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Etchin (pl. Etchin)

Etchin are what the colder climes of Elidh have in their rivers instead of crocodiles (not that the warmer regions have terrestrial crocodilians, either…). They are an invertebrate with similarities to various sorts of starfish, sea cucumbers, and anemones. Each has between 5 and 9 arms, depending on the exact species, and a toothed sphincter of a mouth under the center body. There are simple “eyes”, more like rudimentary motion sensors, along each arm on both the upper and lower surfaces, seemingly at random. Individuals have been catalogued with fewer eyes than arms, as well as those with over a dozen eyes per arm. The upper surface is covered in a rugged, chitinous, armored skin designed to imitate the rocky bottom of a stream in both color and texture. The underside of the beast is pale white, with thousands of small, tube-shaped suckers lining the bottom of each arm. Unlike terrestrial octopi and squids, the Etchin’s suckers are not toothed, relying solely on hydraulic pressure and numbers for their strength of suction.

Etchin can extend and contract the length of their thick arms very rapidly via hydraulic action, giving them an effectively longer reach than a creature of their size should enjoy. They use this advantage to hide along the bottom of a riverbank and seize prey as it bends down to drink. Like terrestrial crocodilians, the Etchin prefers to use its superior strength and grip on the riverbed to drag prey into a deeper channel and drown it before feeding.

Etchin are hermaphrodytes who carry both seed & eggs encysted randomly throughout the flesh of their arms. When two Etchin meet, they wrestle until at least one has lost an arm, which is then consumed by the other. In a few weeks’ time, the ovum in 1d of the Etchin’s own arms mature, causing them to swell and drop off to become egg sacs. The young etchin devour the arm’s flesh when they emerge, and the adult, if well-fed, can regenerate them fairly quickly. Like terrestrial starfish, any piece of an Etchin removed from it by violence will regenerate into an entire creature (if a grossly lopsided and misshapen one) given sufficient time.

GURPS Template

ST 19; DX 13; IQ 2; HT 14; Will 10; Per 9; Speed 6.75; Dodge 9; Move 4; SM 0

Traits: Blindness; DR 3 (Upper Side Only); No Fine Manipulators; Vibration Sense (Universal); Wild Animal

Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-15

  • Combat:
    • Bite: 1d+1 cut (The Etchin generally grapples with its Brawling skill and attempts to hold the victim underwater, waiting until its struggles cease before attempting to bite)


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