“The Yirciti is all the evidence one needs of Aia’s fall; no sane god would make something so repugnant.”
-Matana, Luxi Preacher
Also Known As: Verschlinger, Heinäsirkat, Kaikino, Rapaxus, Yirtici, Glutor
Habitat: Variable but typically proximate to water
Hazard Level: High
The Gluthor is a portly amphibious creature which shares a mix of traits with mammals, crustaceans, and frogs, and is known to menace the coasts and lakes of Aeldos. While the species is mostly found in the water, they are entirely capable of surviving on land and have been observed migrating between water bodies, often intersecting with travelers and settlements. The appetite of the Gluthor is legendary and they are considered a bane by most settlements due to their gluttonous hunger (hence the name).
Most frequently characterized as a walking stomach with the appendages necessary to shovel food into it, the Gluthor possesses a corpulent midsection supported by four thick legs and two relatively spindly but powerful arms which are used to grasp prey. The beast possesses a hideously wide maw capable of distending to accept any potential meal. They are believed to be a favoured creation of Aia, the Deviant nee Libertine Ayr.
Gluthor are driven entirely by the need to fill their sagging stomach with as much mass as possible, with a particular preference for meats. Gluthor can grow up to three meters in height and weight up to 10 tonnes when full.
The Gluthor possesses a monstrous body with a large head dominated by a massive mouth containing between three and five long prehensile tongues. The species is able to eject these far from its mouth in order to grapple prey, using a poisonous barb lodged within to paralyze prey. The species has several dozen apparently vestigial teeth, preferring to swallow its food whole and often alive. Gluthor stomachs (of which there are three) are a roiling cauldron of powerful acids and crushing muscles which can digest virtually any material. Female specimens have demonstrated the repulsive ability to eject a stream of potent stomach acid which can cause serious burns to exposed flesh.
The Gluthor’s eyes are small and dull, and its visual acuity is far lower than its olfactory senses making them entirely capable of operating without sight.
The Gluthor moves with the aid of four stumpy legs but is incapable of haste, lumbering slowly and inexorably towards food sources. This makes escape a favoured tactic on land, however the species is much more agile in water and can chase down most boats.
The Gluthors rubbery flesh is resistant to a wide range of temperatures and considerable pressure offering considerable defense against slashing or bludgeoning weapons. The creatures vast fat reserves also protect it against piercing weapons by rapidly sealing over and staunching any bleeding. Gluthor skin colour ranges from deep fungal green to slate grey, depending on its environment, aiding it in camouflage.
While the species prefers meat, the Gluthor is omnivorous in the true sense of the word and in a frenzy will often consume non-organic matter, including trees, rocks, and metals.
The ideal habitat for a Gluthor is the sea where it acts as a bottom feeder, happily gorging on whale corpses, plankton accumulation, and the fish and creatures which inhabit the lower strata of the ocean. A less ideal but common habitat is large lakes where aquatic megafauna can feed their hunger. The Gluthor tendency to migrate onto land appears to be driven by their monstrous appetites.
Gluthor breed asexually, dropping spore clusters which hatch into Glutlings. They possess no maternal instinct but modest to high fecundity. Fortunately their spore and young Glutlings are aquatic which means even terrestrially inclined Glutor are driven to return to large bodies of water in order to breed. Glutlings reach physical maturity within a year. As they are prone to cannibalistic behavior usually only a single Glutling survives at the cost of its siblings.
Gluthor have only a single major orifice, their mouth, which is used for both consumption and excretion. The species reproductive organs are also located in a cul de sac structure in their throat and breeding is accomplished by the joining of mouths between two specimens.
Gluthor mental abilities are bestial at best. Perhaps the most accurate description of their mental process as follows: See thing – taste thing – if tasty eat thing – repeat until tired – rest – repeat. Gluthor are rarely found in groups of more than two, with most incapable of resisting the urge to taste and eventually eat others.
Gluthor vocalizations are an unpleasant mix of gurgling and baying that is highly distinct. The purpose of such vocalizations is poorly understood.
Killing a Gluthor can sometimes offer some reward beyond the social and environmental. The Gluthor habit of devouring anything means that interesting loot can sometimes be found in their bloated corpses. Unfortunately the strong stomach acids and powerful digestive system of the Gluthor often leave only the hardest materials remaining. Stronger stomached adventurers can also search Gluthor spoor for armour, gems, and other durable items.