Wandering Wednesday: Darsh

The dregs of civilization draw creatures like the darsh like a moth to a flame, because it’s where it can feed easiest. A strange half-aquatic humanoid creature, it has limited shapeshifting abilities and is to be found lurking near the larger coastal towns and cities where it preys upon the weak humans that infest them. While most other creatures avoid the encroachment of civilization, the darsh embraces it, finding ways to infiltrate the seedier parts of ports and harbors, feeding upon the destitute and those that are lost. Darsh are voracious carnivores that have a mouth with two full layers of shark-like teeth that they use to make quick work of anything they decide is to become their next meal. As they digest, they can take on the shape of that person for a limited time before their ravenous hunger forces them to feed again. For this reason, darsh often prey upon beggars and the homeless and those it can easily catch and eat, and they hide out almost in plain sight until they are ready to strike again. When discovered, they are usually killed immediately, and it is said that some enjoy the taste of darsh flesh with just a drop of lemon. A poetic end to such a creature.

Darsh

Alignment: Chaotic
No. Encountered: 1
Move: 120′ (40′)
Level Dice:  4 hit dice
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attacks:  2 claw (1d4), 1 bite (1d6)
Special Attacks: See below
Save: F0
Special Abilities: See below
Loot: See below

Special Movement: None.

Special Attacks: When a darsh first attacks a victim with a bite, it injects a paralyzing agent into them. A failed save vs paralysis affects the target for 1d3 turns. During this paralysis, the darsh will often begin feeding, while the victim is still conscious.

Darsh need to feed every 1d3+1 days due to their ravenous hunger. They will try to be secretive about it, but if they are threatened, they will drag their victims from boats and drown them (paralyzing them underwater first) and then consume them once they take them back to their lair.

Special Abilities: Within an hour of consuming a person, a darsh can assume its form. Darsh are unable to hide their aquatic nature fully though. The shapeshifting ability isn’t perfect and some of their features still have an aquatic cast to them, making it look as though the person they are  impersonating is pallid or ill or puffed up. Their eyes are often oversized and black, like that of a sharks, and their touch is cold and clammy. There is often a smell of the ocean or fish that accompanies them, although it may be hard to detect except to those with exceptional smell, especially while the darsh is changed.

Loot: When a darsh eats a victim it consumes them whole, including what they are wearing and what they are carrying in their pockets. Their strong stomach acid will destroy fibers and leathers. Often baubles and valuables remain stuck inside a darsh‘s stomach. When killed, cutting open its insides may reveal a variety of treasure, as well as the contents of its last meal.

 

Disclaimer:  The darsh is one of many creatures that will appear in a future product released by InfiniBadger Press. It is not currently open content.

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