Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apt

A huge white furred creature with six limbs, four of which are short and heavy to carry it through snow and ice; a denizen of the Barsoomian north pole. The remaining two limbs grow forward from the shoulder on either side of the powerful long neck and terminate in white, hairless hands which it uses to capture and hold its prey. Its head and mouth are like that of the hippopotamus with two large, down-curving horns extending forward from the bottom jaw. Two huge eyes, each composed of hundreds of ocelli, are oval patches running downward from the center of the cranium to below the horns on either side of the head. Each ocelli is equipped with its own lid and the apt can, at will, close as many of the facets as desired. Curiously the creature goes without sleep for periods of up to a month, then sleeps for a whole day before beginning anew the hunt for food in the harsh north.

The animal is domesticated by the Yellow men. Apt fur is generally worn by northern warriors.

Attributes:
Agility: d8Smarts: d4(A)Spirit: d10Strength: d12+1Vigor: d12

Skills:
Fighting: d8Guts: d6Notice: d10

Secondary Attributes:
Pace: 7Parry: 6Toughness: 10 (2)

Special Abilities:
Alertness: The apt's eyes allow it a +2 to notice rolls
Bite/Claws: Str+d6
Size: +2
(Apts are large sized, and are +2 to be hit, but gain +2 toughness)
Darkvision
Grapple:
Apts often try to grapple a foe then tear him to bits. When grappling, they don’t suffer the normal “unarmed” penalties to their attacks. If they can grapple a foe, they have +1 to hit with their bite attack.
Frenzy:
An Apt may choose to attack twice in a round - if they do, they get the usual -2 penalty.

More details from The Warlord of Mars


For five days of cold and suffering and privation we traversed the rough and frozen way which lies at the foot of the ice-barrier. Fierce, fur-bearing creatures attacked us by daylight and by dark. Never for a moment were we safe from the sudden charge of some huge demon of the north.

The apt was our most consistent and dangerous foe.

It is a huge, white-furred creature with six limbs, four of which, short and heavy, carry it swiftly over the snow and ice; while the other two, growing forward from its shoulders on either side of its long, powerful neck, terminate in white, hairless hands, with which it seizes and holds its prey.

Its head and mouth are more similar in appearance to those of a hippopotamous than to any other earthly animal, except that from the sides of the lower jawbone two mighty horns curve slightly downward toward the front.

Its two huge eyes inspired my greatest curiosity. They extend in two vast, oval patches from the center of the top of the cranium down either side of the head to below the roots of the horns, so that these weapons really grow out from the lower part of the eyes, which are composed of several thousand ocelli each.

This eye structure seemed remarkable in a beast whose haunts were upon a glaring field of ice and snow, and though I found upon minute examination of several that we killed that each ocellus is furnished with its own lid, and that the animal can at will close as many of the facets of his huge eyes as he chooses, yet I was positive that nature had thus equipped him because much of his life was to be spent in dark, subterranean recesses.

Shortly after this we came upon the hugest apt that we had seen. The creature stood fully eight feet at the shoulder, and was so sleek and clean and glossy that I could have sworn that he had but recently been groomed.

He stood head-on eyeing us as we approached him, for we had found it a waste of time to attempt to escape the perpetual bestial rage which seems to possess these demon creatures, who rove the dismal north attacking every living thing that comes within the scope of their far-seeing eyes.

Even when their bellies are full and they can eat no more, they kill purely for the pleasure which they derive from taking life, and so when this particular apt failed to charge us, and instead wheeled and trotted away as we neared him, I should have been greatly surprised had I not chanced to glimpse the sheen of a golden collar about its neck.

Thuvan Dihn saw it, too, and it carried the same message of hope to us both. Only man could have placed that collar there, and as no race of Martians of which we knew aught ever had attempted to domesticate the ferocious apt, he must belong to a people of the north of whose very existence we were ignorant--possibly to the fabled yellow men of Barsoom; that once powerful race which was supposed to be extinct, though sometimes, by theorists, thought still to exist in the frozen north.

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