|Climate/Terrain:||Any space||Any space||Any space||Any space|
|Intelligence:||Animal (1)||Animal (1)||Animal (1)||Semi- (4)|
|No. of Attacks:||1||1||1||1|
|Special Defenses:||None||Poison gas||None||None|
|Size:||M (6’ long)||L (10’ long)||H (15’ long)||H (20’ long)|
|Morale:||Unsteady (5)||Unsteady (7)||Average (9)||Elite (13)|
Scavvers are long, fishlike creatures of space, dominated by a since huge, humanlike eye at the leading edge of the head, and a wide, sweeping mouth. General body details such as number of fins vary depending on the origin of the creature, but their behavior and general coloring divide them into four basic groups: gray, brown, black and void scavver.
Scavvers trail ships, asteroids, and larger creatures for droppings and refuse. They drift inside the air envelopes of these large bodies, so that as they move (often at high speeds) the scavvers move with them. The lesser scavvers are nuisances, their worst traits being that they suck up needed air. The larger scavvers are more deadly, in that they will often not wait for their meals to come to them. The eyes of the scavvers glow when they are awake.
Combat: The scavvers are built along the lines of minimum effort – they are little more than gullets with enough brains to point themselves in the right direction. Combat details are given for each type.
Habitat/Society: Most are lazy by nature, such that they will be found at the trailing edge of a small celestial body or ship, along the plane of gravity. Most scavvers travel in packs, drifting between the planets waiting for a free meal. Unless repelled, they will follow a ship until a better or larger target presents itself. Many large cities, like the Rock of Bral, have a permament scavver crew whose job it is to kill scavvers that come onto the Rock from arriving ships. The scavver crew is usually made up of ship captains and crews guilty of bringing these creatures in.
Ecology: In deep space, all scavvers can shut down their basic body functions, so that they require no air or food for long periods of time. In this fashion they drift until their paths collide with a passing ship or solar body.
The scavvers tend to avoid large planets, since flying against gravity is too much work. They are found in every known sphere and in the phlogiston as well.
The gray scavvers are the smallest and the least dangerous of the lot, though they travel in large packs. The appearance of grays in a ship’s air envelope is usually dangerous only because the grays will be using (and fouling) the air at a rate equivalent to an additional man per scavver. Usually they can be driven off by an armed party. The meat of gray scavvers is drab, but nutritious for those on long voyages.
The brown scavvers, which range from a sun-dappled gold to a dark rusty umber, are larger and only marginally brighter than the grays. The browns are pure scavengers, and will flee a particular bit of trash if challenged, only to return later. They have two abilities that make them less desirable than their smaller cousins. The first is that they can swallow a creature up to man-sized whole on an attack roll of 19 or 20. The gullet can hold a single man-sized creature (or two smaller than man-sized creatures).
Once a victim is swallowed, the poisons in the gullet cause the victim to save vs. poison or die in three rounds. A victim who survives can attack from within the scavver, provided a short (less than 3’) edged weapon is used. The scavver will take 1-6 points of such damage before returning its attacker to the outside world. Unfortunately, the starver does not learn from experience, and will try to swallow the same reluctant piece of food several times before giving up or dying. One weaponless mage who was swallowed by a scavvcr returned to the living world by using a potion of growth, splitting the creature’s gullet.
The other ability of the brown scavver is a small cloud of poison gas evacuated from the gullet against an attacker. Outside the gullet, the droplets of poison are less potent (+3 on saving throws), but no less deadly (save or die within three rounds). The brown scavver can do this once per day to a single target in front of it. Brown scavvers cannot be affected by their own poison, though the poison of other species of scavvers can affect them.
The flesh of the brown scavver is laced with its gullet poison; as a result, it is not eaten, but saved and used as poisoned bait for other scavvers. Most other space life will avoid dead browns, but gray scavvers will eat and die whenever the flesh is offered. A company of Shou dragonships has declared the brown to be perfectly palatable if prepared properly, and one captain swears to have served the scavver to the Emperor himself. Cynics believe that the Emperor had priests with detect, slow, and remove poison spells on hand, and that the captain was run back out into space as a result.
The night scavvers are generally black with spots of white along their length. With its dark flesh and white spangles, the night scavver fades in with the background of the void. This omnivorous version of the common scavver has the distressing habit of not waiting for food to come to it. It will sneak onto the deck of a ship and cruise about looking for loose food and other items. As a result, the belly of the night scavver is often littered with small but valuable debris, ranging from a few gold coins to perhaps a magical ring. The DM can determine the belly hoard of the scavver by using a randomly determined treasure type from J to U (roll 1d12), with a 1% chance of a magical item.
The night scavver is relentless in its quest for food, once committed, and while one will not attack an obviously crowded ship, it will slip on during the night watches and refuse to budge from its new location, even if threatened with superior physical force.
The night scavver can swallow creatures of up to man-sized in the same fashion as the brown scavvcr (an attack roll of 19 or 20). However, it lacks the gullet poison of the brown that pacifies that type’s prey. The night scavver makes up for this lack by its unusual reaction to efforts by swallowed creatures to carve themselves out of its belly. It brings the victim forward to its mouth, chews on it a while (one attack at +4), then sends it back down again. The interior wall of the night scavver is AC 7, and the night scavver will use this “cud-chewing” instinct whenever it takes any internal damage.
Night scavvers are considered delicious, and crews will often use open fires on the deck to roast them in celebration of planet-fall or a good voyage. As a result, they are considered a good omen at the end of a trip.
Void scavvers are jet black except for their single eye. They are the most dangerous of the breed, as they are man-eaters. While the other scavvers will be content with digesting a few kitchen scraps, the void scavvers will go after the cook. These creatures are solitary and have a fine, animal cunning for preying on their targets. They will find a lair hidden from most of the guards on a ship and use that as their base, treating the rest of the ship as their own personal icebox.
The void scavver can swallow up to large-sized creatures, and will do so on an attack roll of 18, 19, or 20. It has gullet poison similar to the brown scavver, but lacks the ability to expel it into the air. Its interior is AC 5, and it is possible for a victim to cut his way out with small hand-held weapons.
The void scavver is relentless, and will strip a ship clean if it can get away with it. It will batter down doors and hatches to reach its prey. Its sight, touch, and smell are superb, such that invisible creatures can be detected and attacked by the scavver without penalty. Legends tell of rare gargantuan void scavvers attacking full ships, ripping the hulls apart in search of food.
The void scavver is a solitary hunter, and will drive off other scavvers that threaten its prey. The void scavver will attack any of the other scavver types, and it will kill but not eat the brown starver.
Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:03:42 GMT
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