Pale Eaters

Chris Van Deelen

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
AC: 6
HD: 10
Attacks: 3 (bite, claw, claw)
Damage: 4d4 / 2d6 / 2d6
Save: L10
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: Food, see description.

Pale Eaters are a very strange form of Mutant Human that are found almost exclusively in ruins around the globe.

These strange creatures appear for the most part to be humanoid. They have two arms, legs, a generally human shaped body, and they stand around six feet in height and weigh in about one hundred and forty pounds, but the head is where the similarities end. First, the head is eyeless, there being two small nostrils where the eyes would normally be.  Secondly, the creature has jet black talons on the tips of its fingers and the mouth is filled with sharp teeth. Finally, these albino creatures are covered in flesh that seems to be loose fitting over the bones. The flesh is wrinkled and saggy all over.

All these differences can be quite disturbing, but the eyes, which appear as milky orbs, and those who see the eyes swear that they are blind because it looks like they have thick cataracts.  Even though they are not on the face, are the worst for most that encounter it. The eyes are loose and this monster typically keeps them close by, or will even place the eyes in strategic locations, because although the eyes are disconnected from the body, it can still see through them.

When it does use its eyes, they fit snugly in what appears to be a wound in the palm of each hand. It then can see clearly though the eye as it chases down any prey that comes into its lair or into the territory it calls its own.

These creatures are intelligent, although they have no use for others not of their kind. Both the males and females have the same overall appearance, and the only way to differ between the sexes if through a very detailed examination of the body, and this can only be accomplished when the creature is dead.

These creatures only get together once every couple of years in order to mate. It is brief and lasts only long enough for the female to become impregnated. The females have a gestation period of 11 months and give birth to live offspring. These offspring mature at an alarming rate, reaching full maturity within only 24 months, at which time they leave their mothers to find territory of their own. Even though the young are physically mature, they don’t sexually mature until they hit around twelve years of age.

To these monsters, all other forms of life are nothing more than meals to them. They hunt mainly humanoids but they will eat animals if no other humanoids are available to them. When this happens, the mutant humanoids will leave their current territory and find new hunting grounds.

These mutants have a very strange method of hunting. They typically find locations where food might be scarce and are very adept in locating food, and especially like to find food that was packaged before the end times. They will then leave crumbs or tidbits of food out in a trail, one that will lead to their lair.

Inside their lair, they always have a table or other such piece of furniture where they have the food laid out and ready to be taken. Some of the creatures like to sit at the table, immobile and even appearing dead, but with their eyes close at hand, observing creatures that enter.

Sometimes they will wait for the creature to approach the table, while other times the humanoid monsters will stay hidden, still using one or both of their disembodied eyes to spy on the victim before they pounce. These creatures always have a large stash of food to use as a lure and that is the only type of treasure they have.

They cannot be reasoned with, and have no interest in negotiations or the like. They only want to eat. They are very tough and can use their natural weapons to great advantage, and even though they recognized artifact weapons, they have no use for them, and if an individual is clearly well armed or a group appears to be too difficult to take on, the humanoids will leave them in peace, or wait for the right time to spring an ambush.

The eyes can be destroyed, and require only 2 hit points of damage to do so, but they are slippery and difficult to hit, so they have an effective AC of 3. If one or both eyes are destroyed, the monster will flee, no matter what. It is blind at this time, but the eyes will grow back in the hands in 1d6 days.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), albinism, dietary requirement change (living flesh), regeneration (special)

Source: Pans Labyrinth (2006)