I know we forgot last year, but the Monster Maker is back for 2019. Every Friday in October, we’ll see what creatures have been forged with the help of those volunteers who gave me the names. Enjoy the fun.
The following three creatures have been donated by Chris the Story Reading Ape:
These creatures are found in the confectionery forests outside of the village of Cantawolster. The locals harvest the naturally growing treats for food and selling in the stores, so they are in competition with the Bantersnipes, which only eat things that are high in sugar. They are large heads with wide eyes and a sack-like body that is really nothing more than a stomach. With no limbs, they move around using seven prehensile hairs that allow them to swing through the branches. On the ground, they are helpless against predators, which includes humans who may cut a Bantersnipe open to get at a special candy that is formed in their bodies. This is not a common practice since these creatures have close knit families and will avenge a murdered member by coaxing children into the forest. After feeding a child enough sweets, the Bantersnipes will devour them. This is why humans only harvest ones that they find dead on the ground or use dogs that the beasts don’t realize are working for the village.
Thriving in the bowl-shaped hills of Jagarune, these fleet-footed beasts get their name from two things. One is the flat horn that the females have and the edged one of the males. The other is the noise them make during mating seasons. Unlike other antelope where the stags battle, the Groanyhorns have a different ritual that involves the clashing of horns. Males and females gather to charge each other and the noise made from the edged and flat horns moving against each other is reminiscent of a human groan. Each sound is slightly different and these animals continue until they find a mate who helps them make the perfect pitch. Aside from the horns, they are slender with four legs and a spinning tail that helps them get a boost if they try to run up the steeper sections of their environment.
As one would expect, this is a very colorful animal, but only when it wants to be. Hiding in the deepest depths of the ocean, the Kaleidopus spends most of its time gray or black. It is a crustacean that has no pincers and only three spindly legs to help it move around. A thick slime is on its shell, which is too soft to give it much protection. Instead, it opens up to reveal a prismatic inside that has absorbed sunlight. This unleashes a stunning display of colors that will scare away predators and shock prey long enough for them to be swallowed whole. It is unclear how these deep sea creatures get the sunlight, but scientists have never found an immature specimen. All that has been found are adults, which is why they believe that juveniles resemble clams or mussels. They hide among these other animals in the shallows and spend years absorbing enough sunlight before returning to the depths to grow into an adult and breed.
The next three creatures have been donated by C.S. Boyack:
A distant relative of the Bantersnipe, these creatures is allergic to sweet foods and live far away from human civilization. They can be found in the deepest part of most jungles, but are hard to identify. Their skin is colored to make them blend perfectly into their surroundings while they move in search of food. Pictures have shown that it is a pillow-shaped torso with its face on the underbelly. Being the size of a spider monkey and having extendable hooks at each corner, it can stay still to resemble a seed pod. Unlike their cousins, the Gullet Snipe is entirely carnivorous, but it does not eat the meat of the animals it attacks. Instead, it projects a straw-like organ from its mouth that delivers a paralytic. With its prey stunned, the creature drains the bile and stomach acid. There have been many cases of it leaving enough for its victim to survive, so it is believed a Gullet Snipe might have a collection of animals that it regularly feeds on.
Found on within the rocky land of Marson, this is a fungus that gives off a foul odor to ward off most predators. To specific species, it has the scent of buttered popcorn that becomes more potent after a rainstorm. It resembles a puddle of yellowish liquid that is sticky if anyone touches it. The residue that remains on the skin are spores that are dormant and wake up when mixed with water. They do not leave the skin and will coat the entire body of its host without killing it. The Butterfume will take control of the other organism and have it travel to what it deems a safe place. Once there, it sloughs off and pares itself down to a smaller size. The pieces that are discarded will harden and can be boiled down to make a rich caramel-like coating for ice cream. Many people in the area believe it is a blessing to be taken over by a Buttefume because of what they can collect afterwards.
This strange undead creature is not a threat to humans. It is scary with its hulking form, maggot-infested wounds, and a head that resembles a boulder with eyes. Carrying a large shovel, it wanders the world following spirits that call out for help. The problem is that they are either buried in the wrong place or have some other issue with their final resting place. The Gravedigger has also been known to collect abandoned bodies and bring them to where they want to be laid to rest. It digs perfect graves and carries a large sack with blank tombstones that he can carve on with his sharp, agile fingers. If approached by a living human, it will walk away and always manage to be ahead of any pursuers even though it never increases its speed.