Monsters of the Old Frontier: Beast of the Brocken

Oh heck its been a while.

So for my next game I want a few monsters out and about that aren't just lower-case 'm' monsters, like orcs or goblins or whatever. I want capital 'M' monsters, like the Minotaur, like Medusa. Monsters that you'd need to prepare to fight, Monster Hunter style, that there are stories and legends about, that are a session in and of themselves. This is the first one.

The Beast of the Brocken

The Brockenmoors are dark nearly all of the time, even in summer. Clouds just seem to linger, unwelcome guests that shield the mists beneath from the wrath of the Sun. And it is one the moors, broken with rocky outcrops hither and thither, that the Beast of the Brocken makes its home.

Something like a bear, something like a wolf, something like a gorilla. Spikes in ridges along its forearms, and its spine. Long, thin, bony muzzle. Teeth like spear-heads.

Its preferred tactic is to lurk atop one of the rocky piles that dot the landscape and then leap down from above onto unlucky prey. Alternatively, it lies in the furrows that best hold the mist until prey pass by, then it sprints at them, bellowing.

In a fight, black fog spills from its mouth, it sometimes pauses to hack up great clouds of it, covering the battlefield. It can see through it of course, and obviously, you can't. It is easily dissipated by flame, or by strong winds.

If a fight actually starts to go against it, it bites down hard on its hands, and its blood bursts into flames, coating its claws and jaws in scarlet flames. These flames do disperse the Black Fog that flows from the Beast's mouth though.

It has a strong sense of smell, though it has a hard time distinguishing smells "underneath" other smells so to speak.

Much of the Beast's power is in its arms, which are thick and ropey with muscle. Its hind legs, while strong enough to sprint as fast as a man can, and can jump far further, are its true weakness. If damaged, the Beast would struggle to locomote with any efficiency.

As stated above, the Beast's blood has curious alchemical properties, including flammability in certain conditions, but not others. Of most interest to the prospective opponent of the Beast, Silver has been noted to cause some measure of harm to the beast through mere contact. The closest anyone has ever come to actually equaling the Beast, was with a sword edged with silver, and a shield clad in the same way.

The Beast has another advantage, however. Around it, a pack of wolves has sprung up, clearly revering the creature as some kind of hyper-alpha male. The Beast for its part, cares little at all about the Wolves, but allows them to dwell near its lair and feed on its leftovers, in exchange for a constant watch around its Ravine lair.

Speaking of its lair, it is found to rest in a great gash in the rock, a Ravine that descends surprisingly far beneath the surface of the Moors. It is nearly sealed at the top, but a river cuts its way down and traces the very nadir of the Ravine. Rocky crags jut out from the sides, and scree-slopes dot the remaining edges.

You will know its passage by the following signs; Brutalised bodies, claw marks on stone, shredded wolves, huge and inconspicuous shit-piles.

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