Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creature Feature 5: The False Moon

The False Moon is a rare type of giant arachnid, of the "Harvestmen" or "Daddy Longlegs" family. It’s also a chameleon: Its tremendously long legs and the smaller portions of the body shift tone to blend in with the night sky, while its most prominent feature - the great round orb of its rear thorax - is an almost perfect mimic of the moon, distorted to show the proper face to all directions. It’s bio luminescent and can even cast “shadows” over itself, or darken portions out to achieve the proper phase.

The False Moon primarily dines on stray wolves and other nocturnal creatures that are easily confused by it, but it will also stalk travellers moving after dark. It tries to wait for overcast nights when its competition is hidden, then attempts to mislead prey by making it appear they’re going in a different direction than they thought. It will repeat this behavior for nights, and eventually show itself even when the real moon is present, all in an effort to wear its food down.

When a False Moon has tired of playing with its food, it will approach (the vision of the moon getting steadily bigger is disconcerting enough). Once close enough, it has enough reserves of what is dubbed “Lunar Venom” to spray the contact poison once. If the victim cannot resist the moderately strong drug, they will lose all willpower and become completely open to suggestions from the soft, whirring “voice” of the False Moon. This is usually a way to make prey hold still as they are eaten, but it can be used to make a party member turn on friends, in a sluggish zombie-like manner.

Another tactic of the False Moon is to stoop down, pick prey up with its mandibles, and stand at full leg extension - roughly 70 feet. It then releases the victim and watches them plummet.

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