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"Stone-Gazers"
Example
Medusa

Type

Monstrous Humanoid

Environment

Ruins

Diet

Omnivorous

Average Height

5' - 6'

Average Weight

Undefined.

Average Life Expectancy

Unknown.

General Alignment

Neutral Evil

"You have something in your eye." -A medusa to an adventurer


Description Edit

AppearanceEdit

Medusae resemble shapely human or elven women ranging in height from five to six feet in height. If the snakes on their heads stand perfectly erect, this usually adds another one to two feet to their height. Their skin color matches that of their father, while eyes are always red. It's pretty easy to mistake one for a human or an elf at a distance, which is good for them but bad for everybody else.

Those with elven or half-elven fathers have pointed ears. I would also like to point out that medusae are capable of suppressing their deadly gazes by closing an "inner" eyelid, which is much like that of an alligator or crocodile. From what I've been told, this does not affect their vision in any way.

Personality Edit

Medusae are generally hateful creatures, but have been known to cooperate with non-medusae in order to survive or otherwise benefit. A good example of this is medusae agreeing to guard sorcerer's domains in return for shelter. So I guess you could call them opportunists. They also like works of art.

Clothing Edit

Medusae favor loose robes or dresses. If allowed near settlements, they favor clothing that accentuates their bodies -- the better to lure prey in with. Hats are uncommon, as medusae can not wear them without difficulty. Some use basilisk hides to fashion armor out of.


History Edit

Origins Edit

According to a popular myth, the first medusae were born when a basilisk, eh...slept with a nymph. I've never cared to find out whether or not this is true, but the first child was named Medusa ("Protectress" in the language of the nymphs). Medusa had the upper body of a stunningly beautiful woman with snakes for hair, and the lower body of a snake. When Medusa's family was killed by loggers and she was nearly killed herself, she took her revenge by turning the men who moved nearby into stone.

As the story goes, Medusa continued to kill every male by luring them into her gaze with magic until heroes were called into her lair. One mage present was intrigued by her ability, and -- well, the legend gets a bit vague here, but they had children. These children were named in their mother's honor, and petrified their father. Since then, they have fanned out, posing as beautiful women with the help of magic, and then petrifying whoever looks in their eyes.

Current Events Edit

Medusae are still being born to this day and still living lonely, miserable lives. Some of the brighter ones make deals with non-medusae.


Medusa Lands Edit

Medusae occupy ruins all over the world. You can tell you're approaching the lair of either a medusa or similar creature by the presence of statues. A good way to tell you're in a medusa's lair, is the presence of more female "statues" than male -- they like to capture males before they turn them into stone. Females will just be turned into artwork. Basilisk "lairs" tend to be full of "statues" and rock-dust.

ZelamisEdit

The largest concentration of medusae is in Zelamis, where they have completely replaced the living population. I've heard stories of males being captured as breeding stock, and a couple of male elves who lived there while it stood being held in cells for much the same purpose. I've only seen Zelamis from the outside, so I wouldn't know whether or not these stories are true.


Culture Edit

GeneralEdit

The closest thing medusae have to "culture" is in the ruins of Zelamis, where they are reported to enslave males as breeding stock. Of course, they have to have something to do in their spare time, so with the help of prisoners they've learned to read and write and have begun to take up research much like the mages of Zelamis did. You wouldn't believe how many adventurers make treks to Zelamis hoping to find some of the fruits of their research unguarded...

Some prisoners teach them swordplay, art, and even crafts in return for their freedom! Whether or not prisoners are released depends entirely upon the mood of the medusa in question. In any case, I guess arts and crafts can be added to their list of hobbies. They also breed basilisks, and are willing to set aside their differences with others in order to trade them for goods.

Religion Edit

Medusae feel that the gods have forsaken them, and seldom worship them. Those who become priestesses sometimes worship Meamia, or the Titans.

Government Edit

Medusae have no government, though those who live in groups have something sort of like a pedocracy... They tend to show the individual who knows the most, the most respect.


Relations Edit

Well, it's safe to say that medusae aren't exactly popular. Sure, some people are willing to overlook their natures and try to befriend them, but they don't usually live that long. Those that do are lucky.

Medusa eggs fetch a high price on the black markets.


Medusa AdventurersEdit

Adventuring medusae are always said to be using some sort of magic or the other, and make good priestesses or sorceresses...if you can keep your eyes in the right place.


Noteworthy Individuals Edit

  • Medusa was the first, well, medusa born. She wasn't a regular specimen, but instead a Medusa Queen.
  • Mealea has taken up residence in Padan, in the city of Aser. She protects caravans headed to the Enforcer auctions in return for shelter.
  • Ruby of the Ruins is a medusa with striking head of scarlet snakes. She heads a sanctuary where those of mental talent can practice their arts in peace.

Mechanical Edit

In tabletop fantasy roleplaying games, Medusae are very attractive and intelligent; statistics representing their physical beauty, personal magnetism, and intellect should have bonuses, with reflexes having an optional bonus. This, combined with their ability to petrify at a glance (suppressable), should incur slowed level progression.

Medusae should be able to speak Common, the languages of lizards, as well as magical or planar languages or Cenettic ("Elven").

Classes that deal with magic of all kinds, are favored by Medusae.