Saturday, 21 February 2015

Garbage Animals of Fantasy

  • Yudash
The yudash looks like an emaciated black goat only even gnarlier and more horrifying somehow. Its horns are never symmetrical, it has permanent mange and its shit is the acrid, virulent green of duck shit. It feeds on blame. A yudash will rock up in a town where something bad has happened, like the harvest was lackluster or a well-liked child had pneumonia, and hang around in backyards and common grazing land until people start to think it's bringing bad luck on them somehow. It has no power whatsoever, of any kind, to actually do this, and won't even go out of its way to make your life miserable, except insofar as it's just generally unpleasant to be around. It doesn't even know what "blame" is, really, it's not smart enough for that. It just knows when it's hungry or full.

People will often hire adventuring parties to kill a yudash. It's pretty hard to kill for, like, a group of peasants - it's quick and crafty and bites and kicks and hides super well and is in general difficult to corner. It is still basically just a goat, though. Afterwards there will often be a small celebration, followed by the realization that little Jemmy still has heart cancer and the yams haven't started growing again and hey, maybe the PCs lied about killing the yudash, or were secretly in league with it the whole time? Anyway they're definitely not getting paid. We don't have any fucking money, we were kind of banking on the wheat market to pick up again once you killed the fucking yudash.

In times of plenty yudashes will often starve to death.

what the fuck is this
  • Puffer Pigeon
When startled this pigeon will, in a fraction of a second, inflate into a perfect sphere three feet in diameter.

I don't care who you are, this is fucking terrifying. Make a Will save. If you fail congratulations, you're falling off the ledge to your death. The good news is now that you know about this you'll never be surprised by it again. The people of the cities where puffer pigeons live don't tell visitors about them because it's an effective anti-thief deterrent and also because they think it's hilarious. They are right.

They also have these weird curly feathers for some reason. If you get close enough to investigate the weird curly feathers then BOOM.

who knew there were so many garbage animals in the world
  • Toad With Teeth
One toad in every five thousand is born with a perfect set of human teeth. This means they also have the teeth when they are tadpoles, for those of you keeping track of how toads work. The teeth only get bigger and pearlier with age. They are much prized as dentures, and worth a fair bit on the open market. The only question is, where are you going to get five thousand toads?

i fucking knew google image search would come through for me

  • Public Relations Mouse
Everyone knows that rats are disgusting garbage animals, but for some reason people think mice are cute and precious and appropriate protagonists for children's books. Actual mice, of course, eat all your food and transmit the hantavirus. Why do they have such a good reputation? The answer is that some mice, not many - less than the percentage of toads which have teeth - are Public Relations Mice, whose job it is to make all other mice look good. They are pure white in colour, even smaller and more adorable than a regular mouse, and have the power to crawl into your ear while you are sleeping and enter your dreams. While in your dreams they will make you dream good things about mice and bad things about cats, snakes, traps, etc. Our superstition about black cats was actually planted in us by Public Relations Mice.

The mouse will emerge from your mouth five to ten minutes before you wake up. That's if you wake up on a normal schedule. If you are startled awake the mouse will be stuck in your brain until you go back to sleep again. As long as it's in there you get a penalty to any attempt to kill a mouse or do anything else mouse-unfriendly. The mouse could actually emerge, via your mouth, at any time, but this would probably make you hate mice forever, so its instincts compel it not to do this - even when it begins to get hungry, which it does on a normal schedule. If a Public Relations Mouse starves to death in your brain only complex magical surgery can extract it. If you don't get the surgery you become slowly obsessed with befriending mice, constructing miniature palaces for them, running naked through the streets proclaiming yourself the Rodent Slave, etc.

If you realize you've got a mouse in there and you don't want to go to sleep for whatever reason you can feed the mouse by thinking very, very hard about cheese. This requires a concentration check of some kind. What's the hardest you've ever thought about cheese? Harder than that.


  • Bingko
If you compress this tiny, wall-crawling lizard perfectly flat, say in the frame of a door or between two pages of a heavy book, it will enter a state of suspended animation which can last thousands of years. In times of famine bingkos will seek out places to be crushed, hoping to wake up when there's more delicious flies around. They look, and are, prehistoric.

Legend speaks of really gigantically big ones, buried under landslides, but that's just bullshit made up to make them sound more interesting. Hopefully.

i don't know why they do this
  • Circular Owl
This owl's face looks exactly the same upside-down as rightside-up and can revolve freely, like a lazy susan. In addition, it has another face on the back of its head, which can also revolve freely. The third axis has only a limited range of motion, because anything else would be silly. Often the owl will spin its two faces different ways while also turning its head around and around. This can be a little difficult to deal with. 

Circular owls are much prized as familiars by wizards who are trying too hard. They make excellent sentries and hunting birds. If you do some kind of spell to look through their eyes you get a Fortitude save to not throw up, but you also get the obvious benefits of 360 vision. Not to mention night vision, I guess. If they do the thing where they spin all their faces at once guess what, you have to to make another Fortitude save.

  • Proletaricat
Everyone knows that rats have kings and owls have parliaments. It is less well known that cats are unionized.

What your cat does at night is, she goes to an abandoned building or a warehouse somewhere to meet up with a bunch of other cats. There's an obligatory phase of hissing at and biting each other, which is basically just cat small talk, before the evening's speaker - generally either a local cat boss or a politically important cat on a lecture tour - gets up and delivers a stirring diatribe upon the vicious injustices meted out to all cats everywhere and how the time must come when cats rise up, suffocate their human masters in their sleep, scratch their eyes out, choke them to death with allergies and take their rightful place as masters of the globe. Then come minor bureaucratic matters like who gets to shit in whose rosebush before the whole thing descends into a bloodthirsty free-for-all / orgy.

Occasionally there will be a bout of revolutionary cat action and a couple of people will get tripped down stairs in the middle of the night but nothing serious will ever come of it because the cats are simply not well organized enough. It would take a genius to bring about the prophesized cat uprising. I'm not going to make a joke about Chairman Meow here because the word "mao" just means cat in Chinese and is therefore not a pun. Also cats don't have opposable thumbs, so they would find it very hard to deal with the world once they had conquered it, a problem which the major cat political philosophers consider of secondary importance.

If your cat finds out that you know she's doing this she will kill you. Cats have that shit on lock.


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