Monday, March 5, 2012

Monster Monday: Orknies

Orknies are creatures most commonly encountered in the stories told in the courts, taverns, and brothels of Kars.  These tales most commonly concern unlucky women who marry a rich noble from the Northern Isles only to find out he's a blubbery, murderous thing whose castle is under the sea.  This is what counts in Kars as satire.

Fishermen in the Northern Isles know better.  Tales of Orknies, or as they call them the Sea Things, in those regions take a far darker turn.  It is said that the fiends waddle up to seaside houses at night and peer in through the windows.  Many say they've heard them muttering in some incoherent language which sounded both soothing and frightening.  Whenever a child or young maiden goes missing, Orknies are almost always blamed.  Some of the more disreputable and mad sailors claim they've sen a vast, underwater city in which the Orknies play with drowned children, but who can believe those drunkards.

To avoid being taken, coastal villages will often leave animal sacrifices on the beach in the hopes that those carcasses will satiate whatever dark pleasures the Orknies wish to indulge.  The Church has placed a ban on such action, believing that it is a Pagan rite whose days are long past.  Surely the God of Law would protect the innocent from molestation, say the priests.  The peasants are less convinced.

Those few who know of Orknies in the Dark Country primarily know them as a heraldic device.  Noblemen from the Northern Isles often ironically adopt them as their colors, a habit the majority of the West finds quaint at best and that the peasantry of Kars finds sickening.

No. Appearing: 1 (3d6)
Armour Class: 14
Hit Dice: 2+2
Move: 60'/120' (swim)
Attacks: 2 (flipper 1d4 and see below), or Gaze (see below)
Morale: 6
Alignment: Neutral

Orknies are bloated, blubbery monstrosities possessing a vaguely humanoid shape and terrifying appetites.  They stand roughly half a head taller than a man, and  their gate is a gross, undulating waddle.  Some scholars claim they are sexless, but others claim that the presence of something resembling facial hair on some points to a difference between male and female creatures.

Despite their generally clumsiness on land, Orknies can be eerily silent when they want to be.  At night or in other dark places they gain surprise on a 1-3 on 1d6.  They are found of dragging off victims -- usually young children or beautiful maidens.   Their beady, imbecilic eyes posses a strange power, and any human or demihuman 1 or less hit die must save vs. paralysis or be unable to move or speak for 3d6 rounds.  The Orkney may make two attacks with its flippers.  If both hits are successful, the target is grabbed and silenced (since Orknies always make sure to wrap one of their flippers around the victim's mouth).  Before entering the water they employ an air-tight bag made of an unwholesome, leathery material that both muffles the victim and provides he or she with what scholars believe to be an endless amount of breathable air.  These devices, when captured, do not seem to work in the hands of non-Orknies.

Orknies are cowardly beasts, and will usually flee at the first sign of armed resistance; however, if they have any victims grabbed they will not release them unless slain.  What they do with the poor women and children they take to the depths is best left to the imagination, for the reality is far too terrible for this blog post to relate.

EDIT:  It has come to my attention that I have neglected their unnerving habit of tapping on windows during stormy nights.  There. Now you know they do that.


  1. Noblemen from the Northern Isles often ironically adopt them as their colors, a habit the majority of the West finds quaint at best and that the peasantry of Kars finds sickening.

    "an orcnie rampant proper, pizzled vert"

    1. I imagine they have silly hats on, but I'm not a coat of arms designer.

    2. what would the hat look like?


  2. These really are just unreasonably spooky.

    1. This is one of those comments that lets me know I did my job right.