The Ecology of the Hippocrate


ST: 35-40 Speed/Dodge: 2/0 Size: 1-3
DX: 15 PD/DR: 4/20 Wt: 50-200 lbs.
IQ: 7 Damage: 3d cut Habitats: J, P, S
HT: 15/50 Reach: C
In the southern marshlands of the Tadertädt Valley lives one of the most unique creatures ever encountered: the hippocrate. So named because of its resemblance to a large wooden box, the hippocrate is a fearsome predator, hiding in the shallow lakes and rivers awaiting the arrival of a poor, unsuspecting, curious soul.

The hippocrate's wooden appearance is due to its tough, leathery hide, which tightly covers its cubical bone structure. Upon close inspection, two knotholes near the top of the crate will reveal themselves to be eyes, capable off seeing with crystal clarity in all but the darkest nights and murkiest depths. Its 'lid' is really a large mouth, which can clamp down with enough force to completely sever an unarmored limb that finds its way inside.

The hippocrate propels itself by taking in water or air through its mouth and forcibly ejecting it out of the numerous openings (which resemble air holes) that line the perimeter of the bottom of the hippocrate's body.

Hippocrates spend most of their time alone, looking like a crate of valuable booty partially submerged in water with its lid wide open. Most of the time the hippocrate has to be content with simply gobbling up any wildlife that happens to land in its open jaws, but there's nothing a hippocrate loves more than dining on greedy treasure hunters! Which is unfortunate for the unwitting victim, because a human swallowed whole can last for up to a week before being dissolved away to the point of death.

Tadertädt shamans refer to the hippocrate as the hypocrate, due to the medicinal nature of the creature's hide. When rolled up and smoked, hypocrate hide can purge the body of all contaminants and heal 1d6 of any damage caused by poison. These same medicinal qualities make a hypocrate hide highly sought after by hunters, and an intact hide can bring in several thousand dollars.

(Note: in the Tadertädt Valley, it is considered a grave insult to be called a hippocrate [or, for that matter, a hypocrate]. Despite its strength, the Tadertädtans consider the hippocrate to be a low down, cowardly beast, which pretends to be one thing then reveals itself to be something else.)

The Tadertädt Valley is also home to the bizarre bath otter.

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Rev. 6/95

Copyright 1994 David S. Carter. All Rights Reserved