You awaken to find yourself chained against a damp and musty cave wall. What you see before you was likely once a man, but his flesh sways and twitches in ways not befitting a natural creature. As he glances at you, several copies of his face seem to project, as if to magnify his speech. Multiple uncanny smiles form in disjointed succession, as the space-warped thing speaks.
“You thought you escaped? What a foolish notion! The Mists are eternal and you are a puppet! A wise adventurer would best research on things that dwell in darkness, lest they be another story of the Dark Powers. In the end, you are all the same. But, a fighting chance is too irresistible to ignore. So, fight on and fight well, mortal. If you were wiser, you could have read onward about the awful things that sprawl and crawl. I was once like you, but then I was chosen to be beyond human. The cosmic eternity takes the worthy, granting them a new story. But first, allow me to do the honor of ending yours.”
Shadowy projections of his hand reach over, to simply touch your forehead. Protrusions and mockeries of the flesh extend from the tainted thing’s arm. The mass plants itself upon your head, as you feel its horrid pull. The force of a thousand realities tries takes your essence. All goes black, the alien void has won.
Author’s Note: I had more planned, I just wanted to space them out instead of cram it all into one post. I’m still pondering where to go next. But, the Stars are Right for… something. And yes, The Thing was one of the inspirations behind The Paradox. But, how would you conduct a blood test for it?
The Mists have spawned all manner of atrocities and abominations to traverse its foggy murk. These creatures are usually the physical embodiment of either a darklord’s sins or the horrors of our very existential condition. Some are merely pulled into the Demiplane of Dread and enhanced into something so much more, even replicated to bring new methods of terror to the native populace of the lands. No matter the origin, they stand in opposition to heroes who challenge the everlasting darkness. Whether they are pawns of the dark powers or operating on their own accord is up for debate, but their haunting presence shall be known to those unfortunate enough to encounter them. In fact, some creatures are capable of removing you from known reality. All the more reason a monster hunter be readied and prepared for such evils.
Author’s Note: Nightmare Fuel, Body Horror, Terrors of the Cosmic and more! Yes, Halloween is done and plenty of real life horror may get in the way, but nothing a little pretend horror can’t distract from. So, let’s take a moment to enjoy the monsters of some chilling tales. After all, it doesn’t matter if it’s Halloween, they always lurk and await new victims. Here are a bundle of monsters inspired by the Planescape/Ravenloft posts, from various domains or dimensional spaces. Also, the inclusion of the Wolfwere was done in support of the November RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Faith of Pratfalls and Pixies. Find more here! Also, look out for part 2 soon.
The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms. These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others. Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane. Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new. From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.
Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while. I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games. I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago. Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things. Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.
Law, Chaos, diametrically opposed forces! Is it not splendid? To me, this is the true clash in the end. People speak of the everlasting fight of Good vs. Evil, but just look at The Blood War! It is multiple ideologies of badness competing for supremacy! Simply fascinating! But, of places less outwardly malicious, what of them? Well, I would be happy to pop up this nice bestiary, which can be yours for simply a handful of jink-jink, chummer! – Gilbert Marazmus, Gnome scribe and former ghostwriter
The multiverse as plenty of mysterious forces, the forces of darkness and the light have already been discussed at length. The means of order, disorder and everything in between. These things can be quite concrete but also vague in other areas. Here’s a sampling of monsters that exemplify the planes (and demiplanes) they call home.
Author’s Note: I know everything is taking a long time, I’ll do what I can to get back on track. Recent times haven’t been easy. That said, I hope many of you have found ways to still play from a distance. Even if it’s through a digital space, doing things with people matter. Stay connected and stay cool!
The living dead. What brings about such perversions of life? Rituals derived from dark sorceries imbue a dreadful force into corpses, creating a puppet bound in necromantic power. These zombies are crafted by the spells and rituals of adept necromancers, aiming to create a slave or build an army. Plagues created by the most vile of creatures corrupt and sicken victims, eventually overwhelming them and turning them into walking diseases of their own right. These are often accidents, potentially prevented by proper preparation rather than giving into hysterical campaigns. Even alien horrors have their means of parasitically bonding to a host, creating their own version of zombie. Some of these victims aren’t just alive, they have some level of consciousness. However, not all origins are evil. Some were created as punishment at the hands of powerful spiritual priests. However, the zombie created by necromancy is by far the most common sight.
No matter their sources, the terror of the zombie is a known one. Shuffling corpses, either confused by their existence or enraged by it, find themselves at odds with the living. Some of these abominations are at the whims of a mad master. Others are distorted by outside forces, left to rampage against all in their wake. And even worse, the zombie will never give up. While it is devoid of emotion or any ideology, the zombie is relentless until it’s impossible for it to continue. Some will fight until literally falling apart. Converted into killing machines, these mockeries of life are a blight to all who are haunted by their presence.
Author’s Note: I’m back. Pardon these disappearances. Things have been a little rough, I’ll spare the details. In addition, I haven’t been happy with a lot of things, hobbies included. That’s made it a little harder to work on these posts. Admittedly, one of things keeping me going is created content for settings that WotC has forgotten. The people deserve to learn at least a little about these cool places! Anyway, here’s my updated take on some variant zombies! Ooooh, spooky! Also, to the one of my friends who wanted me to tack on a tacky coronavirus reference on this? You’re welcome.
Xoriat, a realm of unspeakable evil. The native Daelkyr reside here, experts of sickening fleshcraft. Among their works were legions of warped and disfigured abominations, the daelkyrspawn. These things were once captured forces of Material plane fleets, the very races that attempted to repel the nightmarish plane. While Xoriat’s connection was ultimately severed from the list of coterminous planes, countless creatures were abducted and transformed into the sickening puppets of today. While many are simply stranded in the Prime Material, some seek methods of returning the tether to Xoriat and continuing the invasion from so long ago. Many of these atrocities prepare for battle in the depths of the dark realm of Khyber. From this hideaway, they all ready for an onslaught in the name of their aberrant creators.
Some, like the dolgaunt, for monastic cells to prepare a tactical strike. Other abominations are far simpler and mindlessly assault all creatures that may move too close to their grasp. Either way, their psychologies are far too detached from the mortal realm to properly figure what their current goal or aspiration is.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: More Eberron once more. Here is an updated take on my version of the Daelkyrspawn from a ways back. Also, if I may hop on my soap box. Please, support Exploring Eberron over Rising from the Last War. The former is purely Keith Baker’s voice, not the sanitized version released by Wizards of the Coast. So much was watered down to fit their new market model, but the guild allows fans to recapture what WotC decided to leave behind. Back to this post, I realize an official Choker was published, but I always found them neat and weird… so they’re remade here too from their original days.
Once more, let us tell tales of mighty heroes and frightening monsters. From steppes below to mountains above, tales of high adventure await. And with them? Great foes and allies alike. You thought you only had to worry about the Baba Yaga? You are quite wrong!
Author’s Note: I wanted to make some Slavic inspired monsters with a lower CR rating, especially considering the rest have been pretty strong. Also, here’s a bonus heroic NPC to accompany these troublesome treks! Also, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to my readers!
“You understand the risks of joining our hunting team, yes? There are many things in the woods that would stop our enterprise, but we’re among the most elite in the lands. Our skills are legendary. Some angered spirits don’t threaten us!” – The last words of a foolish trespasser
The forest holds many mysteries beyond the fabled Grandmother of the Witches. Life grabbing wolves, tree-like giant men, three headed dragons! Such terrors and more lie over the mountain side and into the forest. Travel with caution and tact. And of course, show respect to the spirits around you.
Author’s Note: My exploration into Slavic folklore creatures continues. Also, I’m gonna cover some weaker monsters for lower tier adventures later. So far, all of these have been at least pretty strong.
Behold, the mother of hags! And with her, a cadre of mythical companions and foes. As the autumn months roll on and witches gather, the foul mother of them all beckons you to her door. Seek out the dancing hut and experience the horror of Baba Yaga! And joining her, a cadre of creatures both benign and truly vicious! And there are more where that came from, as always.
Author’s Note: Here is something long overdue! The folklore of Eastern Europe and beyond hasn’t been represented in media too much. So, let’s fix that. Speaking of fixing, here’s my new take on Baba Yaga and her magical dancing hut! More creatures based on Slavic folklore will soon follow. Also, both the Dancing Hut and Baba Yaga are extremely strong creatures! As a rule of thumb though, don’t mess with Baba Yaga!
From thresholds and barriers, many terrible things break free to cause mayhem. Among them are things from a digitized and electronic world. These monsters may have strange origins, but the evils they unleash are no less dangerous.
Welcome to the realms of electronic terrors, creatures that originate from incredible devices known to some as “video games”. These creatures hail from a variety of supposedly fictional universes and realities, where they do all in their capacity to torture brave and cunning protagonists within a digital landscape. These tales may just be works of fiction, but they could very well be alternate worlds held back by a pixelated veil. Perhaps this could mean an expansive frontier within the Prime or perhaps a demiplane of its own.
Author’s Note: Another blog carnival post! This time, it’s a bunch of monsters from horror (or at least suspenseful/horror-related) video games! Yes, the Zombie Dog is a repost…