To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Cosmic Horror, THE LESSER ABOMINATION FAMILY!
Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.
In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.
Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:
A whirling mass of amorphous and ever shifting flesh, Shogibber is a manic creature bursting with energy and a passion for spreading chaos wherever it goes. Though it may seem unorganized and random, there is a method to its madness.
If given a diploma from a prestigious college, Shogibber can evolve into Weelburr. Somewhat more skilled at organized thought, Weelburr has a staggering arsenal of arcane attacks at its disposal, and its chaotic hybrid anatomy allows it to survive attacks that should have destroyed it with a sliver of health.
If given the Necronomicon, Weelburr can evolve into Dunnywich. A towering monstrosity in the vein of Yogsogog, Dunnywich may lack ranged attacks and speed, but makes up for this with its incredible stealth, turning invisible as it lumbers in to assault its prey.
If taken to a frozen wasteland, Shoggiber can evolve into Gredowyn. Though it specializes in long range arcane attacks, this monster is beefier than most Arkies with this speciality, allowing it to withstand a greater deal of punishment than the standard ranged fighter.
After slaying four enemies in combat, Gredowyn can evolve into Tickletime. A stealthy hunter, this monster hits hard and has amazing speed at its disposal, which makes up for its frail defenses.
After defeating an enemy in a dreamscape, Tickletime can evolve into Gugalug. A brute, Gugalug has a large health pool and powerful close range fighting skills, making it an excellent front line fighter.
If given a fishing pole, Shogibber can evolve into Shallowone. Though this humanish monster may not seem like much, it is a formidable threat at close range, and has surprisingly decent stealth abilities to help itself and its fellow Arkies avoid attention from the enemy.
If taken to a body of water, Shallowone can evolve into Deepestone. Made in Dadagon’s image, this fish-like humanoid from the deep excels at preying upon other humanoid monsters. When its health drops low, it can temporarily transform into Shallowone and use its previous form’s attention deflecting powers to escape notice.