Much of the data retrieved by Odyllus in his Nightmare Crystal featured various species of monsters from the Void proper as well as Calamity’s Edge itself. For the next chapter in this almanac, I shall explore what I have been able to discern and verify based on its images and my own personal experiences.
- Type: Biological
- Overview: Since they have already been mentioned in the former chapter on Calamity’s Edge, I shall begin this documentation with the inhabitants of that ruined flagship. The majority of that place’s population belongs to aberrations that Odyllus had taken to calling The Twisted in his own records. We can only surmise that these Twisted are either former inhabitants of the city or simply unfortunate souls that wandered in too close. Most of them appear vaguely humanoid in some way, though there are certain subspecies that suggest no creature of flesh is safe from the corrupting influence at the center of the nests.
- Appearance: Vaguely humanoid with split torso. The split torso opens into a large mouth with several layers of teeth.
- Abilities: Perfect human mimicry. High agility. Extreme bite strength.
- Food Habits: Carnivore
- Description: By far the most common type of Twisted, Chompers were the first to be encountered by Odyllus’s expeditionary force. They are the stuff of nightmares, able to perfectly mimic the appearance of a normal person. In fact, they are the strongest evidence we have of former residents in the city.
Each chomper has a set appearance, and they are superb actors when it comes to trying to fool more intelligent prey. They will pretend to need help or simply try to blend into a group until the moment is right. When the prey turns their backs, that is when a chomper will strike.
The jaws of these creatures are quite deadly, too. They can snap a man in two at a moment’s notice. This combined with their ability to leap when enraged and their mimicry makes them quite formidable ambushers. That said, most of the time these grotesque perversions of humanity are sleeping because of the lack of food in their home. They subsist on Void Stalkers, and hibernate for long periods of time unless they sense food nearby.
- Countermeasures: Chompers are formidable so long as they maintain their mimicry, but there are two ways to force them out of hiding. First, and easiest, is to put them to sleep. A sleeping chomper will be unable to maintain their ruse. They will twitch unnaturally, and waking them from this state will induce extreme agitation.
The second method is a little more arcane and difficult to suss out. Chompers can’t use magic, so that can be a hint if suddenly someone who was able to use magic suddenly cannot.
For recommended attacks to use against chompers, my suggestion is fire. Lots of fire.
- Appearance: Bloated, grotesque, bipedal creature with a gaping maw and hollow holes for eyes.
- Abilities: Poison spit, noxious gas emission, bio bomb
- Food Habits: None
- Description: Plaguers are the ghoulish poison factories of the Twisted. They manufacture mutating and acidic toxins inside their bloated physiques, then expel them from their maws or boils on their skin. According to Odyllus’ logs, you can easily tell their presence based on the horrendous smells they emit, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to be saved a hard battle just because you see them coming.
These creatures are hard to approach, and they’ve a tendency to explode when threatened or even release toxic plumes of gas. Further, unfortunate souls that get caught unaware could find themselves becoming bombs like the plaguers.
- Countermeasures: Run. Plaguers should only be engaged at range as they are incredibly deadly at close range without major poison, disease and acid resistance. Plate armor will be eaten through in seconds. However, if you manage to catch one at range, you can pop them easily like a giant, poison balloon.
- Appearance: Spider-like creatures with six legs and a layer of skin affixed to their dorsal surface. Fanged mouth on the underbelly. About the size of a corgi dog.
- Abilities: Corruption
- Food Habits: None
- Description: Infesters appear to be a method of propagating more members of the Twisted. It is currently unknown how they came to be, but the Eye is likely responsible. Regardless, they are sneaky little buggers. Their small stature allows them to sneak up on unwary prey and quickly get away after biting. This bite has transformative abilities like vampires, too; corrupting the person bitten at a rapid pace.
Odylus's team had three members bitten by a group of infesters during one segment of his recording. One of those members turned into a chomper before his eyes, while the others became corrupted in other ways. Unfortunately, they, as well as the infesters that turned them, were all destroyed shortly after the encounter. We don't know anything more about the mechanism by which this transformation occurs nor the nature of the infesters themselves.
- Countermeasures: Stay alert. You will always hear audible skittering when an infester is nearby, and aura sight can be most helpful in spotting them amidst rubble. Unlike their bigger relatives, infesters are also weak, so they can be easily defeated if you find them. They die from a hard enough stomp or just being blanketed in an attack spell. Just be careful of their mouths as they are deceptively strong. One nick is all it takes.
- Appearance: Appearance before turning
- Abilities: Abilities before turning
- Food Habits: Food habits before turning
- Description: Corrupted are what I can only describe as the larval stage of a Twisted. They appear just like you or me, but they are no longer themselves. A member of the Corrupted will often act normal in the presence of others, but they are beholden to a call of some kind. In private, they speak in tongues to an unseen force; and this force appears capable of compelling violence or action from them as it desires.
Corrupted maintain their appearance and abilities despite these changes. They are a most insidious creation, and one that inevitably changes into other members of the Twisted.
- Countermeasures: I am at a loss for how to treat these poor souls. It seems blind to hope for a cure, even though theoretically it should exist. Suffice to say, I pity anyone having to kill an enemy with the face of a friend.
- Appearance: Large, grotesque, quadrupedal creature composed of multiple bodies with thick carapace on its body.
- Abilities: High strength, essentially a living siege weapon
- Food Habits: Carnivore
- Description: Do not be fooled by their name. The Rhinos look nothing like the animals most of us know. These monstrosities can grow to the height of a small house and yet are powerful enough to trample a fortified stone wall like parchment. They are not the smartest creatures, but, when you can take out a whole army just be running through, intelligence isn't a necessity.
- Countermeasures: Stun it and go for the openings. While the carapace is imposing, it is not full body. There are always weak points.
- Appearance: Upper torso of a decayed humanoid, lower always a tail of some kind. Skulls vary in shape, but are always exposed. Sharp claws. Red eyes from inside the skull.
- Abilities: Burrowing, jumping.
- Food Habits: Subterranean nutrients
Description: Centipedes are ambusher-type Twisted, but their normal appearance is nothing more than a false shell. They apparently like to gather body parts to protect their main nervous system that resides in the skull and “spine”; and they somehow possess the ability to reanimate or even change those parts for their own uses. However, should that shell ever cease to function or the creature feels threatened, the Centipede will abandon its home and burrow away. The chief role of these creatures is, therefore, to dig tunnels that other Twisted use rather than to fight themselves. That said, they will not hesitate leap onto anyone or anything they believe is weaker than them. Their claws and tails aren’t just for show either.
Countermeasures: Difficult to kill and even harder to track, the fastest way to combat a Centipede is to immobilize their “parts” in some way while leaving the head alone. Attacking the body is pointless, but they are predictable in their escape patterns if you know what to expect. Odylus’ team said it best: paralyze the body and then aim for the neck.
- Appearance: Wisp of a bipedal figure. Seems to lack in all muscle tone. Puffy sack on throat.
- Abilities: Magical scream
- Food Habits: None
Description: Banshees, similar to their spectral counterparts, are a terrifying member of the Twisted, though not because of anything they do individually. They are essentially clerics among these creatures. Their screams are deafening when antagonized, but serve to invigorate other Twisted where they would only disorient us. A banshee’s screams will heal and cast various augments on all nearby Twisted. Not only that, they serve as a summon call for any of their flock in the area; so, while the banshee cannot fight as an individual, it is still a dangerous support.
Countermeasures: There is nothing special to killing a Banshee. However, killing it before it can scream is optimal. The recommendation for kill options is to do it in such a way that even a screw up will still render the beast unable to issue a call.
- Appearance: Collection of bodies mashed together. Looks like a huge spider in some ways. Walks around on feet and hands of whatever poor creatures were collected into it.
- Abilities: Duplication, regeneration
- Food Habits: None
- Description: Amalgams are what can only be described as leftovers. They look like spiders, but these are not the kind you’ll find in your own garden unless you live in a nightmare. They usually have at minimum 8 limbs, but those 8 limbs are attached to two bodies that look like they were fused together. Worse, both bodies look like they’re still alive inside the Amalgam. They scream and wail in agony, demoralizing the uninitiated and haunting the veterans.
Amalgams are also unusual in the way they fight. When threatened, they will actually tear off one of their limbs and throw it at any perceived threat with significant force. This may not seem very threatening on its own, but, unfortunately, Amalgams have a rather nasty penchant for duplication. Every limb they tear off will regenerate fairly quickly; and every limb that gets separated from them will eventually transform into a clone of the whole Amalgam. This process does not seem to require nutrients, making swarming a very real possibility.
- Countermeasures: Amalgams are by far the hardest Twisted subspecies to kill. Blades are completely ineffective against them. That said, they can be drowned, burned, or charred in such a way to render their duplication inoperable. Magic users and blunt weapons are your friend against these creatures.
- Appearance: Small, fleshy quadruped with a single eyeball on an elongated tendril and a stinger in the back. They are the size of scorpions.
- Abilities: Reanimation
- Food Habits: None
- Description: Reanimators, as the name suggests, serve to reanimate dead tissue. They seem to be incredibly rare and connected directly to The Eye or whatever resides at the center of Calamity’s Edge. The last of Odylus’s recording showed thousands of them in that place, though they did not seem very keen on getting close.
Reanimators, from what little we’ve been able to observe, tend to lag behind the packs of Twisted, waiting for them to leave victims or even just to die. Then, when they feel safe, they will emerge to reanimate whatever tissue they can find by injecting it with their stinger. It might even be safe to assume that these creatures are the source for some of the Twisted subspecies, but we have no concrete evidence to know for sure.
- Countermeasures: The chances of actually finding a Reanimator are slim, but the recommendation when locating one is always the same: burn it to ash. These creatures are incapable of defending themselves, yet they pose a unique and serious threat. They should be removed as soon as possible.
- Type: Mechanical
- Overview: Also residents of Calamity’s Edge, the Sentinels, as Odyllus called them, are quite unique. They are reminiscent of Railoch’s guardians, but appear to be a next generation. Whereas the golems most people know would be prototypes, these Sentinels would be the complete versions. They are more compact than their cousins, and also quieter. Surprisingly durable, they are significantly more frightening than the Railoch golems.
- Appearance: Pristine gargoyle with some metallic plating while dormant. Activity reveals a set of 8 metallic tendrils from a compartment in the back that are used to rip apart and pierce enemies.
- Abilities: High durability, stealthy, self-destruct
- Food Habits: None
- Description: Found primarily in areas of high security - or where they would have been back in the city’s hayday - the Gargeel are what remains of Calamity’s Edge’s watchmen. They do not feed and seem to draw power from somewhere in the city along with the alchemical components inside their chassis. For this reason, you will never find a Gargeel outside of the city limits.
Gargeel still behave just like the guards they were meant to be, but things have changed ever since the city’s fall. They seem only preoccupied with the crime of being an outsider, never pursuing any of the Twisted despite them being in formerly restricted areas. In fact, when they encounter such an outsider, they will relentlessly pursue them until said person leaves the city, dies, or manages to defeat the Gargeel in question. One should be careful of that last option, though, as Gargeel are fans of taking the enemy with them. Odyllus’ men found that out the hard way when a damaged Gargeel hugged onto one of them before detonating.
- Countermeasures: The hardest part of fighting a Gargeel is finding it, as they don’t have auras and are well-versed in all matters of stealth. Once found, however, the Gargeel’s weaknesses become apparent. They are vulnerable to combinations of water and lightning. Water, especially, is detrimental to them if it gets in their innards, whereas lightning can temporarily disable their self-destruction protocol. Of course, anyone thinking to use these approach should also bring something suited for cracking that hard outer shell of theirs too. After all, it’s hard to get water inside them without cracking open your own “maintenance hatch.”
- Type: Biological and Supernatural
- Overview: Plentiful, varied and dangerous: there are some creatures that exist everywhere in the Void. This section is for them.
- Appearance: Quadrupedal, winged, eyeless reptilians about the size of wolves. Very gangly. Sharp teeth and claws.
- Abilities: Swarming
- Food Habits: Carnivores (cannibalistic)
- Description: The most common enemy in the Void, Stalkers are everywhere and break up into various “broods.” These broods don’t get along and will actually war against each other for food. However, they are quite blind and focus almost entirely on sound to navigate. They are also fairly weak in terms of physical strength.
Stalkers are the goblins of the Void, and rely on numbers to overpower prey. They have also been known to cannibalize members of other broods, as they reproduce quite quickly and there isn’t enough food to go around for their numbers. Apparently, they are also very photosensitive and will stay their distance from light sources when in small groups.
- Countermeasures: For Stalkers, the best policy is to stay quiet while also keeping several lanterns handy. The last thing you want in the winding tunnels of the Structured Void is to call a whole brood down on your head, or, worse, multiple broods. If you are ever forced to fight them, you should focus on vital points. Do not go clanging about or yelling. Just kill them as fast and as quietly as possible.
It is also recommended that you use light in any attacks directed at Stalkers, as these creatures actually display an allergy to it and will flee from exposure. Light in any form hurts them and can be used to keep them at bay. Be careful relying entirely on that, though, as Stalkers are patient hunters. They will follow you until your light goes out, or, if their numbers are sufficient, banzai rush you in a kamikaze maneuver to take your light away.
- Appearance: Ghostly apparition
- Abilities: Typical of ghost tales
- Food Habits: None
Description: A not so exclusive resident of the Void, poltergeists are known to frequently appear in old settlements and fortresses out there. They are typically spirits who have been trapped and unable to move on to the afterlife, but they are not as foreign to the people of Revaliir as some of the other Void Residents. They also tend to scare away any other Void creatures wherever they lurk, especially Stalkers since they don’t know what to do about prey they can’t eat.
Countermeasures: Depending on the level of hostility displayed by an individual poltergeist, countermeasures may not even be needed. However, any sort of banishment or holy spell will be useful in dealing with those who are more than a little troublesome.
- Appearance: Bipedal, winged, eyeless mammal with horns. Size varies greatly, but the ones described by this entry are around 50ft.
- Abilities: Insane strength, cursed flame breath
- Food Habits: Unknown
- Description: Much rarer than the Stalkers, behemoths only exist outside The Veil/Structured Void and cannot even wander into Revaliir proper under normal circumstances. They first start appearing in the Semi-Structured Void, but only their smaller variants can exist there. The bigger ones are closer to the Unstructured Void and listed underneath the entry for Omega Behemoths.
Thankfully, these creatures don't seem very interested in food despite their large size and formidable power. They don't even seem to notice smaller creatures passing by unless provoked, and most of the time they prefer to float aimlessly in the dark.
However, one should never take them lightly or antagonize them unnecessarily. Behemoths are some of the deadliest opponents you will ever face. It is better not to anger them at all than to try and prove your strength against them.
Note that the strategies listed here only work for normal behemoths that stand about 50ft in height. You can try to kill that variant, but word to the wise: don't expect an easy victory. If you must, go for the normal weakspots you would on any other animal: eyes, joints, mouth, etc. It goes without saying that you should never try to block one of this creature's attacks, however. Always dodge if you want to stay alive.
- Type: Varied
- Overview: Despite the dangers posed by most of the Void’s residents, there are still those who sit above them all. These rare brutes have no known countermeasures to them, and are typically a death sentence to those who cannot flee fast enough. Rather than waste my time on countermeasures for battles that should not be fought in the first place, I will instead devote a new section describing how to avoid them.
- Appearance: Like normal behemoths but much larger in size. These brutes can be as tall as the Adelunan, continental airship tower and with arms as girthy as a castle spire.
- Abilities: Insane strength, cursed flame breath
- Food Habits: Unknown
Description: It seems appropriate to start this section by describing the Omega Behemoths I had referenced earlier. These are the bigger siblings of the Behemoths, essentially identical except in size and power. For example, Omega Behemoths can do with the shockwave of their attacks what a normal Behemoth would have to hit you for. In fact, it’s a miracle that Odylus’ staff managed to antagonize one and live to tell the tale. I shudder to think what something of that size could do if it reached the surface, but, thankfully, the structure of our Void has a repulsing effect on these gentle giants.
How to Not Die: Omega Behemoths are just as docile as their normal cousins, and they seem to float primarily just outside the border of the Semi-Structured Void. Calamity’s Edge may have even treated them like whales when it was still thriving, because there is some evidence that the citizenry kept spyglasses to watch them. The Omega Behemoths do not like the structured portions of the Void, however, and will actually stay away from them if given a choice. Pretty much, unless you go out of your way to get to where one is floating and then hurt it bad enough to get its attention, you will be safe from them. If you do do that, on the other hand, I cannot think of a more deserving death than yours, you idiotic, hyper-violent schmuck.
- Appearance: A Rhino, but bigger, meaner, tougher and smarter. Torasque are typically 3x the size of a normal Rhino. If the size isn’t obvious enough of a difference, Torasque are also charred black as if all the bodies composing them were burned.
- Abilities: Extreme strength and durability. High charge speed. Even more effective siege weapon than their smaller cousins. Regeneration.
- Food Habits: Unknown
- Description: Torasque are like the impossibly tough monsters we oft imagine as the stuff of legends. Fortunately, they are rare. Their numbers love to hang around the center of Calamity’s Edge and they only go out their way when they perceive that their territory has been invaded. When that happens, the only thing their targets can do is pray and run.
It is possible to wound a Torasque, true. However, the problem is that these creatures do not stay down. A normal Torasque has everything an Alpha Rhino could dream of and more. Their extreme regeneration makes lasting damage against them a fantasy. Because, even if you were successful in dealing enough damage to outpace their regeneration for a time, the beasts would still come back from nothing. They are intertwined with the essence of that city, resurrected even without the need of a nearby reanimator.
- How to Not Die: While the Torasque are smarter than their Rhino cousins, that’s not saying much. They are smart enough to make assumptions on where their prey is running and then adjust paths to track them, but they rely heavily on their strength and durability to overwhelm opponents. You can still outsmart them in order to get away if you’re clever enough. Just don’t make the deadly assumption that walls will protect you from their charge. You will be a bloody pancake of regret on the ground if you make that mistake.
- Appearance: Mechanical-biological hybrid of a giant arachnid. Stands about 15ft tall, 20ft wide and is classified underneath Sentinels.
- Abilities: Jumping ability, web “cannons”, authority over Calamity’s infrastructure, malleable metal, self-repair, and transportation magic scrambler.
- Food Habits: None.
- Description: The theory goes that the Arachnea robots were originally designed as riot suppressors. They do not innately have weapon systems like the Gargeels, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Arachnea are superb jumpers, hopping around the city and adhering to the sides of buildings when on surveillance. If they detect anything out of the ordinary, they can scramble transporation magic, shut down city infrastructure, and even subdue perpetrators with their web spell cannons. Try to fight them if you dare, and they’ll even reveal how they can automatically repair themselves over time.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about these spider golems, however, is the fact that their metal chassis does not appear to be a solid material. I saw how a soldier tried to target a weak point on one of them before – a gem of some sort on the arachnid’s underbelly – but point actually moved to another location on the spider’s body as if the metal were alive. Truly, these are terrifying creatures, though not because of any offensive power. They are meant to trap, to subdue, and they do their job frighteningly well.
- How to Not Die: Arachnea have big weaknesses compared to the other legendary creatures, and ones you should exploit for your own survival. First of all, they cannot go beyond the city borders. Whoever designed them put in a particularly stubborn fail-safe that frustrated even Odylus without relent. The golems shut down and implode the second you take them beyond an invisible perimeter of sorts, making even their parts unusable. If you, as their target, can get beyond that perimeter, you will be safe because not even their web cannons are allowed to fire beyond it.
Second, while Arachnea can repair themselves, they can still be damaged with enough people. Smash them up fast and hard enough and they will be out of commission for a fairly significant amount of time. It certainly won’t deactivate them permanently, but it will be more than enough to run away and get out of sight.
Generally speaking, the Arachnea can only be found in political or military sectors near the center of Calamity’s Edge. Very rarely do they leave those areas, but there have been strange incidents where their ranks venture out as far as the manufacturing district to kidnap visitors. Those victims are typically never seen again, so take care not to become one.