19. Bestiary: Morrowind Endemics

Strange and alien creatures populate the province of Morrowind.

Bestiary

Another bestiary entry, this one covering various creatures native to Morrowind and found no where else. These creatures are usually exotic and bizarre, featuring many insects and reptiles. This post does not cover all creatures, just the most common and most interesting ones. Harmless critters, such as bantam guars and scuttlers are left out. They may be part of the scenery, but pose little interest to adventurers.

Each creature’s stat block comes with a short physical description and can also be accompanied by details such as diet, habitat, behavior, and uses. The creatures have been sorted into four categories: bipeds, insectoids, kwama, and flying creatures. Most are Beasts, but some have semi-natural abilities that make them fall under the Monstrosity category.


Bipeds

Morrowind is littered with beasts that walk on two legs. The guar are a reptilian substitute for horses and mules, doing hard labor on behalf of the Dunmer. Alit and kagouti are predators, using their strong legs to charge over plains in the Grazelands and dash in the wastes of the Ashlands. The great vvardvark is a strange and dangerous creature with an appetite for insects. Most of the time it rolls through the countryside, making little use of its two legs.

Insectoids

Chitinous shells and strong mandibles seem to be a prerequisite for survival in the harsh land of Morrowind, for insects seem to thrive in that unforgiving land. Agile ash hoppers spend their days buried in the ash, looking for food once the sun goes down. Nix-hounds and nix-oxen a locked in a perpetual game of predator and prey. The shalk are fire-loving beetles that live near volcanoes. Gigantic silt striders are domesticated flea-like insects that effortlessly ferry goods and passengers across the landscape. Kwama are also technically insectoids, but are usually referred to as a separate category.

Kwama

These creatures live in underground colonies, each overseen by a queen. A medium-sized colony would have 7 (3d4) warriors, 16 (5+3d6) workers, 14 (3d8) foragers, and 25 (7d6) scrib. Native Dunmer often exploit these colonies for eggs and other commodities, turning colonies into so-called eggmines. Blight is a major threat to the kwama as it spreads quickly due to their communal behavior. A blighted queen usually means the death of the colony.

Flying Creatures

Morrowind’s skies are home to a number of airborne creatures. Cliff racers are common but dangerous pests. Cliff striders, on the other hand, are a serious menace strong enough to tear a humanoid to shreds. The netch are jellyfish-like creatures with the disposition of cattle.


Commentary. Most of these creatures are taken from The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Nix-oxen and cliff striders are from The Elder Scrolls Online expansion called Morrowind. Great vvardvarks are giant versions of regular vvardvarks, and are not canon.

Making beasts is not as easy as it seems, as one has to keep in mind the druid’s Wild Shape feature. The safest bet is to take an already existing creature and slightly alter it. Nix-hounds are basically the same as wolves, kagouti as giant boars, and guar as giant lizards. Instead of just writing ‘Use this profile for this monster’, I felt compelled to create a separate stat block.

Lastly, I decided to make kwama and netch monstrosities instead of beasts. They have abilities that are not entirely natural (producing magical vapors or communicating telepathically), and would probably create balance issues if Druids are allowed to transform into them using Wild Shape.

6 thoughts on “19. Bestiary: Morrowind Endemics”

    1. I like your work, very helpful. In my campaign, avdenturers will go to Apocrypha (the Hermaeus Mora’s World), could you make some of the monster present in his world please (like Seekers or Lurkers)?
      Thank’s again for your wonderful work !

      Like

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