Friday, January 14, 2011

Grip of the Octopus


Astral cehalopods or astral octopuses are extradimensional sentients, and either conquerors or gourmands, or some mixture of both. They are parasites feeding off the subtle emanations that radiate into the astral space from intense human emotion. They appear as large and admittedly somewhat fake looking octopuses when viewed under astral-sight, but are otherwise invisible.

Astral octopuses of different groups, or perhaps just different tastes, prefer different emotional spectra, which they dine on exclusively. Some have a taste for anger or fear, while others favor love or passion. Others of more exotic dietary preferences, like paranoia or religious ecstasy, have been encountered.

These creatures bind invisibly to a human being's astral body. By delicate, astral manipulations of their hosts’ consciousnesses, they are able to influence them to to actions or behaviors more likely to lead to the emotional flavors they favor. They do not control behaviors--at least at first--merely make their preferred course of action seem more reasonable. Over time, however, this influence grows and their favorite emotional diet becomes their hosts’ usual emotional state. This too often leads to an early death, mental hospitalization, or incarceration.  Though some hosts are able to resist for decades, magical intervention is the only way to free them from the creatures once and for all.

Mercifully, astral octopus infestation is rare. It is most commonly seen in adventurers who have had contact with the raw astral plane, those suffering certain curses, or mediums or spiritualists who have engaged in astral projection. However, those who have attended seances or engaged in the use of certain recreational alchemicals have been known to be afflicted.

12 comments:

Tim Brannan said...

Very cool.

I might have to yoink this one!

Johnathan Bingham said...

I laughed out loud at work about the bit about them being admittedly fake. That along with the accompanying picture was awesome!

The Drune said...

I, for one, welcome the Astral Octopuses as our new masters...

Risus Monkey said...

I *love* that they appear fake. That makes the monster for me.

Beedo said...

This is an awesome monster.

I love the idea that as time passes, the octopus exerts more control over the host's emotions, slowly driving them mad. This one is right in my happy place.

Sean Robson said...

Too cool! I'm with Beedo, I like the insidious and pervasive influence they exert upon their victims. I also like that they look 'fake.' I really like the '1950's drive-in' paper mache and puppet strings monsters.

Trey said...

Thanks one and all for the comments.

@Tim - Yoink away. :)

@Johnathan - Yeah, the picture was what pretty much inspired the thing.

@Drune - Well, of course, that's what it's urging you to say...

@Sean - yeah me too. I feel like there's too much emphasis on realism these days. That's fine for film, but in other media I think we can glory in the fakiness of previous eras.

NetherWerks said...

We might want to use these as possible familiars in Zalchis...with all the madness that implies...

Trey said...

That's a great idea, and a great fit.

Roger the GS said...

I can't help but think of the creatures in Jack Vance's Nopalgarth (aka The Brains of Earth.)

richard said...

I missed these first time around - love it. The "admittedly fake" aside reminds me of Dion Fortune. I can just hear her telling a story about the dangers of the octopus.

Trey said...

Thanks, Richard. Glad you liked it.