Friday, May 27, 2011

Trapper Children

"Awww, poor thing! Do you need help? Are you lost?"

These are usually the last words spoken near a Trapper Child, a half-demonic, half-bestial creature with limited shape-shifting abilities and a hunger for living flesh.
(ID, please ignore: TGGZ5XTSE57)

Encounters with Trapper Children are rare, and usually fatal. The creatures are intelligent, malevolent, and extremely dangerous. In its natural form the creatures are humanoid in form and about the size of a ten- or twelve-year old human child. They have thin, almost skeletal limbs covered in dry, flaky gray skin. Lank black hair covers their head and extends part-way down their back. They have dull reddish eyes and a long, narrow nose. Their mouth is a vertical gash running from just beneath the nose and down their thin neck to the lower end of their ribcage. A half-dozen thin black tentacles line the interior of the mouth, ready to whip forth, grasp and choke the creature's prey.

The Trapper Children's most dangerous ability is a combination of empathic / telepathic senses and the previously mentioned shape-shifting ability. Trappers locate their prey using their ability to sense life, position themselves along the victim's path of travel, then shift their form to that most likely to draw the attention of the victim. A human might see an injured human child, while an Orc might see a helpless elf-child ripe for the roasting. Once the victim is within range the Trapper Child reverts to its true form, lashing out with mouth tentacles to snare its victim and attacking with clawed hands and poisonous bite. Much like a constrictor snake, the Trapper can consume prey larger than itself, and once gorged will seek a sheltered spot, often underground to digest its meal.

Trappers attack intelligent prey, as their empathic sense is useless against most lower forms of life. They are most often found in forsaken or desolate regions with regular traffic passing through: forest roads, swampy trails, and mountain passes. Trappers are intelligent enough to collect valuables and loot from their victims; their dens often have such treasure carefully concealed in hidden nooks and crevices.

Trapper Children have the following characteristics:

  • Superb shape-changing - Able to assume the form of any humanoid creature with roughly the same mass.
  • Great empathic and telepathic senses - Able to read both surface thought and emotional state and use this information to select a form most likely to draw in their chosen victim. These senses also allow the creature to speak and comprehend the language of any creature within the ability's 300 yard range.
  • Great strength and agility - Despite their small size the creatures have demonically enhanced strength and agility.
  • Good toughness - Trappers are both demonically tough and immune to mundane weapons.
  • Good combat abilities - The creatures can attack a single target with up to six ten-foot long mouth tentacles and two clawing hand attacks. Any creature struck by a tentacle must make a Great agility check or be entangled. An entangled creature will be drawn to the Trapper's mouth and bitten with a Good strength poisonous bite.
  • Fair regeneration - Trappers can fully heal themselves within a day of being wounded. Fire and holy weapons slow this healing ability significantly.

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