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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Gibbering Mouther, continued

    Mysteries and Unkonwn
    Though the mouthers seem fairly straightforward, there is still quite a bit that is unknown about them. Most think of them as simple, if unorthodox predators, but there are some clues that say things are not as they seem...

    First of all, where do they "slip" to? Most assume it's some sort of planar travel, but no one has ever seen a gibbering mouther on any plane- astral, ether, shadow... there have been a few mages who have tried to follow them magically, but most were never seen again. the few who did return? w=Well, they weren't exactly in a good state of mind... Could they have a direct link to the far realm? Perhaps. Would you dare explore?

    Another mystery comes from strange depictions in old civilizations.While most primitive cultures who worshiped them, did so out of fear and savagery, some of the more sophisticated cultures have revered them as well, yet as sort of... messengers? Prophets? Of angels or deities? Might the gibbering mouthers have been something different in bygone ages?

    And if you delve deeper, there are more disturbing findings- ancient texts speaks of "The many mouths, many eyes, one flesh of the eater of whole" (or some such translations). They seem to speak of the mouthers (or creatures very much like them) as being one whole organic being, split a long way off. That might explain why no two mouthers exist in the same place, but... what does it mean? Who is this "Eater of the whole"? What does it want? Why is it in such a strange form?

    The last mystery, but perhaps the one most disturbing to those who encounter a mouther, concerns some of the voices and speakers of the gibbering. People who spent long enough trapped in a gibbering pit have told that the mouther speaks in some rare times in the voices of alien creatures, of strange beings, definitely not from the region where they were encountered. It seemed that though most of the voices belong to past victims from these times, some belong to... something... or someone... else?.

    Playing at a D&D table near you!
    "Pit of the eater":
    Either the party has been captured by primitives, or they are required to prove their courage in a test. They are lowered/ thrown down to a dark pit, whose ceilings, floors and walls all have many small holes.

    They are required to survive 5 days in the pit (or as you wish). The pit has many rats and possibly some other animals (Which the mouther sometime consumes in order to regenerate) and walls upon which are scribbled frightened rantings of past victims.

    The mouther here has made a deal with the tribe above- they provide scaring tales of the pit, and sometime throw people who'se fear he can feed upon, and it tests (and nourishes from ) the young warriors who seek to become full warriors of the tribe. The idea is to play this as a prolonged, yet time set horror encounter. Can they survive their time with the mouther? Some ideas:
    - At first, the party may see the rantings of past victims/ warriors trapped in the pit. These should look insane, mad, fearful.
    - At times, have flesh dripping from the ceilings, coming from the floors. These may be time segments (Up to 1-3 hit points), of the mouther looking upon the new arrivals. The tiny tendrils of flesh, with an eye or two, mouth or two, should start building up the anxiety.

    - As the gibbering starts, feel free to some creepy disconcerting music such as this!

    - At times, the gibbering will include fears and secrets, either random, or of NPCs the party may have been looking for, and of the PCs themselves!

    - The mouther seeks to invoke fear. At start he attacks the party by small segments, only a little, and then melts and receds into the many crevices, possibly gibbering "later, when meat is tender".

    - Harass them. It won't enable them to sleep, constantly interrupting (Or even chattering in their sleep giving nightmares)

    - Once it sensed enough of the PCs fears and secrets, it starts jabbering about them, in front of the other PCs, in front of them, exposing their hidden thoughts, desires, shame and more...

    - In following attacks it uses more of it's powers, and uses greater segments of itself. Remember it can swim, climb, melt, and even teleport short distances. Put in the pit some places of "supposed safety", only to have the Mouther access them still (Building up hope, then crushing it! )

    - Even if the party damages it, it can recede to a safe place where the tribe may sacrifice to eat some meat to devour and regenerate.

    - It is VERY hard to track down, since it's very hard to follow it, through it's tunnels.

    - Near the end of their alloted time, the mouther attacks more in earnest, seeking mostly to engulf a single PC and devour it. It may use parts of it to "run interference". If it DOES devour a PC, have part of it's jabbering reflect the trapped tormented soul, when next they meet...

    The cleaner/ t|The bargain:
    A gibbering mouther acts as a "slithering garbage disposal" of a dungeon. Noticing the PCs it is curious and strikes a conversation. It is willing to bargain- info (pass words, secret doors, key vulnerabilities of someone) for... whatever you think gibbering mouther wants (Perhaps new flesh or minds to taste? Invoking some terror in a specific individual? Something else?)

    The idea is to make this a very disturbing bargaining, with an alien mind/ alien minds, which are... just really really, REALLY not ok. I suggest switching up your voice, your manner of speaking, and whom you're talking to every 5-6 10 seconds or so, or at times mimic a chorus of different voices. ("Yes we shall! No, don't! Why the tasty meat speak? It's been so long, so long! Listen, do you hear? I told her, but she wouldn't listen!") and also be very weird in what you ask, make the party doubtful if they want to make the bargain. I ran this sort of encounter with my party, and they were squirming by the time it ended.

    An unexpected murderer:
    The PCs are requested to investigate some murders in the city/ big manor/ whatever. In the course of investigations they find that the connecting link between all the people is someone who was related to all of the victims disappeared long ago has gone missing/ been away.

    The person was eaten by a gibbering mouther, and now with parts of the person's memories, it used it's ability to slip to the city (it might move to places through sewers or whatever), and is trying to inflict horror and a weird sort of punishment, upon people whom this person was connected to. The problem is finding and tracking this unconventional killer (That can get almost anywhere, and might leave only strange marks... (Bit of flesh? Odd bite mark?).

    An interesting twist may be that the people killed were pretty horrendous themselves, and as the party investigates/ faces the mouther at times, or potential future victims, the party comes to realize this, and that the consumed memories of the eaten person seeks to "punish" them. Who's more horrific? The victims? Or the victimized killer? What punishment is too much?

    "You're not coming back alive! Well, not coming back sane that is."
    Some far realm or death or assasin cults have taken special precautions to make sure their victims don't get back, or at least not as they were. They feed them to a big gibbering mouther, since those who ARE raised/ resurrected and such come back babbling insane or heavily wis damaged.

    But what if these initial killings have been just experiments? Now some high profile/ very important person has been killed and fed to the mouther. As the PCs find this out, they fight the cult just as they send the mouther to another location, to ensure the consumed soul isn't available. (They might go to great lengths such as creating a significant horror somewhere distant, or any other means) Can the PCs reach the same location, and locate the mouther? Or will they even find a way to slip where it does, and track it through that realm?

    The coming of terror:
    Gibbering mouthers are the markers of things gone terribly wrong. suddenly, in a local/ country/ more they start appearing, more and more and more...

    You can play them off as an early warning sign, trying to hunt clues from gibbering mouthers, figure out who they killed, or you can take it further- the gibbering mouthers are part of a greater calamity- they are the messengers/ fore front/ hounds of some abomination from the far realm, a terror force from mind flayers, or something strange altogether.

    The eater of the whole:
    As suggested in the mysteries section- what if the mouthers are but parts of a greater being? this could be in continuation with the former idea, or on it's own.

    The mouthers are doing something bizarre- they are joining up, and increasing in power. Some cults might aid them, and they may now seek very specific kinds of creatures to devour, or any other peculiar change in behavior. This could be an idea for a campaign, at it's end the mouthers are supposed to form some great horrific being- Possibly an elder evil or such, "The Eater of the Whole", Which in essence seeks to devour all creation, or "at least" create a never ending horror to draw it, and to feed it's massive appetite...

    Bonus section! Reactions with the other monsters in the compendium!
    - Stirges: Mouthers often compete with them. Stirges rarely stay in the same place.

    - Stone giants: Some more primitive stone giants revere big gibbering mouthers or create gibbering holes. Most giants however consider them abominations and hunt them.

    - Barghest: Barghest and Gibbering Mouthers live very well together, usually as creator of terror and added guard. They often come to complex agreements about who get what kills, and this might be a source of tension. Also, a stronger Barghest's path of destruction is often followed (Or alluded to) by the appearance of gibbering mouthers.

    - Yeth Hounds: One of the gibbering mouthers' most favorite neighbors. The two, living of fear, complement each other's abilities greatly. The rarity of both makes them a rare occasion to join forces.

    - Gargoyles: Similar to constructs the two races have little to deal with one another, though the mouther is at times an opportunistic predator at old and ruined temples, jumping in after the gargoyles finished.

    - Wights: Mouthers follow a wight plague very closely, at times coming even before it occurred, the echos of terror reaching back to the present. Mouthers for some reasons cannot be turned into wights, though some wights try fiercely, the many specks of life in the mouther making it a target.

    - Troglodytes: no idea here.

    - h\Hydras: A hydra often inspires terror in it's place, and at times mouthers follow them, or make bargains with the more intelligent ones. Most hydras find the gibbering odd, but useful. The two work best as guard and patron, or predator and opportunist.

    - Araneas: No special relationship

    - Hags: Hags have been known to sometime care for mouthers, converse with them and deal with them. Hags are crafty creatures- they'll find a way to deal with anyone... It seems some of the hags, with their long memories, may know quite a bit about the mouthers, though getting them to share their insight will be a costly feat indeed.

    But long memories hold their perils as well- for mouthers are some time drawn to lifetimes filled with shady secrets, untold suffering and great travesties. Not once has a great hag been hunted and confronted by a great gibbering mouther who wanted to taste what a mind filled with the memories, secrets and schemes of centuries or even millennia feels like!

    I hope you all enjoyed this. Please tell me your own Gibbering tale, if you've had a good one!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2017-02-03 at 11:03 AM.

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