Last week we introduced Galeras to you, an area of Nexus with plenty of trouble brewing. This week, we dive a little deeper by exploring the dangerous creatures that await those brave enough to venture off the beaten path.
The stemdragon is a unique predator native to Nexus. This giant plant-animal hybrid utilizes its ability to masquerade as local plant life in order to ambush its prey. Keeping its massive lower body burrowed in the ground, the stemdragon erupts from the earth when prey draws near, snapping up any creature fooled by its disguise. Its heavy, rotund lower body is supported by no less than five pairs of legs, ranging from muscular hind legs to the more vestigial top limbs. It has a long skinny neck, ending in a narrow head equipped with dangerously powerful jaws and a mouth full of jagged teeth. Its rear is covered in a number of large thorny spikes, which the stemdragon can launch as a barrage of prickly missiles.
As a carnivorous plant, stemdragons are partly dependent on sunlight and absorb nutrients from the ground when burrowed. However, they prefer fresh meat and will patiently wait for a succulent morsel to stumble across its path. Although they are often found near the Whimwood forests of Galeras, they can be found in other parts of Nexus as well. Their ability to burrow rapidly into the ground allows them to conceal their large forms, as well as provide a defense mechanism on the rare occasion when they are outmatched.
SPECIAL ATTACK: Thorn grenade! When threatened, stemdragons reach behind and pull at one of the thorny spikes growing from their rump, showering the surrounding area with explosive spikes.
ARCHIVE FUN FACT! The Exile adventurers Liara, Buck, and Sarge had an up-close and personal encounter with a stemdragon on their first trip to Nexus. Needless to say, the encounter was unpleasant for all parties involved, but especially the stemdragon.
Buzzbings are large, flying insects found mostly in verdant regions of Nexus like Galeras. The dominant feature of the buzzbing is its large, striped body ending in a deadly stinger. Its back legs also terminate in secondary stingers, which it uses to stab at would be honey thieves.Buzzbings are particularly fond of the Whimwood forests, where they harvest pollen from the large, white blossoms to produce their famous honey. Buzzbings are known for this delicious and nutritious honey, which not only provides sustenance for hungry Nexus settlers but also provides the buzzbing with a tactical weapon. Buzzbing honey is notoriously sticky and can literally stop an armored vehicle in its tracks. Though the buzzbing feed on pollen from nearby plants, they can be aggressive and territorial, frequently attacking careless travelers who wander too close to their hives.
SPECIAL ATTACK: Buzzbings may trap enemies by flinging honey at them. The viscous substance is so thick there have been reports of hapless travelers who have drowned in the sticky substance after being trapped.
ARCHIVE FUN FACT! Buzzbing honey is highly coveted amongst settlers on Nexus, as it fulfills many of the requirements for a nutritionally balanced diet--a small consolation for those who have died a sticky death trapped in the golden goop.
Scrabs can be found all over Nexus, particularly in dry, dusty regions. A tough and nasty arthropod, the scrab has a hardened carapace composed of chitinous segments, narrowing to a deadly, venomous stinger. Even its legs are heavily armored, with massive claws in the front that are capable of crushing boulders. Resting low to the ground, scrabs can rapidly traverse rocky ground and have no trouble navigating in dusty conditions. Six eyes set into its flattened head allow the scrab to see with no problems during the dust storms that frequently overtake the dryer regions of Nexus.
Scrabs like to hide in the ground, emerging from their burrows to attack when disturbed. They use their venom to paralyze, before crushing their victims with their front claws. Whatever remains is then shoveled into its toothy maw.
SPECIAL ATTACK: The venomous stingers of the scrab are capable of inducing paralysis. The scrab strikes with its tail to stun its prey, preventing it from fleeing while its frontal claws take care of the rest.
ARCHIVE FUN FACT! Though scrabs are difficult to hunt, their meat is considered a rare delicacy by Nexus gourmands who prize its tenderness and flavor. The high number of gourmands killed while trying to acquire scrab meat has only raised its value in the eyes of true connoisseurs.
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