A Monster Mother is a tool the Terhmelern used to create bio-engineered creatures.
It can take telepathic instructions and then build creatures using the rules of biology.
Some Monster Mothers are specialized - for instance the Dinosaur Tree. Others are generic.
In Monster Mother form. such an organism is recieving instructions from a creature that has evil intent, or is insane or both. For instance on Shark World, a monster mother caught a dying shark who'd had it's fins cut off for Shark fin soup and interpreted it's anger and pain as a command to make sharks to take revenge on humans.
Monster mothers can be found underwater, in caves or out in the open, thy can do photosynthesis or or thermoynthesis or even eat plants and animals to survive.
Monster mothers aren't inherently evil, they're just weird and have unintended side effects.
The Monster Mother grows a fruit that grows into a pod, inside which the creature grows to a mature state.
The effect in Lothlorien, of PCs coming to life is actually a specialized Monster Mother.
The Dinosaur Tree:
In 1936, Italian nobelman Phillipo Belgarza was an explorer in the Amazon. he found a strange temple. He kept it secret planning to excavate it and document it himself.
In a deep chamber, he discovered an odd seed pod.
He took it to his Brazillian estate and planted it in his green house.
It grew a very strange tree. Somewhere, Belgarza got the idea that the Tree would be happier growing in a compost heap, so he transplanted it outside and directed his staff to put food scraps and all sorts of waste around it.
The tree grew happily and seemed robust, Belgarza returned to his activites digging out and cataloging his new find.
WWII interupted his archaeology botany habit.
In 1945 when Belgarza returned to Brazil, his fortune was considerably diminished and he was looking to capitalize on his find.
His tree was beginning to bear fruit. Big, brightly colored, vaguely egg shaped fruit.
Belgarza and his staff were present when the first fruit ripened and a very small dinosaur popped out of it.
And then several more came.
Belgarza had discovered a piece of Tehrmelern bio-technology. the creator of this tree wanted to study the dinosaurs of some alt somewhere and so created the tree as a way to tranport a huge number of dinosaurs in an easy package.
Now all the dinosaurs from the tree, start out tiny and mature to about the size of chickens.
But their eggs are a little bigger. And so are the off spring. And these will lay bigger eggs and have bigger off spring - until the descendants reach the sizes of the original beasts.
Not knowing this, Belgarza and his staff raised their little flock of dinosaurs and eventually made them public.
Each growing season, if the proper nutrients are available the Dinosaur tree will grow a new batch of dinosaurs, and not always the same ones.
Once you've seen it work, the egg/fruit of the tree is color coded and patterned for the type of micro-dinosaur that will hatch from it.
By 1957, Belgarza's fortunes have improved markedly. The dinosaur tree is the deep secret of he and his business partners (former staffers)
The micro-dinosaurs are horny little things and if in good conditions and having a good food supply, they'll lay several clutches of slightly bigger eggs.
So, medium sized Dinosaurs are all the rage for Zoos and collectors all over the world.
Belgarza doesn't know it but a number of dinosaurs have escaped his "ranch" and are now breeding in the wild in the Amazon.
The easiest prey in those parts are Brazilians. So the number of people disappearing in the jungle is beginning to be noticed.
Belgarza plays his Dinosaur tree close to his chest. He does not talk about the source of his dinosaurs. If pressed he'll make up things about secret hidden valleys or advanced mad science, but the details never add up.
Belgarza's ancient temple is a Tehrmelern facilitity studying the life of the Amazon rainforest. The Dinosaur Tree was one of the Tehrmelern's personal side project.
Somewhere, A Mellor got ahold of this and created The Monster Mother.
It works just like the Dinosaur Tree, but essentially it's loaded up with the old AD&D Monster Manuals and Feind Folio, instead of a Dinosaur-pedia.
It'll make monsters consistent with local rules of physics, magic and biology.
Sometimes the Monster Mother gets a hold of someone, and then it uses their desires, nightmares, dreams and hallucinations as inspiration for its creation.
A monster mother can adjust itself to living in deep caves or under the sea. No one knows if a Dinosaur tree can adjust this way.
In this alt, japanese fishermen caught a shark, cut its fins off and threw it back in the water. Nothing special. Happens every day.
This dying shark was caught by an undersea Monster Mother.
Several years later, in 1974, a particularly violent and large Great White Shark terrorized a New England town and was stopped by a motley crew with improvised weapons.
The Sharks grew angrier, more numerous and larger.
In the early 1990s, no kidding megladons were attacking boats and eating lots of people. Surfing and Scuba Diving came to a halt.
Local shore patrols, coast guards and hunters fought back with WWII era surplus anti submarine weapons, as well as more modern technology. They got ahead of it for a bit.
Then boats and ships started turning up, abandoned, with blood splattered everywhere.
Survivor accounts were confused and disbelieved until 1995 when an attack was caught on camera.
The culprits were shark people. They sharks hacked into the shape of people. Their hands and feet have suckers borrowed from the Octopus genome.
The can skitter up the sides of ships and stealthily attack the crew.
in 1997 tens of thousands of shark-men swarmed the USS Enterprise battle group in the pacific ocean. The siege went on for days, as angry shark people tried to gain access to closed compartments, and surprised crew tried to retake their ships with improvised weapons.
These days open carry of pistols and rifles is popular along beaches and on the few ships that venture out into the ocean.
The ecology of the oceans is in disarray as huge sharks and populations of shark people roam at will.
Navies fight back, violently, but the problem is that the seas are largely unknown territory. The Enemy sharks are highly mobile within it, they are low visibility on most sonars. Most human offensives are wasted fire and ammunition. Even the ones that kill a lot of shark people may or may not be pointless because no one knows how badly the defeat sets back the shark people.
In recent times, Huge swarms of shark people have come ashore to attack human sea-side cities. The results have been declared conditional defeats of the shark people. The sharks kill lots of people and create major panic and mayhem, but then are hurled back when organized forces respond.
Properly values within three miles of the sea have dropped to almost nothing.
A disturbing trend is being noticed.
Shark men are showing up with improvised weapons and their tactics are getting better. They seem to be getting smarter.
In this world, Gun control is a dead idea. people living in seaside cities make the wearing of personal weapons a fashion statement. Function comes first, but rich people chose weapons to match their ensemble, and a variety of designer weapons are available (All in standard calibers)
Fringeworthy entering this alt are liable to be greeted happily and asked, "Heading to the beach?" The blue uniforms and plethora of weapons would make most Fringeworthy teams look like a beach-side militia group on patrol.
Although the battle to exterminate humanity is questionable at best, the real fear is the havok an overload of predators is wreaking on the oceanic ecology. Sharkmen will eat anything made of meat - including very loose definitions of meat. They prefer humans, but nothing animal is safe around them, including dead or mostly dead sharks or shark people.
The Toy Mother:
This is a pool of milky white liquid that looks and feels like liquid rubber of some sort. The rim of the pool looks like old, gnarled tree. and the pool itself is roughly 2 meters in diameter.
If you touch the pool and wish for a thing, you'll feel a little "okay!" feeling and in time (Can be up to several days depending on what you asked for) the item you asked for will "float" to the top of the pool.
What's going on is that the White substance is composed of nanobots. They have the ability to assemble atoms and molecules into the desired shape. The circular hollow, stumpy "tree" rim of the pool is the support structure for the nanobots. They feel like rubber because this is the surface tension default they have been set to. You can put your hand into the pool, or even dive in. You will feel the nanobots as a smooth, rubbery texture. But they won't stick to you. This is a living artifact. It lives using thermo-synthesis and photosynthesis.
If you take a quantity of the nanobots out of the pool, they will try to get back to the pool. If they use up their available energy and cannot get back to the pool, they will self-destruct and turn to gray ash.
There are nanobots shot all through the gnarls and nooks and crannies of the tree/pool support structure. If some assemblers are taken and destroyed the Toy Mother will make more until it is back to specs.
The Toy mother cannot do alchemy, so if you ask for an item made of gold and the Toy Mother needs more gold to fulfill your request, the Toy Mother will ask you for the proper material. Its telepathic interface is short ranged. 1 meter at most. It works much better if you touch the Toy Mother.
In the deep root structure of the Toy Mother, it stores raw material.
The thing takes energy from photons and infrared energy. So if you ask for something energetic, it will get cold and turn black. Both tree and assembler pool can change color. Once the process is complete, they will return to normal colors. If the Toy Mother gets very cold and black you can help it by lighting a fire nearby, shining bright lights and other ways. If the fire is too close, though, you can burn the Toy Mother.
If you put something non-living into the Toy Mother, it will telepathically ask "mine?" and if the user says, or thinks yes, or affirmatively - the Toy mother will break down offered items to their component molecules and atoms and store them for later use.
The original purpose of this system was to make toys for children,
Terhmelern parents were forever singing irritated, frustrated ditties about children not putting toys back when they were done.
Now the Toy Mother is an engineer. A good one. If asked it could make most anything.
But it's default setting is user-stupid. So if you ask it for a car, the Toy Mother will first and foremost give you exactly what YOU asked for. If you think you know how a car should look, it will give you what you picture.
If you know this, then you can change how you ask for things, and let the Toy Mother build you stuff that actually works.
If you know this, you can, over time, ask it for examples of Terhmelern technology and it will build them for you.
But it never volunteers what it knows or what it can do. It just tries to give you what you want. Like a metal tree, it sends roots out to a ridiculous degree filtering the soil for useful elements. Really it's faster just to give it raw material.
Delays in creating objects occur when the assemblers must take apart and reassemble difficult atoms and molecules. Iron and steel, for instance, take time, because the atoms hold together very tightly, so the Toy Mother exchanges time for high temperatures and energy.
If asked, the Toy Mother will tell you how long your request will take and how long until completion, in a vague sort of way. It's giving you a telepathic impression that your brain interprets.
If asked, the Toy Mother could create books that explain advanced science and engineering concepts, but it would take a good deal of time with an engineer or a scientist, conforming it's information to what they know.
Terhmelern House Trees have the ability to do this, but in smaller quantities and slower - this object is a specialized form of that life form.
This object is found in Node C -06, "The Prisoner", where it has been used to make an unlikely variety of otherwise impossible items. The very few fringeworthy in that node really are not clear on the capabilities or the limitations of the Toy Mother and so experiment aimlessly until they figure things out.
Some Objects objects from the Toy Mother in that node are:
- The Android Maker - a user asked vaguely enough so that the Toy Mother gave him the pieces to set up an android maker. These androids can mimic real people and are far more complex than the native technology is capable of. At least 5 such devices have been recovered and destroyed. It turns out you can ask the Toy Mother for "Another one of those!" and get it.
- The Transport Coffin - looks like an 1890s coffin. Put a human in it, and it freezes them solid. Then they can be transported along the fringepaths, since they are stone cold dead. Then at the destination, pressing an old fashioned button causes the transport coffin to thaw and revive its passenger... most of the time. Older and sicker people are less likely to survive the process.
- Rover - looks like a two meter white, under inflated beachball. Will chase a designated target and leap on them, smothering them. Can roll about 150% of maximum human running speed. What the user who asked for this was thinking is unclear. Really unclear.