Carnictis

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 4d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 4
HD: 6 for 10 feet, +1 hit dice per foot afterwards, up to 20 feet in length.
Attack: 1 squeeze and then 1 squeeze and 1 bite (see description)
Damage: 1d10+1 for each foot over 10 and class 10 poison, 2d4+1 per each foot over 10
Save: L6 to 16
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: I (x10), II (x10), IV (x10), VIII, XIV (artifacts only)

There are those who believe nothing can survive in the darkness, which life requires light in order to thrive. Of course over the centuries before the final wars it has been proven time and again life always finds a way, and in the most unlikely places life has not only found a toe-hold, but has thrived.

The canyons and hidden caverns among the wastelands are far more treacherous than anyone would like to imagine, having become home to all manner of deadly predators, most of which are hideous to behold and disgusting to comprehend.

Such is this particular creature. The original species has long since been lost in the genetic mutation which has reshaped and molded this monster into a deadly predator which haunts the darkest recesses of the great ruins and deepest crevasses. The creature looks like a giant slug, each member around ten to twenty feet in length. The flesh is a mottled grey and is covered in a slick film, allowing it to glide with amazing grace and fluidity across even the most broken terrain. There is large mouth-like opening on one end which holds the true horror that is this creature.

When it has found prey, the opening will slide apart, allowing the eyeless, pink-fleshed mouth to slide free. This mouth is circular and is surrounded by dagger-like, inward-pointing teeth. There is a frill of spikes circling the mouth, each about a foot in length.

The creature is blind, but this does not hamper its ability to hunt in the slightest. It is able to sense prey through three different methods – vibrations in the ground (up to 500 feet), the heat generated by their bodies (up to 200 feet), and finally the very life-force possessed by living creatures (100 feet). If it senses any of these, the creature will move at its top speed to the location in order to hunt and feed.

It attacks by surrounding the prey and then wrapping the prey with its slick body. This requires a successful melee attack. Those who are hit must make a saving throw versus poison or suffer the effects of Class 10 poison and are paralyzed. This allows the monster to then bite the prey. This attack can be broken by a successful grapple check, with the monster having Strength of 12 (for those ten feet in length), 14 (if the monster is 15 feet in length), 18 (for the largest specimens).

Each round the prey is grappled, the creature is able to inflict its regular damage without having to make an attack roll. It also gains a +4 to hit with the bite attack for any creature it has successfully grappled. The prey must likewise make a saving throw versus poison each round it is grappled.

The most horrible aspect of these monsters is they are like a snake in the way they can expand their bodies in order to accommodate prey they wish to swallow whole. Each creature is capable of swallowing a humanoid sized catch, which requires a successful bite attack three rounds in a row. The stomach of the monster is also lined with the same paralytic poison, making it exceedingly difficult for prey to survive and escape. Every round the prey is being digested; the acids will inflict 3d6 points of damage, if they do not suffocate first! This acid only affects organic material, so items, treasure and so forth are simply excreted. Anything trapped inside the body of this monster can cut their way free, as long as they have an edged weapon and have not succumbed to the poison.

After feeding on at least 20 hit dice or Constitution points of prey, the creature will go into a stupor which lasts for 2d4 days. At the end of this period, it will lay 2d12 eggs among the bones and items of its previous meals. The eggs require 2 months to fully develop and hatch. The young have a single hit-dice and are fully capable of hunting for prey. They will grow at the rate of 1 hit dice and 1 foot in length every two months.

Like many of the creatures that inhabit the ruins and wastelands, these creatures do not like the light. They always stay in the darkest depths of ruins or caverns, away from sunlight. It does not harm them, they just have an aversion to it. If they encounter any source of light stronger than a torch, they will back away, staying out of the light until the source has been removed. This does not prevent the creatures from following prey however.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), toxic weapon, unique senses (life-force, thermal, vibration)

Source: King Kong (2005)