 4 individuals.

Superheroes (level 8) of the society possess a countenance so fearsome that few can tolerate looking upon them directly. They may use this ability to contort foes with a gaze by dramatically revealing their face and eyes. Those looking upon them must make an immediate saving throw or suffer violent spasms taking them out of combat for 1-3 rounds. Only beings of human-like disposition and intellect may be affected, and only those of hit dice up to half the society member's level. Warriors who reach this degree of power often construct a special mask that splits down the middle for just this purpose.

Also at this level, the society member's supernatural sneaking ability improves (to 5 in 6 and 4 in 6, respectively) and extends to all those in a party of up to 16 individuals.

Ritual preparations.
As a Group Ritual the society may summon the sisiutl (see below) to ward a location. This requires a 4-hour ritual to be performed near the water where the sisiutl is to appear. Once summoned, a large mammal (often a human slave) must be sacrificed to the creature in order to placate it. It remains in the vicinity, attacking all who approach by water (including any it was summoned to protect) as long as it receives such a sacrifice each day. Hiring the society for this service requires 1d6×250gp in goods gifted to the performers.

Though rarely taken up on the offer, the society will also summon the sisiutl for the purpose of challenging it to combat, for which they expect 1d6×1000gp in gifts. Society members will remain to watch such a battle and to prevent others from intervening. Typically only one combatant is allowed the challenge, though certain auspicious signs have in times past allowed for parties of two or four.


Affiliated Beasts

Source.
Sisiutl
Number Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 12
Attack: Bite ×2 (2d6)
Special: Contorting gaze, shapeshifting, poison
Move: 3, 18 swim
Morale: 10
Intelligence: Superhuman
Alignment: Law
Size: Variable (20' long default)

The sisiutl (it is unknown whether the creature is representative of a race or a unique being that simply recurs) is among the mightiest sea creatures known in the Straits. An enormous serpent with three faces, each end of its body terminates in a reptilian maw. A third face bulges in its body's center, showing a grimacing human aspect. Many who have seen this third face without perishing describe it as startlingly familiar to that of their father, but this is surely madness.

The gaze of this center face inspires a primal terror so great that it cannot be described. Victims must make an immediate saving throw or succumb to violent convulsions, paralyzing them in twisted shapes for 1d6 turns.

The sisiutl is a shapeshifter. In addition to being able to alter its size at will (from as small as a worm to twice its base length), it can take on a number of alternate forms. The full breadth of this ability is unclear, but some possibilities are:
  • a large, copper-scaled salmon [may leap 40 feet in the air to swipe with its tail];
  • a self-propelled war canoe, on which its likeness is painted [quadruple standard canoe travel speed];
  • a lean, muscular human with serpentine features [acts as a War-Makers' Society superhero, see above];
  • a short spear, carved in its likeness, that flies on its own dispatching enemies quickly by jumping through their bodies [4 attacks per round, d6+2 damage]; and
  • a rounded glittering stone which is hazardous to look upon [any seeing it are affected as by the sisiutl's gaze]. 
In each of these alternate forms the sisiutl retains its AC and HD but loses access to other special abilities.

Though they are little known, the sisiutl also has a few key weaknesses:
  • It's human face is not as well protected as its body and can be hit as AC 7, though attacking it directly does mean being subject to its gaze.
  • The sisiutl cannot cross a line of fresh human blood, on land or in water, instead battering itself against the barrier as if it were a wall of stone.
  • Feeding the creature seal blood will lock it in its current form or size for d6+23 hours. If locked in a particular form for 4 days (during which time it will continue to violently assault its enemies by whatever means) it will begin to forget that it is a sisiutl at all. In this way great heroes have acquired magical canoes and weapons, though they still must stain them with seal blood each day to stave off the creature's reversion.
  • If by some chance the sisiutl is forced onto land in its serpentine form, its skin will begin to dissolve. It takes 1-3 hit points of damage per round and films over with a disgusting slime poisonous to all life (1d6 damage on touch, save for half, continues each round until doused in water), a trail of which is left behind as it desperately tries to return to the water.

Sisiutl guards the door to the house of the War-Makers.

The sisiutl is encountered without being summoned only rarely, though it is known to appear in both river and sea. It might also be sighted at a great distance, creating a ferocious racket as it wars with other titans of the open water such as krakens, thunderbirds, and whales.

Treasure: Well-established legend states that bathing in the blood of a sisiutl toughens a warrior's skin to the hardness of rock. Those choosing to test this theory must make an immediate saving throw. Success grants a natural AC of 2, this bonus diminishing by 1 each month until AC returns to normal. Failure turns the character to stone.

The back spines and human eyes of the sisiutl function as magical arrowheads and sling stones, striking spirit-beings and dealing an additional die of damage on a hit. Its skin is the preferred material for magic belts, though that requires additional treatment and ritual.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Children of the Sea

The Sea vomits forth its abominations upon the earth. Source.

The headman came to regret his decision to marry his daughter to the Sea. The Sea had of course kept its promises - the fish returned in great numbers, and the village was awash in plenty. But each year, during the traditional time of visiting in-laws, his daughter rose from the depths Changed.
On the first visit, the headman saw his daughter damp and brine-smelling, with ornaments of copper and shaped coral.
On the second visit, seaweed entwined her hair, and barnacles clung to her skin.
On the third visit, she was mottled with patches of scale, and her eyes no longer looked human at all.
On the fourth visit, her breath was difficult and gasping, and she seemed to wither and dry in the sun. This could go on no longer.
Greatly saddened, the headman released her from familial obligations. She would visit not more. All knew the Sea would keep its promises regardless.
His grandchildren the headman never met...
...but we have, lurking on lonely islands of valueless land where neither game nor fresh water is found. Beware the desolate beaches, my relatives, for Sea Born sorcery is hazardous to all true-blooded men.
- Xwaxamsh cautionary tale

Long has the Sea been jealous of the land, distant and isolate, stolen from its domain in mythic time. It desires nothing more than to walk the forbidden surface, and has twice succeeded in doing so in ancient and dimly remembered days, though in each instance Changers arose to drive it back.

Denied this privilege, the Sea of our late era has chosen a new tactic: to vomit its children upon the shore to engage in blasphemous couplings, birthing tiny vessels into which it may pour its being, overflowing them with its puissance. Over time these invaders have drifted together to form little villages, giving rise to an unwholesome and degenerate race.



Character Options

Source.
Sea Born
The ugly, decrepit villages of the Sea Born cling to barren, rocky shorelines where true men rarely travel. Those few that pass observe no nobles, no headmen of account to form alliances of marriage with, and little in the way of impressive goods to trade apart from what is fished from the depths or washed upon the beach. The Sea Born send no participants to ceremonies or gatherings of any kind, and none visit them. Lacking other opportunity, it is assumed they must marry among each other.

This is true, and to disturbing effect for as the Blood Brine mixes with itself a concentration of essence is achieved, giving birth to hideous grotesqueries inherited directly from the Sea. While most Sea Born are ill-favored with matted hair, brine stench, pale clammy skin, and uncanny features, lurking in the shadows of their villages are vile shambling things: men with the claws of crabs and the faces of eels and much, much worse.

Despite this, Sea Born are rumored to be powerful sorcerers - unfitting targets for most slave raiders. They are reviled and avoided by all; even the orcas and seals shun their shores.

Some theorize that all denizens of the Straits (perhaps even all coastal peoples the world over) are children of the Sea with only a generation or two of misbreeding between them and full degeneracy. This view is notably unpopular, though certain sailors among both Kanakas and Boston Men demonstrate especial fear of the Sea Born, some distant memory of horrors committed on far shores.

Character Advancement
Sea Born advance as both Fighting Men, with a level limit of 6, and Magic-Users, with a level limit equal to the number of Blessings of the Sea they possess (see below).

Source.
Restrictions
Sea Born may not join Warrior Societies nor benefit from the patronage of any spirits, including most intelligent or spirit-possessed weapons. Sea Born Magic-Users may not memorize standard spells, instead casting from a limited & separate list.

Benefits
Aquatic Adaptation: Sea Born perform twice as well as humans with respect to speed and mobility underwater. When underwater or in the Underworld, they may see clearly and make normal use of other senses to a range of 60 feet.

Sea Born may hold their breath underwater for a number of turns equal to their total number of levels. Upon reaching Fighting Man level 4, they gain the ability to breathe underwater permanently if Blessings have not granted them this ability already.

Blessings of the Sea: Each Sea Born begins play with d3 Blessings of the Sea (see table below) to reflect the degree of corruption in their bloodline. Those with no obvious blessings can pass for human with minimal effort.

Each Blessing reduces the Sea Born's Charisma score by 1. A Sea Born with a Charisma score of 2 or 1 must make a Saving Throw each time they are called upon to behave as a civilized person might. On a failure they forget their humanity and instead behave as an ocean-thing. A Sea Born with a Charisma score of 0 has permanently lost touch with humanity and walks into the sea, seeking to join their ancient progenitors therein.

Copper Affinity: In Sea Born hands, weapons and armor of copper function as well as those of steel. Orichalcum (copper & gold alloyed) performs equally well, and has the additional capability of striking creatures hit only by magical weapons. These metals are sacred to the Sea, and part of this connection is passed down to all its children.

Source.
Regeneration: The Sea cares for its offspring and allows Sea Born a limited ability to reconstitute their bodies from its essence. A dismembered or slain (but dead no longer than one turn per level) Sea Born immersed in seawater may make an immediate Saving Throw to heal their wounds, growing new flesh to replace the old. A Sea Born healed in this way returns with 1 hit point per Hit Die, plus any bonus from Constitution. Each successful use of this ability imposes a cumulative -5 penalty on further attempts until a full week of rest is achieved.

New flesh is never that of a normal human; the Sea Born must roll on the Blessings of the Sea table to determine what they have been gifted with. These regenerations are permanent and count as Blessings of the Sea for the purposes of Charisma reduction and Magic-User level limit increase.

Even on a failed save regeneration may be attempted again at a later date. This requires a ceremonial bloodletting accompanied by the sacrifice of d6×100gp per level worth of wealth to the Sea.


Sea Born Spells
The Water Voice
Level: MU1
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 hour per level

The caster can command fishes and aquatic molluscs, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. Treat this as a Turn Undead attempt. Intelligent targets may be commanded as 1 entry higher than indicated by their HD, as may ghostly and/or spirit beings as a total of 2 entries higher. A result of D indicates that a longer service may be demanded.

The ghosts of the drowned or lost at sea may also be commanded in this way, but not if they have been claimed by a kushtaka. Aquatic mammals are completely immune. The sisiutl is likewise unaffected, though the reason for this is not known.

Breath of the Sea
Level: MU2
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 turn per level

This spell grants sea creatures the ability to breathe in the air for the duration.

If cast on an air-breathing creature, the target instead begins coughing & vomiting up ocean water. The target is incapacitated at least one round, and each round thereafter must make a saving throw or remain incapacitated and additionally take d6 drowning damage. A single successful save ends the spell.

Source.
Call to Ancient Depths
Level: MU3
Range: 60 feet
Duration: 24 hours

By dripping blood into a water source, the caster calls spirits of the ancient ocean into being - vast armor-plated fish, paddle-footed scorpions with whiptails, 20' eels with catfish faces, thousand-limbed squids - the ghosts of all life that ever swam and died in the sea.

The total Hit Dice of these creatures is equal to the caster's Hit Dice, divided any way the caster chooses. Individual Hit Dice may also be split into three single hit point creations each, but these lesser creatures only attack for a single point of damage.

Creations are semi-solid and may influence their environment as physical beings might (such as by pulling a canoe or battering at a closed door) but are also affected by spells that specifically target water. They obey the caster's spoken commands but behave as ocean-things otherwise. Each dissipates after 24 hours.

Direct the Tide
Level: MU4
Range: 60 feet
Duration: 10 minutes

The caster can control the shape and flow of nearby water sources. Water can overtop low boundaries, flow uphill or counter to prevailing tides, form whirlpools or other intensely difficult conditions, or be shaped into battering jets (ranged attack to push targets back). Water is controlled in a contiguous area of up to 10 cubic feet per caster level.

In the Underworld, this spell has the additional capability of creating powerful waves of force in the hazy half-water environment of that place. Used this way, the caster may push or pull on creatures and objects as if they were affected by a strong tide. Those affected must make a Saving Throw each round or flow as the caster chooses.

Flood the Vessel
Level: MU5
Range: 10 feet
Duration: Permanent

The caster calls on the ghost of the Sea itself to flow into a target within range. Unless a Saving Throw is made, one spiritual ally of the target is smothered out. Familiars, attendant spirits, intelligences residing in weapons or other items, and relationships or connections with divine or mystical patrons are all at risk. Such connections can only be repaired with the assistance of a skilled tamanous man or a physical journey to the Fading Caverns of the Dead.

If the target has no such spirit allies remaining, they are instead afflicted as if by energy drain. If this would normally slay the target, they instead immediately roll on the Blessings of the Sea table and thereafter act as a Sea Born.

Sea Born respond entirely differently to this spell. It can either cure them of 4d6+4 hit points of damage or restore one level lost to energy drain. In either case, they must make a Saving Throw or acquire a new Blessing of the Sea.


Blessings of the Sea

General notes:
• This is a d6:20 table, requiring the roll of both a d6 and a d20.
• Results replace human equivalents if possible but are otherwise additive.
• Mismatched legs impose a -3 penalty to land speed. Any paired legs negate this penalty.
• Mismatched eyes impose a -2 penalty to hit. Any paired eyes negate this penalty.
• Maximum underwater vision distance is 120ft. Additional eye pairs instead reduce chance to be surprised by 1.
• Maximum Swim speed is 24. Additional limbs merely look terrifying.

Source
1:01-1:08 Fish Arm. Webbed, clawed and scaled, jutting spines and fins.
     01-02: One. Claw attack. +3 Swim speed.
     03-08: Two. Claw attack. +6 Swim speed.
1:09-1:16 Fish Leg. Webbed, clawed, and scaled, jutting spines and fins.
     09-10: One. +3 Swim speed.
     11-16: Two. +6 Swim speed.
1:17-1:20 Fish Scales. Scales cover entire body. -1 bonus to AC.

Source.
2:01-2:04 Fish Eye. Bulging lidless fish eye, watery and unblinking. Protective membrane.
     01: One. +30ft underwater vision.
     02-04: Two. +60ft underwater vision.
2:05-2:08 Fish Mouth. Long sharp teeth like ivory needles. Bite attack.
2:09-2:10 Fish Gills. Pulsating slits open on neck. Water breathing.
2:11-2:12 Fish Tail. +6 Swim speed.
2:13 Fins. Sprout independent of limbs, jutting out from body at odd angles. +3 Swim speed.
2:14 Delicate fan-like ears grace the sides of your head.
2:15 Rows and rows of triangular shark teeth. Bite attack with +2 damage bonus.
2:16 Rough sandpapery skin. Dull and flat, muted in color. -1 bonus to AC.
2:17 Cartilaginous skeleton. Can squeeze through narrow spaces. +4 to saves to avoid breaking bones.
2:18 Dead black eyes. +60ft underwater vision.
2:19 Catfish barbels. Vastly increases sense of smell underwater. -1 chance to be surprised.
2:20 Lamprey mouth. d3 bite damage added to grapples.

Source.
3:01-3:08 Cephalopod Arm. Long and sinuous and suckered. May replace legs instead of arms, but only one or the other.
     01 One. +1 to grapple checks.
     02 Two. +2 to grapple checks.
     03 Three. +3 to grapple checks.
     04 Four. +4 to grapple checks.
     05 One hunting tentacle with barbed club. Clubbing attack with 10ft reach.
     06 Two hunting tentacles with barbed clubs. Clubbing attack with 10ft reach.
     07 Two. +2 to grapple checks. All cephalopod arms gain serrated suckers that add d3 damage to grapples.
     08 Four. +4 to grapple checks. All cephalopod arms gain serrated suckers that add d3 damage to grapples.
3:09-3:12 Cephalopod Ink. Saliva has turned black. Vomit ink once per day. Underwater, this obscures vision in a 20ft cube for a turn. On dry land, it creates a slippery 20ft pool on hard surfaces that requires a Saving Throw to safely walk across, or it may blind if vomited directly into eyes.
3:13-3:14 Cephalopod Eye. Creepy invertebrate eye with odd-shaped pupil.
     13: One. +30ft underwater vision.
     14: Two. +60ft underwater vision.
3:15-3:18 Cephalopod Beak. Black beak concealed in a sheathe of rubbery flesh. Bite attack with paralytic poison. Save or paralyzed d6 rounds.
3:19-3:20 Cephalopod Siphon. Protrudes obscenely from the neck to suck and sputter. Water breathing.

Source.
4:01-4:08 Crustacean Claw. Chitinous claw hand.
     01-02 One. Claw attack.
     03-04 Two, equal size. Claw attack.
     05-06 Two, asymmetric. Claw attack. One is huge and grants +2 damage.
4:07-4:10 Crustacean Leg. Pointed, skittering crab legs.
     07-09 One.
     10 Six. May walk on ocean floor at speed 9.
4:11-4:12 Pleopods. Additional paddle-limbs folded to torso. +3 Swim speed.
4:13-4:16 Crustacean Shell. Skin purples showing an internal shell, in some places ripping through the skin in pointed shapes. -4 bonus to AC.
4:17-4:18 Crustacean Eye. Faceted eyes on short stalks.
     17 One. +30ft underwater vision. All around vision grants -1 chance to be surprised.
     18 Two. +60ft underwater vision. All around vision grants  -1 chance to be surprised.
4:19-4:20 Crustacean Mouth. Mouth becomes mass of grinding chitin complete with feeding arms. Speech is difficult.

Source.
5:01 Coral Growths. Portions of the body covered with rocky growths, rooted in the bones. -3 bonus to AC.
5:02 Translucent stinging pustules cover skin. Grapple attacks provoke a Save, failure causes d6 poison damage.
5:03 Puckered sea cucumber mouth. Once per week you can eject portions of your digestive tract from your mouth. Then for a week you don't have a digestive tract.
5:04 Starfish arm. Arm is simplified and plastic, only good for the grossest manipulations, but it will regenerate on its own in 1 week if severed. May make a Dexterity check to intercept an attack with the arm, negating normal damage but losing it temporarily.
5:05 Rubbery sea slug flesh covers the body in dazzling colors. Patches dominated by complex folds and waving tentacles. Half damage from blunt attacks.
5:06 Feathery rhinospores protrude from the forehead. Vastly increases sense of smell underwater.  -1 chance to be surprised.
5:07 Rubbery bioluminescent horns protrude from forehead. Act as a fixed light spell at-will.
5:08 Shrimp tail emerges from base of spine. Can fold rapidly when panicked to create movement underwater. Even when surprised, you can move 30ft during a surprise round.
5:09 Long shrimp antennae jut from face. Allows limited vibration sense underwater. -1 chance to be surprised.
5:10 Whiplike sea scorpion tail with stinger. Poisonous sting attack. Save or 2d6 poison damage and experience oceanic hallucinations for d3 rounds.
5:11 Multicolored spines cover body. Any grappling with you must Save or take d6 poison damage.
5:12 Mass of writhing feeding tentacles surround mouth. You can only talk with great difficulty.
5:13 Mass of rubbery tentacles replaces head hair, waving on its own in water. May shoot tiny stingers at a range of 20ft, Save or d6 poison damage and paralyzed for 1 round.
5:14 Body elongates muscular and tubelike from which limbs poke absurd. Half damage from blunt attacks.
5:15 Segmeted chiton shells grow on portions of your body. -2 bonus to AC.
5:16 Eyes migrate to one side of face. Surprised half as often by encounters from one side, twice as often from the other.
5:17 Gills branch like feathery horns from neck. Water breathing.
5:18 Skin secretes a thick slime. -2 to grapple checks made against you. Once per day you may thrash about wildly to choke nearby water with slime. Acts as a slow spell in a 20ft radius.
5:19 Tiny black eyes open all over your body. They cannot see clearly but sense light & motion. -1 chance to be surprised.
5:20 Multicolored feathery bristles bloom all over body.

Source.
6:01 You are a favored child, and the Sea will send you aid when you are injured. Once per week when you are reduced to half or fewer Hit Points while in or near water, creatures may arrive to assist you. Roll a d6 to determine what arrives after d6 rounds:
     1: Nothing,
     2: d6 sharks,
     3: d6 giant sea scorpions,
     4: a swarm of nautiluses,
     5: a giant hagfish,
     6: a Fiji mermaid.
6:02 Other sea life roots itself in your flesh. Oysters, barnacles, mussels, and feathery pipeworms begin to settle on and in your skin. 2 in 6 chance to hide in appropriate underwater environments, 4 in 6 if motionless on the ocean floor.
6:03 Rough flaps of dead green tissue. Covers body giving the appearance of seaweed. 2 in 6 chance to hide in appropriate underwater environments, 4 in 6 in thick seaweed or kelp.
6:04 Skin changes color to sea green, coral pink, bright aquamarine, or a deep reddish-purple.
6:05 Translucent flesh exposes portions of your internal anatomy to external scrutiny.
6:06 You skin is always crusted with salt when dry.
6:07 Bioluminescent patches develop all over your skin. You can glow as a light spell in any color and in patterns of moderate complexity.
6:08 Chromatophores in your skin allow you a limited chameleon ability. While nude, you can hide with a 4 in 6 chance in underwater environments, 2 in 6 elsewhere.
6:09 Nacre secretions render your teeth, nails, & bones iridescent. When reduced to 0 or 1 HP by a stabbing attack, the wound forms a cyst that will produce a d20×5gp pearl in 1 week.
6:10 Electric organs develop under your skin. In a grapple, opponents automatically take 1 point of electricity damage and must make a Save with a +4 bonus or become stunned for 1 round. Underwater the save is made at +2, and you can use the ability to make attacks to a range of 10ft.
6:11 Your hair is prehensile but only strong enough to move purposefully in water. In air it can only flap about ineffectually.
6:12 Your power ebbs and flows like the tide. During a full moon, you are considered 2 caster levels higher for all spells. During a new moon, you are 2 caster levels lower.
6:13 Never cold. You suffer no ill effects from mundane cold or wet and take only half damage from magical cold.
6:14 Clams tell you secrets by spitting water into your ears. They are always on the beach, watching and listening.
6:15 You can see through pearls to a range of 1 mile, but you must crush and snort a pearl of equivalent value to gain this ability. It lasts only one night.
6:16 Your voice sounds like gurgling water and occasionally water drips from your mouth while speaking. Your use of the water voice spell counts as 2 levels higher.
6:17 Blood foams in air. Any attack dealing you 6 or more damage sprays a cloud of bloody mist in a 10 foot radius, obscuring sight for a round.
6:18 Sea Veins. Skin pales. Veins pop blue. Bleed cold seawater spiked with algae. Gain a bonus Hit Die for the day if allowed to drink great quantities of seawater in the morning.
6:19 Copper implements instantly verdigris at your touch. Copper weapons changed in this way function as +1 magic weapons while in your grasp.
6:20 You can sense the presence of copper and gold by smell to a range of 60ft three times per day.


Example Lords of the Sea

Source.
Malku who Bleeds Worms
Fighting Man 4, Magic-User 7

Malku is not a man; he is a collection of ocean-things inhabiting a manlike form, a being of greater purity and closeness to the Sea than other Sea Born could ever hope to achieve. All must hearken to him to hear the words bubbling up from the most sacred depths. The proof of these claims is plain in his veins: When cut or stabbed, Malku bleeds not blood but a thick black fluid that swims with innumerable white worms.

Malku dominates the Sea Born village at Ski'ki'albsh, which remains under his thumb not through religious fervor but rather by virtue of his potent water-sorcery that calls up abyssal serpents to devour those that cross him. He is a powerful and terrifying presence that regulates every aspect of life in his village.

To the Company, Malku appears quite different: He is a brine-stinking lunatic terrorizing an insignificant band of grotesques and outcasts who would have been ripped apart by cannon fire long ago were it not for the mysterious gold and copper artifacts he produces for trade each summer. The Company would pay dearly if one could discover his source, which seems to be ancient Muvian, and then quietly eliminate him.


Source.
Mesqwuyahl, Mother of Crabs
Fighting Woman 6, Magic-User 9

None now living have ever seen the Mother of Crabs. But she must live still, for her children plague villages throughout the Straits just as they have since she first scuttled the land in the time of our grandfathers' grandfathers.

These children (see Mesqwiwsu below) are vile, pathetic things - mockeries of human flesh folded into crab shapes. They are vermin to be exterminated, lurking as they do near the villages of true men thinking odd crabbish thoughts in their odd crabbish minds. They are never eradicated, as Mesqwuyahl births a steady stream of them into the world from her secret birthing grotto.

Surely any who could slay Mesqwuyahl would be hailed as a hero in all villages up and down the Straits. Honors and feasts await the savior that can finally end this epidemic of meeping crab-things. If only there existed one brave and clever enough to seek out the domain of Mesqwuyalh and take their place among the honored ancestors.


Source.
S'awajen, the Sea Devil
Fighting Man 6, Magic-User 3

The village S'awajen inhabits is ruined, seemingly abandoned. He alone stalks the driftwood shells, bellowing and crashing.

Stories say the village was struck by Northern raiders, and S'awajen died defending it a dozen times over, and after each death the Sea brought him back with remade flesh. He is lost now, recalling little of humanity except rage at those that invade his home. Many ships full of valuable cargo have been breached and crashed upon the shore as reward for drifting too close to S'awajen's domain.

The name lain on him by Boston men is Sea Devil. He rears up on powerful finned legs, lamprey mouth sucking and sputtering while serpent eyes goggle aimlessly between comical wide-fanning ears. His body is fish-scaled tapering to a muscular tail, and he tears at all flesh with serrated pincers.


Source.
Doña María Xosé Fárrago Ezequiel
Fighting Woman 2, Magic-User 3

Doña María Xosé is a pirate and a leader of pirates, the wealthy daughter of a Californio nobleman given free rein to terrorize the Pacific coast in effort to discourage settlement by other powers. Despite that she manifests no Blessings openly, her crew knows she is something beyond human, though they studiously avoid commenting on her habits where others might hear.

Her water voice spell is unusually strong, and around her ship swarm countless squids, eels, and sea scorpions which rush to defend the vessel during attacks. This has been witnessed several times but always attributed to acts of God in defense of California (at least openly).

Like all nobles of California, Doña María Xosé carries on her person a vessel of glass & gold containing blood from the Sanguine Saint which she uses in administering the sacrament to her crew. She has secret orders to use this blood to baptise a Demon of the North Wind, if she can find one.


Source.
The Demon from Sbibeda' Bay
Fighting Man 6, Magic-User 10

Not even other Lords of the Sea dare approach Sbibeda' Bay, for it is a haunted place. The creature that dwells there is of a composite nature, a storm of teeth and limbs reaching and flailing in all directions. Any man or swimming thing it lays hand to is absorbed directly into its anatomy, raw material to repair its ever-stinking, ever-rotting flesh.

It is unknown why the beast does not stray from its domain for none will brave the awful cacophony of fish-, eel-, and man-howls raised as one approaches Sbibeda' Bay's center.



Affiliated Beasts

Source.
Mesqwiwsu
Number Appearing: 3-18
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: ½
Attack: Weapon or claw (1d3)
Special: None
Move: 9
Morale: 6
Intelligence: Child-like
Alignment: Chaos
Size: Small (2' tall)

Though their shape is obviously that of a large crab, there is no mistaking the Mesqwiwsu for true crustaceans. Their skin is rough and red-brown with patches of sparse black hair, their claws are crudely articulated and tipped with blunt human nails, and their smashed little faces are piteous and manlike. Mesqwiwsu hides are thick and tough, but once cracked open few things man or beast would eat the vile meat found inside.

The Mesqwiwsu are the children of Mesqwuyahl, the Mother of Crabs, and it is assumed that they follow her orders. They are not civilized, living as they do in crude shoreline burrows instead of proper houses, and they make no crafts. There is an order to them, though. They are often sighted ranging about in small bands, hiding on beaches to awkwardly spy on men, lurking near man-made fortifications with faces a mask of stupefied awe, or conducting bold and seemingly planned raids on human villages.

When given opportunity, they steal from men the food they cannot themselves catch, art objects they cannot make, and tools they cannot use. It is not properly known what they do with the objects they steal - these are rarely found in their burrows on the occasions people have taken to rooting them out.

Mesqwiwsu are stupid and cannot speak. It is unknown whether they understand men at all, but they do know enough to grab pathetic, stick-like weapons and ambush those they outnumber or surprise.

Treasure: Crude spears and clubs. Occasionally, stolen man-made objects.


Source.
Hagfish, giant
Number Appearing: 1-3
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 6-8
Attack: Bite (2d6)
Special: Slime, coil
Move: 18 swim
Morale: 7
Intelligence: Low Animal
Alignment: None
Size: Huge (16'-24' long)

None can say what massive beasts rotting on the ocean floor give sustenance to these behemoth coils of tooth and slime. They are monstrous creatures, dull and blunt, knowing only the desire to feed and burrow into warm flesh.

Giant hagfish spend most of their time in the deep ocean but will at the end of their lives swim upriver to breed in inland lakes, sending thousands of tiny wriggling spawn slithering back down to the sea in the following seasons after fattening on their parents' corpses. They are never otherwise seen at the surface except when summoned by Sea Born.

When encountered by Straitsmen the giant hagfish is generally not specifically looking for a meal, but they will regardless take any opportunity to rip flesh from bone with their pulsating, toothy face. When distressed they have the ability to choke water with slime through a violent thrashing motion. The effect of this is identical  to casting a slow spell over all water within 60 feet. The hagfish itself is immune to the effects.

Treasure: Giant hagfish slime makes for an excellent fixative in potions, either reducing cost by half or doubling duration. Unfortunately, this renders the potion so disgusting as to be nearly impossible to choke down - the imbiber has only a 2 in 6 chance (modified by Constitution) to successfully consume a significant quantity each round, losing time on failure to gagging and retching.


Source.
Sea Born Degenerate
Number Appearing: 2-12
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 2
Attack: Weapon or other (see below)
Special: Blessed aspect, water breathing, 60ft underwater vision
Move: 9, 6 Swim
Morale: 7
Intelligence: Human-like
Alignment: Chaos
Size: Medium (5'-6' tall)

Shambling from driftwood shacks on forlorn beaches come various creeping things who play at being men.

Some wretched few cannot even do this much. Through thickness of blood or simple violent disposition they willingly rip at their flesh until they are naught but savage brutes, wandering reavers that prey on whatever they happen across until they can be put down.

Sea Born degenerates as a whole are highly variable in appearance, but those that appear together tend to be excessively interrelated, so a basic commonality of form may be assumed. For each individual or related group of individuals, roll on the table below d3 times to determine their general aspect (or the full Blessing of the Sea table, if so inclined):

Blessed Aspect Table (2d6)
2: Sea Slug - Rubbery skin in brilliant colors. Glows polychromatic, half damage from blunt attacks.
3: Sea Anemone - Bright stinging tentacles in patches on body. Paralytic sting (d3 rounds).
4: Squid - Barbed hunting tentacles. Blunt striking attack with 10ft reach.
5: Eel - Elongated neck and wide-hinged, serrated jaw. Bite attack with +1 damage.
6: Octopus - Limbs split into purple tentacles. +4 to grapples.
7: Fish - Bulging features and webbed claws. Claw attack, Swim speed 12.
8: Crab - Chitinous claws and armor. Claw attack, AC 5.
9: Shark - Entirely too many teeth. Bite attack with +2 damage.
10: Shrimp - Bristling facial antennae. Tiny paddling claws lining stomach. -2 to be surprised, Swim speed 9.
11: Jellyfish - Translucent pustules and trailing filaments cover skin. Paralytic touch (d3 rounds).
12: Worm - Elongated, rubbery body and limbs. Half damage from blunt attacks.

Treasure: Whatever was held by their last victim. Occasionally, copper & electrum ornaments.


Source.
Sea Scorpion, giant
Number Appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 3
Attack: Sting (1d6)
Special: Poison
Move: 9 / 9 swim
Morale: 7
Intelligence: Low Animal
Alignment: None
Size: Medium (4-5' long)

These creatures normally inhabit only the deepest trenches, but something in recent years has been calling them closer to the surface. Now they are an uncommon but not unheard-of sight scavenging among the detritus on beaches or clinging to derelicts & corpses floating on the sea.

A giant sea scorpion's tail contains a powerful venom. On each hit, the target must make a Saving Throw or take 2d6 addition points of poison damage and suffer violent hallucinations of abyssal depths for d3 rounds.

Treasure: If a giant sea scorpion is unable to discharge its venom, the poison is still intact and may be retained if the stinger is removed properly. This requires a turn of effort and has a 4 in 6 chance of success, modified by Dexterity. The stinger will function as a poisoned dagger for d3 hits, but the poison is halved in potency (1d6 additional damage only, hallucinate for 1 round).