Amiraspian cyclopes are one-eyed, man-eating creatures known for their violent raids on the settlements of humans and humanoids alike. They stand nine feet tall and resemble men in general shape, with powerful arms and clawed hands, and tan-colored, weathered skin with scattered clumps of straggly green-black hair. Their faces have a single massive eye, clear sea green in color and eerily human apart from its size. Below this eye sits a horrible, broad mouth crammed with fangs.
"for" > "of"?
"to rot": why not the original scavengers bit?
Cyclops caves are usually infested with carrion-eaters that feed off the remains of their prey.
Note: LOL man cave. But it’s not in the original.
Cursed Births. Amiraspian cyclopes are always male, possibly due to genetic deficiencies. To propagate their kind, they keep any pregnant human women they capture alive until they have given birth. A child born of these women is handed over to the chieftain, who will then invoke a powerful, irreversible curse to transform the child/it into a cyclops. However, this curse does not always work and invoking it may also result in a cyclopean human, a human child with only one eye which is then cast out to fend for itself. Often, such children are then picked up by other cyclopean humans, who will raise it as one of their own. In other cases, the curse will simply fail to generate any effect, leaving the child unchanged and to be devoured like the other prisoners.
Cursed Births. [the "problematic" bit] ???
Heh. I wasn't too happy with it either.The final "Below this eye" sentence suggests its mouth is where its nose should be, and I don't much care for starting it with "Below" for arbitrary aesthetics reasons. It just looks incomplete to me, as if it were missing the start of the sentence.
Didn't particularly want it one way or the other. I just thought it was a typo and I now stand corrected.
Ah. I wasn't aware of the latter.Shrug. Just to mix it up. Don't want to simply copy the White Dwarf text. It's better to make it as much our own words as we can.
Hmm... I beg to differ but I guess in doesn't really matter in light of the "better avoiding as much of the original text as possible".Also, the wording could be taken to meaning cyclopes deliberately seek out vultures and hyenas to throw dead half-orcs to, which didn't make much sense to me.
Fair enough. So suggesting that half-orcs are taken back to the lair before they are killed? I rather read the original as that the cyclopes simply killed them wherever they found them and left them there for scavengers.I preferred it naturally attractive carrion-eating scavengers due to its eating habits, and from there it made sense for them to hang around its lair where the leftovers are. Although I suppose they could follow after cyclopes waiting for them to drop food.
"Carrion" is fine to avoid misunderstandings you point out above.Would be liking to meat you halfway [;p] and have it says the cyclops leaves the half-orc corpse as carrion. The reader should be able to figure out how that connects to the "carrion-eaters" in the later paragraph.
Agreed.Actually, might expand that section to include the possibility of scavengers trailing after a cyclops to feed of its grisly leftovers…
Scavengers are, and where else would they be?
Would cut references to genetics, as it feels a bit to "scientific" for D&D.
Er... OK. I thought I'd nerfed it quite considerably already?I mused about taking a "choose your own abomination" approach and presenting various rumours about how cyclopes multiply (transforming newborns in cyclopes, sacrificing virgins to summon cyclopes from the Feywild, the original "rapey" way, procreating asexually, or maybe female cyclopes exist, etc. etc.) and leave it up to the DM to decide which, if any, are true.
Besides, how do people know cyclopes are actually male? They could just resemble male humanoids more than female ones, but be technically asexual or sexless and incapable of reproducing naturally, which is why they have to use the changeling method of multiplying?
But in the end, I think doing so would make the section too complicated, and it would be more prudent to keep the details brief and vague.
When you boil it down, we just need to mention that (a) the cyclops needs a captive pregnant human, (b) they always eat the mother after childbirth, and (c) the result can be a cyclops, a human, or a cyclopean human.
Why is it "orcflesh"? Would it be "humanflesh" or "manflesh?"Anyhow, here's a new version:
Amiraspian cyclopes are one-eyed man-eaters known for their savage attacks on humans and other humanoids. A cyclops stands around 9 feet tall and resembles a man in general shape, with powerful arms, clawed hands and a horrible mouth, broad and crammed with flesh-ripping fangs. Its single massive eye is clear sea green and eerily human apart from its size. The cyclops's weathered skin is tan in color, with scattered clumps of straggly green-black hair.
Foes of Humankind. Amiraspian cyclopes are carnivores with an innate fondness for humanoid flesh. Their favorite food is halfling, followed by gnome, dwarf, elf, gnome and human, but they loathe the taste of orcflesh.
Perhaps the "cyclops" in the final sentence should be plural?Only a starving cyclops would eat an orc or half-orc, it would rather leave the corpse as carrion.
Cyclopes are notorious for raiding undefended settlements, repeatedly attacking them whenever they feel hungry. Like many predators, a cyclops prefers weak victims (e.g. abducting unarmed villagers from hamlets or farmhouses) over hunting strong prey that might injure it (e.g. fighting warriors or adventurers).
Cave Tyrants. These monsters can live off most types of terrain, including subterranean, and normally lair in caves. Amiraspian cyclopes often dominate bands of humanoid monsters (orcs, gnolls, goblins, et cetera) as their minions. The group is ruled by the strongest and fiercest cyclops (see Amiraspian Cyclops Chief for an example). A cyclops lair might also contain young cyclopes and captured humanoids. Often human, these living prisoners are held to be eaten. Unlucky captives suffer ghastly fates before being devoured.
A cyclops may attract scavengers that feed on the gory remains of its prey.
They are sometimes trailed by carrion-eaters such as buzzards or jackals, and their dwellings are usually infested with corpse-flies and similar vermin.
Hmm..., not at all in favor of the "genderless" thing, nor of the "pregnant human captives" to avoid mentioning women.Might as well bite the bullet!
Cursed Births. While their chest and shoulders might resemble male humanoids and giants in form, these cyclopes are genderless creatures incapable of natural procreation. Instead, they keep pregnant human captives and curse their offspring to become or be replaced by a cyclops baby as it is born. This Amiraspian curse must be delivered during the delivery; pregnant humans who escape or are rescued from a cyclops den birth regular infants. The unholy curse requires the human mother be eaten when the baby is birthed and does not always work. Instead of a cyclops whelp, the newborn may be fully human (in which case it is eaten too), or the curse only partially succeeds and results in a one-eyed humanoid called an Amiraspian?]. Amiraspian humanoid infants grow to resemble a cyclopian human rather than a cyclops, and are cast out once the cyclopes realize they aren't their kind.
Why is it "orcflesh"? Would it be "humanflesh" or "manflesh?"
Perhaps the "cyclops" in the final sentence should be plural?
Hmm..., not at all in favor of the "genderless" thing,
nor of the "pregnant human captives" to avoid mentioning women.
"to become or be replaced by a cyclops baby as it is born" may suggest that there already is some cyclops offspring somewhere which is then put in place of the actual child born?
"The unholy curse requires the human mother be eaten when the baby is birthed" > "(...) after the infant is born"? Again, to avoid graphics?
Also, if we're going to leave things in the middle, shouldn't there be some sentence somewhere along the lines of "Little is known of the process but it is said that..."?
Like the final sentence, though, which seems to suggest that the cyclopean-human infants are not tossed out of the lair when the curse fails, for that solves them probably not surviving.
Then can we pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaase have that there are no female cyclops, or at least sages beleiving there aren't?Suspected you wouldn't. Although I could argue that White Dwarf #21 doesn't actually say they are all male, but that no female cyclopes exist. Admittedly if they're not male it's harder to explain how they reproduce via an "unholy union" with captive human females, but that doesn't prevent them being hermaphrodites or using some strange magical method. Indeed "strange magical method" is what we went for.
Agreed.It wasn't to avoid mentioning women, but just to make it a bit less wordy. At one stage the sentence had "captive pregnant human women" and it just seemed too long.
Agreed.Hmm, I'd go for "once it is born" instead.
Yeah, I started including a sentence like that in one draft but cut it out again. Maybe next time!
Having the cyclopean-human infants stick with the tribe for a while would solve the problem of tossing out babies to fend for themselves - which would then of course instantly be devoured by the omnipresent hyenas.My idea was one ugly one-eyed baby looks much like another, so it's only once it's grown a bit that it's obvious which is a cyclops and which an amiraspian. The clincher would be that the amiraspian doesn't develop a hypno-eye, although not having the claws and fangs of a true cyclops is probably a bit of a giveaway too.
My idea was one ugly one-eyed baby looks much like another, so it's only once it's grown a bit that it's obvious which is a cyclops and which an amiraspian. The clincher would be that the amiraspian doesn't develop a hypno-eye, although not having the claws and fangs of a true cyclops is probably a bit of a giveaway too.
Still like a link to the other cyclopean humans though, for I do see these griffon riders travel to the cyclops lair every once in a while to collect the cyclopean-human infants.
Having the cyclopean-human infants stick with the tribe for a while would solve the problem of tossing out babies to fend for themselves - which would then of course instantly be devoured by the omnipresent hyenas.
Ah. OK. Must have missed that.I thought we'd leave that kind of stuff to the Description of the cyclopian humans writeup.
Well, progress has been made!Assuming we actually get around to that!
Nah. Forget I ever mentioned it. Your idea of suggesting the cyclopean-human infants grow up with the tribe until they're somehow found out is better.I don't think the griffon-riders routinely visit cyclops lairs to collect the offspring, although it wouldn't surprise me if they do flyovers now and again to pick up new recruits.
I seem to recall the original Arimaspi [sic] doing stuff like that, but I'll have to check.However, if they do indeed have a "hidden kingdom" that suggests the hybrids breed true, which implies either that female hybrids can exist, or that the all-male High Plainsmen have to constantly find wives who'll accept their ocular shortcomings.
One certainly does.I prefer the "one eyed women" solution, although one does wonder how often a cyclops would miss that a one-eyed baby is a girl!
Sounds like a plan. I left it out because I didn't think 5E would like it.Speaking of odds, I did wonder about including the original probabilities in Cursed Births, i.e. "(the type of baby can be randomly determined with a d10 roll: 1-4 is a cyclops, 5-7 a human, 8-10 a hybrid)" but couldn't decide whether to bother.
Isn't mentioning the "chest and shoulders" thing a bit... too much in light of what follows? I've forgotten why we weren't allowed to mention that there were only males, but if we go for sowing confusion and limiting the ... getting women in a certain way ... to the Amiraspian curse it is rapidly becoming, I no longer see a reason not to mention that there's males only. Maybe we an even link the phenomenon to the mysterious Amiraspian curse?Description #3!
Cursed Births. While their chest and shoulders might resemble male humanoids and giants in form, there cyclops are incapable of natural procreation.
It seems to me that having the "pregnant humans (...) regular infants" in between "delivery" and "Little is known" disturbs the flow of the section on the curse. I can see why it's mentioned, but wouldn't it be better placed somewhere else?Instead, they somehow curse pregnant human women they have captured so their offspring are sometimes born as cyclopes. This "Amiraspian curse" must be performed during the delivery; pregnant humans who escape or are rescued from a cyclops den birth regular infants. Little is known of this unholy rite save it requires the human mother be eaten once the baby is born and does not always work.
Instead of a cyclops whelp, the newborn may be fully human (in which case it is eaten too), or a one-eyed humanoid called an amiraspian hybrid [?](described separately). Hybrid infants grow to resemble a cyclopian human rather than a cyclops, and are cast out once the cyclopes realize they aren't their kind. The type of baby can be randomly determined with a d10 roll: 1-4 is a cyclops, 5-7 a human, 8-10 a hybrid.
Of course.Oh, and will we be statting up a Young Cyclops as well as an Amiraspian Hybrid?
Er..., haven't really given it a thought so far, being wholly immersed in trying to grasp 5E description lingo.It's basically a half-strength cyclops, going by its stats of AC 7, 3 HD, 1d3/1d3/1d6 attacks,no hypnotic stare.
Isn't mentioning the "chest and shoulders" thing a bit... too much in light of what follows? I've forgotten why we weren't allowed to mention that there were only males, but if we go for sowing confusion and limiting the ... getting women in a certain way ... to the Amiraspian curse it is rapidly becoming, I no longer see a reason not to mention that there's males only. Maybe we an even link the phenomenon to the mysterious Amiraspian curse?
I think I started using the "Amiraspian cyclopes are always male (...)" because we were gonna avoid using "Amiraspian" mid-sentence at your suggestion.
This Amiraspian curse is performed after the infant is born and the infant is always male.
Cursed women who escape or are rescued from a cyclops lair before their child is born give birth to normal children.