Continuing from – Transformation into Gargantuan Creatures – Part Two
Part Three – The Leviathan, a great denizen of the the deep.
A leviathan is common in myth, and could be viewed one of the variety of sea monsters, kraken, the Loch Ness monster, a natural alpha creature above sharks, or even constructed as a mega-shark.
The artwork reflects a quasi-sinister aspect of the creatures, and implies that many of the creatures have many multiple limbs, vicious teeth, and crushing powers. Some versions are still very fish or whale like, or sea turtles, or squid like, with others tending toward an under-sea dragons.
(a) Breathing underwater – is the first obvious ability, and either an additional option for fish-like gills or a huge capacity to hold its breath will do. I like the addition of gills as a secondary breathing method as it allows the lungs and voice to potentially still be present.
(b) Multiple limbs with specialised purposes – these could be the tentacles of a kraken, secondary grappling limbs, or still allow for arm and claw type limbs on a sea creature. Perhaps the creature can sense and see through it’s additional limbs, detect minor changes in temperate, or smell over great distances, akin to sharks.
(c) Underwater tail, fins, etc for propulsion – the beast needs to reflect a style of swimming. A huge tail, controlling fins, and all the small streamlining changes should be bundled together to form an aspect of the creature, so that it is essentially aquatic.
(d) Senses altered to suit aquatic environments. The creature should be thought of as an aquatic beast, but may then also be able to see, feel, smell, touch outside water as well. The artwork often has the monsters raising themselves out of the water as they attack, so they need to function in air as well as underwater.
This may be better facilitated in the creature by adding additional sensory organs into the design, which grant the abilities. i.e. The creature uses one set of eyes when above the surface, and another below. When using it’s underwater sense it should not have an penalties to perception.
(e) Crushing Grip and Deep Pull – this style of ability allows the form to grapple and crush a target, and draw it downward into the water. This should inflict damage proportional to the creatures size, and is mentioned specifically so that the form can also break apart boats or hold foes while it swims downward. The kraken has a mythic ability to entangle a ship and then pull it downward, using the water to kill the inhabitants.
(e) Tolerance for freezing oceans – the form is well insulated which means it can swim and function normally in even the coldest oceans and seas for very long periods.
(f) Cloud of Ink – this ability grants the form a reusable reserve of black ink which it uses to create a large murky slick within the water. This has the effect or blocking all normal vision in the effected area. The ability should only be usable once or twice before needing to be “recharged” over an extended period.
The size of the slick should be enough to comfortably envelop the size of the new form and the surrounding area, up to around ten times it’s volume. This grants enough room for the creature to flee. Optionally the ink may also have other side effects such as a revolting smell, or overly sticky.
(g) Universal Digestion – the form can digest almost any biological material for nutrition. This may mimic whale feeding on krill, or just ensure that other fish eaten will provide proper sustenance. This may assist the caster surviving in an otherwise hostile environment for extended periods.
The design of the transformation effect must increased to allow for the reference of many powers being both animalistic and aquatic in nature, which uses the Muto Corpus level 20 guideline.
Form of the Agile Leviathan
Muto Corpus / Animal 40, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Ind
The caster is transformed into a large (up to size 4) sea monster.
A green and blue scaled serpentine body, sleekly shaped for efficient underwater movement. Two stout forelimbs with grasping hands, and finned rear limbs used to add maneuverability in water. It also has a long neck and tail.
The physical form as the following aspects: breathing underwater through axillary gills, enhanced underwater olfactory and visual perception, a set of six smooth long tentacles which can be used to grip and entwine, and long powerful tail to allow swimming at great speeds, a toughened skin which resists cold, and human-like speech.
(Base 20 size change into an aquatic for flying animal of max size +1, +2 D: Sun, +1 for an additional 3 size ranks, +1 for a limited set of physical abilities)
The purpose of this version is to provide a shape which can be used for undersea exploration rather than brute force.
In the design of this Leviathan effect there is less emphasis on the raw size of the creature and variety in its form. I also chose to make the effect last for Duration:Sun instead of a shorter time due to the risk of being caught underwater when the effect expired. This helps to counterbalance the increased base cost of transformation into an aquatic animal.
A larger and scarier version could be created by adding further size ranks, and dropping the spell duration down. This change from a MuCo/An40 spell effect for size 4, up to a size +10 beast at using a level 45 effect. At that size the creature can easily swallow or crush other large creatures.