Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Narcosmos Monster: The Pentapods


“Space is a strange thing, no matter where ya go in the multiverse. The space above and outside most worlds is big, mostly empty, hostile to life, and full of just really weird shit. And big, by gods, most of ‘em is big. And when ya consider that there’s practically an infinity of worlds, well it makes less sense for anything to not exist. Space hamsters? Sure, I seen ‘em. Whales a’wrigglin’ through the void, well, I seen that too. Worlds made of pure fire and moons o’ frozen yella slime. Yep. Space is godsdamned weird.”

-            Braet Belquin, noted planar explorer and sometime spelljammer captain.

The Pentapods aren’t really all that strange, considering they’re from space. Their head-pods stand at about 3 feet tall, and all five of those pink rubbery tentacles can stretch out to about six feet. They move in long graceful arcs and seem to find the idea of straight lines unappealing. Pentapods communicate telepathically and appear to have some sort of innate bio-kinesis, especially with slime molds, from which all their odd technologies arise.

At the heart of every Pentapod asteroid ship is a central nervous system of bio-engineered slime molds, performing all the tasks normally accomplished via circuitry (or magic) and mechanical means. They even keep certain specialized pools which synthesize various keratin-based tools onto the ends of their tentacles.

Five pairs of eyes are evenly distributed across their cylindrical head-pods. Even without this, sneaking up on them is nearly impossible, due to the 12 yd. range of their psychic awareness/telepathy. A strange bulbous sphincter sits atop the head-pod; this is the apparatus through which they breathe and expel waste. (They sometimes do this spontaneously when startled.) The central bottom part of the creatures contain several sets of gills and a tooth lined sphincter which serves as a mouth. Pentapods usually consume simple organisms like algae and bacterial mats. They can consume other organic material, but it usually gives them gas: it’s chlorine to be more specific.

Long ago, their swampy verdant homeworld was usurped from them by a cruel race of bipedal horse-monsters. Ever since then, the Pentapods have spread across the galaxy looking for a new world to inhabit. They seem to be driven by an insatiable curiosity and a distrust of beings with bilateral symmetry.

That’s great and all, bud, but how do these things get me high?

Well that’s a bit of a sad story, but you asked.

You see by some fluke of evolution, the brain-chemicals produced by Pentapods while frightened induce ridiculous euphoria in humans. After its gruesome harvest, this golden-green liquid is drunk by users under the street-name “Happy”. It’s addictive effects last for about 1d6 hours. Here’s the kicker though, any pain felt by a Pentapod significantly reduces the effects the “Happy”. Unfortunately bipeds are very clever and many have discovered some terrifyingly consistent ways to put out a good 
product. "Happy" farms are some of the worst places in the galaxy.

[Stats]

1 HD
Movement 30’
AC : 12
Attacks 5 (Though only three may be used against a single target)
Damage 1d2 via constriction or by Weapon
Axe Tip – 1d8; Syringe Tip 1d2 + Poison; 
Claw Tip – 1d3; Pincher Tip – 1d3; Spear Tip 1d6 (can receive charge for double damage), Probe Tip – 1d4.
Special –
Telepathic Awareness and Communication 12 Yards. Never Surprised by a thinking being.

Has an almost innate understanding of biology, anatomy, and medical science. A Pentapod colony can cure most diseases encountered within 1d20 weeks. Previous experience prevents most colonies from offering aid or succor to bipeds.