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Bestiary Submit your favorite original creatures for others to use in their own Traveller campaigns.

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Old October 5th, 2018, 10:31 AM
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Whipsnade Whipsnade is offline
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Default Pelican Eel video

Need some new creepy crawlie critter with which to bedevil your players? Something that will make them shiver and cause their trigger fingers to twitch? Well, your need has been fulfilled.

Behold the Pelican Eel.

The video clip is hosted at the AAAS' Science magazine's website and is ~90 seconds long. While you boggle over the eel's "inflatable" head, don't overlook how long it's jaw is in comparison to it's body. This freaky thing is little more than a free swimming mouth.

My first thought was the classic and often reused Ship in the Lake adventure. Then I thought bigger. Much much much bigger.

What if this pelican eel had "relatives" living in a gas giant's atmosphere?
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Last edited by Whipsnade; October 5th, 2018 at 11:28 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old October 12th, 2018, 10:28 PM
sabredog sabredog is offline
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My Damnthing was inspired by the Gulper Eel.



The Damnthing

The Damnthing lives on (MTU) in the vast seas of Nikolas (B789688-11) and is a large ambush predator, often approaching lengths of 7 meters. The animal is a solitary coastal fish that cruises under the rocky coastal shelving waiting for prey above it to be silhouetted against the light of the surface. Then it darts out of its lair and up at the prey item.

To kill it slashes at the underside of the prey with a whip that has razor sharp crests of bone running along the last 20cm of the 4meter tail. The damnthing then waits till the prey weakens or dies before moving in to eat it. Damnthings have dislocating jaws and large sharp, rasping teeth on a prehensile tongue. This is used to quickly gouge out massive chunks of meat out of the prey as fast as possible before other predators (incl. damnthings) come to contest the food supply or territory. A damnthing will defend itself with either the tail or tongue depending on the range to the threat. But when hunting it will only strike with the whip.

Damnthings are highly territorial in the coral forests of the rocky coast of Nikolas’ equatorial zone, and one will control an area of several square kilometers of coastline. A damnthing will live its entire life in the same territory, only venturing out to make quick frantic dashes out in search of a mate, or prey if poaching along the edge of another’s territory. They are hermaphroditic and bear live young. The young are capable of fleeing for their lives from the hungry parent within seconds of being born. Typically a damnthing will have up to 10 young at once, once a year. After mating the sperm can be stored and provide fertilization of 3 -4 batches of ova.

Damnthings are slender and eel-like in shape and contour, flaring to a flat broad head that looks snake-like. The head has 2 sets of paired eyes; one set is highly developed and situated on either side of the head. These distinguish color, shape, depth perception, and all the usual things eyes do. They are small for an animal this size, and fairly short range – the animal can only really see clearly out to approx. 10 meters even in the crystal clear shallow waters they live in. The other set are directly on top of the head and are simple eyes capable only of light and shadow detection. These are the ones which spot the prey on the surface as the animal sticks its head out of its hole.

The hide is iridescent blues and greens, with a bright splash of florescence around the gills and along the jaw line. The three pairs of fins set bilaterally along the body are orange to bright red. Damnthings can mate about once every 3-4 months. When ready to mate the damnthings display a spectacular fluorescence and color pattern that runs all along its body. Biologists believe this helps the animal find the scarce mates along the coasts, and by displaying its readiness to mate avoids an attack by another damnthing protecting its territory. During the mating season it is popular among the tourists to take out glass-bottomed boats as the sun sets to watch one damnthing after another.

Sport fishing of the damnthing is done by divers using themselves as “lures” to tempt the animal out of its hole and then spear it with HE tipped bolts. The divers equip their suits with various color bands, vibrators, frills, and reflective bits to attract the interest of the near-sighted animal. The suits are named after the lure style, i.e., “Wurgling Bugle Worm”, or “Humming Nimble Tosser”, and while novices wear armor to protect themselves, professionals often do not – instead relying on experience and reflexes to know when the fish will attack with tail whip or rasp.

Statistics:

Type Weight Hits Armor Wounds & Weapons
Pouncer 700kg 35/15 cloth 18/10 Thrasher / Teeth+2 Speed 2
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