Pishtaco the Ravenous

“The pishtaco is a fantasy figure, a bogeyman….The pishtaco is nearly always a vampirelike white man, who roams the countryside and plunders the fat from Indian bodies…”

—Mary J. Weismantel, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes

One of the strangest vampire species is the pishtaco of Peru, a species of vampire that was introduced by the Spanish missionaries and conquerors as the Spanish Empire started to expand its hold over the Caribbean and parts of North and South America. In Spain, this creature is known as a sacamantecas and its legend is older than that of the pishtaco. These monsters likely made the journey across the Atlantic, into the New World, where they continued their predatory ways in Peru and other South American locations. The pishtaco is so strange as, unlike other vampires, it does not seek blood but instead lives off of body fat.

According to Peruvian, and Spanish, legend, the pishtaco appears as a thin white foreigner. The stories say that the pishtaco uses its teeth, or a handmade tool or machine, to extract the body fat from its victims. They then fry and eat the fat or use it to make candles, oil church bells, or grease machinery. This is a corruption of the truth of the pishtaco, a vampire sub-species with a connection to the Cthulhu Mythos.

These vampires easily blend in with humanity for the first hundred years as they look human. Younger pishtacos typically appear as thin humans, almost starving. After feeding on a victim, see Feeding Methods below, they take on a bloated aspect. While they use the body fat they steal as fuel, it also starts to collect in their bodies as they age. Older pishtacos start to lose the lean and ravenous look to them as they grow fatter and larger from feasting on so many victims. Their bodies store this fat and they slowly start expanding. Pishtacos who have been alive for several centuries become vast, obese monsters who loom over their intended victims. As they grow older, their eyes start to become pointed and their mouths also grow, giving one the impression of a ghastly grin. Despite its rather large size, the pishtaco is stronger and faster than it appears. Many would-be vampire hunters have made the mistake of thinking that the older and fatter pishtacos would be slow due to their size. These hunters never last long and come to quickly regret their decisions.

Feeding Method: The one time a pishtaco, whether young or old, will not be mistaken for a human is when they feed. When feeding, a pishtaco has several strange suckers open on the palm-side of their hand. These suckers line the fingers, similar to an octopus, and each contains a small mouth lined with razor-sharp fangs. The pishtaco places their hand on the victim, piercing the skin. They then start to drain the body fat of their victim, who then exhibits an emaciated appearance as they are drained of their fat. Most pishtacos prefer to kill a victim outright but others like to use larger victims over several attacks, to draw out their meal as long as possible.

Pishtacos typically disguise themselves as members of the community, taking pains to hide their strange habits. This often means only feeding at night or attacking victims who are asleep or otherwise unaware of what is happening to them. Modern-day pishtaco may find themselves drawn to certain communities that contain larger-bodied individuals in an effort to find more victims, examples include fine dining groups, plus-sized dating websites, or health groups. Older pishtacos will interact with their communities as much as possible, but slowly withdraw to spend their immortality on their favorite hobbies or vices. As they get older, many pishtacos become true monsters who enjoy playing with their food before taking what they crave. For an elder pishtaco, this could mean anything from torturing a victim before feeding on them, keeping a human captive and forcibly fattening them to feed on them, or just inviting them to a nice dinner while the pishtaco keeps dropping sly hints about the near-future fate of the victim.

It is not largely known how the pishtaco infection is spread, as only some victims seem to return as a pishtaco. Vampire scholars have noticed that victims who are slowly fed off of, usually over a matter of days, are more likely to become infected and return as pishtacos themselves. Some pishtaco go as far as to behead their victims to avoid them returning as one of their number.

Weaknesses: The pishtaco does not exhibit most weaknesses of the traditional vampire. They are able to walk in sunlight, do not require an invitation to enter a home, and have no strong opinions on garlic. While some fear holy symbols, typically those who had strong religious beliefs in life, the real danger to them is fire. Pishtacos, especially the elders, carry a large amount of body fat and if exposed to fire will immediately go up in flames.

Mythos Connection

Mythos scholars have several theories as to the origin of the pishtaco but one common thread has appeared many times in their research. Several vague references to creatures similar to the pishtaco have appeared in a few Mythos tomes, one of them being the dread Revelations of Glaaki, Vol. 13. As this volume has ties to Y’Golonac, the Defiler, many have pointed to the pishtacos’ growing obesity as well as their method of feeding. As the pishtaco lends itself to decadence and sadism, especially in their later years, it adds yet another connection to Y’Golonac. Mythos investigators have reported finding several idols of Y’Golonac in the lairs of pishtacos that they have encountered. They have also found records alluding to another deity that the pishtacos refer to as the “Sea of Fat,” a sort of creator deity from which they spawn. This has led some scholars to think that these vampires might owe their original creation to Ubbo-Sathla or Abhoth, as both deities are very similar. The most common theory is that Y’Golonac used a piece of one of these two Outer Gods, introducing it to human cultists who were then transformed into the first pishtaco or sacamantecas.

Pishtaco or Sacamantecas, the fat-eating vampire

char.
STR
CON*
SIZ*
DEX
INT
POW

roll
3D6 × 10
(2D6+6) × 5
(3D6+6) × 5
3D6 × 5
(2D6+6) × 5
(2D6+6) × 5

average
105
65
80–85
50–55
65
65

Average Hit Points: 15
Average Damage Bonus: +1D6
Average Build: 2
Average Magic Points: 13
Move: 10

* = Older pishtacos may have an additional D6 in CON; elder pishtaco may have an additional D6 in SIZ per 10 years of age up to SIZ 200. Certain pishtaco may be able to get even bigger.

Combat
Attacks per round: 1
The pishtaco may use a weapon, but can also rely on its superior strength. If attempting to feed, it gains a free Bite after it hits with a successful unarmed fighting attack, as the fanged suckers on its hands open up. However, if it wants to maintain the Bite attack, it must somehow subdue the victim.
Bite: As stated above, the pishtaco gains a free Bite if it uses an unarmed attack against a victim or is able to place its hands on a restrained or willing victim. The Bite does 1 damage as its fanged hand-suckers pierce the skin; the pishtaco then drains 2D10 SIZ from its victim. If it wants to maintain the bite, the victim must be restrained.

Fighting 50% (25/10), damage 1D4 + db + Bite (if Unarmed), or per weapon damage
Bite N/A, damage 1 + 2D10 SIZ drain
Dodge: 25% (12/5)

Skills: Charm 60%, Stealth 70%.

Armor: None; if dropped to zero hit points, the pishtaco can reform itself. The pishtaco takes minimal damage from bludgeoning weapons and double damage from fire.
Spells: None.
Sanity Loss: None for seeing a younger pishtaco; seeing an elder pishtaco is 1/1D6. Those being attacked by one suffer a 0/1D4

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