BIOLOGY: The Festerupt is closely related to the Pustulump and the Scabberant, but much more mobile, more compact and encased in a tougher, spherical shell formed from countless layers of hardened blisters and scar tissue. Its many sharp, movable spines are actually dense formations of hair, sheathed in delicate blister sacs that slide along each shaft to drench the wicked spear with infectious pus.
Organisms "stung" by a Festerupt are invaded immediately by its symbiotic microorganisms, which feed, multiply and die rapidly enough to develop a large, painful abscess within minutes. The agonizing cyst not only burdens the host with a sensitive new weak point, but continues to grow and concentrate volatile microbial toxins until the slightest injury triggers an explosion violent enough to sometimes kill the host outright. It isn't uncommon for a Festerupt to sting a larger monster several times as it sleeps and tail it for as long as necessary, waiting for the cysts to burst and provide it with a fresh carcass to scavenge.
When all else fails, a Festerupt can drain its pustules into its own shell and trigger a devastating explosion of its own, its spindly inner body safely thrown clear in the deadly blast of pus, viscera and fractured needles. Without medical assistance, the development of a new shell, pustules and spines may take up to six months, during which the creature shuns being seen in the light.
A Festerupt has a surprisingly delicate and squeamish constitution. Its mouth may water at the stench of a corpse bursting with its own pus, but one unexpected insect trapped in the pooling juices can send it reeling in disgust, it mortally fears any injury to its true body and obsesses to no end over keeping its shell free of dust, dirt and grime.
Nonetheless, the sniveling and cowardly Festerupt will never miss a chance to inflict its horrific sting on an aggressor or even an excuse to trigger its self destruct mechanism, easily overcome by a vindictive zeal for mayhem the moment it finds an opportunity.
The development of the Festerupt, Pustulump and other "Blemishoids" is thought to have lead to the emergence of the Fectoid class, but their bioconstruct prototypes can endure many conditions that the more specialized Fectoids otherwise cannot. They are unsurprisingly popular in tandem, and a Festerupt is a common choice of personal assistant to trainers who specialize in microbial combat.
SPINES: the Festerupt is covered in long, tough, keratinous spines that are even detachable, inflicting significant melee damage themselves.
BOOM BLISTER: the sting of a Festerupt's spines initiates the growth of a debilitatingly painful cyst. The cyst becomes dangerously explosive the longer it develops uninhibited.
FESTERUPTION: the monster's namesake is its ability to self-detonate, flinging noxious fluids and stinging needles with incredible force.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik