by Edward A. May
The Matlose harassed and terrified the Nootka of Vancouver Island for centuries prior to the arrival of the white man on the West Coast. While the natives of North America did not identify demons as westerners identify them, beyond any doubt the Matlose fit the profile of a demonic entity to the "T". These hideous winged creatures were obsessed with nothing but unrest, failure, murder, and all forms of strife. They did not need to eat and seldom did so unless it was an effort to intimidate, terrify, or traumatize a victim. Day in and day out, it seemed that they lived purely for this purpose.
On the day that the eyes of the Nootka saw the first western ship a great shriek rose from the mountains above them. The terrified Nootka looked to the mountains to see hoards of these disgusting fiends rise from their mountainous domains and retreat in the direction of the Forbidden Plateau. From that day forward no Matlose had been seen. Years after their disappearance, in retrospect, the Nootka explained it that the magic of the white man and their powerful one God repelled them.
With the cataclysm smashing the boundaries between time and space on our world many creatures long since forgotten returned to live their lives here yet again. Unfortunately the Matlose were included among the vilest of creatures that returned. While they are still not terribly common, they have proven to be particularly troublesome among the outlying farmsteads nearest to the mountains that they call home to this day.
Alignment: Miscreant or Diabolic only - honor is not a concept they understand.
Attributes: IQ: 3D6+4, ME: 4D6, MA: 4D6, PS: 4D6, PP: 3D6, PE: 4D6+6, PB: 2D4, Spd: 2D6 running, 2D4x10+20 flying.
Size: 7'. (2.13m.)
Weight: 300-420 Lb. (136-190.5kg.)
Mega-Damage: 3D6 plus their PE attribute multiplied times 10. (3D6+PEx10)
Horror Factor: 14 - see the shriek of terror below.
P.P.E.: PEx5 plus 2D6 per level of experience.
Natural Abilities: Bio-regeneration of 3D6 M.D. per minute, Nightvision 1,000' (304.8m.), see the invisible, create dimensional portal once per month - always on a full moon, and magically speaks all languages at an 80% efficiency.
Shriek of Terror: The most dangerous of their abilities is its horrifying shriek that some magic-users theorize is actually an ancient magic curse of some sort. It is very efficient with humans and seems almost to have been specially created to trigger their terror response. Humans automatically suffer a -10 penalty to save vs. horror factor for 12 hours after hearing the shriek of terror. All others must roll to save vs. ritual magic, or suffer the same effects. This ability has a hidden danger to it for its victims. Failing a horror factor during this period of time, against creatures with a horror factor of 11 or higher, will result in a forced mental endurance (M.E.) check. If the mental endurance check is failed - the character faints of fright! Those who are elderly, sickly, or lead a poor lifestyle full of fatty foods and alcohol may actually suffer a heart attack as a result of this failed M.E. check. (GM's discretion! Determine it by a save vs. lethal poison. If that roll is failed, then start the save vs. coma/death rolls.)
Attacks Per Melee: Six.
Bonuses: +6 to initiative, +3 to strike, +2 to parry, +5 to dodge, +2 to roll, and +2 to save vs. horror factor.
Average Life Span: Unknown - believed to be immortal.
Vulnerabilities: Nootka legend did not pass down any known weaknesses for this creature, but a bizarre sequence of events have led many to believe that displays of affection may actually physically sicken this creature! Indeed a Matlose must make a roll to save versus a horror factor of 12 if observing hugs, kisses, or holding of hands. A heart felt confession of love or lovemaking is a horror factor of 20 and almost always results in this creature vomiting and retreating. Any failure to save on the part of the Matlose results in the creature darting away at its maximum flight speed for a distance of 1D4x100 miles from where the display was observed!
Market Value: None per se - it turns to a clear, foul smelling, and jelly like substance a few hours after death.
Appearance: Matlose are dark brown to black skinned creatures that stand hunched on two legs. These legs are shaped much like that of an elk. Their arms are like heavily muscled human arms, save that they are covered with short black barbs like a porcupine's quills and end in two large hands tipped with bear-like claws. Their torso is heavily muscled, with the back covered in the same short black barbs as the arms. While the creature's head is generally man like, there are several distinctive features to it. The creature's mouth structure appears more like a muzzle filled with a shark's teeth. Its eyes are small, black, and beady - protected by an overly pronounced brow. The final distinctive feature to its head is two black horns protruding from each temple leading up and over the top of the head. It does bear a tail that is long and whip like in shape. Its wings are invariably covered in tattered black feathers looking as though they were pulled from the corpses of dead crows and ravens and unnaturally tacked on to it's wings.
Prey: The Matlose appear to prefer terrorizing humans over all other creatures in this world - though they will settle for terrorizing any sentient being when humans are in short supply. They do not appear to need to eat and only seem to do it when it will cause terror, pain, anguish, and trauma. A favorite ploy of the Matlose is to find young pregnant women, tie them up with rope or vines, and devour their bellies and fetuses within. This is invariably done while their husbands are within earshot - so that they will come upon the grizzly scene. While they do not prey upon Boqs it should be mentioned here that Boqs will attack and kill Matlose whenever they are discovered within their preserves - usually calling upon all of their neighbors to assist them in this task.
Social Behavior: Matlose are almost exclusively solitary as they do not trust anyone - even their own kind. They will occasionally terrify a member of a community into serving their nefarious purposes, however, which will usually result in further bloodshed and terror that will eventually implicate the unwilling pawn as being the progenitor of the entire scheme in the end.
Habitat: Matlose seem extremely neurotic about where they establish their roosts - always establishing them in caves or under cliffs on the western slope of a mountain. Some say that dawn's early light might banish them to their hellish home realm but this remains to be proven. (It is not true...) Matlose are almost exclusively nocturnal in their "hunt", but have been known to start hatching new plots late in the afternoon to set things up for the night's fun. Their hunting grounds are chaotic and can be as far from their roost as 250 miles (400km.). They make no preference known between meadow/farmland, forest, seaside, or in an urban setting - they've been known to hunt in all of these settings.
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