Horror of the Heights, Greater Independent Race
“The whole aspect of this monster was formidable and threatening, and it kept changing its colour from a very light mauve to a dark, angry purple so thick that it cast a shadow…On the upper curve of its huge body there were three great projections which I can only describe as enormous bubbles, and I was convinced as I looked at them that they were charged with some extremely light gas which served to buoy up the misshapen and semi-solid mass in the rarefied air…their method of progression–done so swiftly that it was not easy to follow–was to throw out a long, glutinous streamer in front of it, which in turn seemed to draw forward the rest of the writhing body. So elastic and gelatinous was it that never for two successive minutes was it the same shape, and yet each change made it more threatening and loathsome than the last…The vague, goggling eyes which were turned always upon me were cold and merciless in their viscid hatred..” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Horror of the Heights
Furthermore, the creature appears as a patch flat patch of vapor, albeit hundreds of square feet in size, and having a some definition; looking closely, one can see two dark plates that serve as eyes, and what may be a beak. Though it looks like vapor, to the touch, one finds it is made up of a glue-like substance.
Horrors of the Heights, for lack of a better name, inhabit regions in our atmosphere, at elevations above 30,000 feet. The Horrors are not the only creatures of these regions, described as air-jungles, sharing a home with creatures like immense jelly-fish and wispy serpentine animals. The Horrors are the apex predators of these regions. They prey on anything that comes near, and may have been responsible for the deaths of many pioneers of flight. In the one recorded encounter with the Horrors, they chased an aviator beyond the boundaries of the so-called air-jungle. This indicates they are merciless and relentless when in pursuit of their prey. Certainly, in the modern age, these monsters have been responsible for many air-disasters, though no sane authority would admit to this. Fortunately for the land-dwelling world, Horrors from the Heights rarely if ever descend from their high-altitude homes.
When attacking, a Horror of the Heights can spontaneously produce and attack with 1d6 tentacles, seeking to grapple a target and pull it into it’s sharp beak. Though aggressive, they are cautious creatures, attacking with only one tentacle at a time when first encountering prey. Prey grappled will be devoured in 1d4 rounds, unless the prey can free themselves from the tentacle in STR vs. STR contest.
Individually not very strong, the typically solitary Horrors will gather in packs to attack stronger prey, such as modern jumbo-jets. Horrors will swarm over the aircraft, ripping open the fuselage, pulling out helping humans inside. When eating humans, the Horrors seem to only desire the head, tossing the body back to earth’s surface.
Horror of the Heights, Airborne Predators
Char. rolls avg.
STR 3d6 10-11
CON 3d6 7
SIZ 3d6x10 110
INT 1d6 3-4
POW 3d6 10-11
DEX 3d6+6 17
Mov 20 Flying – HP 9
Av. Damage Bonus: +5d6
Tentacle Grapple: 45%, damage Grapple, see above.
Tentacle Whip: 40%, damage 1d6 + db
Bite: 25%, damage death
Armor: None, but weapons do no damage, with the following exception: The only vulnerable parts of a Horror are the air-bladders which keep it afloat. An investigator attacking a Horror must make a Luck roll after every successful attack: success indicates one of the air-bladders has been hit, and the Horror has begun to flounder. Damage is rolled as normal; if the Horror is reduced to zero hits points due to damage to its air-bladders, it dies. Attacks with electrify or heat do damage as normal, requiring no Luck roll.
Sanity Loss: 1/1d10 to see a Horror of the Heights.