Issue #5: Evlyn's Eldritch Horrors
Featuring eldritch monster art by Evlyn Moreau
This issue is dedicated to my friend Evlyn Moreau, who happens to be a wonderful artist and an incredible person. The art featured here is from her Patreon, where for a $1 a month you gain access to a large archive of images you can use in your publications as stock art. I’ve gotten permission from Evlyn to publish these images under the terms of the Creative Comrades License, meaning you can reuse the art in this newsletter in your own commercial and non-commercial projects, as long as you attribute Evlyn Moreau as the artist.
Remember that the CCL also applies to the writing, so feel free to reuse and hack apart the writing for your own projects also.
A Brief Note Before We Begin
Part of what I want to be doing with this newsletter is sharing ideas I have for game settings and other gaming content: Monsters, locations, unique and interesting characters, scenarios to run, and whole worlds to explore.
But another part of what I want to do is be able to feature interesting artists on a regular basis. I had planned this week to share some bits of information about a game world I’m developing, or at least a feature of the game world, known as the “Bazaaryntium” — a merchant empire that’s existed for 3,000 years.
But then I received this email from Evlyn featuring four interesting eldritch creatures, and I decided I wanted to share those instead. I could name them and write up stats, but I’ll be honest I’m not really good at writing down stats for monsters, I tend to pull things together last minute when I’m running encounters, drawing from decades of having read monster entries to decide what features and special abilities they possess, their hit points, etc.
That’s a lengthy way of me saying I have a fear of committing anything to paper about a creature because, well, my imposter syndrome reminds me it’s not going to be good enough. There are people who do this sort of thing for a living and are very good at what they do. I just run games for the shared amusement of myself and my friends, so I don’t take my monster design process too seriously, if that makes sense.
But anyway, I wanted to do something different with these four pieces of art by Evlyn…different for me, anyway.
I’m going to present them as godlike horrors to insert in your world.
But I encourage you to look over the art and do something different with it. Stat them up as regular monsters, and email me what you come up with (email@example.com). Or comment on this newsletter and share your thoughts, or in my Facebook group, Chris Mennell Presents: Tabletop Roleplaying (TTRPG) Ideas and Art.
They Came From Beyond…
First of our eldritch god-things is Zynog, a massive, six-legged behemoth that rises above tree tops. Visible only in moonlight and magical light, this horror is highly intelligent, and invades sentient minds with unseen psionic force, impregnating them with delusions and sewing chaos between friends and family. It feeds off the negative energy it can manifest between two or more people, and prefers to settle near a thriving community to create as much disruption as possible. Soon dark thoughts turn to jealousy, murder, and much worse.
Stopping the Zynog can be difficult as they are entirely invisible in daylight, and can transmit their thoughts up to half a mile away from their position. They have a tendency to draw closer to a community the more chaos they are able to produce, blinded by their own hubris and delight at how much trouble they cause between lesser beings.
Physical attacks do relatively little damage to Zynog, whose legs are like tree trunks. The godlike entity also has magic resistance, although this wanes in moonlight, making this horror more vulnerable at night time on a clear night.
Children of Geth are a form of eldritch horror/servant of a long dead and forgotten horror known as Geth, an insectoid-like abomination that ruled over the Zurg Mountains in an age of total darkness. It’s children are former humanoids who were corrupted by a secretion of Geth that turned them into chitinous covered zombies in servitude to Geth’s various needs. Children of Geth share a hive mind and continue to carry out various tasks left over from eons ago, including gathering sacrifices which they affix to walls with a chemical they spray from their eyes. Sadly Geth has not returned for these sacrifices so the chamber walls are covered in layers and layers of skeletal remains fused to the rocky structure of Geth’s ancient, mountainous palace.
Children of Geth are naturally armored and immortal; they are not undead and cannot be turned as such. They can spray their concrete-like solution up to 20’ distance. As beings leftover from the Age of Total Darkness, they are weakened by bright light and try to withdraw quickly from illuminated areas.
Srillthax are ocean and coastal dwelling lizard-coral abominations who make serene music with coral-grown instruments, which they use to lure victims to the shore, who they then attack and attempt to drag under the water into the deep current with them. Their beguiling music charms anyone within 200’ of their location, causing anyone who hears the melody to approach the coast. Those under the spell of the music do not resist as they Srillthax assault them, bludgeon them and drag them under the ocean waves. Srillthax are themselves relatively weak without their charm effect, and will hide and cower whenever they are themselves attacked.
Srillthax await the coming of Bubonthorex, a powerful eldritch horror locked in another dimension. If they can feed enough victims to the ocean, Bubonthorex will appear and flood the world.
Bubonthorex is a spider-like insectoid horror from the deep ocean. It dominates the will of the srillthax, demanding it be fed sacrifices to sustain its power and presence in this domain. Bubonthorex can control water and creates massive columns that act as water elementals to attack anyone nearby. It can reach its tentacle-like legs great distances from its body, pulling victims into its maw with ease. It is immune to attacks by normal weapons and psionic attacks. Bubonthorex, if on land, can summon water, enough to flood whole towns or cities. It hates harmonic frequencies and despises the coral instruments of the srillthax, which can be used to trap Bubonthorex in the other dimension again.
More to come?
Well that’s all I can think of to share this time around, I hope you enjoyed these little seeds. Next week I hope to explore the Bazaaryntium I mentioned, but I don’t want to make any promises or commitments to what I’ll write next, because sometimes, like this post dedicated to Evlyn Moreau, some other idea will catch my fancy and I’ll share that instead.
I would love to hear from you though if you’re finding these newsletters beneficial. I appreciate people reading them of course but getting feedback really helps me know if I should be focusing on a certain kind of writing to offer, be it random tables, more monsters, or more mini adventures. Let me know in the comments or again email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much and see you next week!