Monday, April 4, 2011

The silent slaughters of the sea

The flu, which peaked two weeks ago, has yet to let me fully out of its grip. Reality presents itself behind a hazy layer of "tired heavyness", but I know it has to yield some day soon.
Speaking of soon, I can now confirm that I will spend much of this year teaching (Multimedia, Media Communication etc), and I start in May. This will make RPG-Creatures slow down, but new creatures will continue to show up, now and then. Bread, I here, is more vital than imaginary beasts. ; )

To be honest, I will enjoy another round in the class rooms. Freelance illustration can be a bit too solitary in the long run. Schools, though not always the most stimulating of places, do at least present a certain movement, and faces of real animated flesh. A Crombhala would move eagerly through the corridors...


CATEGORY: Crustacean
TERRAIN: Salt water
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 7 feet (210 cm) tall

(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 0,5 (In water x 2)
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The exoskeleton of the Crombhala is tough, and gives good protection. The belly is softer and vulnerable to spears and long swords.

1 BITE: 1–6
2 HOOKS: 1-8
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

Though equipped with four powerful legs, the Crombhala is too heavy to use these for kicking.

The Crombhalas are hunter-scavenger creatures that have specialized in attacking surface-swimming prey. Their antennae are sensitive and pick up all surface disturbances, even in the unsettled waters of storm. They generally keep to the shallows, where from the bottom they can strike upwards to penetrate the creatures and small vessels above. The spikes on their heads are only used for the initial surprise and puncturing. The hooks and and the hideous mouth are their primary tools of killing.

Rarely do they venture on to the shore, but can breath air without problem. The heavy bodies of the creatures slow them down on land, so they only briefly come out of the water. Stranded whales and other feasts, may tempt them to linger.

The beasts are ferocious and hungry by nature. They rarely miss a chance to feed, and do so with great fervour. When there is no large prey or carcass about, they move around very slowly to save energy, and lazily pick a snack or two in the form of clams and starfish from the bottom. As winter comes, and sheets of ice claim the coastline seas, the Crombhalas seek out warmer areas, or move temporarily into the unknown depths of the ocean.

In stories and myths Crombhalas are mainly known for their eyes. These are unique constructions whose outer layer is hard as glass, and whose interior liquid is a mystery. Sorcerers have found that by gazing into these globes, one may witness long and clear episodes from the life of the Crombhala to which they belonged. The creatures are thought to preserve memories inside their organs of vision. Staring into the eye of a dead Crombhala is not an activity suited for the weak-minded and sensitive. The memories emerging are mainly the highlights of killing and feeding, and some say the mood and blood-lust of the Crombhala is somehow communicated through these biological “crystal balls”.

According to some scriptures, there are complicated rituals, in the case that one manages to steal away with a single eye of a living Crombhala, that enables the gazer to gain access to the live sight and mind of the giant crustacean, and thus control the beast through telepathy.

The creatures grow to be several centuries old. In some cases their eyes have revealed the locations of wrecked ships, taken down long ago by groups of hungry Crombhalas. Though events like these are rare, and the crustaceans typically hunt alone, they are not unheard of. Once dozens of small holes are made in the hull, the creatures clamber up the ship and gunwale to come down upon the crew. As they attack they cough out water and let out series of course and loud hissing sounds. In the sea, they kill silently.

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister