|Bloatfish||Black Burner||Spiny Sleeper||Icetail||Crystal Sipper|
|Climate/Terrain:||Arctic oceans, rivers of the Great Glacier||Arctic oceans, rivers of the Great Glacier||Arctic oceans, rivers of the Great Glacier||Arctic oceans, rivers of the Great Glacier||Arctic oceans, rivers of the Great Glacier|
|Frequency:||Rare||Uncommon||Very rare||Very rare||Very rare|
|Organization:||School||Solitary or small school||School||School||School|
|No. Appearing:||10-40||1 or 3-12 (3d4)||10-40||10-60||10-40|
|Movement:||Sw 6||Sw 9||Sw 15||1, SW 6||˝ hp|
|Hit Dice:||1 hp||1-2 hp||˝ hp||˝ hp||20|
|No. of Attacks:||Nil||Nil||Nil||Nil||Nil|
|Special Defenses:||Nil||Nil||See below||See below||Nil|
|Magic Resistance:||Nil||Nil||Nil||Nil||T (1” long)|
|Size:||T (1-2’ long)||T (1-2’ long)||T (1-2’ long)||T (6” long)||Unreliable (2)|
|Morale:||Unreliable (2)||Unreliable (2)||Unreliable (2)||Unreliable (2)|
The oceans and rivers of the Great Glacier teem with a wide variety of aquatic life, including several unique species of fish.
The species discussed below are all 2 feet or less in length; the tiny crystal nipper rarely exceeds a quarter of an inch. All thrive in the icy waters of the Great Glacier.
Combat: None of these fish are aggressive; all swim from danger as fast as possible. Even the deadly crystal nipper and spiny sleeper are passive, posing a threat only to the careless or unlucky.
Habitat/Society: All of these fish tend to organize themselves into schools of various size. None are particularly territorial, swimming freely throughout the rivers and seas of the Great Glacier. All reproduce by laying thousands of tiny eggs.
Ecology: The fish subsist on waste matter, plankton, or whatever other organic matter they can scavenge. All are edible by humans and quite delicious, though some, such as the spiny sleeper, must be handled with caution.
The bloatfish resembles a white manta ray with a balloon-like organ swelling from its belly. The diameter of the balloon organ is equal to or slightly larger than the length of the fish. The balloon organ is always filled with water, and because of the fish’s unique body chemistry, the water is always fresh. Fishers lucky enough to catch a bloatfish sometimes carry the frozen corpse with them, sipping fresh water from its balloon organ by puncturing a hole in the side of the fish. When the balloon organ is empty, the fish makes a satisfying meal.
The black burner is not a fish. It is actually a small marine mammal. With its chubby black body, puckered blowhole, and wide mouth, the black burner looks exactly like a miniature whale. The black burner has skin instead of scales, and secretes oil through tiny pores. Oil covers the entire surface of the black burner, preventing it from freezing when removed from the water. If the corpse of the black burner is ignited, it burns steadily for 3-12 (3d4) hours, providing light and warmth equivalent to a small camp fire. Alternately, about a cup of oil, which can be burned later as fuel, can be drained from a black burner corpse.
Tiny silver spines cover the body of this plump fish, which has a white belly and long whiskers like a catfish. If a character (or creature) handles the sleeper carelessly (for instance it a character not wearing gloves or other protection fails a Dexterity check), a spine may pierce his flesh, injecting him with a powerful toxin. If the affected character (or creature) fails to save vs. poison, he immediately suffers the effects similar to a temporal stasis spell, and an ice-like glaze forms over his body. Neutralize poison or a similar spell negates the effect, as does certain herbal treatments known by some Ulutiun healers.
To the casual observer, the icetail doesn’t look like a live fish at all, but a fish skeleton with a few shreds of bluish tissue hanging from its ribs. Closer inspection, however, reveals the creature to have an actual body, complete with head, fins, and tail, all as transparent as glass. The icefish is also cold to the touch – so cold, in fact, that if a character touches a still-living icefish with his bare flesh, he suffers 1 point of damage. A dead icefish acquires the temperature of the immediate environment. Icefish may be cooked and eaten (or eaten raw, though their uncooked flesh is extremely bitter), but if they aren’t thoroughly cooked for at least six hours, the eater risks extreme indigestion (the eater must make a successful Constitution check or suffer stomach cramps for the next 24 hours, making all attack rolls and ability checks at a -2 penalty; movement rates are also reduced by half).
A distant cousin of the rot grub, the crystal nipper looks like a tiny eel made of blue crystal. It is instinctively drawn to warm bodies and attempts to burrow into any area of exposed flesh; a victim has the same risk of death as if attacked by a rot grub (death in 1-3 turns unless flame is applied to the wound, causing 1-6 points of damage, or cure disease is cast). The biggest danger from the nipper results from its ability to survive out of the water for short periods of time. At night, nippers sometimes surface and crawl onto the shore, advancing towards any nearby warm bodies (such as sleeping campers) at a movement rate of 1. Because of the nipper’s anesthetizing secretions, sleeping victims may not realize they have been attacked by a nipper until it’s too late. Fortunately, nippers can only survive out of water for an hour, so campers sleeping some distance away from a body of water where nippers are thought to exist are usually safe. Tiny blue worm corpses scattered near the shore of a river or lake is a sure sign of nippers in the area.
Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 11:56:53 GMT
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