Monday, October 29, 2012

[Monstrous Monday] Savage Menagerie: Pangaea

Every Monday in October I've posted a Mutated Monday mutant for your Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord/Original Fantasy RPG campaigns. Each week, the creatures got bigger and bigger, leading up to today's final entry. As this is the OFFICIAL Monstrous Monday, I thought I'd introduce the largest creature to ever roam my RPG campaigns. You want "monstrous"? Here you go...

No. Enc.: 1 (Unique)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Special
Armor Class: -6
Hit Dice: 800 hit points (treat as 21+ HD creature)
Attacks: 1 (swallow)
Damage: 8d8 per round
Save: L20
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

In the post-apocalyptic future, there is an island paradise, one miles off the coast of the mainland that is seemingly untouched by the ravages of the radiations and poisons that have ruined the rest of the planet. This island is called "Pangaea" by the primitive natives who live there. The island -- about 12 square miles in size -- hosts an abundance of flora and fauna which sustains the small civilization that flourishes there. For many generations, the Pangaean people have lived peacefully on this isolated island, never making contact with the survivors roaming the rest of the planet. It is almost as if they have managed to avoid the ravages of the blasted planet's atmosphere, as well as the evils of the world's remaining inhabitants. In a way, they have. The "island" has been actively avoiding such things for millenia.

What the Pangaeans don't know is that their island paradise has formed on the back of the largest creature to roam the oceans -- a gigantic turtle-like monstrosity. This creature (which we'll call "Pangaea" here) is 3 miles wide by 4 miles long. Over untold thousands of years, Pangaea (which is incredibly long-lived) has floated on the surface of the oceans. Its shell has been covered with soil and silt, allowing a flourishing ecosystem to develop. Birds and animals that found themselves on the "island" roosted and build homes. Eventually, mankind found Pangaea, establishing a small community as well. Because Pangaea is fairly inactive, its true nature has never been discovered.

Pangaea's head and legs have remained below the surface of the seas for hundreds of years, which has hidden its true form. Unlike a normal turtle, Pangaea is a water breather, so it does not need to surface for air. Also, the creature's has a very slow-running and efficient metabolism  and feeds only once every 10 years or so, eating ocean-dwelling fish and sealife under the surface. The creature's also inactive to a degree, preferring to float on the surface rather than moving of its own accord. Because of this, it's not unusual for the "island" to drift slowly from one location to another. The Pangaeans have come to accept the fact that their island is not truly anchored to the ocean floor, but they have never thought to investigate why this is so. The few visitors who have stopped on the shores of the island may be surprised to find the island gone when they return a year later.

Due to the sheer size of Pangaea, it cannot be easily harmed with conventional weapons. (It'd be like stabbing Rhode Island and expecting it to bleed.) The build-up of topsoil on Pangaea's back is 30 feet deep at its most shallow. Beyond that is the creature's tortoise-like shell. It would take a tach-nuke to get its attention in this way. If a determined mutant were to somehow go underwater and approach the creature from the front, he would encounter a leviathan tortoise head about 300 feet wide. Although this is the "weakest" part of Pangaea, it is also the most dangerous. If the creature does open its mouth, it has begun to feed. The sudden intake of water rushes every living thing into its mouth. Any unfortunate mutant will be immediately swallowed, taking 8d8 hit points of damage per round until he dies in the creature's stomach.

If Pangaea is ever seriously injured, or if the creature is irritated by too much activity on its back (say from an invading force or a population growing out of control), it will decide to "wash off" the infestation, diving to the floor of the ocean where it will lurk for 500 years before resurfacing again. It has done this once before, when it was known by the name "Atlantis."

Mutations: gigantism (to an insane degree), water breathing, natural armor


  1. That is a true monster! Wow. I used giant-turtles as islands myself, but this guy is fantastic.

    Thanks so much for your monster and for participating.

    AND thanks so much for all the cross promotion you have done with Mutated Monday as well! I am quiet certain I got more than a few participants because they saw it here on your site first.

  2. This is great. You could build a whole series of adventures around this creature...

  3. That's seriously cool. The island itself is a monster - wow. Awesome monster pick.

  4. The Atlantis link is clever too. I wonder how many could be out there, maybe even drawn up resting in shallows for long periods? It also hints at the idea it could be turtle-like monstrosities all the way down, and the more existential idea that some building blocks could be just too big to recognise.

  5. Love this and the clever take on the fate of Atlantis.

  6. What an clever creature mimicking islands. Nice choice.

  7. Awesome Pangaea and Atlantis, such a unique take! Underwater it's survived the apocalypse.

    Love this one!