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Monster Contest: Vampires

Hello Readers! Last year, we had a lot of fun seeing all the variations on a classic Mythos horror that you came up with for September is for Shoggoths! as well as your original monstrosities during Octobernomicon. We liked it so much, in fact, that we want to do it again, only better. So we reached out to Golden Goblin Press, Sentinel Hill Press, and Stygian Fox Publishing for help.

For the month of February, 2021, we’re looking for your original/variant takes on vampires! Now I know we all know what the Oxford English Dictionary* says about them, but vampires have been around for far longer than the term itself (even if you count a precursor to the term popping up in the Liber Prophetarum (1074). Potsherds from ancient Persia, the Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 1800 BCE), and even the Great Isaiah Scroll (356-100 BCE) and the Tanakh (800-701 BCE) have instances of blood-drinking or flesh-eating demons!

The point I’m trying to make with the above is, don’t feel limited by common beliefs of vampires or Bram Stoker’s modern version…we’re talking the Cthulhu Mythos here, which has fire vampires and star vampires, for example, as well as Lurkers if one want’s a Mythos-variant from folklore.

The Rules

  1. Entries must be 2000 words or less, not including the title or the stat block.
    • Word Count starts after the title and ends before the stat block.
    • Submissions may be for any game system in which the author has permission to write/publish for (Chaosium’s Fan Use Policy, D&D’s SRD, Apocthulhu’s SRD, etc). Voters are encouraged to take the work into consideration, not the system.
  2. You may submit as many monsters as you want.
  3. Your work will be anonymous until after the contest has ended.
  4. To submit an entry:
    • Email submissions to submissions@shoggoth.net.
    • Submissions may be sent as an attachment (doc, txt, etc.) or in the body of the email.
    • Submissions must include:
      • Title of your Work
      • How you’d like to be credited
      • Elevator Pitch (this will be shared on Social Media links back to your work and will also help readers remember what monster is what when it comes time to vote)
  5. The RPG Editor for Shoggoth.net will respond within 1 business day to each sender, acknowledging receipt of their submission and providing the date in February on which the submission will be live on the site.
  6. Submissions will be accepted until February 24, 2021, at noon.
    • Submit early. Submit often. 🙂
  7. Voting:
    • March 1 until March 15, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.
    • We’ll use a Google Poll.
    • Authors may vote for their own submission(s).

Prizes

Each Publisher is offering $20 in “store credit,” either at their DTRPG Publisher Page or at their business’ web store (not including base printing and shipping costs, if a physical copy is desired). The first place prize recipient selects which publisher’s store credit they like, followed by the second place prize winner selecting from the remaining two publishers, and the third place prize winner receiving $20 credit from the remaining publisher.

Good luck everyone! We can’t wait to see you take on “vampires” this month!

*vampire, n.
1. A preternatural being of a malignant nature (in the original and usual form of the belief, a reanimated corpse), supposed to seek nourishment, or do harm, by sucking the blood of sleeping persons; a man or woman abnormally endowed with similar habits.
Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989)

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Wereboar

None of us believed the massive man, when he warned us not to try hunting for the boar. Sure, we heard about the massive feral pig, which locals were calling Porkus Magnus. But we were well armed and had done this many times before. We had a half dozen good dogs too. We’d driven six hours to get here, and weren’t leaving without giving it a go. The man, who lived in a remote homestead a few miles north, told us that if we’d be sorry if we tired, and someone might get hurt. The dogs hated him, barking wildly at him, but he just sighed calmly as he delivered his warning. We all had a good laugh after he left, but no one is laughing now.  

Wereboar, by Brad Hicks
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Autotroph Shoggoths

Alternate names: Producers, Elder Thing Food, Chemotroph Shoggoths, Pando II/Pando Jr (one specific entity)

Some shoggoths, whether by design or evolution, developed as autotrophs—organisms that produce their own food source using a combination light, water, and/or other chemicals. While the most common autotrophs people are familiar with are plants, which create their food source via photosynthesis, most autotrophic shoggoths rely on chemosynthesis. Living along hydrothermal vents in the darkest depths of the Earth’s oceans, they have no natural predators…luckily, their metabolic process for converting hydrogen sulfides into food is inefficient, which keeps them from growing and/reproducing unchecked.

In their natural habitat, autotroph shoggoths tend to be on the small side for shoggoths, and relatively docile. They get everything they need right where they’re at, be it methane or hydrogen sulfide or some other inorganic food source. It is when outside sources start to meddle in the (un)natural order of shoggoth-life that instability enters their life, and like most living things, they don’t always do well with change.

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Viridescent Caecillians

Alternate names: putrefying caecillians, giant vermiforms of the lake, accidental lake apodas-ghouls

These caecillians first encounters Gla’aki in a freshwater lake in some tropical clime. Coming up from the mud on the lake bottom, and brushing against/being poked by the many spines of the Great Old One. Over time, they mutated and changed, growing semi-dependent on the fluid that sometimes leaked from pointy protusions. Those close to Gla’aki would even be pulled along with it, to other lakes when the Great Old One would reform in another shard. As such, they’ve spread across the globe.

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Burning Revenant

The core of these creatures, all forms of Revenant, in fact, are outsider spirits of hate and vengeance which were never human, that have been attracted to individuals who’ve died due to betrayal. These outsider spirits bond with the dying person to reanimate the body, reanimating it for the purposes of enacting vengeance. This vengeance could be against a specific individual, an organization, a family or community, or even society as a whole. 

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Lowyatar’s Children

Thus Lowyatar named her offspring
Colic, Pleurisy, and Fever,
Ulcer, Plague, and dread Consumption,
Gout, Sterility, and Cancer.

Elias Lönnrot, Kalevala, Rune XLV, 1888

Alternate names: siphonophores of disease, progeny of Syöjätär, malady of the East Wind

Millions of virulent zooids comprise this colonies that form this highly infectious, floating creature. A polyp-like colony forms a large central bud, almost resembling a closed rosebud that quickly blossoms into a gaping maw of teeth when it suddenly decides it’s time to eat something. From this, the yellowy-orange original bud, it asexually produces myriad short, pink-hued fleshy tentacles that act as feelers in tight quarters, and can be used to grab and hold things. Below these are seven trumpet-like appendages, packed with extrasensory organs, allowing the eyeless horror to sense its surroundings out to a few hundred feet. Each one is spotted yellow and orange, and ends in a flower-like aperture that opens or closes depending on what it’s sensing/using. Below comes a cluster of tiny, purply-pink sacs, dangling down beneath the body like its entrails. And floating around the entire siphonopore, nine writhing tentactles that house disease-packed cnidocytes.

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Yara-ma-yha-who

According to Aboriginal folklore, the Yara-ma-yha-who are three to four feet tall and resemble a red-skinned, bipedal frog. Their fingertips and toes are described as having “octopus-like” suckers, while their face is dominated by a wide, toothless, frog-like mouth, large enough to engulf a person.

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Mellified Monsters

“…in the lands of the Arabs, there are men 70 or 80 years old who are willing to give their bodies to save others. Such a one takes no more food or drink, only bathing and eating a little honey, till after a month his excreta are nothing but honey; then death ensues. His compatriots place the body to macerate in a stone coffin full of honey, with an inscription giving the year and month of burial. After a hundred years, the seals are removed and the confection so formed used for the treatment of wounds and fractures of the body and limbs—only a small amount taken internally is needed for the cure.”

—Li Shizhen, Bencao Gangmu, 1596

Mellified Men

In ancient times, people nearing the end of their life, wishing to provide for their families and community, would begin the process to become a mellified man. They would foreswear all food but honey, and begin to ritually purify their mind and body. Oftentimes aided by others, cists were prepared for their body, and upon death, they’d be laid to rest within the stone coffin, which was then filled with honey and sealed. The month and year of the death would be chiseled into one side.

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