Friday, September 8, 2017

The Great Discape: Bestiary, 2-of-3

(Here is Part 1 of the bestiary)

Ia llrghoygh m'phughn blryrl phnu'ghrghn.

Locals: Gangly albinos, dark circles around pale red eyes.
Wrestler: The Innsmouth Watcher – Dour, depressive, immune to displays of kayfabe.
  1. Polyp-Head – A clump of blood-red coral grows from the stump of the neck. Some of them still carry around their skulls in their claws, which have been scrimshawed in maddening Mandelbrot patterns. They are not violent, not normally. They aren’t trying to hurt you.
  2. Carnivorous Mushroom – It is easy to get lost in a fungi forest, and even easier to lose one’s focus. Keep a careful eye on any mushrooms lower than your knees that are cream colored with brown mottling. If such a mushroom launches itself at you with its single, muscular foot (so as to bite a chunk out of you with the toothy mouth atop their cap), you have successfully found it.
  3. Cave-Squid – These creatures live at the bottom of ravines, far out of the light. They are blind, translucent white, and large enough to bite a man’s head off, but are intelligent enough for animals. One could potentially trade food for something it has dredged out of the river.
  4. Hemogifter – I have seen only one of these creatures, lounging on a cliff in the fitful sun. The ring of blood-swollen corpses around it, all incubating the creature’s larvae, dissuaded me from approaching further.
  5. White Librarian – Knowledge is dangerous in Pthnaghtoth, and so it is given over to the White Librarians. They wander the land, dependent on what food and goods the townsfolk might leave out for them (No Librarian will come close to a settlement, and no one will come close to a Librarian). They keep their books chained and padlocked, and I saw one at a distance who kept his tomes impaled on metal spikes.
  6. Moon-drunk Villagers – Under autopsy, the attackers’ brains were smooth as stones, except for a few that looked to be developing folds in regular clockwise spirals about half an inch across. My landlord, when pressed (for he knew a bit of Citycant) stated that they were ‘moon-drinkers’, and left it at that.
  7. Bloody Tongue – It had no head or neck, just a hump with a gaping hole and a thrashing, wet-red tongue. It walked on its knuckles like an ape, and made a sound similar to a group of schoolchildren in a woodwind section. My guide said that we were lucky that only four of our porters and two mules were killed.
  8. Black Goat – A bloated, bleating, eternally pregnant thing, spewing forth her misshapen legions. Their golden eyes are apparently a necessary component for curses. (Rumors of tantric worship rituals go unsubstantiated, though I have seen at least four children with slotted pupils and bristly beards)
  9. Trapdoor Velvet Worm – One of these devoured my zorse! I had hardly set foot on the ground to rest when I found myself holding nothing but reins and a severed head! The slime, I found out soon after, was caustic enough to eat through my clothing – I had a great deal of explaining to do when I next arrived in town.
  10. Shelled Shog – The protoplasm constantly bubbles and shifts, occasionally growing organs of sight or vocalization but generally remaining as an unformed mass that drags itself about by means of pseudopods. Its shell, which is a squat spiral shape and striped with bands of ocher, is used as building material in the rare occasions when it can be retrieved.
Live, die, repeat, deliciously.

Locals: Fat, toothless, brightly colored, sticky.
Wrestler: The Candy Clan – Rambunctious redneck family, three sons and Ma.
  1. Snaggletooth Anklebiter – A superficially adorable variant of the anklebiter (Blue hair with light purple spots, teeth cannot fit inside mouth properly.) About as trainable as the typical anklebiter. Personal punting record: 13 yards.
  2. Lord Fly – An ordinary housefly, now the size of an ordinary ox.
  3. Peppermint Pincushion – If one can get past the spines, the eggs make for a good treat and freshen the breath.  Those who succumb to its poison will find themselves reeking of mint for weeks.
  4. Gumdrop Ooze – Yellow and green are actively aggressive; red, blue, and orange are generally docile and can be domesticated. Purple is dumb by even ooze standards and seems to enjoy being eaten.
  5. Sugar Sloth – One of these lived in the tree outside of where I was living, and I did not see it move for three weeks. Then, one morning over breakfast, it cannon-balled through the window and proceeded to shatter furniture, put holes in the walls, toss the crockery about, and very nearly shred one of my manuscripts. Fifteen minutes later it had curled up on the front step and gone to sleep.
  6. Candy-coat Sprayer – They spit hot streams of regurgitated candy-matter out from their three thin trunks. This hardens near-instantly when exposed to air, and after several layers becomes as durable as Aduran concrete.
  7. Sugarcane Ghoul – Black-toothed monsters said to lurk in cane fields. A common boogeyman for children.
  8. Insulin Eater – My knowledge here is second-hand, and the name is my own. Each township seems to have its own variant of a small, bulbous creature capable of draining the life from a person then and imparting on them a permanent inability to process sugar. Few can say they have seen it in person, but everyone seems to know a cousin or uncle or friend of my friend who has suffered from it.
  9. Brainfreezer – Some swift, blue, flying thing I was not able to study properly, on account of it drilling whatever damnable sorcery it possesses into my head as soon as I glimpsed it.
  10. Rogue Dentist – My host bade me ignore the beggar with the twisted leg, as he shuffled through town. ‘He’ll just go on about Flourine’, she said, with some disdain. I disregarded this, and snuck him a few coins while my host wasn’t looking.
Take a holiday! Don't think too hard about it!

Locals: Lithe, nubile, buck naked, uncanny valley, like an Australopithecus photoshopped for Cosmo.
Wrestler: The Libertine – A dandy, flirts with everyone, innocent babyface.
  1. Serpentman Servitor – Even in the land of eternal bliss, someone needs to get work done. Hard-bit and black humored, they trade in smuggled whiskey and dog-ends and have no love for the angels or for their own supervisors. They are surprisingly honest at cards, in that they inform you that they will be cheating up front.
  2. Cherubic Secret Police - “Oh, won’t you please smile? If you don’t you’ll make this little angel very sad, and sad angels come in the middle of the night to steal you away to where no one will ever see you again!”
  3. Drugflower of Paradise – Ambulatory flower-clusters that spout clouds of white somapollen. I inhaled a lungful within hours of my arrival and found myself a day later with only warm, fuzzy memory blanks.
  4. Orgy-Porgy – They might last for centuries, migrating and meandering across the land. The population within is always shifting as people join or depart the festivities.
  5. Angelic Thoughtcrusher – A tower of alabaster, seven blue eyes down the center. It is possible to resist its mind-deadening aura, but just so. Repeated exposure leads to permanent damage to critical thinking and fight/flight responses.
  6. Serpentman Accuser – They lurk in the shadows of the Courts of Harmony. With innate knowledge of the system that they so despise, they will pry open every doubt, expose every weakness, strike at each frailty, twist every truth.
  7. Disembodied Paraphilia – A spirit born of unorthodox orgasm. Released from its creator, it looks to find a new home before the orgone fueling it runs out.
  8. Pleasure-Dome – A fleshy dome rises above the trees, a house with many wombs. In many ways they pass for cities, I think, though I saw no one exit them.
  9. Cleaning Automaton – A machine-man of celestial brass, who without complaint cleans up afterwards. It is a common retirement for angels that have reached the dimming eons of their divine flames.
  10. Guardian Seraph – The keepers of the border, watchers of the empty throne. Ever-vigilant, swords aflame.
If you need some excitement, imagine a yak.

Locals: Like scarred leather, wear layers of ragged clothing to fight off the cold.
Wrestler: The Mysterious Stranger – Mute, never actually scheduled, appears from nowhere, seemingly unbeatable.
  1. Yak herder clan – The economy in Terc is primarily based upon yaks and yak products. Each clan marks the horns of their herd with ancestral totems, worth many times their weight in gold and blood.
  2. Local warband – They come in three flavors: the practical bands of hardened survivalists who know the waste by heart and by gut, absurdist gangs who cluster around symbols, aesthetics, and philosophies plucked right out of the freezing air, and the puritans who hate all joy and wear belts on their hats.
  3. Hoarfrost boar – The white-tipped fur is highly prized by foreigners who don’t have to deal with them murdering yaks, or deal with them murdering people, or deal with them swarming across the land in herds no eye can count, or have anything at all to do with the dreary, gory process of hunting them.
  4. Sanctuary Nymph – The story is always similar: separated from clan or band, the sun has set and the cold settles in and then! An orange light. A mound of dirt. A cave beneath, clean and warm. A woman with a lit hearth and stew nearly done. A bed with feather pillows and a soft quilt. The end is always the same, waking up on the ground as the sun rises.
  5. Man-Chaser – In the wastes there is often nothing between you and the horizon. The world is vast and the sky is vaster, and more terrifying than either is the smudgy figure you might see where they meet, chasing you.
  6. Star Bones – Meteorites are star-eggs, cast down from the heavens during the nebular reincarnation process. Inside one can find the metallic bones of the dormant star, awaiting rebirth. The greatest weapons of the Discape are forged from this material.
  7. Puritan Cloudship – These mighty vessels are the remnants of an older society (or so I am told), and their inhabitants have done their best to prevent age from destroying them. Their arrival marks the time for flurries of informative pamphlets about dancing-devils and sin-liquors, and sermons blasted from on-high.
  8. Waste Navigator – The initiation is a simple one, and absolute. The navigator in training is taken out into the waste, stripped bare, castrated, trepanned, dosed with psychedelics, and left to die. If he is worthy, the earth and sky and stars unfold their secret paths to him and guide him back to civilization. If he is not, he shall die, or wander the waste forever screaming “A map! A map! I am working on a map!”
  9. Hot Spring Beast – A lazy, rotund, blue-spotted creature that wallows in hot springs. Its red face is deceptively like a man’s and constantly smiling.
  10. Half-buried Permafrost Leviathan – It was a beast of an ancient sea, the eater of whales. Now it sleeps, an icy hill, and dreams of seas to come.
Where everything weird washes ashore.

Locals: Mutants and conspiracy theorists, bug-eyed and misshapen.
Wrestler: The Truth – Clearly believes everything he says in promos. It’s not an act.
  1. Tropical vacation Bigfoot – The secretive ape-men of the Phlegmatic Forest keep their summer homes here. They were quite welcoming, inviting me to join them for an evening barbecue on the beach, filled with fruity beverages and discussions of philosophy.
  2. Chemtrail Bird – Brilliant white and with a wingspan of over sixty feet, these high-altitude gliders produce chemical agents that then disseminate to lower climes. These are mostly mild mutagens and carcinogens, which when mixed together in a body over decades, become the “Dyrfort Cocktail”.
  3. Moth-men – Secluded creatures that live a cloistered existence within a large, concrete structure – an old factory of some sort, I believe. I saw them only once, standing amid the smokestacks with their backs against the dawn before descending once more into their lightless home.
  4. Lights in the Sky – They can be seen over the ocean most nights, and often during the day. Their numbers or movement patterns are rarely consistent: one might hover over the same place for hours, or the sky might be filled with dozens racing from horizon to horizon.
  5. Atlantean Expatriate – Attempts to wrest magical or technological secrets from this individual went nowhere, regardless of the method. They were quite reluctant to speak of their home, and provided nothing but contradictory information and clumsy dodges of my questions. The infantile, spoilt demeanor did little to aid matters, and I was led to admit defeat.
  6. Men-in-Black – Human in appearance but alien in nature, they appear only in mated male pairs: If females of the species exist, they have not been discovered. A typical hunting strategy is to single out and abduct an individual, aided by limited teleportation abilities.
  7. Cattle Mutilator – A variant species of the vampire, possessing a jawless mouth that extends down to the abdomen lined with a grotesque array of mandibles. It will curl up into an armored ball when threatened, and is known to carry leprosy.
  8. False Flag – In truth, it is a kind of fungus consisting of a thin trunk and a large sheaf of fleshy material. This leaf is coated in chromatophores and can change colors and patterns quickly, oft leading to confusion when coupled with its heady pheromones and mild-altering spores. Their appearance on battlefields, eating the corpses of the dead, only troubles matters further.
  9. The Goats that Stare at Men – Capable of inducing heart attack through their sheer psionic prowess.
  10. Reptilian Overlord – An ancient, bloated, lizardlike creature. A drooling idiot long brain-dead and dependent on computerized life support, it remains responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened to your life, as well as orchestrating every individual event in Discapian politics it favor of its shadowy cabal of likewise inept reptiles.
It's like having your soul ripped out through your mouth.

Locals: Stoop-shouldered and downcast wage-slaves, wear silk nooses around their necks.
Wrestler: The Sellout - “Hello, fellow kids!” His suit is plastered with brand logos.
  1. Patient 0 Marketer – The origin point of a commercialist plague. Their mind has been rewritten into a mess of memetic virii, lacking all personality and possessing only the most basic survival urges.
  2. Focus-tester – Men who have been reshaped by their own overpowering, laser-focused mediocrity. It cascades off of them in an aura -  dismissing verisimilitude, dulling color, unraveling subtly, encouraging susceptibility.
  3. Aging Mascot Character – They are a fading breed – automatons, homunculi, chimeras that have outlived their creators and their contexts. Reboots fail, rebrandings never catch on, and their owners still drag them in trademark chains, to dance before the crowds that once loved them.
  4. CEO out to “find themselves” - They are easily recognizable by their diets of gold dust, cocaine, and fecal matter, and their flocks of kowtowing attendants. “Yes, yes, yes, of course” the underlings chant.
  5. Advertisprites – Shimmering banners of light and color, singing the praises of products no longer extant. They form nests under roofs and in alleyways.
  6. Homeless Veteran of the Soft Drink Wars – He shed blood for the Blues, or maybe the Reds, and now he sleeps in the gutters. The pension didn’t cover the updated terms of service on his citizenship subscriptions.
  7. Herd of Stockholders – A herd of sheep with human heads, wearing silk neckerchiefs. They are the most skittish creatures on the Discape, frightened to tears and panic by any implication that their treasure hoards (of broken clocks, sheafs of crumpled newspaper, and bits of string) might be threatened.
  8. Descision-Maker – I did not see one of these individuals, but I was informed that they are very, very small, and live their entire lives inside a very, very small, iron box, inside a granite box, inside a lead box, inside a treasure chest that can only be opened with a needle that is found inside a needle that is found inside an egg that is found inside a chicken that is found inside a tiger that is lurking in the half-blooded sub-basement of an abandoned office complex with a sign on the door that says “Condemned – Radiation Hazard.”
  10. The Visible Hand – Tendons and muscle fibers still dangle from the stump of the wrist. It is a vengeful and terrible lord, smiting all that fail or disappoint it (which appears to be everyone)
Even in peace, there is passion. Live, damn you, live!

Locals: Buff and/or vavoom, blue hair, cool scars or tattoos, no volume control
Wrestler: Anikyodai – Literally on fire with MANLY ENERGY, the facest face.
  1. Rubberfaced alien minions – The swarms serve a multitude of masters, and come in a million different varieties of bizarre head atop a man’s body. They’ll go down with a single hit, but bless them, they try.
  2. Ara-ara-amazons – I cannot recall the last time I found myself in such pleasant company. Despite their massive physiques and fearsome weaponry, they are by and large most gentle, modest, and considerate in nature. I left their camp refreshed, well-stocked, and well-cared for.
  3. The Tsun and the Yan – Twin fetish-cults, held by savages in the wilderness. The first considers beatings, scoldings, injury and grief to be considered signs of affection. The second holds that one’s beloved is only loved through murdering those around them.
  4. Giant Automaton – The creators of these mighty machines are unknown, and were most likely mad. They are each unique in appearance, range from the small to the gigantic in size, often have transformative properties, and are well-equipped to fight the giant beasts that arrive so often. The pilots are all mad as well, but generally in the gregarious, passionate manner
  5. Kaiju Spawn – The parents rise from the sea, claw up from the earth, or fall from the heavens. The babies are about the size of houses, and will drop off their parent’s back when curious, hungry, bored, or otherwise rambunctious. The locals find these cataclysms a great form of entertainment.
  6. Isekai Dweeb – These sad, shut-in adolescents are strangers to the land, arriving from some far-off place. They speak no language anyone can understand (and only broken scraps of ones that anyone can) and lack even the most basic survival and social skills. They seem to expect that the world operates according to some alien set of rules, that they will suddenly be whisked out of their self-imposed isolation, received great cosmic power and a harem of attractive women, all by doing nothing.
  7. Martial Art Master – The war-arts tradition of Daigrand is a tangle of mentor-student chains in orbit around constantly warring schools. Secret techniques are bought and sold by the baker’s dozen.
  8. Bitter Shitheel Rival – This particular youth hounded me the entire time I was in the country, constantly trying to prove he was better than me in combat. A wasted effort, as I make it a point to avoid conflict whenever possible on account of dearly loving my blood and organs.  Clearly a dangerously unstable individual who has wasted his life fighting a one-sided feud.
  9. 「VETERAN OF THE PSYCHIC WARS」–The medium-warriors of old fought each other by projecting their spirits and investing in them all manner of menacing arcane powers.  The eternal wars wore their toll on those men and women, so that now the practitioners are few. Their names are powerful, and must be bound upon the page.
  10. Forest God – The pocket forests of Daigrand are serene places, held by gods that do not intrude on the realms of men. I saw only one, in the late and golden evening, standing beside a stream: an ancient creature of fur and moss, old as the roots and stones. It passed me by without as much as a look, and all was well for a time, before I came to realize that I would never see such a sight again while I still live.
"As we are, you will in time become."

Locals: Silent, shrouded in gray veils from head to toe.
Wrestler: The Tombtender – The unshakable and utterly neutral referee.

  1. Mausoleum Crow – They perch on family tombs, to recite the generations of the dead to visitors. They do say ‘nevermore’ on occasion, for tradition’s sake.
  2. Memento Mori – A human skull on the ground, lights like distant stars in its sockets. Never seen to move, but always following, always in sight. If one takes a fondness to you, it might follow you for a day, a month, or until you die.
  3. Tomb-Looter Clan – The family business isn’t glamorous, but it is business. On weekends they will spend time building their own tombs with impeccable craftsmanship. They will need nothing when they are dead, they say, but they might as well give the next generation a good time and a decent haul.
  4. Bonesmith – Bone is the most common material in the land, save stone. The scrimshawmen and bonemolders of Qon are the best on the Discape.
  5. Ungrateful Dead – Mishandling the bodies of one’s ancestors is a most heinous offense, though the laws permit no punishment by mortal hand for it. More than enough torment will be visited upon the guilty by the filial spirits.
  6. Gravegobbler – A creature that is little more than a mouth, a stomach, some roots, and a false tombstone of cartilage, ready to spring open and devour anyone to walk over it.
  7. Reaper Men – I saw a band of these creatures in the distance, tending the colorless fields with their scythes. This is to provide offerings to the dead: they spread grain and coins at the mausoleum mouths.
  8. Canopic Golem – Among some ancient dynasties, it was common practice to place one’s organs into a stone facsimile, awaiting their gods’ touch and their eventual awakening. Their sleep is over but not as they had planned.
  9. Crematory Eel – A splash of ember-orange wriggles across the endless grey. They burn tunnels through rock and build honeycomb nests under the hills. Flesh they bite will turn to ash, upon which they will feed.
  10. Psychopomp Dog – Guardians and guides of the dead. It’s best to leave them to their duty; They will come to you if you need them, but please be respectful and do not rush to pet or play with them, lest they get distracted from their assigned tasks.
Touching the platonic solid of cosmic power is generally a bad idea.


Locals: Statuesque, overly muscled with silly outfits and impossible flexibility.
Wrestler: Dr. Stupendous – Stupid hat, stupid mustache, stupid powers, super-heel.
  1. Eater of Worlds – Current main exhibit in the Museum of Heroism, the Eater of Worlds resembles something of a great mechanized squid. It is shriveled and dormant now, but was apparently quite terrifying in its prime.
  2. Energy Being wielding MIGHTY COSMIC RAYS – There was a flash of greenish-yellow light about the size of a man, whose shining rays mutated all that they touched. Some of those touched become new heroes, others got cancer. All  present considered this utterly mundane.
  3. Parasitic Thought Bubble – They are harmless, all save their habit of broadcasting one’s inner monologue to the world. A terrible embarrassment, but people tend to be sympathetic. After the laughter, of course.
  4. Mob of Downtrodden Underclass – Unable to lend any aid, I watched as Mighty Tom was dragged out of his home in chains and beaten to death with shovels and clubs. He had done nothing to harm them, but his existence within the system was enough.
  5. Apoco-bot – Gigantic purple automatons, commonly found attacking the cities of Cosmotrov in attempts to conquer or destroy it. I grew used to the attacks by my second week in the region, and took up watching them (from afar) with the others at the coffee shop.
  6. Chimeric Experiment – Combining two animals, or an animal with a machine, is such a common pastime that they are numerous enough to march in the streets, demanding rights and representation. 
  7. Cosmic Reboot Button – A shining red disc, floating amid a pillar of light. It is believed by some to wake up MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI from His slumber, and by others that it has been abused in the past.
  8. The Z-Listers – Minor heroes hyped and then forgotten. They band together in squalid communes to keep themselves afloat.
  9. Lyefield Abomination – Its feet were formless nubs, too small to carry the gargantuan musculature and thrice-broken spine it has been cursed with. It sat huddled under newspapers in an alley mouth, begging for death.
  10. Mooks – A foul collection of goose-stepping thugs, willing to bend the knee to any tyrant able to give them an excuse to pillage. 

(Image sources are, in order: Bloodborne concept art, Adventure Time, Hieronymus Bosch, Wikipedia Commons x3, Gurren Lagann, Commons again, and Jack Kirby)

1 comment:

  1. In which: Dan makes some silly jokes about anime, entirely unbecoming incredibly serious discourse about role playing games.