Stalwart explorers, welcome back to Fridays in AEthrem! With the current season, we turn to observing some of the HARROWING beasts to be found around the globe - each quick to claim the lives of the UNPREPARED and UNWARY!
We start this series off with a look at the titanic pagren, the doom of many unfortunate sailors. At home in the deep ocean, pagrens are one of many perilous threats that make travel by ship such a treacherous task in AEthrem. These massive beasts grow longer than thirty meters on average, dwarfing many smaller human ships easily.
The main body of a pagren takes up only a third of its total length. Coated in heavy, murky brown chitin, its bullet-shaped body drives point-first through the water - the outer surface unadorned except for a pair of eye-stalks on opposite sides. The center of the flat rear of the body is where the creature's mandibled mouth resides, flanked by a pair of segmented arms tipped in pincers - each large enough to hold an adult human. A set of eight tentacles sprout from the body, surrounding the mouth and pincers on all sides.
A pagren's tentacles make up the remainder of its length. Unlike the body, these huge limbs are unarmored - their soft, blue-grey flesh exposed. The pagren uses these eight strong manipulators to propel itself through the water and grasp objects and prey with the aid of suckers running along the interior of each. Each tentacle is also tipped in a muscular valve - used to take in and pressurize sea water, which is sprayed at prey to stun and disorient it.
The primary prey for pagren are the largest creatures in the ocean, typically sharks and all but the largest whales. Those attacking human ships presumably have mistaken the vessel for a surfacing whale. However, there are numerous accounts of pagren that have apparently adapted to feeding at least partially on shipboard humans - having learned to overturn vessels or knock crew overboard using jets of water, and rushing to snatch up and consume those sent into the water.
Randomly encountering a pagren can spell doom for a ship attempting an oceanic crossing. Those that attempt to do so on a regular basis will usually mount an artillery piece or large machine gun on the deck, as both have proven capable of driving the beasts of with focused fire. Small arms can sometimes prove effective, but most handgun and rifle rounds will have a hard time piercing the armored hide of a pagren and causing any serious injury. If the pagren decides to overturn a ship, survival is much less likely, although there are rare accounts of survivors chasing one of these creatures off from their lifeboats after it had capsized the main vessel.
There are also accounts of a pagren fleeing after the survivors hearing a distant, inhuman roar or experiencing a deep rumbling sensation. Whatever these creatures that have scared away pagren actually are, they are probably best left to the imagination. Or left to suicidally-minded researchers, at least.
Venture! Thrilling Adventures in the World of AEthrem and its associated characters are the property of Weird Science Games, LLC, Copyright 2015.
West End Games, OpenD6, and The D6 system are trademarks and properties of Purgatory Publishing Inc.