Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kempeitai and Horlas

The Gill Men weren't the only monstrosities the Japanese found in the jungles of Brazil. The rubber industry there was largely developed and run by Japanese immigrants and one plantation manger with strong ties to his homeland reported strange unseen creatures troubling his workers. A special Kempeitai team was smuggled in, and found evidence of the creatures. They set out to trap one, being versed in their own form of shadow walking.

Floor boards were arranged to squeak, coal dust spread, and thread strung to wind chimes. Nets, caltrops and darts were readied. In the end they lost several agents but brought down one of the unseen creatures. Chained and caged they began its interrogation. It called itself a Horla.

After some negotiation several Horla's were recruited for the Axis cause. They devastated a special ops group in the Phillipines and killed several Australian officers and ministers before one survivor told what was going on. An Agent Unseen was sent to deal with the problem and nearly killed when cornered by several of the monsters. A Team of HRH catgirls were dispatched from India and with the American mystery man known as the Bat the creatures were trapped on a wharf as they waited for extraction and the wharf set ablaze.

Eventually American and Brazilian scientists were sentinto the jungle and located several Horlas who were willing to work for the Allies. They took the codename Killroy (thought we were done with that? Nah!)

Horla are naturally invisible creatures of the same size and shape as humans. No known form of photography will record their appearance. Coating one in paint or dust will only reveal a blurry outline for a brief time. It is unknown how they evolved or the basis of their invisibility. The Allies never captured one alive and the corpses soon dissolve. Horlas are -4 to be hit if the attacker has a reason to target their specific area, -8 otherwise. They have a +8 ST vs. suppressive fire and take no damage if they make their throw and half damage otherwise.

A Horla's invisibility lets it strike with surprise most of the time unless it is extraordinarily stupid or unlucky. they have a 5 in 6 chance of attacking by surprise if alone. The creatures do not use weapons or armor. their claws (?) deal 1d6-1 damage in close combat. A Horla is far more apt to cause accidents, throw things as a distraction or use its mental powers to cause destruction. Horla's can perceive invisible humans somehow. Invisible humans perceive the Horlas as an indistinct greenish wraith.

A Horla's invisibility is not perfect. Mirrors behave strangely in their presence. While the creatures do not show their reflection they can block the reflection of other living beings (and often do this to torture victims).

A Horla has impressive hypnotic abilities. It can use the Charm Person spell a number of times per day equal to its level rounded up. It must speak to its victim, however. Others can hear it and be unaffected. This does not affect invisible humans or any human with their eyes obscured. Holy symbols or indeed any symbol or sight that stirs deep emotion in victim can allow another saving throw to break their spell. While under their spell humans have a weird greenish light around their eyes.

The Horla are immune to normal effects of weather. No Horla ever caught cold or sneezed (a problem with several British invisible operatives). The creatures have a powerful fear of fire and even bright light. Fire attacks do double damage to Horlas and a Horla must make a saving throw to avoid fleeing when faced with a fire based weapon.

Level       XP          HD             BHB              ST        Usage Die
1          2,500          1+1              +1              14          1d4

2          5,000          2+1              +2              13          1d6

3          7,500          3+1              +3              12          1d8

4         10,000         5+1              +4              11          1d10

5         15,000         6+1              +5              10          1d12

The Horla's usage die refers to its ability to remain undetected. They can leave footprints, be heard, and some people have reported a coldness or acrid smell in their presence. Roll the usage die every time the Horla remains in close proximity to a group of people. On a 1 or 2 the Horla left some trace and the humans have reason to be suspicious. The usage die also decreases one size. When a usage rolls fails at 1d4 humans have a distinct idea of where the intruder is and make their attacks at -4.