02 July 2013

Earthdawn: Anatomy of a Creature 01 - Death's Sea Espagra

This is the first Anatomy of a Creature in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

A while ago, I offered to share some of the creatures I have crafted for my own games so that anyone reading this can easily use them. Plainly put, making creatures is something of a pain, so any chance that I can save someone else a little time is a bonus.

To be perfectly honest, I really like espagra. There is something about them that is so quintessentially Earthdawn. Not only that, but the first time any Group is likely to encounter them, it will almost certainly go poorly. My biggest lament is that they don't remain viable threats into the later Circles, despite being apex predators in Barsaive. This has nothing to do with the awesome trophies that I made. This is the first in a series of attempts to keep this adaptable creature around and unwelcome.

The Death's Sea Espagra is something of a misnomer. It is certainly true that they inhabit the Death's Sea and Scarlet Sea areas of Barsaive, however that isn't the only range they have, much to the dismay of many that encounter them. Their range stretches from the Dragon Mountains, Badlands and to the Twilight Peaks, but they have been sighted in Cara Fahd, Landis and Vivane as well.

These espagra are larger and leaner than their significantly more common cousins. Their scales are a brilliant red and the air around them shimmers with heat; though those that have made their homes away from Death's Sea often lose that trait with time. Their elongated limbs are tipped with glowing red talons, often a source of True Fire for the very, very brave.

While they may seem less aggressive than other espagra, this is far from the case. A common tactic is for one espagra to fly high above on thermals, looking for prey. It will signal to the rest of it's hunting pack with its glowing wings and cries. Sometimes they  will attempt to gain the attention of their intended target, distracting them while their companions setup an ambush, others will drive their prey into an existing ambush. Each family has their own preferred tactics that evolve from their territory.

The scales of these creatures are very valuable, fetching amazing prices. Nothing has quite the same appearance and a properly fashioned cloak will keep the wearer warm in even the coldest night, and protect from blistering heat.

DEX: 13   STR: 8   TOU: 10   PER: 10   WIL: 10   CHA: 6

Initiative: 15
Actions:  3
Attack (3): 16
Damage:
Claws x2 (3): 11
Tail (5): 13

Physical Defense: 15
Spell Defense: 13
Social Defense: 10
Physical Armor: 13
Mystic Armor: 10

Death: 96
Unconsciousness: 83
Wound Threshold: 14
Recovery Tests: 5
Knockdown: 9
Movement: 10

Powers: Burning Aura (6)*, Camouflage [only in Death's Sea and Scarlet Sea] (3), Flameweapon, Silent Walk (1) 14, Durability (6), Spellcasting** (3) 13, Breath Weapon** [Fire] (6), 

Loot: True Fire (recoverable from claws) with 10 silver pieces per claw, scales worth 2d12 x15 silver pieces (all worth Legend Points)

Legend Award: Sixth Circle (1 per 2 PCs)

Rules: Their tail is exceptionally long an flexible, easily capable of striking a target up to two yards away. Any effect that is fire based (including all spells with the Fire keyword) have no effect. Flameweapon is a natural ability that is activated as a Simple action on the espagra's claws and never causes Strain. All other standard espagra rules apply.

* Only espagra that have recently been to Death's Sea or Scarlet Sea possess these abilities.
** As above, but this is a very uncommon ability and a rather nasty surprise.