by Max Barry

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by The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania. . 236 reads.

Mutants and Monsters

Millennia of heavy industrialization, environmental pollution, poorly managed experiments and two ancient wild magic catastrophes have left parts of Despoticania extremely mutagenic. The horribly malformed mutants born in these areas have spread all over Despoticania and roam the sparsely populated wilderness areas between the fortress-like cities and smaller settlements. Some mutants are unique, while others have become new species in their own right. Listed here are some of the more common, dangerous or famous ones.


Mysterious, almost legendary beings found only in the Kangaxx Forest, foresters appear to be blobs of water animated by lingering magic. They can take many different shapes, but most seem to prefer the human form. The water that makes up their bodies is extremely corrosive, and touching a forester will cause immediate acid burns. Foresters are bound to their forest and act as its guardians against those who would do it harm.

Giant Mutant Bear

Bears mutated by environmental toxins, radiation and wild magic, giant mutant bears are found all over Despoticania. They are significantly larger and stronger than normal bears, but thankfully not very aggressive unless provoked. Their incredibly thick hide makes them very resistant to small arms fire; only heavier weapons meant to kill elephant-sized targets or larger are recommended for attempting to take down a giant mutant bear.

Snow Runner

A semi-intelligent species of human-sized monsters living in the northern wastes, snow runners form small tribes with some vague hints of primitive culture. Usually they avoid humans, but lone wanderers are occasionally ambushed at night and carried away, never to be seen again. It is not known how snow runners reproduce, as they seem to completely lack reproductive organs. Like their name suggests, snow runners can move very fast, even in a blizzard. They are also almost completely silent while moving, only letting out a blood-curdling scream just before lunging at their victim.

Swamp Gulper

A large and vicious monster species lurking in the southern swamplands, swamp gulpers prey on just about everything smaller than themselves. They also eat almost everything, from plant and animal tissue to wood, ceramics and plastics. And what they don't eat, they break into tiny pieces just for the heck of it. Very dangerous and extremely hostile, swamp gulpers are known to chase their prey for days before finally giving up.

The Whispering Void

A very rare but consistently reported phenomenon occurring in the arctic wastes of northern Despoticania, the Whispering Void is a mysterious entity that appears from time to time to lone wanderers or small groups travelling in the north. It takes the form of a large cloud of icy particles that surround its target(s) and communicates with them telepathically. The Void offers to grant a single wish or desire. Those who accept the offer will find their wish technically granted but in a perverted, corrupted way that has - usually very destructive - unintended consequences.