Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Wandering hoards above woods"

A horde with a hoard. In the woods.


The scatter-apes saltate and glide through the dense forests of Vevimosa, their complex hoots and whistles echoing through the branches. A casual observer will rarely spot the monkeys as they make their way through the treetops.

Uplifted by the druid Ceurtia in hopes to use them as forest sentries and caretakers, the gliding monkeys had their own ideas. Taking their new-found intelligence, they retreated back to the forest canopy to recreate their troops and tribes. Leaders ceased to be the strongest or fiercest, but the most persuasive. Contemplative individuals among the tribes co-opted some of the powers of the druid who had formed them, manipulating the forests for their own good, growing vines and branches for thoroughfares and hive-holds, as well as to entangle or impede foes or the curious.

And, for better or worse, they have acquired a taste for valuables. Scatter-apes have been glimpsed raiding forest redoubts for treasure, pilfering valuables from caravans, and poking about overgrown ruins.

As the apes are nomadic throughout Vevimosa, they prefer to be only lightly encumbered, favoring gemstones, and will rid themselves of gold and precious metals at the earliest convenience, if they aquire the metals at all. The monkeys somehow learned of trading and commerce, as well, and merchants wending through the forest roads have been surprised by apes gliding from the trees to state loudly in broken Common, "Trade shiny for sparkly!" as the apes offer to divest their metal valuables for more portable gems. Tribes have also been reportedly found with occasional fine art pieces, typically pilfered paintings rolled into wooden or bone sleeves.

Word is, the scatter-apes give good trade value, if you happen to encounter them. But don't try to short them, for the tribes talk, know what their 'sparklies' are worth, and they sense a cheat. Trade negotiations have the potential to go from civil to being pummeled by several incensed monkeys rather quickly...

Scatter-Ape (normal)
The misnomered scatter-ape is actually a large omnivorous monkey, identified by its gliding membrane between the arms and legs, and prehensile tail. They have black fur with a white stripe down their back. The monkeys rarely approach the ground, preferring to swing, climb, jump, and glide (up to 60') within the trees. Scatter-apes are native to the dense forests of Vevimosa, as well as other forested regions. They are encountered in family-centered troops of 8-24 individuals in wide-ranging territories. Males will tend to gang up on a single foe or prey, with three or more individuals descending upon a single opponent to claw and bite them to death. Females will not attack except to defend their young.

HD 1+1
AC 6/13
Atk: 2 claw (1d4 each) or one bite (1d4+1)
Save: 17
Move: 12/glide 12
CL/XP: 2/30
Special: Glides up to 60', troop leader will be +1 HD, +1 on all attacks and damage

Scatter-Ape (Uplifted)
Slightly larger than their unchanged cousins, the Uplifted apes may also be identified by their complex 'monkey-song' of hoots and whistles and wearing of lightweight rope or leather harness to carry their limited tools and stores. A troop of Uplifted will have a troop of unchanged scatter-apes accompanying them and acting as auxiliaries.

As above, except:
HD: 2
Atk: 2 claw (1d4 each) or one bite (1d4+1), or improvised weapon (melee or thrown) (1d4+1)
Save: 16
CL/XP: 3/60
Special: Troop leaders will be +1 HD, minimum Int 12, speak broken Common
1 in 12 will have 'Druid' powers (Plant Growth as 5th level druid, up to three times per day)

Uplift (7th level Druid spell)
This spell allows a caster to imbue human-level intelligence and sapience on an animal or group of animals.  Mental, and possibly physical, changes will take place in the organism.
Maximum uplifted intelligence: 3d6 up to caster's level
Organisms acquire their own language (may be verbal, signed, or other iconography)
Additionally, the uplifted creature(s) will gain two of the following traits:
Bipedal gait
Opposable thumbs or manipulation
Human-like speech
Written or symbolic language
Higher abstract thought (math or spell-casting)

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