Carkers

Biters, Bloody Benders, Watchers

There was no flesh. Only skin and bone and taut, dry stretches of tendon between. The eyelids were closed; the sockets looked hollow under them. The nose was sunken and almost lost. The scant lips were tightly curled back from the long and very white teeth, which stood forth all the more brilliantly against the deep-brown skin.

Anthony Boucher, “They Bite”

Carker
Carker by Brad Hicks

The legend says the Carkers were a family of inbred cannibals and murderers that settled in the Mojave Desert sometime in the late 1800s. In an abandoned adobe house, they found…something. Something both human and reptile. In exchange for their worship, it taught them new ways to hide and kill and feed. It made it much harder for them to die. Whatever tenuous grasp the Carkers had on their humanity rotted away long ago. 

Locals know to stay far from the old adobe house. Everyone knows someone that has found human bones, bleached and broken in the lonely parts of the desert. Travelers and tourists continue to disappear on occasion. The Carkers still live today, killing and eating and performing blood sacrifices to that reptilian god. Their minds have so devolved that the worship is little more than pantomime now. 

That’s what the legend says. Natives that once lived in the area have legends that predate the coming of the Carkers, legends of things that flit about at corner of the eye. Things that bite. 

The US government is aware of the existence of the things called the Carkers. The Army twice tried to wipe them out in the 1930s. One may have been captured by the government in Utah during the 1970s. 

SPECIAL POWERS 

Spells: Carkers of high INT and POW (over 50 each) may know 1D4 spells, relating to the desert and their reptile god-thing. 

Carkers, sneaky killers

char rollaverage
STR(3D6) X 550
CON(3D6) X 550
SIZ(1D6 + 4) X 535
DEX(3D6 + 6) X 580
INT(2D6) X 535
POW(3D6) X 550

Average Hit Points: 8

Damage Bonus: 0

Build: 0

Magic Points: 10

Move: 10

ATTACKS

Attacks per round: 1 (bite)

A Carker fights with a venomous bite attack. 

Latch: On a successful Fighting attack, the Carker bites the victim and may not let go. A successful STR roll at Hard difficulty removes the Carker. No amount of damage will make it let go. 

Venom: The Carker’s bite injects a painful paralytic venom. The victim loses 1 Hit Point from and must make a successful CON roll at Hard difficulty to overcome the paralytic effects. If the Carker is Latched (see above), it continues pumping its venom into the victim. The victim loses 1 hit point and must make the CON roll each round the Carker is attached to them. Paralysis lasts 1 hour; a victim may attempt the CON roll each round to overcome the effect. 

Devour: Left alone, a Carker can strip a paralyzed victim of flesh, muscle, and organs in must a matter of minutes. The Carker consumes 2D10 worth of Hit Points, CON, and STR from the victim each round. 

Fighting: 45% (22/8), damage 1D6 + venom + latch (see above).

Dodge: 40%

Armor: None. Carkers are not easy to kill. Severed limbs will continue to grope and claw, a severed head will still bite. Reduced to zero Hit Points, a Carker will become inert. They will regenerate 1 Hit Point a day. A Carker will regrow severed limbs, and a new Carker will grow from a severed head. Fire and acid and some magics are the only way to kill one permanently. 

Skills: Stealth 95%Sanity Loss: 1/1D8 to encounter a Carker.

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