Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 150’ (50’) Swim
AC: 6
HD: 5
Attacks: 1 bite, two claws or tail slap or two elbow slashes, or sonic bellow
Damage:  1d6+2+special (see description), 1d4+1 / 1d4+1, or 2d6+2 or 1d4 / 1d4 or 5d6 sonic damage
Save: L6
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: None

The myth of mermaids has been around for uncounted centuries. If one is to believe the actual origin, and it is strange enough to be true, horny sailors who spotted Sea cows and other similar marine life-forms thought that they were in fact half-fish women waiting to lure them to their deaths.

Few of the tales involving mermaids portrayed them as benevolent creatures. The rest of the tales showed them to be seductresses, who lured men into the water, where they would drown and the creatures would feast. It was really on the late 20th century where certain animated films tried to show the mer-folk as benevolent creatures.

There are several different types of merfolk inhabiting the oceans of the wastelands, and as is always the case, there are those who are not sure if they are the result of genetic tampering or just freaks created through the release of radiation and other toxins during the final wars.

These particular mermaids are usually found off the coast of Western Europe, although they have been known to haunt the Mediterranean. Some believe that they are neither a genetically engineered monster, nor are they the result of random mutation. There are tales abound of these creatures having existed since the earliest recorded histories.

Physically they have all the attributes of the typical mermaid. They are always female, and rather beautiful to behold. Unlike most mermaids however, the scales from their whale-like tails (most merfolk have fish-like tails) all the way up their torsos, only fading away once the scales reach chest-height. The gills are located low on the body, near the hips and their webbed hands are equipped with retractable claws. There are also small spine-like protrusions growing out of their elbows and partway up the forearm.

The creatures are pure carnivores, eating only meat and blood. It is not entirely sure if this is a metabolic requirement or if it is just their preferred source of food. They have never been witnessed eating anything but flesh and blood.

They are intelligent and are fully capable of speech, but it seems that all they wish to do is swim, frolic and eat, although they are known to seduce men from time to time for reproduction purposes. This act is almost always fatal for the unfortunate victim, as once the deed is done, they drown and devour the father. It gives the monsters a nasty reputation of being the ‘black widows’ of the sea. They have a hypnotic song that only males can hear. This is a mental attack and if the attack is successful, the male will claim to hear a beautiful song and will move at their regular speed towards the creature. It can be broken however by inflicting pain on the male (a sharp slap will typically do), and the victim is allowed a saving throw versus energy. If it succeeds, the victim snaps out of the trance. But as long as they are in the trance, they will walk (or swim) right up to the creature and allow it to ‘have her way’ with him.

On the extremely rare occasion, one of these creatures will fall in love with a particularly strong or comely male and will essentially make her his slave. She will use him to kill others and bring them their bodies and body parts to consume. There is a powerful bond between them and he will father many daughters with her. She will care for him and always protect him as well, and can even use her shriek to heal and bring him back from the dead (as long as he has not dropped below his constitution in negative hit points). The healing shriek will instantly heal 5d6 points of damage and she can do this once per day. 

In combat they are capable of using their hands and mouth to bite. The damage is not too significant, but combined with the paralytic poison they have in their saliva, this is often the downfall of those who engage in combat with these creatures. If that does not work, they are able to use a sonic bellow to wound and deafen would-be attackers. This attack causes 5d6 damage to anything within 30’ radius of the creature. Those inside the radius are allowed two saving throws. The first is for half damage from the sonic-based attack, the other is to avoid deafness (which will last 3d6 turns).

During combat, their faces change to resemble a more reptilian nature. The lips disappear to reveal the shark-like teeth and the scales emerge to cover the creature’s entire body. The monster uses this to intimidate and cause fear in the victims, as it is speculated that the hormones and chemicals released make the flesh and blood taste all the more sweeter to the creature.

Mating is short and brutal. These monsters will find a suitable partner and spray a cloud of pheromones into the air. This cloud is a powerful aphrodisiac and hallucinogenic, causing instant arousal in those who fail a saving throw versus poison. Failure also causes the victim to see the creature as whatever he finds most sexually appealing. The radius of the cloud is only 15 feet and will remain in the air or water for only 2d3 rounds. If the wind or current is strong, it will greatly reduce the length of time the cloud will remain.

The creature will leave the water and as soon as the victim has entered her, she will bite him, paralyzing the victim for 2d6 rounds. The creature will quickly milk him for all he has and then eat him alive. The creature will bite for maximum damage each round and continue to inject the paralytic poison into the victim, to ensure that they stay docile through the act.

After mating, the creature will then return to the sea, and in three months it will give birth to a daughter. The offspring will not have any of the father’s mutations, and they are always the same species as the mother. The youngster will stay with the mother until it reaches puberty at around 8 years of age, where it appears as a fully grown member of the species. After it leaves the mother it will stake out a region of coastline to call its own.

They have no use for treasure or artifacts. They also are quite nomadic and do not have a single location that they call home. They tend to live solitary lives, only occasionally coming together with members of their own kind to spread news and any information that may be critical towards their survival. These creatures are capable of speaking the common language of the region in which they live in, but are also known to speak Siren and Polly (see Wisdom from the Wasteland issue 6: Factions Bonus Content).

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), possession (modified), shriek (modified), toxic weapon. 

Source: Nymph (2014)

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.