Friday, November 16, 2012

Acephali (Septagoorean)


Acephali (Septagoorean)
No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d6X10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (60')
Armor Class: 6 (or better)
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: Up to six (weapon)
Damage: 1d4 or weapon
Save: F2
Morale: 11

Headless six-armed humanoids who prowl the wilderness looking for human flesh to feed upon, the Acephalic tribes of Septagoor are ruthless combatants, religiously-motivated cannibals and head-hunters of the worst sort. Their faces are centered upon their torsos and have an almost porcelain-like appearance, dominated by a pair of large eyes and a gaping, lascivious mouth. Most warriors file their teeth into flesh-ripping spikes. All the tribes of these people practice various forms of self-mutilation and modification, embedding jewels into their flesh rather than merely wearing such things.  The Acephali of Septagoor frequently hunt after the pearly hoards of Nguema. They lust after pearls the way Grunters hunt after fresh meat.

Septagoorean Acephali wield spears and wickedly curved axes and swords for the most part, using only light javelins or darts for missile weapons very infrequently. The warriors of these abhuman tribes prefer to get up close and personal in melee combat and will attempt to subdue small groups using nets, weighted ropes and sheer numbers...unless there is a Xing Tian present. Then the Septagoorean Acephali will attempt to kill everyone. As may have been suspected, these acephali are accomplished ritual dancers, grapplers and wrestlers. They almost never use shields, though a few will make use of Xing Tian masks as enchanted shields, but this is a rare mark of special status, often a spell-caster of some type, or some sort of warlord.

Those who are made captives of the Septagoorean Acephali are most often tortured to death and then eaten in a grotesque feast in their honor. A few are put to work as slaves, and in the case of a particularly ambitious would-be warlord, some are retained as teachers and trainers to help instill discipline, tactics or new ways of fighting upon their armies-to-be. Xing Tian are never taken prisoner, never made slaves. Breaking this taboo would unseat even the most feared and respected warlord.

There are rumors of an entirely too-wise Septagoorean Warlord who recently captured a piratical stronghold and has taken a fancy to setting forth as an airship pirate...

8 comments:

  1. Awesome! Such a iconic thing from folklore and legend, so seldom seen in rpgs.

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    1. I had an Acephali PC option in a North African Arabian Nights game I ran last year at a con. The city was very much like Besel in The City and the City. The Acephali blended in by wearing a hood and a headpuppet. Of course he/she did not have extra arms like these beauties.

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    2. Hi Trey, Hi John,
      Glad to hear that you both liked the critter. These particular Acephali are only one of several sub-types. I'm revising the illustrations for the other types/sub-types, though the old post with the LL-stats for the Liboorean sub-type are still in-place.

      I like the more obscure, old references and the critters that tend to get overlooked or lost. The Acephali are a lot of fun, and these guys have been a blast to include in some of the old games that I've run. It would be nice to be able to attend some of the local conventions again, run some of the old scenarios using all these old critters.

      I have not read Mr. M's 'The City and The City,' yet. I plan to, but probably not until after the holidays. I have a ton of work to get through.

      I can see an Acephali sorcerer using a Hand Puppet or even a Guignol Petit Mal pretty-much just like you suggested...

      You know, it might be worth developing 'head puppets' as a sort of hybrid familiar/companion/symbiotic monster for use with one or more of the Acephali...

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    3. This last idea is a really cool one!

      Just to clarify, there are no Aecephali in The City and the City. What there is are two cities that developed out of different timelines exist in the same present and physically overlap in spacetime. There are human migrations that have occurred between the two cities, and there are also spaciotemporally interstitial areas. So you might find it interesting in terms of your broader project, especially around how cities with similar and/or dissimilar ontogenies do and don't fit together at particular places in spacetime.

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    4. Now that sounds like it would definitely be of interest to me. This sounds like a good thing to add to the Vermiform Appendix fr Wermspittle. Maybe I can pick-up a copy this weekend.

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  2. The thought of these beautiful albeit cannibalistic and homicidal abhumans becoming airship pirates is... disturbing. I hope they sack and pillage many steampunk worlds.

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    1. I have a scenario/adventure nearing readiness that features such an airship making a special delivery to Wermpsittle...might run it at a local convention one of these days...

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    2. That sounds like the right kind of mayhem.

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