White Bear & Red Moon – The Walktapus (1977)

Originally published in Wyrm’s Footnotes #2 (1977) by Greg Stafford

A WALKTAPUS is a creature of Chaos, spawned in unholy and downright disgusting union between two widely divergent species. Ordinarily such a joining would be unsuccessful, yetin the Time of the Great Darkness the oils of Chaos let slip the normal laws of the universe, allowing the birth of this and similar abominations. They are a formidable and terrible foe to fight. Normal men, ignorant of their ways, often try to kill them. To the men’s sorrow, they too often succeed.

[editor’s note: two sets of counters have been provided. The first matches the color of the counter originally printed in Wyrms Footnotes, the second reflects the color scheme used in the Dragon Pass version of the rules.]

Three Walktapus counters are provided. Only one begins at the south end of the Grazelands amid the Rockwood Mountains. Each player moves the Walktapus its normal MF intheir respective Movement Phases. The direction is determined by Random Movement [as described in Nomad Gods or Dragon Pass]. Although unintelligent, theWalktapus is capable of scenting food and will never move.away from other units. If the Random Movement Roll sends it away from the battle then the die is recast until it does go near other pieces. Rivers and marshes do not affect its MF, but ridges and forests do. In fact, the Walktapus has its CF doubled if it attacks from a River hex. Non-allied units [i.e., unallied independents] are not attacked, but any other playing piece which enters the ZOC must fight.

A Walktapus may never be allied to either side, but always acts completely on its ownlack of will. It has no scruples about taste, and will combat and attempt to devour anycreature (except non-allied Independents) which it encounters, no matter what the oddsThey fight in the usual way, but die in a most unusual manner.

The Walktapus may be Eliminated by any unit during either physical or magical combat,but instead of dying properly it shows its chaos heritage and, amoeba-like, splits intotwo similiar and completely whole Walktapi. The number of times which this occurs islimited only by the number of counters which are available to the player. Each walktapusthen moves and attacks independently of the other.

Walktapi may be killed permanently only by Superheroes, Heroes, Dragons, the Hound, and a direct hit by Exotic Magic.

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