Tortoise tsars live in the snow (though you'll find them in dungeons, too). You will find them in the Balkans, where they are still numerous and aggressive enough to hunt man.
They dig tunnels from riverbanks. Their shovel jaws scoop clay, break stones. They shovel under Slovenian soil, looking for coal that will keep them warm throughout the winter. They break into coal mines and trample miners in their quest for coal, which they shovel into their furnace guts. Then they stagger out, fire-drunk, while gunshots ring off their hides.
They are driven to tsardom the way dragons are driven to hordes. It is in their bones and in their blood. Their tsardom can be anything from a few rooms in a dungeon to 3000 acres west of the river. The stats presented below are for dungeon tortoises.
Atk Bite (1d6)
- Furnace. Unless they are starving, they are very hot. Adjacent creatures in heavy armor (plate) take 2d4 damage each turn (Con check for half) while creatures in lighter armor take 1d4.
How many peasants do they have (d20)?
- If the result is 17 or higher, the tortoise instead has no peasants, and is desperate for some more.
What type of peasants (d4)?
- Human Dirt Farmers.
- Phlegmatic orcs who lean on farming implements and make jokes.
- Halfling hussars, dog mounts.
- Goblins, made industrious through home-brewed spirits.
What's interesting about this tortoise (d6)?
- Beautiful wife (elven or human). Roll a d6 to determine how she feels about him, with lower numbers indicating hatred and higher ones indicating love.
- Covered in sashes and (jeweled) war medals worth 2000g.
- Incredible mustache and beard. (Stolen from a dwarf, whose clan would be very grateful to have it back. How grateful? About 500g worth.)
- Ballista affixed to back.
- Has a trusted adviser from a foreign land, capable of casting spells. Either a kappa, froglock, or djinn.
- Is actually a tortoise kaiser, a completely different species. It can breath fire (4d6, 30' cone).
What does it want from the party (d4)?
- It demands a tax! It will ask how many of them are slaves. It will ask how many of them are commoners. Slaves cost 1g, commoners cost 10g, and everyone else is presumed noble, and taxed 100g apiece.
- It wants to hire them as mercenaries. It'll pay 100g per person and direct them in a military action against some nearby rival.
- It demands that you spend 1d20 hours working on some project. Digging a ditch, building a wall. In return for this, you shall be given food, water, and a safe place to sleep. It also expects you to be grateful.
- It wants you to bring a holy relic to another tortoise, along with a promissory note that is ostensibly worth 300g if the other tortoise is in the same dungeon, but considerably more if they are farther away.
Suggested by +Daniel Dean
|this is a hussarl|