|No. of Attacks:
||L (15' long with tail)
A sea lion is a fearsome creature with the head and forepaws of a lion and the
body and tail of a fish.
Sea lions are ferocious and difficult to deal with. They are very territorial
and usually attack anything that enters their domains, no matter what the size.
Their vicious teeth and huge paws are a match even for most sharks, which they
hate above all other creatures. Sea lions must attack the same opponent with
paws and teeth and cannot divide attacks. Any creature hit by both paw attacks
in the same round is being mauled. Mauled creatures cannot attack if they have
not already done so that round and must roll a successful open doors roll to
free themselves. When mauling a creature, the lion follows up with a bite attack
with a +4 bonus to the attack roll, causing double damage if successful.
The head of a sea lion, with its thick mane, is treated as AC 5, while the
rest of its scaly body is AC 3.
Sea lions are very difficult to raise in captivity, but can become the best
and most loyal of steeds. In fact, they are arguably the most powerful mountable
creature beneath the waves. They are very useful as guarding and hunting
beasts, since their tremendous roar can be heard for up to 10 miles underwater,
providing ample time to prepare for an attack or to send help. They are not as
skillful swimmers as are sea horses -- they are the underwater equivalents of
Maneuverability Class B creatures.
Sea horses and sea lions almost never encounter one another as sea lions
prefer to dwell in the shallow coastal regions, while sea horses delve the deeps.
This is primarily due to their respective dietary differences. Sea horses eat
plankton, while sea lions eat any type of meat, be it a fish, dinosaur, or
wandering herd animals caught drinking at the water's edge. Sea lions are not afraid
of land and it is not unheard of for sea lions to drag themselves a few dozen
yards up the beach in search of meals. While these attacks are rare indeed, the
reports of sea lions in the vicinity does tend to foster more fear among the
general populace than a simple shark attack does. But in a world of krakens,
dinosaurs, and vampires, sea lions are a relatively minor threat.
Sea lions roam the seas in packs, what might be called a pride of lions on
land. The strongest one (usually with maximum hit points) is the leader. In a sea
lion pack, both sexes hunt and care for young, but the males are superior
hunters, something that differentiates them from their land-based cousins.
While sea lions rarely travel anywhere with specific goals in mind, they do
sometimes team up to aid other packs of lions, usually when they roam close
enough to hear the collective bellowing of their comrades. But territoriality comes
into play immediately after the kill is made, and rarely does the reigning
leader allow the helpful newcomers to share in the spoils of the victory. Often a
new battle for power ensues between the two leaders. If the resident leader
wins, the newcomers leave without a taste of meat. If the newcomer wins, he and his
pack remain just long enough to take first choice of flesh, and then depart
for home. The remaining leader, vanquished and weakened before his peers, rarely
lives long enough to enjoy the spoils.
Sea lions hate sharks, often going to great lengths to hunt them down. The
taste of sharks is apparently abhorrent to sea lions and they always leave the
carcass uneaten, so it is something of a mystery why this rivalry exists. Some
sages claim that it is the result of conflicts between the lesser deities of
nature, but it is more likely two strong predators vying for supremacy of the seas.
Because of the water-proofing qualities of their thick scales, sea lions can
remain out of water for up to 24 hours before their gills dry out and become
incapable of removing oxygen from the water. If a sea lion is fed a constant
source of water into its mouth, it can survive for an entire week before disease
enters the cracking scales and starvation takes its toll. It is theoretically
possible to keep a sea lion in captivity but, like most aquatic carnivores, the
restriction of space is often psychologically too much for the creature and death
slowly takes the once-proud beast.
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