Monday, February 6, 2012

Monster Monday: Meat Animals

Meat Animals were genetically engineered by Earth's scientists in the years before the Deluge.  Initially they were created to provide a more humane alternative to traditional animal-based food products, and as such they were simply piles of cloned meat without any nervous system or appendages.  At some point before the Deluge, a scientist came to believe that these piles of ugly meat were the key to humankind's survival.  Since he knew most cloning facilities would shut down in the face of the oncoming catastrophe, he altered the DNA of the cloned meat such that it could be herded and bred in a post-apocalyptic world.

To our eyes, Meat Animals appear as nothing so much as an enormous, boneless pile of flesh.  Closer inspection reveals the rudimentary flippers used by these loathsome creatures to scuttle about, the gash of a mouth they use to consume whatever slop their masters can muster, and the small, dim eye spots that provide them with only the barest semblance of sight.  They move at a frightening, if uneven, pace.  They possess several calls that can alert the herdsman to various positional problems with the meat.  Meat Animals also provide a source of "dairy."  They sweat a sweet smelling, viscous liquid which tastes like a combination of honey and cream.  The herdsmen who deal with these animals are usually knowledgeable in the creation of several cheeses from this bizarre residue.

If not for their stupidity, they would be the perfect source of food; however, they are extremely difficult to control and manage.  While the creatures themselves are bred to be docile, they are stubborn to a fault, and they often charge headlong off of cliffs or sink into bogs despite their herders' orders.  They have few defenses against predators and are very vulnerable at night since they have difficulty seeing.  Some genetic defect also causes the creatures to desire to wander aimless, and when combined with their stubbornness this causes them to be difficult to raise except by either the most easy going pastoralists or the most organized cities.

This being so, Meat Animals are most commonly found around large urban centers like Uz and Almodad.  The few villages which dot the arable land in the Desert of Demons usually rely on more conventional fare for their food.  The Meat Animals size combined with the amount of their flesh that is usable in the production of food makes them perfect for those urban centers that can more or less protect them.  They are also often used as sacrifices, and it is said that beneath the city of Uz whole hecatombs are cast into the Fuel-less Fire at the direction of Moloch.  Those in the know are quick to point out that Moloch generally prefers humans to "meat."

While the Uzite tongue is well acquainted with the taste of "meat," our modern tongues would perceive the flavor as a riotous cacophony of pork, beef, lamb, chicken, white fish, salmon, catfish, and other as yet unnamed meats which will be invented in the centuries to come.  If the unlikely event were to pass that a modern or pre-modern human found themselves eating one of these creatures they would have to Save vs. Poison or become immediately addicted.

No stats are provided based on the assumption that they will not fight any PCs.  In the event of a sacrifice, a Meat Animal has 5HD.

6 comments:

  1. I immediately thought of an episode of Torchwood. These things would be smaller and less intelligent though :)

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    1. That poor regenerating space whale.

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  2. Rumours that they are related to the fearsome Chickemilipedes of Kourn al-Zandarez which roam the land of Khin-Tuh-Khi are unsubstantiated.

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  3. I really, really like this critter. Would you object if I made a picture and posted it on my blog, with a link to your write-up?

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  4. Ewwww. Now I'm having salad for dinner.

    (Which is to say, this post tells me a lot about Uz. Well done.)

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