I'm not prey, I'm predator! At least, I was.
But it watches from its eyrie.
I feel that eye, not meat - mechanism. It wants to improve me...
I got a bit carried away, and worked up a new creature for Hogintu, as well as some background on the time technology and space elevators.
The rules are at the bottom, also using Humanspace Empires.
It wants to improve me...
When cobalt extraction gave Hogintu a life above the dust and despair, and drew the riches of known space for conversion into great cities and wonders of architecture, the arteries and veins of this trade were the great space elevators. They catapulted the loads of raw material up into orbit and brought rare commodities, precious luxuries and tourist credits back down in return. They stood up across the belly of the planet, the Filaments of the Free Orb, the Spines of the Blue Beast that was cobalt production.
The techniques used in the stringing out of the vast structures were taken by Hogintu science beyond all previous boundaries. The great strains and fatigues on the cable were the driver of research and successes in stasis technology, bringing to the planet the power to stop the passage of time, with much of the mighty load-bearing masses of these giant spires eventually existing completely beyond chronology.
In that golden age of the sky as no limit, the more mundane maintenance of the cable elements was undertaken by semi-sentient servicing devices. These biomechanical creatures used the thermals above the desert and airs around the constantly flexing, expanding and contracting cable to glide and manoeuvre, and a mass of functional arms and nanotool endings to grip and perform their duties.
They were a cornerstone of the complex ecosystem which grew up on and within the cables, and the apex of the food chain. Their dominance of this kingdom was to be ended with the kingdom itself, and those surviving the sulphur burning the skies underwent a second trial as the cables one by one coiled and fell, with many of the creatures simply sucked down out of the sky. The few were themselves thrown into a desperate adaptation to the new prevailing conditions, and the utterly changed world.
The haaks, as they are now known in ignorance of their original designations, have far less lofty perches in this order, and must be satisified in building their nests on the pillars of the reserve fencelines, the statues of the ceremonial arcades and the flanks of the extinguished pyromids. Their beady lenses see all that moves over the dunes and seek not only sustenance for their systems, but a chance to improve the husks of the prey, see them fully functional once more, and so have those gods that once webbed the sky lift them again to the edge of space.
No. Enc.: 1D3
Move: 270'/90' (90'/30')
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 2 (clamps, tools)
Damage: 1D4 + lifting / modification
A haak will attack twice per turn, once with its clamps and once with its tools, each of which cause 1D4 damage.
A successful attack with the clamps will also require a force test be passed or see the character lifted bodily and carried off at one third the haak's usual speed back to the nest. The combat will continue on the journey, but with the haak unable to attack using its clamps. If the haak is killed while carrying a character, the fall will cause 3D8 damage, with a successful Save vs. Death halving this number.
A successful attack with the tools will also begin the modification of the character. The consequences of this are left up to the Referee to decide on the basis of number of successes, but are likely to lead to dramatic changes in physical function. If a character is killed and one or more haaks given the ability to work uninterrupted on the body, the corpse will eventually rise again, animated by implanted hardware, and by software improvised by the haaks in their study of the creatures of the desert.
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All the relevant links are now up at the Hogintu locations index.