18th Jan 2020, 8:17 AM in Monsters - Predators

Nightmare cloud

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Nightmare cloud
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Author Notes:

Darksh1ne 3rd Dec 2021, 7:06 AM edit delete
Darksh1ne
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Threat – S

Cosmic horror made flesh
Few monsters in Karandia instill as much dread into hearts of people as Nightmare clouds. Colossal, oddly shaped, levitating masses of flesh native to Red python basin’s sky, they remain an enigma to Monstrologists. In the middle of 79th century a group of them had crossed the Darktide ocean and made Red python basin their home. Their origin and goals are unknown, and for whatever reason to this day they’ve never crossed the basin’ borders and never appeared in any other region of the continent. Serving as its eternal guardians on the basin, they float in the sky as constant reminders of humankind’s fragility. If these creatures would one day choose to leave Red python basin and spread across Karandia, civilizations will surely face if not a complete extinction but a crashing downfall.

Nightmare cloud is a predator that never stops hunting. Producing no sound at all, it is constantly on the move, floating above the tree tops and striking anything caught beneath its shadow. Countless spiral tendrils growing at its bottom can stretch out for hundreds of meters. Barbed on the inside, they lash at anything that moves, grab and carry it up towards unseen toothy maws. Size, weight and power of Nightmare cloud’s prey doesn’t matter to it. If it’s too large to devour whole, multiple tendrils will simply rip it in pieces.
The only way to avoid Nightmare cloud’s attention when it floats above you, is to remain perfectly still. Even better would be to find cover and to remain completely out of its sight.
The true danger of Nightmare cloud lies in its ability to approach unnoticed, especially during cloudy and stormy nights when its massive body can be taken for yet another cloud.

Since its construction and to this day Takrun city has been nearly fully destroyed already four times by Nightmare clouds. Because of its size and the ability to fly, it’s very hard to fight against. Only the most powerful long-range magic and advanced siege weapons are able to harm it.

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Living up to its name
Because Nightmare cloud remains constantly above the ground, lightning strikes aim it relatively often. The monster lives up to its name with a special ability to store and discharge electricity from the natural lightnings. On the top section of the creature has a raw of special, upwards standing horns with high concentration of metal within them. The primary function of these horns is to catch lightning strikes during stormy weather and to send the charge into special glands deep within the creature’s body. This charge is not dispersed or absorbed, but stored and accumulated.
Nightmare cloud can store this electricity for a very long time, increasing the intensity of the total charge with each new lightning strike. Eventually, when the creature sees fit, the entire charge is released in a single invisible but immensely powerful impulse, accompanied with a tremendous thunderclap.
The effect of such impulse has a strong effect on the surrounding wildlife. Primarily it instantly kills anything in the close proximity of the monster’s body, terrifies and disorients the rest within the wide range of the blast. But most importantly, it disables and damages enchantments and disrupts effects of all active spells.

Monstrologists to this day debate about the reason and purpose behind this ability. While most believe that Nightmare clouds uses it to rid themselves from parasites and flying creatures that often nestle on its top body. The anti-magic portion of this impulse is what leaves Monstrologists puzzled the most. The very existence of Nightmare clouds and the destructive effect of their relative rare, but ever-occurring impulses make exploration of Red python basin way more difficult than any other place on the continent.