New Mutant Monday Series Two #85 - Deer Folk

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d3 (hunting party), 4d12 communities
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 5
HD: 7
Attacks: 1 bite, two bashes, 1 kick or by weapon type 
Damage: 1d6+1, 1d4+1 / 1d4+1, 2d4+2
Save: L7
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: I, II, IV, VIII, 1 high tech melee weapon (50%), 1 artifact rifle (35%), VIII, IX, XII (50% each coin), XVI

One of the uncounted species of animals which arose due to the influence of the Uplift virus, these humanoid deer have gained prominence in the lands that make up almost all of the former country of Canada.  They have been spotted in the states, but to those who have encountered the creatures, it appears as if they are scouts or surveyors, as no permanent settlements have been discovered.

These mutant creatures no longer move on all fours, as their ancestors had, but instead are now bipedal. The humanoids tend to stand about six feet in height, and weigh around 200 pounds. They still possess the head and limbs of their ancestors, although the front hoofs have mutated to the point they can be used as hands, although they do find manipulating technological artifacts somewhat difficult at times. Also they have taken to wearing clothing, and are quite fond of ancient clothing, which they will gladly trade for or obtain and modify in order to fit their strangely-shaped bodies.

Unlike their ancestors, they are not timid herbivores, content on hiding from the world and grazing on plant-matter. They tend to be quite xenophobic. They have what amounts to as a racial memory of how they were hunted for uncounted millennia and tend to look at humans and Pure humans with more than a little animosity. Other humanoid animals they tend to be friendly towards, and look upon exotics with a mixture of disgust and pity, seeing only the animal that was somehow contaminated by human genes.

These creatures are hunters. They love the taste of meat and find it is even better raw and bloody. As a result, they often hunt and capture prey live in order to bring back to the herd, and thanks to a series of mutations they were blessed with, this task is accomplished far more often than it fails.

Upon discovering prey, the creatures will often use a mental barrage, which will inflict 3d6 psionic damage after a successful mental attack. The target is allowed a saving throw versus stun or they are paralyzed for 2d10 minutes. Even if the save succeeds, they are inflicted with the slow mutant mutation for 1d6 rounds. The creatures can only use this ability once per day, and subsequent attacks from other members of a hunting party will have no effect. Once the prey has been subdued, they will truss it up and carry it back to their home. When they are forced to fight, they can use mind thrust, and their natural weapons are quite formidable. They are not adverse to using melee weapons, and do prefer high-tech melee weapons and are even capable of using firearms, although this is typically limited to rifles or larger. They simply cannot wield pistols due to the shape of their hands, and even rifles suffer a -2 to hit.

Those unfortunate enough to be brought back are sometimes kept alive for days, until it is time for the community or family group to feast, at which time they strip the victim of all clothing (if they wear such) and begin to feed directly off the victim. Death can take a long time in coming and is exceptionally painful for the victim.

Attempting to enforce a vendetta against the beings is likewise a dangerous task, as they are difficult to hunt and track. Due to another pair of mutations, they can easily blend into their environment, and can surprise on a 1-3 on a d6. Furthermore, they can activate a version of the insubstantial mutation, which will last for 1d3 hours. During this time, they are capable of moving through any type of terrain at full speed, and never leave tracks. Those who possess increased senses (smell) may still be able to track the creatures through this method, however.

Most of the time when they are encountered in the wilds, they are typically off on scouting missions or in small hunting parties. They will often lay in wait when they detect the presence of other creatures, and depending on the species, may or may not attempt to engage in communication. If the species happens to be human… well they might just have a feast for their families.

Communities are set up in log-cabins, with a long central hall reminiscent of old Viking halls, with the family dwellings circling the main hall. This is always located near a water source, typically a river, stream or even a lake. They have a smaller set of cages set up near the main hall to store ‘food’, and each community has a series of guards, which are always on the move, using their ability to blend into the background.

Each community is controlled by a single buck, the largest, strongest and wisest of the males. He and he alone has the right to mate with the doe’s, and like predatory pack animals, the male can be challenged by any member at any time. He keeps his harem of chosen doe’s in the main hall and will rut with them as the urge takes him, no matter the time of day or no matter what is happening. There are tales of this happening with other creatures present during negotiations or visits from neighboring humanoid tribes, which have led to rather uncomfortable encounters. To make matters worse, the alpha will often demand sex from other females, even if they are not of the same species, although the alpha will draw the line when it comes to humans and pure humans.

Also like the Vikings they have a warrior culture, where they will go out of their way to attack and pillage human and pure human settlements, and more often than not will declare all-out war against humanoids that align themselves with these people. The value strength and courage, which seems as if they are attempting to compensate for their un-mutated ancestors lack thereof.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), chameleon epidermis, insubstantial (modified), mental stun, mind thrust.

Series Two Index