New Mutant Monday Series Two #68 - Xanarachs

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6 (wilderness), 1 queen, 4d8 handmaidens, 20d10 males and workers
Alignment:  Lawful
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 3
HD: 8 (workers), 16 (queen), 12 (handmaidens), 10 (warriors)
Attacks: 1 bite, 2 claws or two weapons, and special (see description).
Damage: 1d4 plus class five poison, 1d6 / 1d6 or by weapon, and special (see description) Handmaidens and warriors inflict 1d6+2 for bite, and 1d10+2 for claws.
Save: Level is based on hit dice of creature.
Morale: 8, N/A for Warriors and Handmaidens, who will always fight to the death for the queen.
Hoard Class: 2 melee weapons (75%) or 1 ranged weapon (25%), VIII (x4, 55%), X (x3), XIII (x3, 75% each coin), XV (70 for all coin and artifacts). Queen always has 1d3 ranged energy weapons and 1d4 randomly determined grenades or explosives.

These creatures, despite having a very humanoid appearance, are actually a greatly mutated form of arachnid. They are in fact uplifted arachnids, why have been greatly mutated by radiation and the various other toxins poisoning the wastelands.

At first glance, they look like naked, grey-skinned humanoids. The average member of the species stands around eight feet in height, and are quite heavy, weighing in excess of four hundred pounds. None of the weight comes from fat, instead coming from the heavy exoskeleton these creatures possess. Both males and females seem to possess long hair, which is strangely thick and is always hidden behind their backs. This is not in fact hair, but a series of arms, up to 12 in total, which sprout from the back of the creature’s head and are fully articulate. The creature always has an even number of arms, never an odd number.

These mutant insects live deep in forests and jungles, preferring the hotter climates of the southern United States as well as central and south America. They have not been seen anywhere else, at least not yet.  They live in tribal communities, consisting of a single queen, and a few dozen hand-maidens and then male warriors and workers. When encountered in the wilderness, they are almost always male, and are hunting or on a specific mission.

The creatures are fully capable of speech, and are quite curious about the world around them, and despite their often horrifying appearance, they are not outright hostile – unless one attacks them first. They are open to dialog and are also likewise open to trade and even work with others.

Yes the creatures are territorial, but they also are willing to share if they can come to an amicable accord with those nearby, and if the others can get past the xenophobic impulses these humanoid insects tend to instill, they often find the creatures to be selfless allies.

When the creatures engage in combat, they are often difficult to injure. Their heavy carapace gives the humanoids a damage reduction of 8 points against all types of physical attack, although they are still vulnerable to energy and most types of psionic-based attack. When they encounter mind thrust however, the attack is always turned on the attacker, using the attackers own Will Power to attack.

The creatures are capable of using all their hands. They are able to generate a small amount of psionic energy, which manifests as a ball of red energy, which looks appallingly like goblets of blood. Each hand can toss this attack, with one roll being made for every four hands. The average creature has six plus 1d6 (round to nearest even number) of arms. Each globe of energy will inflict 1d4 points of damage and has an effective range of 75 feet. This energy is purely psionic and as such is considered energy and psionic for purposes of damage reduction.

If they are forced to engage in hand to hand combat, the creatures have two normal arms, which they can use to attack, or wield weaponry. They can also bite, which will inflict the listed damage and each bite will inject a class five poison. Also the creatures are completely immune to the effects of poison of all types.

Although they can speak, the creatures are fully telepathic, and are able to use this ability with almost every other creature they encounter. They are also empathic, allowing them to feel the emotions of others, and often are able to determine hostile intent before anything can happen.

These creatures are still arachnids, and they are capable of spinning webs and creating silk, which they use to line their homes and are even willing to spin it into clothing, which they sell to outsiders. The silk makes excellent armor (AC 7) and weighs only 2 pounds, and has a special property which protects against piercing attacks (such as arrows, bolts and bullets), providing a damage reduction of 4 points against such attacks. Furthermore it has been discovered this armor is likewise immune to acid and protects the wearer from all types of contact poisons.

Like their ancestors, these creatures live on fluids – they cannot consume any type of solid food, and are only capable of eating and digesting blood and other such bodily fluids. They will often keep animals for this very purpose, and will even cocoon creatures inside the webs, which will place the food in a state of hibernation, preventing them from aging or suffering the effects of time. Anyone encased in such a cocoon will find time is halted, and as such these creatures are often sought out and paid handsomely to cocoon those suffering from disease, poisons, or medical maladies which would otherwise kill them, allowing loved ones to attempt to find cures.

As already stated, these humanoid insects are ruled by a queen. She appears to be no larger than the other specimens, but is attached to a large egg-sack. She never leaves her egg chamber and the egg sack is carefully hidden behind veils of silk, spun by her handmaidens. All visitors are brought in to see the queen and she holds court over her people from here. She is always far more intelligent than the others in her nest, and rules with wisdom and compassion.

Males are constantly brought in for mating purposes, and they fertilize her eggs, which are then taken and carefully tended by the handmaidens. The eggs hatch after 3 months, and it takes the young six full years to mature enough to be added to the ranks.

If anything should happen to the queen, the eldest of her handmaidens will undergo a hormonal change, and in only one month she will be able to produce her own egg sack and take over the nest.

In the extremely unlikely event where the queen and all her handmaidens are destroyed, the eldest male will undergo a drastic change, becoming female and she will then take place of the dead queen. In either case, the newly formed queen will produce a special jelly which will be rubbed on the eggs as they mature, ensuring enough become female to replace all lost handmaidens.

Mutations: Aberrant form (extra body parts, natural weapons, xenomorphism), clinging, damage reduction, empathy, energy ray (modified), immunity (poisons), natural armor, neural telepathy, toxic weapon.

Series Two Index