This is an awnshegh that I`ve had in the back of my mind for a while now...

I just had some troubling coming up with a name for it. "The Crustacean"

or "The Decopod" don`t have much of a ring to them, nor do "Crab" or

"Lobster." "Shrimp" would be oxymoronic given the size of this creature,

and besides writing those names often just makes me too peckish to continue

very long without running out to the nearest seafood restaurant. I`ve been

calling the thing "Brachys" short for Brachyura, the suborder of crustacean

to which crabs belong, but in the end I just went with a simple (and in

retrospect rather obvious) name for the beastie.

In any case, some of the thinking behind this character is that there are a

few notable gaps in the ocean borders around Cerilia. The Seadrake, the

Leviathan and the Kraken take up a good amount of the coastline, while

several other awnsheghlien occupy most of the rest of the continent`s

perimeter. Though they are not aquatic, the Harpy and the Serpent do have

island domains--which is nearly as good. I like it when a new

awnshehglien/ersheghlien fits into the existing campaign materials, and

because there is nary a bogey on the whole watery right edge of Cerilia`s

map there is plenty of room for new awnsheghlien to find a biological and

thematic niche on that margin. In this case, the awnshegh occupies the

eastern shores of Cerilia, south of the Leviathan`s Reach in the waters

between Velenoye and Zoloskaya. I`ve dubbed that stretch of water "Uca

Inlet" for the purpose of this character description, but there are lots of

nice little nooks and crannies along the Cerilian seaside to which he could

be relocated without encroaching on the territory of any existing

awnsheghlien should a DM need.

One thing before I post the awnshegh description: After the discussion of

what a major vs. minor awnshegh was a couple of weeks ago I decided to

incorporate the issue into the BP system that I use to portray bloodlines

and blood abilities. After all that discourse, I boiled the issue down to

two things:

First, a major awnsheghlien is simply one who has taken the "Major

Transformation" feat, which represents an awnshegh not only transforming,

but embracing his transformation. Using my BP system, Major Transformation

gives the character an extra BP to spend on an existing blood ability, a

new blood ability or to gain another transformation affect; claws, wings,

nightvision, etc. All of the major awnsheghlien have in some way embraced

their transformation--and by embracing it they gain a transformation effect

that doesn`t negatively impact the character physically. At least, not at

first. The bonus BP gained from the feat is voluntary and need not be paid

for by a subsequent negative transformation effect--a "disadvantage" in the

Awnshegh character class that I use to come up with these characters.

Second, becoming a major awnsheghlien by taking that feat does have a

drawback, and that drawback ties into the corrupting influence of Azrai`s

bloodline. Major awnsheghlien find it more difficult to resist the

transformation of their bodies into their awnshegh form when they level

up. That is, whenever a scion of Azrai levels up he must make a Will save

(DC = new character level) to avoid a change of alignment or having to take

a level in the Awnshegh character class. A scion of Azrai with the Major

Transformation feat gets an additional +5 to the DC of that save, making it

more difficult for him/her to resist additional transformation, and a scion

who already has levels in the awnshegh class adds +5 to the DC of that

check as well. Though a scion of Azrai can potentially avoid becoming an

awnshegh for what would amount to a human lifetime, a character who

advances in levels will eventually have to leave their humanity behind, and

if they take the Major Transformation feat that happens much more quickly.

I am working on a v1.5 (if D&D can skip a few decimal revision numbers then

so can I) of the BP System document that will contain this information in

it as well as update the blood abilities for some of the changes made in

3.5, and a few other things here and there that I just felt needed more

work/clarification. That system is for my own use, of course, but when

it`s finished and I figure out how to put things into a PDF file I`ll put

it up on the web somewhere for anyone who wants a look.

Anyone who wants to use the "feat" interpretation of major/minor

awnsheghlien status can use a similar method in 3e/3.5 without delving into

a point-based bloodline system. In 3e/3.5 the feat might look like this:

Major Transformation

By embracing your transformation you have become a major awnsheghlien or

ersheghlien, speeding your transformation into your awnshegh form.

Prerequisite: Character level 5th+

Benefit: You gain any positive benefit from transformation supported by

the type of change you are going through; larger, more damaging claws, an

improvement to an existing or new blood ability, etc.

Drawback: If you are a scion of Azrai the DC of your Will save to avoid

being required to take a level in the Awnshegh character class when

levelling up is increased by +5.

Of course, if one doesn`t want to use that feat at all and could care less

about major/minor status, but is still a stickler for characters having the

proper number of feats then one can just pick another appropriate feat, or

ignore the existence of the feat in the character stats given below. That

may throw off the description a tad since I use the BP to determine certain

values for the character like special abilities, movement rate, etc. but it

wouldn`t entirely invalidate the character description by any

means. Future awnsheghlien or ersheghlien that I post will very likely

have this feat, however.

In any case, on with the show.... As always, comments and corrections are