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“I see that you are eyeing my leg, my young friend, likely wondering how I lost it and if you can take on this crippled old T’skrang. But Peg Leg K'prek, Cavalryman Extraordinaire! is not such an easy prey. Ah-Ah! I see by your blanching that you have heard of my exploits. Do not worry, my young friend, pay me a drink, listen to my tale and all will be forgiven.”
Overheard in a inn in Daiche
Anyone who has traveled more than a few days out of their village will be able to tell you, there is a lot out there to be discovered. What few people do not know are the many wonders that hide under the water of the Serpent River, not even the T’skrang who calls it home, knows all of its secrets. And some of those secrets are only known to a trusted few.
Now take the South Reach of the River, you’d think that House K’tenshin or House T’kambras would know all of its secrets by now, after all they’ve plied it up and down and all of the tributaries many of times, but still many of them would be surprised to see a Kes'trisoi let alone know what they are or even recognize the name.
The Kes'trisoi are an interesting creature native to the Tylon River, but they can sometimes be seen in the Serpent River and more rarely in the Servos or Byrose Rivers. The creature looks like some Drunk Passion tied to combine a shark and an octopus. The front half looks like a large river shark up to its dorsal fin and the lower half of its body is that of a huge octopus. It can deliver a powerful bite with their strong jaw and sharp teeth, and their skin is quite harsh and can cause severe cuts if not handled carefully. This makes them nearly impossible for anyone, except maybe Obsidimen, to grapple them safely. Because of this most Beastmasters, handlers and Cavalrymen use thick hide gloves, aprons and leggings when handling them. Only a true Master of the Kes'trisoi can handle them without such protection. It also has strong suckers on its arms and can grapple and hold its prey from any direction and bring them to its mouth.
A mature female will be roughly three and a half metres long, an adult male only about two metres long. They are usually found in pods of up to a dozen lead by a larger female. The pod is composed of two or three males and the rest are juvenile males and females. When the juveniles become sexually mature they are cast out from the pod. The females go and form their own pod (or steal it from another weaker female) and the male go and join a new pod. It is the only time where you may encounter them alone or in small numbers.
The female can be trained to carry a rider into combat thanks to their bigger size and more docile temperament. But more docile does not mean less dangerous, Many Cavalrymen and Beastmasters have lost a limb because they were not paying attention enough. The males on the other hand, makes for excellent guard animals or hunting packs, They are more aggressive, are quite alert and they will chase down their prey for miles before swarming them if needed. Weirdly enough, there are less lost limbs when dealing with males, probably because their aggressive natures makes the handler more cautious.
Now The important thing here though is not to confuse the Kes'trisoi for a Triphasoi. The Triphasoi is quite a different beast and far more dangerous. First the Triphasoi is a Horror Construct found in the Iontos River, they can also be seen in the other nearby rivers though. It is a solitary creature that is much larger averaging three and a half to four meters long, the front half is that of a bigger darker shark and it has spikes projecting from its gill, regarding the other half it is of a much darker color and the web between the arms goes down to about two third the length of them and the suckers have a sharp hook on them making for a much more painful and stronger grapple.
The old T’skrang shiftly looks around him, bends over and screws off his leg. He then pours a generous amount of a foul smelling liquid “Don’t mind the smell my friend, it is prime quality Hurlg, that I acquired from a friend of mine. Go on drink it!, You’ll need something stiffer than this watered ale for the rest of my tale.”
From the Thricewoven Flesh Forges in Iopos something more horrible than the Triphasoi has emerged. Those Denairastas will stop at nothing to increase their power of Namegivers. And one of their lesser known creations is the Octoshark. This creature can be found in the water-filled mining tunnels under the city as well as in the canal they have been building. They are either solitary or found in small packs of half a dozen at most. Passions know what will happen when they will reach the Serpent River.
The front of the Iopan Octoshark is that of the octopus up to slightly behind it’s eyes and their back is that of a shark from its tail up to just behind the front dorsal fin. An adult will be roughly 2.5 metres long, but often looks shorter as it usually swims with his arms gently flowing back along its body. Their arms are somewhat elastic and can easily reach something that is up to 2 metres away from them. From the octopus, it has its keen intelligence and the ability to change its color and texture to hide in its surrounding. They are venomous and their bite will painfully inject the venom in its prey.
The Iopans use them to guard and patrol the canal and to deal with some of the four and two legged vermins in the mine. They are ambush hunters and, if they can,they will not hesitate to grab a prey outside of the water and pull it towards them. They are able to survive outside of water for a short time, but the shark half makes them slow and not too agile. If seen outside of water, they can easily be outrun, however they will sometimes set themselves up so that their prey runs towards water where others are waiting.
Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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