New Mutant Monday #87 - Rongu Ago

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 4
HD: 10
Attacks: 1 tongue or two horns or two claws
Damage: 1d12+5 and special, 1d8+2 / 1d8+2 or 1d6+3 / 1d6+3
Save: L14
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: XIII, XIV

These creatures are a mutated form of human, whose lower jaw has evolved into something similar to that of a chameleon’s tongue. It curls in on itself and is covered with sharp teeth, typically about an inch in length.

The creature also has a pair of horns growing from the skull, which are small and thin and look more like branches, but these are very deceiving. They are strong as steel and as sharp as a surgeon’s blade and can be used quite effectively in combat. Otherwise the creature has an overall humanoid shape and appearance, although the legs are backward jointed, like that of a canine, and the hands and feet end in sharp claws.

These creatures are found typically in forests and sometimes in ruins that are located in forests or ruins that have plenty of trees. They seem to have an affinity for trees and thanks to their unique metamorphosis ability; they can hide in plain sight, taking on the shape and physical texture of a young tree. Those who know what to look for can sometimes spot these creatures when they are hiding, as the horns never change shape, nor do they grow leaves like the rest of the body.

They are vicious predators and have a taste for humanoid flesh, and will often lair near larger communities where the occasional person which goes missing will not be investigated as thoroughly as a smaller, tight-knit community. They will stand in plain sight, just off of well-travelled trails, waiting for individuals or pairs to pass by. When the time is right, they will attack, surprising on a 1-3 on a d6.

When engaged in combat, the creature will strike with its tongue first, with the hopes of stunning the target, making it easier to kill and consume. If the tongue hits, the damage is inflicted and the target must make a saving throw versus poison or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. If this does not work, the creature will charge with its horns, and attempt to gore the victim. Once it is up close and personal, the creature will employ its claws and attempt to eviscerate its target.

It is also widely known that these creatures are very cowardly. That is the reason they will only attack individuals or small groups of clearly weaker prey. When they have taken more than 25% of their total hit points in damage, they will attempt to flee, often running until they are out of sight of their prey and then using their metamorph ability to look like the trees they live among. If both claw attacks are successful, they will gain an additional free attack. They will rip out the stomach (or attempt to) of their target, inflicting an additional 4d6 points of damage on that round. Also the claws will cause an additional 1d4 points of bleeding damage (per claw) per round until the wounds are bound, which requires a single round.

Although intelligent, the creatures are quite cruel and have no interest in speaking (even if they could, which they can’t) to others. They view all other living organisms purely as prey, meals to be hunted and consumed. They do like to take trophies, and will always keep at least one item from those they have slain and eaten, hidden away in their lairs to be studied and contemplated at a later date. This can be anything from a single gold coin, to a fully functional suit of powered armor, or even a handkerchief. There is no rhyme or reason behind what they keep.

Their lairs are always made in tightly spaced trees, with only a single entrance exit. The ground is cleared away and they make a nest of fallen leaves and the fur of the creatures they have killed. Around this lair they will place their trophies, which they will display with pride. All offal and bones are carefully buried well away from the lairs, as to not attract attention to themselves.

These creatures come in both sexes, which is obvious at a glance. The only time they will interact with one another is whenever the females feel the urge to reproduce. This occurs only once every five years after they reach sexual maturity (usually around the age of 12). Males will be attracted to the female due to the pheromones she produces and will bring their most impressive trophies. The one who gives her the best gift will be the one who mates. They will have sex numerous times a day until the female becomes impregnated, which she will know instantly, and then she sends the male away. If he lingers, she will attempt to kill him, father of her child or not.

The gestation period is the same as in humans, and the child will stay with the mother until it hits sexual maturity, at which time she will force it to leave, and find its own territory.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), bizarre appearance, metamorph (modified)