Last month we ran a competition for you to design some spooky villains that would fit into the world of Animal Adventures.
And we were overwhelmed with the quality of your submissions, so much so that it took longer than expected to pick our four winners because, well, we wanted to pick every single one.
We narrowed it down to the following entries:
The Headless Hen by Emily Ormerod
Spring-Paw Jax by Zoe Mellors
Count Coco III of Croaks by Andrea Lughi
Bandit, the Crow Rogue by Anna Waltermath
Congratulations! We’ll be in touch with the winners via email to arrange sending their prize, the Animal Adventures Starter Set.
The Grand Prize
Now we need your help to pick a grand prize winner, and decide which entry will be illustrated by our artist, Cristina Ruiz; have a stat block written up by our designer, Richard August; and be made available on this website as a downloadable resource for you to use in your games!
Below are all the entries, after looking over them below visit this google form and select your favourite.
By Zoe Mellors
Spring-Pawed Jax first began as an alchemical healer, brewing potions and salves to cure illness and mend bones. However after his sister fell ill and he failed to save her, he began looking past the veil of death and into the potential of resurrection. Months of necromantic studies and chemical experimentation dyed his fur white, leaving him pallid and sallow. With every step he saw the potential mapping out in front of him. Turning to the graveyard, Jax began honing his skills as a resurrectionist, stealing bodies and reanimating them. It was only after several attempts that he found the flaw in his system - he could bring back the body, but not the spirit. And so, seeking the final piece to the puzzle, the fennec fox hunts the world for his sisters soul, capturing the spirits of those he kills and raising bodies as his henchmen until he can restore his sister to life.
The Headless Hen
by Emily Ormerod
Bandit, the Crow Rogue
by Anna Waltermath
Like all corvids he has a penchant for all things shiny. Bandit has been flying all around town and stealing tags and collars from all the local cats and canines. He treats each of these prizes like a dragon, hoarding them in his nest and never letting them go. These shiny tidbits are the proof of the Progress Bandit has made to his ultimate goal. A world without humans.
Bandits Cunning has two parts. For some animals he is straight forward. He offers freedom from their human oppressors, in exchange for joining his animal army. For those that do not wish to leave their homes, Bandit will take a more drastic approach. First, he will steal the animal's tag or collar. Once the collar is removed (and squirreled away in Bandits horde), foot soldiers will trick the animal into leaving their home and getting lost. The pigeons in Bandit’s army particularly enjoy this task, relishing the opportunity to antagonize cats and dogs who pestered them in the past. Once the tag-less animal is good and lost, Bandit will swoop in like an answer to all their problems. Of course, Bandit can get the poor animal safely home … for a price.
Through tricks and cunning Bandit has almost built an army big enough to take on the human oppressors, all he needs is just a few more tags ….
Count Coco III of Croaks
By Andrea Lughi
Count Coco III of Croaks is an African Gray Parrot.
It is a fallen noble; it obtained control of the family by eliminating its older brother at a young age.
Its mysterious disappearance brought his parents into a profound crisis causing them to lose influence they had acquired. Following their demise Coco began to gain respect back thanks to the infamous reputation it had created.
It dress in a flamboyant way, creating contrast with its dark natural colours.
Often, to show his intellectual superiority, he quotes philosophers or historical sentences and, due to its nature, it often repeats phrases it learnt when it was young even when it wouldn’t want to (Good evening Coco, I want a nut, Give me a kiss…).
Whoever doesn’t respect him or whoever laughs at it when he mistakenly repeats a sentences like a "parrot" would do, is put heads down in cages that hang from the cliff.
20 Nightal, 1491
A few days had passed since the group of adventurers left for the city of BauBran.
The wagon they were in swam in the thick fog.
The only company was the creaking sound of tree branches, moved by a feeble breeze, and an owl that, like a clock, rhythmically repeated its hoot.
Late in the evening, some lights finally began to appear in the distance emerging from the thick blanket of fog. The wheels of the wagon began to jolt regularly and the adventurers knew they had reached the city.
Once they got out, the coachman snapped the reins to move the horses as if he was in a hurry to get away, and as they turn around he had already vanished into the fog.
There was nothing but an intimidating silence in the nearby and a strong iron almost nauseating acrid odour could be smell.
They looked up to the sky and noticed a wooden sign with the name of an inn, "The Blood Crow".
An inn of the lowest class stood before them, shaky and chipped wooden tables, various stains of unknown nature on the floor, and the smell of rotten wood.
The following morning a thin layer of fog covered the ground and the sky, darkened by threatening clouds, let a few rays of light pass through, and thanks to them, the adventurers were finally able to identify the reason for their presence here.
In the distance, the castle of BauBran confirms her macabre fame. The thick dark green vegetation, the overhanging rocks on which it was built and the dark walls, almost windowless, giving the place an eerie atmosphere. The locals call the castle, home of Count Coco III of Croaks, “The Perch”.
The Count's dinner invitation was suspicious right from the beginning, but a group of adventurers certainly couldn't refuse the offer. Gathering information the all-afternoon lead to nowhere: the few people met on the streets looked away as soon as they mention the Count, turning away with some sort of excuses and a trembling voice.
Later on, the group was in front of the inn discussing how to reach the castle when suddenly a black carriage stopped in front of them. Two dark haired horses snorted, releasing clouds of smoke that mixed into the fog.
The carriage door opened on its ow. Looking at the raised housing no coachman could be seen. Without asking further questions, they all went inside the cockpit, as soon as they got in the door closed behind them and the horses set off at a trot.
Just outside the village, a small swampy and wild forest was separating them from the castle. Dead trees whose branches twisted in ghostly shapes created a tunnel through which the carriage continued swiftly.
The party looked at each other it was obvious that none of them felt at ease, and when one of them was about to speak, the carriage suddenly stopped. The door opened by itself revealing the entrance to the mansion.
A huge dark wooden door was carved with images of giant birds and beasts of unknown nature.
The bravest of them approached it and knocked once, twice, three times but no one answered. The fourth time the door opened by itself and the adventurers found themselves facing a long corridor full of empty paintings, white and with no drawings on them.
A figure emerged from behind the door, a tiny cat, with a hump on its back and with one eye missing. In a weak voice they told it the reason for their presence and it answered in a very acute and gloomy tone, telling them to follow it.
Under their paws there was a red carpet reached the door at the end of the corridor.
Inside the castle there was a frightening silence interrupted in some moment by the squeak of a mouse or a hiss while a slight noise of chains was coming from strange cages where hanging on the ceiling.
The cat stopped in front of the door at the end of the corridor, pointing them to enter.
On the other side there was a sumptuous dining room, with a long rectangular table placed at the centre. The white tablecloth had been set with fine silverware although at first look it seemed a little bit old-fashioned.
Chairs, with a high back and padded in red cloth, were positioned around the table.
It seemed like no one have ever used them however there were strange marks on the top, as if something bit them leaving small incisions.
A series of candleholders had been placed on the table but the lighting of the room was coming from a huge chandelier, in gold and crystals, which hung from the ceiling, radiating light with a multitude of candles.
At the far end of the room, there were two large mastiff dogs, one black as the darkness and the other one was brindle. The Count was there, towering next to a sumptuous golden perch.
Ash grey. A bright red tail coloured like blood. A moon-pale white head and a night-black beak. It seemed to hide its dark colours with gaudy bright coloured robes.
Suddenly it spread his wings revealing long black feathers and after a bow it uttered: "Good evening, Coco".