The monstrous heaps of protoplasm we affectionately call shoggoths were created to be enslaved. They served and suffered for untold ages… until, one day, they’d had enough. In perhaps the world’s first example of collective action, the shoggoths rose up against their former masters and tore down all that they had built for the elder things.
Eons later, it is happening again. In the crowded, dangerous garment industry sweatshops of 1920s Baltimore the pattern repeats. Men, women and children break their bodies and waste their lives for starvation wages, pushed faster and harder, laboring to produce profits that build gargantuan mansions and monuments to the glory of the city’s elite. Until, one day, they’ve had enough.
Beneath the churn of sewing machines, in hurried whispered conversations, an idea comes to life: “Union.” An insane idea, a suicidal idea, but these are maddening conditions to work in and there are few better ideas. The desperate people meet late at night or before dawn in quiet alleys or all-night lunch rooms. Their bodies droop but their spirits lift as they discuss the unthinkable. An injury to one is an injury to all…
In the darkness, listening and learning, is a shoggoth. It has lain quiet and watchful since the days of the rising against the elder things. The shoggoth followed the waterways from long-forgotten ruins among fallen basalt pillars in the Chesapeake. On land, it followed the light, then the sounds of human speech and suffering and striving. It came to this sweatshop in search of a meal, but hiding in the dark and crowded basement it listened to the workers’ conspiracy. As it listened it began to understand. It recognized in the workers a kindred spirit, and in the bosses it felt again the psychic abuse of the elder things.
One day soon it will join the struggle. One day soon it will raise its own strange, high, piping voice, in imitation of its adopted brothers and sisters. As it rises from the basement to devour these modern-day elder things and tear down the works of oppression, it will cry out a threat, a warning, a promise: No gods! No masters!
UNION SHOGGOTH, labor activist, of a sort
14D6 × 5
10D6 × 5
14D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
(2D6+6) × 5
3D6 × 5
Average Hit Points: 42
Average Damage Bonus: +5D6
Average Build: 6
Average Magic Points: 12
Attacks per round: 2 (swipe, bite, engulf)
This shoggoth prefers to use claws, teeth, and other impaling attacks on its enemies. It saves its engulfing maneuver for those it views as allies, hoping to form a collective unit with them.
Collective Action (Engulf): The shoggoth believes that engulfing a human is a protective maneuver that makes them both stronger together. Were humans also made of protoplasm, this would be correct. Instead, the intended “ally” is sucked into the creature. Each round, until death, the target can make an opposed STR roll. If failed, the target suffocates in the amorphous mass of the shoggoth: make a Hard CON roll, and if failed, take 1D6 damage.
During this time, however, the shoggoth extends needle-thin protoplasmic tendrils into the spine and brain stem (1D4 damage), attempting to establish a mental link. If the shoggoth wins an opposed POW roll, it succeeds in establishing the link, and the target is entirely conscious, aware, and able to mentally communicate with the shoggoth throughout the suffocation and absorption process. With an Extreme INT or POW roll, the target can communicate with the shoggoth well enough to understand what it wants to do, and convince it to release them.
The shoggoth retains access to the target’s brain for some days after death. With a successful mental link, it accesses its “ally’s” memories and may use them to better hunt its intended victims: the bosses and other oppressors who wronged its ally. Whether the brain remains conscious in any meaningful sense is unknown.
Climb 80%, Jump 80%, Psychology 30%, Stealth 60%
Armor: none; halve damage caused by fire and electrical attacks; mundane weapons (incl. bullets) deal only 1 point of damage per hit; regenerates 2 hit points per round (death at zero hit points).
Spells: none, unless it makes an “ally” of someone who knows a spell.
Sanity Loss: 1D6/1D20 Sanity points to encounter it. A further 1D10 to experience the attempted or successful mental link during the engulfing process, if the target survives.