Wednesday, March 4, 2015

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Arborghast

NOTE: Two years ago, I posted a few creatures and NPCs for Mutant Future based on that most-metal of cartoon barbarians: Korgoth of Barbaria! But unlike that one-off cartoon pilot, we're not through yet! Let's get "Korgothursday" rolling again with today's new entry...

No. Enc.: 0 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
Damage: 2d6/2d6/2d8
Save: L5
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: X

One of the most vicious forms of plantlife in the world of Korgoth the Barbarian is the deadly Arborghast. When first encountered in a swampy or marshy area, the creature appears to be a typical leafless tree standing within the shallow brackish water; its root system appears exposed due to erosion. When approached, numerous leering yellow eyes suddenly open on its branches while a large gaping mouth opens vertically upon its trunk. The Arborghast then uses its clawed hand-like limbs to grab a victim to draw him toward its mouth in order to feed.

The Arborghast's claws can rake at its prey for 2d6 hit points of damage. If it manages to bite a victim, its crushing jaws will do 2d8 hit points of damage. If a natural 20 is rolled on a bite attack, the victim is swallowed whole by the creature. The Arborghast can rise up on its roots and scamper after its prey, using the roots as a form of tendril-movement. Scattered around in the water around the creature will be bits of treasure and valuables dropped by its former victims.

After feeding, the Arborghast drops into a 72-hour trance-like stupor while it digests its prey. The creature will be inactive and immobile during this time. Nefarious bandits and brigands will sometimes use the Arborghast as a trap, "baiting" the monster by hanging a valuable item from its branches or tying a "helpless victim" to its trunk (away from the hidden mouth). When the unwary approach the tree to investigate, the Arborghast will lash out and attack.

Mutations: free movement, full senses, prehensile tendrils, carnivore

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the post-apocalyptic, sword-and-sorcery cartoon "Korgoth of Barbaria." Let's see how much material a 22-minute pilot can provide us! Stay tuned for future installments of Korgothursday!

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