Halloween is less than a week away, so it's finally time to deliver on the cosmic horror I've been teasing for the last several weeks.
You've already seen the enormous Gug, which I've included again below since it is so awesome and fits the theme so well.
But the Gug is only one of THREE "mythos" monsters included in January's Shattered Star set of Pathfinder Battles prepainted fantasy miniatures. He happens to be the largest (by far), but he has plenty of company when it comes to monsters inspired by the writings of legendary horror author H.P. Lovecraft and his circle of author friends from the early 20th Century. Lovecraft is a bit of a patron saint as we approach Halloween (and just about every day of the year around Paizo, truth be told), and we've been incorporating creatures he imagined in the 20s and 30s into Pathfinder from the very start.
The Shattered Star set is no exception! Behold, the insidious Nightgaunt, terror of the darkened skies!
This horrifying creature came straight from Lovecraft's mind, making its most notable appearance in his epic "Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," one of the great author's more fantastical yarns.
In the words of the master:
"Suddenly, without a warning sound in the dark, Carter felt his curved scimitar drawn stealthily out of his belt by some unseen hand. Then he heard it clatter down over the rocks below. And between him and the Milky Way he thought he saw a very terrible outline of something noxiously thin and horned and tailed and bat-winged. Other things, too, had begun to blot out patches of stars west of him, as if a flock of vague entities were flapping thickly and silently out of that inaccessible cave in the face of the precipice. Then a sort of cold rubbery arm seized his neck and something else seized his feet, and he was lifted inconsiderately up and swung about in space. Another minute and the stars were gone, and Carter knew that the night-gaunts had got him."
WizKids did a marvelous job on this figure. The sheen on its very dark blue hide looks rubbery and cold. They captured the nightgaunt's bat-wings and noxious thinness very, very well. You definitely don't want to get scooped up by these guys on some moonless Golarion night.
The nightgaunts appear in the fifth installment of the Shattered Star Adventure Path, "Into the Nightmare Rift." And I'm happy to say that they don't invade Golarion in this one, mostly because the player characters instead have to go to their vile home dimension of Leng!
Next up this week, we round out our cosmic horror with a creature created by one of Lovecraft's friends and collaborators, Frank Belknap Long. I speak of course of the legendary Hounds of Tindalos, from Long's 1931 story of the same name. The Hounds also appear in Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness," published the same year.
Belknap Long's terrifying Hounds of Tindalos dwell in the very distant past, and access the present through the angles of time to menace folk with their canine bodies and evil, hollow tongues designed for draining bodily fluids. They secrete a strange blue ichor from their hides. From the story:
"They are lean and athirst!" he shrieked... "All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies. Or had they bodies? I saw them only for a moment, I cannot be certain." — Frank Belknap Long, "The Hounds of Tindalos"
Well, Frank, they have bodies, complete with gross backwards-bending legs and nasty claws. And they're coming your way in the Shattered Star Adventure Path!
So that's it for this week! Two terrible cosmic horrors from the depths of the mythos come to menace your campaigns.
I'd say that their incursion into your games counts as both a trick and a treat!
Happy Halloween, everyone!