Ecology: Rawhead is the last of a race of (presumably) supernatural beings who inhabited England as late as the 1400s. They dwelt in the woods and were the lords of all they surveyed. The coming of man and the destruction of their forest homes slowly drove them to extinction, until only King Rawhead was left. Trapped with holy relics, he was buried under a great stone in a field and left there with the understanding no one was to plow, plant, or otherwise touch the field for the rest of eternity. Of course, while Rawhead doesn’t age, men do, and eventually the prohibition on the field was forgotten. Six hundred years alter, a farmer, clearing acres of valuable farmland, eventually uncovered a stone that needed to be moved before it broke a plow....
Personality/Motivation: Rawhead is driven by all-consuming hunger. He lusts after human blood and flesh—the younger the better. However, he will gleefully kill most anything he comes across, be it man or beast. About the only thing he won’t kill is a menstruating woman. To him, their blood smells wrong, almost like a poison, and he won’t touch them, no matter how hungry he is. He also considers himself master of the forest, which in his mind makes him master of the world. He kills to assert his authority over mankind and will drag women off into the woods to be raped, thus breeding hybrids who kill their mothers as they are born.
Powers/Tactics: While he’s immensely powerful, Rawhead also posses great cunning, and will use stealth, guile, and tricks to make a kill. He’s not above striking from ambush, and if possible, will use his gaze to root someone in place before killing them. He’ll then approach slowly, enjoying the taste fear puts into his prey. Rawhead can also learn by example, and is intelligent enough to use fire to flush out prey or destroy enemies.
Although effectively immortal (being entombed for 600 years simply means he wakes up hungry), Rawhead isn’t invulnerable. While difficult to harm, he can be killed by mortal weapons such as fire and guns. However, given time to rest, he can heal most wounds, even those inflicted by powerful rifles.
In battle, Rawhead will often grab his prey and lift them slowly, feeding off of the fear before feasting on the flesh and blood. If angered, however, he’ll strike to kill, and can rend a man with a single swipe of his clawed fingers. He fears virtually nothing (but has sense enough to be wary of things he doesn’t fully understand—like automobiles), except for certain pagan icons. In the face of a Venus figurine (representing the human female’s power of fertility and life), he’ll will retreat if possible, lashing out at his attackers if not. The figurine will also effectively dispel his ability to transfix prey with his gaze, and can be used to imprison him in the earth or a someplace similar.
Appearance: Rawhead Rex stands roughly nine feet tall, with a thin, almost stringy build. His smooth skin is gray, while his large lump of a head is a jaundiced yellow color, reminiscent of raw meat. An enormous mouth that almost seems to split Rawhead’s face in two sits below the pits of his nose and the red slashes of his eyes. A thick ruff of black fur/hair rings the base of ihs head and brushes across Rawhead’s shoulders.
Rawhead lean build is due to his long imprisonment. Properly fed, he’s far more muscular.
Designers Notes: Rawhead Rex (a.k.a. King Rawhead) is found in the short story Rawhead Rex, in Volume 3 of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood (it was also made into a film of suspect quality). This character sheet was developed from a comic adaptation of the same story. While the story is set in the modern (i.e. early 1980s) era, Rawhead himself can be used in any number of genres and settings, ranging form Pulp to Horror. Probably the best use for him is in a Fantasy Hero game, where GMs can present him as a form of supernatural demon, bent on slaughtering everyone he can lay claws on. Simply change his weakness from a Venus Figurine to something appropriate for the campaign setting and you’re all set.
As written, Rawhead is reasonably powerful, but might not be much of a match for well-armed fantasy (or modern) adventurers. One suggestion is to increase the speed of his Healing from Hours to Minutes. Another is to drop the “Stun Only” element of his Damage Reduction. If you need to make Rawhead even more powerful, up his STR to 30 or 35, raise his DEX to 20, and his CON to 25. Increase his defenses accordingly.
(Rawhead Rex created by Clive Barker, character sheet created by Michael Surbrook)