Kettle Tread [Creature]

Discussion of GMing 1879. Warning: Here there be spoilers!
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Kettle Tread [Creature]

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:52 pm

Another nasty! I am not sure completely how to balance out 1879 creatures, so advice is welcome:

Kettle Tread Serpent

The Kettle Tread Serpent is named for its resemblance to the tread of a military kettle unbolted and stretched out on the ground. Its body is snake-like, but it's boney scales are larger and heavier, more like armor plating. It has one column of wide scales down the middle of its back, and two rows that jut out from either side of its back like teeth. Some have compared it to a legless Pythonipede. The head of the beast seems mal-formed; there are five primitive eyes that are sensitive to light and movement. Instead of a typical mouth, it has several long proboscides extending from the center of its head, each tipped with a toothy maw. This gives it the agility it needs to strike despite its heavy armor.

Its vision really is poor, and its auditory and olfactory senses are nearly as weak. However, it has a terrifying ability that more than offsets its perceptive limitations. It can emit a thick mist or fog that rivals London’s Peculiar for suffocating vision, but somehow extends the Kettle Tread’s perception. Whether it detects prey through electrical impulses in the fog or feels the movement or uses some other method is unknown. However it accomplishes it, once it has prey enveloped in fog, there is very little to stop the Kettle Tread from snagging its prey and devouring bits of it. While they are not pack hunters, it is not uncommon for several Kettle Treads to converge on a group of particularly tempting prey.

It typically seeks to latch one of its maws onto a limb of some sort and slurp it down into a proboscis, which swells to accommodate the limb. The fleshy proboscides can take in anything up to the size of a troll’s leg. It envelops the limb like a pulsating hose or glove and digs in with its teeth. The proboscis will then detach from the Kettle Tread and begin preparing the limb for consumption. The teeth begin to reflexively gnaw and grind at the limb, beginning the process of severing it. At the same time, small glands secrete pre-digestion acids that break down the limb’s tissues. The Kettle Tread will try to secure several such meals. After a short time, most creatures will flee or succumb to blood loss. When the scuffle is over, armored plates in the bottom of the Kettle Tread will open up and subsume the severed limbs, proboscides and all. It will digest the entire package and regrow new proboscides before it needs to eat again.

If it suffers a particularly painful attack, it will often begin thrashing about, using the dagger-like scales on its sides to lacerate anything nearby before making its escape, if necessary. They are not terribly intelligent, but their first instinct is to react to danger with aggression. ... sp=sharing

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