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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ripplepedes

These quasi-elemental creatures inhabit the still, dark waters of stagnant lakes and swamps, their nearly invisible centipede-like forms creating scarcely a ripple on the calm surface of the waters they inhabit. Each three-foot long Ripplepede has a slender body lined with thousands of feathery legs. At the head end a cluster of rigid, hooked spines line a circular mouth opening, while the tail ends in a three-pronged, flexible tail. Their transparent, nearly liquid forms skitter and crawl across the surface as they search for the rare metals they consume for sustenance. Ripplepedes are most comfortable in contact with water, but can travel on land for an hour or more with no ill effects. They travel in groups of five to ten individuals, roaming the waterways and shorelines of their habitat in search of food.

Ripplepedes have no interest in living creatures, but are drawn to any source of metal they detect. They can sense any sizable aggregation of metal within 300 feet. Their hooked jaw spines exude a potent solvent that dissolves away metal on contact, leaving a gelatinous goo the creatures suck up with their tube-like mouth. A single Ripplepede can dissolve and consume a pound of metal each round if left undisturbed.

Ripplepedes have the following characteristics:
  • Fair toughness - Their quasi-elemental nature makes these creatures somewhat resilient. They gain a one rank bonus to defense versus mundane weapons, but magical weapons quickly disrupt their rather delicate bodies.
  • Ripplepedes swim at Superb speed, but on land they crawl along at Poor speed.
  • Ripplepedes are almost transparent, giving them Superb stealth in water, Great stealth on land.
  • If disrupted in contact with a sizable body of water, Ripplepedes regenerate to full health within one day.
  • Ripplepedes consume metal by touch, dissolving and consuming about one pound of any metal, iron, gold, silver, etc. each round. Treat this attack as Great strength acid for purposes of determining resistance, though it does not affect any other substances.
  • Ripplepedes have little in the way of combat capabilities. They can strike at foes with their three-pronged tails with Fair accuracy inflicting Average damage, but they prefer to avoid combat. If discovered on land they will flee toward the nearest body of water and use their superior swimming ability to evade any pursuit.
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