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[White Elephant] for The MG - Splendor of the Southwest

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  • [White Elephant] for The MG - Splendor of the Southwest

    "I'm currently running a game set in the Southwest, drawing on a eclectic mix of Ryukyan, Indonesian, and South American influences. Things appropriate to that kind of milieu – in particular, spirits and strange flora/fauna, or just odd fluff to mine for ideas – would certainly come in handy."


    Scorpion-Birds: Once, long ago, two lovers proclaimed their devotion was so pure that not even the Pale Mistress could drive them apart. She took them at their word and transformed them into horrible new shapes. Their new forms resembled loathsome primeval birds, black feathers as stiff as the plates of insects, fore claws twisted into pincers, and moist all over with venom. For years they sang to each other sorrowfully, afraid to draw close for fear of harming each other. At last they could stand it no more and came together, dying in each other’s embrace. The pattern has been followed by their offspring, who fill the air with mournful music and mate but once before dying, yet those children have never know a parents love and kill for hateful spite, filling their nests with the bodies of prey far beyond what they can eat.

    Jenglots, the bone-faced monkeys: Often mistaken for demons, jenglots are natural, if troublesome, creatures. They can live almost anywhere, from underground to in the rafters of houses, make frequent messes in their pursuit of food, and most villages have at least one that cannot be gotten rid of. They are fond of children, and will not knowingly harm them, an dislike most adults leading jenglot bites to be considered a sign of adulthood in some places. They naturally exhibit what in humans would be considered uncouth habits, and mothers are forever telling their children not to imitate the jenglots.

    Tiddalik: A species of giant frog that dwell in jungles and swamps, they are noted for their ability to infallibly find sources of fresh water. Once there they drink almost to the point of bursting before mating. Once their spawn are ready to leave they expel them and their hoarded water in a foul smelling slime that makes water undrinkable. They are frequently hunted as pests, and if killed early enough in the mating season the water they have drunk is still drinkable.

    Hueetzilin: Hummingbirds formed entirely from precious metals, it is believed they are born in one or more powerful earth demesnes high in the mountains. Relatively harmless those who live in areas they frequent often catch and sell them as pets to wealthy nobles or traders.

    Urubutsin: Giant vultures, sometimes called the greedy sages, the urubutsin have the remarkable ability to mimic human speech. Unlike parrots or their cousins who mimic sounds they here, the urubutsin repeat words and phrases known to those they have eaten, including their own kind. Some of them utter snatches of prayers from the Old Realm or the locations of treasures no man remembers. Others mutter only nonsense. Many would be treasure hunters have gone to their deaths or been stranded in the jungle when they followed the seemingly clear hints of the hoarders of words.


    Coconut Pearls: Only one in a million coconuts hosts one of these natural gemstones, and most of those are dull, irregular, or oblong. Even the lesser “stones” are claimed to have powerful protective qualities to keep evil spirits at bay, though only for the one who finds them. The greater pearls, resembling opals, are considered sufficient by themselves as the dowry for a mortal to wed a god.

    Elephant-Herd Trees : True marvels, likely born of the Wyld, the Elephant Herd Trees are ambulatory plants large enough to construct a comfortable dwelling in their branches. Some tribes have tamed them and use the slow motion of their homes to allow them to serve as traders and to avoid their enemies.

    Linga: Vibrantly colored mushrooms hard as stone, lingas grow only in the domain of gods and near the doors to sanctums. As the nearby gods grow in power the number and size of the lingas increases as well. Both weak gods and mortal rulers often order imitation lingas to be carved from stone in their kingdoms either as a sign of their power or to deceive those who can’t tell the difference.

    The Flower Roads: Wood Aspected gardeners once bred the forbearers of these orchids for the warlord of An-Teng. Each major settlement that existed at that time possesses its own variety and they are spread only by human movement, attempts to transplant them have failed until now. Those skilled in identifying them can guess approximately how close they are to a settlement or follow the tracks of trade and travel between settlements, identifying roads through the trees and where they go by the mix of flowers growing along them.

    Gods and Demons

    Berbalang, the Feasting Cats: Resembling emaciated great cats in their native form, the Berbalang are solitary, and lazy, carrion eaters. When they have glutted themselves they shed their skin and appear as humans with green eyes with cat like slits. In that form they enter the villages and cities of men so they might feast on the entrails of the dead. Eventually they are driven off or their new food exhausted and they return to their feral, animalistic, forms.

    Yurupari, the Keepers of the Corpses: Baboons the size of horses formed from barn and leaves, the Yurupari are formed when the blood of a murdered woman falls on grave of her child. They protect the sites of murders and massacres from attempts to hide the deed, howling a litany of the crimes down audible for miles. They will fight those who come to despoil the dead but will allow priests and the families of the slain to perform funeral rites so long as they leave permanent markers behind.

    Jayaurubutsin: The patron god of urubutsin. He resembles a monk with a shaven head and a robe of vulture feathers. Unlike his children, whose form he often takes, he understands the import of the words he has eaten. He is sought by those seeking ancient mysteries or the secrets of the dead, always with an offering of a recently dead man or woman of learning, and he always answers. If the cryptic words he gives have any relation to the questions he is asked is an exercise for his penitents.

    Masked Ancestors: Masked Ancestors are patron gods of tribes and family lines, each masked ancestor is created when a great hero attains divinity upon death, usually through the effort of the existing ancestors. They cannot act in the physical world unless their blood descendants wear a ritual mask symbolic of that ancestor at which point they may grant skills or memories, even taking control in the case of a strong ancestor and a powerful mask.
    Last edited by Exthalion; 12-23-2016, 08:38 PM.