Menalippe’s Bestiary – The Medusa

The medusa is a particularly loathed and feared creature. There are two types, the common medusa, which appears at a distance to be a normal human woman, and the greater medusa who has the lower torso of a serpent. Both have dozens of serpents for hair, poisonous fangs, and reptilian eyes. All known medusas are female and were born to human parents that carry the medusa curse in their bloodlines.

The hideous serpents that make up the medusa’s hair give her the ability to see all around. Though in urban areas, a common medusa will usually cover her head with a scarf or hood of a cloak so she may move among humans unnoticed. A bite from a medusa is not immediately fatal and it is possible to survive the bite. However, to have been bitten by a medusa introduces the medusa curse into the victim’s bloodline. Those with the curse will have offspring that are medusas. Medusas are most known for their terrible gaze. Once one makes eye contact with a medusa, he or she immediately turns to stone.

greater medusa
A greater medusa

Medusas are solitary creatures and can not abide the presence of another medusa. They lust after beauty and power. They collect artifacts of great beauty, particularly jewelry. The common medusas are often found in a city’s criminal underground as thieves or leaders of thieves. The greater medusa is often a treasure guardian and found in labyrinth lairs far from the general population. It is said that there is an oracle in the mountains of Seniira overlooking the Sea of Stryfe who is a medusa. Her prophecies are very accurate. However, few who seek her out ever return from her lair.
medusa rear view
Greater medusa from behind

There was originally a woman named “Medusa”. She was a cunning acolyte of one of the old gods. The god whom she served found her making love upon her altar to a rival god. She was cursed and turned into a hideous creature, half-snake, half-human. She sought vengeance by turning the followers of the gods into stone. A hero arose who used his shield as a mirror to lift her head from her body. Even in death, her gaze still had the ability to turn creatures into stone. The goddess took the head and attached it to her great shield.
avoid eye contact
Avoid eye contact when attacking a medusa

Throughout Valkae the image of the medusa’s head decorates the shields of many amazons. The shield device won’t turn anyone into stone, but the sight of the image may cause a moment of fear or hesitation in the amazon’s foe, a moment of hesitation in which the amazon can strike a lethal blow.
discussion
Menalippe discusses using a medusa as a shield device with a sister Amazon

The Medusa in Warrior Heroes

  • Race – Medusa
  • Nationality – Medusas are found throughout Talomir
  • Size – Common medusas are Man Size (M) while the greater medusas are Larger than Man Size (M+)
  • Alignment – Medusas are never Red Sun aligned. They are either Twilight (1-3) or Black Moon (4-6).
  • Age – Extremely young or extremely old medusas are rarely encountered. Common medusas encountered in urban areas tend to be younger than those found guarding treasure troves.
  • Gender – All medusas are female.
  • Reputation – Medusas are capable foes. One might encounter a young medusa starting out in a city with Rep 3. However, most medusas will be Rep 4 (1-3) or Rep 5 (4-5). There are some exceptional medusas of renown with Rep 6 (6).
  • Class – Medusas are skilled with ranged weapons. However, there are some whose aggression is such that they prefer combat up close and personal. The most dangerous medusas are also sorceresses. You can expect to find Missile class (1-3), Warrior class (4-5), and Casters (6).
  • Skills – Medusas can be very charming in luring victims to do their bidding. They can receive a +1 modifier to their People skill (1-2).

coordinated attack
Medusas are best defeated using coordinated attacks

Racial Attributes

Exceptional vision: Able to see normal distances in low light conditions.
Heightened senses: Will always turn to face any attacks from the rear.
Petrifying gaze: At the beginning of each round of melee, each of the medusa’s opponents must avoid eye contact with the medusa. Roll 1d6 looking for a success (1-3). If the opponent fails (4-6), the opponent immediately turns to stone and counts as out of the fight.
Poison: If win a melee by 3 or more successes will bite and force Poison Test as well as damage. Both sides take the Poison Test found below.
Terrifying: Causes Fear in any character unless fearless or immune to Fear. When a character Fears an opponent:

  • Counts a -1d6 when in melee with this opponent.
  • Always counts the Fast Moving penalty when firing at this opponent.
  • Counts a -1d6 when taking the Charge into Melee Test

shield eyes
Shield your eyes!

REP Medusa Poison
(Looking for successes)

Score equal or more successes than Medusa: Have natural immunity. Unaffected by the Poison.
Score less than Medusa: You have received the Medusa curse. Roll 1d6, (1-3) the character leaves the group at the end of the encounter to seek a mate; (4-6) the character decreases Rep and leaves the group at the end of the campaign.

figures
All figures are 28mm. Medusa, Menalippe, & hoplite with sword are by Reaper. Other Amazon figures by Eureka

Adventures in miniature gaming, writing, bad poetry, & other delights.