Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 4d10
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 120’ (40’)
AC: 5
HD: 8
Attacks: 2 punches, 1 head-slam, 1 bite
Damage: 1d8+3d6 / 1d8+3d6, 2d6+3d6, 1d6+3d6
Save: L10
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: VI (gold only, 80%), VIII x5 (75%), Xx5 (85%)

Found in forested regions near ruins, these mutant apes tend to be serious menace to travellers and those who make a living scavenging the ruins. These creatures are very simian in nature, having long arms, immense strength and are very territorial.

And they love gold.

These creatures are obsessed with gold. They will continually waylay travelers for any gold the hapless victims are carrying, as well as any electronic devices, since these tend to use gold in their circuitry and wiring.

The average specimen is about five feet in height and powerfully built. The arms are long, nearly touching the ground, and they have powerful fangs jutting from the upper jaw. More mature members of this species likewise have large curved horns, which they can use to great effectiveness. The flesh is a uniform onyx color, and the eyes are small, golden orbs, deeply inset into the face. The nose is almost non-existent.

Although they live in forests, it is not uncommon for the creatures to venture into the ruins, searching for gold. They are immensely strong and can easily tear open safes and vaults, revealing the gold stored inside, typically leaving the other precious metals, artifacts and gems that one would usually find.

On average a group will consist of up to 40 members, and the entire group is led by a single  male, typically the largest, strongest and most aggressive. Unlike many alphas, this male does not take all the females for himself, usually having but one mate for life. The rest of the community will pair-bond and produce offspring, although the young are raised by the entire group.

The area they live in is quite messy, covered in gold and the items they have taken from those they ambushed and killed. There are also mounds of stripped electronics all around, the gold having been pulled from the circuits and internal components. All the trees tend to be covered in coins and filaments, as the creatures like to ‘decorate’ their home with their ill-begotten gains.

These areas can be a treasure-trove – not just for the gold, but the items the creatures have obtained. Nothing is in perfect condition, and many are at condition level 0 or 1, requiring extensive repairs, but this does not stop anyone from trying to get to these treasure troves.

The creatures, as stated are very aggressive and will attack anyone foolish enough to enter their territory. They will gladly kill and strip all weapons and technology from those who they encounter, leaving the bodies (after they have eaten their fill) to rot and be fought over by scavengers. All items are carried back to their homes, where the gold is systematically stripped away and hung as decorations.

In combat the largest male will challenge anyone who enters his territory. He will fight, using two powerful bashes, a head-bash and a bite. If his opponent turns out to be too tough, he will hoot loudly, drawing the rest of his community to join in the battle. This typically requires 1d3 rounds for the rest to arrive.

If anyone attempts to flee, they will pursue, for no more than three miles before finally giving up and turning back. If the target is carrying significant amounts of gold (at least 200 GP or more) they will redouble their efforts (their speed increases to 180’ (60’) and they will not stop until they have caught the prey, or have been killed.

If they have one serious weakness it is fire. Their blood is highly flammable, and if any have open, bleeding wounds, and they are hit with a thermal weapon, the blood will explode in a 30’ radius, inflicting 5d6 points of damage. Each creature with an open, bleeding wound caught in this explosive radius must make a saving throw versus energy or likewise explode, dying instantly. Those who do not have any open wounds are allowed to save, but if the save fails they take 5d6 points of damage instead of dying.

When they encounter open flames, the creatures must immediately make a moral check or be forced to flee. They will not return until the source of the fire has been extinguished or removed.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), increased physical attributes (Dexterity and Strength), simian deformity, unique senses (detect precious metals – 500’ radius), vulnerability (thermal)

Source: Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)