[i]Creeping through the dark mansion, you press the door open. A library! At least, something useful in this worthless building. As you begin to shovel books into your backpack, you hear a faint bubbling, following by a something that sounds like the rasp of wet leather against aged wood. A shadowed heap in the corner, one that you initially took for garbage, extrudes a long, slender stalk, the bulbous black orb at the end reflecting your flashlight’s beam back at you.
You drop your backpack, and fumble to draw your pistol as the creature almost seems to pull itself together, another tendril pushing it’s way from it’s body, with another black orb following your every movement, and it begins to slowly slide across the floor towards you. Your weapon is leveled, and with two clean shots, both eyes are burst, sending an oily splatter against the wall behind it.
It doesn’t even flinch.
Additional tendrils push from the front of it’s body as it feels its way along. Another eye begins to emerge from the top of it it’s… head? Small at first, but growing quickly. You empty your weapon, sending bullet after bullet screaming into it’s body, but it just keeps coming. The holes you make close almost instantly, and it’s almost upon you.
Back out the door of the library, you slam it closed. There’s a wet thud against the other side, and black ichor begins to ooze through the cracks of the door. You hear a loud rasp against the door, long and drawn, and you slowly back away. The rasp comes again, and the wood splinters under the weight and force of the creature behind it. You turn, and run down the hallway, but quickly find yourself turned around. This wasn’t the way you came in. You dodge through a side door, hoping for an exterior room and a window you can escape through. As you step into the room, though, you feel your foot sink into a thick sludge. Panicked, you try to pull it out, but it remains stuck. It seems to climb up the outside of your boot, almost trying to pull you deeper in. Bracing yourself against the door frame, you finally put enough force behind it to tear yourself from the terrifying glue, falling back against the opposite wall of the hallway - minus your shoe.
You feel something brush against your leg, and you turn to see the creature reared up, a yawning mouth opening in it’s body, a single spike covered in thousands of tiny teeth darting forward, slamming and dragging against the wall where your head was just moments before. But you’re already dodged and rolled, and once more you’re racing down the hallway, turning, trying another door. A bathroom. One window.
You don’t even take the time to open it - you simple dive through, into the grass outside. Freedom! At last! You break for the woods… and find yourself stuck fast. A trail stretches beneath you, from the woods back to a cleared window leading into the mansion. You’ve stumbled across the path it took to the entrance.
You see it pressing itself out the bathroom window, seemingly oblivious to the sharp glass, glass that caused you injuries you are only just now beginning to realize the severity of.
“Fine, you say. If I’m going to die here, trapped in this oily shit… well, let’s just hope it shares some other properties with oil, right?”
You pull something out of your pocket. A flare of light in the night. You drop the match.
Several hours later, someone is heading down the road in a car notices a large, burning pile of refuse, a long trail of flame reaching back through the woods to an enormous structure fire. He steers clear - an all too familiar site, lately, and there’s no reason to risk getting a wheel stuck.[/i]
The sludge crawler is a terrifying creature. 8 feet long, with a body the width of a refrigerator, it is much more than just a giant slug - it has been mutated into a grotesque monstrosity. It is not terribly fast. It is not terribly accurate. But it’s strong, and it’s persistent, and it is very, very hard to kill.
Sludge crawlers recover from damage every single tic. In a game of attrition, the sludge crawler always wins. It has a large amount of life, and only large amounts of damage in a short time can kill one - otherwise, the damage is healed almost as quickly as it is dealt. To make things work, these creatures leave a line of traps in their wake - powerfully adhesive ooze that will cause a player to stick fast if they stumble into it.
Sludge crawlers are, however, very flammable. Fire will kill them, and it’s the only thing they fear. However, it won’t do so quickly, even then. The best strategy to deal with a sludge crawler is to go somewhere else.
The sludge crawler prefers to dwell in dark, confined places - caves underground, the rooms of abandoned buildings, sewers, and other places where it is more difficult for it’s prey to escape. They are almost never seen in open fields, though they may occasionally be spotted in the woods.