Carp are a species of fish native to the Far East. In Nippon they are greatly loved and people love to fill ponds and lakes with them. For in Nippon Carp are a symbol of youth, bravery, perseverance, strength and self-defence. In some places, such as the emperor’s palace, it is death to catch any of the carp in the sacred ponds there. Carp are worth a lot of money in Nippon and the fish with the most unusual or brilliant colours can be sold for a small fortune.
Physique: Nipponese Carp look not unlike the carp of our world except that they can grow to gigantic lengths. Indeed legends tell of these fish growing to over ten-feet long and devour fishermen. Such large Carp do actually exist although they are extremely rare and they have religious aspects tied to them.
Alignment: Neutral. However, some giant Carp are said to actually aid people and even save them from drowning. These Carp can be considered Good-aligned and are said to be controlled by the kami.
Psychological Traits: Small Carp are startled by any sudden movement and will flee to get away.
Special Rules: The profile given below is for one of the giant Carp approximately ten-feet long. Small Carp are not included here because they are no threat whatsoever. Both species are too stupid to be affected by illusions or mind-influencing spells.
CREATURES OF CHAOS
While the Incursions of Chaos of 2300 ravaged the northern Old World there was another incursion directed against the countries of the Far East but this time from the southern Chaos Wastes. The High Elven colony at Tor Elithis, an island due south of Nippon, was totally overwhelmed by the forces of Chaos and the fall of the Gates of Calith on Cathay’s southern tip seemed to signal the doom of the East. Yet Chaos was not victorious against the combined armies of Nippon, Cathay and the Kingdoms of Ind and the survivors from Tor Elithis.
But the losses inflicted on the Eastern realms was great and even today the ripples of the last Incursions of Chaos can still be felt. Creatures of Chaos now inhabit the mountains and darkest forests of Nippon: Manticore, Chimerae, Hydra, Griffons, Hippogriffs and many twisted bands of Chaos mutants and savage beastmen. However, Chaos had always existed in Nippon ever since the collapse of the polar gateways but the last Incursions of Chaos increased their numbers and their hate – some Samurai even use some tamed creatures of Chaos for mounts or beasts of war. Furthermore, Tor Elithis, the greatest of the Pheonix King’s eastern possessions, could never be retaken and it still remains in the grip of the forces of Chaos, which is why today it is known as the Lost Isles of Elithis. Even though it is a Realm of Chaos in its own right it doesn’t prevent people from going there to find lost Elven treasure. Those who do go are seldom heard of again.
The seeds of Chaos still work their way into Nipponese society, even though the countryside may look peaceful and farmers are not being slaughtered by beastmen. The agents of Chaos are using methods that have proven to work for centuries: seduction and the lure of power. Whether or not entire clans have fallen prey to the seed of Chaos is not known for sure but what is known is the inevitability of Chaos and the fact that small victories will eventually turn into many triumphs.
There can be few places in the world where the greenskinned race does not exist and the Land of Nippon is no different. There have been some climactic battles in the past between hordes of goblinoids and the armies of the various Nipponese clans. Like in the Old World goblinoid threat has largely been exterminated following the advancement of Human civilization and the simple fact that the old barbaric and crude ways of goblinoid warfare cannot match the more advanced Human’s. Only sporadic and opportunistic invasions remind the Nipponese that the goblinoids still exist as they often target villages, small towns and isolated monasteries and loot and pillage as they go.
The most commonly encountered kind of goblinoids in Nippon are Hobgoblins and Goblins - Orcs do exist but in smaller numbers. History shows that in the past goblinoids did not inhabit Nippon but the more advanced Hobgoblins crossed the Sea of Nippon from the lands known today as the Hinterlands of Khuresh and the Eastern Steppes. They brought with them many goblins who were their slaves. The Hobgoblins conquered and enslaved the peoples they encountered in Nippon and for a long time they ruled their own kingdom. But eventually the Nipponese defeated them and drove them out of the lowlands. To this day the descendants lurk in the depths of the forests, the hills and mountains.
Hunts are often mounted by the nobility to rid an area of goblinoids with trophies taken from the bodies to decorate their personal banners or as gruesome additions to their armour. Indeed, goblinoid trophies are highly prized with tough Orc hide and teeth being used to augment armour; the Ainu of Haikido use staves studded with razor sharp Orc teeth and some even use their thick skulls for helmets.
Jinto worship is centred on the reverence of the kami or “superior beings”. Kami may be anything that is extraordinary and that inspires awe or reverence. Consequently, a wide variety of kami exist in Jinto: there are kami related to natural objects and creatures -- the spirits of mountains, seas, rivers, rocks, trees, animals, and the like; there are guardian kami of particular locales and clans; also considered kami are exceptional human beings, including many emperors. Evil spirits are also known in Jinto, but few seem irredeemably so. While a god may first call attention to its presence through a display of rowdy or even destructive behaviour, generally speaking, the kami are benign. Their role is to sustain and protect.
Physique: Tremendously varied. The Kami given for this bestiary entry are human-looking or are at least humanoid in appearance. As mentioned above they can be great heroes or scholars whose spirits live on after death but they can also be lesser deities.
Psychological Traits: Kami are immune to all psychological effects and may cause fear and terror at will even though their physical appearance may not be that fearsome or terrifying.
Special Rules: Enormously varied. Some Kami are great warriors while others are great wizards. The GM should feel free to create whatever special rules he wishes. It should be borne in mind that Kami are akin to Greater Daemons and can possess great power. The profile given below is for the “lesser Kami” if there is such a thing.
Kappa are a race of evil water-dwelling creatures. Although according to the Jinto religion they are referred to as “water-spirits” or “water-daemons” they are in fact malevolent, amphibian-like creatures with a taste for Human blood. They await the lonely traveller as he passes by their pool or lake and then attacks, pulling the unwary victim into the water where is drowned and subsequently eaten alive. They will eat almost any animal but they prefer Human flesh. Although Kappa are evil creatures they do possess a cunning intelligence and can speak a few words of Nipponese. Thankfully they are confined to dark and dismal watery areas as they cannot survive for long once out of water. It is said that the Kappa were once human many eons ago but the kami cursed them for their evil ways. It is rumoured that they also exist in Cathay too.
Physique: Kappa are gaunt humanoids with scaly limbs and long hair. Their faces are ape-like and ugly and their jaws are strong and powerful, easily able to break bone. Their heads must always be kept wet otherwise they eventually perish and become a dried husk (powdered Kappa bone is said to cure disease). For this reason they never stray far from water. It is said that the top of a Kappa’s head contains a small portion of its life-giving water and that if one could make it bow the water would pour away and the Kappa would have to retreat. Unfortunately no one knows if this is fact or fable.
Psychological Traits: Kappa fear fire and very loud noises, such as gunshots or explosions (including fire balls and lightning bolt spells).
Special Rules: Kappa attack their prey with the element of surprise. If they cannot achieve this they rarely carry out an attack. Their favoured tactic is to lie in wait in the water and cause it to bubble a good distance away from where it is hiding so as to take the victim’s attention. When the victim is watching the bubbles the Kappa will attack and attempt to drag the person into the water. Kappa can also influence small fish and may use them to catch a person’s attention while it prepares for an attack. Kappa have scaly, slippery skin which gives them 1 AP to all locations.
The Ki-Rin is a creature of myth like the Unicorn and is very much like that creature except it has the power of flight, though it has no wings. It is a magical creature and according to the Jinto religion it uses it single horn in the centre of its head to punish the wicked. It is also said to protect the just and grant them good luck. If a virtuous person sees one galloping across the heavens it is supposedly an omen of good fortune. Nothing else is known about the Ki-Rin or whether it is a living creature at all. Many believe that it is a kami. It is said that a Ki-Rin is sensitive to alignment and will allow itself to be ridden by a Good-aligned character.
Physique: Ki-Rin have the appearance of horses but are always white, sometimes dappled, with a single straight horn projecting from the forehead, above and between the eyes. A Ki-Rin’s hooves and flowing mane and tail are golden.
Psychological Traits: Ki-Rin are immune to all psychological effects and confers this benefit to anyone riding it.
Special Rules: Ki-Rin will only allow themselves to be ridden by characters of Good alignment. Ki-Rin, being talismans of luck, allow any rider to alter any dice roll by +10/+1 or –10/-1. Ki-Rin themselves are highly resistant to magic and are allowed a Magic test even against spells which do not normally allow one, such as magic missiles for example. Against spells that allow a Magic test the Ki-Rin gains a +10 bonus to the Will Power roll. All of these benefits are conferred to any rider a Ki-Rin may have. Any lesser Undead creatures who come within 20 yards of a Ki-Rin, such as a skeleton or zombie, must pass a Will Power test or be instantly destroyed. Ki-Rin are skilled fliers and are counted as swoopers. A Ki-Rin’s attacks are counted as magical and may affect creatures that are immune to non-magical weapons.
Koji is the Nipponese word for “Ogre”. The Nipponese Ogre is extremely violent and favours living in forests where it ambushes travellers, devours them and strips them of any valuables. Goblinoids, and even some Men, have associated themselves with these brutal creatures where they use their love for battle and death to further their own purposes. Sometimes Men mobilize their forces to hunt for Koji in the forests as their skin is highly prized for leather armour; the Ainu of northern Nippon also use their bones and teeth to make bludgeoning weapons.
For other details about Koji see page 224 of the WFRP rulebook as they are effectively Ogres in everything but name.
The Mukade is a giant centipede of legend. According to Nipponese folklore an evil wizard caused it to grow and ordered it to do terrible things, eating people being the chief objective. Although this particular leviathan was slain by the hero Kino it apparently spawned more hideous monsters, though they were nothing to compare to the size of their mother. The Mukade must owe its size and bulk to the warping Powers of Chaos.
Physique: Like the centipede of our world only much larger!
Psychological Traits: Mukade cause fear and terror in all living creatures and are immune to all psychological effects. However, they are also subject to fear of fire. Furthermore the creature is far too stupid to be affected by an mind-influencing magic or illusions.
Special Rules: The Mukade attack by mainly biting, stomping and crushing. Their bite is highly venomous, though it may vary from creature to creature, but anyone wounded from a bite attack must pass a Poison test or die within 2D6 rounds. The tough chitinous hide of the Mukade is enough to give it 2 AP to all locations.
Oni are Nipponese giants, who the Jinto religion refer to as “daemons”. They are invariably evil and prey on Humans. It is reckoned that the Oni are responsible for earthquakes and much of the natural phenomena that threatens Humans. They are also seen as allies of anything and everything evil, including evil wizards and goblinoids. In truth the Oni have grown to be a distinct race of giants since the first incursions of Chaos thousands of years ago. Some Oni are worshipped as gods in Nippon and are offered sacrifices for their protection.
Physique: Oni are huge humanoids, at least fifteen-feet tall but can be much taller, have three eyes and two horns projecting from their head. Some Oni also have a sharp tail and cloven hooves. Skin colour ranges from brown, dark grey, to black. Their intelligence varies quite a bit but they are far from stupid.
Alignment: Evil or Chaotic.
Psychological Traits: Oni cause fear in living creatures under ten-feet tall.
Special Rules: Oni may throw rocks or other improvised missiles a distance of up to four times their Strength in yards, with a Strength equal to their own if they hit. Oni are subject to blood lust; if an Oni kills or disables an opponent and there is no other opponent within reach, it must test against its Cool or begin to eat. If attacked while eating it will fight those who have disturbed it, and its Attacks score is temporarily doubled until it is able to resume feeding. Oni with a Strength of 8 or more have the ability to cause the earth to quake. This has the same effect as an Assault of Stones spell.
Many temples in the Far East, and not just in Nippon, are protected by the guardian statues of dogs; much like some buildings in the Old World are protected by gargoyles. Most of them are indeed just lifeless statues but some have been imbued with magic so that they come alive should the holy place they are bound to guard be threatened. It is a long process to imbue a Temple Dog with magic. The priests spend long hours chanting; performing ceremonies and rituals, and communing with the gods in order to effectively give life to the statue. In times of dire need a Temple Dog may actually be taken for a mount by a great hero and ridden into battle. This is the only circumstance by which a Temple Dog maybe taken outside of its bound area. The priests in this case must perform more ceremonies so that the magic becomes more powerful allowing it to walk on ground not consecrated by priests, i.e. outside the temple grounds or similar holy area.
Physique: A Temple Dog is a cross between a giant Pekinese and a lion.
Alignment: Temple Dogs do not have a mind of their own as they are nothing more than animated statues.
Psychological Traits: Temple Dogs are immune to all psychological effects.
Special Rules: Temple Dogs are immune to all mind-influencing spells and are also immune to non-magical weapons. They can be taken for a mount and ridden into combat but only warriors with the following characteristics, equal to or above, are allowed this honour: WS 60, S 5, I 60, A 3, Ld 60 and Cl 60. A character riding a Temple Dog benefits from its protective aura and is granted +1 AP to all locations as well as being immune to all psychological effects too. A Temple Dog’s attacks are counted as magical and may affect creatures that are immune to non-magical weapons.
The Tengu is a race peculiar to the Far East being half-man and half-crow. No one really knows their true origins but it is reckoned they came to Nippon from Cathay thousands of years ago and long before there was any kind of civilization there. They favour the desolate, forested, mountainous areas of Nippon and although they may appear to be mischievous, such as playing tricks on travellers and causing fires to magically appear in front of temples, they are quite intelligent. Indeed, they are skilful swordsmen and legends tell of them teaching the art of kenjutsu to some lucky individuals. Their mischief extends to kidnapping children, but then returning them safely after a period of time, spiriting away travellers and have them appear somewhere else (sometimes stripped of everything even to the point of being naked!) Tengu are not overly malicious but sometimes their eccentricity can lead them to do bad things, such as kidnapping young children for example. In areas where it is known that Tengu live, though some believe they are nothing but the fevered imagination of peasants, people leave offerings of rice and bean paste to appease their supernatural neighbours. Tengu can communicate but only through telepathy. They probably share more in common with birds, however, as the young are born from eggs. It is said that the yolk, when eaten, can imbue magical powers. It is certainly true that wizards pay well for Tengu eggs.
Physique: Tengu are humanoid in appearance but have the upper body of a crow. They also possess wings and are capable of flight. Their hands, which are very slightly clawed, are surprisingly dextrous and allow them to use weapons just as good as humans (if not better for they are very good swordsmen.) Their colouring is invariably dark, being dark brown to black. They also wear human clothes and favour red. It must be said that Chaos must have had a hand in the creation of these creatures.
Special Rules: Tengu have wings and can fly as hoverers. They are master illusionists and a Tengu will have a mastery level of D6-2 (minimum level 1.) For each level of mastery a Tengu will have 4D4 magic points. They do not need any ingredients to cast spells. At the GM’s discretion they may also have access to some Battle and Elemental magic spells. Tengu may possess any number of Martial Arts skills.