Tékumel: The Enemies of Man – The Ssú
The Ssú are mankind’s deadliest foes, still filled with bitter hatred because humans destroyed the original form of their planet. The ancient Ssú were once masters of the land masses of Tékumel, while their cousins the Hlüss ranged the coasts and the seas.
Ssú smell like musty cinnamon and their language sounds like a sweet, high chiming, rippling up and down the scale like a chorus of little bells. They have three sexes: males (15 percent), females (5 percent), and neuter worker-fighters (80 percent). They are friendly to the Hlüss and may be neutral to Shunned Ones and Hlaáka.
There are two sub-species: the Grey Ssú (1.71m/5’6″ and 1.90m/6’2″ in height), and the larger Black Ssú (1.83/6′ and 2.41m/7’9″). Both are tall, slender six-limbed beings wrapped in what appears to be grayish shrouds or webbing (but is loose integument which keeps shredding and pulling off).
The head is oval, the face only vaguely human; there were two large eyes, round with no pupils (Black: black-gleaming; Grey: milky-white), They see well in the dark but they prefer a dim, blue light. Their mouth is a stark black vertical slit, and nostril slits but no nose.
There are two upper arms ending in three digited hands (the largest ‘finger’ functions as a thumb), The usual stance for Ssú is to stand upon its four rear limbs which allows them to stalk quietly or scuttle quickly in any direction. When fighting, however, Ssú rear up onto their back legs and use the middle pair of limbs to attack with their claws, wield a shield or use an additional weapon. For battle, they wear a simple harness of leather studded with metal plaques and bear black wood shields with raised copper bosses.
Both species are excellent magic-users, and they also possess a limited hypnotic ability which can immobilize human warriors or cause them to turn and fight their friends (Ahoggya, Swamp Folk, and Tinaliya are immune).
AC: 18 (Natural armour + shield)
HP: Grey: 44 (8d8+8)/ Black: 68 (8d8+32)
Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
STR 16 (+3) DEC 16 (+3) CON 12 (+1)/ 18 (+4) INT 13 (+1) WIS 14 (+2) CHR 12 (+1)
Skills: Perception +5, Stealth +9
Senses: Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 15
Damage Immunity: Poison
Condition Immunity: Poisoned
Challenge (2300 XP)
Versatile Limbs. All Ssú limbs have 3 digit “hands” so they can use any limb as either a leg or arm – with 2 upper limbs and 4 lower limbs.
-(4 legs) Advantage vs being knocked prone; Advantage on stealth; +10ft movement
-(4 arms) can use limbs for holding additional weapons, or a shield.
Controlling Gaze. As an action, the Ssú can force anyone looking into its eyes to make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw if the Ssú isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is Dominated (Dominate Monster). Otherwise, a creature that fails the save is Charmed. Range: 30 ft.
Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can’t see the Ssú until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at the Ssú in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.
Sorceress Creatures: The Ssú has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put them to sleep.
Innate Spellcasting (D&D5e): The Ssú have innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell Att: +4; save DC 13). They can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: Poison Spray(266; Con 2d12Poison), Charm Person(221;Wis)
2\Short rest: Dissonant Whispers(234;Wis 1/2 4d6 psychic), Tasha’s Hideous Laughter(280;Wis or Prone; 1min), Darkness(230), Spider Climb.
Multiattack. An Ssú can make two weapon attacks and a bonus attack with another limb (claw or weapon):
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 +3) Slashing damage.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 +3) or 9 (1d10 +3) Slashing damage if two handed.
Javelin. Melee\Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, Range 20/60, one target, Hit: 6 (1d6+3) Piercing.