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Elquon Manhound: a new type of familiar

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Elquon Manhounds

This is a concept based upon Fyflank, Sholto Unwerth's bodyguard from Ravenor. My reading of Fyflank is that he was far more dog than man: if you don't agree with this interpretation, feel free to ignore the article and use your own concept. As written, though, this is a concept for a new type of bio-sculpted familiar/bodyguard for your characters. Hope you enjoy it!  happy.gif

 

There are many exotic worlds in the galaxy, which export many strange and colourful products and services. Some produce beautiful religious art, some export food, many export killers and soldiers.

The planet Elquon in the Carretias Sector is famous for its dogs.

The humble dog, Canis lupus familiaris, has accompanied mankind to the stars since the legendary first colonists crawled through the ether in vast century vessels, frozen in stasis. On thousands of worlds, man's best friend remains loyal, whether in the form of a pampered laphound in the train of a great noble lady, or as a humble drover’s invaluable groxdog.

Not all worlds have a history of using dogs, (indeed they are relatively rare in the Calixis Sector) and as mankind has explored the furthest reaches of space, many alternate pack animals have presented themselves as useful companions, occasionally supplanting the dog in the affections of humanity.

But the sheer variety of dog breeds that have developed over the millennia means that new uses are constantly found for the dog. The Adeptus Arbites harvest the brains of the more intelligent and aggressive breeds for their cyber-mastiffs. The Inquisition use specially bred and trained Witch hounds to sniff out the psyker and deviant. And the Elquonites breed massive, man sized hounds, surgically alter them and sell them as bodyguards to discerning clients.

Elquon hounds weigh well over 100 kilos and are massively built. They have been bred for a number of factors: high intelligence, size, longevity, and a temperament which enables them to equably cope with the high levels of surgical modification necessary to create a true Manhound.

Suitable dogs are taken at a young age from the breeding kennels on Elquon Prime and subjected to intense modification by master veterinae vivisecutors. The hounds are given only cursory cybernetic prosthetic modification, but intensive body resculpting. Most major bones are broken, reshaped and realigned. The spine is rebuilt in a new alignment, and massive layers of vat-grown muscle are spread across the lower limbs. Upper limbs are redesigned completely.

Significant brain enhancements are surgically applied to the animal in a manner akin to (though not as sophisticated as) Ogryn BONEhead treatments. Forepaws are reshaped to provide rudimentary opposable digits, and the animals are usually (though not always) subjected to depilatory treatment and facial reconstruction to make the animals appear less dog like and more….human.

Finally, after months of painful and extensive treatment, the process is complete. The end result is a bizarre creature that appears to combine human and dog characteristics. Elquon manhounds are bipedal, massively built creatures with clumsy paws and a massive, jowled head which covers vast muscles around a powerful jaw.

Standing taller than the average human, and with a great deal more natural strength, and a bite capable of taking off a human arm in one go, the creatures make solid bodyguards. They are loyal and far from stupid, though their canine ancestry is painfully obvious. They constantly have to be reminded to get off the furniture, stop scratching themselves in public and the like.

Manhounds are more intelligent than most dogs, and are capable of understanding a vocabulary of around 300 words, though – like all dogs – they cannot actually speak. (Some legends tell of rich owners who would install voxers just to hear what they said, but it usually consisted of a stream of demands for food and exercise.) The breed is known for unusually expressive eyes, and appear to have a (likely unintentional) gift for comedy, usually taking the form of heartfelt sighs and groans at socially inopportune moments.

They are prized for three main factors: their exoticism, loyalty and physical strength. They are fierce combatants, quite capable of taking on small groups of knife-armed assailants, but despite many attempts, they never really work well as gunfighters. (Their paw/eye coordination is simply too feeble.)

Their owners usually clothe them in personal bodyguard livery and have them accompany them to social or business gatherings. While loyal and effective servants, they are not really in the “top league” of bodyguard services, and only a poor (or desperate) individual would rely on a Manhound in a fierce firefight.

WS: 35 BS:- S:45 T:40 Ag:25 Int:20 Per:35 WP: 30 Fel: -

Movement: 3/6/9/18

Skills: Awareness +10, Swim, Tracking +10, Intimidate, Understand language (Low Gothic),

Talents: Fearless, chem geld, Iron jaw,

Traits: Brutal charge, Enhanced senses (smell)

Weapons: Bite (1d10+3 R) “Fists” (1d5 +1 I Primitive)

Cost: a new Manhound will cost about 7,500 thrones on the open market. Second hand Manhounds (older, smellier ones, or ones who have been re-homed since the death of their owner) can cost as little as 2,500 thrones. All are loyal and would gladly die to save their owner.
 

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Excellent post, freind. I'm waggin my tail with glee. I love this post, and I love your interpretation, a wonderful combination of the grim dark and the absurd. This was more or less what I figured Fyflank was supposed to be. It would make a great companion for a rogue trader, and good comic relief for a DH cabal. Hell, I'm thinking of getting one myself. I'd love to see more posts like this on here....Manhound...Hmm....

"It was me, and my cultist-cronies who made everyone think this starship was haunted, and I would have gotten away with it, too, If not for you crazy Acolytes!!!"

"SCOOBY-DOOBY-DOO!!!"

----------------------------------------------

"I'm a mog...Half-man, half-dog...I'm my own best freind..."

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