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Author Topic: The Mortnomer  (Read 1266 times)
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Agran Velion
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« on: 16 May 2011, 09:04:46 »

Basic Overview of the Beast
   The beasts of our world have always been easily categorized, oh there might be a bit of difficulty here or there, is it a serpent or lizard, or some such. Upon an expedition into the Despondmire, the Fen of Tears, of Silvermarshes, something…else has been found. It appeared in the shape of a deformed mullog, with the height of a dwarf, but, its behavior can mark it only as beast. This Mortnomer is a small, hairless abomination, the skin drawn so tight over its bones it can easily be mistaken for a skeleton. Eating the flesh of the dead has earned these cursed things the name flesheaters. 


Appearance

   Approximately a ped and a half is the estimated size of a Mortnomer, but is appears shorter because it is often hunched over. Due to a diet that gives them rare feedings, these animals are extremely scrawny, to the point they could easily be mistaken for skeletons. They are humanoid in form, appearing like a bald mullog, absent the considerable muscle strength the members of the race seem to be gifted with.

   These marsh creatures are very light, usually only a heb and a half, but this doesn’t seem very surprising, considering the lack of fat the beasts have. Despite said lightness, the bones are very strong, capable of resisting the swings of swords and maces for a considerable time.

   The Mortnomer has thin spiderlike fingers, with nails that grow up to a palmspan in length. Shockingly, these nails are very durable, and not likely to simply break off unless under extreme force(1) . While normally this would simply leave the victim of a Mortnomer with deep cuts, the flesheater is not none for its cleanliness, and its nails are coated in dirt and mud from the bug, so the cut will easily become infected if not treated immediately. This swamp beast has long sharp teeth, often decorated with strips of flesh hanging from the space between them, that is  capable of ripping the flesh from the bone and piercing through chainmail, although it is believed that the plate armor of a knight would be enough stop the frenzied beasts.


Special Abilities

   While the appearance of the Mortnomer would give rise to the belief that this animal is rather weak, the facts belay that thought. This humanoid is gifted with incredible strength, capable of, if in proper positioning, easily snapping a man’s neck or strangling him with its long fingers. This strength comes in handy as, due to the lack of food, the flesheater will kill whatever it can for its meal, whether that be a fish, a human, or another flesheater.

   Complimenting the raw strength of the beast is an incredible speed. The swiftness of this creature allows it too deal terrifying amounts of damages with its teeth and nails in a matter of seconds. Besides hunting, this swift pace allows the Mortnomer to move quickly through the marshes, covering up four leagues an hour. In the case of the Mortnomer being outmatched by a more dangerous animal(2) , this allows to escape the other predator quickly, and than return, undetected, for revenge.

Territory

This devilish animal is found only in the confines of the Silvermarshes, which would make them a rare enough site to travelers. However, the Mortnomers are mainly concentrated in the Despondmire, the supposedly ‘haunted’ bog that is avoided by nearly all residents of the marshes. While there may be the rare occasion of a flesheater or two venturing outside its territory, such an event is unlikely and the beasts are apt to stay in the mire. 

Habitat/Behavior

While everything stated before merely points to the Mortnomer as being merely a strange and dangerous animal, its behavior (specifically around its main ‘habitat’), marks it is as something else entirely. For the easiest explanation, the following is an excerpt from the journal of Compendiumist Agran Velion during his trip through the marshes.

After several hours of wading through knee high water and cutting our way through thick tangles of trees and other foul plants, our trackers finally came upon the layer of these damnable things (that I hereby refer to as Mortnomer, I figured only an orcish name could be so crude as to match these things’ behaviors). We were shocked to find them living in what could only be described as a village, several small shacks had been erected, although they were barely even that, being made of only a handful of sticks with plants and other flora forming a leaky roof.

I could see more than a score of Mortnomer inhabiting this little community, I wish I could say that, despite their foul look and difficultness in killing (one had claimed the life of two of my escort), they had formed a close knit and charming community, but I could do no such thing. Across the lair, flesheaters were fighting each other over what looked suspiciously like limbs, while others simply engaged each other in life or death battles simply for the fun of it. There were several attempts by the more ferocious Mortnomers to attempt to rape the (supposedly) female ones, but more often than naught they failed, the females being just as dangerous as their male counter parts.

I wish I could say that such things were the worst of what I saw, but I cannot lie (at least not my journal), I had glimpsed fouler things going on in this little village. A crying babe had drawn my attention away from a gang of the Mortnomers fighting, I was expecting an sweet and innocent child, possibly being devoured by the aptly named flesheaters, but…I was, and I hate to say it, disappointed. I saw instead, a disfigured and mutated youngling held to the breast of one of the beasts. For several moments I gazed at the scene before the realization of what was happening, these…things were nursing babes, deformed yes, but still babes! Had I larger escort I would have ordered them to charge the village and put it, and every Mortnomer, to the sword, but I had barely a score of men, and these things were ferocious in combat, I would not risk them swarming us. Instead, I resolved to get us out of there as quickly as possible.


While the Mortnomers nursing malformed babes seems farfetched, the Despondmire has long been a drop off point for anyone cursed with an unnatural child. Whether the Mortnomers are to be thanked, or cursed, for raising them, is the matter of one’ own opinion.

Diet

Due to the harsh living conditions, and scarcity of food of the Despondmire, the Mortnomers are believed to eat anything they have the ability to digest.(3)  However they seemed to particularly enjoy the taste of human flesh, and the Despondmire provides the perfect spot for such hunting(4) . While known as a place to rid oneself of twisted babes, the Fen of Tears carries an even more known as a drop off point for bodies, and as such, it is the preferred method of disposal for assassins, thugs, or angry spouses. This provides the Mortnomers with a near steady supply of flesh to steady their sickly appetites.

Since the bodies that the flesheaters encounter are dead, these beasts have acquired a love for fresher food, making travelling into the Despondmire dangerous for any traveler with blood running through his veins. The children that are found also provide a meal for these flesheaters, provided a ‘mother’ doesn’t claim the child first.

Mating

Since there has been little research done into the nature of the Mortnomer, the exact mating habits of the animal are unknown, but there is some information that has shed light on the mating techniques of the flesheaters. They are assumed to reproduce much like normal animals, but a pair of flesheaters do not seem to bond like some other animals do. Rather than court a female of their race, the male Mortnomers prefer rape, but this is actually a rare occurrence, as the females of the ‘packs’ are just as dangerous as males.

The more common way of the Mortnomer population growing is by nursing the malformed babes found by the mothers. The Despondmire has long had a history of being a place of dark magic, and it is not impossible that whatever sorcery is at play in the Fen has altered the nature of the Mortnomer, making it possible for some of the females to nurse infants, turning the young babes into flesheaters as well.

Myth/Lore/Origin (Optional)

Recent talks with a village of Mullogs  have unearthed a local myth about the origin of the Mortnomers. Centuries ago, for a forgotten reason, a group of mullogs, intent on hiding from their pursuers, fled into the Despondmire, where they knew they would never be followed. While they were correct that their pursuers would simply give up the chase, the magics that controlled the Despondmire did not take kindly too these invaders. The mullogs underwent a gastly transformation, they lost all of their hair, their teeth and nails grew, and their bones became unnaturally strong, but their tempers were what changed most of all. All traces of their former personalities were erased, until they were nothing but foul tempered demons, intent on violence.

Thus, the Mortnomers were born.

Researchers (Optional)

While there seems to be no one researcher who observed the Mortnomers extensively, fragments scattered about the Great Library were used to create the bulk of this entry. Supporting these fragments were the journal account and personal observations of Agran Velion(6)  one of the few people who dared travel into the Despondspire, and, to quote directly, will never do so again.


Footnotes
  1Ie: A mailed boot crushing it.
  2An unlikely, but possible, event.
  3Even each other.
  4Or rather, fishing.
  5The Compendium would like to thank the translators present during these talks, whose patient work has helped form this entry.
  6For whose language and attitude towards the Mortnomer’s we at the Compendium apologize for.
« Last Edit: 18 May 2011, 11:47:27 by Agran Velion » Logged

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Agran Velion
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« Reply #1 on: 18 May 2011, 11:47:57 »

Finished! You, my good friends, may now commence tearing it apart!  grin
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« Reply #2 on: 18 May 2011, 16:22:03 »

Quote
The beasts of our world have always been easily categorized, oh there might be a bit of difficulty here or there, is it a serpent or lizard, or some such.

This sentence isn't gramatically correct.  It should be at least two sentences if not three.

Quote
Upon an expedition into the Despondmire, the Fen of Tears, of Silvermarshes, something…else has been found.

The elipsis here is misplaced.  It should be at the end of the sentence.  Also, the "Demondmire, the Fend of Tears, of Silvermarshes" bit doesn't make sense.  Is that supposed to be a series or a specific place name?  Please clarify this.

Quote
It appeared in the shape of a deformed mullog, with the height of a dwarf, but, its behavior can mark it only as beast.

Should just be "marks" not "can mark."

Quote
While normally this would simply leave the victim of a Mortnomer with deep cuts, the flesheater is not none for its cleanliness, and its nails are coated in dirt and mud from the bug, so the cut will easily become infected if not treated immediately.

There are a few typos in this sentence

Quote
This swamp beast has long sharp teeth, often decorated with strips of flesh hanging from the space between them, that is  capable of ripping the flesh from the bone and piercing through chainmail, although it is believed that the plate armor of a knight would be enough stop the frenzied beasts.

Is should be are.  Also I think saying that they can rip through chainmail is a bit excessive.  Not even most weapons can puncture chainmail.

-Overall, I'd like a little more added to the description section.  I'm having a bit of trouble picturing what these beasts look like.  As of right now, all I'm getting is a really hungry Mullog or Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

Quote
While the appearance of the Mortnomer would give rise to the belief that this animal is rather weak, the facts belay that thought.

I don't think that belay is the right word to use in this sentence.

- As for its unnatural strength, would you mind providing some elaboration as to where it is believed this comes from.  If they are so frail in stature, being this strong doesn't make sense.  Maybe its rumored that it is the result of some sort of magical curse?  That could lead into a good myth as well.

Quote
The swiftness of this creature allows it too deal terrifying amounts of damages with its teeth and nails in a matter of seconds.

Damages should be damage.

Quote
Besides hunting, this swift pace allows the Mortnomer to move quickly through the marshes, covering up four leagues an hour.

"Besides hunting" doesn't make sense here.  Try something along the lines of "Besides assisting in hunting."

- Given the fact that you chose to place this beast in the Silvermarshes, which is already fairly developed, and its unorthodox nature, I think it would be best if you made it mythical.  Having it as an actual creature messes with the ecosystem and goes against the entries already established in the region.  As a mythical creature, there could be accounts of this beast lurking around the Despondmire from scared travelers, but no definitive accounts of its existence. 

If you don't want to make it mythical, I think you are going to have to tone down some of its abilities and make it a bit more orthodox so that it fits in with the region.

Quote
layer of these damnable things (that I hereby refer to as Mortnomer, I figured only an orcish name could be so crude as to match these things’ behaviors).


Layer should be lair.  Also, I'm not sure if a compendiumist would want to refer to orcs as "crude."  You'd offend many of your fellow workers.   ;)

Quote
We were shocked to find them living in what could only be described as a village, several small shacks had been erected, although they were barely even that, being made of only a handful of sticks with plants and other flora forming a leaky roof.


Yeah, this definitely isn't going to fly unless these beasts are listed as mythical.  I think you could to a lot of cool things with them in this classification as well.  You could portray them as a "cursed" settlement of Mullogs since you seem to be giving them a tribal nature.  Having this detail in the beast makes them seem sentient, which would classify them as a race, not a beast, which definitely isn't allowed.  So again, mythical is probably the way you want to take this entry.

I know I've only made it half way through, but I think I've given you a lot to look over and edit for now.  Once you've finished incorporating these edits and either switching the beast to a mythical status, or editing it to make it fit in the Silvermarshes, let me known and I'll give you another look over.
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