CLASS: BOTANICAL"You let it get away! No, YOU did. No, YOU."
The "head" or "float" of a Nepenthergast constitutes a single large polyp, filled with a buoyant gas and capable of steering the colony as it undulates its ocular fork and pulses its hollow body. Further down the chain of monsters are the primary feeding polyps, armed with flesh-boring, fluid-draining tendrils whose digestive enzymes sting painfully. Trailing last in the colony are the reproductive polyps, whose hallucinogenic pollen also serves to disorient prey. In contrast to the Nepenthereal, this monster's poison generally results in pleasurable illusions, reducing the victim's resistance to its many feeding tendrils.
When winds mix the pollen of two Nepenthergast, the eldest reproductive polyp produces an embryo, which the monster will plant in the remains of its prey.
Each member of a Nepenthergast colony is fairly intelligent, with the exception of the dull-witted float, which may carry the collective in undesirable directions when distracted by bright objects. Even while sustained by their harder work, the float has very little regard for the feelings of its "bothersome" polyps, and would often rather they be silent while it concentrates on what it considers more important matters, such as bright objects.
A Nepenthergast's feeding polyps will often carry and feast upon a single prey organism for an extended period of time, eventually reducing them to a withered, peaceful looking mummy. These they may hang from branches in their territory, or manipulate with their tendrils to further toy with intruders.
While its behavior can be difficult to manage, the Nepenthergast's toxins, stingers and decentralized anatomy can make for a troublesome and surprising opponent. When surrounded by natural foliage or supported by tactical insect swarms, a Nepenthergast attack can seem like the very scenery has sprung to malignant life from all directions.
A Nepenthergast may "play dead" if broken apart or its flotation polyp is destroyed, but its remaining portions are fully capable of rapid, serpentine ground movement and arboreal brachiation. The physical strength of the monster's core vine should not be underestimated.
TOXIC POLLEN: The Nepenthergast's pollen fog interferes with visibility and carries a psychotropic poison, resulting in pleasant but disorienting hallucinations.
FEEDING STINGS: The monster's forked, whiplike feeding appendages can deliver a painful, paralyzing sting, drill into flesh and steadily drain body fluids.
MUMMY PUPPET: A Nepenthergast colony may, in some cases, carry and manipulate one or more lightweight, shriveled corpses. Under the influence of its pollen, victims may interpret these corpses any number of personal ways.
COLONIAL PHYSIOLOGY: The Nepenthergast consists of many connected individuals capable of independent survival with no centralized weak point.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik