New Mutant Monday #94 - Corras

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 4d10 1 yard square patches
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: N/A
AC: 6
HD: 2 per yard
Attacks: see description
Damage: 1d4+2 per tentacle
Save: L4
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

 Like all life that was not extinguished during the horrific events perpetrated by all sides during the final wars, the Coral reefs across the globe were affected by the radiation and the toxins released.

One particular type of coral, found along the Northwest coastline of Canada and the United States thrived and mutated, becoming something of a predator that can both patiently wait for prey to come within striking distance and lure prey in if they do not wish to wait.

The creature looks like a typical Coral reef, with mineral structures that the creatures create to protect themselves during the night and if particularly dangerous predators happen to be about. During the day, the creature looks like thick red tubes, tightly clustered on large outcroppings of mineral deposits. They float and wave lazily in the currents releasing a chemical pheromone that attracts all manner of aquatic life.

This pheromone has a range of up to 1 mile from the cluster of creatures, and anything coming into the area of effect will be forced to make a saving throw versus death or be compelled to swim towards the plants. Surface creatures gain a +4 to this saving throw, unless they possess increased senses (smell). In that case the creatures will have the standard saving throw with no bonuses.

Once the compelled victim comes within 30 feet of the creature, it will shoot out thick mineral-tipped tentacles. The creature will have one tentacle per two yards of size. Each tentacle is treated as a ranged attack and will impale the target.

In order to break the impaling, the target must make a grapple check, with the creature having Strength of 6 plus 1 for every successful tentacle attack. If the target cannot break the attacks, then it will be drawn in at the rate of ten feet per round. A check to escape is allowed every round, but the tentacles do not continue to damage the target. They can also be targeted by slashing weapons, and have an AC of 3. It requires only 6 points to sever a tentacle.

Once the tentacles have dragged a creature into the mass, they will release a deadly toxin into the water. It will quickly be diluted and rendered harmless in 1d4 rounds, but during this time, the toxin is a class 12 poison. Anything killed by the poison floats onto the mass and then the creature releases an acidic slime. This will creep over the corpse in 1d3 rounds and then exude the acid, causing 5d6 points of acid per round until the flesh is dissolved and nothing remains except for bones and items.

The creature reproduces by ejecting a combination of sperm and eggs during the full moon every September. These are encoded so that they will not fertilize each other, knowing which comes from the same colony. The mixture will ride the currents and eventually mingle with the eggs and sperm produced by different colonies. They will become fertilized and continue to travel the currents, going for 1d6 miles in a random direction before they will settle to the ocean floor and take root. It takes two months for a single colony of only a yard in diameter to grow and begin to hunt for prey.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), toxic weapon