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December 20- Lake Monster

Frostgill Shambler

These clear-skinned beasts factor into many goblin legends as the “teardrop folk”, with stories about how they emerge from their lakebed kingdoms to eat or grant great gifts to people, with little in between. They say they live in sparkling crystal towers under the waves, ruled by kings and queens that look like transparent, beautiful goblins.

All of this is nonsense. The frostgill shambler is not smart enough to form kingdoms. They are solitary, and particularly dimwitted, not much smarter than regular fish. They do not bring anybody gifts, and rarely do they eat goblins, having difficulty catching them on land. And, of course, they do not live in towers, but mud and clumps of aquatic plants.

Shamblers are rather common the world wide, but most are saltwater animals, living and hunting near beaches. The frostgill is unique in that it lives in lakes rather than the ocean. During the day, they lurk in the lake, staking out a small stretch of ocean floor that belongs to themselves, spending most of their time resting. When night comes, they emerge onshore to hunt. Rarely, an entire population will pull up roots and move to a new lake. The triggers for this are not known, but likely have to do with depletion of food sources.

Of course, what they are normally known for is their transparent skin. A frostgill shambler’s internal organs are easily seen through its chest. While in direct combat, this makes it rather easy to kill them (simply aim for the beating heart), they are surprisingly difficult to see while holding still. Many travelers have bites from shamblers they just didn’t see waiting in the moonlight. Of course, most of these bites are a good ways below the hip, for the average frostgill stands at only 3 feet tall.

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