Randal here to talk about the rumors of a chimera making its home in the gorge at the southeastern portion of Marathis’ Cradle.
GM Note. Per the bestiary, their flight allows them quite the range from which to acquire food, mostly picking easy prey. I will touch on this, but it is worth noting in advance for you to remember if you run this (or any chimera). Additionally, it mentions that solitary chimera are usually young males trying to establish themselves, or females with cubs, and that when banded together they form prides as lions do. This implies that their central (read core) personality is that of the lion. I am breaking from this concept in a couple of ways, notably that it will be more draconic in nature and also less “pure evil” and more apt to react to situations with intelligence than an angry evil animalistic one.
The Mother. While pregnant, its mother was captured and imprisoned by a court sponsored mage intent on creating a new winged mount for their military. After her initial capture, she never spoke a word, knowing that speaking would only anger them, cause punishment, and endanger her young. This lulled them all into forgetting she was more intelligent than a simple animal. Their plan was to augment the raw power and intellect of the draconic genes while dumbing down the stubbornness of the goat. Overall, the experiment was a success when a litter of altered chimera pups were born that seemed to have all the traits assigned just as the mages had planned. While not overly intelligent, the mother had been through enough with the group to understand that while her children were not going to have happy lives, they were going to be fed and allowed to fly if they behaved, but that she was going to be imprisoned forever. When they came for her last pup, the runt, she heard her handler (a young mage’s apprentice named Roger) question his orders to dissect the runt. “Roger”, her voices echoed eerily, “Roger”, again, and again, as the apprentice took her last child. The hair on his neck stood up, he had no idea she could speak, he stopped, staring at her, frozen in fear. “Roger, let us go” she pleaded. A heartbeat skipped, then another. “Roger” she pleaded, and this time, the pup in his hands squeaked “RoRawr” trying to imitate its mother. This time, flight overtook fear, and he dropped the pup as he ran from the room screaming, leaving the door open. Mustering all her rage, she broke her chains, snatched her cub, and ran out the door and flew off into the night. Stopping only to avoid passing out from fatigue, she flew for days until she spotted a gorge that looked sheltered enough for a pup to grow and thrive. After landing near a pond with a cave up the cliff face, she fell asleep and never awoke. As an aside, when I was reading the Bestiary, it mentions that a chimera’s voice is combination of all three heads speaking simultaneously, and I imagine it to have a haunting quality to it, and so I imagine it to be like Nina/Alexander from Full Metal Alchemist.
The Runt. While the runt of its litter, it was by far the more advanced with three blue dragon heads. Only the center head has intelligence (and very much a draconic intelligence) as the other two heads are vestigial and simply mirror what the primary one does (no elemental bite or breath). Although containing draconic intelligence, surviving on its own has left it curious of its world as a young human, getting into trouble as it attempted to interact with the various denizens of the region and learning things the hard way. While it is in close proximity to the southern and eastern edges of the basin, it has strongly imprinted fears of leaving the basin, and so it will never venture south or east of the gorge. While this temperament allows it to feel at home in desert-like environs, it is smart enough to know that this is a much safer place to live and hunt, while also a place of nostalgia for its mother. Its home is a cave in the cliff on the gorge, overlooking a pond that is filled with numerous fish from the rivers that pass through the area, providing all the food it could ever need, but over the centuries it has developed a taste for the large flies and scorpions that can be found in the desert. If it weren’t for the enhanced draconic tendencies, it would likely never leave the gorge but for simple curiosity or an invigorating flight above. However, it does have the desire to hoard valuables, and so it pushes the boundaries of its domain ever further in search of something new to add to its collection.
Interactions. RoRawr, as it calls itself, is a creature of habit. Rock and Company has encountered it on several occasions over the years, and after a tense stand off, they were able to negotiate a truce with hit. When the giant desert flies appear during each full moon, all caravans must either be rerouted away from its favorite meals, or they must be willing to offer a meal that it hasn’t had before. So far, Rock and Company has managed to keep all caravans from an encounter as few roads travel far enough south, but there are rumors that a few stray travelers have not been so lucky. Additionally, various animals from the nearby mountains, such as deer or moose, have been known to frequent the rivers that feet the falls and ponds of the gorge, and so RoRawr has been seen stalking those waterways when they are fullest in spring. When the weather is exceptionally bad over a year, and the supplies of fish are low or just plain boring, RoRawr has been rumored to venture into the farmlands of the south … but those rumors haven’t been substantiated by anybody credible. What those rumors don’t say, but can be learned from a simple conversation with Rock and Company, is that RoRawr is cautious by default. It runs when attacks, fighting back only if cornered or able to easily defeat its enemy. Anybody wishing to converse with it merely need to speak politely in draconic and offer a gift of food, the rarer the better. Over time, trust can be earned, as has happened with Rock and Company, if one wishes to work at it long enough. Additionally, it is unknown if Perry and RoRawr have been in contact (or for how long), but Perry is well aware of RoRawr and does not seem to be the slightest bit concerned by their proximity to one another. In fact, if asked the right questions, he seems to be quite fond of RoRawr.
The Hoard. As with many draconic creatures, RoRawr has a hoard of its most valued possessions. Unlike true dragons, due to its unfortunate entry into the world, its most prized possession is the skeleton of its mother. Over the years, as it hunted bigger and stronger prey, bringing them back to the lair to eat, it decided that it would amass a collection unrivaled by any other creature in the gorge, and eventually the basin. Make no mistake, each and every piece of this collection is as important to it as gold is a true dragon, and it will fight to the death to defend it and hunt to the ends of the earth to recover it; especially those of its mother. While this may seem very strange, and possibly morbid to many, it only inherited the desire to hoard things, but had nobody to guide its concept of value and so like a baby bird imprinting on the first thing it sees, it latched onto this as a concept of wealth. Particularly shrewd people can use this to their advantage in dealings with RoRawr if they have access to bones or skeletons from places beyond its range, just as particularly cruel individuals can use pieces of the hoard as a way to gain power over and command it.
I hope you have enjoy this idea as much as I do. As always, please continue to join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj.