by Edward A. May
The Boqs are bizarre supernatural creatures of the elements. Originally native to the mountains and forests surrounding Queen's Sound the cataclysm has obviously transplanted at least a fair number of these creatures to Wa-Daisho.
The Boqs are a truly unique creature in the sense that they are completely consumed with the ideology of preserving their environment around them. They will strike dead any that trespasses upon the land they have set aside as their personal preserve. Natives typically know the telltale marks upon the trees the Boqs leave - and so know to avoid those places. Many others either do not or figure they can pass through unmolested - most often they are wrong in the latter case.
While dangerous they generally stay out of the business and affairs of mortals, preferring to live out their existence and preserve their little corner of the world. While not terribly intelligent they are far from being stupid. If a group of several hundred humans enter their domain they will typically sound out warnings - but they will keep their distance even if it means being chased out of their traditional preserves.
Boqs, while typically solitary, gather together a handful of times a year among their own kind. These meetings are always in early April, late August, early November, and late February - thus far nobody, not even the natives, know why exactly they do this as Boqs have never been observed to communicate beyond simple signals. A further anomaly is that no one has yet encountered a young Boqs - this leads to some speculating that they are only truly creatures of magic that do not procreate but are somehow simply created. Who exactly would create such a creature has yet to have been identified however.
Alignment: Anarchist or Miscreant - they are extremely alien to human understandings, being more similar to an Elemental's mentality than to a human's.
Attributes: IQ: 1D6+4, ME: 1D6+5, MA: 1D6+2, PS: 4D6+10, PP: 3D6, PE: 3D6+2, PB: 2D6, Spd: 2D6+4.
Size: Boqs are approximately 5' (1.52m.) tall with a tentacle that is 20' (6.1m.) long.
Weight: 350-500 Lb. (158.8-226.8kg.)
Mega-Damage: PE x 2 plus 1D6+2 per level of experience.
Horror Factor: 12.
Natural Abilities: Swim: 98%, bio-regeneration of 1D6 M.D. per minute, and Nightvision 500' (152.4m.).
Horrific Illusion: Once per day the Boqs can create a horrific illusion within the terrain in some manner in an effort to either scare someone to death or frighten them away from their personal preserve. An example may be to make it appear that the mountains around the targets have grown to two to three times their normal height and somehow look more imposing, or that the woods leading into a Boqs territory look especially dark and forbidding. Everyone within a 2,000'+100' (609.6m. +30.5m.) per level of experience radius of the Boqs will experience the illusion. Horror factor is a 12+1 per every other level of experience.
Tentacle Strike: The tentacle of the Boqs is a unique organ used in a variety of methods. Firstly it can be used to ward away enemies by striking it against tree trunks, branches, and similar. When this is done it will rattle leaves, create vibrations through the trunks of the trees, and overall create a significant ruckus. Fortunately - for the flora of their protectorate - it does minimal damage when used in this capacity chipping bark and knocking leaves off occasionally but little more. When used as an offensive weapon it can inflict 4D6 M.D. as an offensive weapon to strike at opponents or may be used to strangle opponents as well - inflicting an additional 1D6 M.D. per round of actions. While not often used, as generally speaking once the Boqs has decided to attack it will be short and brutal, occasionally a Boqs may also paralyze a person's entire body by merely striking an opponent with the tentacle. While this form of attack inflicts no damage a save of 16 or better must be rolled versus magic to save. A common legend in the history of the Bella Coola indicated that a Boqs once used this ability to savage a young woman along side of a small stream. This, however, is merely extrapolation as the Boqs had actually only ensnared her using this as a warning to chase this group of women from his stream.
Attacks Per Melee: Six.
Bonuses: +3 to initiative, +2 to strike with the tentacle, +3 to dodge, and +5 to save vs. horror factor.
Average Life Span: Unknown - believed to be immortal.
Vulnerabilities: The Boqs are known to have a primary vulnerability that is rather unique. The leaves of a Salalberry Bush (a.k.a. Gaultheria Shallon evergreen) when ground can be used as a poison to coat the tips of arrows - thereby inflicting double the Mega-Damage equivalent of the arrows normal S.D.C. capabilities. The fruit is deathly poisonous to the Boqs as well - they will avoid it at all costs. Similarly clubs and sharpened stakes made out of the wood of a Salalberry Bush will inflict double the normal S.D.C. capabilities of the weapon in M.D.C. When facing weapons or even mundane charms made from this plant the Boqs will invariably retreat.
Market Value: None per se.
Appearance: A Boqs appears to be a short, by human standards, humanoid creature. It is barrel-chested, covered in body hair from head to toe, and has long slender arms that end in human looking hands. It's face while roughly human-like, looks a bit more primitive with the heavy brow ridge and slightly protruding muzzle. Despite these differences in facial structure, its eyes look completely human. Its most unique feature, however, is the tentacle. All Boqs have a single tentacle that protrudes from their' abdomen, roughly where their' navel should be. This tentacle is four times the creature's height and ends in a blunted tip. It is so long in fact that it must be coiled and carried by the Boqs in its arms when it is walking. In a bizarre twist of historical perspective, in primitive times this tentacle was actually believed to be the Boqs penis! (Author's Note: This is indeed a true-life mythical creature from Bella Coola myth - and yes the last sentence mentioned prior to this one was indeed claimed by said myth.)
Prey: Boqs primarily subsist upon berries, greens, eggs, edible roots, mushrooms, and some types of bark. When gathering among their kind their meetings often occur near the areas where the mountains meet with sandy beaches. They have often been observed gathering shellfish and Cadborosaurus eggs at the waters edges during these gatherings.
Social Behavior: While primarily a solitary creature they gather a handful of times a year among their own kind. During these periods several dozen may be observed in the same group! They have never been observed with young or while mating, nor do they apparently have any form of true language. A bizarre shrieking whistling sound appears to be a call intended to bring nearby Boqs to join them in chasing away larger groups of intruders than one Boqs can handle. During their gatherings it has been observed that they have a very definitive pecking order - the lowest members of the clan being the ones required gathering food and ultimately serving those above them. Their primary behavior that has been observed however is their attempts to chase away intruders. During which time they will begin roaring and growling - usually starting at a few hundred feet away from the intruders. At which time the creature will unfurl their tentacle and begin to smash tree branches, beat on logs, and generally makes a lot of noise. If the intruders fail to leave they will either call for other Boqs, or will proceed to attack - this tentacle slashing and smashing into anything that gets in their way. This tentacle is EXTREMELY sensitive to damage however. A single vibro-blade cut on it and it will howl in pain and retreat.
Habitat: While this creature lives among the lower elevations of the mountains it has been known to occasionally take up residence in lowland forests as well as coastal forests - the latter especially during gathering times. It is infrequently found in Wa-Daisho but is more frequently found among the coastal islands mountains as well as along the coastal range of mainland British Colombia.
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