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Brain Gorger Spawn

The history of the Grat-tals (“Slave” in Deep Speech) is not a kind one. The horrors known as Brain Gorgers, the ruthlessly amoral and deeply feared denizens of the deep dark, are well known and loathed for their unrelenting desire to feed on the psychic energy and brains of other sentient beings. These creatures who live collectively in hive-like fashion at the direction of the Great Brain decided that they needed a new type of servant. This is where the history of the Grat-tals begins. Unlike other mixed-race humanoids that result from sexual reproduction, the Grat-tals are humans that as fetuses were subject to Brain Gorger magical and psionic manipulation forever changing them. The result was a new race, the Grat-tals” of human ancestry but that share some characteristics of the Brain Gorgers.

Creations Of The Brain Gorgers

The brain gorgers are well known for their hunting and stockading of humans and all intelligent humanoids to provide their communities with both slaves and a long-term food source. The gorgers view intelligent humanoids in the same dispassionate way that many humanoids view cattle. But as a result, the brain gorgers have also had ample test subjects upon which to conduct their cruel experiments.

It took many years of trials to come up with human spawn that survived the experimentation process. The gorgers hoped this new hybrid race might serve as a more capable slave race, one with some amount of their own ability and just enough humanity to empathize with their former kin as emissaries and lieutenants.

This new race, the Grat-tals, shared a similar maturation pattern and lifespan with their human forebears. However, there were many key differences.

Among them, this new race did not enjoy the same level of physical strength and overall vitality of normal humans. Further, the Grat-tals did not seem to retain the same level of natural empathy for their fellows that is such an axiomatic feature of human civilization. Finally, the Grat-tals exhibited lesser versions of some of the odd psionic powers of their Brain Gorger progenitors.

Surprisingly enough, the Grat-tal were also fertile, capable of reproducing on their own.

Slaves And Servants

The Grat-tals were created for one reason and one reason only ” to serve the brain gorger collective.

While not as hale and strong as their human ancestors, the Grat-tals psionic abilities made them far easier to command and control than the unruly humans. Their native intelligence was another attribute that served the brain gorgers well.

While far more stoic than humans, the Grat-tals did not enjoy servitude any more than any other intelligent race.

In large part due to their high natural intelligence, the Grat-tals were able to successfully conspire and escape grain gorger dominion in large numbers. As a result, a substantial Grat-tal Diaspora occurred, and Grat-tals are now present in many civilized surface lands.

“Grat-tal” means “slave” in Deep Speech. Now that the Grat-tals have emerged onto the surface world, they refer to themselves as the “Freed Ones?.

Personality

As a result of Brain Gorger manipulation, the Grat-tals are much less emotional than their human forbearers, their minds still somewhat of an alien landscape. They usually have a flat affect and have a much-reduced sense of empathy, as compared to humans.

They tend to be quite reserved and to keep to themselves.

While Grat-tals do have long-term relationships with others of their kind, including a marriage-like pact and having children, they do not form large communities, rather remaining insular. Grat-tals are most commonly encountered as solitary individuals or in small packs.

Appearance

The torturous process that created the Grat-tals left its mark on this unfortunate race. While hair and eye color may vary, the Grat-tals are universally starkly pale, often even a faint purple hue to their skin, and very slight of build. To the unfamiliar, they are often mistaken as having some form of (dark) elven heritage. That is not the case. Mature Grat-tals are of the same height of their human ancestors, slender, and colorless.

Names

Mornir, Aubec, Juffa, Vasliss, Atarn, Bisrana, Dyvrim, Orlon, Sactric, Carkan, Jiku

Traits

Grat-tals share a number of common traits with each other.

Ability Score Increase: Grat-tals have agile and exceptional, albeit alien minds. Two of your mental ability scores, chosen from Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, increase by 2. However, your Strength and Constitution scores are both decreased by 1.

Age Grat-tals have a lifespan roughly the same as an average human. They reach maturity quickly, often in their early teens, and very rarely live over one hundred years.

Alignment The Grat-tals are strangers to the surface world and find human morality odd. Their dispassionate and analytical worldview strongly inclines Grat-tals towards neutrality. However, their very recent history of forced servitude has left an indelible mark on the Grat-tals, predisposing them to chaotic alignments.

Size Grat-tal range from under 5 to nearly 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.

Speed Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Superior Darkvision Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet.

Sunlight Sensitivity You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.

Retractable Tentacles The Grat-tal have the ability to extend their jaws and release tentacles similar to their brain gorger masters. When a Grat-tal’s tentacles are extended, they suffer disadvantage on Intelligence (Disguise) checks to appear as human. The Grat-tal can make a melee attack with the tentacles as an action, dealing 2d8 plus their Intelligence modifier as psychic damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 8 + proficiency bonus + Intelligence modifier).

Legacy of the Brain Gorger You have the innate ability to psionically message brain gorgers or other Grat-tals, as per the message spell. This ability does not extend to other races. Further, you have the innate ability to detect thoughts, as per the spell, once per short or long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells. When you reach 5th level, you gain the Stunning Pulse ability and regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest.

Stunning Pulse. As an action, you expend a hit die, and emit a wave of mind-rending magical power in a 30-foot cone. If you do not have any available Hit Die, you may not manifest this ability. Each creature in the area must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw (DC 8 + proficiency bonus + Intelligence bonus) or take 14 (4d6) psychic damage and be stunned. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Languages You can speak, read, and write Deep Speech or Under Common. You can also speak, read, and write Common.

Appearance
d6 Effects
1 Your body bears many scars and healed wounds.
2 Your eyes are of different otherworldly colors.
3 Your stature is stooped. You move with slight limp.
4 One of your hands is tattooed with a strange rune.
5 Your tentacles are somewhat stunted in length.
6 When using Stunning Pulse, your skull glows visibly.

Background Options

GMs and players can elect to roll once on each of the following tables to assign some unique background information to their Brain Gorger Spawn characters.

Background
d6 Effects
1 You witnessed mature Brain Gorgers abducting humans and disappearing into the gloom.
2 You have a spouse and children you have left behind.
3 You were infected and recovered from a terrible disease.
4 You lost a loved one and it haunts you.
5 You are suspected of murder and kidnapping.
6 You were educated in history and the arts.
Personality
d6 Effects
1 You are capricious and heartless, delighting in the torment of others.
2 You are self serving and put your needs first.
3 The vestiges of honor still live within you, annoyingly.
4 You believe that might makes right and the weak exist to serve you.
5 You are a double crosser and find it hard to keep your word or act nobly.
6 You always plan for betrayal and have a secret exit in mind when things go wrong.
Quirks
d6 Effects
1 Your tentacles writhe disquietingly when you start to become irritated or angry.
2 You display your claws threateningly if your word or honor is questioned.
3 You consistently refuse to ride animals.
4 You tend to brag about your abilities to those you consider your inferiors.
5 You are paranoid about being imprisoned and keep secretly hidden keys or small blades to prevent this.
6 You become ravenously hungry when presented with a challenge you cannot fully understand.

Grat-tal Feats

The following feats are open to Grat-tal characters.

Ceremorphosis

Your alien mind grows in power, unlocking deeper gifts.

Prerequisite(s): Grat-tal race

Benefit(s): You can expend an additional hit die (2) when using Stunning Pulse to deal 4d8 damage (instead of 4d6) and increase the range of the cone to 60 feet.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Book of Monstrous Might: Ecology of the Brain Gorger Spawn ©2020 Total Party Kill Games. Authors: Brian Berg, Danny Grimes, Alex Kammer