|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Damage/Attack:||1d8+1 (weapon) or 1d3 (bite)|
|Special Attacks:||Formation attack|
|Size:||L (7’ tall)|
Sligs are wide-jawed humanoids of the desert wilderness. Male sligs are tall and muscular, standing seven feet tall and weighing more than 300 pounds. Their skin color varies from a sickly white to tan and deep brown. Long red or auburn hair grows on their heads, forearms, and thighs, and sometimes on the back and rump as well. This hair is sometimes braided but more often left long. They have no ability to store fat in their bodies, so are especially lean in appearance.
Sligs seldom stand to their full height, instead adopting a hunched posture that allows their arms to assist in locomotion. Their arms and legs are extremely powerful. Their hands have a thumb and three very long fingers, each tipped with blunt black claws. Their heads are tapered at the top giving way to an extremely wide, but not protruding jaw. Their teeth are nasty, broken, and yellow, and are always displayed in a maniacal grin. Their eyes vary in color from black to silver beneath thick, almost reptile like ridges. Female sligs are similar in appearance, but much smaller, standing about 5 feet tall. Their hair is always braided, and their skin color is very light, usually white or tan. All sligs wear clothing made from animal skins and leather and carry their possessions in pouches. Different clothing denotes rank within the war band.
Sligs have a spoken language, but the number of concepts and words is limited to the essential concepts of their simple existence. Humans can learn slig speech, though no slig has ever done the reverse. There is no written version of the slig language. To facilitate the hunt and kill, male sligs have a telepathic communication. The telepathy is instinctive, restricted to necessary communication about the hunt and formation attacks and it cannot be used to send or receive any other messages.
Combat: Sligs are individually impressive, but not invincible. What makes them particularly formidable is their ability to attack in concert with one another, seeking out new and interesting ways to corner and kill their prey. Those appearing in any encounter are a war band of males. Females and young are found only in the lair. Females flee with their young when discovered and never fight.
Sligs fiaht with bone swords or wooden spears tipped with bone or chitin points. Either weapon inflicts 1-8 (1d8) points of damage plus 1 point because of the great strength of the attacking slig. When they have no weapons, sligs can also attack with their bite. The wide row of front teeth inflict 1-3 points of damage.
Sligs also have an instinctive ability to fight in small formations, using special talents to make the group more effective than the individuals. A slig formation consists of five sligs – two armed with swords, three armed with spears. The sword-armed sligs stand close in the front rank, while the spear-bearing sligs take up the back. The two outer spearbearers can attack to either side of the front rank sligs, while the center one attacks between them. The slig telepathy allows them to move without breaking the formation and lets them wield their weapons in such a rhythm that they never interfere with one another. All five sligs in a formation can attack any creature that either of the front rank sword-armed sligs can attack. If any of the sligs fall in combat, others can fill in the gaps. These sligs can attack without penalty in the round they join the formation. Sligs can also combine formations to attack a single target or use multiple formations or individual warriors to protect the flanks of those in combat.
Sligs also employ a number of unique tactics to best defeat their prey, especially prey that is ultimately stronger than they are. This is not a complete list of Slig tactics. Sligs pride themselves in devising new tactics, and such are the exclusive conversations around slig campfires.
Baiting: Sligs are clever enough to know what adventurers want – teasure, metal, and even the mundane such as water or food. They have been known to move ahead of traveling adventurers to set up obvious caches of such items just to catch them off their guard. These caches are most often set into ditches or ravines so the slig can surround from above, gaining the obvious height advantage. The cache can be as simple as a half-buried barrel or crate or as elaborate as the mock wreckage of an ambushed caravan, complete with slain animals and smoldering wagons.
Kidnapping/Theft: Sligs also know of something more tempting than an item never possessed, and that is something a traveler has lost. Sligs set up complicated schemes to sneak into camps to snatch valuables or even unwitting prisoners, then beat a hasty retreat, leaving an easy-to-follow trail. Again, they lead the pursuers to a remote point where they can take advantage of the terrain in combat, such as to rocky badlands or deep wadis. There is little hope for prisoners taken by sligs unless the pursuers can catch up to them in time.
Track Ambush: When no travelers readily present themselves, sligs entrench along a common track and wait. Sligs dig their own separate holes, barely large enough to get into with their weapons, then their fellows cover it with a hide stretched over a frame. The hide is camouflaged with sand, rocks, and scrub and the sligs wait patiently for passersby. The ambushers use their telepathy to launch the assault silently, yet simultaneously. The sligs between Urik and Raam were so successful that the merchant houses there, Stel and M’ke, put a bounty on them to clear them from the area. Many coins later, sligs are as plentiful as ever across the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes.
Habitat/Society: The war band is leaderless. There is no hierarchy among the warriors. The natural telepathy gives the sligs more cohesion and “leadership” than any chieftain could provide. Tactics are instantly conceived and executed by the collective group of warriors. Slig warriors within the band keep track of major kills using ritual scarring along the forearms and calves, but individual success merely dictates mating rights, not leadership, during the hunt.
Unlike most creatures of the sand wastes, sligs are actually sedentary monsters, preparing permanent homes from which they deploy their war bands. They are very adaptable to their terrain, taking advantage of the best of the local features to create a permanent, safe living environment. Sligs in the rocky badlands, for instance, pile stones and slabs beneath natural outcroppings to form the basis of their dwellings. Their architecture is crude and they have no bonding materials such as cement, but such lairs are sturdy and present formidable defenses. Sligs nearer to the mountains most often seek out caves that they widen and expand for their own uses. Slig miners seek out metal digging tools among their victims.
The slig family unit is everchanging. Slig females take mates three times per year and each time with a different male based on his most recent performance on the hunt. This way, consistently good hunters get the opportunity to father more children than less successful ones. Slig communities are not given to cooperating with one another, and it is extremely rare that a slig from one community can gain acceptance into another.
When not hunting, slig males are also crude craftsmen. They use available materials to fashion their weapons, the spears and swords of the attack formations, hewing them from stone or bone depending on what is available. Sligs use every bit of their kills, including the hides. From them they create leather harnesses and pouches, shelters, and blankets. By human or dwarven standards, slig craftsmanship is primitive, but it provides them with the tools they need to survive. They supplement their own tools with those they take from their victims. Sligs never leave anything valuable at the site of the kill unless they are forced to retreat. A slig warrior likely has some item taken from another, more technological race.
Ecology: Ecology: Slig females mate three times per year. Gestation takes three months, after which she gives birth to a single child. Twins and triplets are also possible, with roughly the frequency common to human births. The young mature quickly, growing to self sufficiency within the community in just six months and then to full maturity in just one year. To achieve this growth slig children eat ravenously of the kills brought back by the hunters. The saying “sligging down” one’s meal comes from the few who have witnessed the inside of a slig community and lived to tell about it.
Sligs cannot naturally store fat within their own bodies, so they must feed constantly. The hunt follows a thrice daily cycle – the dawn hunt, the midday hunt, and the midnight hunt. Kills are taken immediately to the community where females and children are allowed to dine first, followed by the hunters. A slig that doesn’t get nourishment for three days will die of starvation. But sligs have a natural ability to recycle their bodily fluids, so need surprisingly little water considering their environment and activity level.
Alchemists have noted the pseudopsionic nature of the slig telepathy and seek specimens with which to experiment. It is believed that slig blood or marrow is actually a stimulant to psionic activity, but these are just old wives’ tales. Serious attempts by alchemists to prove them right, however, have made sligs quite valuable. Some in Raam and Balic have offered as much as 20 cp for a live slig.
Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:04:23 GMT
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