by Edward A. May
The alpha predator of the waters surrounding Wa-Daisho and in fact for much of the Pacific Ocean is Liopleurodon.
A distant relative of the Plesiosaurs, this is a true Pliosaur. A whale like creature with a heavy head, thick neck, and a streamlined body - built to kill. It does not hunt small prey like the two Ichthyosaurs common to the waters around Wa-Daisho, it is built to kill large prey. Cadborosaurus, Ukt Water Serpents, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Orca, Dolphins, both varieties of Ichthyosaurs, and innumerable other prey opportunities are among their common victims. Even the fearless Sea Maw will NOT attack a Liopleurodon - because Liopleurodon would eat it!
It is considered a diabolical supernatural predator that has a number of methods of attack from outright bold faced attack to lying in wait at the bottom of shallow water waiting for a significant catch to swim over them, and similar. It also bears a specially designed sense of smell that functions underwater as well as above.
All in all Wa-Daisho citizens have had many encounters with Liopleurodon - not the least of which of course being the fishermen of the island. More than a few fishermen and sailors have lost their lives to a hungry Liopleurodon settling on a humanoid on a flimsy boat as a sort of appetizer on a cracker.
Alignment: Animal intelligence; Roughly equivalent to miscreant or diabolic - they differentiate none between man, woman, or child.
Attributes: IQ: High animal intelligence, ME: 1D6+10, MA: 1D6, PS: 4D6+70, PP: 2D6+6, PE: 8D6+10, PB: 2D6, Spd: 35 mph.
Size: Hatchlings are approximately 5' (1.52m.) in length, adults though can reach 82' (25m.) in length a full 10' (3m.) of which is nothing but mouth!
Weight: Hatchlings weigh in 250-500 Lb. (113.4-226.8kg.) while the largest adults can weigh in at 165 (150mt.) tons!
Horror Factor: 18.
Natural Abilities: Swim: 98%, bio-regeneration of 1D4x10 M.D. per hour.
Depth Tolerance: Maximum depth is unknown - presumed unlimited. They will often stalk the deep waters off of the continental shelf, venturing into shallow waters to hunt.
Chemoreceptors: The Liopleurodon has developed a bizarre adaptation that allows it to detect impurities in waters in the same fashion as various fish. It does this by opening its tooth filled snout and allowing water to flow into its mouth and out through its nostrils thereby essentially "smelling the water" and detecting scents in the water. They can track by smell in this fashion at a 78% efficiency rate. The range on this entirely depends upon the currents in the area, but if down current so to speak it can be as far as 10 miles (16km.).
Lungs: Although this creature is completely aquatic it breathes air like any other reptile. Despite this the Liopleurodon has developed large lungs and a slow metabolic rate permitting it to remain underwater for 3D4 hours at a time usually depending on the creatures' size and health.
Attacks Per Melee: Six.
Combat Maneuvers & Damages:
Leap in Air: This creature often uses leaps to catch flying or leaping creatures. It is too large to completely clear the water's surface and so typically just bobs out of the water about half of it's own length.
Bite: The Liopleurodon would make a Tyrannosaurus weep in terms of the power this creature can deliver with a bite. Pre-cataclysm paleontologists indicated that even in ancient times this creature could theoretically chew through granite if it so chose to do so. The damage is a magnificent 4D6x10 Mega-Damage.
Head Butt/Slap: 1D6x10 M.D. - typically used to nudge prey into a more convenient position for the Liopleurodon to grab.
Speed Bursts: The Liopleurodon appears to have been designed as a purpose built hunter, complete with the structure and adaptations for speed - it can double it's speed up to three times per hour for 1 minute at a time.
Bonuses: +3 to initiative, +5 to strike, +1 to dodge, and +15 to save vs. horror factor.
Average Life Span: About 35 years - as the alpha predator in these waters it only need fear other Liopleurodon in territorial disputes.
Market Value: Their meat tastes absolutely horrible
but is useful as chum bait, and also as a fertilizer. The hide is quite tough and could be made into a tough leather were anyone stupid enough to try to kill one. A few legendary chiefs among the ancient Haida in the past century have worn armor made of the hide of Liopleurodon. A single layer of this armor would be thick like rhino hide but it would have upward and around of 45 M.D.C. without any magic or plate armor additions. The warrior chief of the Haida Eastern-People raiding band is reputed to carry a legendary fetish knife made from a tooth of a Liopleurodon.
Appearance: A blue green backed creature with a white belly with a gargantuan reptilian head, a short tail, and four massive flippers.
Prey: Some are known to feed exclusively on giant squid and giant octopus, but most feed on cetaceans, ichthyosaurs, sharks, plesiosaurs (Such as Cadborosaurus), and other large marine creatures.
Feeding Habits: These are solitary creatures that hunt exclusively by themselves. They have no fixed tactic they rely upon to hunt but most often move into shallow waters and then follow their nose to the nearest swimming buffet of large sea creatures. Their tactic for attacking though is the varied portion often simply swimming in close at slow speeds and darting in, in a similar fashion to the Ichthyosaurs. The Liopleurodon also has the sense to also use stealth maneuvers to get in close before attacking, or even laying in wait at the bottom of the water for approaching prey. They will occasionally even set up ambushes in this same fashion. While not primary prey by any stretch of the imagination, humans do occasionally present themselves as a food source - especially those with vast quantities of fish on board of their vessels. Sea predators typically hover around these - and if they vacate the premises sensing danger all Liopleurodon is left with is the fishermen and their boat full of fish. While they would most likely attack for the large quantity of fish on board, they would not hesitate to chew a humanoid or two down. Swimmers generally are beneath their notice but smaller Liopleurodons are likely to entertain a humanoid as a primary entrée. Liopleurodon do not need to feed more than once every two months.
Social Behavior: As solitary creatures they seldom interact others of their own kind. They do mate once every other year in December and lay 2D6 eggs on sandy beaches along the Oregon coast in May. The males will then typically remain near the shoreline acting as sentries to protect the nests. If anything approaches them from land or from the air this will likely draw 1D4 Liopleurodons out of the sea bellowing in unhesitant warning. Failure to immediately flee will result in an attack. They are not fast on land - moving at only a speed of 1D6+3 - but it's fast enough to get the job done. Once the young are born the males will lead them out to sea and protect them until they get to the deeper waters - once there they abandon them entirely.
Habitat: This creature calls the whole of the Pacific home and is beginning to expand to the Indian Ocean as well. They don't like cold waters as well as warm, but they have been seen as far North as the furthest southern reaches of the Aleutians. While most spend the majority of their lives in the deep sea, if they are incapable of finding prey in the ocean depths, they will come close to shore and seek out prey.
Note: The illustrations provided originally appeared in the Discovery Channel documentary series, "Walking With Dinosaurs." These images are reproduced here, without permission, to depict a monsterous creature in a fictional setting. If there is any dispute in displaying these images on this site, please use the Contact feature below, to contact the webmaster. Any disputes will be dealt with in an expedient fashion.
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