Monday, May 24, 2010

Smells like the ocean turned bad

Here is one of those creatures that I think can suit a variety of settings. I can see it working quite well in fantasy, horror and sci-fi worlds alike. In my eyes it is quite disgusting, which means I like it..., and though it may not be one of those creatures oozing with mystery and fantasy, I think this is one of my personal favourites so far. What do you think?

It may be that when I categorise these creatures they end up in a group that they shouldn't be in from a strict and scientific point of view. Though, in a fictitious world these categories may differ and be wider than in our own. At least that is how I think of it. When I decide that this is a crustacean I do so because it reminds me of one. In any case, it is not a mammal. Though intelligent beyond any crayfish you have ever eaten, you should think of a monstrous alien crab when you imagine it in action.


CATEGORY: Crustacean
TERRAIN: Salt water coasts
FOOD: Carnivore
AGGRESSION: Normal to high
SIZE: 7 - 8 feet, (210-240 cm) tall

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

SPEED: Running x 1, Swimming x 1
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

BACK: 12
"TAIL": 11
(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The main body of the Calmorock is held together by a hard exoskeleton that makes it very hard to kill. The limbs are bony and very tough, but lack the outer protection of the torso and back. The weakest point is the head, which the creature holds high to keep it away from the danger.

2 CLAWS: 2-6
2 SUCTION CUP SLAPS: 2-4 (+ sucking damage)
1 BITE: 1-4 (Normally not used in fighting)
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Calmorock uses its front and hind legs to skillfully seek out food hidden in sand and crevices. In combat it may position itself on the hind legs and use the front ones for powerful slaps. When a suction cup hits unprotected skin it will inflict and extra 2-4 points of damage, while ripping the skin and flesh off the bone. The cups will attach to plate armour like ticks to hide, and drag opponents off their feet (dexterity/agility saving throw). Unless the creature willfully lets go there is no other way of seperating the cups from a smooth surface than cutting them off. When badly injured the Calmorock will seek the sanctuary of the ocean.

The Calmorock is a wandering creature. It has no lair or area of choice, but follows the coastline ever onward in search for food. It prefers the rich and easy spoils of the sea, like wounded seals or stranded whales, but will eat anything it can get hold of. All kinds of flesh, alive or dead, fresh or rotten, is consumed with great fervour.

Though not very quick or agile the Calmorock can move over basically any terrain. Its strong fingers and suction cupped front legs enables it to haul itself up most surfaces. With great patience it slowly empties all nooks and hollows from life, seemingly unmoved by changes in climate or weather. Houses situated near the sea is treated no differently than any coastline cave, and the life forms within will be caught and devoured if possible.

When in water the creature walks on the bottom, but can swim, if a bit awkwardly. They use the water mainly as a means of shelter and as a place for reproduction. If the short coastline of smaller islands turn out to hold little food the creature moves on by clever means to more promising shores. By attaching itself to larger beasts of the sea, or to the underside of great ships, it picks up a swift ride to new and richer "pastures".

While the Calmorock tend to move about in families of 3-10 creatures, they have no trouble surviving on their own. In frozen and lifeless regions they turn on each other to survive, and typically the young are killed first. The creatures are often detected from a distance by their smell, which can be recognised from miles away, and is reminiscent of fish and seaweed left to decompose in the sun, but with a sour strength that no Calmorock-free shore can offer. They live for about twenty years, have a dark and bluish blood, and those who know how to get rid of the smell, can use parts of their exoskeleton as rather light-weight and efficient armour.

© Copyright 2010 - Nicholas Cloister