\aITEM -919503507 -1296203650:Anatomy of the Fathomlurker\/a \aITEM -919503507 -1296203650:Anatomy of the Fathomlurker\/a
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Anatomy of the Fathomlurker
by Wilfre Cogboom
Among the most terrifying creatures that prey upon the denizens of Thalumbra is the one they call the fathomlurker.
Fathomlurkers are rarely seen in open, exposed areas; more likely found lurking in dark crevices and dank caves.
Many the unsuspecting gnome has vanished into the shadows while traversing a dark cavern, never to be seen again.
Fathomlurkers have a cluster of eyes set at the lower front of the conical upper body. At first we thought this meant we could evade them by slipping behind the creatures. We soon learned our mistake the hard way!
Examination of dead specimens reveals the fathomlurker's eyesight is poor at best. Perhaps the eyes are a vestige from a surface-dwelling ancestor, now atrophied through disuse in the depths of subtunaria. Instead the creature seems to rely on echolocation. Fine bristles around the upper body catch the slightest echo of motion in any direction. It is joked that it's easier to sneak up on the mighty Nagafen than on a fathomlurker.
In moments of dire emergency, the fathomlurker can expel an inky dark smoke, blinding those around it not fortunate enough to be as skilled in echolocation.
The ten flexible tentacles are equipped with sharp, bony extrusions that dig into captured prey. These combined with the impressive sinews of the tentacles make it almost impossible for a solo traveler to escape the grasp of a fathomlurker. Cave expedition guidelines mandate groups of no less than three for this reason.
Most fathomlurkers reach the approximate mass of an overfed ogre. Some explorers have reported seeing specimens grown to immense size, but were unable to determine the cause. Are these some closely related but larger species? Or can all fathomlurkers attain such a size with great age? Or perhaps some gender dimorphism?
Thus far, volunteers to go and trap these immense beasts for scientific research have been regrettably scarce.
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