Of all the creatures that shun the light of the sun and cling to the darkness of the subterranean world, none have the cunning nor the murderous instinct of the dread, diabolical predator known as the dire lurker. These fiendish creatures use their ability to cloak themselves in darkness to mask their approach when stalking prey. When not on the hunt, they prefer to hide amid stalactites of vaulted cavern ceilings while scanning their subterranean realm for the next victim to toy with. The netherworld horrors have been known to pursue prey for days and sometimes pass up quick kills in order to wear down their intended targets before finishing chem off. People who have been fortunate to survive the attack of a dire lurker claimed the beast seemed co feed off their fear. It’s unknown as to whether the creatures physically devour the terror they cause or are merely fulfilling sadistic desires, bur some speculate that the sole survivors of groups who were slain by dire lurkers were purposely left alive co tell of their experience. In any case, people do not enter their domain without good reason.
Typical Dire Lurker
Agility 4D: acrobatics 5D, dodge 5D, running 4D+2
Strength 5D: climb/jump 7D, stamina 5D+1
Knowledge 2D: intimidation 4D, survival 5D, willpower 3D
Perception 4D: hide 6D, search 4D+2, sneak SD
Strength Damage: 3D
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 25
Wound Levels: 3
Natural Abilities: claws (damage +2D); darkness field (can project a field of darkness that raises the difficulty of sight based skills used while in it by +5; lasts for a maximum of 2 minutes; extends 5 meters around creature); sinuous (+3 to acrobatics and dodge totals); fast reactions (+1D to initiative rolls; may take an additional action for one round 3 times during an adventure); fear (+1 to intimidation rolls and +1 combat defense against those who fail to resist an intimidation attack); infravision (negates up to 6 points of modifiers for dim or dark conditions); small size (scale value 4)
These creatures appear to have descended from reptiles but have a near-sapient intelligence, tempered with a wickedly mean streak that would give the most cold-hearted murderers good reason to pause. Their sinewy muscles allow their deadly claws to ding to cavern walls, and they travel along subterranean ceilings with ease.
Dire lurkers prefer to sleep at the top of vaulted caverns. They accomplish chis by sinking their natural weapons into a solid stalactite and coiling around it. Once the beast is in position, its spine locks and its body provides a natural lashing co keep it aloft. Its coloration allows the creature to blend in with its surroundings.
These beasts have been known to harass archaeologists on remote digs, act as unknowing guards of a lost underground city, and find their way into the air ducts of an underground research facility. Heroes could also find themselves cast as impromptu saviors when diplomats from a subterranean race plead for their assistance in ridding their realm of one of these horrors.
On one world, explorers have found a creature that appears to be very similar to the dire lurker, complete with nearly identical appearance and abilities, but at only five centimeters tall. These so-called “little lurkers”have become popular pets, kept in glass cages with faux cavernous systems; in their little world, they attack unsuspecting pieces of leftover meat or tiny rodents. Xenobiologists are nervous about the implications of this creature, since if these little lurkers are an offshoot or a case of parallel evolution, they could be extremely dangerous. For their part, the pet owners are unafraid, although they do note a tendency of their pets to grow a fair bit if overfed.