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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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

    Quote Originally Posted by batsofchaos View Post
    I'd be interested in seeing a treatment of Gorgons; they always fell flat for me. I mean, mythologically speaking Medusas should be gorgons. The seperation always seemed weird...and a breath weapon instead of a gaze attack? Why are the gorgons a higher CR than Medusa; she was the queen of the gorgons!

    I know I shouldn't look too closely; mythology and DnD don't exactly mix perfectly. I still have had no use for gorgons as a result.
    Actually the Gorgon as presented is from mythology, it just isn't the one everyone expects. The Bull Demon (Ghorgain(sp?)) is from Babylon and had such features as impenetrable flesh and the breath of the grave. Give me some time and I'll write up a section like the others for you.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    The Catoblepas may be one of the prototypes for the D&D Gorgon- with the breath and the bull-like appearence.

    "brazen bulls" also feature in Jason & the Argonauts- one of the tasks was to harness two of those and plough a field with them, sowing what would come up as an army of soldiers which they had to fight.

    So there may be several sources for the D&D creature.

    "Medusas" aren't much like the original Medusa, who was winged and feathered- only similarity in appearence is the snake-haired head.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Perhaps interesting to know are the mythological/folkloric roots of these monsters:

    Stirge: strix, Roman mythology
    Stone giant: stone-giant, Tolkien
    Barghest: barghest, English folklore
    Gargoyle: grotesque, architecture
    Couatl: Quetzalcoatl, Aztec mythology
    Yeth hound: yeth hound, Devon folklore
    Wight: barrow-wight, Tolkien
    Troglodyte: caveman, popular culture
    Hydra: Lernaean hydra, Greek mythology
    Annis: Black Annis, English folklore
    Green hag: Jenny Greenteeth, English folklore

    While most seem pretty straightforward, not all are: striges are actually vampiric owls!

    More info here: http://rpg.crg4.com/origins.html
    Last edited by SillySymphonies; 2012-01-21 at 08:27 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Can I put in a request for Gnolls at some point in the indefinite future? I've always had a soft spot for them and their "they prefer to eat sentient creatures because they scream more" fluff, but they really don't go anywhere. They get even less love than Goblinoids, and that's saying something!
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Kol Korran's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SillySymphonies View Post
    Perhaps interesting to know are the mythological/folkloric roots of these monsters:

    Stirge: strix, Roman mythology
    Stone giant: stone-giant, Tolkien
    Barghest: barghest, English folklore
    Gargoyle: grotesque, architecture
    Couatl: Quetzalcoatl, Aztec mythology
    Yeth hound: yeth hound, Devon folklore
    Wight: barrow-wight, Tolkien
    Troglodyte: caveman, popular culture
    Hydra: Lernaean hydra, Greek mythology
    Annis: Black Annis, English folklore
    Green hag: Jenny Greenteeth, English folklore

    While most seem pretty straightforward, not all are: striges are actually vampiric owls!

    More info here: http://rpg.crg4.com/origins.html
    hey, thanks! that's a cool edition! i don't have time to read up on these, but i guess i will. (vampiric owls? my oh my!)

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Can I put in a request for Gnolls at some point in the indefinite future? I've always had a soft spot for them and their "they prefer to eat sentient creatures because they scream more" fluff, but they really don't go anywhere. They get even less love than Goblinoids, and that's saying something!
    you're welcome to add your idea. i may do some work on gnolls for a future campaign (still a matter to be decided) and if so i will certainly add to this. i'm quite willing to hear ideas and thoughts for this conversion.

    and hear i thought they got quite a bit of love, but i'm willing to give it a go if i'll have enough inspiration. i think that Pathfinder did quite a bit of work on them, though that is from hear say only.

    it might take a while (got very few ideas for them yet) but i'll keep this in mind. thanks for the interest!

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    I've always found Grey Renders receive too little attention!


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

    Thanks Kol Korran I very much like this thread, Stirge are just what I was looking for a moment ago for my "Evil pest that could kill off lesser party's" at least I don't end up going down the "Giant Spider" road once more.

    I'll have a good think and maybe add a critter I think never got enough love in the MM's
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Gibbering Mouther: the flesh that slides, the teeth that gnash, the horror behind the jabber... the horror

    Been a looooong time since i posted last. i was requested to write a gnoll entry, but unfortunately couldn't come up with enough inspiration for it. the Gibbering mouther have been touched upon in various D&D editions, and even in one of my most favorite books- lords of madness. but though they made magnificent work with the major aberrations in the book, the GM was left unelaborated.

    i hope to rectify this here.

    Gibbering mouhter, MMI, Lords of Madness

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    - Bad street rep: while obviously meant for horror, the Gibbering Mouther have been left a bit hanging. there are two horrific parts about it in the description- sprouting a new mouth and eyes while consuming a victim (which i'll grant, is creepy) and that their gibbering can drive a person insane. that said how do they connect? what is the creature's purpose? how does it interact with it's surroundings and such? does it just eat things?

    i think it was mostly supposed to be a tricky combat encounter for low level parties- it has a bunch of none standard abilities. but i think most DMs don't know quite how to fit it except for "yay, another strange encounter" to make it worthwhile. most of all, it fails in the main role of an aberration- inspiring horror.

    - i like it because: C'mon! an ooze of flesh and teeth, gibbering in many voices, speaking many tongues, driving you insane? this oozes (pardon the pun) of potential roleplay goodness. the Gibbering mouther seems like an iconic creature of raw horror. we must make it so!


    And now, presenting to you the new and improved Gibbering Mouther:

    Perception and concept
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    - Perception:the main use for such a creature is in horror. and as such it's horrific aspects should be amplified. the main change is by integrating the Gibbering Mouther into the very framework of horror itself, and by expanding on the concept of "eaten joining the whole", the creature as a multitude in fact.

    more than that, i aim to make the creature an interesting roleplay experience, and a mystery experience, not just a combat encounter. a conversation with horror.

    Concept: Gibbering Mouthers FEED of horror, they are attracted to it, it's echos and sometime create it. they are it's hounds, it's lap dogs. but not just incomprehensible "Far Realm" Horror, but more "common" horror, one that all can (and if the Gibbering Mouthers have anything to gibber about all WILL) relate to.

    The Gibbering mouthers are Aberrations, but they also have qualities resembling an ooze (they can split, slide and reform), and that of a multitude (acting as many creatures). they are a... complex creature.

    lastly, the Gibbering Mouthers, due to their special connection to horror, have quite a place in mysticism and some strange religions and superstitions.


    Place in the world and interactions
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    - Place in the world: No one exactly knows where these creatures came from. some scholars theorize they came from the Far Realm, some say they were created by some mad wizards, some say they were punishment for the Hubris of a long dead race or culture. it's difficult to know, since it's nearly impossible to make an informative conversation with a Mouther, and they leave little to explore behind.

    Did they originate from the other Aberrations such as the Mind Flayers or the Aboleths? both races have the power to create such beings. but though the gibbering mouthers sometime frequent their settlements, there seems to be no special attachments. the higher aberration seem to treat the mouthers more like stray dogs or packs of rats. most times, mouthers are found far from their places.

    for mouthers feed and need fear. not the simple fear, but the horrendous fear of true horror. no one knows how- but mouthers can sense occurrences of horrors from afar, and... "get" there. (will be explained). they dwell in such places, living up of echoes of atrocities that have happened, abnormalities and transgressions that occur now, and some even say they can sense the horrors to come, in the future, and that the arrival of a Mouther is an omen of a great wrong to be done soon.

    Mouthers are capable voyagers, if a bit slow- few places are secure of a gibbering mouther's "visit". they are capable swimmers, the can climb walls and adhere to ceilings with their secreted adhesions, they can split to small parts and alter their forms, gaining entrance through small passages, but perhaps most disturbing at all is their ability to... "slide" or "slip" between dimensions and somehow arrive at the source of the terror they seek to feed upon.

    this ability is not well understood. but a few gibbering mouthers have been witnessed to do this when an urgent "fear source" arises, and seek it out, or leave a place once it's "potential" has been exhausted. this is how you can find a gibbering mouther in the middle of a city, on a ship, or in the vaults of the dwarves. they don't seem to use it at will (quite a few mouthers have perished without sliding anywhere) and it seems to take some effort from them. where do they slide to? no one exactly knows. (or no one is telling). are you sure you want to go where mouthers slide?

    the mouthers themselves are partly one creature, partly a multitude. they can converse or act as a singular creature, possibly it's one part of the many that takes charge, but at most times they act as many creatures- some grabbing the walls, some secreting acid, some trying to eat or bite, and most of them... gibbering.

    for when a mouther eats a sentient enough creature, it's not just the body that gets eaten, but also part of the soul- the creature's fear, terrors, secrets, regret. and that little part keeps living them, over and over and over again, blabbering about them, sharing them with the world, seeking some sort of release.

    but a mouther senses the secrets and fears of all it is near to, to the limited degree of it's strange alien mind. it picks pieces up, and yell them/ whisper them/ ask questions and more. many who have faced a gibbering mouther are faced with their own well kept secrets/ horrible misdeeds/ horrendous crimes. together with the ingrained horror of past victims, this can drive a person insane.

    Gibbering Mouthers often haunt one place or another, feeding slowly on the echoes of horrors, old and new (and future?). they do not occupy themselves solely by feeding though. though of limited intelligence, that of a child without any scruples in a way, a mouther have often found a place to live amongst others, in some sort of a relationship. the creatures take up all kind of personality traits of those consumed, changing it's own personality a bit after each "meal". but also quite often ready to converse, possibly barter and more, though for it's own strange and unsettling needs. containing parts of people consumed, the mouther might have flashes of memories, secrets and other information, though often in some way connected to horrifying experiences.

    One reason mouthers attack creatures is to generate enough horror in them (often triggered most powerfully by the gibbering and being swallowed and devoured), but also to regenerate their bodies and grow larger. fleah of others is usually used to repair themselves, and grow ever larger to monstrous proportions of heaving gnashing gibbering masses of flesh.

    but the flesh need not stay put together. being somewhat of an ooze the gibbering mouthers can split (either voluntarily or upon being dealt enough damage) to pieces as small as strands of flesh supporting a single eye ball and mouth. (though usually the mouther uses larger forms). this... swarm of flesh all acts in unison, and they can spread, climb, crawl, swim or tunnel their way to hidden locations to rest, if too big a threat is apparent.

    in locations where a gibbering mouther has been for long, it has created a multitude of tunnels using it's acid to enable it to slide through floors, walls and ceilings, appearing as coalescing flesh from a honey combed wall.

    some say gibbering mouthers are created by a bigger one splitting up. some say they leave sort of "flesh eggs" made of but a few devoured victims. some say they have some mating ritual in the space they slide too. some say they are created by Illithids as amusement. who knows?

    - Interactions: some people hunt them down. some people revere them as omens from the gods, and try to appease them. for some they are trash disposals, for some they are guardians. Gibbering mouthers tend to create their own unique relationships with their neighbors. some deserve a special mentions:

    - Other Mouthers:a strange little fact- no where were two "independent" mouthers found. sometime you find a few, but they act in unison- part of a bigger mouther. why is that no one knows.

    - Mind Flayers: as little as anyone can tell, mind flayers seem amused by the mouthers, keeping them almost as pets. perhaps it's someone you can't exactly mind read (or maybe you read of something similar?), or perhaps the lack of brains, or perhaps the delicious sensing of horror. who knows?

    - Undead: gibbering mouthers often pray in undead heavy areas, as these are often good grounds for horror. the undead itself can be a tale of tragedy and woe. many intelligent undead find the gibbering mouther a handy unexpected guardian, especially against those pesky clerics.

    - Constructs: since most of these are unintelligent, and made of non living material, gibbering mouthers usually have no interest in them, and would leave them alone. sometime a gibbering mouther will linger in the ruins of a devastated civilization, feeding on it's pat, while proving to be an opportunistic predator, joining fights with constructs against ungainly adventurers.

    - Far Realm cults: often revere gibbering mouthers as "true off springs of the realm". some cults have gained a way yo predict where a gibbering motuehr will appear, and thus where some horror is likely. the gibbering mouthers enjoy the worship and free food.

    - primitive humanoids: (according to your campaign) also revere these as omens of portents. quite a few tribes have created their "gibbering hole" (similar to an otyugh hole) a place to test their new warriors, and throw in captives.


    Game mechanics
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    i intend to list here both ideas that support the gibbering mouther's role as a horror, and also make him a more interesting and varied combat encounter. i do not know what the new CR will be

    size and splitting
    - A gibbering mouhter has some semblence of an ooze and a swarm. a gibbering mouther can "split off" portions of itself (each with an appropriate chunk of hp). 2 small mouthers equal 1 medium. 4 medium are equal 1 large. 4 large are one huge, and so on...

    - however, a gibbering mouther can split itself to as many small part he wants, till each one has 1 hp. (he can even create such a one and send it to spy on the party from a hole). they all act on the same initiative, and they must remain 120 feet from all other segments or die within 10 minutes. they each move individually, but all act on the same initiative order.

    Movement
    - the gibbering mouther has 20ft climb, 20 ft swim, and is considered to be under "spider climb the whole time.

    - the mouther can burrow at 5ft, due to an acid it produces. the size of the tunnels depends on the segment creating the tunnel, and is often shifting, twisting, and impossible to follow by anyone not having an amorphous form.

    - "Sliding"/ "slip": a mouther can use this power in two ways. first as a full round action the mouther can transport itself up to 60 feet, but must end it's movement 30 ft or less from a creature of at least 3 intelligence.

    secondly it can be used as a plot device- the mouther can travel a great distance through some means to a site of existing or potential horror.the effect is equal to telport wihtout error, but the mouther loses half it's hit points, and then is usually hungry.

    feeding
    - from every 1 point of con damage drained the mouther regenerates 5 hp. these hp CAN go over the hp limit, when they become temp hp. half of these will become permanent hp. upon reaching enough hp (i'll leave that to you) the mouther increases in size. this is how they grow.

    - every creature killed by the mouther is devoured, and part of it's soul/ essence is trapped within the mouther. raising/ reincarnating such creatures forces an insanity check (as the spell) upon the raised creature (or you can go with wisdom drain? cannot be restored by restoration?). only full restoration avoids this. if the mouther is killed a special ceremony can be done to release the spirit, and prevent the needed insanity check.

    Madness
    - the first round failing the gibbering does bring madness, but further failures bring wis damage. (i suggest playing this by either maddening music, or telling the PCs horrific secrets/ transgressions and the like)

    - your own secrets: the mouther can sense secrets, fear and such horrors that afflict you, and will shout/ speak/ whisper them to you... and perhaps others. this can be prevented by a fairly high Will save. (good for character growth?)

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Gibbering Mouther, continued

    Mysteries and Unkonwn
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    - Mysteries and Unkown: though the mouthers seem fairly straightforward, there is still quite a bit that is unknown about them. most indications show 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... well, they weren't exactly in a good state of mind. could they have a direct link to the far realm? perhaps. but from the few accounts told- this is not the case. this is... something else.

    another mystery comes from strange depictions in old civilizations. we can see how simple minded ignorant barbarians (kidding folks!) might revere these creatures as supernatural beasts of fear and savagery, but some fairly sophisticated old cultures seemed to reverethem as well, even placed them as messangers/ angels of some gods? might the gibbering mouthers have been something different in bygone ages?

    some places go even farther. 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 god? what does it want? why is it in such a strange form?

    and another mystery is some of the voices and speakers of the gibbering. people who were down long enough 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 area. it seemed that though most of the voices belong to past victims from these times, some belong to... who?


    Playing at a D&D table near you!
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    - "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, who'se ceilings, floors and wallks all have many 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. they rpovide scaring tales ofthe pit, and sometime throw people he can feed upon their fear, and it tests (and nourishes from ) the fear or courage. the idea is to play this as a horror encounter:
    - flesh dripping from the ceilings, coming from the floors. at first id' suggest it it mostly appear in small 1-3 hp segments, chattering gibbering)

    - the gibbering should be the fears and terrors and secrets of past victims (perhaps someone the PCs were looking for).

    - horror/ suspense music is good. try this for example

    - the creature tries small attacks to begin with, perhaps receding if it comes close, gibbering "later, when meat is tender".

    - it doesn't enable them to sleep, constantly interrupting (or even chattering in their sleep giving nightmares)

    - it then start gabbering the PCs secrets, first to each one in their face, then to the rest of PCs, especially if these secrets may have effect (great for roleplay),

    - more battles, each time showing more of their selves. might surprise casters by "sliping" right next to them.

    - cannot be easily tracked as it hides in walls. they'll have to trick him it into the opn if they want a fair fight.

    - at the end either a big finale fight, or just attacking the most fearsome ones, letting the others go.

    - the cleaner/ the bargain: a gibbering mouther has the "slithering trash can" of a dungeon. noticing the PCs it is curious and strike a conversation. it is willing to bargain- info (pass words, secret doors, key vulnerabilites of someone) for... whatever you think gibbering mouther wants ("new fresh bodies? someone fearing and screaming?")

    the idea is to make this a very disturbing bargaining. 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? 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. 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 someone related to all disappeared long ago (and was eaten by a mouther), someone who the PCs learn, knows a lot of strange horrific dirty secrets.

    the mouther has the person's memories, and has used it's ability to slip to the city (it might move to places through sewers or whatever), and is trying to revisit the horror upon the people (who either committed it or are staying silent about it). the problem is finding and tracking this unconventional killer (that can get almost anywhere, and might leave only strange mark... (bit of flesh? odd bite mark?). the process will probably need to expose the horrors of the potential victims.

    - "you're not coming back alive! sane that is." some far realm or death or assasin cults have taken special precautions to make sure theyir victims don't get back whole. they feed them to a big gibbering mouther. those who were raised/ ressurected and such come back babbling insane or heavily wis damaged.

    but these initial killings have been just experiments. now some important person have been killed and fed to the mouther. as the PCs find this out, they fight the cult just as they send the mouther (through some means or creating a great horror somewhere else) to that locations. the PCs can either try and locate the mouther in the new location, or by soem strange means follow it to the plane it slipped to... but what is this place?

    - the horde 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 messangers/ fore front/ hounds of some abomination from the far realm, a terror force from mind flayers, or something strange alltogether.

    - the split eater comes together: 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 joining up, and increasing in power. some cults might aid them, and they may now seek very specific kind of creatures to devour. this could be an idea for a campaign, at it's end the mouthers are supposed to fomr some great horrific being- i'm thinking of "the eater", which is one great mouth to devour the world, and all it's delicious, sweet terror).


    Bonus section! Reactions with the other monsters in the compendium!
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    - Stirges:mouthers often compete with them. stirges can't hide well with them and they 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 kill, and this might be a source of tension. Gibbering often follow the path of destruction of stronger barghest.

    - 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, though at times wight try fiercely, the many specks of life in the mouther making it a target.

    -troglodytes: no idea here.

    - 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 un sufferable and thus 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 they don't tell.

    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 "the real stuff".

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