Saturday, June 6, 2015

On the Ecology of the Ghthhth

On the Ecology of the Ghthhth

Name: Ghthhth

Nomenclature: Ghthhth, Gith, That Which Devourers, The Yawning Mouth

Stats:
HD 7
AC 2 [17]
Atk 1 bite (3d6)
Move 12
Save 9
XP 800
Special: Immune to fire and cold, half damage from electricity, travel through mud, sand, and dry earth.

Description: Ghthhth are small, tough, boulder shaped creatures with the chameleon-like ability to assume the coloration of their surrounding environment. They have three compound eyes set into their spheres, allowing them to see in front, behind, and above them at all times. Although they lack legs, they have two three-toed feet and can hop extremely fast. They prefer to propel themselves by rolling to their destinations.

Things that are known:
  • Ghthhth is both singular and plural.
  • They are ravenous eaters and must constantly eat to remain alive.
  • They can devour rock and metal just as easily as organic matter.
  • They do not excrete bodily waste, as they have an extremely high metabolism that transfers all edible material into energy or increased body mass. It is not unusual for a Ghthhth to grow and shrink in size in direct proportion to its diet and energy expenditures.
  • Ghthhth and Xorns are mortal enemies.
  • They do not breathe and can easily travel across the bottom of lakes and rivers.
  • They prefer to eat horses, mules, and donkeys above all other beasts.

Rumors and other whispers in the dark:
  • Ghthhth are normally solitary creatures.
  • Packs of Ghthhth have been spotted in distant ravines during early fall rains.
  • They do not raise their young, but lay eggs in dry river beds. The young hatch during spring ice melt.
  • Each Ghthhth is an exact duplicate of the original Ghthhth.
  • Ghthhth do not speak but can understand all known languages of man.
  • It is said that in some isolated farmsteads, farmers offer the first born foal of the season to the Ghthhth so that their fields might be spared ravenging.
  • There is no such thing as Ghthhths; it’s just a folktale spread by drunk farmhands to keep kids out of potato fields.
  • Once, a Ghthhth was found in a noblewoman’s bedroom. Her hound was never seen again.
  • If a Ghthhth loses its eyes, it can grow new ones overnight.
  • Ghthhth only gather in groups to mate and will never mate in the same group twice.
  • In times of drought, a Ghthhth can mate with itself.
  • Ghthhth are highly devout and worship Arwassa, the Shouter of the Hills.
  • Ghthhths were designed to spy on mankind.
  • They cannot be killed with a normal weapon. Only a flame as hot as a glassblower’s forge can destroy one.
  • Ghthhths are impervious to flame.
  • Once, a Ghthhth rescued a small child from a burning barn. The child said the Ghthhth took three fingers in payment for this kindness.
  • Ghthhth are literate and will only exchange letters with wizards.
  • Ghthhth do not sleep.

A TALE: The Boy & The Ghthhth

In those days, griffins and xorn still roamed the land, and the rock antelope covered the distant hills as far as the eye could see. It was as peaceful a time as any could remember—a six-month’s peace had been declared between the Baron Walthamthorp and the Duke of Eastphalia, and peasants were hard at work in their fields to gather that year’s meager harvest.

It was during this time that a young boy, a tot, really, too young too work in the fields, too old to be under his mother’s foot, toddled out of his family’ hut and wandered into the barnyard. Unbeknownst to his family, three Ghthhth had taken up residence among the mud and stones, nipping eggs from the chickens that freely roamed the property. The boy, having noticed this behavior, took up the habit of gathering eggs his parents and siblings had overlooked and placing them within easy reach of each Ghthhth and waiting for them to devour the eggs, laughing and clapping with glee when they did so.

Eventually his father, a stout follower of the Jale God, noticed the boy laughing and clapping in front of what looked to the farmer like three large rocks. He observed this behavior over three days, but never saw the Ghthhth devour the eggs. Thinking his son not right in the head, he and his wife took the boy to see the local witchy-woman.

The witchy-woman, after extracting an exorbitant fee from the farmer, examined the boy and declared him an idiot. She offered to take the boy off the farmer’s hands for free, and the farmer reluctantly agreed, in exchange for ⅔ of his fee returned. Thus, the deal was done and the boy spent the rest of his life in servitude to the witchy-woman until one night she provoked him too far in a fit of lust and she suffered a stroke and died. The boy went on to become a well-renowned healer, Spriggart the Wiseacre.

When the farmer and his wife returned to their farmstead, they found no trace of the two children they had left to their chores or their 30 goats, 42 chickens, and 2 horses. The Ghthhth had devoured them all and moved on.

The Jale God laughed.