Apr
12
2017
1

Creature seed: the Screaming Death Killbot 6000.

Blame this.  Because I sure do.

Screaming Death Killbot 6000 – Google Docs

 

Screaming Death Killbot 6000

 

It’s three feet tall, made of mirror-smooth and polished flexible steel that somehow never shows any sort of seam or joint.  It has a roughly humanoid face, with two alarmingly large glowing eyes and a LCD ‘mouth’ that flashes when it ‘laughs,’ which the Screaming Death Killbot 6000 does often — typically when it’s killing its prey.  The hands and feet all end in alarming-looking blades that shock, stab, serrate at high speed, or otherwise inflict prodigious amounts of blood and pain.  And it talks just the way, while using just the dementedly-cheerful child’s voice, that you’d expect from something called the ‘Screaming Death Killbot 6000.’

(more…)

Apr
10
2017
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Creature Seed: Blobees.

Blobees – Google Docs

 

Blobees

 

Yup. They’re little flying blobs with gooey wings that pollinate plants.  They’re about the size of a bumblebee, move about as quickly as a bumblebee, and live in what’s sort of a hive.  Crack a Blobee ‘hive’ open, though, and you get a lot of undifferentiated protoplasm and a bunch of something that kind of tastes like honey (good luck figuring out a hive’s lifespan, assuming that the question even makes any kind of sense.). Where Blobees also differ from regular bees is that, since they’re pretty much flying droplets of goo, they can get through screen doors and windows without very much trouble.

(more…)

Apr
05
2017
--

Creature seed: Torquigener albomaculosus occultarum.

Torquigener albomaculosus occultarum – Google Docs

Torquigener albomaculosus occultarum

 

This particular fish was first ‘discovered’ in 2013,  off of the coast of Japan. Sort of.  In boring, mundane terms it’s a species of pufferfish whose males attract mates by drawing remarkably symmetrical and elaborate patterns in the sand.  Torquigener albomaculosus occultarum will even decorate the pattern with pieces of shell and seafloor debris; it is presumed that all of this is due to the usual blind, aimless iterations of the evolutionary process.

(more…)

Mar
29
2017
--

Creature Seed: Testudops.

Blame this.  Particularly if you are a researcher from the 23rd Century AD wondering which fool gave those bioengineers the original horrible idea.  Sorry, Future Dudes, I just write roleplaying game material.

Testudops – Google Docs

Testudops

There have been many bioengeered, transgenetic Monstrosities of Science banned by the Seventh Geneva Convention of 2095: but Testudops are perhaps unique in the fact that the driving impetus to get them banned so quickly was because the concept was in such bad taste. Oh, they would have been banned anyway.  But this particular Monstrosity gof fast-tracked. (more…)

Mar
27
2017
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Creature Seed: Origami Rhinos.

Origami Rhinos – Google Docs

 

Origami Rhinos

 

Origami Rhinos are not called that because they’re made of paper: it’s because they can fold space around themselves to the point where one can fit into a standard school locker. The visible effect is that the Origami Rhino becomes distortedly compressed in width.  The species also does something funky (to use the technical term) with their mass and weight while in this state; they seem to have some control over both.  Needless to say, these traits are all decidedly psionic in nature.  Origami Rhinos are a blaze of white ‘light’ to anybody with any psionic detection ability at all, including the untrained and those with merely latent powers.  This species is not subtle, even for one that is after all a variant of mundane rhinoceroses.

 

So, why was this particular species touched by the Power of the Atom?  The earliest reports suggested “To get away from poachers.”  Then the reports became “To hunt down poachers.”  Now it’s apparently “To establish mostly no-go areas for humans in Central and Southern Africa.” They’re not taking over entire countries or even provinces, but there’s more than one town that’s been fairly ruthlessly encouraged to move out and let the Origami Rhinos have the territory.

(more…)

Mar
16
2017
1

Creature Seed: Dwarfrest Cats.

Dwarfrest Cats – Google Docs

 

Dwarfrest Cats

 

This attractive breed of domestic cat, despite the name, has spread quite a ways from the Dwarven retirement community of Dwarfrest County (old Dwarves typically have respiratory and bone issues that make aboveground river valleys with good sunlight attractive to them). Dwarfrest Cats can be distinguished by their short tails, narrower bodies, and oversized ears; their fur is rich and thick, with colors ranging from dark grey to black. Their whiskers, while not truly retractable, are arranged in a way that they can be slightly extended at need.  Both the sight and the hearing of a Dwarfrest Cat is phenomenal.

(more…)

Mar
07
2017
1

Creature seed: Bloodworld Vampires.

This concept intrigues me.

Bloodworld Vampires – Google Docs

Bloodworld Vampires

 

The ‘Bloodworld’ being, of course, ours.  The vampires are only somewhat from this planet: the rest of them comes from the dark, cold, and dry depths of space.  Bloodworld Vampires are a terrifying combination of infectious agent, spy, and harvester.  But they’re not here to invade, any more than the farmer invades his orchard.

(more…)

Mar
05
2017
5

Creature seed: Free-Range Emotion Squid.

I swear, I just said the first thing that popped into my head and saw where it went.

Free-Range Emotion Squid – Google Docs

Free-Range Emotion Squid

 

Well, technically that should be the Free-Range Emotion Octopus, but the current long-term Uplift projections suggest that the first truly sentient neo-Octopi will start being produced in no more than ten years.  So, basically, best to avoid a potential marketing issue before it even starts, right?  Best practices, and all that.

(more…)

Mar
01
2017
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Creature/Item Seed: Gunpowder Wasps.

Gunpowder Wasps – Google Docs

Gunpowder Wasps

Never allow the sophonts at the Galactic Uplift Bureau’s Surreptitious Assistance Department too much free time.  Or access to trashy Old Earth vidshows, apparently.  GUB-SAD operatives can get themselves into all sorts of trouble that way.

The basic problem is this: most oxygen-nitrogen water worlds in the Milky Way galaxy have roughly similar biospheres, and that’s not even remotely accidental.  A standard biological package of photosynthetic bacteria was apparently introduced to every planet that looked like it could support it (don’t ask anybody in the various Galactic governments who, or Who, did that). So, you can introduce new species into a particular planetary mix.  If you have that sort of mind.

(more…)

Feb
21
2017
--

Creature Seed: Hyper-Mega-Goanna.

Hyper-Mega-Goanna – Google Docs

Hyper-Mega-Goanna (HMG)

 

Well, goannas were merely mildly venomous Australian monitor lizards, about man-length in size; which is to say, no more or less unusual than any other animal native to Australia.  But then there was an almighty electrical discharge in the skies above Australasia; the first reports of somewhat altered goannas appeared shortly thereafter. The current generation of Hyper-Mega-Goannas (blame the tabloids) all have a length of about 15 feet, and it’s not entirely clear that the HMGs have stopped growing as a species.

(more…)

Feb
12
2017
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Creature Seed: Arcturian Jewel-Mites.

Blame this.

Arcturian Jewel-Mites – Google Docs

Arcturian Jewel-Mites

 

Humanity first came across these gorgeous, horrible pests during the First Glimmer Expedition.  Glimmer is an extremely pretty, but only barely human-habitable planet orbiting the red giant star Arcturus, and creatures like the Jewel-Mites are a large reason why the place is only barely habitable.  Simply put: Jewel-Mites eat gemstone.  One particular type — the kind that’s most hardy offplanet — eats diamond.

(more…)

Feb
10
2017
1

Creature seed: Skullcrabs.

Blame this.

Skullcrabs – Google Docs

Skullcrabs

 

These creatures are why most civilized realms frown on the gratuitous use of zombification as a means of powering galleys.  It admittedly seemed logical enough at the time: undead rowers don’t tire, don’t need food or water, don’t try to revolt at inconvenient times like the middle of a sea battle, and don’t really ‘die.’ They just break, and when one does that you can just toss it over the side.

 

And that was the problem. The combination of sea water, undead flesh, and the peculiar metabolism of certain crustaceans has created the Skullcrab: it superficially resembles a allarming-looking purple-black hermit crab that uses a skull for a shell, but it’s actually a lot nastier than that.  Basically, Skullcrabs are unholy (in the academic sense of the term) hybrid creatures that have a continuous hunger for meat and the inherent intelligence of baboons. Individual Skullcrabs can be nasty surprises for a human, although not usually fatal ones; but when you get about a hundred of the things in one place, it can be bad.  They’re organized enough to operate via pack tactics, smart enough to swarm sentries first, and know enough about technology to cut ropes and wreck equipment.

 

As for a Skullcrab’s lifespan… it’s unknown, but it’s at least a few decades. Or possibly centuries. When they run out of food a Skullcrab will simply go dormant; they certainly can’t be starved to death.  Indeed, the only really reliable way to put down a Skullcrab is to, well, crush the skull.

 

Fortunately, they absolutely cannot reproduce on their own. To make new Skullcrabs you need to take a reanimated corpse that’s been submerged in seawater after being surrounded by organized death and destruction, then feed the corpse to a hermit crab.  Said crab will eventually take over the skull as its new shell, thus completing the Skullcrab transformation process.  And that process will not happen en masse if people remember to not use zombies as galley rowers.

 

Also:  do not eat Skullcrabs.  That one’s just on basic principles, though. Eating revenant flesh never ends well.

 

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