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Monstera

He feels then hairs rising on the back of his neck, and sees in his companion's eyes the faintest outline of something monstrous rising silently from the dark wood. No scream escapes his throat before Marcel is thrusting him aside, with all his might, and Reiner's body twists round with the motion in time to witness savage teeth snapping closed where only moments ago he stood. Another body now occupies this space. Another life now bleeds out onto the dark ground. Reiner forces his body to turn and flee, shouting to his other companions, hastening them to run. - Unknown

Summary

For hundreds of years, the citizens of Paradis feared a terrible scourge that prowled beyond the Outer Ring, the monsterae. These massive beasts ranged through the expanse of territory outside the walls, but never strayed far from them, almost as though drawn to them - or drawn to the thousands of humans dwelling within them. It would not be until Paradis returned to the world and the Keepers gave up their long-guarded secrets that their true nature and intent would be revealed. Before the walls were raised, a militarized branch of the Temple of Titan began work researching new bioweapons, in an attempt to create something to deal with the Titanframes. Experiments were carried out on thousands of different animals, and even other human beings. Though many technologies were brought together, and some successes were had, ultimately the project was scrapped as Paradis prepared to self-isolate after ultimately agreeing to a treaty with New Indigo City. Instead of destroying the results of their labor and research, the monsterae, as they came to be known, were instead unleashed on the surrounding content, to deter citizens from attempt to leave the walls of Paradis.

Basic Information

Anatomy

No two monsterae look alike, as almost all are either chimeras - conjoined animals further twisted by bio-engineering and Sanguinite mutation - or they suffer from unconstrained mutation and cancer brought on by dissonant pulses. They are all distinguished by a number of traits they share, however, including their exceptionally large size, and naked, sometimes even skinless, bodies. A thick cable-like organ stretches from the bottom of the skull down to the base of the spine, and is the only known weakness of these creatures.   Monsterae can move on as many as eight limbs, but very rarely do they exhibit bipedal locomotion. Bipedal monsterae often appear humanoid, an unsettling sight to any, and the similarities do not always end there. Some of these humanoids even sport hands with opposable thumbs, faces with glazed yet unmistakably human eyes, and a few have been known to even speak human language. Their extreme rarity makes them very difficult to document, and thus their very existence can not even be proven. Survey records are adamant about their claims, however. Most other monsterae are a hodgepodge of animal parts, fused into the pure essence of nightmare fuel. Large mouths arrayed with razor-sharp teeth are also commonly found in almost all monsterae, including humanoid monsterae; these teeth can be canines, incisors, molars, or some combination thereof.

Genetics and Reproduction

Monsterae have never been observed procreating, and no juvenile or young monsterae have ever been recorded. The Survey's notes claim that monsterae are infertile, do not possess gonads of any kind, nor any functioning reproductive organs, and thus are incapable of reproducing. This implied a finite number of monsterae exist, and that eliminating them was possible, and indeed this theory turned out to be correct.

Ecology and Habitats

Though concentrated in the southwest, monsterae have been found all around the Outer Ring, even in the icy mountains of the north. For a long time, it was thought that monsterae possessed poor resistance to the cold, but this proved untrue during an unusually warm winter, when monsterae's inactivity did not change; it was determined that the sunlight itself, and not the warmth, dictated the activity cycle of the monsterae.   Monsterae have not been found beyond the Island of Paradise, but based on their highly adaptable and variable forms, it can be assumed that few places on Etagard would prove truly inhospitable.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Monsterae do not have true stomachs; their organs are too badly structured to actually process food into sustenance. Instead, monsterae get their energy from the sanguinite in their bodies, which fuels the muscles and allows them to move. However, they still hunt, kill, and consume human beings, but not for the same reason as other apex predators - monsterae seek to obtain more blood to recover sanguinite and biomass lost through the natural decay of the Geometrite material within the sanguinite.   Desperate monstera will kill and consume any red-blooded animal, but humans are preferred because only humans are resonant. Some monsterae have been known to seek out specific human targets, choosing them over other, more readily available prey, likely in an effort to only consume resonant entities with the same or similar resonance frequency. Whether or not this is an innate, learned, or programmed behavior is not currently known.   For the most part, however, monsterae are not very discerning, nor do most display anything comparable to intelligence. They rely on their ability to sense resonant fields to find prey, at which point they will charge in a frenzy to get at their target. Monsterae are usually opportunistic hunters, and when there are no humans around, they simply wander around without purpose, ignoring sources of water and most alternate sources of food. Aberrant monsterae, on the other hand, are a totally different breed, and some have even been known to wait in ambush for the passing Survey, while others were observed using the Survey's own techniques to their advantage.

Biological Cycle

Seasonal changes impact monsterae more than anything else due to the growth and shrinkage of the night and day lengths. In summer, when the days are long and the sun stays out longest, monsterae are at peak activity, but during the winter, when darkness lingers late into the morning, they are far less ambulatory. Despite this seasonal impact, monsterae have not been known to migrate like other animals, choosing instead to remain in whatever small territory they began any given season in.

Additional Information

Average Intelligence

Primitive

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Despite their grotesque forms, monsterae appear very adept at tracking down prey, even from inside a building or hiding underground. Most have eyes, sometimes more than one pair, but even those without have an uncanny ability to detect the presence of a human being close by. It is theorized that they may be able to sense resonant fields, or even visualize them, giving them a short range but extremely accurate sense for targeting human prey.   Other senses, such as hearing, smell, taste, and touch are not well understood or documented, as studying monsterae was largely impossible due to their exceptionally dangerous potential. Leading experts proposed that, due to their extensive mutations and cancers, most monsterae relied entirely on their ability to sense resonant fields, as all other senses were rendered useless.
EXTINCT
Scientific Name
Monstera titanus
Lifespan
Unknown
Average Height
15m
Average Weight
Unknown
Average Length
10m-35m
Average Physique
Mutated
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Patchy, bald, or skinless

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