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Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Acephali, B is for Blemmyes

Acephali are a legendary race of people who were reported by various dead old naturalists as having no head. The Greeks claimed that these people lived in Libya. In some respects they resemble the Blemmyae that Pliny talked about, but there are also some actual specimens of actual acephalic types. The term has also been used in the past to refer to those without any lands, or to those groups that lacked a leader, being in effect 'headless.' It's an interesting term. It brings to mind several intriguing options that we shall explore below, and elsewhere.

Some links regarding Acephali
So the Acephali are also the Blemmyes, at least in terms of the root legends.

Some links regarding Blemmyes
There is a nice Monstrous Races or Fantastic Tribes group at Flikr that shows off a bunch of old Acephali and Blemmyes images from a variety of sources. It beats trying to track down medieval manuscript illustrations one at a time. Really.

So looking over these various links, a few books that we have on hand and after a trip to the local library, here is a quick-list of monsters we're going to stat-up for Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Humanspace Monkeyspace Empires and possibly some other systems:

Acephali
Blemmyes
  • Blemmyes for Labyrinth Lord
  • Blemmyes for OD&D/Swords & Wizardry
  • Blemmyae as a mutation for Mutant Future: ---
Pseudo-Acephali
  • Pseudo-Acephali for Labyrinth Lord
  • Pseudo-Acephali for OD&D/Swords & Wizardry
  • 'Removable Head' as a mutation for Mutant Future: ---
Sternopthalmoi
  • Sternopthalmoi for Labyrinth Lord
  • Sternopthalmoi for OD&D/Swords & Wizardry
  • 'Chest Eyes' as a mutation for Mutant Future:  ---
(We'll leave Anthropophagi, Arimaspsians, and those other As for another post. Though you might want to look at There's Dungeons Down Under for another nifty bit of RPG Anthropophagy from The Arid Coast.)

 We'll update the links here as the other posts go live.

5 comments:

  1. You never do things by halves. It's half extra or nothing at all. Excellence.

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  2. In the old Ultima computer games, Headless were a humanoid monster type, usually found in the company of ettins, amusingly enough.

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  3. @Porky: Thank you very much. You've made the Shen blush. Not an easy thing to do.

    @Trollsmyth: Wow--thanks for the links! We never played Ultima. It looks like it was fun back in the day. Teaming Acephali with ettins? That's dementedly good thinking! It gives us ideas for some encounters to add to the current adventure...Thanks!

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  4. @Shinobicow: Thanks! We're hoping to expand upon this a bit in the near future...the Acephali have a lot of potential as monsters...

    ReplyDelete

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