Monday, March 2, 2009

Glitternight butterfly.

This is a small decorative illustration by Virgil Finlay. I really never get tired of his work. He illustrated many of the great stories, first published in the pulps, which formed the literary foundation that Gary drew on when creating our game.
I like the idea of something that appears beautiful and innocuous at first glance, actually posing a deadly threat. The more harmless it appears, the more horrifying the attack becomes. It also really throws off the players, " but it's only a little bunny, I'll chop it's head right off!"
Glitternight Butterfly.
Frequency: rare
No. appearing: 300-600 (per colony)
Armor class: 10
Move: 120'
Hit dice: 1, for "to hit" purposes.
% in lair: 80%
Treasure type: incidental.
No of attacks: 1 (as a colony)
Damage/attack: 3 hp per round (blood drain)
Special attacks: Narcotic dust
Special defenses: nil
Magic resistance: nil
Intelligence: non
Alignment: non
Size: S (5" wingspan)
Psionic ability: nil
Beautiful black and silver butterflies living in colony's of up to six hundred individuals, Glitternights pose a deadly threat to those unaware of their true nature.
Glitternights roost in dark places during the day, in ruins, hollow logs, or underground, only coming out on moonless nights in order to feed.
When a Glitternight colony finds a victim, they flutter around in in a dense, flickering cloud, shedding a silvery narcotic dust from their wings. Any creature inhaling the dust, must save vs poison, or fall into a deep hallucinatory trance, transported by visions of the fantastic and insensible to all else.
As the victim stands entranced, the Glitternight colony will settle over him and drain blood with their needle-like feeders. This will do damage at a rate of three hit points per round. They will continue feeding until they have reached a total of twenty five hit points worth of blood, or the victim dies.
If the colony is satisfied before the victim dies of blood loss, they will return to their roost, leaving their meal provider to wander in a narcotic fugue for a further two to four hours.
Bright light, such as a Light spell cast upon the victim, or a torch held close, will force the Glitternights to abandon their feeding. They will also not attack those characters actually bearing torches, or near a campfire. They will, however, swirl about just beyond the edge of the light and attack any who leave it's protection.
Some, brave or desperate souls, hunt Glitternights for the narcotic dust they produce. By placing fine nets or bags over the exits of their lairs, they hope to catch them as the come out to feed. This is a dangerous occupation, however, as the hunters must wait in darkness. The butterflies will not come out if any light source is present, but mistiming the placement of the nets will lead to disaster.
Glitternight dust will bring a great price if offered to the right sort of buyer.


Gamer Dude said...

This is a seriously cool monster...I don't know what creeps me out so much about this, but that it does. I don't know if you've ever read 'Perdido Street Station', but there's a creature in there that was, for me, one of the most memorable monsters in literature. This is similar.

There's something visceral and terrifying about creatures that appear benign, are able to entice sentient minds as a hunting technique, and then draw some type of essence from them. That's like the tripartite of nastiness in my mind.


E.G.Palmer said...

Thank you! Wait till you see my hamster lich!