Elder Scrolls

Denizens of the Alik'r Deserts

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Just as Argonian hunters scouting the waters of Black Marsh speak of a monstrous sea-drake--a giant fish with a reptilian snough and rough, scaly hide--there are similar tales from the migrant trappers of the Alik'r Desert. The duneripper shares many aspects of that aquatic monster but has adapted to live within the roasting sands of the western Alik'r Desert. Ambush hunters like the duneripper are well suited to this arid, unforgiving landscape. The beast is immensely proportioned-- it can reac the length of three horses-- and it's armored tail is covered in chitinous scales. Unlike the sea-drake, the duneripper has learned the primal art of patience. With a digestion system that requires only a modicum of food to sustain the large beast, the duneripper burrows beneath the sand, sometimes lying motionless for days, waiting to strike it's victim.

The first sign of a duneripper is the dorsal crest piercing the sand just before an attack, as the nearby sand churns like a whirlpool. The quarry is unaware until the very last moment that a sharp-toothed, salivating mouth is closing in on it. Should a bite not incapacitate it's prey, the duneripper will try to clamp down on it, roll onto it, constrict it, or burrow back into the sand to suffocate it.

The duneripper will also sweep it's tail around to upend it's prey, and it exhibits short bursts of impressive speed. Beware the shifting sands, for they may be a relude to a swift and bloody death.

There have been tales of these giant, crablike beasts since before the Redguards first explored the vast dunes of the Alik'r Desert. With only the duneripper to fear, the giant scorpion has been left alone to grow to enourmous proportions. It's girth is comparable to a large bull, and it has two horrific front pincers, six smaller legs that end in sharp claws, and an immense and segmented prehensile tail, which would be a marvel to watch were it not the most feared natrual weapon of Hammerfell. After one of these monstrosities spot it's prey, it moves with great speed across the sand, leaving only the shallowest of imprints.

It usually attacks with it's claws, catching it's meal before the tail lashes out, usually killing the poor victim quietly but unpleasantly: If the barbed stinger doesn't slay the victim outright, the deadly venom pumped into the open wound immobilizes it. The corpse or paralyzed victim is then slowly eaten and digested externally. To prevent this most heinous of deaths, it is recommended you attack from behind, concentrating on incapacitating the tail, as the hardened carapace is extremely difficult to breach. Native shamans of the Ash'abah prize giant scorpion stingers, but they prefer to harvest these themselves, rather than pay for ones slain by others.

Excitable children are subdued by talk of a Lamia visting them in the night. Many variations of the tale exist where a charmed traveler surrenders to a terrible and painful death at the talons and bite of a Lamia. This beast is a well-known underwater menace to the fishermen of Daggerfall. Recent Imperial research, and evidence from the local viziers in the Alik'r Desert region of Hammerfell, as discovered aggressive and untamed desert kin with a similar skeletal structure and vicious attack pattern.

the Lamia is an amalgam of snake and woman, although it is assumed they are hermaphroditic and lay eggs like a reptile (which are then abandoned and the immature Lamiae are left to fend for themselves). the less enlightened see this creatures as a cursed people, but there is no evidence for this. Lamiae stand as a tall full-grown Breton male when fully reared up, and they use their long tails to steady themselves while on land. Their sharp poison fangs, ophidian heads, and scaled tails have led to an aversion of this chimera across Tamriel.

They have a lust for gold, jewels, and trinkets, and are known to loot and wear such treasure from the corpses of those they've slain. They understand language but have a rasping hiss rather than anything intelligible. However, they have developed an eerie, almost mesmerizing song that can entrance and entrap the credulous. They lack intelligence to craft or make art, they never venture far from their lair, and they live independently unless they need to congregate for safety or are under command of a more powerful Lamia or other entity. Their mastery of electrucal magic is innate, not learned. But their appetite is boracious; they devour the flesh, meat, and bone of any living creature.

Beware the song of the Lamia. It may be the last lullaby you ever hear.

The dread mausoleums in the waters near Bergama hold more than their fair share of the dead. Grave robbers tell of a terrible spectre, a hooded shape of fear, tattered and floating in the cool, stale air. Unlike a ghost, this wraith is a spirit without memory, raised from the dead or summoned by necromancy. They float, silent and thoughtless. But once you cross the threshold they are guarding, the magic that binds them quickens them into inflicting a savage, uncompromising attack.


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