Thursday 9 February 2017

Monsters from improbable sources 3: conversations with a two-year-old

The other day, I was washing my two-year-old son in the bath when he suddenly said: 'You not a bahmu!'

'What's a bahmu?' I replied.

'Bahmu is big pet', he explained. 'In woods.'

'What colour is it?'

'Is red. Bahmu has legs. Is scary!'

'So the bahmu is a big, scary red pet with legs that lives in the woods. Is it furry?'

'No, is not. Bahmu have red teeth!'

'Is bahmu friendly?'

'No, is scary!'

'What does bahmu do?'

'Bahmu say RAAARH!'

I appreciated this conversation, because it gives me an excellent opportunity for finding out whether I am, in fact, living in a horror movie. All I need to do is take my son into the nearest forest, say the magic words 'So where does the bahmu live?', and then see whether I am horribly killed within the next five minutes by a giant red monster with teeth. My son, of course, would survive unscathed, because as the only witness it would be his job to tell the bemused detectives how bahmu ate daddy, bahmu is big red pet, bahmu live in woods...

Image result for red monster with teeth

  • Bahmu: AC 15, 4 HD, +4 to hit, bite (1d12 damage), saves 10, morale 9, special attacks: roar. 

Bahmu are large, loping creatures, like a bald red ape crossed with a hairless wolf, whose almost-human faces are dominated by enormous mouths full of sharp red teeth. They normally move on all fours, although they can balance (slightly unsteadily) on their hind legs if they need to grab or bite at something that would otherwise be out of reach. They are superb burrowers and excellent climbers, their big clawed hands serving to dig through earth and grip onto trees with equal skill. Their preferred habitat is dense forests. 

Bahmu are entirely unnatural, having been magically bred as pets and guard dogs by an ancient and thankfully long-vanished civilisation. Although long-since gone feral, they still cling to the regions once inhabited by their former masters, lurking in the ruins of their overgrown cities as though hoping that, if only they wait long enough, their original owners might finally return. They are long-lived and hardy, and while their highly territorial nature will lead them to eviscerate anyone they see as trespassing into their territory, their ancient genetic imperatives mean that they are mentally conditioned to behave in various pet-like ways that now seem oddly out of keeping with their ferocious nature: they will placidly allow themselves to be played with by cats, dogs, and small children, and are scrupulously cleanly in their habits. If you could catch and domesticate one at a young enough age it would make a brilliant housepet, provided you had a big enough garden and you didn't mind it occasionally eating your neighbours. 

Bahmu prefer to attack from ambush, either dropping down from the treetops or bursting up through the soil from one of their hidden underground burrows. (They see excellently in the dark.) If anything survives their initial assault they will emit a terrifying roar which induces supernatural terror in all non-bahmu who hear it, forcing them to save or flee in panic for 1d6 rounds. 

Bahmu is big pet.

Bahmu is scary.

Bahmu have red teeth.

Bahmu say 'RAAARH!'


  1. Inspiration from a wonderful source.
    Thanks for this, and I'm putting this on my wandering monster chart.

  2. These things are terrifying. Note to self: add one in a game next time I run some Sword & Sorcery stuff.