Thursday, 30 June 2016

More Monsters for Your Amusement

Sadly-moaning-under-rocks

Mossy, damp, looming boulders under the dark of the canopy, big and hunched like shoulders - lurking sentinels among the trees. They are the union of water, rock, plant life and millions of dead souls: repositories for the lives lost by the jungle from century to century, millennium to millennium, aeon to aeon. They brood in complete stillness, in granite solitude.

The near-daily rains weather them – very slowly, very surely. The constant quotidian rainfall wears them down grain by grain, year by year. In the run-off, trickling in miniscule speckles from the rock’s surface, are the tiniest dots of grit, each containing death and the dead: untold dozens, hundreds or thousands of lost lives.

As these tiny specks accumulate in the earth beneath the rocks, they mix with the soil and gasp and moan in collective sorrow at the meaningless cycle of life and death; at the horrific nihilism of the march of the ages that builds and crushes the substance of the earth in endless rhythmic repetition with no goal or aspiration, and which will continue until the stars have faded and the world and the moon with it has been swallowed by the sun.

AC – HD – ATT –
*At a distance, the sound of Softly-moaning-under-rocks is safe; anybody listening closely intently must save vs. magic or be unable to unhear it. From that point on the suspicion that everything is meaningless – that there is nothing but life and death and then waiting for the end of the world itself – subtly saps their energy and enthusiasm. Whenever the player rolls a dice for the PC, roll a single d10 along with it. If the result on that d10 is ‘1’, the action fails irrespective of the main result – the PC’s heart was not in it.    

Dreaming-of-magic-in-the-morning-mist

A stake of wood buried in thick heavy soil, partially obscured by green fronds and low branches. It is carved with the crude but unmistakeable features of a young girl – cut into its surface in such a way that moss and lichen and the gnawing of insect life seem not to alter it. The features never change. But the stake moves – when nobody is looking.

The stake is inhabited by the soul of a child whose tribe abandoned her to the forest when she was lamed. Starving and forced to move on, they gave her to the spirits of the forest and planted the stake to watch over her. The spirits took pity on her, and gave her everlasting life – embodied in the stake with which they found her.

Now she dwells in the forest, attuned with the spirits who live there, yet apart – tangible still, human still, dreaming still. She dreams of her own magical realm, where she might run, marry, bear children, and rule; where she might be a great chieftainess uniting all of the creatures of the forest beneath her benevolent sway - and she harvests souls to one day serve her there.

HD 6, AC 18, ATT – None
*Casts spells as an 8th level magician
*Cannot move unless nobody is looking
*Harvests souls – selects a target, the target must save vs magic or have its soul removed from its then-lifeless shell of a body and spirited into the wooden stake for eternity, unless Dreaming-of-magic-in-the-morning-mist can be persuaded to release them, or is herself destroyed (in which case all the souls inside are extinguished)

Flying-under-starlight

A giant moth, its throbbing furred body man-sized, its vast wings patterned with shimmering silver swirls which shine bright in the light of the moon. It creeps about from tree to tree and then soars above the canopy, its wing beats carrying it aloft to bathe in the silky white glow of the firmament. Its huge muscular tongue, curled beneath its head, allows it to burrow into the roots of the mightiest trees, where it sucks up sap, leaving an empty dying husk behind it as it slinks away at dawn. The tongue is a potent weapon that can pierce bone with ease.

HD 5+5, AC 18, AB +5, ATT 1d3/1d3/1d6/Death
*Attacks with forelegs and wing buffet; if both foreleg attacks hit the victim is pinned down and killed by the tongue piercing his or her brain; no save is permitted, though the moth spends 1d3 turns sucking out the juices
*Shimmering markings cause confusion for 1d6+2 rounds in a viewer on a failed save vs magic
*+2 AB and +2 DMG at night
*Emits attraction pheromones which spread 60’ around it and cause humans to develop overpoweringly amorous feelings towards one another on a failed save vs magic

A multitude of-feet-tapping-like-raindrops

Ants. A civilization of them. Millions of tiny minds. Thinking. Speaking. Walking. Gathering. Grazing. Feasting. Breeding. Killing. All in the tiniest, softest sounds which, gathered together, sound like the pitter-patter of heavy rain falling in sheets on the forest. When desired they gather together in humanoid form, some locking their feet together to form the structure of the body; others a constantly shifting working mass in the middle like blood, muscle and organs; and in the centre of the chest the beating heart – the queen – squeezing eggs from her grotesque swollen abdomen and with her pheromones guiding the hulking, shuddering, shifting mass as it strides about amongst the trees in search of food.

HD 6+2, AC 16, AB +6, ATT – Special/Special
*Attacks with ‘fists’. If either hits, soldiers stream from within the body onto that of the target, sinking their mandibles into tender skin and injecting venom that results in waves of all-consuming pain that throbs through the body as though it is itself a living thing. The pain is so great that victims void their bowels and their muscles spasm for days after; in their enfeebled state they are then butchered by the mass of tiny jaws working in perfect concert together. (Take 1d6 hp damage and save vs poison: failed save indicates paralysis for 1 day and enfeeblement – 1/4 STR – for 2d6 days; successful save indicates enfeeblement for 1d6 days.)

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