The patient was gasping for breath, desperately clinging to life as we rushed the only remaining ventilator to his bedside. As we struggled to flip her over and intubate them, they began hallucinating, babbling on about the monster hovering above them, eating their soul.
“Can’t you see it! Don’t you see it?!” she screamed.
Once the tube was inserted, and we stabilized her breathing, she stopped struggling as much. The lack of oxygen to her brain had to have caused a terrifying hallucination. Strange that the last five patients who died claimed to have seen something similar before they died. The nurse held her hand, and told her she’d be alright now. We all knew that her chances were slim, 1 in 3 at best..
These strange creatures roam the places between dimensions, invisible and incorporeal to beings grounding in a single reality most of the time. They are parasites, feeding on the vapors emitted by slowly dying beings and their radiating pulses of fear and dread. Some say they are a servitor race of the Great Old One Aboth, Source of Uncleanliness, but what their true relationship is to that entity, if anything, remains a mystery.
These creatures appear as twenty-foot-long slime covered slugs, walking atop ten long-segmented legs. Each leg ends in a crab-like spike that somehow adheres to most substances, allowing it to climb sheer surfaces, and even travel on ceilings with ease. At the front end of these creatures are two pairs of segmented arms, one ending in large, sharp claws, the other in four dexterous digits which functions like hands. They have no mouth, breathing and consuming their energies and vapors through the porous skins of their abdomens. On their front end they have six pairs of eyes, mounted on two-foot-long fleshy stalks, like enormous snails or slugs. Atop their backs are a four six-foot-long retractable fleshy tendrils, tipped with hard sharp bone like tips, which are hollow and infect virulent biological materials, such as germs, fungal spores, and viruses.
These creatures feed by injecting living things with diseases and then feeding off their dying life force and emotional energies connected to their suffering. The tips of their tentacles can affect living things in the realities they typically dwell between. Their victims feel and see nothing as they are infected and feed off, of while they slowly die, only becoming aware of the creatures as they hover between life and death.
Sentient beings can view and interact with Angels of Pestilence when they are near death. Unfortunately, they are typically too weak to drive off the creatures, and their attempts to convey what the horrors they’re witnessing are is usually taken to be hallucinations of a fevered brain. This allows such a creature to feed unchecked, especially in closed locations. They commonly roam hospital wards, refugee camps, prisons, cruise ships, and nursing homes as plague runs rampant through them.
Seeing an Angel of Pestilence: There are a few methods that allow people to see and interact with an Angel of Pestilence. Those who have died and been revived gain this ability for a short time, typically 2-6 (2D3) hours. This means their hearts must have ceased beating long enough for their brains to became oxygen deprived to the point that their spirits have begun leaving their bodies, before being suddenly revived. While dangerous, this can be done medically (bringing someone to the edge of death and then back) with a Hard success on a Medicine check.
There are also rituals and spells that can grant this ability, involving the ingesting of dangerous hallucinogenic substances (such as peyote and ayahuasca), chanting, fasting, and a shaman or spirit guide. Such rituals are even more dangerous, as all actions are performed with a penalty die when in this state. However, such spells and rituals can last as long as 24 hours, although 4-10 hours (2D4+2) is more typical.
Fighting an Angel of Pestilence: Once a person is able to see and interact with an Angel of Pestilence they can attempt to drive it off and possibly destroy it. It usually ignores people unless attacked, trusting in its trans-dimensional phase abilities to keep it hidden. However, once attacked, it viciously defends itself using its larger claws and stabbing tendrils as weapons. Luckily, the creatures are rather cowardly and attempt to flee if reduced to one-half their starting hit points. If allowed to escape, Angels of Pestilence don’t usually go far, often setting up a new feeding location 25 to 100 miles away. Here, they find a new concentration of victims and the whole process begins again, after the creature has recovered from its attack (naturally regaining 5 HP per day). The creatures can be rendered helpless by severing both of its large forelimbs and all four of its infections tendrils (required a directed attack, with a Hard success, and inflicting 4 HP or 1 HP of damage respectively).
The trans-dimensional nature of these creatures grants them a 50% immunity to terrestrial matter. Spell and enchanted weapons cause full effect, as do physical attacks from someone who has the ability to see one. Example: Three people attack an Angel of Pestilence. The first fires a shotgun at point blank range, rolling 16 points of damage. The creature only takes 8 HP worth of damage. Next round, his companions score two hits on the Angel of Pestilence, one with an enchanted club, the other with a powerful kick to one of its legs. Both the enchanted club (1D6, rolling a 4) and the physical kick (1D3+1D4 BD rolling a total of 5) do full damage.
Angel of Pestilence
(4D6+4) × 5
(2D6+8) × 5
(4D6+12) × 5
(2D6+5) × 5
1D6 × 5
(2D6+8) × 5
Average Hit Points: 20
Average Damage Bonus: +2D6
Average Build: 3
Average Magic Points: 10
Attacks per round: 2 (Claws and Bone-tipped poison tendrils)
Angels of Pestilence can rend opponents with their large pincer claws, or stab with sharp bone-tipped tendrils which have a chance of infecting their victims with a deadly disease.
Claws 40% (20/8), damage 1D3+DB
Tendrils 40% (20/8), damage 1 point + Hard CON check to resist deadly disease (Keeper’s choice)
Dodge: 20% (10/4)
Climb 85%, Stealth 40%.
Armor: Takes half damage from physical matter; Takes full damage from enchanted weapons, spells, and physical attacks from those able to see and interact with it.
Sanity Loss: 1/1D10 Sanity points to see an Angel of Pestilence.