Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday Night Specials: Shambleau

Shambleau

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Inimical
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 or special
Morale: 10

These solitary ancient alien beings typically appear as tan skinned humanoid women with bright green feline-like eyes with pulsating pupils. Shambleau have four digits on each hand and foot, all tipped with sharp protractible claws and a thin pink tongue. They are hairless and normally wear a turban or other head covering to conceal their mane of fleshy red worm-like tendrils. Shambleau otherwise tend to dress in a fashion that allows them to blend into the culture within which they hunt.

A humanoid being that gazes at a shambleau must succeed in a saving throw versus psionics, or fall under the creature’s eroticized mind control. It is possible to view a shambleau through a mirror or camera to avoid this effect. A shambleau may control a maximum of 3 minds simultaneously. Any being that engages in combat with a shambleau while shielding his or her eyes attacks with a penalty of –4, and the shambleau receives a bonus of +2 to hit. All shambleau are immune to PSY powers and have a bonus of +4 to all other saving throws. They are also very agile and capable of seeing in total darkness.

They may attack with claws or by lashing out with their mass of wormy tendrils. Their claws do 1d6 damage per hit; the tendrils do no damage but drain one experience level (representing life energy) per hit. Mind controlled victims will be similarly drained of life energy; however no roll to hit is necessary and the creature will usually extend the process over several hours. A victim drained below 0-level dies and is left as a withered husk. Survivors of an encounter with a shambleau are 25% likely to become obsessed with the creatures and attempt to seek out others of the species. They suffer a -4 penalty on saving throws against a shambleau’s mind control power on subsequent encounters.

The shambleau are highly intelligent but tend to have difficulty with human speech. The origin world of these beings is unknown but they are found throughout known space.




***
 She had risen soundlessly. He turned to face her, sheathing his gun and stared at first with curiosity and then in the entirely frank openness with which men regard that which is not wholly human. For she was not. He knew it at a glance, though the brown, sweet body was shaped like a woman's and she wore the garment of scarlet—he saw it was leather—with an ease that few unhuman beings achieve toward clothing. He knew it from the moment he looked into her eyes, and a shiver of unrest went over him as he met them. They were frankly green as young grass, with slit-like, feline pupils that pulsed unceasingly, and there was a look of dark, animal wisdom in their depths—that look of the beast which sees more than man... 


Her lips moved, and in a murmur that blended indistinguishably with the silence and the sway of her body and the dreadful sway of her—her hair—she whispered—very softly, very passionately, "I shall—speak to you now—in my own tongue—oh, beloved!"

And in her living cloak she swayed to him, the murmur swelling seductive and caressing in his innermost brain—promising, compelling, sweeter than sweet. His flesh crawled to the horror of her, but it was a perverted revulsion that clasped what it loathed. His arms slid round her under the sliding cloak, wet, wet and warm and hideously alive—and the sweet velvet body was clinging to his, her arms locked about his neck—and with a whisper and a rush the unspeakable horror closed about them both.

In nightmares until he died he remembered that moment when the living tresses of Shambleau first folded him in their embrace. A nauseous, smothering odor as the wetness shut around him—thick, pulsing worms clasping every inch of his body, sliding, writhing, their wetness and warmth striking through his garments as if he stood naked to their embrace.

All this in a graven instant—and after that a tangled flash of conflicting sensation before oblivion closed over him for he remembered the dream—and knew it for nightmare reality now, and the sliding, gently moving caresses of those wet, warm worms upon his flesh was an ecstasy above words—that deeper ecstasy that strikes beyond the body and beyond the mind and tickles the very roots of soul with unnatural delight.

All this in a graven instant—and after that a tangled flash of conflicting sensation before oblivion closed over him for he remembered the dream—and knew it for nightmare reality now, and the sliding, gently moving caresses of those wet, warm worms upon his flesh was an ecstasy above words—


-from "Shambleau" by C. L. Moore first published in Weird Tales, November 1933.
Illustration by Philippe Caza, copyright 1970.

3 comments:

  1. Oooooh... Can I get her number? (Hey! I'm desperate!)

    Also, with the change in banners, do we have to start wearing ponytails and red diapers?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to see Shambleau get statted.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent job on statting Shambleau.

    ReplyDelete

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