Guardian of the Old Empire
- "The creatures are blindingly fast, and prone to swarm."
- Bile Shot
Over time, the Bilebite's venom glands store up a thick blast of bilious acid. This can be spat all in one burst, or in individual shots, carefully chosen for each foe.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
- Buzz Bombs
At the Bilebite's command, six exploding beetle escorts swarm forth to escort the Bilebite into combat, or to cover a retreat. When facing a BileBite, take care to quickly dispose of the fragile beetle bombs. Left alone, each bomb packs a heavy hit of 200 damage!
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
In the Island Empire it is always hot, and suffocatingly humid. From the broken archipelago that hosts the human civilization of Hyoka, the vegetation-choked volcano that spawned the entire island chain looms large over all. Though this central island is larger than any of the scattered islets that surround it, and ruins of ancient peoples dot the scarred mountainside, no one lives there permanently, and no attempt to tame it since the time of those old ones has yet succeeded.
Visitors must approach the great volcano by skiff, as the tumultuous geologies that have shaped these islands have left the waters ragged with sharp up thrusts of perilous stone. Even as the perennially tropical climate ensures mostly calm seas, the passage is nonetheless a dangerous one. The creatures of the ocean grow large in the warm seas, but even worse are the bugs. At the peak of day, the buzzing of jungle insects carries far out into the straits, and before the sailors even reach land they are beset by biting flies, and once upon the twisting jungle trails the mosquitoes are ceaseless. Some grow to the size of a child’s hand, and all are fierce biters. Some carry illness, some cause ferocious itching, all are painful. None, however, are as fearsome as the creature known to the islanders as the Bilebite.
A story that modern Hyokans draw all the way back to the pictograms found on the island’s old ruins holds that the origin of this feared brood lies in a curse, and cursed indeed is the jungle explorer that finds themselves beset by these ferocious drakes. If the old legends are true, however, these creatures may in fact be staving off the curse, by their very ferocious being.
The legend begins in the time before the great volcano shattered the Old Empire. In the court of the old world. To the Emperor of the Great Island was born a princess. This young girl’s intellect was rivalled only by her golden beauty. One might think that such grace in a royal child would condemn her to haughty superiority, but the princess was spared even this blemish. In fact, as the girl grew, she drew friends from every corner of the island.
In her teens, this princess of the old empire ascended to the throne. With her came a teeming retinue of advisors, friends, lovers, and hangers on. The new empress and her retinue seemed to herald a time of great prosperity, and the Old Empire did indeed prosper for many years. One day, however, a visitor came to the Empress’ court. The old wanderer bore a warning. “Leave the island or face the death of your people.” At first the Empress scoffed, but in time she would find reason to take pause to consider the old hermit’s words.
The story here grows vague, but all translations agree that after the old hermit left the court a great calamity befell the island. Earthquakes and noxious smoke killed many, temples fell into ruins, and the Empress herself fell into despair. Still, though her empire was in strife, those at the palace were still relatively safe. The Empress of the Old Empire called to her counsel and her attendants offered all manner of advice, yet all rang hollow. Finally, the Empress drew her six closest advisors to her and set out for the summit of the great mountain, to entreat the titans in the heavens.
Here again the translations differ, some interpret the figures carved upon the ancient island ruins as blasphemous icons of Astaroth, still others say that what came next was a desperate act of Hyperion to stave off the darker works of Chaos. Still others claim that all that befell the island was the long design of the Mad One. The scholars do agree, though, that as the Empress and her court reached the summit of the Great Peak, the island shook to the core. The seas began to rise, and the cities of the Old Empire were shaken apart. The top of the mountain was destroyed in the explosion, and mountain, lava, and seas began to devour the people of the island.
The violent eruption lasted days, and the many survivors of the empire fled to the smaller islands that remained in a ring around the island. When the last of them had left the great volcano, as that is what their once-majestic mountain home clearly was, the mountain quieted. Since then, the jungle has retaken the mountain, but the people never have. As the stories have it, the Empress remains with her advisors as the damseldrake, the Bilebite, and she still fights to keep her island from shaking itself apart, even today. None remain on the island for long, for it is well known that if the natural hazards of the jungle isle don’t get them, the Bilebite and her loyal entourage will.
While only a few nests of the Bilebite brood exist upon the volcano at any given time, those few are enough to ensure that any islander that visits does so with a guide, and an escape plan. The creatures are blindingly fast, and prone to swarm. Seemingly part insect, these sinister creatures fly on four transparent wings. Their tiny eyes are faceted like cut gems, and their abdomens are segmented like a stinging hornet. Bright jungle colors belie the virulent poisons that brew in the gut of the beast, and needlelike fangs crowd their narrow jaws.
In a strange sort of symbiosis, the Bilebite are never without a host of buzzbomb beetles. As the Bilebite descend on unwitting prey, these heavy carrion bugs leap from their Bilebite’s hide to drop to the target and begin to feast. Often these voracious creatures will begin their savage meals before the Bilebite has finished a first attack. Their enemies soon fall in a haze of vitriolic bile and swarming mouths.
Still, neither threat of death, nor haunting island legend can keep the most determined Dragon Lord from seeking this brood out, as their maneuverability and deadliness are second to none. But, whether the tales be true or no, the six buzzbombs that crawl upon each drake are enough to give all but the strongest warrior pause.
- Save your Breath! - The Bilebite's Bile Shot ability charges up when not in use, allowing the dragon to belch forth a huge initial burst of damage. If you miss, though, you'll have to wait until it charges back up again!
- Swarm your Foes! - Use the Buzzbomb ability to coordinate a sky full of backup when you close for the attack!