What is it?
At the southern edge of the Homochitto National Forest, just north of the Mississippi/Louisiana border, locals and numerous visitors have seen and heard the cryptid animal referred to as the Catulacorn.
The name is believed to have been coined by a local pastor or priest but no one individual has ever been identified as the originator of the word. 'Catula' is a martyred saint in the old African Catholic Church but the word's Latin origin refers to a young or small female dog. As one might imagine, the 'corn' part is the same as in 'Unicorn' and refers to the beasts single, steak knife shaped horn.
Sightings have been fairly spread out over time but the first recorded mention of the Catulacorn is 1901.
The animal closely resembles a donkey, though much leaner, with short, coarse fur which is mostly black or charcoal grey fading to stripes of mixed lighter grays on its hindquarters. It has a deep black mane and blue-eyes like those of a Husky. In some ways it resembles a young Zebra but closer inspection reveals otherwise. The Catulacorn's eyes are noticeably more forward facing on its head than those of a horse or similar animal and it appears to have sharp, not flat, teeth. Whiskers, more like those of a canine or feline, are visible on its snout. Its feet are not hoofed but rather canine like webbed paws similar to those of hunting dogs commonly seen in the southern United States. Finally, the creature has a single, knife shaped horn of dark gray/black growing from the center of its forehead. The horn is approximately a foot long.
What does it do?
For the most part the creature does what most cryptids do. It hides from sight, peaking out periodically to scare visitors to the National Forest half to death. Otherwise it seems content to remain hidden. Most eyewitness accounts are either accidental or sighted when the creature travels to drink from the Mississippi River, a pond or other body of water. Some unusual, possibly supernatural elements have been attributed to the Catulacorn.
First, its 'call' is incredibly disturbing. People hearing it at different times and in different areas describe the same sound and matching side effects. Its baying most closely resembles, "A deep voiced goat" according to one resident and "Like a goat choking but louder", by another. Individuals within earshot experience mild pain behind their eyes, a stinging in the ears, dry throat and in some instances nausea.
Second, the creature seems to be poisonous. Wildlife officials and park rangers have found numerous smaller animal carcasses with puncture wounds from the Catulacorn's horn. Analysis of the bodies revealed that before being eaten the small creatures died of some kind of injection of an as yet unidentified toxin. The poison causes blackening wounds and attacks the nerve endings. Continued study of this peculiar mode of hunting is occurring at several zoological institutions.
Why do PCs care?
It’s a monster, duh! Actually, there are many ways you could go with this. Perhaps the creature's unique toxin is actually needed to make a cure for a disease or an anti-toxin. There could be someone or something hidden in the Forest that the PCs need and they have to step into the Catulacorn's territory. Is there just one? Maybe the PCs are members of a scientific research team trying to find more information.
PREVIEW: Muppet Mondays!
Hey all, after March's Muppet Madness Month, this A-to-Z thing is almost too easy. I don't want to lose the mojo but I need to talk about other stuff too. So if you'll indulge me for a moment, let's take a look at how Muppet month turned out...
First, I gained three or four new followers during the month of March. Thank you and welcome aboard!
Second, I had 3,675 pageviews, my highest month ever! Now granted I had Erin Palette, James Mal, Exonaut Jay and Happy Whisk helping out but still, pretty damn cool no?
I also had tons of fun and can't wait to expand on the idea. The PDF is coming along and over all I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Among the things you're going to see on Muppet Mondays are Adventure Ideas for the Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, new Campaign/Series ideas, Props, Costumes, Locations, a more in depth look at running the game and hopefully more guest blog posts!
Been working on the weekends a lot so I haven't actually gamed in a while but I'm looking forward to starting up something soon. Will it be Muppets? *Sigh* no, probably not but whatever it is I'll keep you posted.