Tag Archives: bestiary

Creature: The Scavenger

The scavenger is humanoid, and indeed easily mistaken for a human. They stand between 1.5 and 2.0 meters tall and appear as ordinary people, usually dressed in good clothes such as dark suits. They do not speak, but their demeanor is passive, even friendly.

However, this is mere mimicry, designed to put the scavengers’ prey at ease. In reality, the entirety of the creature’s front is one big maw – when the monster attacks, this maw opens from its human mouth all the way down to the navel, revealing sharp rows of teeth not unlike those of a shark. The scavenger will, with its maw open, slowly approach its victim, use its human hands to hold onto the victim and bite off whatever it can – be that an arm, a head, or most of the victim. Children are swallowed whole.

While scavengers prefer eating people, and live prey at that, they do not hesitate to eat animals or corpses. The first witnesses to the scavengers’ true form observed them feed on corpses, and thus gave them their names.

Survivors invariably report being held in place as if in shock, or in a dreamy state. This is a hypnotic effect projected by the scavengers’ minds. This paralyzes the victims, as the slow-moving scavengers approach and ultimately devour them. A person who is able to resist the effect, or shake off the drowsiness, can easily evade the scavengers – they are relentless but move at a slow pace, meandering, swaying back and forth, at a slow walk’s pace.

Once a scavenger has gorged itself, it retreats to a quiet, secluded place – disused buildings, attics, basements – where it starts to digest. If it has eaten especially well, it will proceed to reproduce by mitosis – that is, a second scavenger will grow out of it until it detaches, fully grown and hungry, ready to start feeding.

Although it is easy to dismiss the scavenger as a dumb brute, they are quite intelligent. They will cooperate and hunt in packs, isolating individual humans or small groups, then swarm and attack them from multiple sites. In at least one reported case, the scavengers camouflaged themselves as security guards working crowd control at a demonstration.

Statistics

Strength: Average
Agility: Low
Intelligence: Average (human)
Endurance: Very high
Weapons: Holds on to victims with human arms, then takes bites out of them with teeth that can cut through limbs and bones.
Armor: None, but has no vital organs that could be critically hit.

Notes

I dreamed about these things and decided to write them down. I am sure they were subconsciously inspired by some horror movie or other.

Creature: Thornkiller

The Thornkiller is a mobile plant predator that consists of a lumpy body about 10-20cm in diameter, from which sprout very long (1.5 – 2.5m), thin, tentacle-like appendages. The “tentacles” look like the thin branches of a thorny bush, giving the creature its name.

The Thornkiller lives in an ordinary bush, which it will use as camouflage. To the casual observer, its branches will look like the normal branches of any kind of thorny brush. The beast senses its prey by vibrations of the ground. When an unsuspecting creature gets too close, the tentacles will suddenly become active, and latch onto the victim, entangling it. Its sharp, thin thorns will dig into the victim’s flesh and begin to drain it of its blood, which the Thornkiller consumes. The victim will die from blood loss, and its carcass will eventually rot and fertilize the ground for the plants that the Thornkiller lives in. Some Thornkillers inhabit small burrows in the earth or small caves, where their tentacles will often be mistaken for dangling roots or vines, until the they attack.

The Thornkiller’s victims are usually small to medium sized animals, however large specimen can easily attack and kill humans or other animals of the same body mass. It only has animal-like intelligence and is mostly driven by its instincts. It is an ambush predator and will not pursue an animal that manages to break free, but its tentacle-like branches are quite strong, and struggling will usually only cause deeper wounds and thus hasten the loss of blood.

Thornkillers do not generally live in proximity to human settlements, because humans will invariably kill and burn them whenever they find out about a Thornkiller.

The creature reproduces by growing seeds like most other plants; a short time of blooming in spring is followed by the growth of the seeds on the main body of the creature. The seeds look similar to chestnuts, but their thorns are much harder and sharper. The animal will drop its seeds on to passing animals, if possible. The seeds get entangled in their fur, and will thus get carried away from the parent Thornkiller. After some time, the first tentacle-like vines will grow, and the seed will start to drain blood from the host animal. This will provide the nourishment until it has grown large enough to move on its own. This first victim is not usually killed; instead, the thornkiller drops to the ground and seeks out a nearby bush which it will make its home and where it will await a new victim.

Statistics

Strength: Low
Agility: High
Intelligence: Low (Animal)
Endurance: Medium
Weapons: Thorny tentacles – trap and tangle victims and bleed them to death
Armor: None. Vulnerable to fire. Small size makes it hard to hit.

 

Notes

Inspired by a dangerously-looking thorn bush on my way to work. First written on 2002-01-18.