Canon Species, Planets, and Creatures

Here lies references for the USS Zealous, e.g. storylines, species, etc

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Canon Species, Planets, and Creatures

Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:58 pm

We've already created a thread for the species, planets, and creatures we create on our own. This one is where you can share information along the same lines that were seen within the series itself.

This thread is meant to be a resource that everyone can draw from when selecting a species when creating a character, a planet for a storyline, or even a creature for the crew to encounter.

The more obscure information is the best to share within this thread, but all information (even the more widely known) will also be welcome!
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:09 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Ape

Apes include a variety of large or intelligent simians, such as gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. Some apes are omnivorous, meaning they eat meat as well as vegitation.

Sample Ape (Gorilla)
Form:
Animal (Primate)
Diet: Herbivore
Feeding Habits: Gatherer
Size: 1.4-2.0 M Tall (Medium)
Skills: Climbing, jumping, observing, stealthy, survival, unarmed combat (fists)
Special Abilities: Unarmed combat
Last edited by Zania Jaarda on Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:13 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Arachnid, Venomous

Venomous spiders, as well as scorpions, are common to many regions of earth. While their size reveals little variation among species, the toxicity of the venom can vary greatly.

Sample Spider (Black Widow)
Form:
Animal (Arachnid)
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: Miniscule
Skills: Climbing, observing, stealth, hiding, survival, unarmed combat (fangs)
Special Abilities: Evasion, natural weapon (bite), toxin, trap builder (webs)
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:20 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Bird of Prey

Earth fosters many types of bird of prey, from eagles and falcons, to hawks and owls. Most birds of prey qualify as little creatures, even though their wingspan belie this fact.

Sample Bird of Prey (Hawk)
Form:
Animal (Bird)
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: Little
Skills: Flight, observing, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Evasion, natural weapon (talons), extraordinary sense (night vision), flight, speed
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:52 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Cat, Predatory

Lions, tigers, and panthers are the largest of earth's predatory cats. Smaller cats, such as pumas, cougars, and mountain have different sizes and feeding habits. Most predatory cats also have at least one of the following special abilities: Camoflage, Cunning, or Ferocious

Sample Cat (Lion)
Form:
Animal (Feline)
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Chaser
Size: Medium
Skills: Climbing, running, jumping, observing (spotting prey), stealthy, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Ferocious, natural weapon (claws), speed
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:54 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Dog, Large

Many species of canines populate earth, including hunting dogs, guard and attack dogs, and even wolves.

Sample Dog (Guard Dog)
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Chaser
Size: Small
Skills: Running, observing (scent), survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Natural weapon (teeth), speed
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:59 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Herd Animal

There are virtually dozens of terrestrial creatures that qualify as large herd animals. Smaller, fleet herd animals, such as Impala, often possess one or more of the following additional special abilities: Camoflage, Evasion, Speed

Sample Herd Animal (Horse)
Form:
Animal
Diet: Herbivore
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: Large
Skills: Running, jumping, observing (hearing), survival, unarmed combat (hooves)
Special Abilities: Natural weapon (hooves/kicking), speed
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:04 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Reptile, Large

Alligators and crocodiles are the largest of the terrestrial lizards surviving from the Jurassic period. Other large lizards may have size differences, skills, feeding habits, and unique abilities. For example, the komodo dragon has a virulent bite that transfers a toxin to the victim.

Sample Lizard (Crocodile)
Form:
Animal (Reptile)
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: Large
Skills: Swimming, observing (scent), stealthy (hiding), survival, unarmed combat (teeth)
Special Abilities: Cunning, natural weapon (bite)
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:10 pm

Terrestrial (Earth) Creatures: Snake, Venomous

Many varieties of venomous snake are native to the planet Earth. Some of the most common are cobras, rattlesnakes, and aquatic serpents such as water moccasins and sea snakes, and have a varying degree of venom toxicity.

Sample Snake (Rattlesnake)
Form:
Animal (Reptile/Serpent)
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: Little
Skills: Athletics, observing (scent), stealth (hiding), survival, unarmed combat (fangs)
Special Abilities: Deterrent, natural weapon (bite), toxin
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:28 pm

Aldebaran Serpent

Approximately 80 kilograms in mass, and between 2 and 3 meters in length, the Aldebaran serpent is the largest reptile on its home planet. Its three heads each possess a full complement of sensory organs, and poisonous fangs set in powerful jaws. Dark blue-black in color, the Aldebaran serpent can easily lie concealed in shady streams or rivers. The creature's four-lobed brain resides in the thorax, below the joining of the three heads. The middle head, optimized for breathing and daylight vision, usually remains above water, either held errect to smell the air (with its tongue, just like Terran serpents) or just below the waterline for stealthy observation. The two lateral heads have much smaller valved blowholes, which can totally seal themselves and remain submerged for days at a time. These heads' eyes have much greater light-concentration capacity, and can see as well in the dark underwater as the middle head can on the surface in full daylight. All three heads have a "pit" (like the Earth pit viper) for sensing changes in pressure; the three togther form an incredibly precise triangulating pressure-location system that can spot every fish (or swimmer) in a river for hundreds of yards in either direction.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore (Primarialy fish)
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: 3M Long (Large)
Skills: Swimming, bite, stealth, survival (river)
Special Abilities: Extraordinary sense (pressure), multiple attacks, natural weapons (fangs), toxin

Environment:
The Aldebaran serpent lives in the rivers and freshwater estuaries and lagoons of the southern continent of Aldebaran III. A hot world fairly close to its orange giant sun, the only south and north polar continents are cool enough to support complex ecologies; the two ecosystems are almost totally isolated from each other. The low, marshy southern continent's creatures mostly have three heads and either six or no legs.

Behavior:
Although the blue Aldebaran serpent occupies much the same ecological niche on Aldebaran that the crocodile does on Earth, it backs up its relatively weaker muscles with toxic glands in the lower jaws of all three heads. Between its large size and poisonous glands, it has no natural predators. As a result, it will aggressively attack anything its sensorium recognizes as a fish (generally, anything swimming in the river) unless it has recently eaten to repletion. Aldebaran serpents mate in triplicate; two males share the duties of protecting, fertilizing, and feeding the female. A single Aldebaran serpent is usually a hungry lone male unable to drive off one of a mated triple; if two Aldebaran serpents are encountered, a third is almost certainly very nearby.

Aldebaran Serpent Venom:
This slow but deadly toxin initially affects the respiratory system of the victim, who often drowns before the venom takes full effect.

Encounters:
Aldebaran serpents often serve as momentary threats. Some of the primitive tribes of Aldebaran III worship the serpents as gods, incarnations of their own triune deity (representing Aldebaran and its two dim companions). A landing party that has offended the tribe (or committed the blasphemy of suggesting that life exists on worlds orbiting other stars) may be fed to the sacred snakes.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 4:44 pm

Andorian Forest Spider

A fearsome sight, the Andorian forest spider has a low-slung ratcheted mandible of powerful cartilage and sinew set below two narrow, oval eyes and twin ghelnoid antennae (like many Andorian life forms). Its eight legs are surprisingly thin for a half-meter wide creature massing 20 kilograms; much of its lower abdomen is a "crash web" of multiply-reinforced sinews hung from a cantilevered bone superstructure. Even with this powerful shock absorber in place, the Andorian forest spider cannot spend a lot of time running across the ground without tiring and collapsing; it scutles from tree to tree, hanging from the branches by its clawed feet. Its cunningly-plaited blue fur both blends in with conifer vegetation and keeps the creature warm in Andorian winter nights.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Blood or juices
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: .5M Wide (Small)
Skills: Climbing, bite, observing (spotting prey), stealth, survival (taiga)
Special Abilities: Alert, camoflage, cunning (stalking prey in forests), drain (blood, vitality), extraordinary sense (IR vision, vibration sense), natural weapon (mandibles), speed, toxin

Environment:
The several species of Andorian forest spider live in the coniferous taiga zone along the northern coast of both of Andoria's main continents. The spider's liquid diet gives it the concentrated protein it needs to survive Andoria's cruel winters, and its claws resemble miniature pitons for gripping tree branches through snow, frost, or ice. Perfectly adapted to its taiga home, the Andorian forest spider can travel twice as fash through the trees as it can on the ground.

Behavior:
The Andorian forest spider feeds on small mammals, birds, and other similar prey, tracking their body heat with its infared-sensitive eyes, or feeling their rustling passage through the trees with its antennae. However, it is fiercely territorial and will attack Andorians (or other humanoids) who enter its hunting grounds. Foolish enough to believe Andorians are prey, the Andorian forest spider is cunning enough to strike stragglers or weakened Andorians from concealment without warning. This habit of sneak attacks and other tricks give the Andorian forest spider a demonic reputation among primitive Andorians; Andorian witches supposedly transformed into or tamed these creatures.

When it has felled its prey with a poison bite, it lingers over the paralyzed victim, slowly sucking out the blood and other nutrient-rich fluids from the still-living body until only a frozen, paralyzed husk remains. As the victim becomes colder, the spider switches to eyes, antennae, and other soft tissues, devouring them tartare. Its Andorian name, the glikar'ma, means "any death is preferable."

Andorian Forest Spider Venom:
Instantly fatal to most small animals, the venom of the glikar'ma can paralyze even bear-sized animals. Bitten characters remain paralyzed until they throw off the paralysis, are devoured, or rescued.

Encounters:
A momentary threat to the crew, being trapped by forest spiders can be the prime mover of a storyline centered on isolation and emotional tensions. Andorian characters might hallucinate their feared storybook "demon spider" at inopportune times, or a telepathic shapeshifter might read this fear-form in an Andorian character's subconscious.
Last edited by Zania Jaarda on Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:00 pm

Algorian Mammoth

The Algorian mammoth resembles a four-meter tall shambling mound of hair. A non-prehensile snout and tooth-tusks poke out from its front end, and a stubby tail sticks out from its hindquarters. Pointed ears and stumpy eye-stalks raise its sensory organs above its coating of musty fur.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Herbivore (Vegetation)
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: 4M Tall (Large)
Skills: Running, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Armor (thick hide), natural weapon (tusks)

Description:
Mammoths evolved in Algor's broad grasslands, where they found plentiful sustenance and space to identify, avoid, and fend off predators. Wandering herds pose little danger unless directly threatened. Angered mammoths charge perceived adversaries, gouging with their tooth-tusks.

Ancient Algorians raised mammoths for meat and wool, later exporting them to nearby systems as herd beasts. Today these beasts remain a colorful feature of the rolling Algorian meadows, curiosities for passing tourists and minor obstacles for ground transports.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:39 pm

Alvanian Cave Sloth

Travelers often mistake Alvanian cave sloths for slow-moving rocks. An active sloth ambles about on six stubby legs. Long claws dig through soil and bark to uncover tasty insects. An elongated, toothy snout seeks bugs in nests. A grayish brown, scaly hide wards off biting insects and provides camoflage during hibernation.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore (Insects)
Feeding Habits: Gatherer
Size: 2.1M Long (Medium)
Skills: Climbing, observing, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Armor (scaled hide), camouflage, natural weapon (claws)

Description:
Cave sloths inhabit mountain regions with lush vegetation sheltering plentiful insect populations. The rugged terrain provides crags for shelter during dormancy. Solitary sloths gorge themselves when they discover insect nesting grounds, then seek a safe, rocky haven and enter a deep slumber to digest food and regain energy. They often block mountain paths or passages between rocks, obstacles for adventurous travelers. Sloths prefer to amble off to safety when surprised, but fend off adversaries with their claws if cornered.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:44 pm

Alvanian Spine Mite

These tiny crustaceans seem like harmless spores in their dormant state. When in contact with a potential host, they emerge and slowly burrow toward the main conduit for neural impulses: the spinal column. Their savage, insectoid faces possess jagged gripper princers. Barbed legs and a fan tail help them move their segmented bodies through a host.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Energy (Neural impulses)
Feeding Habits: Parasite
Size: .9CM Long (Miniscule)
Skills: Survival, unarmed attack
Special Abilities: Anaerobic respiration (no respiration required), burrowing (flesh), natural weapon (pincers)

Description:
Although they feed on infinitestimal amounts of neural energy, their presence in the spinal column causes the host constant pain. Due to their tiny size, Alvanian spine mites are easily overlooked in the outdoors, and they often latch on to victims while the victims sleep. If discovered outside of the body in small quantities, the mites are easily avoided or killed.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:48 pm

Alverian Dung Beetle

These fat-bodied insects have brown, shiny carapaces. Their leg joints and mandibles click when active. A dung-heap hive looks like a shimmering mass and emits a chorus of rhythmic clicking.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore (Single-cell microbes)
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: 1CM Long (Miniscule)
Skills: Climbing, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Burrowing (dung), natural weapon (mandibles), resistance (radiation)

Description:
These beetles find sustenance in dung from the Alverian ruegongs that roam the plains. When they've exhausted one pile, beetles swarm to another one. The beetles' exoskeletons synthesize hyronalin from dung nutrients, making them a delicacy among Alverians seeking to deter the effects of radioactive ores in their planet's mineral-rich mountains.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 8:08 pm

Arbazon Vulture

These avians ride thermals above the Arbazon wastelands on broad wings. Long feathers and a four-meter wingspan keep them aloft and provide maneuverability, while tufts of fuzz along the leading wing edges, bellies, and thighs cool their bodies in the desert heat. Dun-colored feathers also reflect sunlight. Vultures retract their snake-like necks during flight, but can extend them while feeding to access hard-to-reach places inside carrion. Serrated beak edges and hooked tips tear flesh from carrion. Enlarged nasal cavities lined with sensitive cilia detect the scent of decaying flesh wafting aloft on winds several kilometers from carrion. Pointed claws provide firm footing waddling on the ground, perched in thorn trees, or hopping over a rotting corpse. Whip-tail feathers give maneuverability in flight and balance on land.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Scavenger
Size: 4M Wingspan (Large)
Skills: Jumping, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Extraordinary sense (chemoreception), flying, natural weapon (beak)

Environment:
Arbazon vultures inhabit their planet's arid badlands, feeding off any wretched creatures who wander there. They make their aeries in vast thorn trees or the craggy reaches of the desert mountains, building disorderly nests from scrub, dust-brush, and dead thorn branches. The nest-warrens provide protection against predators and the wasteland's heat.

Behavior:
Conserving energy and cooling one's body present challenges in Arbazon's desert regions. Vultures spend much of their day resting in their aeries, sniffing the atmosphere for traces of dead or dying organisms that would provide food. When they catch a scent, they ride thermal air currents high into the sky, seeking their meal. They descend on weak or helpless creatures, picking at flesh with their jagged beaks. When food becomes scarce, they range further from their nests, sometimes into more verdant terrain, where they feast on carrion or any food left in the open there. During severe famines, communities of vultures band together and hunt in packs of up to 15 avians, attacking and consuming any living creature they encounter in their territory.

Although they drink at stagnant watering holes, the scarcity of liquid in the wasteland compels them to fly into any clouds passing above their territory to gather water vapor on their wings, which they absorb into their bodies through quill pores.

Encounters:
Travelers in Arbazon's desert regions msut take care to avoid vultures. During feeding they become extremely territorial, attacking anyone approaching their food source. They also assault unwise people who try penetrating their nest-warrens. Vultures lurking the skies take notice of all desert dwellers, but leave alone those fit enough to resist attacks. Their keen olfactory senses detect chemical body changes, including those caused by sickness, fear, confusion, and injury. Wanderers suffering from these conditions invite attack, even if they can still offer capable resistance.

Desert dwellers know how to avoid the sparce watering holes when flocks of vultures drink, usually at dawn and dusk. The avians defend their drinking rights as they do their carrion, by viciously tearing at intruders with their beaks.

During famines communities bordering the wastelands take care to guard against vulture flocks seeking food left in the open. Farmers gather crops early and lock up food stores, children avoid playing outdoords, and settlers venture out only in armed groups.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:57 pm

Ba'ku Rhyl

The Ba'ku rhyl combines the features of a juvenile canine with that of a Terran flying squirrel. Large flaps of skin connect to the creature's appendages along the length of its elongated body, forming vestigal wings. Upon study by Federation scientists, it was noted that it was possible that an ancestor or other subspecies of rhyl might be able to glide.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Herbivore
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: .51M Long (Small)
Skills: Climbing, observing, stealth, survival
Special Abilities: Camouflage

Description:
The first rhyl encountered by the Federation were found in the Briar Patch on the Ba'ku planet. These peaceful grazers seemed to be native to every environment on the planet. They are also known to use the strange effects of metaphasic particles bombarding the planet as a way to camouflage themselves by slipping into a kind of "slow time." When frightened, to outside observers, the rhyl becomes very still and then disappears from view. From in-depth analysis, it appears the rhyl slips into "slow time" and then moves, unobserved, a short distance away from the predator.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:12 am

Baneriam Hawk

Long flight feathers and shorter, rigid scales cover this predatory avian's body. Plumage patterns range from dun-colored along wing surfaces, light-blue along the belly, and blood red at the head and tail. Darker coloration around the slit-eyes and a series of protecting and enhanced eyelids endow the bird with keen vision and the ability to scan the infared spectrum. Baneriam hawks stand slightly taller than half a meter, but possess a wingspan of nearly 1.5 meters. The wings fold flush against their body, increasing their aerodynamic form when diving on game. Strong legs also retract into their plumage for speed in flight, but can extend to snatch prey or rake adversaries. Padded feet protect the hawk from its own curved talons, which thin out into edged claws with sharp points.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Chaser
Size: 1.5M Wingspan (Small)
Skills: Climbing, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Evasion, extraordinary sense (infrared vision), ferocious (defending territory), flying, natural weapon (talons)

Environment:
The hawks inhavit Baneria's highlands: jagged mountains overlooking vast plains and forests filled with game. The hawks build aeries in rocky crags sheltered from the wind, though their feathers and scales provide adequate protection from the elements. They range from their nests seeking prey, their metabolisms requiring one small-sized creature every few days for sustenance. The birds prefer clear, cool water from bubbling streams running down mountainsides.

For centuries the Baneriam people captured and trained wild hawks as hunter and guardian beasts; today they export them as luxury pets. These domesticated birds still possess their ferocity, but bond with and obey a particular master who keeps them in relative comfort, providing a cozy perch, frequent meals, and worshipful affection for the noble birds. Baneriam hawks thrive in such conditions if their owners frequently exercise, train, and care for them, and lose none of their natural flying abilities and hunting prowess.

Behavior:
In the wild Baneriam hawks range from their highland aeries seeking prey. A hawk soars high, using its keen vision to spot and follow game. When its prey moves into vulnerable terrain, the hawk retracts claws and wings, diving on its victim with incredible speed. It slows only to extend its wings to maneuver over the prey and snatch it up with gripping talons. The avians prey on creatures close to their size and smaller. When defending themselves against larger adversaries, they lash out with talons, attempting to gash their opponents. Although hawks attack prey with speed and precision, they defend themselves, their young, and their masters with even greater ferocity.

In captivity, hawks scruitinize everyone who passes beneath their gaze, whether sitting regally on their perches or flying a sentry patrol. Good trainers can teach hawks to discriminate between friend and foe, screech at intruders, and attack adversaries.

Encounters:
Unless threatened Baneriam hawks rarely attack humanoids in their natural environment; however, intruders may inadvertently stumble into a hawk ambushing prey and become an accidental target. People more frequently encounter trained hawks guarding mansions and luxury yachts throughout the galaxy. Some keep the intimidating birds as exotic decoration, but most use them as sentries and attack beasts that react to intruders, foes, or anyone engaged in underhanded activities within their territory.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:19 am

Bardakian Pronghorn Moose

This amphibious beast blends into its native swamps with a shaggy wool hide. Spindly legs, broad, webbed feet and a paddle tail help it negotiate waterways. Its forked pronghorn helps dredge up underwater vegetation.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Herbivore
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: 1.7M Tall (Medium)
Skills: Running, swimming, observing, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Camouflage, deterrent (roar), natural weapon (pronghorn)

Description:
Moose herds wander Bardak's marshlands, consuming aquatic plant-life and generally avoiding other creatures. They ward off predators with their terrifying roar fueled by air forced from their tremendous lungs and gasses belched from their cavernous stomachs. Bolder adversaries force the herd to retreat while a few bold males fend off attacks with their pronghorns.

Today Bardakians use various elements from the moose - wooly hide, leatherly stomach lining, pronghorn - for luxury clothing, medicines, artwork, and lucky talismans.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:25 am

Barrowbug

These Bajoran insects look like tiny aphids, with near-transparent wings, delicate legs, and segmented bodies. Mandibles allow them to munch on mineral-rich Bajoran foliage, while a stubby stinger helps them defend against predators.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Herbivore
Feeding Habits: Grazer
Size: .10CM (Miniscule)
Skills: Climbing, observation, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Burrowing (earth), flying, natural weapon (sting), resistance (toxin)

Description:
These insects burrow hives in earthen mounds called burrows, from whence they fly to gently feed off nearby foliage. High mineral content in Bajoran plants keeps them sated; but when inadvertently brought to other worlds with lower plant nutrients, they defoliate entire regions by gorging themselves. Environmentalists either eradicate barrows or fertilize nearby plant life until they can find some other solution to exterminate the hardy insects.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:07 pm

Bazgan Floater

These vast plants float through the smoky skies of the Class-K planet Bazgan II. Much of the bulk consists of a gigantic gasbag that allows a floater to casually cruise the skies, seeking the mineral-rich plumes from volcanoes. Gas from the digestive system fills the bag and keeps the floater airborne. The plant's diet affects the bag's exterior, giving it extra resilience and a striking swirl of colors from various elements it absorbs. A floater's system finds little use for certain elements which accumulate on the bag's exterior as metal "tumors." These substances often include precious dense metals such as silver, gold, and latinum. Eventually these ore formations grow too large and peel off the plant's skin, falling far to the ground. Several vent orifices allow excess gas to escape. A floater frequently outgases instinctively to better maneuver in the direction of potential sustenance.

A pulpy torso beneath the bag provides ballast to remain upright, a complex mineral-extraction "digestive" system, and a decentralized nervous system. A forest of tentacles hangs down from the knobby brown torso containing absorption nodes that filter needed elements from volcanic smoke.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Plant
Diet: Minerals
Feeding Habits: Filter
Size: 55M Diameter (Titanic)
Skills: N/A
Special Abilities: Armor (mineral reinforced hide), flying, ganglia, invulnerable (corrosion, radiation), high pain threshold

Environment:
Bazgan II's floaters evolved from calderas in the planet's more stable regions. Here microorganisms combined to form a handful of primitive life-forms capable of migrating to and surviving in the harsh volcanic terrain that covers most of that world. Floaters flourished in the mineral-rich hot springs, then rose into the skies to take advantage of nutrients in the stream and smoke from the planet's numerous magmatic features. Clusters of giant floaters hover in and near smoke plumes, though some wander too close and become caught in unexpected volcanic eruptions.

Behavior:
Floaters congregate near vented gas, smoke, and steam from volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and mid-ocean ridges. They hover so their tentacles immerse themselves in the most mineral-rich parts of the smoke. When volcanic features cease outgassing, floaters ride the winds and maneuver themselves toward new sources of sustenance.

Floaters propagate by finding hot springs into which they deposit a spore that develops on their pulpy torsos. Drawing on the heat, chemicals, and ores in the water, the spores grow into juvenile floaters. They siphon gas to initially fill their bags directly from the steaming water source, then cruise off in search of more abundant mineral sources.

Encounters:
For miners working in Bazgan II's treacherous environment, floaters represent a source of renewable wealth. Some mining operations focus on extracting minerals from the open lava floes, but others concentrate on the "tumors" of valuable ore growing on the floaters' gasbag skin. Rather than wait for these blobs of precious metal to drop off and fall to the tempestuous, volcanic surface, float-miners follow a floater and use low-powered phasers to dislodge th tumors. Tractor beams catch the nuggets and draw them back to the mining ship.

Since they possess only limited instincts, Bazgan's floaters do not react well to external threats. The hardy plants resist many corrosive substances and radiation, but sustain physical damage from lava and rock shot into the sky by volcanic eruptions, or weapons. Their primary defense remains flight.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 8:37 pm

Berserker Cat

Although the term "berserker cat" frequently refers to many species of vicious feline, it particularly describes the variety of lurking predator found on Errikang VII. Fur covers its two-meter long body in mottled green-and-brown patterns reflecting the jungle terrain in which it hunts. Oversized nostrils help it breathe and analyze the air for the scent of prey. Unblinking dark eyes sense the usual visual spectrum as well as infrared. Steepled ears enhance hearing and equilibrium. A stubby tail nub also assists maintaining balance without trailing behind to become tangled in underbrush. Four well-muscled legs end in soft-padded feet with retractable claws.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: 2M Long (Medium)
Skills: Climbing, jumping, running, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Camouflage, extraordinary sense (chemoreception, infrared hearing, subsonic hearing), natural weapon (claws)

Environment:
Berserker cats lurk in Errikang VII's lush jungle regions, which are filled with plentiful game and adequate cover for ambushing it. The solitary felines softly pad along tree limbs, through tunnels formed by massive roots, and across overgrown and ancient ruins. They frequently make their lairs in natural caves, among the root systems, or in the shelters created by tumbled megaliths. Their dens offer havens where they sleep off eating binges, raise their young, and nurse wounds from their sometimes ambitious attacks. A typical lair contains a constricted entrance a cat can easily defend, a pile of brush for sleeping, and a depression where moisture collects from rain and foliage condensation.

Behavior:
Solitary cats spend much of their day sleeping lightly, regaining and conserving energy for the hunt. They frequently position themselves for an ambush, using the dense jungle foliage for cover. Here they wait patiently between naps for a vruedebeast or other grazer to wander past. When they pounce, the cats become a blur of ruffled fur and slashing claws. The beasts sometimes even attack adversaries larger than themselves, especially when defending their hunting territory from other berserker cats or predatory intruders. Luckily the felines rarely tolerate one another (except during mating season) and do not hunt in packs.

Encounters:
Berserker cats pose a hidden danger for anyone venturing deep into Errikang VII's jungles. They consider any living organism passing before their hiding places fair game. Archaeologists working among the region's ancient ruins frequently travel to the interior with armed escorts, who also clear excavation sites of lurking berserker cats. Expeditions maintain constant guard to keep new cats from moving into secured areas.

Settlers on Errikang VII tried unsuccessfully to domesticate the cats for guard beasts, usually with rather violent results. Today they cultivate a luxury business of leading daring off-worlders into the jungles to hunt cats. Only the wealthy can afford these dangerous safaris, which include guides and sentries experienced in spotting berserker cat ambuscades. Hunters lucky enough to survive often return with hair-raising tales of combat. The mottled hides make impressive trophies, though little enough export demand exists that the cats avoid danger of extinction through aggressive hunting. Some cultures revere the claws, incorporating them into jewelry meant to endow the wearer with some degree of the berserker cat's prowess, courage, and speed.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:25 pm

Bulgallian Rat

The fierce Bulgallian rat grows upwards of 2.5 meters long with 1.5 meters consisting of its fearsome, whip-like tail tipped with a flourish of slender spines. Similar spines coat the rodent's pudgy torso, laying flat against its flesh until angered, when they stand out to intimidate foes and reinforce its own flesh. An angry mouth dominates its head, with small eyes, ears, and nostrils placed around a maw filled with a disarray of teeth used for cutting, tearing, and gouging meat from the crevasses of carrion. Front legs end in shovel-shaped foreclaws used to burrow through earth; powerful hind legs provide short bursts of mobility and contain larger spade-claws for digging. The spiny tail constantly thrashes about, ripping across anything that particularly annoys the rat.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Scavenger
Size: 1M Long (Medium)
Skills: Climbing, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Armor (body spines), burrowing (dirt), deterrent (fearsome appearance), ferocious (when startled), natural weapon (tail spines)

Environment:
Rats evolved in Bulgal's wasteland terrains - fetid bogs, gloomy tundra, and arid forests - during past ages when larger predators prevailed and provided a plentiful source of carrion. Their spiny hides and tails and a fierce demeanor deterred adversaries. Although their numbers decreased as the planet's other creatures died off, rats still managed to survive off organisms dying in their territory.

Aside from their hardy and protective physiology, the rats endure using a clever system of warrens. Communities of two to twelve rats burrow subterranean nests accessed through concealed entrances. Caverns offer safe havens in which to consume carcasses, raise young, and drink from pools of water that drain underground. Passages connecting the chambers sometimes range up to one kilometer, offering the rats a great deal of hidden mobility.

Behavior:
Bulgallian rats range from their warrens at all times of the day, trundling off in search of carrion. Their low profile and quiet passage help them traverse terrain without arousing notice of other creatures, which sometimes brings them into sudden contact and triggers an instant defensive rage. It bares a foaming mouth of teeth, hisses and growls, clenches well-muscled hind legs, and whips its tail at perceived adversaries. Body spines bristle erect, increasing its apparent size, reinforcing its hide, and presenting hand-to-hand aggressors with a painful surface to hit. The rat continues this vicious display until the other party backs away; if attacked, the rat responds with ferocity as it flings itself at opponents.

Encounters:
Travelers wandering anywhere from Bulgal's settled areas have the best chance to stumble across a rat or its warren. The varied environment of bogs and forests conceals the animal's low profile, often until unwary hikers stumble upon a wayward rat. Local guides often hire themselves to visitors to navigate this terrain, thumping their heavy walking staves against the ground to frighten off nearby rats.

Most outlying settlements near rat territory maintain low walls and gates to keep them from inadvertently wandering into towns seeking food. When carrion becomes scarce or warrens flood out, rat packs move closer to villages, burrowing near well-trod roads and paths, and in some cases digging their warrens beneath walls to reach storage basements and garbage heaps of the structures within. Settlement security forces train to conquer their fears and exterminate intruding rats.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:39 pm

Caldorian Eel

These long eels glide on land or water by rippling ambulatory muscles beneath their smooth skin. Their sucker-maws feed off low-level electricity. The eels' digestive systems act as natural capacitors, storing energy and regulating it to required body functions. They bite when threatened, discharging a mild current to shock foes before fleeing.

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Energy (electricity)
Feeding Habits: Scavenger
Size: 3M Long (Large)
Skills: Athletics, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Absorption, energy attack (electrical), invulnerable (energy weapons), natural weapon (shock)

Description:
Caldorian eels inhabit their planet's mineral-rich swamps, consuming electrical static discharges between the waters and outcroppings of surgeore strata. They frequently seek other energy rich environments such as settlements and starships. Although they rarely deplete large energy sources, they can siphon off enough electricity to impair interfaced systems or drain small devices. Some beings domesticate them as pets, offering them affection and a regular source of sustenance.
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Postby Zania Jaarda » Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:23 pm

Carnivorous Rastipod

This Bajoran carnivore suffers from a rare genetic mutation called rastipodia, in which a creature's forward orientation shifts 90 degrees to one side. Its two spindly left legs and stubbier right ones give it an awkward gait when leaping on prey. A flexible neck and powerful jaws allow the rastipod to snake after and subdue prey. Its mottled skin provides camouflage for blending in with its surroundings

Creature Statistics
Form:
Animal
Diet: Carnivore
Feeding Habits: Pouncer
Size: 1.7M Tall (Medium)
Skills: Running, stealth, survival, unarmed combat
Special Abilities: Camouflage, extraordinary sense (infrared vision), ferocious (when hunting), natural weapon (teeth)

Description:
Solitary rastipods inhabit Bajor's forests. Here they conceal themselves, waiting to ambush prey with particular ferocity. Occasionally they mistake sapient beings as prey, but usually realize their error before they clamp their jaws down on some unsuspecting hiker's neck.
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