We found the cove, west of Stywyck, and anchored off the little spit of land we'd been directed to. We found the cave and off loaded the cargo, but we ran late. Rather than try to navigate the unfamiliar cape in the dark, the captain decided to leave at first light. I'd done something to piss him off, so I got to stand first watch in the crow's nest, in case a patrol came looking.
Well, I was one of the lucky ones. As night fell, I was looking out over the water, when I heard the first scream. It had come from the beach where most of the crew was hard at work drinking the rum supply. I saw one of the sailors stumbling backwards, and something moving towards him. I raised my spyglass and focused in on it.
It closest thing it looked like was a lobster, but instead of a fan tail, the segmented body arched over itself like a scorpion's stinger. From my angle, I couldn't see if it had a stinger to match. But I could make out the legs quite clearly - eight spindly legs, three sections each, ending in a sharp point. It scuttled forward on those legs, and as I followed it with the 'glass, I realized the scale of the thing. It reared up as it approached the sailor - I don't know who it was - and it was clearly four feet long, with legs that probably stretched out to be three feet long themselves. I could make out the claws, and they were probably two feet long, with a good eight inches of that the sharp pincer.
Everyone was alerted, and I thought they'd be able to make short work of it. But then I saw the rest of them. There were at least a dozen of the lobstrosities. I got a good look at one of the faces - it had eyes on stalks, and a beak like maw, plus a couple of feelers coming off the top. They were assaulting everyone, and the whole group broke and ran for the ship. I yelled to weigh anchor, and as soon as the boats made it back, we headed for see.
Even then, the nightmare wasn't over. We only lost two on the beach, but we lost another twelve to the sickness. We barely had enough men to pilot the ship into Carnwold. I walked away from that death ship, and never looked back.
Lobstrosities are invertebrates and possess an armor like exoskeleton formed of overlapping plates. They have eight walking legs, each with three segments, ending in sharp, spear-like tips. They also have two claws, sharp on both the inside and out, and serrated inside. They exhibit bilateral symmetry.
The cephalothorax contains stalked compound eyes and feeler antennae. The mouth is beak-like, with a row of teeth inside the chitinous mouth. They primarily use the antennae when navigating their underwater environment, and their eyes much more on land.
They have gills underneath the carapace near their first pair of walking legs. They can seal the carapace to hold water, allowing them to spend hours on land. Most of their time is spent underwater, only coming out to hunt.
Their bodies are segmented, and the tail section curls over the top of the body. This section ends in a stinger, and a lobstrosity can arch forward to deliver a sting. This is a rarely used defense, as they tend to rely on bites and claws.
Growth Rate & Stages
Ecology and Habitats
Saltwater lobstrosities can thrive in all but the warmest ocean waters. They are an invasive species, and will over hunt in any area they move into, moving along when they begin to starve. Other animals in the area can take decades to recover from just a few years of lobstrosities in the area.
Freshwater lobstrosities are only found in the Mulgri river, from Lake Mulgri north. They thrive at the temperatures of the lake, which get as high as 65 and as low as 50 degrees. Higher temperatures will lead to massive die offs, and they do not breed well at lower temperatures, confining them to their present areas. They have settled into balance with the other creatures of the lake, although this may be due to culling from the sapient species of the area.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Lobstrosities are carnivores, and will eat any meat they can get, including other lobstrosities. They do not generally attack each other for food, although they will kill older, slower members of the species. They will often stop attacking when they have enough food for their immediate needs and concentrate on devouring what they have, including lobstrosities killed for any reason. They will scavenge, but they do not store food for later use.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
The freshwater lobstrosity is a key part of the economy of Geton Towne. Their claw meat is considered a delicacy, and they have various fluids and organs that can be used to manufacture dyes, perfumes, and potions. They need to be used or properly broken down quickly, which means they are generally captured and shipped live.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Lobstrosities have rudimentary sight, but sensitive feelers that allow them to sense their environment both underwater and on land. Their hearing is average, and some theorize that their vocalizations are a form of echolocation.
Saltwater lobstrosities are a menace, and are eliminated when possible.
Freshwater lobstrosities are less dangerous, and are often trapped for meat and other uses.
Freshwater: 14-20" at the head, up to 30" at the top of the tail
Freshwater: 2-3 feet with tail curved over, 3-5 feet total length
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