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Tarrasque

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Tarrasque
(Creature)
Type Magical beast
CR 25
Environment Any
Alignment

Source: Pathfinder Bestiary, pg(s). 262

A legendary monster of immense size, the Tarrasque resembles a titanic dinosaur. It is a creature of unthinkable power bent on total destruction. It is practically impossible to kill; one can only hope to banish or transport it somehow in order to stop its rampage.

AppearanceEdit

Of all the abominable Spawn of Rovagug, the eternal horror called the Armageddon Engine is by far the simplest in appearance and design: formed symmetrically and efficiently in the shape of a vast, hunched vertebrate, it possesses neither tentacles nor wings nor ichorous, alien tendrils of mysterious purpose. It has but two eyes and a single maw, bearing a biped’s build with a quadruped’s tail; its form is arrayed with horns, claws, and teeth set for one purpose only: eliminating life. The raw, absolute lethality of the Tarrasque is beheld in its workmanship: a perfect predator combining the sleek grace of the hunting cat, the stunning ferocity of the shark, and the overwhelming force of the silverback gorilla.

Beyond its incalculable killing power and extraordinary size, the otherworldly carapace of the Tarrasque is its most notable feature, literally capable of deflecting (or even reflecting) nearly all known supernatural assaults. The teeth of the Tarrasque are its most dangerous weapons, severing through flesh, bones, steel, and stone with equal ease. The jaws of the Armageddon Engine are swift to gulp down whole villages into the crushing dark of its gut, though few survive to experience such hell, rent asunder by the onslaught of scimitar-sized fangs. Even the horns and tail of so awesome a foe are deadly weapons, capable of turning a nation’s most elite warriors into sticky crimson mist.[1]

EcologyEdit

Although far from intelligent, the Tarrasque is smart enough to understand a few words in Aklo (though it cannot speak). Likewise, it isn't mindless in its rampages but instead focuses on targets that threaten it, and is difficult to distract with trickery. Thought to have been created by Rovagug while in the Pit of Gormuz, the Tarrasque is one of the most powerful and destructive creatures known.[1][2] It is believed that this creature is the current herald of the god of destruction.[3]

History and LoreEdit

What very few records remain of the Tarrasque’s attacks on Ninshabur suggest that the creature was actually drawn to sites of human habitation, perhaps via scent, utterly annihilating populations and then savagely hunting down lone escapees in acts of indescribable brutality. By the third full month of the creature’s assault on the kingdom, the thrice-sealed vaults of magically-shrouded Tabsagal had become the last refuge of Ninshabur’s nobles, who ordered their men to kill any refugees seen traveling toward the impregnable complex. It is noted that the ruling caste eventually succumbed to hunger, disease, and suicide in the dust-choked halls of their haven, dying unmourned and forgotten in a solitary oasis surrounded by the waste of an empire.

Truly, the savageries of this Spawn’s assaults were akin to a military campaign of total war, yet they also resemble in some ways a wild animal attack upon a campsite: the Tarrasque left no stone upon stone, and lashed out with chilling, brutal efficiency at every target that caught its dull attention. Upon scouring Ninshabur of life, it swept west and carried its reign of terror through Avistan and into Garund, again drawn to cities, fortresses, and farmsteads by some hateful need. It took more than 8 months after the Spawn’s arrival on the continent before the creature was finally stopped; a hundred conflicting narratives and folktales exist concerning what titanic and awesome energies were eventually used to bring it low and hide its body away.

Among the many who claim some part in ultimately vanquishing the beast are the Taldans (who claim that a single swordsman slew it) and the Osirians (calling the defeat of the Armageddon Engine an act of the Last Pharaoh); both of these nations, along with many others, celebrate the fall of the Tarrasque as part of their cultural heritage and national holidays. More serious scholars attribute the eventual defeat of the Tarrasque to the nation of Nex, Geb, or even Shory, and some evidence suggests that the Tarrasque might have been responsible for the crash of the flying city Kho into the Barrier Wall mountain range of the Mwangi Expanse.[1]

ResurrectionEdit

Perhaps the greatest threat of the Tarrasque is its own reputation. The incredible power of the Armageddon Engine is respected, and even admired, by organizations ranging across the known world; these include such unlikely agencies as the inscrutable Monastery of Untwisting Iron among Jalmeray’s Houses of Perfection, the vampire-led Adamant Company of Nidal’s Black Triune, and several of the more suicidal demon-cults. Many see the beast as an apotheosis of perfect drive and purpose, gifted of an absolute balance between desire, form, and action.

Of all the mighty Spawn of Rovagug, many regard the great Tarrasque as the most likely candidate for a return to life in some dark future age; obsession with the fell deeds and unstoppable might of the Tarrasque is common enough among the uneducated masses of the Inner Sea region, and arrogant wizards the world over are intrigued to the point of madness by the godlike potential inherent in somehow harnessing the dread thing. A dozen attempts have been made over the last century alone to uncover the tomb of the Armageddon Engine, though most have discovered nothing or resulted in the searchers meeting unfortunate ends.

Some legends hold that the Tarrasque might be returned to life simply via the sacrifice of a hundred virgins flung into its gaping maw; others suggest that a full seven-times-seventy oxen and other beasts of burden must be drained of their blood from cuts delivered by a holy sword blessed by a blind priest of Sarenrae, and the pooled, hot vitae then poured into the eyes and nostrils of the Armageddon Engine. Still others suggest a more esoteric ritual might reunite flesh and soul, but the truth is simply this: the mere fact that such legends are common folklore in so many parts of the world means that the return of the great Tarrasque is likely inevitable.[1]

ReferencesEdit

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