Night Fury

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d2 or 1d2+1d4
Alignment:  Lawful
Movement: 300’ (100’) Flying, 90’ (30’) ground
AC: 4
HD: 10
Attacks: 1 bite, two claws or two wing slaps and one tail or breath weapon
Damage: 2d10, 1d8 / 1d8 or 2d6 / 2d6 or 1d10 or 10d10 damage (half electrical, half thermal)
Save: L10
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

Back in the early 21st century there was a series of computer animated films and television shows that captivated the minds and hearts of a generation. This particular franchise lasted for many years but the effect it had on one young woman would lead to something miraculous and lead the way to change the world forever.

A young girl from the Philippines was absolutely enthralled by the series, and despite coming from a poor family, was brilliant beyond measure. Her intellect allowed her to win scholarship after scholarship and her education as paid for. At the tender age of ten, she graduated high school and by the time she turned eighteen. She was quickly snatched up by a fledgling bioengineering firm out of Tokyo and went to work. This firm was one of the first to ever delve into genetic engineering and this young woman had a talent unseen anywhere.

The current wasteland scholars that know of this woman speculate that she might have been an early mutant, one that possessed the intellectual affinity mutation, that allowed her to see and rewrite genetic code the way most people could rewrite a word document.

Over the years she created cures for many deadly pathogens and even eliminated many genetic defects that cost the lives of uncounted millions. But during this time, she had been working on secretly creating a new life-form, based on one of the creatures that had so captivated her during her childhood.

When she was in her early forties, she finally managed to finish the last bit of genetic coding and was ready to bring to life this creature. Working in secret, she used the equipment and facilities in the Japanese laboratory she worked in and successfully created a living Night Fury. This creature came from an ostrich egg. The creature was perfect in every way.

Upon seeing her success, she showed the results to her supervisors, who in turn showed it to the company executives. Other than a mild reprimand for using the equipment and resources without company permission, they were so enthralled by what she had created, they immediately set up a new division with her as the lead designer.

The creatures they created over the years would make the company uncounted billions and ensured that it had a future that has endured even since the end of the final wars.

These creatures are genetically engineered dragons. The average specimen is about twenty feet from the tip of their rounded nose to the beginning of their long tails. They are jet-black in color and have large green eyes and a very expressive face. At first sight many would mistake the creatures for not having teeth, but they are there, just typically retracted when not in use.

They are excellent fliers and have a speed that would put any prop-driven aircraft to shame, although they are nowhere nearly as fast on the ground, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.

They are also highly intelligent, and although they cannot speak, they are more than adapt at making their feelings known through body language and facial expression. They have an intellect that is on par with that of the average human. Those with the neural telepathy mutation find that the creatures are very talkative and enjoy the direct mind to mind communication the mutation allows.

Before the final wars even began, there were tens of thousands of these creatures around the globe. They were created to be pets and companions, and they turned out to be excellent on both accounts, but their speed and agility, combined with their intelligence, found them being used in other areas, such as espionage and sports. The creatures ability to fly and their strange ability to sense electromagnetism as well as the energy produced by various sensor systems, meant that they could slip past enemy sensors with ease and do reconnaissance better than the most sophisticated drones.

There were enough of the creatures at the end of the final wars to ensure that the species survived. Many of the creatures found that their human friends and companions were dead and as such they left to survive in the wilds. They prefer mountainous and forested regions, although many have made their homes in the still-standing skyscrapers of the various ruined cities.

They are still friendly towards humans and will often form bonds with them. They are loyal and very protective of the humans that they bond with.

In combat, the creatures have a powerful bit and are able to use the claws on their forelimbs, and can even bring their wings and tail to bear when needed. But the most formidable weapon they have at their disposal is their plasma breath. It is a single, relatively small bolt of intense blue-white energy that can inflict massive damage. It can use this weapon once every three rounds.

In the wild, these creatures can be found in pair bonds, and the female will lay a small clutch of 1d4 eggs every 4 years. It takes nearly a full year for the eggs to develop and hatch, and the young grow quickly, reaching sexual maturity in only 6 years. The young stay with the parents until they reach about twelve years of age, at which point they leave the parents and go searching for a mate and territory to call their own. Because of the way these creatures bond with humans, the eggs can catch a king’s ransom with the right buyer.

They understand technology, but due to their physical makeup, they finding using technology to be difficult at best. Also they have no use for money or treasure, so they do not accumulate it. That does not mean that they have any issues with the humans that they bond with using technology or accumulating personal wealth. They just do not see the use in doing so.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), complete wing development, toxic weapon (modified), unique senses (ability to detect sensor emissions).

Source: How to train your Dragon (2010)

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.