Harley is back with more from his Purple Planet design diary. Today Harley goes further in depth on the weird and wild Purple Planet bestiary — be sure to follow Adventures on the Purple Planet on BackerKit now and be ready to face these foes, and countless more, when you return with us to the Purple Planet!
Beasts of the Purple Planet
By Harley Stroh
The Purple Planet offers no shortage of dangers to challenge parties exploring its high peaks, rugged hills, and shifting sands. Apart from the Kith and their Ascended Masters, and the land itself (keep an eye on our Twitch channel for upcoming shows that discuss this topic), there are the planet’s dread fauna. Uniquely adapted to the savage environs, they pose a threat to all those who dare to stride the wastes beneath the weirdling sun.
Strekleon: The leonine strekleon resemble enormous cats, covered in bristling, needle-like quills. Six-feet high at the shoulder, strekleons pounce upon their foes from a distance, bearing down on their targets with their crushing bite and rending claws. The beasts rely on their reflexes and spiked coats for defense; woe to unarmored characters that hurl themselves into close combat.
Strekleons hunt in prides, but each pride develops its own tactics and culture. Some prides make a practice of lying in wait, others run their prey down, and others slowly stalk for days, until their prey collapses from exhaustion and fear.
Most encounters with strekleons are driven by the beasts’ hunger. The beasts can sometimes be distracted by easier meals, but once the pride has committed to the hunt it is nearly impossible to avert an attack.
Gribb: Vulture-like, winged reptiles, adult gribbs have a wingspan reaching up to 8 feet. Their maws are filled with rows of small, sharp teeth, evolved for the tearing of flesh. Flocks are commonly found in the aftermath of kith battles, feasting on the flesh of the dead. However, gribbs are not above hunting the living; able to scent blood on the air from miles away, they flock to creatures weakened by wounds or the rays of the sickly sun.
Gribb nests are hollow mounds built of spittle and crushed bone. The nests stink of rotting flesh and entrails – regurgitated meals for the gribbs’ young. On occasion, some relics that are too tough to be digested or crushed can be found amid the carnage at the base of the mound. Stone weapons and tools are the most common, but determined treasure-seekers can sometimes emerge with greestone shards or an ancient raygun.
Kith legends tell of giant gribbs large enough to serve as mounts. If true, these beasts must be hidden in the high Ancestor Peaks, or are so rare that they are witnessed only once in a generation.
Death Orm: Mightiest of all the predators of the Purple Planet, the enormous worms swim the sandy wastes in search of greenstone shards. Defended by hard, chitinous hides, the massive orms mindlessly ignore most attacks, focusing solely on consuming the shards and whatever damned soul might be carrying them. Orms can attack from below, opening massive sand pits beneath war parties, or erupt from the ground to plunge down upon their targets. Terrible in their wrath, death orms can easily destroy an entire war camp in moments, devouring the greenstone-bearing commanders and scattering helpless kith in every direction.
Astute veterans of the weirdling sun can sometimes detect the tremors that presage an orm attack, and cagey veterans keep open bowls and buckets of moonmilk in camp for just this purpose. The orm’s approach sets off vibrations in the liquid, offering precious moments to prepare for the onslaught — whether to seek higher ground, pulling up ranks in defense, or casting away the greenstone shards, in a desperate attempt to draw the orms away.
What ancient mysteries are concealed by the Ascended Masters, and to what end do they wage their endless war? Discover these secrets and many more by backing Adventures on the Purple Planet — follow now to be ready when the campaign for the Purple Planet launches in February!