Friday, April 4, 2014

White Beast (Red Bestiary)

"We perceived something white lying on the ground, but could not immediately make out what it was. At length we saw that it was the carcass of the strange animal with the scarlet teeth and claws which the schooner had picked up at sea on the eighteenth of January. Captain Guy had had the body preserved for the purpose of stuffing the skin and taking it to England. I remember he had given some directions about it just before our making the island, and it had been brought into the cabin and stowed away in one of the lockers. It had now been thrown on shore by the explosion; but why it had occasioned so much concern among the savages was more than we could comprehend. Although they crowded around the carcass at a little distance, none of them seemed willing to approach it closely. By-and-by the men with the stakes drove them in a circle around it, and, no sooner was this arrangement completed, than the whole of the vast assemblage rushed into the interior of the island, with loud screams of Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, by Edgar Allen Poe

White Beast
No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 6+
Attacks: 2 or 1
Damage: 1d6/1d6 (Claws) or 2d4 (Bite)
Save: F6
Morale: 11

Special: White Beasts Move Silently (75%), and Hide (80%) within arctic or boreal environments, irrespective of shadows. They also gain a +2 bonus to hit if they manage to attack with surprise. They are consummate ambushers. They are also highly resistant, if not immune to most poisons.

Red in tooth and claw, the great white beasts roam far and wide across the frozen wastes surrounding the polar regions of many worlds that are officially listed as 'dead.' These creatures endure tremendous hardship, persist in the face of incredibly daunting prospects, and abide within the barren wilderness. Predators and scavengers, they present a formidable challenge to any who would attempt to cross over into their fiercely defended territories and hunting grounds. They feed upon fish, crabs and other sea life, as well as anything they can run down and kill on the ice such as various types of penguins and/or adventurers wandering about lost after blizzards and the like. Confirmed man-eaters, these things appear to prefer man-flesh to any other sort of meat and will go to incredible lengths to get past any and all defensive measures to dine upon human flesh.

These beasts appear to have survived upon worlds devastated and depopulated by the Purple Clouds. Some scholars believe that the White Beasts may be somehow immune or resistant to the toxins produced by the Purple Clouds, making them invaluable as subjects for study and evaluation by means of dissection and so forth. Of course no one takes seriously the crack-pot theories and half-baked claims that these things are in any way related to the Gnoph-Beasts, any more than they are some kind of aberrant ursine or degenerate 'polar ape' such as the Nickel Dreadfuls do so love to go on and on about despite any definitive proof or evidence of their existence. The samples taken from carcasses brought back by the Parzguin Expedition into the brightest heart of the Glowfield were supposed to have conclusively proven that these beasts are indeed a unique species unto themselves, but most of their samples were lost in a fire that gutted their laboratory and warehouse, so the question remains open and myriad unproven theories abound.

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