Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Slys-ayr, Spider-Man from Hell!!!!
I created another ecology for Untold: The Game recently that was recently featured on their website and thought I would share this deadly creature. The slys-ayr can be used in almost any role playing game as a foe or even a race. Enjoy!
The Awesome art is by Chris Miscik
Forest, ruins, cave
There has always been an arms race between nations, since there have been nations, since one cave man decided he needed a bigger club than his neighbor. The slys-ayr are a product of the arms race between nations before the Event: an arms race to build a better soldier. The attempts to create better soldiers met with varying degrees of success from the barbaric, sometimes animalistic Churl to the disciplined, yet unpredictable High-bred. Every nation in the world attempted to create some variant of the super soldier. Norway, the Russian states, Greece, all tried to create a better soldier; Brazil created the slys-ayr.
The notes from Nazi experiments conducted after the Second World War in Brazil and Argentina made their way into the hands of both governments, to be perfected as technology reached the heights the Third Reich only dreamed of. The use of genetic splicing and DNA research had already advanced to the dangerous point of creating chimeras and giving birth to extinct species when the research into creating a more perfect human was in practical trials.
Taking the genetic material from various arachnid species, the attempt was to create something akin to a comic book super hero; what they got was something from a Saturday creature feature. Created as a jungle combatant, mostly in answer to Argentinean encroachment and Columbian raids, the slys-ayr were perfect for the verdant environment.
It was not until long after the Event, however, that the slys-ayr were freed from the coccoon-like stasis-pods in which they had been held. Legend has it that a foolish tribe of pgymy Churl from South America stumbled upon the strangely unearthed pods and unknowingly unleased the first of the slys-ayr horrors into the light. The slys-ayr are human in build and general size, though slender and wiry with a semi-hard carapace covered in small bristling hairs. Slys-ayr stand between one and a half meters to nearly two meters, weighing in a slight 45 to 70 kilos, with six three fingered clawed arms and a pair of legs that end in two toed talons. The features of the slys-ayr are hideously human with a pair of poison dripping pincers erupting from the sides of a fang filled mouth.
Deceptively strong and dizzyingly agile, the slys-ayr have the capability to spin webbing in complex traps and designs. The poison that they can inject from their mandibles is a neurotoxin, causing paralysis and, in those of weaker constitution, painful death. All the skills and traits the slys-ayr inherited from the arachnid experimentation made them effective ambush warriors and jungle fighters, it also made them complete sociopathic monsters, with no regard for humans except easy prey.
The slys-ayr are deadly: using all six limbs in concert during hand to hand fighting. The ergonomics of the slys-ayr's hands are not designed to hold firearms, or use more primitive ranged weapons such as bows. Their lips cannot form a seal to use blow guns favored by the deep jungle Churls of the Amazon. This lack of manual dexterity is compensated easily by the crude hand to hand weapons they do employ: flint headed spears, long bone knives and metal machetes when they can be obtained; even blades created from their own webbing. With their ambidexterity, fighting a single slys-ayr is like battling several foes at once.
The slys-ayr produce webbing from glands within the upper pair of arms, extruding the strands from orifices within the palms of the appendages. Through team work and skill, the slys-ayr use the webbing to create blinds, traps, and snares. The webbing has the tensile strength of a strand of steel twice its thickness and alternates from the cable-like substance to the sticky strands that would rend the flesh off bone for one trying to break its hold on them. The skill of the web weavers and the strength of the webbing allow the creatures to actually "forge" weapons from the webbing. The blades and bludgeons created by slys-ayr webbing is as fatal and sharp as any forged of steel, yet lighter and more durable in the humid environs.
One third of the slys-ayr are born with flexible, veined membranes that spread between their multiple limbs, attached to the thorax, allowing these "elite" creatures to glide and maneuver in the air. With their tree dwelling habits the gliders are the strong first defense of any slys-ayr community. They can deploy quickly to engage a foe while the "grounded" members can follow as they can. The gliding wings allow for a tree dodging agility that is utilized to take the unwary by surprise.
As the slys-ayr are primitive, using only natural weapons they are very conscious of the technological advantages that their enemy may possess over them and prepare accordingly, removing the tactical advantage of firearms and introducing their own in hand to hand combat. They use their web creating ability to make elaborate mazes in the jungle to herd prey into a chosen killing ground. Like arachnids, the creature can move about its own webbing without becoming ensnared, so a favorite tactic is to design a web across a road or known path near the twilight or early dawn hours to catch the unwary patrol, or traveler. Once trapped, the prey is easy victim to the attacking slys-ayr.
Slys-ayr are not social creatures, though they can coordinate and move in groups of two to two hundred sometimes forming loose-nit communities. The slys-ayr live in the leafy tops of jungle growth where they can find safety to weave their nests from their webbing and the surrounding vegetation; creating honeycombed structures from tree to tree when several form a band. These bowers can be very complex but always well concealed, even the great cable and intricate webs that connect separate platforms are hard to distinguish from the surrounding vines and branches.
The leaders are invariable female, as they are larger and more aggressive than the males of the species. The only way to distinguish females from the males outside of size is the female slys-ayr has a greater flare to their hips; this is just a vestigial trait from their human ancestry and no longer serves the purpose in aiding child birth. Reproduction among the arachnidan monstrosities is a thing of horror and any afflicted by it would be best served with a swift death. Slys-ayr reproduction involves impregnating a host with the egg. A female will implant as many eggs as there are hosts available. The male follows behind to complete fertilization. The living host is held suspended in a web cocoon as the larva grows and feeds until it emerges from the host as a miniature version of its parent, fully capable of fending for itself as it grows to full maturity within two years.
The slys-ayr are natural predators, with few enemies save men. Though the only creature that the slys-ayr seem to actually fear are klik, with their armored, mechanical bodies, they are immune to all but the most punishing of physical damage that the slys-ayr can cause. The klik do not have the human revulsion and fear of the spider-creatures, with the high-powered saw blade attachments that many klik possess they are little threatened by webbing, no matter how strong. Their logic engines that serve as brains do not become disoriented by the maze structures of the slys-ayr. Many human units that hunt the slys-ayr try to form alliances with klik for that very reason.
The silk webbing that the slys-ayr produce would have numerous practical uses, from the obvious cable and rope manufacture to the weaving of malleable armor from the strands, to the application of super adhesives. No one has thought of a way to harvest the substance at the present time.
The slys-ayr are deadly and cunning; vicious and merciless. Devoid of humanity they live to devour, destroy, and feed. What's far worse, however, is the fact that they are spreading...