Tag Archives: Monster

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.

A Short Note on Evil Clowns

Enrico_Caruso_As_CanioLife oftentimes writes the best stories. A French town has banned clown costumes and makeup after several cases of assault.

Of course, evil clowns are one of the big tropes of horror and while the current issue is – hopefully – just another social media fad, this incident is also perfect for a story or role-playing game session.

Your protagonists, who likely grew up on King’s “IT” and other horror lecture, may suspect the worst when they hear that clowns are terrorizing a small town for Halloween – and might actually be relieved when it turns out they are just local kids being idiots. Of course, and especially in the next few months, or based on their reaction, you could pull a switcheroo on them – some of the clowns are actually evil creatures.

If I were to run such a scenario, I would present ambiguous evidence and then swing the story based on my players’ theories and fears. And I’d bring circus music on my iPad and play it very faintly whenever they get into a clown encounter or are getting close to the Nest…

The Crowd

Evening rush hour is not fun on the subway. Hundreds of men and women, crowded like sardines in a can. Party goers mixed with tired office workers. Every station, some get out – and a genereal reshuffling follows. You sigh with relief, as for a moment you can breathe again. Human odors hang heavily in the air, and then the car refills. More people, going to gods-know-where.

The train approaches the end of the line. More people get off the train than enter. Soon, you will be home. You even manage to find a seat. You close your eyes for a moment. You sense a presence, and open them again – a man now sits opposite you. He has an empty expression and stares right through you. There are only five or six people in the car when you exit at your station.

You take the nearest exist, pass through a tunnel and approach the stairs. There’s a man there, unsure of himself. He sees you and his face becomes expressionless. He, too, sees right through you, but stands between the steps and the escalator. You feel menaced and you do not know why. Hairs on your neck stand up. You glance behind you, four of the other guys from thee train are slowly approaching. You panic; there’s a side tunnel that leads underneath the main street. You follow it, the men stay behind you. You take a right turn, and you realize it was a mistake. There’s the maintenance section, off to the left, and the deserted platform to your right. More strangers appear in other tunnels. You fall into a run, but soon every exit is blocked by the men, as they shuffle, expressionless, towards you.

You stumble and fall. Shield your head with your hands and whimper as they begin to tear into you.

The Crowd consists of a group of mysterious men and – more rarely – women who inhabit the subway networks of the world. They appear, outwardly, as completely normal people, though their behavior is off. They don’t talk, they don’t really pay attention to their surroundings. They lie in prey at selected stations, while some membeers of the Crowd will chase a selected victim after it exists the train. The victim is herded into a side tunnel, where he is then devoured alive by The Crowed.

They are also known to attack isolated passengers on a train if all other passengers in the car are of the Crowd.

When they do not stalk prey, they live deep in the maintenance shacks and tunnels, where they build regular nests. The Crowd has not yet come to the attention of the authorities, and none have been dissected, but investigators claim that they are not actually human.

Statistics

Strength: Human normal
Agility: Human normal
Intelligence: Low, probably purely instinct driven
Weapons: Hands, bites – unarmed human
Armor: None

 

Sewer Worms

I had heard the rumors for years, but it wasn’t before one of these… things ate our remotely-operated robots during an inspection that I believed them. One moment, the dark, gloomy sewer was in the camera’s views, the next a slithering shape rose from the murk – a circular, black mouth with glistening white and razor-sharp teeth, and the robot went offline.

Luckily we had the recording to show our bosses, and so the follow-up inspection team was well armed. Two guys even made it back. Now that part of the city sewer is off-limits until we can find a solution and I will certainly not laugh the next time a colleague tells me of the horrors he has seen.

Sever Worms are grow to be 2-3 meters long (6-10 feet) and have a diameter of about 70 cm (2 feet). Their skin is chitinous and segmented, glistening brown or black. The head is bulbous, with two small, beady inky black eyes on its sides and a wide, circular mouth with white, triangular and very sharp teeth.

The worms live in a city’s sewers and feed on rats and other vermin. They have good reflexes and can achieve bursts of surprising speed, which helps them catch the smaller rodents. They do not normally venture out of the sewers, though they can sometimes infest very dirty basements, sewage plants, or nearby swamps. Thus, they are not normally dangerous, unless someone is fool-hardy enough to invade their territory. They will attack humans and, while they can’t actually swallow a human entirely like a snake swallows its prey, they can easily bite off a leg or arm. Smaller children might easily be killed, however. In addition, the worms do carry nasty diseases, and exposure to a sewer environment will also infect large open wounds.

Sewer worms are “just” strange animals, or monsters, and not in any way supernatural. They possess no sentience or intelligence, but their appearance combines with the claustrophobic environments and can easily panic a man.

Sewer worms are genderless and reproduce by laying a large number of eggs in hidden spots; the eggs hatch after several months. Sewer worms are not above eating their own young, and the hatchlings do attack and eat each other as well.

Statistics

Strength: High
Agility: Medium
Endurance: High
Intelligence: None – Animal
Weapons: Bite / Swallow, risk of infections
Armor: Some

 

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.