This patient predator may spend most of its life perched in the same place it hatched, employing its membranous limbs to fan the psychotropic vapor exuded from its mouth. The chemical concoction not only smells enticingly delicious, but dulls reasoning skills and excites reproductive behavior in applicable organisms, its victims desiring nothing more than to be enveloped in the monster's embrace at whatever gruesome cost. Sealing prey tightly within its arms, it secretes powerful enzymes from its inner lining and floods the cavity with digestive slurry from its two bile sacs. Though it can dissolve prey in under a day, bones and all, it will carefully draw out the process for up to several weeks, delicately sipping and savoring the steadily liquefying tissues of its catch.
A Lascivenus can borrow genetic material from all manner of prey as it feeds, snipping apart compatible genome sequences and storing them for years at a time. When it wishes to multiply, it draws from this collection to develop a massive egg spore in one or both of its bile sacs, eventually deposited in a suitable location to continue their growth until they hatch into fully grown offspring. Though capable of adapting to a wide range of conditions, they prefer cool, wet environments and especially peat bogs, where they may even bury their lower bodies deep in the muck or lie back and float on the surface of calm water as they wait for prey.
When food is scarce, a Lascivenus can indefinitely "sleep" until it catches scent of more nutritious prey, closing its lobes just enough to continue passively collecting insects and other tiny prey. It may even spontaneously reproduce during this period, but its young hatch already in this state of hibernation.
The Lascivenus makes no distinction between the concepts of feeding and mating, and considers nothing more romantic than to digest incapacitated prey for as long as it can draw out the process, though it can be choosy and may practice strict moral convictions as to what it considers appropriate sustenance. Usually cheerful and optimistic, the completion of every meal is marked by a period of intensive mourning as the monster retracts completely within its lobes and staunchly refuses to emerge for days or weeks at a time, certain it will never know such a love again and has no further reason to exist, behavior that abruptly ends when the creature experiences hunger again.
A Lascivenus consequently has a reputation for being scatterbrained and fickle, but it is an extremely intelligent, calculating hunter, and those it identifies as platonic friends rather than potential nutrient stew can count on a dependable and selfless ally.
When not employed as an active bioweapon, the Lascivenus is prized as a bodyguard or sentinel for its ornamental appearance and the steady calming effect of its breath in a subtler, more controlled stream. When force becomes necessary, the enormous bristles lining the monster's two lobes are as tough as nails, and its digestive acid is powerful enough to burn through flesh when exuded at full concentration, sometimes even rained down upon adversaries as it glides.
Lascivenus are the subject of several children's fairy tales, the most famous of which posits that the first specimen was created by the empress of an isolated culture to assassinate her own promiscuous spouse, only to succumb to her own creation and doom her civilization as the creature multiplied. Whether this is truly a mere story has been called into question by the discovery of a single small island littered with stone ruins and a thick tangle of the creatures in their more passive phase.
ARM CHOMP: the Lascivenus can snap shut its arms to impale attackers on its tooth-like bristles.
GLIDE: the monster can leap into the air and glide for long distances.
PHEROMONE: the Lascivenus can attract and incapacitate prey with its breath.
ACID DRENCH: the creature can spew corrosive bile from its upper body.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik