Tosh Tosh

by Jan Knoell

      The Tosh is an intelligent predator from another dimension, where humans and similar D-Bees are quite common. It's appearance is quite hideous, and has been known to send experienced warriors running away with irrational fear. It is a six legged creature with each leg ending in a large, human like hand with 6" long claws on each finger. Altogether it is about 12' long, and 5' tall at the shoulder. It's body is long, and almost canine in general shape, and is completely covered in foot long course brown hair of varying shades. It's head is wide, and similar in appearance to a stylized chinese lion, only with long pointed ears protruding from the top of it's head, also covered in long though not as course hair. It's large, wide mouth is full of sharp, jagged teeth that look more like pieces of broken bone than true teeth.

      The most notable aspect of this creature is it's feeding habits, and nature of the act in and of itself. It is a carnivore that will eat almost any creature, needing about 40 Lbs of meat a week, but can gorge itself with up to 400 Lbs of meat at a setting, and not need to eat for up to 4 weeks. A common misconception that this intelligent creature is actually a demon stems from the fact that if it encounters an easy kill, though it has already fed, it will attack, and bite the head off of it's oponent, leaving the rest of the body as though killed for pleasure alone. That is completely nonsense. The Tosh is a true alien species, and can actually draw knowledge from the brain of the creature that it kills! As it digests the brains of the heads which it devours, it also learns what it knows! Like a human or D-Bee's quest for knowledge at a library, this creature devours the heads of it's victims as though selecting a new history book to read.

      Once on the RIFTS world, the Tosh will automatically begin searching for victims to try to figure out where it is, and how it got there, devouring 4D6 heads of intelligent creatures before finally being satisfied. This means that any Tosh encountered on RIFTS Earth understands at least a half dozen different languages, and may have extensive knowledge in various fields of experience. (Although it cannot speak, it can understand languages, and though it may not be able to use human weapons or vehicles, they understand the mechanisms' nature, and sometimes how they would be operated.) After this time, the Tosh will become more cautious about selecting it's kills, and may stalk future prey for up to several days before finally attacking, carefully plotting, and watching for signs of weakness.

      The Tosh are typically solitary creatures, until around June when they will instinctively begin searching for a mate. They will search night and day, for about 40 days never once stopping to rest, and will feed only if something virtually jumps out in front of them. Once a mate is found, they will court each other for a period of 1D4 days before they will actually mate. Once this is done, gestation is 10 months, during which time, the male will find a 'nest' to use, and then remain with the female, leaving the 'nest' only long enough to hunt, gather knowledge, or ward away danger. The Tosh do not build their own nests, but will typically use an already existing structure which will provide shelter, this could be anything from a cave to a house. It is during this time that Tosh can be most easily influenced. If the characters come to the defense of a Tosh's 'nest', aiding the male in battle, the Tosh is very likely to remember this, and come to the character's aid somewhere down the line, risking his life to help the characters. After gestation, the female Tosh will give birth to 2D4 live young, usually an even mix of males and females. The male and female will remain with the young for only a year before leaving them to fend for themselves, each going their separate ways. The adults will not go through another mating cycle for five years after a successful mating however, but on the sixth year after, they will proceed as before mentioned.

      There have been uses developed for this alien creature. If the 'nest' is raided, and the adults killed, the Tosh young may be captured before they are 4 months of age, and can be taught to be riding animals! This is typically done by feeding them the heads of at least a half dozen good riding horses, and caution being taken that no other heads are devoured by the creature later in life. Doing this will make the Tosh a docile creature that has the knowledge and training of a good riding horse, but with more intelligence. The other use is even more heinous than slavery, it is the use of the Tosh as living batteries. Unlike most creatures, the Tosh is an odd sort of being that will retain the PPE of the victims it kills! This means that by killing a magic user, perhaps while he sleeps, he gains double that PPE, and will retain it until either he is killed, or it is sucked out by a creature like a Psi-Stalker. They do not make use of this energy, and it is truly unknown why they are able to retain it so well. Tosh seem oblivious to the presence of this energy, and will typically never use any of it. (Only if a Tosh eats the head of a magic user which has knowledge of spells which can be cast without spoken words or gestures, will he or she ever use magic.)

Alignment: Generally considered to be Anarchist, but are actually just so alien they do not understand the difference between right and wrong, nor the distinction of whether there is a right or wrong.
Attributes: I.Q.: 4D6, M.E.: 3D6, M.A.: 2D6, P.S.: 2D6+10, P.P.: 4D6, P.E.: 3D6+2, P.B.: 1D4, Spd.: 6D6. The Tosh is a Supernatural creature, and has a Supernatural PS & PE.
M.D.C.: 2D6x10 + 3D6 per level.
P.P.E.: 6D6 when they are born, but will begin accumulating the P.P.E. as they get older, which of course varies with level. (Lv.1-4: 2D4x100 P.P.E., Lv.5-8: 6D6x100 P.P.E., Lv.9-15: 2D4x1000 P.P.E.! Anything above Level 15 is incredibly rare, but would have about 4D4x1000 P.P.E. powerful and evil gods and intelligences that gather slaves tend to have one or two around in the case of an emergency. Tosh of that experience are very hunted and sought after.)
Size: 12' long, 5' high at the shoulders.
Weight: About 1 ton.
Average Life Span: 200-300 years.
Natural Abilities: Nightvision up to 1,000', see the invisible, keen canine like hearing - can hear into the ultrasonic range, and can bio-regenerate 2D6 M.D.C. per melee.
    Digest Knowledge: This odd ability of the Tosh allows them to literally digest information from a victims brain. It must be eaten within an hour of the victims death, or no knowledge may be learned. When this is done, the Tosh will learn 1D6x10% of the skills that the victim knew, AND the Tosh has a 25% chance of learning any special O.C.C. training that the character possessed, such as the Cyber-Knight's ability to will a Psi-Sword into existance. The Tosh will also have many of the same memories that the victim had as well. In the case of magic spells, the Tosh has only a 10% chance of learning any of the spells, and unless it requires no words or gestures, the Tosh is still incapable of using this magic, but may make use of it to predict what a spell casting victim is planning to do.
    Retain Life Energy: This is a power that all Tosh have for some unknown reason. It is theorized that in a non-magic rich environment that the Tosh may actually still be a Mega-Damage structure due to his/her ability to retain the mystic energies of it's victims.
Horror Factor: 15.
Psionics: The only psychic abilities the Tosh possesses is a powerful form of Telepathy that allows them to communicate among their own kind up to a mile away. If a human/D-Bee with Telepathy tries to read surface thoughts while this is happening, he/she will only get vague impressions of what they are 'talking' about, and see images rather than hear words. No I.S.P. is required for this power.
N.P.C./Villain Bonuses: +4 on initiative, +2 to strike, parry, & dodge. +6 to save vs. Horror Factor, and Magic. These are all in addition to attribute bonuses.
N.P.C. Combat Attacks: Six hand to hand attacks. If the Tosh in question happens to have a spell that can be cast by thought alone, then only One attack by magic per melee.
Average Level of Experience: 2D4+2. (Goes under the Dragon R.C.C. table.)
Magic: As per victims.
Vulnerabilities: Rune weapons, and those made from Millenium Trees do double damage.
Skills: As per victims, will typically have 4D6 skills per level of experience.
Allies: Tosh rarely quarrel among each other, so other Tosh appear to be their best allies. Otherwise everyone and everything is treated as a potential enemy, unless another creature assisted in defending the 'nest' of a Tosh.
Enemies: Anything and everything is a potential enemy.
Value: As mentioned before the young Tosh may be tought as riding animals. Otherwise Tosh may be captured and used as living P.P.E. Batteries.
Habitat: They tend to hang around forests, and places of beauty. It is not unusual to find a Tosh basking in the sunlight near the base of a waterfall, watching the colors of the rainbow in the mist. Otherwise they may be found almost anywhere. Tosh are extremely rare on RIFTS Earth, with perhaps as few as a dozen on all of Earth.

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