The Hek has a monstrous appearance, a three meter long mass of tentacles and feelers. Two pairs of dorsal stalks arise from the creature’s back. The Hek flies by unknown propulsion, but can move with considerable speed.
Eons ago, an advanced sea-dwelling race that called themselves the Ghresh desired to explore what lay beyond the cold and waterless barrier above their home. Their bodies were far too sensitive for the journey, however, and they would die from decompression even before reaching the surface. They chose to create an explorer, a creature that could adjust to the decompression and survive without life giving water. With a combination of magic and genetic engineering, they created over time a being. Its body was flexible, made of a thick web of feelers connected to a flexible ganglion brain mass that was intelligent enough to collect information. Four stalks housed its other organs while providing a place for a recording system and food reserves. Only one of these intelligent creatures were created, and they called it the Hek.
The Hek was sent out, and everything went according to plan: the body compressed without crushing itself, and the recording equipment trasmitted data back to the Ghresh. It worked perfectly. For several decades, the Ghresh studied the landscape and creatures of the surface. They also saw something strange in the sky: a bright yellow orb and a dark red stone. The stone grew brighter and larger as the months passed, but they had no reason to believe it was unusual. Perhaps it was a seasonal growth, as the corals or the kelp grow. Unfortunately for the Ghresh, it was not a normal event: the stone was a meteor headed straight for the planet. It eventually crashed into the ocean, creating cataclysmic tsunamis and burning the land. The Ghresh were killed, along with all the planet’s life.
Except for the Hek. Its durable composition and flexible body allowed it to survive even the heat and dense air. Oblivious to the destruction around it, it continued to explore, recording all it saw on the devices the Ghresh provided. It survived by eating what soil and plant matter remained, able to digest nearly anything. Slowly life returned, grew, and flourished. The Hek took samples of this life to analyze with its sensitive feelers, killing it in the process but preserving its chemical and biological information.
Eventually Men, Elves, and other sentients came into being. They, too, were analyzed by the Hek, sometimes personally. The Hek cannot distinguish emotion or morality, and thus would sometimes "hunt" sentients to analyze them, plucking out hair, eyes, or limbs with its feelers. The Hek saw no problem with this, as its function was to send data to the Ghresh (not realizing the Ghresh are long gone). Men and others, however, saw the Hek as a fell beast to be feared. Nothing seemed to kill it, as it digested and analyzed spears and arrows that were hurled at it. Despite its destructive nature, it means no harm. The Hek is simply doing its job.
Visual recorders - devices created by the Ghresh that sit atop one of the Hek’s organ stalks. They consist of an independent pair of cameras that move about on two flexible cords.
The stalks themselves also act as equipment, as they can anchor various flora and fauna that the Hek can use as a food source. The Hek is apparently fond of invertabrates, particuarly insect larvae.
What the heck is that?! - The party comes across a large red floating mass of tentacles and feelers floating through the forest, examining fungi and plantlife. They’ve heard rumors of it from villagers, that it devours crops and slaughters men. It looks like it may be headed toward the village again, where it will probably terrorize the populus. The players should do something about it. The Hek can be killed if its organ stalks are cut off, but these are quite sturdy and the Hek moves quickly, capturing most weapons in its net of feelers. Perhaps they can distract the Hek and send it off in another direction, away from the village. The PCs look like awfully interesting specimens to the Hek…