Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Scolendra, The Queen Of Vermin

For cultural reasons, most people in the Holy Empire find insects, arachnids, and other "bugs" disgusting and filthy, and an irrational fear of such creatures is not uncommon. However, some have genuine reason to fear the clattering chitin and sharp mandibles of vermin; those who have had experience with the demon goddess Scolendra.

In the Hell that Scolendra hails from, vermin dominate the world, and mammals, reptiles, and birds are crushed underfoot by monstrous bugs of unnatural size and ferocity. Her influence leads to the mutation of otherwise normal sized vermin, resulting in enormous mutants that hunger for the flesh of vertebrates.

Those who worship Scolendra believe that vermin are the true inheritors of Urth, and that humanity is not fit to walk the world. They pray and make blood sacrifices to their cruel goddess, hoping to be blessed with mutations that bring them closer to the creatures they revere.

In her home plane, Scolendra takes the form of an enormous centipede-like creature, with scythe-like limbs near her head that allow her to slice through flesh and bone with ease. Demons from her hideous realm appear as horrific conglomerations of chitinous flesh, resembling absurd hybrids of various insects, arachnids, and other vermin.

(The Raveners from Warhammer 40k somewhat resemble Scolendra, if smaller and with no legs)

To generate a Scolendran demon, roll 3d6, with each die rolling on one of the following three d6 tables, and then combine the 3 bugs together in some creative way.

Table 1

  1. Mantis
  2. Crab
  3. Cockroach
  4. Centipede
  5. Spider
  6. Scorpion

Table 2

  1. Tick
  2. Fly
  3. Beetle
  4. Stick insect
  5. Wood louse
  6. Moth

Table 3

  1. Ant
  2. Termite
  3. Bee
  4. Lobster
  5. Dragonfly
  6. Caterpillar
For example, if one rolled a 2, a 3, and 4, we get a demon that is a mix of crab, beetle, and lobster. I'd interpret this by saying the creature has one small claw and one large claw, a shiny black carapace, 10 segmented legs, and a long armored tail ending in a fin. 

Similarly, one could use the tables above to determine what verminous traits a mutated Scolendran cultist takes on, rolling 1d3 for the table to roll on, and then rolling 1d6 after that.

Adventure Hooks:
  • The lord of a nearby castle has taken to wearing concealing clothes in public, and never revealing his right arm. There are rumors that he has been affected by a curse of some kind that disfigured him. In reality, the lord is a secret worshiper of the Queen of Vermin, and his arm has been replaced with a chitinous claw. The dungeons beneath his castle serve as a temple for a Scolendran cult.
  • Vermin of all kinds have been increasing in both numbers and size in recent weeks. Terrified hunters claim there is something huge and armored lurking in the woods, eating all of the deer. A Scolendran demon has arrived on Urth, and its presence is mutating the vermin nearby into monsters.
  • There is a town that openly worships Scolendra, and all of its citizens have been mutated into horrendous monsters. They are preparing for war against all vertebrates.

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