Halloween Monster Entries 2021
We have six contestants for this year's Halloween monster competition! The winner will see their creation turned into a real mob in game.
The Shattered Storm
The fire was bright and well-fed, its orange glow illuminating the travelers that surrounded it. The barren wasteland around them was quiet save for the distant howl of a lonely coyote and the faint hiss of the wind brushing a few grains of dirt across the tops of the blasted hills. After a moment or two of enjoying the peace of the moment, Ernest decided that it was too quiet and he needed to fill it with some conversation.
“Y'know,” he drawled, “back in the day, there used ta be a town right around here. Just a couple miles or so ta th' south. Never did get th' name of it, I was jes' passin' through and I was fixin' ta make a nuisance of myself in th' process—an' when I saw smoke in th' distance, I figured there'd be a good chance I'd get a shot at some trouble. Thing is, when I got there, all th' windows were already all boarded up. Ain't nobody ta greet me but tumbleweeds an' scorpions.”
James, one of the other travelers, a large, weather-worn man, tilted his head and asked, “Didn't you say you saw smoke rising from the town?”
Ernest flashed him a dangerous grin and leaned forward towards the fire. “That I did. So I reckoned somethin' ain't right, an' I kicked open th' door ta th' saloon. What I saw there woulda made a lesser man toss his lunch right back inta th' dirt." He paused, dramatically, then continued:
“The saloon's patrons, their barkeep, an' even a madam standin' at th' top of the stairs wearin' just enough ta be scandalous, all frozen motionless, an' all with skin made of glass.”
Ariugk, an orge woman from Gamorg, just to the north, raised an eyebrow. “Skin of glass is not frightening. I have seen glass statues before.”
Ernest shook his head. “Skin of glass. But with real flesh inside. I could see their eyeballs floatin' in their sockets. Muscles an' organs on display.”
The travelers recoiled in disgust, but Ernest wasn't done.
“An' it gets worse. As I got closer, I saw their eyes move. They all looked right at me. They were still alive in there, somehow. Even with their faces unable to move, I could tell that they were in agony.”
The wind picked up a little bit, and the fire crackled and dimmed. The turn Ernest's tale had taken settled over the travelers, a heavy cloud of suspense.
“Th' door opened behind me. I whirled around, crossbow drawn,” the mummy pantomimed quick-drawing his crossbow, “an' standin' there was a man with a polearm made of mithril, except instead of a spearpoint it had a huge globe of molten glass on the end. I reckoned this man was th' one responsible.
“'Beautiful, ain't they?' he asked me.
“I said, 'The devil they are,' and shot 'im.”
Ernest paused, still leaning forward, glancing between his companions. James finally said, “It doesn't look like the story is over.”
“That's 'cause it ain't.” The mummy laughed darkly and continued.
“When he fell over, his glass spear thing hit one of th' bar patrons, an' I'll be darned if it didn't explode. Shards of glass flyin' everywhere. I'm lucky I was wearin' leather an' a good hat, otherwise I'da been cut ta ribbons. But even as I tried ta run outta there, I could hear a howlin' behind me like the screamin' of a hunnerd tortured souls. I didn't stop ta look back, but I could hear it—th' rest of th' bar was explodin' inta glass fragments an' viscera too, an' th' wind had picked up.”
As if on cue, the wind picked up yet again, this time violently, and the fire all but went out. Ernest immediately leaped to his feet and pointed at the side of a nearby hill, where it might provide some cover. “There! Get down there! They musta heard us talkin' about 'em!”
The three ran for cover. “They who??” yelled Ariugk as they started digging themselves into the loose, parched earth, barely audible over the sudden maelstrom that whirled around them.
“The Shattered Storm,” shouted Ernest, and then it was upon them.
Roaring by just overhead came a tornado of viscera and razor-sharp fragments of crystal-clear glass. Faintly visible in the twinkling whirlwind were ghostly faces twisted into expressions of rage and torment that appeared and disappeared as the particles shifted. The noise it created was more than physical—multitudinous screams echoed in their heads, a wordless, eternal declaration of war and vengeance. Ernest didn't have to finish the story—the storm's breathless shrieking left images in all their heads of how the souls of those wronged by the glassmaker had risen as one and torn the body of their torturer asunder, shredding his corpse with the shards of their broken prisons.
The Storm's sheer presence was so overwhelming that as it raged at them its battlecry almost seemed to be a call to arms, and for a moment, the twinkling of those glassy fragments beckoned them to join the fray. Ernest and James had to hold Ariugk down, because she reached up to try and heed the call. Her entire hand was flayed open by the whirling glass before they pulled her back.
Mercifully, after what seemed like hours, the storm began to recede into the distance, its howling gradually fading into the night. The fire was a distant memory. Ariugk was staring in shock at her hand as James did his best to wrap it in linen.
Ernest shook his head slowly. “That's why there ain't a town here anymore.”
Gabe The Grumpy Gator
The City of Cenril is not a metropolis without its legends, one of its more strange is the Legend of Gabe The Grumpy Gator. Once there was animal merchant who came from the land of Gualon. From the swamps he had gathered an assortment of potential pets for the wealthy elite of city to purchase, but one such pet did not make it to the city's gates, for its cage fell from the eastern bridge and down below. Cramped in its cage it lurked beneath the bridge feeding upon what animals that dared fall beneath the city's sewer grates. But then as it grew bigger as its jaws snapped harder, the gator grew hungrier, and when children played hard into the night, he would breach the sewer grates, snapping up children and dragging them back down into his lair. He is legend that lurks beneath a tale mothers tell their children about never playing in the city after dark. Lest The Grumpy Gator come and snatch them up. Gabe is a Grumbling for his tummlin.
Crying Infested Corpse
"You know how kids are always trying to scare each other for bits and giggles, aye? The story of the Crying Corpse is something that dates back to when me granddad was a kid, but we didn't give it any real weight until... well, let's call it 'the incident.' Sven, Hind, and Lore know whether what the poor kid said before he passed was true or not, but everyone is staying out of the forest just in case.
The way we always told the story was that if you went into the forest when the blue light of Valaane was at its lowest, you might hear the wails of a grievin' woman. Whether you've got a bleeding heart and want to help her, or try to get away the second you hear it, it don't matter. Once you hear it, yer done for. Even if you come back the way you came, the crying just gets louder and louder until you stumble upon the woman for yourself. Dressed in rags that might have been a dress when she was living, you’ll know right away that this woman ain’t alive anymore. Skin will be sloughing off, crawling with all sorts of bugs and maggots, and the stench will be worse than low-tide at the Gualon swamps. Once she notices you’re there, she’ll screech like a banshee and tear out your entrails, but… Gods, it was supposed to be just a story…”
The Bloody Bunny Beast
Weapon: A gore covered, incredibly sharp axe.
Description: Standing at six foot tall and weighing over four hundred pounds of solid muscle, one should pray that they never come across this being. Clad in a black and white bunny suit that is sprinkled with blood spatter, walking bipedal, and having a face that is of questionable gender, one would think it's easy enough to see it coming from a mile away. However, the beast is well adapted to most environments and its footfalls are eerily silent, aiding it to sneak up on unsuspecting folks that dare to enter any acre of land that is considered 'Bunny' territory. Only a few have survived an encounter with the Bloody Bunny, but still, they are missing a limb or two and don't like to discuss what happened on that fateful night. The flash of a silver axe. The long floppy ears. The crimson coated fluffball tail. The horror! Rumor has it that the only way to walk away unscathed is to offer the beast a carrot or some celery.
The Worm that Walks
"Robert had gotten himself into trouble again," Lenny thought to himself as he prowled the muggy streets of Cenril. Second time this week, too. Hitching his worn coat a little higher around his shoulders, he tries to rummage his memory for the twists and turns of the poorly lit streets he was trudging down. This part of town wasn't his usual stomping grounds, which meant a lot for a place like Cenril. Each part of town had its own personality. And different people that you had to watch out for. And his brother, Robert, was pretty good at finding them. Usually because he was drunk. "Dammit, Bobby, yer makin' Ma worried sick..." The words, uttered mostly to himself, hung in the damp air. Lenny scratched the skin around his neck, readjusting the collar of his coat again. That was also getting as frayed as Lenny's patience for his brother, but like his family ties, he couldn't easily part with it. The thing was damn near as old as he was.
Shuffled feet carry Lenny deeper into the street he was walking. Hopeful eyes cast about, searching for the form of his brother. As that was why he was poking about Cenril at night. His brother had gone missing, again. After questioning some of his ill fortuned brother friends, he'd been able to get a few answers as to the why and where. The why was typical. A night drinking, probably with someone else's money. And the where was a stumbled bar crawl featuring poor judgement. But despite the falls of fortune, Robert mostly only suffered a few nights sleeping under the shadow of an alley and losing all the pocket money he had on him at the time. Oh, and of course, his Ma worrying herself to death. But Robert didn't really want to hear about it, which left it to Lenny to try to fix it all straight. This left both Ma *and* Lenny frazzled. Still, family was family, and he did love his brother. Even if he wanted to shake him silly right now.
A few more minutes of prowling got him close to where Robert's worthless friends had abandoned him. It was an older part of town, built before one of the big population surges the city had experienced before one of multiple wars. That meant a lot of stonework, and a lot of hope. There were even a few ancient street lamps, lit by magic. Some of them even still worked. Why Robert had chosen to stumble into ancient history, Lenny had no real clue. Admiring ancient architecure wasn't really in his brother's wheelhouse, but drunks will be drunks.
If he was to be honest with himself, Lenny didn't have much hope of turning up his brother, especially at time of night it was. But his Ma wouldn't sleep until both brothers were home, and she'd keep wringing her hands and looking out the window as she burned through candles waiting. And that drove him up the wall and he wouldn't be getting any sleep either. So he'd donned his patched coat and set onto the streets looking. And so far he hadn't found much. Couldn't even ask someone on the streets. There weren't many people on the street. And the people that were on them weren't someone you wanted to really talk to. Plus not many people lived in his part of town. And if he was going to keep being honest with himself, he wouldn't either. In the intermitent light of failing magicks, the doorways and arches looked like yawning cavernous mouths, ready to snatch up the unwary. Still, he pushed on.
After about another hour of wandering, poking into small niches and corners, whispering his brother's name, and coming up empty, he spies two figures in the dim light. One was a man wearing a familiar coat as patched as his was, slumped in a sleeping position against a wall, a small bottle in his hand with a small puddle of liquid in it. The other was off minding its own business off on a corner. Having recognized his brother, he mutters to himself, the anger of having to schelp it over the bowls of Cenril to find him mixed with the relief of having accomplished his task. Kneeling down close to his sleeping brother, who wheezed to himself, blissfully unaware to the world. Sitting on his haunches, Lenny could smell the cheap beer from where he was. And something else. Like soil? Had his brother been rolling in the dirt? Was hard to tell in this crummy light.
"Jeeze, Bobby, lookit you. Covered 'n beer 'n piss, not even tryin' to make it home to Ma. You're killin' her, ya know that right? Ya don't even know it. Drinkin', gamblin', keepin' crummy company. Like this." A mittened hand waves at the figure, who'd seemed to have taken a notice and was casually ambling over, "Onea yous friends? I bet you didn't even know 'em before tonight. And look where he's left ya. In a gutter, prolly outta that hard earned cash I made for us so we wouldn't go cold 'n hungry." He sits, looking at his brother for a few moments. Lenny heaves a sigh, wondering what his familial love was getting him, and then stands. A few steps takes him to his brother and he was about to kneel when the sound of shuffling alerts him. The other figure had come closer, but said nothing. Just the sound of foot steps in muck, which Cenril was full of. In a sudden flash of anger, Lenny yanks out ol trusty, a switchblade he kept on him to keep troublemakers second guessing.
"Alright, look pal, yous done enough for tonight, okay? I'm gonna get him home, and I don't want none of the trouble yous two got into tonight. Okay? Hey, pal, can you hear me? Huh?" Ignoring the brandished blade, the figure simply crept closer, but then stopped, swaying drunkenly. The smell of muck was almost overpowering, but he still couldn't get a good look at him. Deciding his night was long enough, he clicked his blade back and tended to his brother as quick as he could. Bending down, he shook Robert to stir him, but there was no response. Frowning, he does it again, harder this time, "Hey, Bobby, come on. We gotta get home to Ma. Bobby? Hey, Bobby!" One more vigorous shake and his brother heaved an enormous sigh, but stirred no further. But disconcertingly, something else did. A few small wriggling things slithered out of Robert's mouth, plopping wetly on the much darned winter coat Ma always made him wear.
Lenny's skin suddenly goes cold. Old instincts flare him and he's left reeling. And now that he was closer, even in the dim light he could see his brother wasn't breathing. But he ws still moving. Or at least his skin was. It was almost...writhing. Horror was beginning to seep in but he was suddenly struck by movement in his proximity vision. Frustration and rage make his hands moves and Ol Trusty comes out again. But instead of brandishing, it was wielded. A lashing strike at the stranger, along with a rage choked sob, "What did you do to my brother, you bastard?! What'd you do to Bobby?!?" The sharpened blade finds deep purchase, cutting across the abdomen. As he does, the smell of soil and rot became overwhelming. But the strike had some effect. The figure reeled backwards, but no more. But on a second examination, it was not as much a reel as it was an...undulation. A man cut like he'd cut him should be holding his guts in, but this guy wasn't. It was reaching for him. A few more inches and a flickering of light brings his adversary into sight.
It was no man, but a writhing mass of...worms. It stood as men did, their multitude held them together. Bits of soil dripped off it every moment it made, and a clear path of soil showed where it had come, step by step. Looking into it was like watching a pot roil, a constant stream of movement and motion. Each small creature glimmery wetly in the dim street light, and its ambulations make its intent clear. Two trunk like limbs are raised and Lenny takes a step back, nearly stumbling on his brothers body and the creature approaches closely. Ol Trusty flashes again and again, finding purchase each time but having no effect, and the limbs wrap around Lenny. His struggles prove to be fruitless, as despite dislodging countless multitudes, the worms kept coming more and more. His fingers drop his blade and his mouth opens to scream. In rage, in horror, in fear, it didn't matter. The moment he opened his mouth, the clammy, writhing mass poured into him. All he could smell was soil and sewer, and then he couldn't breath. And then, darkness.
Time passes on the street, and night turned to dawned, which turned to day. All that remained of the men were the two much patched coats and trousers, pocked with wormholes. Both garments looked as it they'd been there for years, they were so chewed up. Laying beside was the switchblade, caked in dirt, which also sprinkled the area in a curious amount. Most paid no heed to the leavings, as they seemed to be treasures left behind from someone who'd been digging in the trash. And the guard chaulked up the two men's disappearence, given to them by a histerial old woman, as just another case of the city chewing two people up and refusing to spit them out. But the locals, that lived in the nooks and cracks, knew...
Those that died with regrets often took them to the other world with them. Some held grip and returned the haunt the land, and others held sin that dripped into the very soil to cause it to fester within the land itself. Those with particular regret or sin may cause the worms that feast upon the corpse to consume those as well, becoming twisted in the process. That heavy weight festers and broils until the weight can be born no more, causing the worms to unify into a horrid construct of the former living. An unliving colony with only the drive to consume, the abomination walks the world, seeking only more sustenance to continue its existence. Victims of the beast are dried husks, if anything is found at all. Those with any sense avoid freshly turned graves for criminals executed or mass graves after battle, because the Worm that Walks has taken victims and was hungry for more.
In the rural villages of Rynvale folk speak of a malevolent spirit of a woman that roams the country roads at night, encountering lone travellers and tormenting them with her sick games. With her face partially covered by a mask or fan she approaches them, a silvery pair of scissors gleaming in the moonlight.
Snip snip. Snip snip.
“Am I beautiful?” She’ll ask them, her pale eyes daring them to say ‘no’, her sharp blades ready to sink into the chest of those foolish enough to insult her. Those who say ‘yes’ are spared for a moment, only to witness the sight of her horrific face as she lowers her veil. What was once a pretty face has been savaged, the corners of her mouth cut from ear to ear, sticky dark blood oozing down her neck and chest.
“AM I BEAUTIFUL?” She repeats, her eyes turning farel, her fist clenched tightly around the pair of scissors that deep down her victims know she wants to bury directly into their heart. Answering ‘no’ is certain death, the slit-mouthed lady taking this offense personally enough to end their life, but answering ‘yes’ is also a mistake. With a terrifying grin she graces them with her ‘beauty’, cutting the corners of their mouth to match her disfigurement. Some folk say there is a way to avoid this fate, using trickery or vague answers to confuse the spirit long enough to escape. The question is, when you encounter this woman late one night on the country roads will you be able to avoid the sharp end of her dreadful scissors or will you too end up as beautiful as the Slit-mouthed Woman?
Snip snip. Snip snip.
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