THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT
Mindless Horrors with Huge Jaws
Gnashers are the simplest of the Horrors. During the Scourge, legions of these mindless entities swarmed across the face of the world, devouring everything in sight and leaving poisoned wastelands in their wake. Though gnashers prefer sentient victims, these Horrors will eat any living thing and even inanimate matter if no other food is available. The only thing they do not attempt to eat is each other. Unlike most other Horrors, gnashers show no signs of higher intelligence and are indifferent to the pain and suffering they cause. They possess none of the dread powers associated with most Horrors. Gnashers are simply killing machines driven by a blind, insatiable impulse to devour.
Gnashers typically travel in swarms of several dozen. They eat constantly, and their gobbling and snarfing sounds are usually audible from a considerable distance. Gnashers try to eat anything they can sense, and their acute sense of smell enables them to detect prey within a quarter of a mile. These Horrors have no sense of self-preservation and continue to attack no matter how effectively their prey fights back. They never flee, even when large numbers of them are slain.
Gnashers vary widely in appearance. Some are reptilian, others toad-like or mammalian. Some possess features of several different animals, and still others are utterly alien or formless in structure. Most are the size of a large dog. The one feature all gnashers possess is a massive set of jaws, lined with dozens of razor-sharp teeth. The jaws of most gnashers represent more than fifty percent of the monster’s body mass. These terrible jaws enable gnashers to devour the equivalent of their own weight many times over in mere minutes. Examination of slain gnashers has revealed that they possess no standard means of excreting waste matter from their bodies. This has led scholars to speculate that gnashers transform the matter they consume into mystical energy, which they expel into astral space. Several popular theories attempt to explain what happens to this energy when it reaches astral space. The most popular theory contends that the excrement merely floats about, obscuring much of the astral plane.
DEX: 5 STR: 8 TOU: 4
PER: 2 WIL: 8 CHA: 3
Initiative: 5 Physical Defense: 7
Actions: 1 Spell Defense: 6
Attack (5): 10 Social Defense: 15
Damage: Physical Armor: 2
Bite (8): 16 Mystic Armor: 6
Death: 58 Recovery Tests: 2
Unconsciousness: 45 Knockdown: 8
Wound Threshold: 7 Movement: 6
Legend Award: Fourth Circle
Karma Points: 15 (see text) Karma Step: 4
Powers: Durability (4), Enhanced Senses [Smell] (2): 14 *,
Great Leap S (4): 9
- Adjusted for Heightened Senses bonus (see text)
These Horrors make an excellent combat challenge for intermediate or experienced adventurers. They possess too little personality to serve as the linchpin of an entire plotline, but may be useful for wearing down a party or emphasizing the inherent danger of a Horror-infested area. Because gnashers are virtually mindless, the action-lovers in the gaming group can enjoy a guilt-free, good time bashing away at them.
Gnashers travel by leaping, and can jump up to their Combat Move in height to get at higher targets. Some gnashers have powerful back legs that they clearly use for locomotion. Others, however, have no apparent means of physically making these incredible leaps.
Though less robust than some Horrors, gnashers pay no heed to damage inflicted on them and continue to attack until they lapse into unconsciousness or die. Up to eight gnashers may engage a Human, T’skrang or Ork sized target at one time. Up to twelve may engage a Troll or an Obsidimen sized target. Generally, no more than five will attack a Dwarf. Windlings need only worry about one or two gnashers attacking.
Heightened Senses: Gnashers gain a +10 bonus to their Enhanced Senses [Smell] Tests.
Karma Cap: Gnashers may only spend Karma on Attack and Damage Tests.