A creature for The Esoterrorists

Powerful Outer Dark entities regularly promise immortality to the human would-be sorcerers who aid them. Sometimes they outright lie and can grant no such thing. Other entities can offer an indefinite existence, but in the awful, suffering form of an anthrospider.

Esoterrorists agreeing to aid ODEs expect a far different transcendence of ordinary mortality than the one they actually get. They need merely annoy, fail, or bore their masters to face sudden vivisection and reconstruction as a combination of human, arachnid, and screaming demon.

Each anthrospider is bent into a unique configuration of limb, torso, and gaping mouths. Ropy webs that function as nervous systems and defensive weapons connect their disparate bodily segments. Lacking legs or other means of locomotion, anthrospiders remain where their masters initially plant them. Ironically, current servitors of an ODE may, when ordered to do so, dig up a rooted anthrospider, transport it, and stick it in the ground somewhere else, without ever wondering if the same fate someday awaits them.

ODEs use anthrospiders as sentinels and guardians, sometimes farming them out to favored human lieutenants. The creatures may be found on bridges, forest trails or mountain switchbacks. Less commonly they see indoor use, placed in vaults and storage rooms, on staircases, or kept for storage in basements.

In one recent case, agents left their motel in rural Vermont to find that a sextet of the things had been arranged around their vehicle in the night.

When they detect approaching intruders, anthrospiders loudly shriek and then attack. They shoot their caustic webs at enemies, drawing them into their gnashing mouths.

Attackers may assume that all they have to do is stand back and mow down a garden of anthrospiders with long-range weapons. That fails to take into account the anthrospider’s ability to teleport enemies to positions within 9 m of them. Any PC attacking an anthrospider by any means must then succeed at a Difficulty 4 Health test, or be instantly moved by Outer Dark magic to a spot convenient to their webbing and gnashing needs.

In addition to their value as guards, anthrospiders act as corrosive energy relays, degrading membrane strength wherever they are planted. Needless to say this effect becomes especially acute once people start to spot, photograph, and report them.

Game Statistics

Abilities: Athletics 6, Health 38, Shooting 12 (webs)

Hit Threshold: 2

Alertness Modifier: +2

Stealth Modifier: NA (no means of locomotion)

Weapon: +1 (caustic webbing)

Armor: +1 vs. Shooting

The Esoterrorists are occult terrorists intent on tearing the fabric of the world – and you play elite investigators out to stop them. This is the game that revolutionized investigative RPGs by ensuring that players are never deprived of the crucial clues they need to move the story forward. Purchase The Esoterrorists in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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