Great Terror of the North
Creation is ﬁlled with exotic beasts, from the intelligent animals of the deep forest, to semi-intelligent Haltan pets and various small gods that take on animal form. In addition, some animals are sensitive to Essence who are drawn to various magical beings like the Exalted. Some are little more than unusually loyal pets, but others share a deep and profound link with the character. In either case, the familiar draws the character’s Essence to supplement its own life, and the animal will not age or die until the character does.
••• The familiar is a powerful or dangerous pet such as a tiger or a dire wolf or an impressive small animal that is as intelligent as a child of eight or nine years. It can fetch items and do chores, but it has no book learning and is easily distracted. The familiar can communicate with you as well as if it were speaking by its noises, postures and expressions. When it is touching your character, it makes an additional ﬁve motes of Essence available. This Essence is “stored” in the familiar but is otherwise treated as Personal Essence. It regenerates only after your character has regained all his own Essence. The character can share one of the familiar’s senses (at a time) when the familiar is within 100 yards.
•••• The familiar is a larger pet such as an eagle or wolf that also has the increased intelligence, near-perfect communication, sharing of senses and Essence store of a small Familiar 3 animal.
••••• The familiar is a powerful or dangerous pet that has the properties of a small Familiar 3 animal.
These terrifying carnivores are the scourge of the North as they feast on reindeer herds, mammoth and unlucky travelers or villagers. No prey smaller than a man is worth their trouble to hunt. These gigantic hairy canine creatures grow 10–12 feet tall and about 16 feet long. A great-terror’s monstrous, fang-filled jaws can easily crush a man’s skull. Great-terrors have jaggedly striped brown or black pelts, matted into a crest along their backs. (In the extreme North, these beasts have snow white fur.) Roughened paws enable great-terrors to lope over slippery ice. In the dark, their eyes catch any light with a fiery, orange glow. Male great-terrors hunt alone. The females gather in packs of up to half a dozen. All great-terrors growl, bark and whinny as they chase their prey. At the kill, a great-terror bays in a way that sounds like maniacal laughter. Few dare to hunt great-terrors. Not only are these creatures fast, wily and extremely hardy, but great-terror meat tastes rotten (though it is harmless) and their oily, pungent pelts are nearly worthless.