Idea Guild > Sagely Advice

The reflective stalker.


Normally, I would start this in the main page and flesh it out as I work on it, but if we are going to get a 'lifeforms' section in the newer citadel, then I think Ill save it for there. But so I don't forget it, I have decided to post my thoughts in here, and also get comments or additions from everyone :P

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The Reflective Stalker | Unique Lifeform |Eating habit: Other (soulstealing) | Author: Shadoweagle

General Description:

There are many ways, that rare, cruel creatures are formed. Some are the residue of a demonic power, created to wreak havoc. Some are created by a short-sighted mage, who was unaware that the creature would turn on them. And some have simply crosses planes, come to another dimension to seek more prey. The reflective stalker was and is from another dimension. Whether there are more of them, or whether it is simply a 'freak of nature' so to speak, is unknown.

Some people believe that reflections are a copy of onesself, in a different dimension, They believe that - with every other balance, such as good and evil, light and dark, hot and cold - there is a normal world, and an opposite, or reflected world. The Reflective Stalker sits directly between those dimensions, in the void. Unseen by both sides EXCEPT... when seen through a reflection or though a transparent material - such as glass or water.  Just like an opposite for the vampire tales of old, which tell of Vampires not bieng able to be seen through reflections.

But what does this creature do? It is believed that there is only one of them, and though nobody is unaware of it as such, fictional tales of it are told to children, saying that the stalker will come and drain their body of life if they are naughty. Well, for once, the tales are not inflated. The stalker - completely invisible and insubstantial - latches onto one person at a time, wrapping itself around their heads. The person does not notice this, except perhaps for an odd feeling of slight light-headedness. Over the next week, however, they will find that they get more exhausted over less effort, as though each movement were draining exponentially more energy from them. Usually in about one weeks time, the person lays down to sleep, and simply never wakes up again, as their life energy and soul has been completely removed. At that time, the Reflective Stalker will detatch and reattach itself to the nearest person. Often, because it kills in sequence, and usually reattatches to the person closest the previously deceased, it is mistaken for a plague or disease.

Though this creature cannot be slain with weapons nor can it be grasped with any human hand, the cold touch of metal gliding through its ethereal flesh does discomfort it, and if one simply attempts the motion with a dagger to cut through the four limbs which attach it to the victim, each limb touched by the metal will detatch. If it is removed in such a manner, it will simply flee to find another person somewhere else, that is not aware of it.

Magic will wound it slightly, though the damage is far less signifigant than what it would do to any normal creature of the normal dimension.

Someone wearing glasses, obviously, will always be able to see it, and if someone looks from a shop window, for example, they may be able to see someone walking along, that has the creature attatched to its head.

This creature is more of an abomination than an animal. It has no mouth, as such, and its small, almost cat-sized body is hairless and dark-flesh coloured. It has four legs, each with one claw/spike on the end which it sinks two beneath the chin and two in the neck to latch on (this causes no damage and is not felt, of course) Underneath its torso, is another spike, some 5 inches in length and hollow, where it slides into the brain to extract the life and soul. (For those of you who have played the game 'half-life', think similar to the headcrabs in it. For those who havent played it, here is a pic of a Head Crab)

How to use it?
This can be used as either a simple encounter (in a dark dungeon, your adventurous friend has started to feel the toll of his battles, but it seems something more than that... After day 3, by chance, they enter a room with a single, dusty mirror. The tired adventurer looks in and screams! From then, they have to figure out how to get it off - they have another 3 or so days, but it could take either seconds or a week to figure it out, depending on how they experiment. For a cruel DM: Make plenty of rooms with mirrors or glass, but unless one of the roleplayers say 'I look into the mirror, or look over the mirror to see if its worth taking' or whatever, make them unaware of the problem.  :twisted: )
It could also be used for a campaign (The king has been stricken with an illness that doesnt even allow him to get out of BED! The sage in the town (which takes a day to travel to, and a day to get back) of Gloundelve is said to know the problem! Find this sage and get him to help! We fear the king has only four days of life left, at this rate!)

| [life=1] | Hits 0 | Added 06.11.04 22:30 | Votes 0 Rating 0 |
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Well, there it is :P Comments? Votes? Suggestions? ^_^

I give it a 48 because it is easy to dance too and the lyrics are catchy.

oh. damm. showing my age again.

I give it two thumbs up. Not a perfect score, but close... sorry SE.

If said creature is used in a campaign, there needs to be some foreshadowing of its existance, a legend or tale the characters have heard recently.  If not, a character basically dies, unless the players get lucky and either see it in a mirror/ glass or wave a weapon around and accidently hit the critter.  Since the thing "jumps" it seems to concentrate itself in one geographic area, so legends would develop.  

There should also be static magic charms against this critter, bits of legend that have been given magical effect through the weight of belief... (8-balls, Tarot Cards, disk charms, etc).  There might be static magic chants that bring the thing towards a mirror (if it is not otherwise engaged) ..."candyman, candyman..." well you get the idea.

Yeah, I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote this, so it might seem a bit jumbled and incomplete :P Sorry. Either way, thanks for the comment and I know how hard it is to get a good mark out of you, Moon, so I'll take it as a good thing anyway :D

Here are a few ways the creature can be thwarted.

Any sort of metal headgear worn will get rid of this creature quickly. Even metal necklaces might irritate it if they go through the creatures flesh.

In the reflection the creature is quite noticable - I mean, it's not that difficult to realise through a mirror that your head is enveloped by a huge, black critter. So: their distorted reflection on a golden vase that they found shows something decidedly wrong with their head. Even slightly reflective tiles on the floor may make people notice a large black object where someones head should be. Reflection on water. On a sword or armour, or an enemies sword or armour. Once again, if a teammate wears glasses, it will be visible. If the victim wears glasses, they will notice two of the legs down, latched onto him/her. A shield. Ice. Crystal.

Here is a possibility, if you still find this too little. Their shadow. The shadow could be thought of as a reflection of the person, so the shadow of the beast may be seen on the shadow of a person.

And so on :)


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