Endless Blue – Week 37.4 – The Kelpgymies: Primatives of the Kelp Forest   4 comments

Botany

The Kelpygmies– Primitives of the Kelp Forests

Much has been made of the civilized races, and even those relegated to the primitive races have made their mark on the cultures of the Known World.  But there a tiny few other races — more primordial and archaic that the primitives races — that have begun to influence life in the ocean of Elqua.

Kelpygmy

Small Plant
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 cubes)
Buoyancy: Shoals (adjustable)
Armor Class: 16 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-4
Attack: Claw +1 melee (1d4) or longspear +1 melee (1d6, crit x3)
Full Attack: 2 claws +1 melee (1d4) or longspear +1 melee (1d6, crit x3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with longspear)
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/piercing, immunity to bludgeoning, immunity to electricity, low-light vision, plant traits, ultravision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +0
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +11, Listen +3, Move Silently +7, Spot +3
Feats: Alertness, Hide in Plain Sight, Trackless Scent
Environment: Tropical Kelp Forests of the Shore and Shoals, between the Tropic of Kraken and the Tropic of Cetacean.
Organization: Gang (2-5) or attack party (4-7 + 1 shaman, and possibly 1 shambling mound)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: By character class (see below).
Level Adjustment:

Kelpygmy morphology follows the piscean form in miniature, with lengths of only 2 and a half to four feet long.  They possess a torso with two arms and two pelvic fins, which then tappers down from the hips into a tail like a fish.  Their skin has a strange, olive-colored, waxy rind-like texture, as if they were vegetables molded into piscean form, and sport circles of leafy tendrils ringed around their waist, wrists, and tail flukes.  A tuft of this same brownish seaweed is tied in a topknot at the apex above their heads, which house a pair of glossy green eyes and a wide mouth filled with blocky, clumsily arranged teeth.  Their four fingered hands are tipped with small yet sturdy thorns that act as claws that are quite adept at rending kelp nautiluses apart.  Examination of kelpymy bodies reveal they have no ears, yet in-the-field evidence points strongly to the fact they can most certainly hear with acuity.  They also have the gill slits that pisceans do, but lack the internal skeletal and organ systems to support their function.

Kelpygmies are a recent occurrence, having sprung up suddenly in the last few years.  Almost nothing is known for sure about them other than they are cunning, dangerous, and hate piscean life.  They are not carnivores, and do not attack pisceans for food.  Attempts at finding kelpygmy settlements have failed utterly, usually ending in either the searching party being slain to the last piscean, or with the pursued plant-things disappearing before their eyes.  It is concluded that the race has not developed shelter yet, and blindly wander the currents, living off the land like migratory animals.

The habitat of the kelpygmy is estimated to range from the Tropic of Kraken through to the Tropic of Cetacean.  Environments further north or south seem to be too cold for the liking of the pygmies.

Kelpygmies do not posses a complex language.  What passes for their native tongue, called Pygmit,  is a handful of iconic words with little in the way of conjugation.  Ideas require repetition, and frequently punctuated with  thumps to their chest or striking their spears on coral, stone, or other hard surface.  If not for the species intrinsic hatred for piscean life, study of their burgeoning language would provide incredible insight into the origin of speech in other cultures.

As an illiterate culture, kelpygmies may only gain levels in barbarian, druid, or packbreeder.  Packbreeder pygmies learn the secret of bending shambling mounds to their will, while those that follow the druid path become shaman.  The bulk of kelpygmies become barbarians, with the most advance warrior becoming the group’s chieftan.

Combat

The kelpygmy have begun a campiagn of border incurssions on rural farmlands, slaying all pisceans in the area and leaving their corpses unweighted to rise to the Vastness.  This aggressively territorial behavior has made the species extremely difficult to deal with, and as a result most treat the kelpygmies as immediate threats to safety.  Luckily the backwards species is not organized enough to pose a significant threat to the security the major nations.

Attacking kelpygmies utilize either their thorny claws or simplistic weapons, usually a longspear in the form of a sharpened stick.  Favoring ambush strategies that rival the guerrilla tactics of the Ceph ambushers, they escape detection by using their natural coloration to blend with the kelp-choked surroundings.  Often times they will use the wildlife around them to their benefit, either luring the victim towards a predator, or vice versa.

Damage Resistance to Piercing Weapons (Ex): The thick rind that comprises the skin of the kelpygmy not only grants them a high natural armor, but also resists the damage dealt by piercing weapons.

Immunity to Bludgeoning Weapons (Ex): The same damage resistant skin prevents the kelpygmy from taking damage from a bludgeoning weapon.

Electrical Immunity (Ex): Kelpygmy are utterly non-conductive, and any electricity-based spell or attack will not include them as possible targets.

Trackless Scent (Ex): As plants, the kelpygmy leave no scent trail behind in natural surrounds, and cannot be tracked unless they willingly leave a trail.

Skills: Kelpygmies have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks.  Their coloration so accutely matches that of the local vegetation that they can blend in seemlessly.  The do not need to seek out the shadows to hide, disappearing instantly in the kelp beds.

Kelpygmies are ill suited as player characters.  There are no kelpygmies with enough higher cognizance to overcome their instinctive loathing of other pisceans.  Their behavior is absolute, and it is doubtful that they will ever be able to become civilized unless all other sentient life is wiped out first.  A few stupid packbreeders, seduced by images of domesticated servitude, have attempt to capture and breed kelpygmies.  The result has always been the swift disappearance of the pygmy and the murder of the breeder.  Not even the slave-trading Yaun-Teel, with their sadistic methods of helotry, have been able to keep a kelpygmy in captivity.

“Like the kelp they hide in, these primitives should be reaped for the sake of progress…”
— a common sentiment about the Kelpymies of the Endless Blue.

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