New Mutant Monday #10 - Worca

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 5d4
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: Land 150’ (50’)
                    Water 300’ (100’)
AC: 5
HD: 5
Attacks: 1 bite, 4 claws (water only)
Damage: 2d6, 2d4 / 2d4 / 2d4 / 2d4
Save: L5
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

This particular mutant is a true enigma among the scholars of the wastelands. No one has been able to decide if it is the result of random genetic mutation or deliberate design. If it is due to the toxins and radiation released during the final wars, it is quite shocking. Some speculate the creature might be a bizarre type of Uplift. There are others who argue that such a mutant could not have happened through random chance. These are the ones who believe there is a group of scientists, maybe androids or someone else, who is purposefully genetically engineering new species of life and releasing these creatures into the wild.  No matter the actual origin of these creatures, they are found both on land and in the ocean and can be deadly predators.

They appear to be the cross between the Orca, and timber-wolves. They are about half again the size of a fully-grown wolf. They weigh in excess of three hundred pounds, and have the same overall physical appearance, including a short coat of fur. This fur has the same coloring as the Orca, and is thick and water-proof. They can withstand the cold ocean depths and the snowy weather without any signs of hardship. The paws are shaped more like hands, with thick webbing between the digits. They possess a long, whale-like tail and a dorsal fin located in the center of the spine. Larger fins are also found on the forelegs.  Situated at the top of the skull, they have a blow-hole for breathing, and they are fully capable of holding their breath for long periods of time, typically 10d6+60 minutes before they need to surface to breathe once again.

Like their ancestors, these creatures are pack-animals and live together in small hunting packs of anywhere from 5 to 20 individuals, with a mated Alpha male and Female leading the pack.

They are perfectly suited for life both on land and in the ocean, although they use the land for pregnant females to wait out the last days of the gestation period to give birth. The Alpha male will mate during the winter months with any of the suitable females, which are always chosen by the Alpha female. The pups are born live, with the females giving birth to 2-5 puppies. The births take place typically in June or July.

It takes around two years for the pups to grow to full maturity, at which time they will be ready to leave the pack and start a new pack. These creatures are very sociable animals and are careful enough to stake out territories that do not intrude on those of other packs.

At least once per year, during the fall season, various packs will converge. The purpose of this convergence is to swap members, allowing the continuation of uncontaminated genes and to ensure inbreeding is kept to an absolute minimum. It is at this time many of the young pups begin to form bonds and prepare to join brand-new packs. Many fight for the position of Alpha male and females during these meetings. The convergence can contain twenty or more separate packs and are an incredible site to behold.

The convergence last for only a single week, and no single pack ever leaves unchanged. Some leave with new members, some smaller packs are absorbed into larger packs, some lose members.

It should be noted these creatures are quite intelligent. They are able to communicate through growls and barks, mixed in with strange, high-pitched squeals and chirps, similar to the communication used by Orca’s. They have not achieved human-like intelligence, which those who argue about these creatures being uplifts always have to face.

In combat, the creatures will always attempt to surround their target and two or three will rush in, attempt to bite and then rush out. They always go for the limbs first, suffering a -4 to hit. If they are successful however, and if the bite does maximum damage, the victim must make a saving throw versus death or have that limb crippled. This reduces the speed to 25% of its normal speed (unless the creature is a quadruped, in which case the creature is reduced to 75% of its original speed. If two or more limbs are crippled, the creature is incapable of movement. The victim will regain all use of the injured limbs once the damage has been fully healed.

After a kill has been made, the Alpha male and female get to eat first, before the rest of the pack.

Mutations: Aberrant Form (new body parts).