Life takes a myriad of forms as it graces the universe and sometimes even creatures with the most benign appearance may have quite formidable powers when cornered. At first glance, the meek valdusians look to be nothing more than a harmless, avian oddity to be dismissed as an obscure link in the food chain, yet another humble herbivore that’s content to merely ride the winds as they continue their daily search for flowering plants. Something to be ignored as a bit of local flavor and nothing to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth!
Agility 3D: acrobatics 3D+1, brawling 4D, dodge 4D, flying 4D+ 1
Mechanical 1D: navigation: air 3D
Knowledge 2D: survival 4D
Perception 4D: search 5D, sneak 5D
Strength Damage: 1D
Move: 15 (flying)/6 (ground)
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 13
Wound Levels: 3
Natural Abilities: will-draining bite (damage +1D; +5 to combat difficulty; if the attack roll beats the difficulty by 5 or more points, the target loses 1 pip in Perception or Knowledge for every point above the difficulty; the target goes unconscious when either attribute reaches zero and dies when both are a zero; pips return at a rate of 1 per day); claws (damage +2); radiation resistant (+1D to damage resistance rolls against relevant attacks and situations); flight; small size (scale value 8).
Little has been placed in the wild without having a niche to fill in their respective ecosystems, and the valdusians are no exception to the rule. These creatures serve as unlikely executioner and deliver the touch of death to those who would interfere with their feeding cycle. The jaws of a valdusian are capable of delivering a terrible bite that saps a person’s will. Thus, many unwary travelers have run into misfortune when trying to make a quick meal of these creatures; only the most desperate natural predators try to eat them. Those who survive their attacks are often left slightly bewildered for a short period of time. Locals refer to such poor souls as being “dused.”
Valdusians are reptilian creatures that have hollow bones and prefer to glide upon thermal winds instead exerting themselves. These creatures are the most active when the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. Although they seldom build nests and prefer to rest in mountain crevasses, jungle environments exist as their favored “hunting grounds” because of the abundance of food. On rare occasion, when the blossom biters grow desperate for nourishment, they float over grasslands and feast upon cultivated lands. Florists and green house owners have been known to shoot them on sight. There’s often a call for heroes to hunt a flock before it reaches a populated area or help a devastated community recover. There’s even been a case of the creatures becoming enraged by certain popular perfumes. Of course, many environmentalists caution restraint, because the valdusians hold an important place in the ecosystem.
Curiously, at least one doctor has claimed that, through use of a captive valdusian, she managed to use the creature in the treatment of some rare neurological diseases. By attaching a valdusian to a patient’s spinal column, the patient’s bioelectrical system is supposedly reduced enough to allow previously ineffective treatments to work. Most researchers have scoffed at the idea of this, but several patients visiting the doctor have reported remarkable results. Although other scientists have not been able to replicate these results, already some enterprising (or foolhardy) away teams have started trying to capture live specimens.