Weird Western Monsters – Part 5 (Cryptids and Wyld Creatures)

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“There’s living dead, even in the wilderness…  Well, damn.”

“The job is clear.  You shall escort my caravan through the brutal and harsh beast lands, then aid me in distributing these medicinal creations to the people of my tribe. The latter is easy, the former is likely to kill you if you lack the knowledge. As it is, some buffoon who followed me around nearly died, but I taught him some of my ways.  But, he’s not important.  Are you up for this task?  If not, stand aside.  And please, direct questions for my caravan’s scout.  He is knowledgeable on almost all travel matters.  Also, don’t mind the living dead.” – Moonlotus Fadingdusk, a human witch from the Seeking Mind tribe… Or so she says.

There’s a handful of beastly creatures out there in the weird western frontier.  A few varmints aren’t overly harmful, while others are truly malicious.  The vast wilderness requires one on their toes at all times, lest they get torn apart by the seems, some quick snack for a cunning predator.  It’s this reason why rangers and trailblazers join caravans, to minimize casualties outside of civilization.

Author’s Note:  More weird critters, yeah!  I decided a few obligatory folk tales were a necessary add-on, because fur bearing trout and jackalope are truly fun stories.  While it was supposed to be in another post on native inspired folk beasts, I added the accursed wendigo here.  Warning, this one is quite strong!

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Weird Western Monsters – Lupine NPCs and Variants

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“Yeah, Fangs Gulch is a place. I found my way there not long after being bewitched and I started turning into one of them. Anyway, the locals look like those animalmen out in the wilderlands, but they run shops, shoot guns and live life like us. The scotch was something great, I only passed out after two jugs mind you. The butcher served up a nice slice of meat he called ‘furless one’. Even the ladies of the night were good too, even if they’re all hairy and have like eight knockers, real bitey and growly too. Hey, don’t look at me like that! It’s no weirder than the bar owner who screws automatons off-hours! Aww shucks, I really am one of them… – Rawoo (Rowan T. Jammerson), Lupine (Ex-Human) Maverick Rogue

The Lupines, especially the Gray Runners, often receive harsh treatment. Life in the tribes prove hard, but life among the outsiders, exotic travelers and other oddities proves all the more frustrating. Hostility seems inevitable, whether in the realms of trade or battle. Sometimes peace is achieved, but it’s often to suit an agenda. Some have sold their wisdom and secrets to get ahead of the travelers, while others have taken to more vindictive approaches… some reactions truly wicked. Most care about the day by day, appeasing the forces above them while surviving in a harsh world. Until recently, the harvests and hunts have been good, as life has been normal.

Author’s Note: By popular demand, here is more content for the gray runners… or rather, what the concept got expanded into. While they feel not overly different than Mystara’s Lupins (I even made a NPC that uses Lupin mechanics), they seemed pretty popular here. Plus, anything to bring more attention to Spellslinger (in the naive hope that Fantasy Flight Games will convert it to D&D 5E! Ya hear that, FFG!? You’d gain money from joining the new edition!) I pondered on how to expand on serpentmen, based on a request on my Tumblr blog, but my previous post points out that Yuan-Ti work just fine.  For more on The Lupines, please check out this post here.

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Graveyard Tyrant, Divine Atrocity & More – FromSoft inspired Horrors for D&D 5th Edition

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There is a certain darkness that lurks within our multiverse.  Great beings of power hold dominion over reality, creating guardians to defend their reign.  Likewise, powerful mortals meld conviction, innovation and craft to create a testament to their beliefs  Among them are foul creatures that epitomize forces of corruption.  These creatures are born out of hatred, malice, destruction, tyranny, bedlam and a wide variety of other horrid acts and negative emotions.  However, many of these fell beings were forged from the best intentions.  Purity, piety, justice, liberty, order, compassion, knowledge; all desires to improve or better understand the worlds around us.  However, positive intentions are distorted by extremes and turn into unending nightmares unforeseen by the perpetrators.

Where kindness and creativity go awry, cruel and unspeakable monsters arise.  All are the embodiment of some ideal that has turned horribly wrong.  Spiritual powers of nature contorted into vicious beasts, an arbiter judge of the dead turned callous taker of souls, the most virtuous and divine being unraveled and maddened by the abyss, those dedicated to a cause pursuing their quest into the depths of insanity.  Such tragic horrors are just examples of great power that falls from grace.  These beings were not meant to be or not meant to become this way.  The Divine Atrocity is the desecration of nature by its own followers, The Graveyard Tyrant is death’s hatred for the living taking hold of the land, The https://i2.wp.com/img03.deviantart.net/9c58/i/2014/243/d/8/bloodborne___cleric_beast_by_artsed-d7xeote.jpgDemon-Shackled is a fell knight who gave up on all that is sacred for the Abyssal chaos they fought, the Sundered Saint is the deranged remains of a faithful being driven insane by their convictions and goals.  Thus, a swift death is a true act of mercy when it comes to their existence.

These sacrilegious mistakes often haunt wastelands plagued by far worse evils.  The entropic decay and destruction only serves to empower these tainted powers.  Mad cults, other beings born of the same madness as such abortions of science and arcana.  They pose a challenge to any crusader, chosen one or hunter foolish enough to get in their way.  In some cases, the very land around these abominations conspires against those who bring their wicked masters any harm.  These soulless forgeries of life seek to destroy all those who oppose their sick mutation, those who defy their damnation, those who defend against their twisted ways.

Author’s Note:  I wasn’t really happy with these creations, initially.  So, I figured they were both due for an update.   We’ve had horrors from the mists, some classic dark fantasy and a bit of weird western and steampunk for good measure too!  So, I’ve done all I can to expand my “Gaslamp and Gothic” theme to it’s fullest.  On that note, the other reason I wanted to do this is a tribute to the gaming series/multiverse I love so much.  The Souls games (and Bloodborne) are coming to an end for the time being, so polishing some homages is fitting tribute.  Here’s my take on Grave Lord Nito and Cleric Beast in D&D 5E.  In addition, I create some extra content to commemorate Dark Souls III and make general homage to all of the Souls games (including Demon’s Souls).  And as always, the mad rambling prose is in part thanks to my love of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and of course, H.P. Lovecraft.  The first three monsters are directly inspired by various creatures, while the third is a general homage to several beings from the series.

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