Thursday, November 3, 2016

I hate war for the starvation that stalks after it (Pathfinder)

 
Starvation is always a solitary suffering. Art By: Sydney Long

Pictures Mangled by Me: Any picture with this in its caption means it is a collage I made using 19th and early 20th century illustrations. All these illustrations are public domain, meaning I didn't rob anyone by using these pictures for my own gains.

Author's Note: I originally made this monster for the awesome folks down at the gaming convention, CAFCON. If you're looking for a cool con to attend, check them out, HERE.

Volentine, Bergan (6M – 280). A Catalogue of Paranatural Beings; Conceptuals. Infinite City: Poete House of Publishing. Pg. 82

without an independent existence, they are given genesis in minds that experience and conceptualize a particular idea or sensation. While elementals may very well predate natural beings, conceptuals only came into existence after the first mind experienced the concept they represent. In this way they are contingent beings, requiring not just other forces, but other sensate life in order for their very existence to be perpetuated 

The face of famine. Art By: Harry Clarke
 
Conceptuals do not have a particular plane/brane to call home, rather they gain genesis in areas where their particular concept has been enacted repeatedly. These beings cobble together their own physicality from the materials of the acclimated setting. While each conceptual of the same variety may have different materials of creation, their very nature changes these accidental forms to fit their overall template.

It is for these reasons that all areas that have seen the repeated and extreme forms of certain concepts be periodically readjusted to reduce the chance of a conceptual genesis.

Session Transcript
Alienist: Doctor Issel Agati
Subject: Luthy Truther
Session No.: 3

Dr. Agati: I want you to tell me about the indecent at the end of your service during the war.
Truther: You [pause] You mean with the Ugolino?
Dr. Agati: Yes, with the Starvation Conceptual.
Truther: Yeah, we didn't call it that. Everyone called it an Ugolino, I guess it was named after some royal who starved to death after eating some bishop's head. Insane, huh?

Anyway, we got cut off from the supply-lines at the end of the battle for De Longe. After the last push of the grinders, there were only ten of us left in our trench. For some reason the Marchies just pulled back and waited.

They just sat there, had our whole trench surrounded. We could see their Imagos all around us.
Dr. Agati: Marchies? Imagos? Could you explain?
Truther: Marchies, y'know, the Marchen. The Imagos were leviathans that the Marchies [pause] the Marchen, used during the war. They looked like big faces, lots of legs, size of damn house. 

The silent wages of starvation.
 
So, we were cut off for a long time. I can't remember how long, but we ran out of food. [Pause] It got bad after that.

It started with the lieutenant, see everyone was getting paranoid that he was hording food because he seemed to be holding it together better than the rest of us. It was night and the sergeant caught Finster, the lieutenant, chewing on something. Serge just went beserk, and went to stabbing Finster with her trench knife.

Finster [pause] He wasn't hiding real food from us. He [pause] he was chewing his fingertips off. He was so damn hungry that he was chewing off his own fingertips. I [pause] I can't blame him. Looking back on it, I would have done the same had I thought of it.

Serge, she just wasn't the same after that. I'd catch her crying sometimes, cutting herself and licking the blood. Other times she would just fly into these rages, and claim that one of us was hiding food. 

Another victim of hunger. Art By: Harry Clarke
 
She'd order us to kill whichever person she thought was hiding food. And [pause] And we did it. We killed them, because that was what we were trained to do. We never found any food, but it didn't matter, we'd kill the next person she ordered us to. I [pause] We did it because we didn't want her to order someone else to kill us.

All the bodies, we'd just stack them outside the trench. It kept going, until we were down to Serge, me, Ofess, Keller, and Frock. Then we just [pause] We just got so hungry, so damn hungry, that it didn't matter anymore. We started [pause] eating the bodies.

I [pause] I don't know how long it went on, not long. Because it came out of the damn bodies. It, the Uglino, was huge, like somebody without skin. It had these antlers coming out where it neck should be, and these bug wings on them twitchin'. There was this bug head, face, floating in the antlers, and it just looked at us.

I ran, I, I just knew that the others would try to kill me if they got near me. I hid in the trench, and then I heard everyone start screaming. So, I covered my ears and hid. I don't know how long it was, but I got up eventually and saw the thing walking away, and the Imagos and the Marchies were pulling back.

A trench knife.

Everyone was dead [pause] they killed each other with their trench knives. Then some scouts came [pause] and I was put in a hospital, but it had bars on the windows. Then they let me go, and that’s when I started coming to you.

I [pause] I still wonder if I should've killed myself. I think it would hurt less than this.

Notes
According to the information given to me Miss Truther was behind enemy lines for close to three months. As she stated, there were a number of bodies that showed signs of being butchered for food.

What Miss Truther did not state is that a number of Marchen troops were sent to her position as they withdrew from the area. The army scouts found her surrounded by the bodies of more than ten 'Grinder-Monkeys', her trench knife completely blunted from over use. There was evidence of her repeatedly eating the organs she had torn from their bodies, only to vomit them later, beginning the cycle again within moments.

(Wanna Know About Grinder-Monkeys? LINK)

An Ugolino / Starvation Conceptual compared to a common military man. Pictures Mangled By: Me
 
Standing twice the height of a man, it seems to loom over everything, no matter its size. Skinless, its musculature exposed to the air, its limbs over-long for its torso. No head, just a tangle of antlers sprouting from where its neck should be, festooned with insect wings that continually twitch. Floating among the wings and antlers, a fly's head, compound eyes seeming to twitch and throb in the light. At stomach level, a wide mouth of a lamprey, pale gullet and teeth flexing.

Ugolino / Starvation Conceptual
Pathfinder / DnD 3.X
CR 11
XP: 12,800
Alignment: CE
Size: Large
Type: Outsider (Native)
Initiative: +7
Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20

Defense
AC: 26, touch 12, flat-footed 23 (+3 Dex, +14 natural, –1 size)
HP: 147 (14d8+84)
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +7, Will +13
Defensive Abilities: SR 24
Auras: Safety in Solitude (30 ft. DC 17 Will.), Hunger's Presence (15ft. DC 20 Fortitude)

Offense
Speed: 50 ft. (Spider Climb Always On)
Melee: 2 claws +23 (1D10+9) and 1 Bite +23 (1D12+12) Bite does not receive reach bonus.
Space: 10 ft.
Reach: 10 ft.
Special Attack: Feast of Famine (45 foot Cone Breath Weapon. 10D6 ½ Acid and ½ Slashing. Reflex for ½ DC 20. DC 20 Fortitude Save 1D3 ability damage to Str, Dex, and Con) Every 1D4 Rounds.
Spell-Like Abilities: (CL 13th)
At Will: Spider Climb (Always On), Putrefy Food and Drink (Functions as the opposite of Purify Food and Drink)
4/Day: Summon Swarm (Spiders)

Statistics
Str 29, Dex 16, Con 23, Int 18, Wis 19, Cha 20
Base Attack: +14
CMB: +24
CMD: 37

Feats
Cleave, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still

Skills
Bluff +19, Diplomacy +14, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (planes) +18, Perception +20, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +6, Survival +20

Languages
Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Infernal
Telepathy 100 ft.

Ecology
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Treasure: Standard

Hunger's Presence: Those who come within 15 feet of the Ugolino must make a Fortitude save (DC 20) each round they are within range. Each failed save results in the character's body to suddenly lose the nutrition they have consumed that day, resulting in them beginning the starve. Each failed save is treated as if the character hadn't eaten for a day. (Ex: 3 failed save would be treated as if they haven't eaten for 3 days.). Given more than a day, a character begins to starve, resulting in varying penalties as per the rules system. A character can easily starve to death standing too close to the Ugolino. For every individual within 15 feet who is suffering from starvation, the Ugolino benefits from a +1 to all saves, to-hit, and damage rolls.

Safety in Solitude: An aura of paranoia surrounds the Ugolino, effecting those who come too near. When a character first comes within 30 feet of the Ugolino, they must make a Will save (DC 17). A failed save results in them distrusting anyone who comes too near. An effected character must either attack anyone who comes within melee range, or flee to beyond melee range. No matter their past relationships, the character will always see ulterior motives in an individual's proximity, and will not willingly come into contact with another unless it is to attack them. This effect lasts for 10 minutes, after which the individual may attempt a new save with the same duration and results for another failed save. Individuals who succeed at making their save are immune to this effect for 24 hours.

Feast of Famine: Once every 1D4 round the Ugolino can expel a cone of fly carcasses, bile, dried entrails, and chipped teeth in a 45 foot cone. Those caught in the cloud take 10D6 (½ Slashing, ½ Acid), and may make a Reflex (DC 17) save for ½ damage. Anyone caught in the cone must also make a Fortitude (DC 20) save or take 1D3 points of ability damage from their Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution as their bodies begin to wither. These lost points return at a rate of 1 per day of rest. 

The original concept I had for the Ugolino. Pictures Mangled By: Me