Anshokoy – Deep Cave Fish People of Hot Iron Springs

(c) Joe Lindsey - 2020,
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For more of Joe Lindsey's art go to The Anshokoy are a race of fish men that live in the underwater caves of Hot Iron Springs. They resemble humanoid angler fish, complete with bioluminescent lure growing out of thier foreheads. Their heads are large grey masses with sharp jagged teeth and cloudy eyes. Thier hands and feet are webbed with sharp claws. They adorn themselves with shiny rocks, shells, and a lot of gold tied together with sea vines. This is to reflect the glow of their lamp with an array of shimmering sparkles to attract fish to eat and to signify status amoung their tribes.
Anshokoy have poor vision but make up for this with an acute sense of smell and ability to detect electromagnetic fields, such as from living creatures. This gives them the ability to navigate their vast tunnels and find prey in complete darkness. That said, they’re not blind and the limited vision they do have allows them some degree of sight in the light of thier bioluminescent lure. They also have excellent hearing under water but degrades when out of water.
Anshokoy can also breath both air and water with a set of specialized secondary gills behind thier primary gills. These secondary gills function by holding water and aerating it by forcing air through these water pockets. They don’t rely on these through as they are useless unless they’re full of water and it’s terribly inefficient. Anshokoy who go on land for any reason tend to be slower and sluggish as their oxygen levels are lower than they’re used to in addition to the additional expended energy from walking on land.
Underwater, Anshokoy have a sophisticated language consisting of flashes from thier lamp accented by its color. While they can read these signals visually, this also causes electromagnetic disturbances that they can also read even if the light is completely obscured. They are also aware that non-Anshokoy don’t communicate this way and have taken to using gestures to communicate with the residents of Hot Iron Springs. While they cannot physically speak the human languages, a few have taken to understanding it being spoken. They do not have a written language.
Outsiders are regarded with much suspision, especially those that live above water, but generally won’t attack unless they consider the invader a threat. They don’t fear invasion from the air breathers as it would be significantly easy to cut off their escape and drown them. Despite their grotesque appearance, the Anshokoy can be quite friendly to those that behave themselves or offer gifts. They have been willing to trade with the villagers of Hot Iron Springs, trading mainly metal weapons and meat for the gold that fills thier underwater chambers.
The Anshokoy live in the deep underwater caves of Hot Iron Springs. No one knows how deep those caverns go but it’s clear that the Anshokoy have a vast territory that connects various areas via these underground channels.

NPC Stat Block
Str 8, Dex 12, IQ 7, Health 11
HP 9, Will 8, Per 7, Fatigue Points 11
Size Mod 0, Speed 6, Move 6
Dodge 9, Parry 11

Obsidian-tipped Spear (16): 1d-1 impaling, reach 1*
Bone Club (13): 1d-1 crushing, reach 1
Obsidian-Bladed Bone Axe (13): 1d-1 cutting, reach 1
Bite (16): 1d-4, impaling, reach close
Claws (16): 1d-2, impaling, reach close
Large Net (14): special
Traits: Acute Taste and Smell (Underwater), Amphibious, Claws, Bioluminecence (Angler), Detect (Bioelectric Fields, Underwater), Teeth (Fangs), Vibration Sense (Water), Bad Sight (Nearsighted), Cannot Speak, Restricted Vision, Terrestrial Adaptation*.
Skills: Aquabatics (16), Axe/Mace (13), Brawling (16), Broadsword (13) Fishing (16), Net (14), Spear (14), Swimming (18)
Typical Equipment:
Fishing net made from aquatic plants, Obsidian-tipped Spear, gold nuggets or gold-flecked headdress/jewlery, shoulder satchel with either fish or foraged plants.

Terrestrial Adaptation
While Anshokoy have adapted to being able to breathe air and work on land, it is not without difficulty. Any actions that would cost a fatigue point cost double while the Anshokoy is breathing air. They also take twice as long to recover fatigue points while continuing to do so.
They must also consume water hourly or risk suffocation. The Anshokoy must make a Health check after the first hour of not having any water at a cumulative -1 for every hour not having had any water. Failure means the Anshokoy must spend a fatigue point. If the effective Health score of the Anshokoy reaches 3 or lower, the Anshokoy is now actively suffocating as if drowning until it can once again consume water.
Walking on land is also difficult as being used to an aquatic environment means that Anshokoy are not used to not being boyantly supported by water while walking. Base Movement is halved while walking out of the water and Dex suffers a -2 penalty on all skill rolls.

Joe Lindsey

Published by Rav

Husband, Father, Designer, Artist, Writer, and Gamer.

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