Posted on October 5, 2008 by Flames
We’ve got a new monster to add to the Halloween Horror collection today from creator Joe Rixman.
Joe brings us a new twist on an existing creature, turning a dangerous predator into a fearsome monster…
Created by Joe Rixman
Tear-Drop Rattler: This creature is native to desert valleys where the sun’s heat is greatest. It appears as a rust colored, ten-foot long rattlesnake, with a diamond-shaped head, a cobra-like cloak that expands when it feels threatened and blood-red tear drop patterns that give this creature its name lining the entire length of the body. Its primary weapon is a pair of foot-long, venom-tipped, needle-sharp fangs that unfurl when it opens its jaws, but it has a secondary weapon that is much more dangerous to prey that might not want to get too close. Nature has given the tear-dropped rattler a wonderful way to adapt to those more cautious animals. Glands beneath its forked-tongue allow the beast to spit venom up to a distance of fifty feet. The venom acts as a paralytic acid and is absorbed through a victim’s skin where it collects in the muscles and forces them to lock up. The snake will attempt to get to its paralyzed victim before death occurs, however, as it usually prefers to eat its prey whole and, hopefully, still alive. It will not eat carrion, but might lurk near a decomposing body in order to catch a vulture or other scavenger as it approaches what it believes to be a free meal.
The tear-dropped rattler side-winds its way across the harsh, desert terrain, searching for food and delineating its territory. If there is an above-ground water presence, it will burrow beneath the sand and await the exhausted, thirsty prey that inevitably approaches, expecting safe haven. It hibernates during the winter months and, like all snakes, tends to avoid the heat of the day, preferring to do most of its hunting at night. Its preferred victims are birds of prey, coyotes, rodents and other large, warm-blooded animals that enter its domain.
Tear-Drop Rattler babies are born by the hundreds, their venom at full strength almost immediately. Only the strongest survive and those tend to escape the burrow to travel their own way. Many of those are caught and eaten by airborne predators. Those that do survive often end up with enough food to last them a few months before needing to feed again.
The creature is extremely territorial, but is known to occasionally roam outside its domain in search of prey. It is assumed that these creatures will bite, spit and poison anything that comes within range of either its fangs or its ranged attack, even (or especially) if it is another tear-drop rattler. Its favorite food, however, is human.
The local natives revere this monster, however. Some consider it a deity and child sacrifice is not unheard of during desperate times. Many of the local tribes consider killing a rattler as the final step in a right of passage for their males. The venom glands of the tear-drop rattler are used by the local shamans as an hallucinogenic guide into the spirit-world.
The reptiles are more often than not revered and protected by the local tribes. They encourage travelers to explore the lands without warning them of the dangers that the monstrous tear-drop rattler represents. The travelers find out quickly enough.
About Joe Rixman
Joe Rixman is a writer based out of Southern California. His credits include fourteen screenplays (including a short film he wrote, produced and directed) and a foray into the challenging world of game writing, having recently completed three projects for White Wolf’s Vampire: the Requiem line. The experience was overwhelmingly positive and he looks forward to writing more for White Wolf, as well as other gaming companies. Joe blogs fairly regularly at: sheriffjoe.livejournal.com and is currently at work on his first novel.