This post follows on from A River Runs Through It. We left the characters in the water in a fast flowing river, going over rapids and generally up the creek without a paddle.
I was once told the general anatomy of a story is ‘Put the hero up a tree, throw stones at him and then get him down again.’ Now it is time to throw some stones metaphorically speaking at the characters.
It is entirely possible that one or more of the characters may have drowned by this point. If you had one character go overboard early on during the river run they could have gone under and drowned long before the last character goes overboard. For now, we will let them believe they have drowned. Think of them as being unconscious rather than dead as that may have implications regarding automatic spells.
So everyone is by now in the water. Some have drowned others are keeping their head above water. We are not just going to wait for them to drown. Those that are still with us will feel something brush their legs under water. They can maybe see some massive sort of fish maybe six to eigth feet long and silver green moving deep below them. More seem to a circling and coming closer.
Let the characters worry for a couple of rounds and then have the first one feel a hand grab an ankle and drag them down. I would have a knot of the forms grab the characters attention in front while the first attack comes from below and behind!
As the character goes under they will get the first real look at what has them and it looks like merfolk! These though are bigger than your usual half man half fish types. That does depend rather on whether your characters have ever met any merfolk before.
What we have here are freshwater merfolk. These are bigger and more deadly cousins of the more common saltwater variety.
Any characters that have previously been ‘drowned’ have actually been rescued by a naiad. This water spirit has cast waterlungs on them once they were unconscious and towed them to a safe underwater cave. The naiad wants the merfolk gone from her river and the characters landing in her lap are the opportunity she has been waiting for. Once the merfold attack she will revive any unconscious ‘drowned’ people and quickly convey to them not to ask questions but go save their friends. The characters should then see the scene of the surviving characters being attacked and circled by the merfolk.
Freshwater Merfolk – Found in treacherous waterways such as rapids and below waterfalls; 6’6″–8’6″ from head to fin.
Crippling Flaw (Must totally immerse once a day in water, –10 to all activities for each missed day (at –80 a coma ensues, at –100 death occurs).
Innate Spell Caster, has the following mentalism lists to their own level. Speed (closed mentalism), Self Healing (open mentalism), Attack Avoidance (open mentalism). They gain 3PP/level.
The fair skin of a merman’s torso blends at the waist into the silver and green shimmering scales of their fish’s tail. Freshwater Merfold are very uncomfortable above water but can breath air if they must. They are fond of sunlight and like to bask in shallow streams.
Unlike their sea born cousins they do not build manors and palaces. They are much more ‘barbaric’ by comparison. Freshwater merfold wear strings of animal skulls, bones, precious stones, or gems as raiment. Average lifespan is 30 years.
|Attacks||95 Melee/60 MCl 30|
For weapons they prefer daggers, knives, short swords and short spears. Things that do not compromise their manoeuvrability in the water or weigh them down.
Next time we will put the characters in even more trouble.