Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Kelpus

Kelpus (1 HD, +4 stealth, 1d4 bite, 1d4 Wisdom draining ankle-grab, can produce one supernatural phenomenon once per day)
Morale: 9
Number Appearing: Usually 1

The Kelpus is a common creature that lives in towns and villages. It preys on humans by grabbing them with its little yellow hands; by being touched by a Kelpus that victim takes 1d4 Wisdom damage. These points recover at the normal rate, which means that foolish people who keep running into the Kelpus will continue to feed it. Contrary to popular myth, Kelpus prefer idiots as a food source and seem to wring out their hands and look guilty and forlorn if they touch someone of high Wisdom, such as a priest or a herbalist.

If a Kelpus touches someone wearing heavy clothes like a cloak or robe, the draining only deal 1d4-1 Wisdom damage, meaning there is a chance their power can't penetrate the cloth. People wearing leather or armor reduce the drain even further. Towns with Kelpus problems often recommend their residents to wear shin guards and heavy collars in the event of a Kelpus hanging from the ceiling to grab their neck- however due to the Wisdom drain people will forget to take common sense measures against a Kelpus and the town's officials will usually have to deploy guards and hunters to go kill any Kelpus infestations if they get bad enough. If cornered, the Kelpus will bite to defend itself but prefers to run and hide.

The expression 'bit by a Kelpus' is a common, almost endearing term used for village idiots. The expression of 'Kelpus town' means the whole town is full of idiots, and could also literally be infested with the Kelpus, and is a more negative tone. The Kelpus reproduces by spreading an untrue rumor, usually by whispering it in the ear of a Wisdom-drained sleeping drunkard, and once it catches on it will spawn another Kelpus.

The final ability of a Kelpus is its supernatural phenomenon ability; in which clapping its hands or stomping its feet let it create phantom noises, cold spots, and even apparitions that make places appear haunted. This is not to keep people away, but instead to attract daredevils and foolish youths who dare each other to spend the night there, and end up getting a few of their Wisdom points drained by the Kelpus. As a Kelpus ages, the power of these effect increase. Kelpus hands worn as a talisman are said to greatly aid spellcasters when casting cantrips.

Some Kelpus are matured; which means they have 2 HD, a d6 bite and d6 drain, and more powerful supernatural phenomenons. These Kelpus also almost always have a long white beard, though any well fed Kelpus will eventually grow one regardless of age; it is based on draining Wisdom more so then any kind of biological process, since Kelpus don't normally have hair. These matured Kelpus can control animals and plants to do strange things or dance, which is usually used to distract people just long enough so the Kelpus can grab their ankle. Races with tails, such as Catfolk, can be grabbed around the tail by the Kelpus. This is why these races sometimes wear worthless but shiny beads or metal charms around their tails, to distract the Kelpus and encourage it to steal from them instead of draining some of their common sense. Because of this penchant for stealing shiny things, most Kelpus have a hidden stash containing 1d6x5 coins worth of treasure and baubles.

Very rarely, a Wizard or astute Cleric may attempt to raise a Kelpus by keeping it in captivity and feeding it their more potent Wisdom and trying to teach them religion or writing. Eventually the Kelpus may gain the ability to speak and reason, and these Kelpus can be weaned off feeding on Wisdom and instead feed on insects and baked bread. They make excellent apprentices, bank tellers, and illuminaters for religious documents, but still like to tell fibs and confounding riddles.

No comments:

Post a Comment