March 27, 2011

Creatures of Syrene: Skinmasker

Skinmaskers are creations of the vile ssathra, living weapons meant to cause terror and confusion to man.  When the ssathra capture a human being they use their foul magics to take that human’s skin and seed, and from the latter create a human-ssathra hybrid that can wear the skin.  Wearing the human’s skin lets the ssathra assume the appearance of the now-dead person, and in this guise it tries to join the victim’s comrades and family. 

If successful, the skinmasker then embarks on a career of murder; it stalks and devours individuals, taking their skins as new disguises.  If attacked and cornered, a skinmasker can shed its human guise to take the form of a large venomous snake (a king cobra).  Doing so however prevents it from ever taking human guise again, and it dies soon after.  Skinmaskers can look and sound like the victims whose skins they have taken, but will usually not know some details of the person’s life and can thus be caught by perceptive characters.

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