FANTASTIC FALL PREVIEW #4: It came FROM BEYOND! Get it before it gets you!


Yesterday we offered up the table of contents and amazing cover illustration for Mythic Monsters: Mythos Too, courtesy of Michael Jaecks, and today we are going to double down on the derangement by previewing the brand-new monster from the book, the BLACKGATE BEHEMOTH!!!

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Of course, mythos afficionados will note that there is no such thing anywhere in the Lovecraftian codex, and they’d be right… mostly. All I can say is that the copyright status of things in and around the mythos is often as mind-bending as the mythos itself, and dark things spawned by a certain black goat are mysterious and strange things best trifled with. However, if you’d love the kind of cryptic caretaker and carnivorous colossus that could start its own cult in the hollow hills, the blackgate behemoth is more than ready to step up to the task! Now a picture may be worth a thousand words (and a lot of those words would probably be IA! IA! IAWESOME!), you might like to learn a bit more about them. If you are brave (or perhaps insane), you can BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW on the Legendary Games webstore!

For the more faint of heart, or the more deeply wedded to their former habits of buying, you can wait until later this week to pick up a copy and meanwhile content yourself with a bit of this blasphemous beast’s background

 

Blackgate behemoths are titanic alien beings native to the dark places between and beyond the stars, seeded by greater masters onto planets they might explore and enslave. They may lurk in deep caves for decades at a time, but emerge at times of cosmic conjunctions that only they can sense to deposit mysterious black monoliths across the landscape. It is these strange runecarved portals that give blackgate behemoths their name. A blackgate behemoth is over 30 feet tall and weighs 15 tons.

 

Habitat and Society

Blackgate behemoths are solitary creatures, typically lairing below ground in reeking caverns. Behemoths will sometimes hibernate in the flesh in these caverns, but more often they become one with the living rock using meld into stone, as they can still perceive the world around them and commune through their Black Gate. Behemoth lairs may be far from civilization, but some lair quite nearby to humanoid settlements.

            While their Black Gates undoubtedly serve some inscrutable cosmic purpose, behemoths also use them as lures for the curious or the foolish, drawing them in and using them to establish cultic cells. They encourage the creation not only of cults that bring them sacrifices and offerings to leave at their mysterious Black Gates but also to leave and create sleeper cells elsewhere. Those who unravel the mysteries of a Black Gate may be drawn into it by the behemoth lurking nearby, often using its meld into stone ability to listen to the pathetic paeans of praise offered up by its deranged cultists while reading their minds itself and opening their minds to the touch of its darkling masters far off in the deeps of space. Blackgate cults are typically led by a bard, sorcerer, or witch of 7th-9th level, while the cultists are typically 3rd-level aristocrats, commoners, experts, or warriors.

            The alien intelligence of a blackgate behemoth is often strange to terrestrial sentients, as the uses to which they put their cults may appear nonsensical. Some simply enjoy the adulation of their faux divinity, but other behemoths develop curious obsessions and drive their cultists to make them a reality, building bizarre monuments, retrieving incomprehensible combinations of objects for ineffectual or debasing rituals, slaughtering all creatures of a certain kind, or driving out rival religions. Some direct their cultists to kidnap priests of all kinds and drag them before the behemoth to demonstrate the impotence of their faith in the face of its primeval interdiction of divinity, the better to convince them to abandon their calling and worship the behemoth or its starry masters.

 

Ecology

Blackgate behemoths have very little impact on the natural world when hibernating, but when they awaken they can cause massive and terrifying disruptions to the landscape and the creatures dwelling in it. They sap the living essence of vegetation with their diminish plants and blight abilities, drawing a strange sustenance from it even as they leave swaths of blasted and defoliated wastelands in their wake. A behemoth’s mere presence drives animals into a mad frenzy of wild slaughter, though by attuning its will it can turn their crazed behavior into calm compulsion as its eerily silent slaves. Blackgate behemoths are omnivorous, eating as a supplement to their biospheric draining, but they are as likely to bite a creature once to inflict its poison as to devour a victim entirely. They frequently create their own food using stone to flesh, and a behemoth’s lair is often marked with disgusting mounds of rancid, half-eaten flesh of its own creation.

 

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