Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red in Tooth and Claw

The decimated systems and damaged worlds of the Zuran Expanse are stalked by several hostile sophont species. Among the most feared are the ssraad [ʂra:d], who claim the whole region as their own by reason of their supposed descent from the enigmatic zurr for whom the Expanse is named. Others have theorized that the ssraad are more likely a creation of the zurr—and perhaps their undoing. No biologic evidence of the zurr exists to prove or disprove either theory.

The three species of ssraad are differentiated by color and some morphological features, but all are bipeds with broad, wide-mouthed heads and bumpy skins, reminiscent of toads. The species exist in a state of mutual hostility. The two dominant species (the blue and the green) employ the reds in their warfare against other and other sophonts.

reconstruction of red ssraad image from visual cortex of victim

No. Appearing: 1-4
AC: 5
HD: 6
Saving Throw: 13
Attack Bonus: +6/+6/+6
Damage: 1d4/1d4 claws, 1d10 bite
Movement: 30’
Morale: 10
Red ssraad at nearly 2.5 m tall and have dull red skin. Though sophont, red ssraad act more like ravening animals than sapient beings. Often only their sadism gives them away. They do not build or create, but are capable of utilizing technology when necessary. Red ssraad are used as shock troops and terror weapons by the greens. They are phenomenal hardy and regenerate 2 hit points a round.

Red ssraad reproduce in an unsual way.  They parthenogenetically produce eggs that must incubate with a living host. Ssraad use their hollow tongues to inject eggs (40% chance) into a host on a bite that does damage. Once inside, the egg gestates for 3 weeks. After that, the host falls ill for approximately 24 hours with nausea and abdominal pain before the ssraad larva eats its way out of their body, killing them.


Tallgeese said...

Positively demonic!

Brutorz Bill said...

Run away!! Good stuff!

garrisonjames said...

They're really just misunderstood...

satyre said...

"In space nobody can hear you croak."

Awesome re-skin of a classic. :)

Gothridge Manor said...

Frogs and snakes always get a bad rap. Enjoying all these races.

Trey said...

Thanks guys.

@Garrisonjames - Perhaps..but they're still vicious killers.

@satyre - I saw Alien this morning, which made me think, why not?

@Tim - True, but it's deserved for these guys.

garrisonjames said...

Yep, their viciousness is a large contributing factor to their being misunderstood. That and their being total bug-nuts ravening monsters, but surely there are concerned activists and enlightened scholars out there who want desperately to understand the Red Sraad better, perhaps try to open up some sort of a dialogue--before being brutally slaughtered.