Spotted leaper

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Spotted leaper
Spotted leaper.jpg
Level 4
Family Leaper family creatures
Body Type Quadruped
Classification(s) Living
Area(s) Found Rambling Meadows
Shores of Lough Ne'Halin
HP 51
Attack Attributes
Physical Attacks
Bite 76 AS
Claw 76 AS
Stomp 76 AS
Defense Attributes
Light Leather (natural) ASG 5N
Defensive Strength (DS)
Melee 20 - 33
Ranged 17
Bolt 15
Unarmed Defense Factor
Target Defense (TD)
Bard Base 12
Cleric Base
Empath Base 12
Paladin Base
Ranger Base 12
Sorcerer Base 12
Wizard Base 12
Minor Elemental 12
Major Elemental 12
Minor Spiritual 12
Major Spiritual 12
Minor Mental
Treasure Attributes
Coins No
Gems No
Magic Items No
Boxes No
Skin a spotted leaper pelt
Other No
The spotted leaper appears a bizarre cross between a wolf and a frog.  Perhaps six feet from snout to rump, covered with slick, hairless skin that is a dark green color with occasional pink splotches, it lacks all trace of fur but has a set of fangs worthy of any wolf that ever strode the land.  Extra long front legs tipped with raking claws give it the bounding gait that has earned it its name.

Hunting strategies

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Other information

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Behind the Scenes

The leapers on the Coastal Cliffs appear to be transformation curse victims of Bandur Etrevion in allusion to "The Doom That Came To Sarnath". Similarly, there is a parallel to The Graveyard in Castle Anwyn regarding Purgatory, including borrowed wording from the scroll room implying its connection to "The Shadow out of Time". The writhing serpent encircled mirror in this room comes instead from "The Colossus of Ylourgne", which is obviously the basis of Bonespear Tower, written in this case by Clark Ashton Smith rather than H.P. Lovecraft and set in Averoigne. When Norandar read the Vvrael scroll in Castle Anwyn, he began physically transforming with "bulging eyes" like the Sarnath creatures, and it had turned the Queen of Anwyn into a demon. The pumas are also mythologically related to shape-shifting shamans like Marliese of Darkstone Castle.

The forest of Averoigne is famous for its werewolves. Castle Anwyn has another subtle werewolf motif in its wolf depictions, including the third body in its crypt who probably corresponds to Melion, the knight of King Arthur who is transformed into a werewolf involving a magic ring. This story has roots in a version by the medieval French author Marie de France, who wrote "Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick" about the Arthurian knight Owain, which is important for unifying the subtexts implicit in the design of Castle Anwyn. Spotted leapers are thus implicitly like werewolves.

Leapers derive from the "bounders" of Rolemaster, where they are hunting hounds used by Dark Elves. This is probably referencing the fact that Lorgalis conquered the region surrounding Castle Anwyn in the I.C.E. Age history. These leapers being "spotted" might refer the lullaby of the fairy queen Titania from Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream", who sleeps in a bower like the one in Castle Anwyn. It starts with a fairy singing: "You spotted snakes with double tongue, thorny hedgehogs, be not seen. Newts and blindworms, do no wrong. Come not near our fairy queen."

This is an allusion to the witches' cauldron scene in Macbeth, which in turn is referenced elsewhere in the Lysierian Hills. (Puck is actually based on the pookas, which relates to Shadow Valley.) This is an older set of rooms involving a ring of colored mushrooms, which is a "fairy ring" caused by fairies dancing in a circle like the lullaby, next to trees massing for an assault. This refers to witches' prophecy of Macbeth being safe until Birnam Wood moves on Dunsinane Hill, and the striped warcat extension to the nearby fire cat caves further alludes to this scene from Macbeth. Similarly, it refers to the Battle of the Trees involving the King of Annwn, another medieval Welsh poem from the Book of Taliesin. This would have originally been intended to allude to Nodens (father of the King of Annwn) being the master of the night-gaunts in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", the primary subtext of The Broken Lands, and the fact that it was based on the fairy fantasy literature of Lord Dunsany by playing off Dunsinane Hill.

Leapers might be an allusion to Ephialtes, the Greek demon of nightmares, whose name translates as "leaper." Ephialtes was a giant who wanted to kidnap Hera and Artemis with his brother, so threw mountains on top of each other to reach up Mount Olympus. (Artemis is the Roman Diana, who Ovid calls Titania, which Shakespeare uses for the queen of the fairies.) Ephialtes is condemned to the City of Dis in Virgil's The Aeneid, and is similarly placed in Dante's Inferno for rebelling against heaven where the giants are the ones who lower Virgil and Dante to the Ninth Circle. This may be referenced by the icy wind in the descent in The Graveyard, and the leap into the equivalent of the Ninth Circle from the exit of Shadow Valley.

In Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" the Norse dwarf Fafnir is treated instead as a giant who tries to kidnap Freya with his brother because of Odin's promise for building Valhalla, which is really the Greek myth of Ephialtes, and he is punished by becoming the serpent dragon that Siegfried slays in his quest of the ring. The Stone of Virtue representing the legendary sword Aramier was faded saying "A..ram..", possibly alluding to Siegfried's sword Gram. The Drake's Shrine contains a room with a crossed reference to the crest of Caernarfon, the tympanum of Moissac Abbey, and the lion frieze of the Temple of Jupiter at Heliopolis. However, the frieze could also refer to the lion frieze of Darius, which would relate to Ephialtes the betrayer of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae through his son Xerxes. The Drake's Shrine is an inversion of the frozen imagery of the Ninth Circle of Inferno where climbing on the statue of the Great Dragon of the Book of Revelation represents God instead of the Beast.

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