Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tarrasque Harvesting


What do you do with a gigantic, immortal monster stalking the wild places? If you’re a daring and entrepreneurial sort in Ealderde, Eura, or even the City, you harvest the living behemoth for anything of value.

Nobody knows where the Tarrasque came from, though there are a lot of theories: Staarkish Kriegsungeheuer--it’s gargantuan parts grown in separate industrial alchemical vats and melded together by cunning biothaumaturgy? An eikone given flesh, collective animus of the saurian monsters of prehistory? Alien? Elder God? There are as many ideas as the Tarrasque has spines.

Wherever it came from, the monster stalks cross Eura from Korambeck to the Arctic Wastes. It periodically enters periods of turpor lasting days to weeks, where it crouches, umoving and close to the ground. These are the times when harvesters can safely climb aboard the monster with little risk of winding up in its stomach. Once encamped, they take adamantine-tipped jackhammers and alchemical solvents to its hide. They scrap off carapace to sell to armorers and artificers, jar its ichor for alchemists, physicians, and thaumaturgists, smuggle its glandular secretions to junkies and assassins, and even trap its lice for whoever is willing to pay.

Most harvesters ship out for a few months. They erect tents in hammock-like nets affixed to the monster's hide; it takes little notice of them most of the time. Daring flyers dart in to hook dangling bags of material for sale, and eventually, harvesters headed for home.

Exposure to the creature is inherently toxic. All but the best preserved (and least flavorful) foodstuffs spoil rapidly. Plants die within days; small animals may last a week or more. Humans can last months, but many harvesters find it prudent to wear lead-lined suits. Even still, cancers and neurologic ailments are more common among those that have dwelled on the Tarrasque than the general population, and harvesters seem to age before there time.

11 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Now that could be considered rough-necking, obviously they animal gives signs that it's coming back to life?

Michael Moscrip said...

Finally, a reasonable use for the most abused monster in the book!

Porky said...

I like this a lot, the details especially. It makes perfect sense that where there's scope and time a symbiotic relationship could appear, and adventurers in dangerous places in general might be able to make livings in the role of cleaner gobies or similar to larger beings.

garrisonjames said...

Very nice. It's not just a job, it's an adventure...

Tim Shorts said...

That's a very cool version. I like it!

Needles said...

Very Cool idea I might steal this errm borrow this & modify it some for an upcoming game.

Trey said...

Thanks guys.

@Angry Lurker - One can only hope.

@Needles - Borrow away!

Canageek said...

Did you base this on "The City Built Around the Tarrasque" from RPG.net or a coincidence? If you've not heard of it, there is a similar idea there, except that they tied up the Tarrasque and harvest it daily. Oh and they are slowly, slowly being driven evil by it, as they are essentially torturing a monster for power, and then consuming its flesh.

Trey said...

I hadn't heard of that, put somebody linked to it on Google+. Interesting stuff!

Justin S. Davis said...

Late to the party, and this post is awesome.

And it puts an entirely different spin on Japan and its relationship to Monster Island. It's not to keep Japan safe from the kaiju...it's to keep the monsters contained for all the experiments and "acquisitions"...!

Trey said...

Ah! Good thought.