Basilisks

Typical Basilisk

Agility 2D: brawling 3D+ 2, dodge 4D, firearms: paralyzing blast 3D+2, running 6D

Mechanical 0D

Strength 3D+2

Knowledge 1D: survival: desert 3D

Perception 4D: search 4D+1

Technical 0D

Strength Damage: 2D

Fate Points: 0

Move:20

Character Points: 0

Body Points: 21 Wound Levels: 3

Natural Abilities: paralyzing blast (damage 3D and paralyzes victim; victim may attempt to shake off the effects once per round – as an action – by making a Knowledge, Strength, Stamina, or Willpower roll against the attack total; lead and other radiation-thwarting materials reduce or negate this attack); bite (damage +2D; +5 to combat difficulty); claws (damage +2D+2); radiation resistance (+3D to stamina or damage resistance rolls to resist effects of radiation); radiation sense (+5D to search for detecting radioactive materials); large size (scale value 3).

When the basilisks were first discovered on their home planet, explorers scoffed and called them nothing more than a large six-legged crocodile or a horse with scales. But its mundane appearance hid a unique adaptation that makes it a deadly predator. The basilisk cakes its name from the ancient myth of a dragon with a petrifying gaze. Like the mythical creature, the basilisk found on the desert planet has the ability to paralyze its prey.

While at first scientists thought the creature had some sort of metaphysical ability, it was later discovered that the creature simply projects radiation bursts at its prey. These bursts temporarily scramble the prey’s nervous system, leaving it paralyzed while the creature moves in for the kill.

After a careful study of the creature’s activities, scientists found that the creature actually detects and seeks out radioactive material to help it create the blasts. Once it locates the material, the basilisk swallows and stores it in a special gullet.

This radioactive material can be comprised of anything, including naturally radioactive elements, waste products from medical procedures and industrial planes, or ground-down control rods used contain nuclear reactions.

After the creature gets a large enough cache of radioactive material, it saturates two small organs in its skull with radiation. Once properly charged, the basilisk can fire a blast of radiation, only noticeable as a shimmer in the atmosphere, in the direction the creature is looking. This radiation strikes the prey, paralyzes it and gives the basilisk a chance to strike. A basilisk is also a clever hunter. The creature often ambushes prey by hiding near water sources and shaded areas where desert animals tend to congregate.

Aside from spending most of its time scavenging for radioactive materials and hunting, a basilisk suns itself on rocks, extending special neck flaps co cool itself as needed. As a cold-blooded creature, it uses the heat of the day to allow it to be active at night.

The creature’s mysterious radiation emitter and physical weapons make it especially prized in gladiator pits and as guards to remote installations, where it’s often used to patrol no-man zones around military bases, prisons, and ocher facilities. Likewise, hazardous materials teams use the creatures to seek out and contain radioactive substances.

The creatures also have displayed a degree of domestication, and some races, reptilian ones in particular, have trained chem to serve as mounts. Outside of combat, the basilisks wear special lead-lined harnesses that absorb their radiation emissions. When entering combat, their riders pull a special cord to activate a hinge on the harness, sending out a blast of radiation in the desired direction. Activating the harness hinge requires an Easy riding skill check.

Basilisk mothers lay one clutch of two to 12 eggs every lunar cycle. Fertilized eggs can be sold for 370 credits each. Hatchlings are worth 1,044 credits.

A dead basilisk can be just as dangerous as a live one. As the creature’s body slowly disintegrates, it exposes the radioactive material inside the creature’s special gullet. Typical adult basilisks carry about two kilograms of radioactive material inside its body.