Monday, April 13, 2015

Juvenile Seps & Seps

The seps is another golden find from actual medieval bestiaries.  Not that there’s anything wrong with making up monsters—I love a good fleshwarp or d'ziriak as much as the next GM—but there’s a certain heft to monsters who have been around since Pliny the Elder.  Plus, if a player complains your acid-blooded snake is an Alien rip-off, you can tell them to go take it up with Lucan.

That said, Alien isn't a bad model for siccing sepses on your players.  Tight confined spaces make acid attacks near sensitive machiner—er, I mean, magical artifacts—suitably scary encounters.

A saboteur is on the airship Meliscene.  His first act is to release juvenile sepses into the hold of the ship, trusting that they will follow prey like rats and halflings throughout the entire vessel.  The crew soon learns how dangerous the snakes are when killing one releases enough acid to eat through a deck and destroy a weapons locker.  Ready with a ring of feather falling and a potion of fly, the saboteur takes advantage of the confusion to begin poisoning the stores and engage in other acts of treachery while the crew hunts the sepses.

A seps guards a chokepoint in the secret tunnels beneath a fortress.  An invisible stalker is bound to the chamber as well.  Should adventurers manage to charm or otherwise incapacitate the snake, the air creature’s job is to riddle the serpent with arrows, sending acid spewing toward the overconfident party.  The room’s second hazard is its tiled floor.   The seps keeps to the magically warmed stone tiles…but its acid blood will quickly eat through the wood tiles, dropping the unwary onto spikes below.

As two families feud, their heirs agree to run away together.  And when Marieth comes across her lover Torand’s body at their rendezvous point, pale and still as if from snakebite, she resolves to join him in death.  Spying the snake she believes did the deed, she seizes it to her bosom like a tragic heroine from the books Torand used to read to her.  It is a trap—Torand has been leading her on, his “body” is a well-crafted illusion, and the snake is a seps hatchling (a juvenile seps with the Young simple template).  Now Marieth is disfigured from the snake’s acid and her father will pay handsomely for revenge…but there are plenty more juvenile sepses—and worse threats besides—guarding the grounds of Torand’s family estate.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 237

Radio show!  Last week I saw the Decemberists twice, the Mountain Goats once, missed (but got a hug from) Flock of Dimes, slept through Alex Winston, got excited for the Ting Tings, got sad to new Sufjan Stevens, and rediscovered Adam Ant.  All of which resulted in this musical journey for you to download.

(Link good till Friday, 4/17, at midnight.  If the feed skips on you, just Save As an mp3.  And don’t worry about the too-quiet first song—the volume smooths out after that.)

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