Scion: Hero to Ragnarok
The Creature Birthright represents a Scion’s close tie to a creature of legend, usually provided by a divine parent as a mount or companion. A player has all of mundanity and literature (especially the stories of his character’s chosen pantheon) to draw upon when choosing a creature for his Scion. This Birthright might represent a coatl, benu bird, crocodile, wolf, snake or other creature. With enough dots invested in this Birthright, a Scion could have an even more impressive creature at her disposal, such as a kirin or a young dragon.
Although the line between animal and human intelligence is often blurred in the realms of legend, this trait typically represents creatures of roughly animal intelligence. For more intelligent beings (centaurs or tengu, for example), the Followers or Guide Birthrights are more appropriate.
Note that the dot descriptions here are merely guidelines. A very powerful nekomata, for example, would certainly rate more than a single dot, while an infant dragon would cost less than five. Use the following descriptions as rules of thumb. For the sake of game balance, refer to the creatures described in Chapter Twelve of the Scion: Hero book to gauge the power of different creatures for a given dot rating.
1 The creature is small, weak, somewhat fragile or perhaps entirely incorporeal — a weak nekomata, a monkey, a scarab, an owl, or a raven, for example. Such creatures are useful for warning their owners of dangers and providing some limited reconnaissance, but little else.
2 The creature is a somewhat larger or more powerful mundane beast-tigers, wolves, boars, large birds of prey. Weak entities can also be included here — a serpopard, Stymphalian bird, or various and sundry nature spirits would fall into this category.
3 The creature is a beast of modest power, such as a golem, coatl, or a pegasus.
4 The creature is a more powerful one, such as the Taureau-Trois-Graines or a valkyrie horse.
5 The creature is a unique beast of legend (such as Gullinbursti) or a particularly dangerous monster such as a kirin, a roc, or a basilisk.
Flocks of the Morrigan, The: (Creature 2, Relic 1) The battle-goddess Morrigan is known to have control over ravens, crows, rooks and blackbirds, and she uses these creatures as messengers, spies and occasionally attackers. From time to time, she will gift a favorite Scion with a small flock of these birds to be used for the same purposes. The birds are extremely intelligent for animals, and the Scion who controls them can communicate with and command them. Birds sitting on a telephone wire are seldom thought of as unusual, and thus they can eavesdrop on conversations and carry information back to their masters. Those Scions who receive the gift of one of her flocks from the Morrigan sometimes gain it as a Relic in the form of a small silver pin or pendant in the shape of a raven. When the item of jewelry is taken off and thrown into the air, it transforms into the flock. Scions so gifted may use it to channel the Animal (Corvid) Purview. The Flocks of the Morrigan are composed of corvids that use the small bird template, except their Intelligence rises from 1 to 3 (the better to understand the Scion’s commands). They also possess Epic Intelligence 1 (Perfect Memory), Epic Perception 2 (Predatory Focus, Subliminal Warning), Legend 3 and the following Virtues: Courage 2, Expression 2, Intellelect 3 and Piety 2. A flock is generally composed of 10-30 birds.
Hound of Lugh, The: (Creature 4) Lugh’s hound is a gigantic war dog. It looks like a massively-muscled mastiff, standing five feet tall at the shoulder, with ferocious fangs and a superlative sense of smell. It can track a target through any sort of environment (swamp, forest, desert) and shrugs off wounds in battle as if they were mosquito bites. Not for nothing is this black dog considered to be an omen of doom, for foes spotting it on the field of battle seldom leave the fight alive. The hound of Lugh uses the dog template on page 331 of Scion: Hero. In addition to the normal characteristics, it has one additional –0 and two additional –1 and –2 health levels. It also possesses a Legend Rating of 2, 5 Legend points, Epic Strength 1 (Crushing Grip, performed with jaws), Epic Perception 1 (Predatory Focus), Epic Stamina 1 (Damage Conversion) and Epic Appearance 1 (Dreadful Mien). The hound of Lugh possesses the following Virtues: Courage 5, Expression 1, Intellect 2 and Piety 1.
Steeds of Cúchulainn, The: (Creature 3, Relic 2) Liath Macha and Dub Sainglend (“the Gray of Macha” and “the Black of Saingliu”) are the chariot horses of the great hero C"chulainn. These horses are swifter and stronger than normal horses and nearly as smart as an average mortal. Before the battle in which Cúchulainn was slain, the Gray refused three times to be bridled and wept tears of blood when the halter was placed on its head, knowing its master would die that day. In that battle, the Gray killed thirty foes with his hooves and another fifty with his teeth. After the death of their master, Lugh removed them from the field of battle before they could be slain. The steeds of Cúchulainn are so swift that they can run across water without falling in. They are also perfectly trained and will obey any order given to them by their master, no matter the language spoken. The Steeds of Cúchulainn use the horse template. In addition to its normal characteristics, Liath Macha also has Epic Strength 2 (Holy Bound, Holy Rampage), Epic Dexterity 1 (Lightning Sprinter), two additional –0, -1 and –2 health levels each, and the following Virtues: Courage 4, Expression 1, Intellect 3, Piety 3. The Gray possesses Legend 2 and is able to use the first two dots of the Water Purview. Dub Sainglend possesses Epic Strength 1 (Holy Bound), Epic Stamina 1 (Holy Fortitude), one additional –0, -1 and –2 health level each, and the Virtues Courage 3, Expression 1, Intellect 2 and Piety 2. The Black has Legend 1 and is able to use the first two dots of the Water Purview as well.
Kerit: (Creature 3) At home in eastern Africa, the kerit looks at first glance like a strangely-stooped small bear. With brown fur and a shambling gait, it seems to be little more than another nighttime omnivore, right up until it leaps over a fence, grabs a screaming victim in its front paws and proceeds to run on its remaining four back legs before it clambers up a large tree to feast on the victim’s head. Since the kerit is a nocturnal beast with dark fur and a certain amount of animal cunning, it is rarely seen by hunters or safari-goers. Nevertheless, people living in the rural bush of Africa continue to relate stories of the kerit, of its tendency to sit on thick tree-branches and lean down to lop off the tops of travelers’ heads, and of its ability to sneak into pens and steal away herd animals. The kerit is slightly smaller than a brown bear, perhaps weighing in at 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, but it makes up for this smaller mass with its startling speed and agility (in part because it has six legs). For a Scion, the kerit is an appropriate companion for the Loa and Pesedjet pantheons. The kerit is most common as a pet for Scions associated with the Darkness purview.
Mushhushshu: (Creature 2) The mushhushshu is distantly related to the dragons of many pantheons, and has an ancient past: It served as the regal mount for the Gods of the Sumerian pantheon (now likely deceased, or at least in a great deal of trouble). The mushhushshu adorns the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon in many bright pictorials, showing it as a four-legged beast about the size of a rhinoceros, with yellow-orange lizard-like scales, a sinuous neck, a stubby tail and a frill behind the elongated jaw. Since the mushhushshu hails from a pantheon that is now all but extinct, it is a creature rarely seen even among Scions. Gods from other pantheons, especially the Pesedjet and the Dodekatheon, occasionally pop up with a mushhushshu for a stalwart young Hero, although they usually confine their comments about it to “keep it out of the cold and make sure it does not eat your friends.” Despite its large stature, the mushhushshu is not a terrific combatant. It’s also about as smart as one can expect of a lizard. It does, however, provide a wonderful means of transport, because the mushhushshu are extremely blasé around supernatural occurrences. Whether running up the stairwell of an Aztec pyramid, chasing through the Dark Forest of Norse legend or swimming across a sea of blood in the Underworld, the mushhushshu will serve as a mount under nearly any conditions, never complaining or balking. It cannot fly, but thanks to its large size it can easily carry a small Band of Scions on its back — particularly important when crossing dangerous territory with wounded companions. Left to forage, a mushhushshu will feast upon small birds, rodents and mammals. It can depopulate a fairly large area of squirrels in a short time. Usually, the mushhushshu comes with a special Relic 1 urn in which it can be stored as a cloud of smoke when it is not needed, although on at least one occasion Sobek “gifted” one of his children with a mushhushshu and no way to stable it.
Thunderbird: (Creature 5) The tremendous thunderbird is depicted on totem poles in the American Northwest, where folk legends pass down stories of the condor-like creature so large and majestic that its wings flap to create thunder and its flashing eyes manifest lightning. The terrible cry of the thunderbird can shake the mountains and cause avalanches. A thunderbird is so massive that it hunts whales out in the ocean, bringing them back with its great talons and tearing them open with its curved beak. A thunderbird appears as an enormous bird with dark feathers, an arched beak, an angular head and extremely sharp talons. While it is not an especially intelligent creature, it is a fearsome hunter, and it has a propensity for lifting its prey high into the air before dropping it and scavenging the remains. The thunderbird comes from Northwestern American mythology, but the legend of a great bird could also apply to the roc from Arabian stories or the Peng from Chinese myths. Any Scion could conceivably take a thunderbird as a Creature, particularly after finding a way to cause the bird to imprint to him (perhaps by raising it from an egg or using the Animal Purview). The thunderbird is a natural enemy of the kongamato, which is a Titan-corrupted, reptilian mockery of the thunderbird’s true majesty.