New Mutant Monday #97 - Goritaur

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 5d4
Alignment:  Neutral or chaotic (warlike subgroup)
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 4
HD: 16
Attacks: 2 fists, 1 trample, or by weapon type
Damage: 1d8+3d6+4 / 1d8+3d6+4 / 3d6+3d6+8 or by weapon type
Save: L16
Morale: 6 or 11 (warlike)
Hoard Class: I, II, III, VIII (75% 1d6 gizmos, 1d2 artifact weapons)

Most of the time the Chimerians created creatures that are the cross between two different species. No one is certain as to why they did this – boredom, curiosity, or just because they could. One of the more strange creations was the cross between a Gorilla and an Elephant. Throw in the Uplift virus and suddenly you have a very dangerous creature on your hands, one that has the strength of a Gorilla combined with human-level intellect.

The first members of this species were discovered on the planes of Africa, and these particular creatures were about as intelligent as your typical Gorilla. In the decades following the emergence of these creatures, they began to appear in the jungles, and oddly enough showed up in the foothills and mountains of the Rocky Mountain Range in what used to be Canada and the United States. It was also in this region that the first Uplifted version of these beasts appeared and now they are the dominant versions in North America.

Strictly speaking, the non-uplifted versions are surprisingly peaceful. They live together in small tribes in the plains and jungles, living as Gorillas always have over the millennia. They are shy and generally stay away from other creatures, and only attack if they are threatened or harmed in any way. When it comes right down to it, these creatures just want to be left to their own device.

The Uplifted versions can be quite the polar opposite. They have the intellect of humans and as such tend to develop the same manner of prejudices and hatreds. Some, not all. Many of the uplifted versions are still reclusive and peaceful creatures, although instead of wandering with no set purpose, they tend to build communities and live in peace with their surroundings.

A small percentage of the uplifted versions are very aggressive. They have taken to seeking out and actively destroying communities of other intelligent animals, and have a strange and unexplained hatred for humans and humanoids. They use weapons and are fully capable of using artifacts of all make and manner – although armor is something they still have issues with. These particular creatures have taken the term Guerilla warfare to a whole new level and meaning.

Physically these creatures are quite a bit smaller than an actual Elephant, but are larger than the great apes they are descendant from. The average member stands around ten feet in height (at the top of their heads) and weigh in easily a thousand pounds. Females are just slightly smaller than the males, so much so it is often difficult to tell the difference in the heights.

They live together in packs or herds, with up to twenty members. The group is led by a single alpha, and it can be either male or female. In the non-intelligent members, it is the strongest and most cunning member that leads. In the Uplifted it is the most intelligent member of the group that is the Alpha. And in the case of the aggressive, war-like species, it is always the most viscous and blood-thirsty member of the group that is the Alpha.

In the foothills and mountains, the creatures tend to make their homes in old ruins, which they tend to refurbish to the point that they are better constructed than the original architects had intended. The homes are neatly appointed, with few furnishings, although all members of the various species do like to decorate. They are also not materialistic, and have few possessions other than the decorations and in the case of the uplifted variety, weapons and the tools to maintain such.

As a result, even the peaceful uplifts have very little need or desire to interact with outsiders, and other than the occasional trade for different types of food, they have no need to trade.

If forced to engage in combat, both the non-uplifts and the non-warlike uplifts will generally tend to flee. A moral check is required and anyone who fails is forced to leave as quickly as they can. Those who succeed are able to stand and fight. Both will use their natural weapons and can inflict tremendous damage, but some, especially the warlike group love to use ranged weapons.

As for the warlike sub-group, they never require a moral check, unless they are reduced to less than 25% of their starting numbers. Even then the odds are stacked in their favor that they will stay and fight to the bitter end.

Mutations: Aberrant form (chimera), increased physical attribute (strength), intellectual affinity (tinkering)