Monday, June 07, 2010

Inkubus, 409 words

The Inkubus is a statuesque figure, reminiscent of the Classic male ideal in build and proportions. However, unlike the statues it resembles, its flesh is a perfect black - subtly glossy under direct light but otherwise apparently matte black. Despite this appearance, one can usually make out distinct features despite everything being rendered in black on black. They rarely seem to move, instead assuming poses of grace or power and remaining in that position for hours or even days at a time. Many frequently mistake them for statuary as a result. When they descend from their poses to travel amongst the people of the Mad City, however, they move with the fluid agility of a stalking cat. All but the most powerful Nightmares keep well clear when an Inkubus is on the hunt.

Though it looks to be carved of some kind of living black marble, an Inkubus is a creature of living liquid - as its name suggests, it is made of animate ink. When it wishes, it can abandon its solid form to pool and flow along the cobblestone streets of the City, where few will notice a smear of foul water flowing through the gutters. It takes advantage of its form in a fight, flowing around attacks that could harm it and allowing others to pass through. In such a case, even if its prey has escaped, the Inkubus has often stained its prey with some of its own body, and can follow that stain anywhere it wishes . It is tireless, and its fluid form allows it to slip past many barriers that would be otherwise impassable.

An Inkubus is also something of a social mimic. Much of their time spent imitating statues is used to observe others. As such, though the Nightmare is only barely more intelligent than a wolf or tiger, it can learn and imitate the patterns of social behavior. It is not an innovator, so if it has not observed how to behave in a particular situation, it cannot devise a way to behave. If caught out, it may attack or retreat depending on how hungry it actually is and how likely action is to bring about undesirable consequences (in its limited judgment). Unfortunately, several newcomers to the Mad City and more than a few locals have been taken in by the dreadfully handsome figure that offers assistance or a swift seduction, and have been drowned in ink as a result.

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