New Mutant Monday Series Two #37 - Spiny Stalkers

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 150’ (50’)
AC: 3
HD: 10
Attacks: 1 bite, two talons, 1 tail whip or spines
Damage: 1d6 / 1d6+2 / 1d6+2 / 1d4+1 / see description
Save: L10
Morale: See description
Hoard Class: V

Scholars and wasteland naturalists are at a loss to determine the origin of the species. The creature has a lot in common with flightless birds, and from the behavior many believe these creatures are descendent from Quails, while others see far more common traits with scavenging rodents such as rats.

The creatures are about four feet in height and weigh in around seventy pounds. They walk like a bird on jointed legs, but do not possess wings, instead they have two long arms which end in three taloned hands. The mouth is still very beak-like but is covered in flesh, and they have bright red eyes located on the sides of the skull, where a predator’s eye would be. The back and head are covered in large, heavy spines and the beast has a long, whip-like tail. The flesh of the beasts is a uniform grey in hue, giving it a somewhat sickly appearance.

These creatures can be found mainly in ruins, plains and forests. They prefer warmer climates but have been seen as far as Alaska along the coastlines, staying near the shoreline to enjoy the somewhat more moderate temperatures.

They are hunters and scavengers, although they do seem to prefer to eat freshly killed prey. The creatures hunt in pairs, always stalking and studying prey before they finally attack. When they do attack, they try to ram it from opposing directions, coming in at the same time. The creatures will make a single attack roll between the two of them, and if it succeeds, they will inflict 4d6+8 points of kinetic damage. They will only do this attack once per combat.

Once they have wounded the prey, the creatures will stay and slash with their talons and if the prey somehow manages to elude them and is running away, they will use the spines on their back to try and impale and kill the prey from a distance. Once per round the creatures can launch 1d4 spines. A single to hit roll is required, and the damage inflicted is 1d8+4 per spine. The amount of spines which hit the target is based on the success of the roll. If the to hit roll is exactly what they need, then one spine hits. For every point rolled over what they required, an additional spine hits. For example, the creature launches 4 spines and requires a 12 to hit. It rolls a 14 and this means three of the four spines hit, inflicting 3d8+12 damage. After all the spines have hit, the target must make a saving throw versus radiation or take 1 point of damage per round from acid which coats the end of the spines. This additional damage will end once the spine has been removed.

The creatures can also use their tails in combat and do so to either inflict damage, or to possibly disarm an opponent. They can choose to whip the tail at any weapons held by the target. If the blow succeeds, they inflict normal damage, and the target must make either a Dexterity or Strength check (whichever is better) with a penalty equal to the damage inflicted. If the check fails, the target drops their weapon. If this tail strike is a natural 20, then the tail wraps around the victim’s throat and inflicts triple damage for that round only. The creature will instantly let go of the victim on the next round.

Anyone watching these beasts will notice something very odd. They move exactly the same, they react exactly the same, and they even make the same sounds. That is because they are in fact a single mind sharing two bodies. Every egg laid by the parent produces identical twins, and they are inseparable. When one is injured, the twin can ‘lend’ hit points, in effect healing its sibling. They also share saving throws, gaining two throws, always taking the better of the two. If one is killed, the other will die in 1d8 rounds, however, during the time it is still living, the creature will go berserk. Until it keels over and dies, the creature will gain a +4 to hit with all attacks and any damage inflicted will be doubled.

The beasts mate during the winter and the females will build a nest, laying 2d3 eggs. Both the males and females will guard the nest until the eggs hatch after sixty days. They will stay with the young until they mature after 1 year. Then the young are on their own.

One very odd trait these creatures possess is they like gold. They will often imbed chunks of it in their breasts, and the more gold a creature possesses, the more it seems to appeal to a potential mate. Each pair always has exactly the same amount of gold imbedded in their breasts, and the amount differs from pair to pair.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), bizarre appearance, metaconcert (modified), toxic weapon velocity increase

Series Two Index